The State Liberals are calling for the State Government to do more to help South Australian farmers access the federally funded Farm Finance and Drought Concessional Loans Programs following today’s release by the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) reviewing the programs.
South Australian farmers have only received 6 out of the 730 successful loan applications across both programs nationally.
The Farm Finance and Drought Concessional Loans Programs are funded by the Federal Government and administered by the State Government.
"Given the State Government is responsible for administering these schemes, Minister Bignell needs to provide an explanation as to why South Australia’s take up rate was the worst in the country," said Opposition Spokesperson for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, David Ridgway.
"South Australia was allocated $60 million by the Federal Government across both programs and to date just under $3.7 million has been provided to struggling South Australian farmers.
"In terms of total funding, South Australian farmers received less than 1% of the total amount of funding approved nationally.
"Minister Bignell needs to explain why South Australian farmers are having such difficulty accessing funding under these programs.
Mr Ridgway said the State Government’s neglect for South Australia’s regions has been widely documented and the support offered to drought affected farmers pales in comparison to what has been offered nationally.
"In parts of the South East we have had the lowest rainfall ever recovered over the past 42 months according to the Australia Bureau of Meteorology.