Barnaby Joyce is misleading farmers by claiming that the Abbott Government’s delay in renewing Rural Financial Counselling Services contracts would provide certainty for clients and the 14 contractors nationwide.

This is the worst possible time to be placing more doubt over the service as drought affected farmers need to know that this vital service will continue into the future.

Barnaby Joyce initially delayed the renewal of the contracts back in February 2015 claiming that “We will also offer the 14 current service providers an extension of their current contracts to 31 December 2015 to allow the Government time to implement some of the changes recommended by National Rural Advisory Council back in November 2014, in a considered manner ahead of the next funding round.”

Now the Minister is claiming that the new delay is to allow time for the merit-based competitive grants process to allocate new rounds of contracts.

The Minister has had since February this year to undertake this task and his double speak is definitely not giving farmers the certainty they need.

This is another example of  the chaos that surrounds the dysfunctional Abbott Government, which is leaving drought affected farmers with more uncertainty.


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