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Department of State Growth

Drought Assistance Concessional Loans

Drought Assistance Concessional Loans are an initiative of the Australian Government to assist eligible commercially viable drought affected farm businesses to continue to operate through drought conditions, recover once the season breaks and prepare for future droughts.

The loans will be delivered as part of the Farm Business Concessional Loan Scheme. Under the scheme the Australian Government has provided Tasmania with a total of $10 million for the provision of Dairy Recovery Concessional Loans, Drought Assistance Concessional Loans and Business Improvement Concessional Loan.

Loans up to a maximum value of $1 million are available. The Department of State Growth/Tasmania Development and Resources will assess and decide if applications are eligible through a non‑competitive first-come first-served selection process.

Key features of the Drought Assistance Concessional Loan Scheme

  • Drought Assistance Concessional Loans are for eligible Farm Businesses for the purposes of debt restructuring, new debt for operating expenses, drought preparedness activities or drought recovery activities, or a combination of these.
  • Loan amounts are up to a maximum of $1 million in total.
  • A concessional variable interest rate commencing at 3.09 per cent (as at 1 February 2018), which is reviewed on a six monthly basis.
  • A maximum loan term of 10 years, with interest only repayments for the first five years and principal and interest repayments for years six to 10.
  • The Farm Business must repay or refinance the remaining loan balance at the end of the loan term.
  • The availability of loans is subject to funds being available—applications close on the closing date of the application period (as published on the Department of State Growth website) or when funding is fully committed, whichever occurs first.


To be eligible for a Drought Assistance Concessional Loan an applicant must demonstrate that they meet the Drought Assistance Concessional Loan eligibility criteria. 

Detailed information about the eligibility and assessment criteria is available in the Drought Assistance Concessional Loans Scheme Guidelines.

Guidelines and Application Form

Bureau of Meteorology Rainfall Deficiency Report

You must submit a valid Bureau of Meteorology Rainfall Deficiency Report with your application.

Option A

This report identifies those areas that have experienced a rainfall deficiency, which extend 12 months or more. The 12 month period needs to be continuous, in whole months (ie. not part of a month) and wholly within the last two years.

The report will show whether your farm business is located in an area experiencing a rainfall deficiency, which is equivalent to, or worse than, a 1-in-20 year rainfall event.

Option B

If your farm business is not located in an area that has experienced a rainfall deficiency equivalent to, or worse than a 1-in-20 year rainfall event you may still be eligible. You will need to supply a valid report that shows your farm is located outside an area that has experienced a rainfall deficiency equivalent to a 1-in-20 year rainfall event.

A Rainfall Deficiency Report can be obtained using the Bureau of Mereology's Australian Rainfall Deficiency Analyser

Please use the following instructions to generate a report:

  • Locate your farm business by using the "+" or "-" buttons to zoom in or out on the Australian Rainfall Deficiency Analyser.
  • To ensure the necessary accuracy in obtaining a valid Rainfall Deficiency Report, continue using the zoom function until you have positively identified the location on your property report. To avoid selecting a neighbouring property in error, make your selection well within your property boundaries. An incorrect report will cause delays in processing your application.
  • Once you have accurately located your farm business, click your mouse once and an option to download a Rainfall Deficiency Report becomes available. Click "download report", and then print the Rainfall Deficiency Report and attach it to your loan application.
  • Alternatively, you may enter the individual latitude and longitude co-ordinates of your farm business location (if known).
  • Your Rainfall Deficiency Report will be valid for a period of 60 days and forms part of your loan application. If you are unable to lodge your application within the 60 day period you will need to obtain a new report.

The Australian Rainfall Deficiency Analyser is updated on the 23rd of each month (or next business day).

When assessing applications State Growth will verify information provided by applicants.

Application Period

Applications for Drought Assistance Concessional Loans open on 31 July 2017 and may remain open until 30 June 2018 or until funding is fully committed, whichever occurs first.

Details of any revisions to the scheme over this period will be published on the Department of State Growth’s website,

How to apply

To ensure your application has addressed all the requirements applicants are encouraged to contact one of the Department of State Growth’s program managers through Business Tasmania on 1800 440 026 (free call) prior to submission.

Eligible applicants should lodge their completed application form including all required supporting documents no later than the closing date of the application period, 30 June 2018.

Applications lodged after the advertised application period closing date will not be accepted.

Applications may be submitted via post or email.

Postal address:
Senior Program Manager
Drought Assistance Concessional Loans
Department of State Growth
GPO Box 536
Hobart TAS 7001