04 October 2023

Farmers, fishers, foresters and related small businesses in North West and Western Victoria will be able to continue accessing free financial counselling services, with the announcement of new funding agreements under the Rural Financial Counselling Service.

The Albanese Government is investing $38.8 million to support the Rural Financial Counselling Service to deliver important services. This includes an additional $5,157,251 to the Rural Financial Counselling Service Victoria West from now till 2026.

Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters MP said the new funding agreements provide certainty rural communities facing impending drought and successive natural disasters.

More information about RFCS Victoria West and the services they provide can be found here: https://wswrcs.com.au/

Quotes attributable to Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters MP:

“While Australia’s farmers are sensible, capable business owners who understand the ever-changing environment they work in, it’s hard to know what’s around every corner,

“Drought, biosecurity outbreaks, natural disasters, commodity downturns – there’s a lot for rural Australians to deal with. That is where a service like financial counselling can be of help.” 

Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture, Drought, and Emergency Management Australia Senator Murray Watt:

“For more than 35 years, rural financial counsellors have provided help to those in the industry who are experiencing, or at risk of, financial hardship.

“I’m very proud to say that the Albanese Government is extending contracts to deliver this important service for another two years.

“Our funding commitment means counselling services can retain a skilled workforce in rural areas and not cause disruption to any clients who are already receiving financial counselling.”