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Rural Financial Counselling Service Southern Queensland (RFCS-SQ) provides free, impartial, confidential and responsive rural and small business financial counselling services across Southern Queensland.
The RFCS Programme in Queensland is funded by the Australian and Queensland Governments.
NEWS

JOBKEEPER EXTENDED BUT CHANGED

JobKeeper will fall from $1,500 a fortnight to $1,200 a fortnight from September 28 and will reduce to $1000 a fortnight from the start of January 2021.

People working fewer than 20 hours a week will receive $750 a fortnight from September 28 which will reduce to $650 a fortnight from the start of January 2021.

The JobKeeper wage subsidy is paid to 960,000 employers, who then pass the full payment onto 3.5 million workers.

Businesses will have to prove they're still in financial distress each quarter (down at least 30 per cent on pre-pandemic levels) to remain eligible for the program after September.

"JobSeeker and JobKeeper are not do-nothing payments," Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.

"JobSeeker and JobKeeper are payments that support people's incomes but are not designed to prevent them from going out and seeking work."

For more information as it becomes available click here.

QRIDA FUNDING ANNOUNCEMENT

A new round of funding for the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA) was released on July 1, 2020.
Up to $100 million is available to help primary producers invest in the future of their enterprise with First Start and Sustainability loans.
Speak to your local QRIDA Regional Area Manager on Freecall 1800 623 946
or your local RFCSSQ Financial Counsellor on 07 46 22 5500.

For more information click here.
SMALL BUSINESS SHORT TRAINING COURSES

Short training courses are available right now for professional and skills development for small business operators and staff.
Some will take just one hour to complete.
It's a small investment of time and effort to pick up something that can change your productivity or effectiveness.
Small Business Skills Hub https://www.qldskills.com.au/
Skills Focus Queensland https://www.skillsfocus.com.au/
BRANDS APPLICATION PROCESS UPDATE

Currently only horse and cattle three-piece brand applications and pig brand applications are being processed.
You should delay lodging applications for symbol brands or earmarks until after the COVID19 pandemic.
All brand and earmark applications must be emailed to brands@daf.qld.gov.au.
For security reasons, credit card details must not be entered on the application form.
Once the application form is received, licensing and transaction staff will phone applications to process fee payments via a secured line.
Applications may take up to 50 working days to progress.
Do not post applications as they will not be received by processing staff.

A branding exemption is in place and cattle producers are not required to brand cattle with a live weight in excess of 100kg before sale.
The exemption will apply until the end of the COVID19 pandemic.

For more information, click here.
FUTURE DROUGHT FUND

Further to consultation meetings across Australia in 2019, the Future Drought Fund committee have announced the programs that will make up the Future Drought Fund foundational programs.

In all eight programs are planned.
  1. Farm Business Resilience Program ($20M - Training for Farm businesses to develop a Farm Business Plan)
  2. Climate Services for Agriculture Program ($10M - Development and delivery of interactive digital 'climate information services')
  3. Drought Resilience Self-Assessment Tool ($3M - An online tool to self-identify drought risks and take action)
  4. Drought Resilience Research and Adoption Program ($20.3M - Establish two regional hubs to manage innovation grants)
  5. Natural Resource Management Drought Resilience Program ($15M - Fund regional NRM to build drought resilience of nature resources)
  6. Networks for Building Drought Resilience Program ($3.75M - Community-driven projects that enhance drought resilience and strengthen networks)
  7. Drought Resilience Leaders Program  ($7.45M - Develop leadership capability in communities with a focus on innovation)
  8. Regional Drought Resilience Planning ($10M - Funding to local councils or equivalent entities to develop Drought resilience plans)
Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management, David Littleproud said the fund will make $100 million available each year to help farmers and communities become more prepared for, and resilient to, the impacts of drought.

He said the programs announced this month will give farmers and communities the tools they need to prepare for, manage and sustain their livelihoods during drought.

