First Start Loan - Commercial Fisher


The Queensland Rural Adjustment Authority (QRAA) offers First Start Loans which provide you with finance up to $2,000,000 to assist you in the early years of establishing your first commercial wild-catch fishing enterprise. Obtain the finance you need to enter into a wild-catch fishing enterprise or become a full-time commercial wild-catch fisher. This product is not offered by the TSRA, however through our solution broker role we can assist you to contact QRAA.

Buying your wild-catch fishing enterprise

Considering buying your first wild-catch fishing enterprise? Purchase your enterprise on a staged basis, allowing your non-fishing income to service the loan. Achieve your goal of becoming a full-time commercial wild-catch fisher sooner.

Become a partner in the family wild-catch fishing business

Thinking about succession? Ensure the family business continues for years to come by assisting younger generation family members to purchase a wild-catch fishing enterprise from parents or other family members, or enter the family partnership.

Achieve enterprise viability

If you want to get the most out of your wild-catch fishing enterprise and deliver better returns on investment, a First Start Loan could help you upgrade or build-up your enterprise to one that is viable and sustainable.

Leasing or sharefishing

The option to lease and/or enter into sharefishing arrangements is available to enable you to participate in commercial wild-catch fishing while building your capacity to purchase your own wild-catch fishing enterprise.

Joint lending with your bank

QRAA will consider joint lending options with your bank or other commercial lenders. If you require more than $2,000,000 or partial funding from QRAA for a specific project or activity, please discuss your options with them.

What can I use the loan for?

A range of activities that enable you to expand current operations to achieve viability, or assist you to enter into your first commercial wild-catch fishing enterprise, are eligible.

Please discuss your farming needs with QRAA to find out how their loans can best suit you.

Loan amount

Up to $2,000,000

Loan term

Up to 20 years

Interest rate

Low interest rates fixed for 1, 3 or 5 years
(Interest rates are subject to change in  January and July each year)

Fees and charges



If you meet the following requirements, you may be eligible for a First Start Loan:

  • resided in   Queensland for six months
  • sound   prospects for long-term commercial viability in the long-term development of   the primary production enterprise
  • capacity   to service the loan
  • demonstrate   financial need
  • demonstrate   adequate experience or other qualifications to give a reasonable prospect of   success
  • you should   have equity of 50 per cent in relation to the purchase, or 50 per cent of set   up costs for leasing and sharefarming. The level of equity may be varied by   QRAA in certain circumstances e.g. joint lending, stable off-farm income


Security must be provided commensurate with the amount of the loan

Terms and conditions

QRAA’s programs are subject to terms and conditions that identify the required eligibility criteria for each loan as outlined in the program guidelines. For further information regarding the eligibility criteria for First Start Loans, please contact QRAA on Freecall 1800 623 946 or view the full terms and conditions in the First Start Loan guidelines.

How to apply...

When applying for a First Start Loan, you will need to complete an application form and submit this form to QRAA along with the documents stated on the application form, including your management plan.  Please note that loans are subject to the availability of funding and applications will not enter the assessment queue until all information and supporting documents have been provided, regardless of any finance dates in place. QRAA requires at least 10 business days to convey a decision following receipt of all required documents.

Further information

Should you have any queries with regards to completing your application, please contact QRAA on Freecall 1800 623 946 or contact your nearest Client Liaison Officer in one of QRAA’s regional offices.

Or if you are interested in seeking assistance to contact QRAA you may wish to contact the TSRA Economic Development Programme via email or telephone 07 4069 0700.