Tasmanian Farm Finance Concessional Loans scheme closing date extended to 30 June
The Australian and Tasmanian governments have agreed to extend the closing date for applications for the Farm Finance Concessional Loans scheme to 30 June 2015.
Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, and Tasmanian Minister for Primary Industries and Water, Jeremy Rockliff, said farm businesses in Tasmania would now have more time to take advantage of the loans scheme.
"These loans are designed to support producers who are experiencing debt-servicing difficulties, but are considered financially viable in the longer term," Minister Joyce said.
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture and Senator for Tasmania, Richard Colbeck, said that the Australian Government had made a total of $15 million in loans available to eligible farm businesses in Tasmania for the 2014-15 round of the loans scheme, and that funding was still available.
Minister Rockliff said that loans of up to $650,000 were available to eligible farm businesses for debt restructuring, productivity enhancements, or a combination of the two, with an interest rate currently set at 4.34 per cent and a loan term of five years.
"I welcome the Federal Government's support to extend the loans scheme, which provides a helping hand to Tasmanian farmers," Minister Rockliff said.
"In many cases, it has been a productive season for Tasmanian agriculture, but of course there has been challenging conditions for farmers in some areas.
"I encourage Tasmanian farmers who may be interested in taking advantage of the loans to find out more, and submit an application before the extended June 30 closing date.
"A Farmer Liaison Officer program continues to be provided through the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association to assist in obtaining further information, contact 1800 154 111 or visit www.stategrowth.tas.gov.au. Or contact the Rural Financial Counselling Service on 1800 883 276," Minister Rockliff said today.
In addition to the $420 million Farm Finance Concessional Loans Scheme, the Australian Government had a range of assistance measures available to farmers and rural communities experiencing hardship--including income support through the Farm Household Allowance and free financial counselling through the Rural Financial Counselling Service.
"I encourage farmers not to self assess their eligibility for any of these measures, but to talk to the experts and find out more about their options," Minister Joyce said.
The Farm Finance Concessional Loans Scheme in Tasmania is delivered by the Tasmanian Department of State Growth. More information, including eligibility criteria and application details, can be found at stategrowth.tas.gov.au.
Loan applications close at 5pm on 30 June 2015, or when funds are fully committed, whichever is sooner.
For more information on the range of Australian Government assistance available to farmers, farm businesses and rural communities, visit agriculture.gov.au/assistance.