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Joyce says extra drought-loans will flow soon

Craig Zonca, Wednesday March 12, 2014 - 17:43 EDT

The Federal Agriculture Minister says he's working hard to finalise arrangements for the new concessional loan scheme.

The Federal Government announced a $280 million expanded low interest loan program a fortnight ago for drought-stricken landholders.

Barnaby Joyce says the finer details of the scheme are still being discussed but he's hoping money will soon start to flow.

"We have to negotiate this with each State and we are doing that as we speak.

"In fact, today I've been signing letters and sending them off to the respective ministers of each State and Territory about the conditions and how we go about this."

Loans of up to $1 million dollars will be available at an interest rate of 4 per cent over 5 years. The loans will be made available to farmers to restructure debt, cover operating expenses and recover from the effects of drought.

"I acknowledge that when you finish the day's work the last thing you want to do is sit down at the kitchen table after dinner and pour through a document but we've got people there to assist you to do that," says Mr Joyce.

"They're rural financial counsellors and they're paid by the Commonwealth to assist you in precisely that process.

"I believe we'll get greater streamlining and accessibility as we continue on with the second tranche."


© ABC 2014

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