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.

Federal Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management, David Littleproud announced this month that the Australian agriculture, fisheries and forestry sector aims to achieve $100 billion in farm gate output by 2030.

Press Release - Oct 7, 2020
Delivering Ag2030

The Australian agriculture, fisheries and forestry sector aims to achieve $100 billion in farm gate output by 2030.

The $100 billion target is very ambitious and business as usual will not be enough.
The Government is supporting the farm sector to achieve this goal.
The 2020-21 Federal Budget builds on these actions.

Vision: The Government will assist industry to grow to $100 billion by 2030, ensuring Australian agricultural producers receive maximum returns for their hard work and are supported by vibrant rural and regional communities into the future.


Australia’s agricultural industry is currently worth $61 billion per year.
Achieving the Ag2030 target will require a significant increase in productivity. Australia must also maintain our reputation for high quality and sustainable produce.

The Government is committed to backing Australian farmers, fishers and foresters in the Ag2030 goal – driving job creation and economic growth, whilst also supporting recovery from drought, bushfires and the impacts of COVID-19.

The $100 billion goal is only possible if Government and industry works together.

For more information - click here.

The 2020 Federal Government budget includes
  • $155.6 million over four years to support drought and flood-impacted communities. This includes:
    • $50.0 million in 2020-21 to extend the On-farm Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate Scheme which covers the cost of on-farm projects that may help droughtproof farms.
    • $19.6 million in 2021-22 to extend the drought function of the National Drought and North Queensland Flood Response and Recovery Agency for a further year to continue coordination and community engagement for the Government's response and recovery activities and
    • $86.0 million over four years from 2020-21, through the Future Drought Fund, to establish eight Drought Resilience and Adoption Hubs that support networks of researchers, farmers, agricultural business and community groups to enhance drought resilience practice, tools and technology.
  • $3.5 billion for dams and water infrastructure through the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund.
For more information - click here.

The Coronavirus Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Guarantee Scheme is supporting up to $40 billion of lending to SMEs (including sole traders and not-for-profits) by guaranteeing 50 per cent of new loans issued by participating lenders to SMEs.

SME Guarantee loans can now be larger, longer term and for a wider range of purposes.
The initial phase of the Scheme remains available for new loans issued by eligible lenders until 30 September 2020.
The second phase of the Scheme will start on 1 October 2020 and will be available until 30 June 2021.

Key October 1 changes to the SME Loan Guarantee include:
• Loans can be for a wider range of investment, beyond working capital
• Secured lending now permitted (excludes commercial or residential property)
• Maximum loan size increased to $1 million (from $250,000 per borrower)
• Maximum loan term now five years (from three years)
• Lenders can now offer a repayment deferral period.

For more information - click here.

Repayments have resumed on almost half of deferred loans

New Australian Banking Association data reveals that almost half of deferred loans are now being repaid again as Australians recover from the pandemic. 

In late June the number of loans which had been deferred by Australian homeowners and businesses peaked, with around 500,000 mortgages, and more than 200,000 small business loans, having paused repayments.  

Based on data collected by the ABA from seven of Australia’s largest banks, as of last week, the number of deferred mortgages had dropped to 270,000, meaning repayments had resumed on at least 224,000 loans.

Almost half (45%) of deferred mortgages are back to making regular loan repayments. 

“This is a good sign for the economy. It shows that more Australians are getting back on their feet and resuming their loan repayments”, said Australian Banking Association Chief Executive, Anna Bligh.

Australian banks provided a loan repayment deferral to around 1 in 11 Australian mortgage holders, and 1 in 8 small business owners, to provide some breathing space during the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

“These loan deferrals have helped hundreds of thousands of Australian families and small businesses survive the pandemic.” 

Repayments have resumed on at least 82,000 small and medium business loans. This means two in five (41%) small and medium business loans that had been deferred are now being repaid again. 

Now, six months after the introduction of deferrals, repayments have resumed on almost half of the deferred loans. 

In just the past month, as customers came to the end of their 6-month deferral, more than 130,000 mortgages and 50,000 SME loans had their repayments resumed. 

