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Sunraysia Rural Counselling funding boost.

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Thursday, 27 September 2001


John Forrest, National Party Member for Mallee has welcomed a funding boost to the Sunraysia Rural Counselling Service.

The Counselling Service helps meet the increased needs of table grape, wine grape and dried vine fruit growers in the Sunraysia district and additional funding will ensure more families have better access to financial advice.

Mr Forrest said, "The Sunraysia Rural Counselling Service will receive an extra $41,667 to assist with the employment of a second financial counsellor and a part time administrative assistant.

"This will help ensure the Service continues to meet the needs of its growing client base and the demand that has arisen as a result of the combined effect of heat stress, unreasonable rain, low yields and other factors impacting on grape and vine fruit growers including the collapse of Norman's Wines in South Australia, in the Sunraysia area.

"The Program's counsellors are trained in financial analysis and are familiar with all types of State and Commonwealth assistance as well as the local and regional community services available to rural families.

Mr Forrest said the Rural Financial Counselling Service is part of the Agriculture -Advancing Australia package and provides farming families, fishing enterprises and small rural businesses with free and confidential financial counselling on the many issues affecting their businesses.

Financial counselling is an important part to the Government's aim of promoting competitive and sustainable agriculture industries which in turn will lift national prosperity and help raise the quality of life in many rural and regional communities the Minister said.