Additional funding for rural financial counselling

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Hon. Alannah MacTiernan MLC
Minister for Agriculture and Food
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The McGowan Government will more than double its funding to Primary Production Services this year to support financial counselling services for rural businesses.

Under current arrangements, the Federal Government’s Rural Financial Counselling Service provides support to primary producers in Western Australia, but most small businesses are not eligible.

This year’s dry conditions in parts of the grainbelt have left some small businesses in rural areas struggling and Primary Production Services, which delivers the Rural Financial Counselling Service, has flagged a need to expand its services to support these businesses.

The funding, which brings the State Government’s contribution to $250,000, has been provided from within existing Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development resourcing.

Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan said:

“While rainfall did improve throughout August, we know that many growers are looking at a challenging harvest this season.

“Financial impacts won’t be directly felt by growers until harvest and we are continuing to look at the most effective support for rural communities at that time.

“But we are already seeing impacts on rural small businesses as farmers tighten their belts – and it’s important that we get in early to provide the financial counselling support to help them through this tough time.

“The Rural Financial Counselling Service provides real support to our growers but, during a challenging season like this, we need to ensure all those affected by this dry season can benefit from this hands-on service.

“I’d encourage any small businesses in the grainbelt who is struggling to use these services.”

The State Government is continuing to work with industry groups and growers to provide agronomic and economic information to assist them during these dry seasonal conditions. Further information can be found at http://www.agric.wa.gov.au

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