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New rural financial counselling provider in WA.

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BACK Home | Media Releases DAFF06/99PM - 18 July 2006

New rural financial counselling provider in WA

To help in the battle against continuing drought and cost-price pressures, Western Australian farmers and rural small businesses will benefit from a further upgrading of rural counselling services.

Australian Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Peter McGauran, today announced the selection of WA Rural Counselling Association Incorporated to manage and deliver the government’s enhanced financial service program across the state.

“The Rural Financial Counselling Service Western Australia (RFCS WA) will offer advice free of charge to primary producers, fishers and small rural business people in financial difficulty who cannot access other types of impartial support,” he said.

“Counsellors will offer information and options to assist their clients in managing change in their industry or rural business.”

As part of the new arrangements, communities will no longer be required to find 25 per cent of the cost of their local services, following an extra $9.7 million announced in this year’s Federal Budget.

Mr McGauran said the service will begin operations on 1 August 2006, with funding from the Australian and State Governments.

“Western Australia covers a vast area, and the government has agreed to the WA RFCS Advisory Committee’s recommendation for a service offered state-wide.

“RFCS WA will establish close relationships with local communities, providing access to valuable, ‘on the ground’ information, with the counsellors located in areas where there is a clear and pressing need.”

Mr McGauran said his recent talks with farm leaders in Western Australia reinforced the need for a top class rural counselling advisory service.

Further media inquiries:

Minister McGaurans' office: Nancy Joseph or Russ Neal 02 6277 7520 or 0413 601 303

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