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First Start Loan - Commercial fisher

The Queensland Government has announced an additional $30 million funding allocation, from $100 million to $130 million, for the 2019-20 First Start and Sustainability Loans.

Due to unprecedented demand this year, including in the immediate lead-up to the initial closing date of Friday 13 March 2020, any new applications received from now until 30 June 2020 will continue to be subject to available funds.

The 2020-21 round of funding will be available from 1 July 2020.

For more information contact one of QRIDA’s Regional Area Managers located across the state on Freecall 1800 623 946.

First Start Loans provide you with with finance up to $2,000,000 to assist you in the early years of establishing your first commercial wild-catch fishing enterprise. Obtain the finance you need to enter into a wild-catch fishing enterprise or become a full-time commercial wild-catch fisher.

Buying your wild-catch fishing enterprise
Considering buying your first wild-catch fishing enterprise? Purchase your enterprise on a staged basis, allowing your non-fishing income to service the loan. Achieve your goal of becoming a full-time commercial wild-catch fisher sooner.

Become a partner in the family wild-catch fishing business
Thinking about succession? Ensure the family business continues for years to come by assisting younger generation family members to purchase a wild-catch fishing enterprise from parents or other family members, or enter the family partnership.

Achieve enterprise viability
If you want to get the most out of your wild-catch fishing enterprise and deliver better returns on investment, a First Start Loan could help you upgrade or build-up your enterprise to one that is viable and sustainable.

Leasing or sharefishing
The option to lease and/or enter into sharefishing arrangements is available to enable you to participate in commercial wild-catch fishing while building your capacity to purchase your own wild-catch fishing enterprise.

Joint lending with your bank
QRIDA will consider joint lending options with your bank or other commercial lenders. If you require more than $2,000,000 or partial funding from QRIDA for a specific project or activity, please discuss your options with us.

What can I use the loan for?
A range of activities that enable you to expand current operations to achieve viability, or assist you to enter into your first commercial wild-catch fishing enterprise, are eligible.

Please discuss your farming needs with us to find out how our loans can best suit you.

Loan amount
  • Up to $2,000,000
Loan term
  • Up to 20 years
Interest rate
  • Low interest rates fixed for 1, 3 or 5 years
Fees and charges
  • Nil

If you meet the following requirements, you may be eligible for a First Start Loan:

  • resided in Queensland for six months
  • sound prospects for long-term commercial viability in the long-term development of the primary production enterprise
  • capacity to service the loan
  • demonstrate financial need
  • demonstrate adequate experience or other qualifications to give a reasonable prospect of success
  • ideally you should have equity of 50 per cent in relation to the purchase, or 50 per cent of set up costs for leasing and share farming. However, lower levels of equity are considered by QRIDA in certain circumstances including joint lending (including vendor finance), stable off-farm income/s or family support. Please give us a call to discuss your individual situation.
  • security must be provided commensurate with the amount of the loan

Terms and conditions

Our programs are subject to terms and conditions that identify the required eligibility criteria for each loan as outlined in the program guidelines. For further information regarding the eligibility criteria for First Start Loans, please contact us on Freecall 1800 623 946 or view the full terms and conditions in the First Start Loan guidelines.

Further information

Should you have any queries with regards to completing your application, please contact us on Freecall 1800 623 946 or contact your nearest Regional Area Manager in one of our regional offices.

Last updated
18 March 2020