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Tuesday, 28 October 2014
Page: 12362

Drought Concessional Loans Scheme

(Question No. 404)

Mr Fitzgibbon asked the Minister for Agriculture, in writing, on 3 September 2014:

In respect of drought specific concessional loans funding in Western Australia, (a) what is the status, (b) have the guidelines for (i) Western Australian farmers, and (ii) drought specific concessional loans, been approved; if so, on what date, and did they have to be refined to reflect Western Australia's climate conditions, (c) what sum of funding has been allocated, (d) which jurisdiction will cover the administrative cost, and (e) is he going to tour drought affected areas in Western Australia.

Mr Joyce: The Minister for Agriculture has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

In respect to the Drought Concessional Loans Scheme in Western Australia:

(a) The Drought Concessional Loans Scheme is open for applications in Western Australia.

(b) (i) The Drought Concessional Loans Scheme in Western Australia opened for applications on 23 September 2014, following finalisation of formal approvals by the Australian and Western Australian governments. The Australian Government has adopted a nationally consistent approach to the eligibility for drought concessional loans. As a result, Western Australian farm businesses are subject to the same eligibility and loan assessment criteria as farm businesses in other jurisdictions.

(ii) As above.

(c) $20 million in drought concessional loans funding has been allocated to Western Australia for 2014-15.

(d) The Australian and Western Australian governments have agreed on the terms for the delivery of the scheme, which includes the Australian Government contributing funding for the reasonable delivery costs of the scheme in Western Australia.

(e) I will be pleased to visit drought affected areas of WA if the opportunity arises.