The Minister for Justice Michael Keenan and the Victorian Minister for Police and Emergency Services and Minister for Bushfire Response Kim Wells today announced concessional loans for small businesses and primary producers affected by the January 2014 Grampians bushfires.
“Disaster assistance is being provided under the jointly-funded Commonwealth and State Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements to small businesses and primary producers,” Mr Keenan said.
Mr Wells said that concessional interest rate loans were being made available to eligible small businesses and primary producers in the local government areas of Ararat, Horsham, Northern Grampians and Southern Grampians.
“The Commonwealth and Victorian Governments have been working closely to ensure these small businesses and primary producers impacted by the bushfires have the support they need to get back on their feet and remain an important part of these communities,” Mr Keenan said.
Mr Wells said the support would be welcomed in the Grampians communities.
“The bushfires in January had a significant impact on small businesses and primary producers in the Grampians region, and I am pleased to announce concessional loans of up to $200,000 are now available to help their longer-term recovery,” Mr Wells said.
These loans are being administered by the Victorian Rural Finance Corporation and can be used to fund recovery activities, including restoring damaged buildings and replacing damaged equipment or stock.
“I encourage all small businesses and primary producers who have suffered direct physical impact from the Grampians bushfires in January to contact the Rural Finance Corporation to test their eligibility for the loans,” Mr Wells said.
Mr Keenan said the Commonwealth and Victorian governments were committed to ensuring communities affected by natural disasters have the assistance they need to recover.
To apply for a concessional interest rate loan, small businesses and primary producers can contact the Rural Finance Corporation on 1300 796 101 or online at www.ruralfinance.com.au.
For further information on available recovery assistance, visit the Victorian Government’s Emergency Relief and Recovery Victoria website at www.recovery.vic.gov.au or the Australian Government’s Disaster Assist website at www.disasterassist.gov.au.