Extra drought dollars for QLD farmers

Drought-affected Queensland farmers are urged to take advantage of additional $15 million in financial assistance to help them recover, restructure, and revive their business.

Available through QRAA under Drought Assistance Concessional Loans program, the assistance provides drought-impacted primary producers with up to $1 million to refinance existing debt, provide cashflow for carry-on costs, restock and replant when conditions improve, or invest in future preparedness measures.

Funded by the Commonwealth Government, this increase takes the total allocation for Queensland to $50 million, after strong uptake of the scheme since its opening late last year – since 1 November, QRAA has approved over $28 million in Drought Assistance Concessional Loans.

This funding boost means even more farmers will be able to access the funds they need to withstand and overcome this drought or (in some districts) take advantage of improved seasonal conditions – welcome news as many areas are facing a dry winter after missing out on sufficient rainfall over summer.

Eligibility for this assistance is not based on state drought declarations, so farmers in areas where drought status has recently been revoked may still be eligible. Likewise, the affected property does not necessarily have to be in a one-in-20 year rainfall deficient area. Rather, producers must provide evidence of two years of significant financial impact as direct result of drought, which can include the forthcoming season. QRAA’s team are available to help farmers break down and understand these requirements.

The loans are currently available at an interest rate of just 2.47 per cent and with ten year loan terms (and up to 5 years interest-only repayments), the program can provide much-needed breathing space during hard times.

Applications for Drought Assistance Concessional Loans close 30 June 2017.

Don’t self assess – QRAA is ready to discuss each farmer’s individual situation and options. For more information, scheme guidelines or to apply, visit www.qraa.qld.gov.au or Freecall 1800 623 946.

Article by QRAA