News and Views

Orange a great regional pick for RIC

The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) has welcomed the announcement that the Government’s new Regional Investment Corporation (RIC) will be located in Orange, New South Wales.

“It just makes sense for an agency charged with administering concessional loans to farmers to be based in the regions where farm businesses operate,” NFF President Fiona Simson said.

Announced in the Federal Budget, the RIC will streamline the delivery of $4 billion of concessional drought loans, drought recovery monies, farm finance loan schemes and the already-established National Water Infrastructure loan facility.

Ms Simson said that for some time, feedback from NFF members had been that accessing drought support was a convoluted and cumbersome process.

“At a state and federal level, monies are made available with the best interests of farmers in mind, however the red tape involved often actually defeats its purpose.

“In some cases the process for accessing financial help causes more angst for farmers at a time when there is already high pressure.

“It just makes sense for all farm finance support to be handled by one federal agency.”

Ms Simson said the announcement confirmed the RIC would open for business during 2018.

“Certainty over when and where the RIC will be operating is welcomed. We look forward to being updated as the project progresses,” Ms Simson said.

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