Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce announced the service providers who will deliver Rural Financial Counselling Services (RFCS) to regional communities from 1 April 2016.
“As a bush accountant myself, I know full well the challenges of managing farm finances, and the pressures that can bring,” Minister Joyce said.
“The $47 million (GST exclusive) for RFCS from April 2016 to June 2019 demonstrates the Australian Government’s commitment to this important service.
“Following a merit-based competitive application process, I am pleased to announce the successful organisations that will deliver rural financial counselling services to clients across the country.
“RFCS’s national footprint will mean farmers, fishers, forest growers and harvesters, and rural small businesses will continue to be able to access a provider that knows their region and the issues they face.
“Following a comprehensive review of the RFCS undertaken by the National Rural Advisory Council, the Australian and state governments have agreed to consolidate 14 regions into 12 to ensure funds are being spent most cost effectively to deliver the same or higher level of service to farmers across the country.
“The Australian Government is providing extra transitional funding to regions most affected by the boundary changes, to make sure that services to clients continue smoothly.
“In addition to farmers, fishing enterprises and small related business that are in financial hardship being eligible, forest growers and harvesters will now also be able to take advantage of the service.
“The RFCS has been providing an important service to farmers and rural communities for almost 30 years—and we are committed to seeing the good work of the RFCS continue strongly into the future.”
The successful applicants by region are:
- Primary Production Services Inc. Western Australia
- Rural Business Support Service Incorporated South Australia Northern Territory
- Rural Business Tasmania Inc. Tasmania
- Sunraysia Rural Counselling Serv Inc. North-west Victoria
- Goulburn Murray Hume AgCare Limited North-east Victoria
- Rural Financial Counselling Service Victoria – Gippsland Inc. Eastern Victoria
- Rural Financial Counselling Service Victoria – Wimmera South West Inc. Western Victoria
- Richmond Valley Business & Rural Financial Counselling Services Inc Northern NSW
- Rural Financial Counselling Service NSW Southern Region Incorporated Southern NSW
- Rural Financial Counselling Service NSW Central West Incorporated Central NSW
- Central Western Queensland Remote Area Planning and Development Board Northern Qld
- Rural Solutions Queensland Inc. Southern Qld
More information at www.agriculture.gov.au/rfcs