Lower interest rates on Regional Investment Corporation (RIC) loans is welcomed good news for farmers, NFF Chief Executive Officer Tony Mahar said.
“Farmers across the country continue to be severely challenged by the unprecedented drought conditions.
“Access to low interest loans allows farmers to maintain valuable breeding stock and to remain in business while the drought continues.
“And, when the rains finally do fall, RIC funds will have an important role in helping farm businesses to recover and restore productivity.”
Mr Mahar said the Government’s decision today, announced by Ministers Littleproud and Corman was timely.
“The reduction of the already low RIC loan interest rates to 2.11% for Farm Business Loans and 1.65% for Water Infrastructure Loans is prudent.
“Interest payments can be a significant cost burden for farmers and represent significant pressure, during what are already incredibly tough times.”
The rate cut is in addition to two years interest-and-repayment free and a three-year interest-only period on RIC loans of up to $2 million.
Mr Mahar acknowledged the Federal Government’s ongoing action to assist farmers to manage through the current drought.
“The priority must continue to be on ensuring RIC loans and other drought and bushfire support measures are made available to farmers as soon as possible.
“What farmers need now is cash in their pockets. They can’t afford for their access to support to be tied up in red tape and bureaucracy.
“Time lags of weeks or even months are not in the best interests of farmers or the communities that rely on them.”
Laureta Wallace – GM, Media & Communications
(m) 0408 448 250 / (e) firstname.lastname@example.org