Special Disaster Loans - Bushfires

Date of Declaration

Special disaster loans - bushfires available in Local Government Areas

Closing date

4 February 2020Armidale, Ballina, Bega Valley, Bellingen, Blue Mountains, Byron, Central Coast, Cessnock, Clarence Valley, Coffs Harbour, Cootamundra-Gundagai, Eurobodalla, Glen Innes Severn, Goulburn Mulwaree, Greater Hume, Gwydir, Hawkesbury, Inverell, Kempsey, Ku-ring-gai, Kyogle, Lake Macquarie, Lismore, Lithgow, Mid-Coast, Mid-Western, Muswellbrook, Nambucca, Narrabri, Oberon, Penrith, Port Macquarie-Hastings, Queanbeyan-Palerang, Richmond Valley, Singleton, Shoalhaven, Snowy Monaro, Snowy Valleys, Sutherland, Tamworth, Tenterfield, Tweed, Upper Hunter, Upper Lachlan, Uralla, Wagga Wagga, Walcha, Wingecarribee and Wollondilly15 December 2020

APPLY ONLINE NOW

We recommend that you use the Google Chrome browser

 

The application process

Find out what you can apply for
What you will need
Apply online or manually
Need help?

 

The Bushfire Working Capital Loan is a $50,000 loan over five years, with a two year interest and payment free period. This loan can be used for essential expenses while the business returns to its normal level of trading such as; wages, rent, goods or services, fodder and water for livestock or transporting livestock or produce.

The Bushfire Recovery Loan of up to $500,000 over ten years, with a two year interest and payment free period. This loan is available for significantly larger investments such as replacing or repairing damaged infrastructure, purchasing livestock or replanting areas that were affected by the disaster.

The loans are jointly funded by the State and Federal Governments under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.

View the Special Disaster Loans - Bushfires Guidelines

Bushfire Working Capital Loan of $50,000 - Applicants must provide a complete application form which may include:

  • a list of bushfire-related damage; and
  • supporting evidence such as quotations
  • financial statements which may include your latest business tax returns and financial statements plus personal tax return of all members for the business. If you have previously submitted financial information to the RAA for financial year 2016/2017 or more recently, you will not be required to provide further information. If we do not have your previous financial information, we will seek your permission to contact your accountant directly if this is easiest for you. NB. Cashflow statements are no longer required for the Working Capital Loan application.
  • Local Government rates notice (if you are a small business)
  • Local Government rates notice and Local Land Services rates notice (if you are a primary producer)

Bushfire Recovery Loan of up to $500,000 - Applicants must provide a complete application form which may include

    • a list of bushfire-related damage, supported by photographic evidence (if related to infrastructure damage)
    • up to 3 years financials which may include:
      • the last three years of balance sheets
      • the last three years of financial statements
      • Profit and Loss statements
      • Stock Trading accounts (primary producers) and
      • Depreciation schedules.
    • invoices
    • proof of insurance
    • a signed Mortgage Lenders Consent form from your bank, where relevant
    • Local Government rates notice (if you are a small business)
    • Local Government rates notice and Local Land Services rates notice (if you are a primary producer)
    • a copy of your lease agreement, where relevant

Do I need invoices or quotes to apply for the $50,000 Working Capital loan? As part of the consideration of your application, supporting evidence including quotations or invoices may be sought. While not always required, the Rural Assistance Authority can ask for this information either at the time of applying, or as part of an audit process.

Can I apply for the Working Capital loan before I have incurred expenses? You can apply for the $50,000 Working Capital loan before costs are claimed.

Do I need invoices or quotes for the $500,000 Bushfire Recovery loan? As part of the consideration of your application, supporting evidence including quotations or invoices may be sought. While not always required, the Rural Assistance Authority can ask for this information either at the time of applying, or as part of an audit process.

What do I do if I don’t have my current tax returns? You can provide permission for the NSW RAA to contact your accountant directly to obtain them.

Do I need to provide financial statements if I am an existing RAA customer? If you have provided tax returns to the RAA for the Financial Year 2016/2017 or more recent, you do not need to provide your tax return.

The online application form has been designed to make the process as simple as possible. We recommend that you have all scanned documents ready to upload before starting the process. We recommend that you use the Google Chrome browser.

To complete a manual application form, firstly download the form and save it to your computer. Submit your completed application form to the RAA with all the information requested.

For further assistance, please contact us on 1800 678 593 or email us rural.assist@raa.nsw.gov.au.

Frequently asked questions

What is the Special Disaster Loan- Bushfires? This is a low interest loan of up to $500,000 for eligible primary producers, small business and not-for-profits and is designed to help pay for essential expenses and rebuilding and repairing damaged assets

What’s the easiest way to apply for the loan? The easiest way is to apply online.

How much can I apply for? There are two types of loans available to eligible applicants:
A Bushfire Working Capital loan of up to $50,000 over five years with a two year interest free and repayment free period;
A Bushfire Recovery loan of up to $500,000 over ten years with a two year interest and payment free period. 

More than one application can be submitted up to a total of $50,000 for the Bushfire Working Capital loan, or for the Bushfire Recovery loan up to a total of $500,000 for all loans.

