Victorian Bushfires Concessional Loans

Victorian Bushfires Concessional Loans

The Victorian Bushfire Concessional Loans are supported by the Commonwealth and Victorian State Government under the Disaster Recovery Arrangements, to support small business, primary producers and non-profit organisations impacted by the Victorian bushfires that commenced 21 November 2019.  

The loans are intended to be used for the purposes of restoring and/or replacing damaged assets and/or to meet working capital expenses.

Loan Amount & Terms

Concessional Loans of up to $500,000 are available to assist those entities which have suffered significant damage to their assets and/or significant loss of income.

Adequate security will be required for any lending. The level of support provided will have regard for insurance recoveries and the financial resources available to affected entities, and each case will be assessed on its merits.

The loans are administered by Rural Finance in line with the joint State and Commonwealth Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).


Primary producers, small business and not-for-profits who have been impacted by bushfires in declared Local Government Areas can apply for these loans. To be eligible for the loan, you must:

  • Be a primary producer, small business or not-for-profit organisation according to the definition in the Program Guidelines
  • Hold an Australian Business Number (ABN) and have held that ABN at the time of the disaster
  • Be located in the defined area for the eligible disaster (or operate on a regular basis within the defined disaster area) and suffered direct damage or loss of income as a result of the eligible disaster
  • Be responsible for meeting the costs claimed in the application
  • Have been engaged in carrying on the enterprise when affected by the eligible disaster and intend to re-establish or continue carrying on the business in the same location
  • Demonstrate the capacity to repay the loan, and provide adequate security satisfactory to Rural Bank
  • Have lodged an application on or before 31 December 2020

These loans are available in the local council areas of Ararat, Alpine, Ballarat, East Gippsland, Glenelg, Golden Plains, Greater Bendigo, Indigo, Mansfield, Moyne, Northern Grampians, Pyrenees, Southern Grampians, Strathbogie, Towong, Wangaratta, Wellington and Wodonga and the Alpine Resorts of Mount Buller, Mount Hotham, Mount Stirling and Falls Creek.

The above list is not exhaustive, for the complete list of eligibility criteria refer to the Program Guidelines

Supporting Documents

To ensure your application can be processed as quickly as possible, the following supporting documents must be submitted with your application form:

  • Past three year’s financial statements
  • Past three year’s business tax returns
  • Past three year’s individual/Director’s income tax returns
  • Statement of Assets and Liabilities
  • Land rates notice
  • Monthly cash flows for the current financial year and next financial year
  • Copy of Trust Deed/s if required
  • Australian Taxation Office Integrated Client Account Statement/Tax Portal
  • Evidence of Losses/Damage experienced in the disaster event including copies of any insurance claims and settlements.
  • Details of real estate that is available to secure the loan including any prior mortgages together with contact details of your Bank Manager.

This information is required to understand the historical performance of your business, your current position and future plans to determine the level of assistance you need, and your prospects of returning to a viable business with the assistance provided.

If further information is required, an assessment officer will contact you directly.

Interest Rate

The concessional loan interest rate for the 2020/21 financial year is 0.45% and applies after the initial two year interest free period. This rate is subject to an annual review by the Commonwealth.

Fees & Charges

Victorian Bushfire Concessional Loans have no establishment fees, no account maintenance fees and no fees for early payout; however third party costs incurred in establishing the loan  are to be paid by the applicants, these may include:

  • Search fees i.e. for mortgage security (real estate)
  • Company and PPSR (Personal Properties Securities Register) searches
  • Costs for conducting credit checks
  • External solicitor prepared documents and trust investigations
  • State Government mortgage registration fees

Loans will be funded net of any such costs, with actual costs deducted detailed in the loan funding letter.

  • Where externally prepared valuations are required, these costs are to be paid by applicants direct to their valuer.

How to apply

Eligibility criteria are contained in the attached Guidelines. Please read the Guidelines before completing the Application Form.

Completed application forms, together with supporting documentation must be submitted via:

Post: Rural Finance, PO Box 1313, Bendigo Central 3552

Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Fax: 5441 8901

Applications close on by 31 December 2020.

For further information please contact Rural Finance on 1800 260 425.