The Member for Mallee, Andrew Broad, has confirmed today that the funding for the region’s Rural Financial Counselling Service (RFCS) has been secured for another three years.

 

In announcing that the funding arrangement begins as of today, Mr. Broad said, “it was ‘timely’, given the challenging year many people around the Wimmera and Mallee have experienced.

 

“This funding means that the RFCS can continue their valuable work in supporting our farming families. The persistent dry conditions that have impacted much of the Wimmera and Mallee have had a profound effect on our communities and I believe it is vital that people who are struggling, have somewhere to turn for advice and practical assistance. Thousands of people access the RFCS each year which is a clear indication of how important it is to our farming communities.”

“Under the Coalition Government, core funding for the RFCS had increased, rising from $13.56 million in 2012 -13 to $15.01 million by the end of the new funding cycle in 2019. We are strengthening the programme by implementing recommendations from the National Rural Advisory Council’s 2014 review of the RFCS, including increased flexibility to boost resources in areas where there is a spike in demand, such as that being experienced in our region, due to the dry conditions,’ said Mr Broad.

 

“Additionally, we’re ensuring that the system is efficient, reducing administration costs so that more money flows to the people who are really in need.”

“The service was also expanding to include allied industries that previously weren’t eligible for RFCS assistance,” he said.

 

“When a farming region is affected by poor conditions, the whole community is impacted and it’s pleasing to see that this has been taken into consideration under the new structure,” he said.

 

The RFCS is jointly funded and has been supporting rural communities for almost 30 years.

Australian Government RFCS core funding

 

2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19
$13.56m $13.75m $14.08m $14.29m $14.51m $14.75m $15.01m