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    Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
    The Honourable John McVeigh

    Natural Disaster Assistance loans now available at 1.7%

    Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
    The Honourable John McVeigh

    Friday, February 08, 2013

    Natural Disaster Assistance loans now available at 1.7%

    Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Minister John McVeigh has announced the concessional loans for primary producers and small businesses are now available at a record low interest rate of 1.7 per cent.

    “The 1.7 per cent interest rate is the lowest on record for NDRRA loans in Queensland,” Mr McVeigh said. 

    “Reducing the cost of debt will go a long way toward assisting producers and small business owners get back on their feet and restore their operations after the floods. 

    “I have seen the devastation first-hand and this assistance while helping individual producers and businesses will also flow through to supporting the community and stimulating economic recovery,” Mr McVeigh said.

    The 1.7 per cent interest rate applies to Natural Disaster Assistance (Category B loans) activated from 1 July 2012 and are provided under the joint Commonwealth / Queensland Government Funded Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA).

    Mr McVeigh said Category B loans of up to $250,000 through QRAA are available to primary producers and small businesses directly affected by January’s Tropical Cyclone Oswald and associated rainfall, as well as Far North Queensland’s Bushfires.

    “Primary producers can use the loans for such things as repairing infrastructure, replacing damaged plant and equipment, carry-on finance and replacing stock and livestock lost due to the disaster event,” Mr McVeigh said.

    To be eligible for the concessional interest rate loan, primary producers and small businesses must have suffered direct damage and be located in a defined disaster area activated for the Category B loan assistance.

    The new arrangements do not apply to existing QRAA loans.  Primary producers and small businesses with existing loans with QRAA and who may still be experiencing financial difficulty are encouraged to contact QRAA to discuss assistance measures including: extending their loan term, interest only arrangements, deferring loan instalments and suspending repayments.

    For further information on disaster assistance available through QRAA, please contact QRAA on Freecall 1800 623 946 or visit www.qraa.qld.gov.au.

    [ENDS] 8 February 2013

    Media: Louise Gillis – 0408 709 160