Drought-affected farmers across Queensland can now apply for assistance through a Drought Concessional Loan or a Drought Recovery Concessional Loan, following the announcement of the opening for the 2015–16 application round.

With up to 80 per cent of the state now recognised as being in drought, these loans will assist those farm businesses financially impacted by the effects of drought. The Australian Government has made $30 million available for Drought Concessional Loans and up to $15 million for Drought Recovery Concessional Loans in 2015-16.

Key Features of the loans....

Drought Concessional Loans Scheme:
• Loans are for eligible farm businesses for the purposes of restructuring existing eligible debt (including a Farm Finance Concessional Loan), providing new debt for operating expenses or drought recovery and preparedness activities, or a combination of these.
• Loan amounts will be up to 50% of total eligible debt to a maximum of $1 million.
• The variable concessional interest rate is currently set at 3.05% (from August 2015).
• Maximum loan term of five years.
• Interest only payments available for the loan term.
• The farm business must repay or refinance the remaining loan balance at the end of the loan term.

Drought Recovery Concessional Loans Scheme:
• Loans are for eligible farm businesses for the purposes of planting and restocking.
• Loan amounts will be up to 50% of total eligible debt to a maximum of $1 million.
• The variable concessional interest rate is currently set at 2.71% (from August 2015).
• Maximum loan terms of ten years apply, with interest only repayments for the first five years.
• Principal and interest repayments apply from years six to ten of the loan, calculated on the basis of a 10-year loan term.
• Refinance or repayment is required by the end of the loan term.

The availability of loans is subject to funds being available. The scheme will close to applications on 30 June 2016. For further information visit www.qraa.qld.gov.au/current-programs/drought-concessional-loans-scheme