For more information click here.
$3000 DROUGHT PAYMENTS

The second round of Drought Support payments are available now.
Round two commenced in February 2020.
You can apply for a Round two payment if you receiveda Round one payment.

The one off payment of up to $3000 is available for eligible farmers, contractors, suppliers and workers.

If you're doing it tough due to the drought, you may be eligible for a one off payment of up to $3000.

To be eligible, you need to:

  • be over the age of 18
  • be an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • live and/or work in the Balonne, Banana, Barcaldine, Blackall/Tambo, Flinders, Bulloo, Barcoo, Boulia, Bundaberg, Diamantina, Maranoa, McKinlay, Murweh, Paroo, Richmond, Western Downs, Goondiwindi, Lockyer Valley, Longreach, North Burnett, Quilpie, Scenic Rim, Somerset, South Burnett, Winton, Southern Downs or Toowoomba shires.
  • have not already received this payment since November 21, 2019.

This payment is not considered taxable income.

If you had assistance in Round 1 (which concluded on June 30, 2019) you ARE eligible to apply for assistance for Round 2.

For more information click here.
FEMALE BUSINESS LEADERS IN REMOTE QUEENSLAND

Female business leaders in very remote Queensland in drought-affected areas have an opportunity to apply for the Economic Secuity4Women Connection programme, which is funded by the Australian Government.
 
This one year program is for 10 business owners from Barcaldine, Barcoo, Blackall, Boulia, Bulloo, Diamantina, Longreach, McKinlay, Murweh, Paroo, Quilpie, Richmond, Tambo or Winton.
 
The program is being offered through economic Security4Women (eS4W), being delivered by eS4W Partner, Femeconomy and is funded by the Australian Government’s Building Better Regions Fund. Applications close midnight Monday 31 August 2020.

For more information and to apply click here.
WEBINARS
QRRRWN AG INTEREST GROUP

Queensland Rural, Regional and Remote Women's Network member, Senator Susan McDonald was a popular registration for the QRRRWN Ag Interest Group Zoom meeting this month featuring the RFCSSQ Outreach Communications officer, Sharon Purcell.

 

 
Sharon presented to the group about the structure of the RFCSSQ organistation and the Rural and Small Business programs on offer.

I’m sure you’ll all agree our guest speaker Sharon Purcell’s enthusiasm for all things rural is apparent in spades!
Her passion for the people on the land and all its characters applies itself to everything she does.
From a career spanning the QCL, AgForce in CQ to her current role as Outreach Communications Advisor for the RFCS, she certainly knows what she is talking about.
Sharon presented a half hour talk on the role of RFCS, who is eligible for assistance, what assistance is available from RFCS and other organisations as well.
It was very informative, for instance I didn’t know they help small businesses as well as rural ones…

 
VIDEOS
The RFCSSQ team is upskilling at the moment and putting themselves well out of their comfort zone to promote the service and ensure potential clients are aware of the support available.
Bronwyn Schlutz, Biloela based Rural Financial Counsellor
Donna Neale-Arnold, Warwick based Small Business Financial Counsellor
EVENTS

EQUIPPED FOR FINANCE WORKSHOPS

CHARLEVILLE AND ROMA  - 4TH AND 6TH OF AUGUST 2020
Hear from finance brokers, accountants, RFCSSQ and bankers about what you can do to help yourself!

Topics covered

Changing banks
New loan negotiations
Refinancing discussions
Improving your chances with effective preparation

Register at 
www.rfcssq.org.au

SUCCESS - SUCCESSION - INNOVATION - SELLING

BILOELA and ROCKHAMPTON
Biloela - August 11th, 2020
Rockhampton - August 13th, 2020

What options do you have for your future?

