Farm Finance debt restructuring loans now available in WA
Federal Member for O’Connor Rick Wilson MP has welcomed the news Western Australian farmers can now apply for loans for debt restructuring as well as productivity enhancement activities under the second and final round of the Farm Finance concessional loans scheme.
Mr Wilson said this is great news for the farmers of O'Connor, “I’ve being working hard to make sure this scheme was accessible for WA farmers. The previous criteria were too difficult for farmers affected by drought to meet.”
“The changes to the scheme to include farmers who do not farm within the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) rainfall deficiency areas to apply for a concessional interest rate loan with a debt restructuring component is very welcome news, particularly for some businesses in the eastern Wheatbelt who were not able to apply previously.
“Expanding the Farm Finance concessional loans to include debt restructuring, in addition to productivity enhancement, or a combination of these two purposes is the sort of flexibility farmers had been calling for and will provide another option for Western Australian farming businesses experiencing drought conditions.
“This will help farm businesses in the short-term to improve their financial capabilities and profitability into the future.”
The total loan amount available has also increased to $1 million, with the productivity enhancement activity component remaining at between $50,000 and $400,000.
Farm businesses must be in at least one of following industries including broadacre, pastoral, horticulture, dairy, intensive agriculture and aquaculture, and be based in WA, to apply for the FFCLS.
“I echo the words of Minister for Agriculture Barnaby Joyce in urging all farmers not to self-assess but to talk to the experts about their options and eligibility - there are a range of state and federal programmes available to assist farmers doing it tough now,” Mr Wilson said.
FFCLS loans are interest-only at the concessional rate, with principal repayment at the end of the loan term. Applications for the FFCLS close on 30 April 2015.
For more information on eligibility criteria, loans terms and how to apply, contact the Rural Business Development Corporation (RBDC) on www.agric.wa.gov.au/rbdc or by calling the Freecall information line on 1800 198 231.