THE DRY: Lachlan Millar snapped this image just out of Jundah, 200km south of Longreach.
THE DRY: Lachlan Millar snapped this image just out of Jundah, 200km south of Longreach. Contributed

DROUGHT: Latest round of govt loans open for farmers

DROUGHT-AFFECTED farmers across Queensland can now apply for assistance through a Drought Concessional Loan or a Drought Recovery Concessional Loan, with 2015-16 application rounds for both schemes opening today.

Federal Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce and Queensland Agriculture Minister Bill Byrne said the schemes helped farmers to manage the effects of drought and return to viability in the long term.

"Queensland farmers are doing it very tough, with up to 80% of the state now recognised as being in drought by the State Government," Minister Joyce said.

"This government has listened to those farmers and we are delivering practical support to both help farmers through the drought and recover from its effects as conditions improve.

"We are ... making up to $30 million available for Drought Concessional Loans and up to $15 million for Drought Recovery Concessional Loans to Queensland farmers this year.

"With concessional interest rates currently at 3.05% for Drought Concessional Loans and 2.71% for Drought Recovery Concessional Loans, these loan facilities represent the cheapest finance available to drought-affected farmers."

Drought Concessional Loans are available for an interest-only term of five years, while Drought Recovery Concessional Loans are available for 10 years with interest-only repayments available for the first five years.

Mr Byrne said the Federal Government's scheme complemented the Queensland Government's $52.1 million drought package announced earlier this year.

Mr Joyce said 163 farm businesses in Queensland were already benefiting from the earlier drought-related loans schemes, with over $90 million in loans approved up to August 31, 2015.

Full details including all scheme guidelines and application forms for the Drought and Drought Recovery Concessional Loans Schemes are available at www.qraa.qld.gov.au or contact QRAA on Freecall 1800 623 946.

For more information on the range of Australian Government assistance for farmers, farm businesses and rural communities, visit agriculture.gov.au/assistance.

For more information on the range of Queensland Government Assistance available to farmers visit daf.qld.gov.au/environment/drought/assistance.



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