Drought-hit communities and farmers in Gippsland will get a significant boost from the Federal Government’s $709 million drought relief package.
Member for Gippsland Darren Chester said the package was designed to support both Gippsland farmers and the surrounding communities.
“This will see money flow right through the Gippsland economy,” Mr Chester said.
“Farmers in Gippsland may be eligible to apply for loans of up to $2 million with no interest or repayments for the first two years.
“These loans will help farmers remain sustainable and get back on their feet when the drought breaks.
“Recent rain has been welcomed but there’s still a long way to go for many of our farming families to rebuild their businesses.”
Mr Chester said that additionally Gippsland businesses will also be eligible for loans.
“For the first time businesses in Gippsland that are dependent on agriculture may also be eligible to apply for interest-free loans of up to $500,000.
“This will protect jobs in Gippsland and make sure we can bounce back once the drought breaks.
“Gippsland has been doing it tough through this drought, and this package will help everyone get through it.
“It helps to protect our jobs and economy so when the drought breaks we will bounce back faster.”
The package also includes $378 million into drought-affected community projects, $138.9 million into Roads to Recovery initiative, $10 million for schools to provide concessional fees to affected families and a $5 million childcare fund.