Interest Rate Subsidies

​​​The Exceptional Circumstances (EC) Interest Rate Subsidy closed on 30 June 2012. 

The decision to close the program is based on the findings of successive reviews of drought policy since 1997 which found that the EC Interest Rate Subsidy is ineffective and could result in farm businesses being less responsive to drought conditions.

Australian, state and territory agricultu​re ministers have recognised that the EC Interest Rate Subsidy does not assist the farming community to prepare for future challenges or improve risk management.

Key facts and statistics on the EC Interest Rate Subsidy.

The Exceptional Circumstances Interest Rate Subsidy (ECIRS)  provided business support to farms that were viable in the long term, but were in financial difficulties due to an EC event.

Interest rate subsidies were provided as a grant calculated against 50 per cent of the interest payable on new and existing loans for the first year of an EC declaration and at 80 per cent in the second and subsequent years, up to a maximum of $100,000 in any 12-month period and $500,000 over five years.

The EC Handbook  PDF [581 KB]  Word [51 KB]​ was developed to provide information on EC policy arrangements and application processes. The EC Interest Rate Subsidy closed on 30 June 2012, and all remaining EC arrangements closed on 30 June 2014.

For information on drought and farmer assistance

  • Drought and Farmer Assistance Hotline: 13 23 16
  • For languages other than English: 131 202