What a surprise – Barnaby Joyce’s review into the Rural Financial Counselling Service has recommended its budget be cut. This is no doubt the outcome the Abbott Government was looking for.
Sadly my fears as expressed on May 20 were well founded.
The drought continues to bite and the Government’s response has been a failure. This is the worst possible time to be cutting rural financial advice, particularly given the Government has made financial advice a condition for receiving Farm Household Allowance.
In recognition of the drought and other market issues facing the farm sector, as Minister I announced in July last year 17 additional full-time counsellors. This was gratefully welcomed by farmers and rural communities around Australia.
The Liberals and Nationals have abandoned rural Australia and this latest ploy is just plain cruel.
It’s not too late for the Government to reject the recommendation to cut funding and it should do it immediately.
TUESDAY, 11 NOVEMBER 2014