The NSW Government has announced an additional $10 million over the next three years to continue the NSW Rural Financial Counselling Service across the state.

Member for Cootamundra, Steph Cooke has welcomed the commitment, saying it will allow the Rural Financial Counselling Service to continue providing free, independent financial planning and support until at least 2025.

“The program provides a crucial service to the region, helping producers suffering financial hardship to manage their businesses after two years of severe weather events,” Ms Cooke said.

“With a number of rural financial counsellors dedicated to our smaller communities, I encourage those who may be experiencing financial hardship to make the most of this free service.”

Minister for Agriculture and Western NSW Dugald Saunders said the Rural Financial Counselling Service has assisted farmers, fishers, forestry growers and harvesters experiencing, or at risk of, financial hardship for 30 years.

“There are 50 Rural Financial Counsellors working in our regional communities across the state, who are undertaking immediate and long-term financial planning, succession planning, farm debt mediation and guiding people who need to access to government assistance,” Mr Saunders said.

“Ensuring this vital service will be readily available at a local level is essential to building business support networks and helps producers strengthen their knowledge and operations.” For more information, including the contact details for a Rural Financial Counsellor nearest to you, please phone 1800 319 458 or visit www.rfcsnsw.com.au