Drought Assistance Loans

The Australian Government has opened the Farm Business Drought Assistance loans in Victoria. Under this Scheme farmers who are currently experiencing a significant financial impact as a result of the effect of drought are able to apply for a Drought Assistance Loan.

Rural Finance will be the delivery agent for the Scheme in Victoria on behalf of the state government.

In short, the Scheme will offer:

  • Loans for the purpose of:
    • re-structuring existing eligible farm debt including existing Farm Finance and/or Drought Concessional Loans,
    • providing new debt for operating expenses necessary to continue normal operations
    • drought recovery activities and/or
    • drought preparedness activities
  • Concessional loans for a term of ten years.
  • A variable interest rate commencing at 3.09%.
  • A maximum loan amount of $1,000,000 (capped at 50% of the Farm Business’s Final Debt Position).

This scheme is designed to assist farming operations that have been operating for at least three years and have experienced significant financial impact as a result of the effects of drought, but have good long-term prospects of returning to profitable trading and sustainable debt levels.

Loan applications will be assessed in order of receipt. Applications will only be accepted if they are fully completed and submitted with all mandatory supporting information required (see Application form).

The Farm Business Concessional Loans scheme will remain open for new applications through the 2017/18 financial year, or until funds are exhausted.

Bureau of Meteorology Rainfall Deficiency Report

A valid Bureau of Meteorology Rainfall Deficiency Report must be submitted as part of an application.  This report identifies those areas that have experienced either a rainfall deficiency which is equivalent to, or worse than, 1 in 20 years.

If your farm business is not located in a 1 in 20 year rainfall deficiency area you may still apply but must provide additional evidence that the financial impacts your business has incurred are directly related to drought conditions.

To obtain a Rainfall Deficiency Report, locate your farm business on the map and download a report using the Bureau of Meteorology - Australian Rainfall Deficiency Analyser.

To locate your farm business on the map, enter latitude and longitude coordinates of your farm business or you can zoom and click on the location of your property on the map. Once you have located your farm business, the option to download a Rainfall Deficiency Report becomes available. The latitudes and longitudes of your farm business can be obtained from a hard copy map, smartphone application or internet search.  For assistance in obtaining the Rainfall Deficiency report click here

The Rainfall Deficiency Report will be valid for a period of 60 days and forms part of the loan application. If the application cannot be lodged within the 60 day period a new report must be obtained.

Please note that the Australian Rainfall Deficiency Analyser is updated on the 23rd of each month (or next business day).

Need more help?

If you have any immediate queries about the Australian Government’s Drought Concessional Loans Scheme, please call us on 1800 260 425.

Assistance is also available from the Rural Financial Counselling Service which offers a free and confidential service and may be able to assist you in the preparation of Applications and Drought Management Plans. For more details please contact the Service directly on:

Eastern Region: 03 5662 2566
North Eastern Region: 1300 834 775
North Western Region: 1300 769 489
Western Region: 1300 735 578

November 2016