The Andrews Government in Victoria has created a new role to oversee the delivery of financial support to rural and regional communities.
The new “Rural Assistance Commissioner” role has been created under the Rural Assistance Schemes Act 2016.
The position, which commenced on June 30, is being filled for the first 12 months on an interim basis by Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR) Secretary Richard Bolt.
The new Commissioner replaces the former Rural Finance Corporation Victoria.
Through an agreement with the Government, rural assistance schemes such as grants and loans are delivered by Bendigo and Adelaide Bank under the name ‘Rural Finance’.
Rural Finance will continue to deliver rural assistance schemes, such as drought and dairy concessional loans, on behalf of the Government.
From 30 June 2016, this agreement will be overseen by the newly appointed Commissioner instead of the former Rural Finance Corporation Victoria.
“Victorian farmers and rural businesses face continued challenges including drought, fire, floods, animal disease incursions and fluctuating commodity markets – they need expert support in financial planning and risk management,” acting minister for agriculture Jacinta Allan said.
“This appointment will help strengthen rural assistance services and ensure our farmers and their families receive the best support available to assist their individual needs.”
“Victorian agriculture production contributes $11.8 billion to the Victorian economy. For food and fibre production to grow, we need to give our farmers the support they deserve during times of need.”
For more information, call (03) 5448 2600, or visit www.ruralfinance.com.au