Barnaby Joyce is again big noting himself while debt affected farmers are faced with uncertainty regarding the long-term funding for rural financial counsellors.
In 2014 Barnaby Joyce undertook a review into the funding arrangements for rural financial counselling service providers, which consequently delayed the allocation of long-term funding grants.
This is the real reason why we see Barnaby Joyce dribbling out money to the agencies undertaking the important work of providing financial counselling to farmers who are facing hardship due to drought or debt related problems.
It is truly disappointing to see Barnaby Joyce using the desperate drought situation to boast about his failed white paper by spinning it into his self-seeking release yesterday – while he strings out the grant application process for as long as he can.
The additional money announced yesterday only provides an extension to existing service providers until 31 March 2016 – the same service providers who may not exist following the merit-based competitive grant process being used to allocate new rounds of contracts for 2016 -19.
It can only be presumed that there is a dire reason as to why the Turnbull Government is refusing to provide long term funding certainty to rural financial counselling service providers.
THURSDAY, 17 DECEMBER 2015