The Federal Government is seeking submissions from interested stakeholders and the public to inform a review of the Regional Investment Corporation (RIC) Act.
The RIC has allowed farming loans to be provided to many farm and small businesses to assist them through difficulties including drought, and Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton is urging locals to have their say.
“The RIC has helped many farmers over the years, and the danger with a review is that it includes the risk that this program could be put on the chopping block,” Mr Coulton said.
“We know that the Labor Government has been looking for opportunities to cut or push back costs, so a review of an agricultural loans scheme such as the RIC is a red flag to me – we need people to be making submissions if we want to keep it.”
The Regional Investment Corporation Act has allowed farming loans to be provided to those in financial need, with more than $3.2 billion in concessional loans given to around 3000 farms and small businesses since its establishment in 2018.
Drought loans in particular proved significant, with their provision allowing many farming businesses to survive during the last drought through the AgBiz Drought Loan.
“These loans can make a crucial difference for farmers who are struggling, succession planning or starting out – they are such an important safety net,” Mr Coulton said.
“If you have benefited from these loans or see value in them as a worthwhile investment of the Government I would strongly encourage you to have your say in the Federal review.”
Feedback must be submitted by AEDT 5pm, 22 December 2023. For more information please visit: https://haveyoursay.agriculture.gov.au/ric-review