GUESTS INCLUDE
Murray Davis, Opteon Central Queensland
Martin Pentecost, Grow Agribusiness and Finance
Geoff Arnold, Moore Australia
Teresa Adornato, Adornato Law
John Metelli, QRIDA
Lisa Lonsdale, Lonsdale Agribusiness
Cass Chapman, Westpac
Helen Warnock, Kennas Chartered Accountants
James Noye, Westpac,
Richard Brosnan, Ray White Rural
Michael Beck, Worrells
Neil Lethlean, Capricorn Enterprise
Mark Swaffield, Shanahan Swaffield Partners
Rod Murray, Business Queensland
**Not all guests are at both events

Register at 
www.rfcssq.org.au


WHERE WERE WE BEFORE COVID19?
GYMPIE AND BUNDABERG - AUGUST 2020
Getting the focus back on rural issues after COVID19

Topics covered

Drought Support
Innovation Programs
Staff incentives

More information to be provided at 
www.rfcssq.org.au
STAFF
HILARY WEEDON
Rural Financial Counsellor, Miles/Chinchilla

Servicing the Western Downs Regional Council region from Dulacca to Drillham, Miles, Chinchilla, Warra and Dalby to Tara and Condamine, Hilary Weedon spends the majority of her time helping primary producers with applications for government assistance.
"That includes concessional loans, rebates and subsidies and Farm Household Allowance application as well as bank lending negotiations," Hilary said.

The keen Santa Gertrudis breeder enjoys the RFCSSQ Rural Financial Counsellor position.
"I get so much satisfaction from helping people on the land, just knowing that I have had a very small part in making a difference," she said.
"I'm constantly surprised by the struggles that have occurred prior to clients making contact with  me."
"There are primary producers suffering in silence when there is help available."

Along with her husband, Hilary stays involved with local community groups like the Agricultural Show Society (Prime Cattle), the local Hall Committee (current Treasurer) and the Landcare group as often as she can.

Away from work, Hilary loves lighting the fire pit and spending time with family and friends over a cold beer.

You can contact Hilary Weedon on 0491 259 861 or hilary.weedon@rfcssq.org.au
MICHEAL FAGG
Rural Financial Counsellor, Warwick

Based in Warwick and servicing the Southern Downs Region and surrounds, Micheal Fagg spends the majority of his time assisting clients to develop their plans to achieve their goals.
"I work with my client to understand their current position, where they would like to be, and discussing/implementing various options individualised to their needs."
"This may include guiding clients through various current climatic and financial challenges by assisting with Financial analysis, Budgeting, Succession Planning, Access to Government and Non-Government Support options, Risk Management Strategies and communicating with Banks."
 
Before joining the RFCS team in September 2016, Micheal worked for the Department of Human Services in a number of roles, the latest as a Farm Household Case Officer.
Prior to that, he was employed with the Commonwealth Bank assisting Agribusiness clients throughout the Darling Downs, South West Queensland and South Burnett Regions.
"The skills and knowledge obtained in those roles have proven invaluable in enabling me to assist current clients to identify and develop strategies to achieve their Farm plans/goals," he said.
 
Michael finds his role as a Rural Financial Counsellor satisfying.
"The most enjoyable aspect is the opportunity to make a ‘difference’  by working with clients to become better prepared to meet current and future challenges to achieve their Business & Personal Goals."

Married with three boys 29, 26 and 8, "Yes, there is a big gap there!" said Micheal laughing.
"We enjoy all recreational sports, camping and travelling throughout Western Queensland in our spare time."

You can contact Micheal on 0419 732 591 or by email at micheal.fagg@rfcssq.org.au.
 
 
CEO'S REPORT
Jenny Whip

In spite of predictions for a wet winter in 2020, the dry weather continues with very few useful falls across Southern Queensland.

Most primary producers are hoping the latest predictions of a wet October will eventuate. 
The majority of Southern Queensland remains fully drought declared with the exception of Brisbane and the Redland Shire.


 
Looking on the bright side, some of our farming communities are in a lot better position now than the same time in 2019.
 
