The Queensland Government has committed another $20 million in funding for low-interest productivity loans for Queensland’s primary producers bringing the total investment in Queensland’s agriculture through the Primary Industry Productivity Enhancement Scheme (PIPES) from $100 million to $120 million per year from 1 July.
Administered through the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA), the PIPES scheme provides First Start Loans of up to $2 million and Sustainability Loans of up to $1.3 million to Queensland’s primary producers.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities Mark Furner said the commitment of further funding would support more primary producers to invest in more productive and sustainable enterprises and help them to establish their enterprise in the early years.
The low-interest loans currently come with terms of up to 20 years and with one, three or five-year fixed rates and no fees or charges.
“Already this financial year (2020-21) close to 200 applications for nearly $90 million have been approved for the scheme, including close to $23 million in Sustainability Loans to invest in on-farm infrastructure, improve water storage and efficiency, invest in biosecurity measures or improve their farm operations,” Mr Furner said.
“More than $65 million in First Start Loans has been approved in this financial year to help new and next generation primary producers to purchase their first property, buy into the family farm business or lease country.
“Agriculture is a critical part of Queensland’s plan for economic recovery, and the extension of the PIPES loans scheme shows we are standing shoulder to shoulder with our farmers.
“When the Palaszczuk Government was first elected this scheme issued $60m in loans annually, we increased it to $100 million and now to $120 million annually – so we have essentially doubled this investment in our farmers.
“For more than 25 years, QRIDA has been supporting producers to invest in their first business, secure the future sustainability of their enterprise, expand, diversify and tackle drought and other tough conditions.”
QRIDA CEO Cameron MacMillan said the scheme continues to support new and existing primary producers across all corners of the state with more than $1 billion invested over 25 years in primary production enterprises.
“Looking at the beef industry across Queensland, QRIDA has assisted more than 2,000 Queensland beef producers invest in more than $636 million through a First Start or Sustainability Loan over its 25-year history,” Mr MacMillan said.
“QRIDA is proud to be supporting the future of Queensland Agriculture and supporting more niche industries as well, including oyster farming and berry growing enterprises.
“QRIDA’s network of Regional Area Managers are based across the state and support primary producers through the application process and we’re looking forward to helping even more primary producers achieve their goals.”
QRIDA administers the Primary Industry Productivity Enhancement Scheme on behalf of the Queensland Government.