A $30 million drought concessional loan package for Victoria announced today shows the benefits of a strong Nationals presence in government at all levels, according to Nationals Senator for Victoria, Bridget McKenzie.
“The deal reached between Nationals federal Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce and Nationals Victorian Agriculture and Food Security Minister Peter Walsh will help Victorian drought affected farmers restructure their existing business debt, meet ongoing costs of running their farm business and undertake drought recovery activities,” Senator McKenzie said.
“The deal has been reached in no small part because both Ministers are from rural backgrounds and understand drought and its devastating impacted on farmers.
“This is a hand up rather than a hand out. Five-year loans will fund up to half of farm debt up to a maximum of $1 million at just four per cent interest.”
Senator McKenzie said the news would be particularly welcome in the west and north-west of Victoria which had been experiencing unusually dry weather.
“As well as these drought concessional loans, loans to undertake debt restructuring and productivity enhancement activities are also available through the Farm Finance Concessional Loans Scheme,” Senator McKenzie said.
For more information on the Farm Finance Concessional Loans Scheme eligibility criteria, loans terms and how to apply, contact Rural Finance on 1800 260 425 or visit www.ruralfinance.com.au. For more information on Australian Government farmer assistance measures visit www.agriculture.gov.au/assistance.