Senate Estimates reveal RIC boondoggle continues to fail Australian farmers

The Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Estimates Committee last night once again exposed that the Regional Investment Corporation (RIC), a trademark Barnaby Joyce boondoggle, is failing to deliver timely assessment and delivery of concessional loan applications.

The RIC CEO, Bruce King, confirmed last night that the backlog of loans had increased from 240 loans to 281 loans.  To date the RIC has only managed to finalise 54 loans with 35 loans being approved to a value of $27.2 million. The concessional loans funding for the RIC is $500 million per year. 

The Morrison Government loves a headline figure claiming that a pool of $2 billion would be available for RIC’s farm business loans. 

Delivering only $27.2 million dollars in concessional loans is an admission that the RIC is failing. 

Mr King also confirmed that currently there were no specific concessional loans for flood affected Queensland farmers.

The Morrison Government claimed that “the RIC will deliver a streamlined and nationally consistent application process for farm business concessional loans, with flexibility to act swiftly to respond when hardships like drought or an industry crisis hit.” 

The Morrison Government cannot be trusted to put the interests of our farmers ahead of the political interest of their coalition partner and their ill-thought-out pork barrels and boondoggles.
Against all these measures the RIC is continuing to fail our farmers and rural and regional communities are suffering the consequences.

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