Drought Concessional Loans
Drought Concessional Loans are now on offer to eligible farmers in Victoria.
The Australian Government loans are available for the re-structuring of existing eligible farm debt, funding operating expenses necessary to continue normal operations, and/or drought preparedness and recovery activities.
This scheme is designed to assist farming operations that have experienced significant financial impact as a result of the drought. Eligible businesses must have been operating for at least three years and have good long-term prospects of returning to profitable trading with sustainable debt levels.
These loans are available through, Rural Finance or call them on 1800 260 425.
Rural Financial Counselling Service
The Rural Financial Counselling Service provides primary producers and small rural businesses that are experiencing hardship with free and impartial financial information, options, decision-making support and referral services.
Information on the locations of rural financial counsellors in Victoria can be obtained by visiting their website, calling 1800 686 175 (toll free) or calling:
- North West RFCS: 1300 769 489
- North East RCFS: 1300 834 775
- Eastern RFCS: (03) 5662 2566
- Western RFCS: 1300 735 578
Farm Household Allowance
The Farm Household Allowance is a Commonwealth income support payment, available to eligible farmers and their families experiencing financial hardship. Applicants must be willing to undertake activities to improve the viability of their farm business and strengthen their long term financial situation.
For further information, call the Farmer Assistance Hotline on 13 23 16.
Victorian Government Concessions
Concessions are available to low income Victorians experiencing difficulty in paying their council rates, water, gas and electricity bills. Discounts are available on essential services to ease the financial burden for low income Victorians. For each concession and/or benefit, there is an eligibility criterion.
Farm Debt Mediation
The Farm Debt Mediation scheme makes it compulsory for banks and other creditors to offer mediation to farmers before commencing debt recovery proceedings on farm mortgages. In Victoria, mediation services are provided through the office of the Victorian Small Business Commissioner.
For further information, call 13 87 22.
Farm Management Deposits
Farm Management Deposits (FMDs) allow eligible primary producers to set aside pre-tax income from primary production in years of high income, which they can draw on in years of low income.
The Australian Government is amending the FMD legislation to:
- double the FMD cap from $400,000 to $800,000
- re-establish an early access trigger during times of drought
- remove the law that prevents FMDs being used as offset accounts against primary production business debt.
For further information, contact the Australian Taxation Office on 13 28 66.