Who can apply for the loan? Primary producers, small business and not-for-profits who have been impacted by bushfires in declared Local Government Areas can apply for these loans. To be eligible for the loan, you must:

  • Be a primary producer, small business and not-for-profit organisation
  • Hold an Australian Business Number (ABN) and have held that ABN at the time of the disaster
  • Own a small business, primary production enterprise or be a not-for-profit organisation located in the defined area for the eligible disaster that has suffered direct damage as a result of the eligible disaster
  • Have been engaged in carrying on the enterprise when affected by the eligible disaster
  • Have lodged an application on or before 15 December 2020
  • Intend to re-establish or continue carrying on the business

The complete list of eligibility criteria is available in the Guidelines here.

What is a concessional loan?  Concessional loans are provided by the Australian Government and are intended to be used for restoring and/or replacing damaged assets and/or for working capital expenses that cannot be met due to a loss of income.

What is the current concessional loan interest rate? The concessional loan interest rate for the 2019/20 financial year is 0.82% and applies after the two year interest free period.

How long is the loan being offered? The Special Disaster Loans - Bushfires is open from 4 February 2020 until 15 December 2020.

The Bushfire Working Capital Loan of up to $50,000 is designed to provide immediate funds for essential expenses such as:

  • paying business related bills
  • paying salaries or wages
  • paying rent, lease and rates
  • paying for goods or services, including for example fuel, essential to carry-on the business
  • buying fodder or water for livestock or produce (associated with a primary production enterprise); or
  • transporting livestock or produce (associated with a primary production enterprise).


The Bushfire Recovery Loan of up to $500,000 is available for significantly larger investments such as:

  • repairing or replacing damaged plant and equipment
  • repairing or replacing buildings and fences
  • supplying stock to replace lost stock and maintain liquidity of the business
  • purchasing livestock to replace those that have been lost in a disaster; or
  • replanting, restoring, or re-establishing areas that were affected by the disaster (associated with a primary production enterprise).

Can I use the loan to buy replacement vines and assets that were damaged? Yes this loan can be used by eligible primary producers within declared Local Government Areas for replanting damaged vines, and the purposes of restoring and/or replacing damaged assets, and/or for working capital expenses that cannot be met due to a loss of income. Up to $50,000 of this loan can be unsecured.

Primary producers, small business and not-for-profits who have been impacted by bushfires in declared Local Government Areas can apply for these loans. To be eligible for the loan, you must be a:

Primary producer - an individual, partnership, trust or company which:

  1. meets the definition of a primary producer as defined in the Guidelines
  2. has a right or interest in a farm enterprise; and,
  3. contributes a part of his, her or its labour and capital to the enterprise; and,
  4. derives at least 50 per cent of his, her or its income from the enterprise.

 

Small business - a sole trader, partnership, private company or trust that derives the majority of his or her income from the small business and:

  1. meets the definition of a small business as defined in the Guidelines
  2. holds an Australian Business Number (ABN); and
  3. is not a public company, charitable business or body corporate and
  4. employs fewer than 20 full time employees
  5. if operated by a sole trader and the business has no employees other than the sole owner:
    1. the sole owner must derive the majority of their income from the business or
    2. is a small business in development.

Do I need invoices or quotes to apply for the $50,000 Working Capital loan? As part of the consideration of your application, supporting evidence including quotations or invoices may be sought. While not always required, the Rural Assistance Authority can ask for this information either at the time of applying, or as part of an audit process.

Can I apply for the Working Capital loan before I have incurred expenses? You can apply for the $50,000 Working Capital loan before costs are claimed.

Do I need invoices or quotes for the $500,000 Bushfire Recovery loan? As part of the consideration of your application, supporting evidence including quotations or invoices may be sought. While not always required, the Rural Assistance Authority can ask for this information either at the time of applying, or as part of an audit process.

What information do I need to provide with my Working Capital loan application?  You may be asked for:

  • a list of bushfire-related damage; and
  • supporting evidence such as quotations
  • financial statements which may include your latest business tax returns and financial statements plus personal tax return of all members for the business. If you have previously submitted financial information to the RAA for financial year 2016/2017 or more recently, you will not be required to provide further information. If we do not have your previous financial information, we will seek your permission to contact your accountant directly if this is easiest for you
  • Local Government rates notice (if you are a small business)
  • Local Government rates notice and Local Land Services rates notice (if you are a primary producer)

What information do I need to provide with my Bushfire Recovery loan application? You must provide a complete application which may include:

    • a list of bushfire-related damage, supported by photographic evidence (if related to infrastructure damage)
    • up to 3 years financials which may include:
      • the last three years of balance sheets
      • the last three years of financial statements
      • Profit and Loss statements
      • Stock Trading accounts (primary producers) and
      • Depreciation schedules.
    • invoices
    • proof of insurance
    • a signed Mortgage Lenders Consent form from your bank, where relevant
    • Local Government rates notice (if you are a small business)
    • Local Government rates notice and Local Land Services rates notice (if you are a primary producer)
    • a copy of your lease agreement, where relevant

What do I do if I don’t have my current tax returns? You can provide permission for the NSW RAA to contact your accountant directly to obtain them.

Do I need to provide financial statements if I am an existing RAA customer? If you have provided tax returns to the RAA for the Financial Year 2016/2017 or more recent, you do not need to provide your tax return.