Media Release

Boost for Queensland rural financial counselling

28 April 2014

The Australian Government is further boosting its support for Queensland farmers today, announcing additional funding for the Rural Financial Counselling Service (RFCS).

Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, said keeping rural financial counsellors on the ground was crucial to helping primary producers manage the challenges of farming.

"Ongoing and prolonged drought has taken a toll on our farmers," Minister Joyce said.

"Central and southern Queensland areas are continuing to experience serious to severe rainfall deficiencies, and farmers in these areas will need ongoing support to deal with the drought.

"While we have financial support measures available, such as the Interim Farm Household Allowance and Farm Finance concessional loans, farmers need to have someone to talk to about their options during difficult times.

"I'm pleased to announce we have allocated additional grant funding to one of our Rural Financial Counselling service providers – Queensland South Western region.

"This funding will allow rural financial counselling positions in the area to be extended, so more farming families can benefit from Australian Government support."

This funding extension has been supported by the Queensland Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, John McVeigh, who recognises the important role rural financial counsellors play on the land.

Minister Joyce said he and Minister McVeigh had been in ongoing discussions on ways to provide more practical support to Queensland farmers.

Rural financial counsellors deliver free financial counselling services to primary producers, fishers and small rural businesses in financial hardship as the result of drought and other causes.

For more information on the RFCS, visit the Department of Agriculture's website.