National Farmers' Federation

NFF welcomes continued funding of Rural Financial Counselling Service

The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) said today that it was pleased to see that the Government will continue funding of the Rural Financial Counselling Service (RFCS).
NFF President Brent Finlay welcomed the Government’s rejection of the National Rural Advisory Council (NRAC) report’s recommendation to cut the program funding by 20 per cent.
“The RFCS is an essential service for farmers and their families, especially for those suffering financial hardship and those who have no viable alternative sources of independent support, “Mr Finlay said.
“Given that Australian farmers operate in an increasingly variable climate, we welcome the Government’s firm commitment to continue to back the extension of the Service.
“The Service helps farmers to develop the necessary skills and plans to navigate through tough times, such as the current drought.
“We recognise that there is room for improvement in the current system, to ensure that government funding is used effectively and efficiently while achieving positive outcomes for farmers.
“The NFF views many of the recommendations put forward by the NRAC as sound; including the need for continued funding for the Service, improved governance arrangements, improved monitoring and evaluation, and improved mobility of counsellors.
“We commend the Minister for accepting many of these recommendations. The Minister’s response largely aligns with the NFF’s position, as conveyed to the NRAC through its review.
“We look forward to continuing discussions with Minister Joyce over the coming weeks, with the aim of implementing recommendations to improve the Service’s efficiency and effectiveness.
“It’s now important that the upcoming Federal Budget reflects the Government’s commitment to the Service and ensures funding to it beyond 31 December this year.”

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