The Federal Government launched the 2017–18 Farm Business Concessional Loans Scheme in Tasmania, with an initial commitment of $10 million to support eligible farm businesses.
Deputy Prime Minister and Federal Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, said this was part of the Federal Government’s $250 million commitment to delivering concessional loans for eligible farm businesses nationally from 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018.
“Concessional loans will continue to be available to assist farmers across Tasmania to rebuild their businesses following drought and retrospective farm gate milk price cuts in 2016,” Minister Joyce said.
“So far, almost $37 million in concessional loans have been approved to 58 farm businesses in Tasmania since 2013.
“For 2017–18, the Farm Business Concessional Loans Scheme will also be extended to eligible Farm Household Allowance recipients who have exhausted their 1,095-day entitlement.
“These Business Improvement Concessional Loans recognise that some farmers may need further assistance to achieve their farm business plans.
“The Federal Government continues to deliver farm-strengthening initiatives from the $4 billion Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper, which had a $2.5 billion commitment to concessional loans over ten years.”
Tasmanian Minister for Primary Industries and Water, Jeremy Rockliff, said that farmers were still recovering from two extremely difficult seasons of drought and flood.
“There is certainly signs of recovery throughout the State and the farm gate milk price has improved, and hopefully these loans will enable farmers to further develop their properties and employ more Tasmanians in regional areas.”
Senator for Tasmania, Jonathon Duniam, said the loans provided much-needed support and assistance to farmers getting back on their feet after facing tough times.
“Farms are the backbone of our regional communities and make a huge contribution to our economy,” Mr Duniam said.
“Our farmers contribute about $62.8 billion to our nation’s economy and stronger farm businesses mean a stronger economy. Supporting viable farm businesses to better manage through drought and hardship is firmly in our national interest.”
Source: Australian Government