Farmers across the country in financial hardship or drought will benefit from about $20million in additional funding to extend the Rural Financial Counselling Service.
Announced by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud earlier this month, the funding will see RFCS provider contracts extended until June 2020.
Mr Littleproud said the extension would be welcomed by communities across the country, with about two-thirds of clients saying the service had helped build resilience in their businesses.
‘‘The feedback speaks for itself: the program is working and as dry conditions continue the service must too,’’ he said.
‘‘Each year around 4500 clients seek help from the RFCS.
‘‘Counsellors sit down with clients at the kitchen table to talk it out, make a plan for the future and prepare for meetings with lenders, debt mediators and accountants.
‘‘The counsellors also provide vital information about other assistance such as the government’s Farm Household Allowance and support to reach their goals while on payment.
‘‘The FHA has helped over 7900 recipients, with around 85 per cent of people coming off farm support satisfied with the path ahead.
‘‘Farmers are some of Australia’s hardest working, resourceful and resilient people, who keep plugging away no matter what Mother Nature throws at them, but sometimes you just need a bit of extra support.’’
■For more information on the RFCS, visit: agriculture.gov.au/rfcs or phone 1800 686 175.