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Drought Assistance Concessional Loans

Drought Assistance Concessional Loans are now available to assist eligible Queensland farm businesses that have experienced significant financial impacts as a result of drought.

Even if your property falls outside of a 1 in 20 year rainfall deficient area, you may still be eligible for assistance if you can provide evidence of a significant financial impact as a direct result of the effects of drought over a two year period, which can include the forthcoming season.

The Australian Government has allocated Queensland with $50 million for the provision of Drought Assistance Concessional Loans to help drought-affected farm businesses manage, recover from and prepare for droughts and maintain prospects for long term commercial viability.

Loans for up to 50 per cent of a farm business’s final debt position to a maximum of $1 million are available.

Drought Assistance Concessional Loans can be used for:

  • Debt restructuring: Applicants can use concessional loans to restructure existing eligible debt. This includes being able to restructure existing Commonwealth concessional loans.
  • Operating expenses: Applicants can use funds for operating expenses that are necessary to continue the normal operations of the farm business.
  • Drought recovery activities: Applicants can use loan funds to contribute to the cost of drought recovery activities including planting and/or restocking.
  • Drought preparedness activities: Applicants can use loan funds to assist with the cost of activities to prepare for future droughts.

Key features of the scheme

  • Assist farm businesses to manage, recover from and prepare for droughts.
  • Can be used to restructure debt and / or provide new debt for operating expenses, drought- preparedness activities or drought recovery activities.
  • Loan amounts can be up to 50 per cent of a farm business’ final debt position to a maximum of $1 million.
  • The variable concessional interest rate is currently set at 3.09 per cent (from 1 February 2018).
  • Maximum loan terms of up to ten years apply, with interest only repayments initially available for up to five years.
  • Principal and interest repayments apply for the remaining five years of the loan, calculated on the basis of a 10-year loan term.
  • The availability of loans is subject to funds being available. The scheme will close to applications on 30 June 2018.


To be eligible for a Drought Assistance Concessional Loan, you and your farm business must meet the Drought Assistance Concessional Loans eligibility criteria. Detailed eligibility criteria are available in the scheme Guidelines

Bureau of Meteorology Rainfall Deficiency Report

You must submit a valid Bureau of Meteorology 'Rainfall Deficiency Report' with your application. This report is obtained online and will remain valid for 60 days after it is generated.

This report shows whether your farm business is located in an area that has experienced a rainfall deficiency equivalent to, or worse than, a 1 in 20 year rainfall event.

Please note that a Rainfall Deficiency Report that shows your property is located outside an area that has experienced a rainfall deficiency equivalent to, or worse than, a 1 in 20 year rainfall event does not necessarily mean that you are ineligible for assistance.

An application that does not include a Bureau of Meteorology Rainfall Deficiency Report will be considered incomplete and will not be assessed by QRIDA. A Rainfall Deficiency Report can be obtained using the Bureau of Meteorology'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 of your property. 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 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, QRIDA will verify information provided by applicants.

Last updated
17 May 2018