Drought response: Interest-Free Loans

Page last updated: Friday, 21 June 2024 - 5:04pm

Many agricultural areas in Western Australia are experiencing drought conditions due to unseasonably low rainfall and higher-than-average daytime temperatures since October 2023.

In response, the Western Australian Government announced a package that included $4 million in interest-free loans for farmers impacted by drought conditions. 

Applications for the Interest-Free Loans are now open

Farm businesses impacted by the drought conditions can apply for a loan of $25,000 to help cover the cost of stockfeed, water, transportation, and other infrastructure that supports drought resilience. 

The loan is repayable over five years with no repayments for the first two years.

Key information

The Interest-Free Loans are administered by the Rural Business Development Corporation (RBDC) and are delivered through the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD). 

  • The Scheme offers an interest free loan of $25,000 to support eligible primary production businesses directly impacted by the current drought conditions.
  • No interest will be charged on the outstanding loan amount during the 5-year term of the loan.
  • Loans are to be secured by a caveat, registered against an acceptable real estate property.
  • Loans are for a maximum term of five years, with no repayments for the first two years.  After the initial two years, the loan must be repaid during years three to five by 6 monthly payments or repaid in full earlier if the securing property is sold or at the request of the borrower.
  • The availability of loans is subject to funds being available. The application closing date is 30 November 2024 or when funding is fully committed, whichever occurs first.

How to qualify for a loan

To qualify for an Interest-Free Loan, your farm business must demonstrate prospects of ongoing financial viability within the loan term. This means your business must generate sufficient net profit after covering variable and fixed expenses. Additionally, you must show the capacity to repay and secure the loan.

Where can I find more information about the loan?

To help you complete your application, the following documents are available on our website. We recommend downloading copies of the following documentation for your records:

Application process

Applications must be submitted online via SmartyGrants webpage

If you need assistance with applying, please contact our staff for support via email or phone below. 


Questions regarding the loan can be directed to DPIRD’s Rural Business Development Unit by emailing ruralbusiness.developmentunit@dpird.wa.gov.au or by calling 08 9368 3082 (during business hours) before the closing date. 

Hardship Support Grants

Applications for the $5000 hardship grant are now closed as funding has been fully committed.