Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan, has welcomed the decision by Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, to continue the commitment to the Rural Financial Counselling Service (RFCS). This follows the National Rural Advisory Council (NRAC) review into the free service.
Ms McGowan said Mr Joyce’s decision would help with the adjustment many families had to face during times of hardship. The Government’s decision not to implement a NRAC recommendation to cut 20 per cent funding to the program was also a positive move.
“The RFCS service is good for agriculture and good for farm families. It is a vitally important service in Indi, as it is across other rural areas,” Ms McGowan said.
Current service providers will have an extension of their current contracts to 31 December, 2015. This will allow the Government time to implement some changes recommended by NRAC before the next funding round.
Ms McGowan will consult with service providers about the RFCS funding continuing into 2016 and beyond, and advocate for the important service to Government.
“The local service, board and executive of Goulburn Murray Hume AgCare, has my full support. I will be working with them to ensure funding is there for the long term.”