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Regional Investment Corporation to be established in Orange

The Coalition Government today announced the headquarters of the newly created Regional Investment Corporation (RIC) will be based in the regional NSW town of Orange.

In Orange to make the announcement, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, and Member for Calare, Andrew Gee, said the RIC’s move to the regional centre in early 2018 would provide a boost for the entire region.

“Orange is an important agricultural hub in a region which generates about $1.7 billion in gross agricultural production, and is the home of the NSW Department of Primary Industries," Minister Joyce said.

“Supporting strong regional growth is a priority for this government and having an organisation like the RIC located here in Orange will help stimulate more local jobs and support local businesses," Mr Gee said.

The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) has welcomed today’s announcement that the Government’s new Regional Investment Corporation (RIC) will be located in Orange, New South Wales.

It just makes sense for an agency charged with administering concessional loans to farmers to be based in the regions where farm businesses operate.
Fiona Simson, President, National Farmers' Federation

Announced in last week's Federal Budget, the RIC will be charged with administering the Coalition’s $2 billion farm business concessional loans from 2018–19, as well as the $2 billion National Water Infrastructure Loan Facility.

Ms Simson said for some time, feedback from NFF members had been that accessing drought support was a convoluted and cumbersome process.

“At a state and federal level, monies are made available with the best interests of farmers in mind, however the red tape involved often actually defeats its purpose.

“In some cases the process for accessing financial help causes more angst for farmers at a time when there is already high pressure.

“It just makes sense for all farm finance support to be handled by one federal agency.”

Ms Simson said today’s announcement confirmed the RIC would open for business during 2018.

“Certainty over when and where the RIC will be operating is welcomed. We look forward to being updated as the project progresses,” Ms Simson said.

The government will introduce legislation this year to establish the RIC and the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources will be engaging with the agricultural sector on the new loan settings in the lead-up to establishing the RIC.

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