Meanwhile the small business focus continues to be on a COVID19 recovery phase in Queensland as Victoria and NSW deal with increasing cases or a second wave.
Dealing with a loss of income from the shutdowns and trying to rebuild with a second wave of the pandemic on our doorstep is concerning to say the least. 
Our thoughts are certainly with the states of Victoria and New South Wales.
 
The combination of the recent massive drought followed up by a worldwide pandemic has certainly tested the resilience of Queensland farmers and small business owners. 
I’m thankful that the Rural Financial Counselling Service Southern Queensland is in a position to offer these people meaningful support. 
There continues to be a strong demand for our services with the many challenges faced in the rural and business environment. 
 
The financial contribution by the State and Federal Governments to allow our service to continue is a vital support mechanism in the face of unprecedented pressure on rural and regional businesses.
 
“Rural Financial Counselling Service Southern Queensland (RFCS-SQ) provides free, impartial, confidential and responsive rural financial counselling services across Southern Queensland.
Through the Rural Financial Counselling Service Program (RFCS), we support and assist primary production, small and medium businesses who are experiencing financial hardship.
The RFCS Program in Queensland is funded by the Australian Government and the Queensland Governments.”
 
July signals the start of the rest of the year and we’re planning useful workshops and information sessions for existing and potential clients. 
I’d encourage small businesses or primary producers to attend and meet up with the RFCS Southern Queensland Team and presenters at an event near you.
www.rfcssq.org.au


Jenny
CHAIR'S REPORT
Karen Tully

“The instant asset write-off has contributed to a perfect storm for tractor sales as the weather conditions have supported the strong demand for locally produced food arising out of the Covid-19 pandemic”. 

Gary Northover, Tractor and Machinery Assn of Aust.
Queensland Country Life, 16/07/2020

 

In your business, do you know of a business asset, either new or second-hand, which if added to your operations, would make a huge improvement to your business returns, and would enhance efficiency?
What kind of difference would an additional shed, solar energy, tools, a coffee machine, an office fit out, a harvester, tradesman’s trailer and or improved digital communication technology make to your day-to-day business? 
Maybe you are in the situation where you find you are having to make regular and costly reactive repairs to equipment, and this is impacting on your bottom line? 
Is time to upgrade to a newer or improved income producing asset to avoid downtime and repairs?

If you own or manage a business that has an aggregated turnover of less than $500 million per annum, it is currently a wise time to consider using surplus funds to impro
ve your assets and infrastructure. 
Right now, the Australian Government (as a COVID-19 pandemic response measure) has an instant asset write-off scheme in place. Up until the 31st December 2020, this scheme will allow you to invest up to $150 000 in each asset.
This means you can claim an immediate deduction (business portion only) for multiple assets, new or second hand, provided each asset costs less than $150,000.
Assets must be first used or installed ready for use prior to the 31st December 2020 to claim the deduction.  (Please be aware some exclusions or limits may apply). 
If you think your business is ready to invest in equipment, machinery or infrastructure assets, now is the time to find out more about the instant asset write-off scheme via the Australian Tax Office or your accountant.

Should you require some assistance with planning for investing in new assets and the possible benefits this might bring to your business, you may be eligible for assistance from the Rural Financial Counselling Service – Southern Queensland. 
We can help with assessing your current financial position, future scenario analysis and potential cash flow calculations.  

If you are a primary producer, we have experienced and impartial rural financial counsellors ready to assist you. 
Small business operators might benefit from connecting with one of our small business financial counsellors for a consultation. 

Why not contact one of our financial counsellors today for a free consultation?

Karen


Disclaimer of Liability 
Every effort is made to provide accurate and complete information in RFCSSQ’s newsletters, however, RFCSSQ cannot guarantee that there will be no errors.
RFCSSQ makes no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the contents of the newsletters and expressly disclaims liability for errors and omissions in the contents of this newsletters.
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