While Rural Financial Counselling Service (RFCS) Northern NSW executive officer Gary Goldberg welcomed the extra $3.7 million funding announced by the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources David Littleproud, he said at this stage he had no idea exactly how much this region would be able to lay claim to.
The RFCS itself will decide how best to use the extra $3.7 million.David Littleproud Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources
From the northern service head office at Casino, Mr Goldberg outlined how the last funding announcement was used in this region.
"From the $5 million we received in August last year we put in a new office at Gunnedah and were able to make some part-time positions in Moree, Narrabri and Gunnedah full-time. We were also able to create another five positions in Glen Innes, Armidale, Tamworth, Scone and Moree," he said.
Mr Littleproud described the counsellors as "our angels on the ground" and said the extra funding brought the Federal commitment to the service up to $77 million.
"One of many things they do is fill out Farm Household Allowance applications for farmers - for free," he said.
"The RFCS itself will decide how best to use the extra $3.7 million.
"This free service helps farmers cut through red tape and access all the support available to them. Since August the RFCS hotline has received more than 1300 calls for assistance."
The RFCS helped almost 4100 farmers in February from the now 165 staff in 12 offices located across Australia.