19 May 2017

An extra $30m for farm concessional loans in Victoria

The Turnbull Government has announced an additional $30m in concessional loans to support dairy farm businesses in Victoria.

The additional funding has been made available through the Farm Business Concessional Loans Scheme.

Farm Business Concessional Loans will enable farmers to refinance existing debt, fund normal operations and bankroll activities to increase productivity. The loans fall into two categories:

  • drought assistance for drought–affected farm businesses; and
  • dairy recovery concessional loans to assist eligible farmers affected by the decisions of Murray Goulburn, Fonterra and National Dairy Products to retrospectively reduce farm gate milk prices.

Over the past year more than $84m in Dairy Recovery Concessional Loans have been approved to assist 156 dairy farm businesses in Victoria.

The Turnbull Government is a strong supporter of the Australian dairy industry. Our Dairy Assistance Package announced last year includes a $555m Dairy Recovery Concessional Loans package. We also announced $2m to establish a commodity milk price index, $900,000 for an additional nine rural financial counsellors in Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and New South Wales, $900,000 for Dairy Australia’s Tactics for Tight Times program and the fast-tracking of the Farm Household Allowance

In the 2017–18 Budget, the Turnbull Government announced it will extend concessional loan eligibility to farmers who have exhausted their full three year entitlement to the Farm Household Allowance and can use this support to continue improving their long term financial strength.

To find out more about concessional loans in Victoria please contact Rural Finance on 1800 260 425 or visit ruralfinance.com.au.

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

  • An additional $30m in Farm Business Concessional Loans is now available for Victorian farm businesses to 30 June 2017.
  • $100m has now been allocated to Victoria since the Farm Business Concessional Loans Scheme began on 1 November 2016.
  • 156 Victorian dairy farmers have been approved over $84m in Dairy Recovery Concessional Loans, as at 31 March 2017.
  • The Farm Business Concessional Loans Scheme is a key initiative of the Coalition Government’s $4b Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper.
  • In Victoria, 388 farm businesses have been approved for concessional loans products worth over $188m across all schemes.

I have not just been a long-term advocate for the dairy industry but have also spoken out very strongly about the conduct of both Murray-Goulburn and Fonterra in imposing clawback payments on farmers last year. The ACCC recently commenced legal proceedings against Murray Goulburn.

18 May 2017