A re-elected Coalition Government will establish a Regional Investment Corporation to fast-track the delivery of $4.5 billion in Commonwealth drought and water infrastructure loans.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, speaking at the National Press Club today, said the Coalition is committed to streamlining Commonwealth financing and concessional loan processing to enable new dams to be financed quickly and ensure drought loans are speedily approved to help farmers in need.
“The Regional Investment Corporation will be established as the single administrator for the $4.5 billion in Agriculture and Water Resources portfolio financing and concessional loans initiatives,” Mr Joyce said.
“No longer will the Commonwealth have to barter with state governments to process drought and dairy concessional loans to help farmers,” Mr Joyce said. “Under a re-elected Coalition Government we will be able to deliver this support direct to farmers in need.
“There is a clear need for such an institution, as we have seen over the past few weeks where the Victorian Labor Government delayed delivery of dairy recovery concessional loans by playing crude political games.
Minister Joyce said the Corporation will administer funds relating to drought concessional loans, the $2 billion National Water Infrastructure Loan Facility and loans already delivered under the drought, drought recovery and farm finance concessional loans schemes.
“The Corporation will be fully funded from interest payments on Commonwealth loans schemes.
“By cutting out the middlemen and avoiding the need to pay administration funding to the states, the new Regional Investment Corporation should be able to deliver cheaper finance options to farmers,” Mr Joyce said.
Minister Joyce said the establishment of the Regional Investment Corporation was a sign of the Coalition’s strong commitment to supporting farmers in hardship, our determination to incentivise the states to build job-creating, nationally significant water infrastructure and generate improved opportunities for regional communities.