Forest Industries Innovation Fund - FAQs
What is the NSW Forest Industries Innovation Fund loan scheme?
The Forest Industries Innovation Fund loan scheme will provide long-term low-interest loans for projects that contribute to supporting NSW Forest industry innovation and the exploration of new markets for forest products.
Why has the Government announced this scheme?
The NSW Government is committed to driving sustainable growth across the NSW forestry industries. The concessional loans scheme forms part of a wider $72 million investment package to support an innovative, sustainable, and thriving forestry industry and support the many people who work in the industry around the State. Other measures include forestry monitoring and mapping, training and skills development, and a major new investment in increasing the NSW plantation estate.
This work forms part of the NSW Forestry Industry Roadmap - https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/forestry/industry-roadmap
Who will implement the funding?
The Scheme will be administered by the NSW Rural Assistance Authority (RAA).
Who can I contact for further information on the Scheme?
Funding guidelines have been finalised and businesses will be encouraged to speak with the RAA on how funding can be best used to support their individual business needs.
What can it be used for?
The NSW Forest Industries Innovation Fund aims to foster the development and adoption of innovative new technologies, approaches or products to increase sustainable economic growth and support jobs in regional areas across NSW to:
- improve the industry’s capacity to meet current timber demands;
- support investment in new technology that optimises efficiency and cost effectiveness of wood production and log and residue processing to improve the sector’s productivity and financial sustainability, and responds to a changing wood supply resource;
- promote a better understanding of future timber resource;
- promote the sustainable management of NSW forests;
- support the development of economic opportunities in regional NSW; and
- drive the development of innovative new products and market opportunities, such as engineered timber, increasing the number of business opportunities available to the sector.
What is the total amount I can apply for?
Up to 100% of the net cost of the project GST exclusive up to $3,000,000 per round per project.
Who can apply?
The low interest loans are targeted at businesses involved in:
- Plantation and/or native forest operations;
- Forest product processor/milling operations;
- Silvicultural or native forest harvest/ haulage contracting; or
- Production or development of forestry industry inputs or outputs including market development.
Can I apply for a loan under this scheme for work already undertaken?
No, unless the costs were incurred after you submitted your application, and provided your application is approved.
How do I apply?
You will need to complete the application form and submit a business plan. The application form and advisory material are available on the RAA website at www.raa.nsw.gov.au
Can I get a loan approved before I pay for any works?
Yes, you can receive pre-approval for your loan. You can then receive the loan funds once you provide receipts to the RAA.
What are the terms of the loan?
The terms of the loan are as follows
- Up to 100% of the net cost of the project GST exclusive up to $3 million per round per project. Holders of loans can apply for further loans in subsequent rounds.
- 2.5% fixed rate will apply for the life of the loan (in line with Farm Innovation Fund).
Term of the loan
- Up to 20 years dependent upon the amount borrowed and applicant’s ability to repay.
- Interest only for the drawdown period, limited to 12 month drawdown period (within 12 months from date of loan approval)
- Can be monthly, half yearly or annual repayments of principal and interest generally in line with applicant’s cash flow and in accordance with the milestones the applicant has committed to.
- No establishment costs or account keeping fees.
- Costs for registering security documents, costs for investigation of forestry valuation and Government stamp duty will be borne by the applicant.
- The security for the loan will be determined in relation to each application.
- Funds will not be released until all security requirements have been satisfied.
Once I have applied, how long until I know the outcomes?
We expect to announce the results of the first round of applications in December 2018.
What happens if my application is not successful?
You will be advised of this as soon as possible. You will also be advised on why your application was not successful.
I can’t get my application in by 11 November, will I have another chance to apply?
Yes, it is anticipated that the second round will open in early 2019.
Can I apply again if my application has been deemed unsuccessful?
Yes you are welcome to reapply with an amended application.
A new round will open in early 2019.
Is it possible to apply for more than one loan?
Applicants can only apply once in a financial year, and second application can only be approved on condition that the previous application has been fully drawn down.
What happens if the full loan amount I am asking for is not approved?
The RAA may determine that less than the full amount requested is approved. The applicant can appeal this decision. The applicant may need to modify the project.
I am not sure whether I meet the Eligibility Criteria, who can I ask for more information?
The eligibility criteria are available on the RAA website at www.raa.nsw.gov.au If you still have questions you can contact the RAA on 1800 678 593 (Toll Free).
What if my project requires more than $3,000,000 funding?
Projects can exceed the loan cap of $3million so that the loan amount may be only part of the cost of the project. Projects with a co contribution from the partners may be considered favourably.
The Review Assessment Panel may also consider application above $3 million on a case by case basis depending on funding availability.
How are projects applications assessed?
Applications will undergo a three-step assessment process looking at the technical merits of the project, the ability of the proponent to repay the loan and how the project meets the overall objectives of the Scheme.
Projects will be assessed bi-annually by a panel of technical and financial experts.