Following unprecedented demand from primary producers in 2016-17, the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority’s (QRIDA) First Start and Sustainability Loans are back with more funding and lower interest rates.
As at June 30, 2017, QRIDA (then known as QRAA) had approved more than $116 million in First Start and Sustainability loans to Queensland’s primary producers, doubling the $64 million approved in 2015-16.
From July 1, 2017, these loans are available at interest rates as low as 3.02 per cent.
First Start Loans provide up to $2 million to aspiring producers in the early years of establishing their operations. Up-and-comers as young as 19 have used the loans to purchase property, enter share-farming arrangements or buy into the family business.
Sustainability Loans are QRIDA’s most versatile product, providing up to $1.3 million to boost the productivity and profitability of existing primary production enterprises, including machinery upgrades, diversification into other crops or industries and implementing biosecurity and drought preparedness measures.
Some producers have used these loans to reduce on-farm expenditure by investing in water or energy efficient equipment, and others have maximised their profits by building on-farm processing and supply-chain facilities.
Both loans are available on repayment terms of up to 20 years, with no fees or charges and include the option of joint-lending with your bank.
Producers are encouraged to speak to one of QRIDA’s nine Regional Area Managers in order to make the most of the programs available.
Based throughout Queensland, these local representatives are available to meet with you on farm to discuss your individual goals and circumstances, explain the opportunities these loans present and walk you through the application process step-by-step.
QRIDA is also administering the Queensland Government’s mandatory Farm Business Debt Mediation program, accrediting mediators and overseeing the process which will ensure timely, equitable resolutions. They will also establish the Farm Debt Restructure Office, and be reinstating the biennial Rural Debt Survey.
QRIDA CEO Cameron MacMillan said over the past 23 years the organisation has become a specialist in rural finance and supporting regional Queensland.
“The expansion of our role means we are making better use of this knowledge and passion, and doing more for the benefit of Queensland’s rural and regional industries,” Mr MacMillan said.
For more information on First Start and Sustainability Loans, or to find out how QRIDA is doing more for rural and regional Queensland, visit www.qrida.qld.gov.au or Freecall 1800 623 946.