More funds and lower rates for farm loans

Central and North Burnett Times - - LIFE -

THE new­est round of the Queens­land Govern­ment’s First Start and Sus­tain­abil­ity Loans are open, with more fund­ing and lower in­ter­est rates.

Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter Bill Byrne said the up­take of these loans had in­creased dra­mat­i­cally.

“It is sig­nif­i­cant that $116 mil­lion was ap­proved in 2016–17, com­pared to

$64 mil­lion the pre­vi­ous fi­nan­cial year,” Mr Byrne said.

In­ter­est rates have dropped as low as 3.02% for loans drawn from Satur­day, July 1.

“These rates present an in­cred­i­ble op­por­tu­nity for Queens­land’s pro­duc­ers, both as­pir­ing and es­tab­lished, to take the next step,” Mr Byrne said.

“Whether that’s into full-time pri­mary pro­duc­tion or to­wards a more prof­itable op­er­a­tion.”

First Start Loans pro­vide up to $2 mil­lion to as­sist in the early stages of es­tab­lish­ing a pri­mary pro­duc­tion en­ter­prise.

Sus­tain­abil­ity Loans of up to $1.3 mil­lion al­low ex­ist­ing pro­duc­ers to in­vest in the long-term suc­cess of their busi­ness through ex­pan­sion, di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion and on-farm im­prove­ments.

The loans are ad­min­is­tered by the Queens­land Ru­ral and In­dus­try De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity and are de­signed to help el­i­gi­ble and next-gen­er­a­tion farm­ers to en­ter the agri­cul­tural in­dus­try and en­cour­age ex­ist­ing pri­mary pro­duc­ers to build, ex­pand and im­prove their en­ter­prise for long-term prof­itabil­ity and sus­tain­abil­ity.

Pro­duc­ers are en­cour­aged to speak to one of QRIDA’s nine re­gional area man­agers in or­der to make the most of the pro­grams.

For fur­ther in­for­ma­tion about the loans or the QRIDA visit www.qrida.qld.gov.au or phone toll-free 1800 623 946.

PHOTO: PAUL BRAVEN

UP­TAKE IN­CREASE: Ag Min­is­ter Bill Byrne says First Start and Sus­tain­abil­ity Loans are pen.

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