According to the data from Australia’s seven largest banks, the total number of deferred loans has dropped to 439,000. 

“Right now, it’s really important that people contact their bank to figure out the path ahead. The earlier you speak to your bank, the more options they have to help you find a way through”, Ms Bligh said.

“Banks will work with customers to figure out a tailor-made solution. That might include restructuring a loan, or in some cases, granting an additional four month deferral.” 

"If you are in financial difficulty, please call your bank, they can help you find a way through. Don’t tough it out on your own.”
Your Rural and Small Business Financial Counsellors are ready to assist if you require support to negotiate loan terms.

Call 07 46 22 5500 (Rural) or 1300 732 777 (Small Business)

The Rural Financial Counselling Service Southern Queensland will be closed over the Christmas period. 
Office will be closed from Friday, December 18 until Monday, January 14.
If you are planning a visit to your Rural or Small Business Financial Counsellor, please get in early for November and December appointments.

Small Business call 1300 732 777 or Rural Business call 07 46 22 5500
We've had a VERY busy month with events in October and as this newsletter hits your inboxes, we're hosting the Toowoomba Small Business Conference.
A full report on that event will be in the November newsletter.
Bioela Rural Financial Counsellor, Bronwyn Schultz talks to Paul Lobegieger at the Monto 'Choosing Farm Options' workshop on October 7th.


Organised in conjunction with the Burnett Catchment Care Association, the Monto 'Choosing Farm Options' workshop drew a strong crowd of over 30.

Biggenden based Rural Financial Counsellor, and one of the co-organisers of the event, Kim Corfield said gathering rural professionals together to talk to primary producers was a great model.
"The event was a fantastic opportunity to continue to build our relationship with BCCA and I want to specially acknowledge the help and assistance from Naomi Purcell.
It was so good watching people engaging with the professionals in the room and empowering their decision making for their farming enterprises."

Burnett Catchment Care Association's, Naomi Purcell said the collaboration allowed both organisations to work to their strengths.
"RFCSSQ brought together a fantastic network of professionals while BCCA was able to call on their connections with local landholders resulting in a well-attended, and successful workshop," she said.
"Feedback from those whom attended the event was very positive and it was noted that in most cases, participants visited more than one professional."
"BCCA were able to observe which professionals were well attended throughout the day to get an insight into the needs of the decision-makers within local farming enterprises."
"As a result, BCCA has organised subsequent events offering further consultation with professionals in the those fields that proved popular at the Monto Choosing Farm Business Options event."
"It was a pleasure working with RFCSSQ – Sharon and Kim were very professional and efficient and hopefully there will be more opportunities to collaborate in the future."

To contact local Rural Financial Counsellor, Kim Corfield,
please call 0427 296 848.
The Bauhinia Town Hall hosted the Springsure 'Knowledge Transfer Day' on Friday, October 9th. The Fitzroy Basin Association team of Reece Brooks and Daniel Rea are pictured with Mick Alexander from Grazing BestPrac.


Nearly 40 people attended the Springsure Knowledge Transfer Day.

Guest specialist, Jo Quinlan from RCS commented, "Thank you for hosting an informative public event, I enjoyed meeting new landholders and potential landholders, catching up with a few clients as well as becoming more aware of the array of businesses operating in the industry."

RFCSSQ's Sharon Purcell worked with local Financial Counsellor, Tricia Laffer to organise the day and was delighted with the support.
"It's so hard getting the timing right with these type of events," she said, "but everything worked for Springsure and the feedback was fantastic."

To contact RFCSSQ call 07 46 22 5500

Felicity Sansom-Gower and Jodie Terzis represented the Small Business team at the Gold Coast Business Expo.


Our Small Business team, represented by Felicity Sansom-Gower and Jodie Terzis, joined the crowd at the Gold Coast Business Expo at Carrara this month.
Small Business Financial Counsellor, Felicity Sansom-Gower said, “It was a great to have the opportunity to raise awareness of the Small Business Financial Counselling Program and connect with local Gold Coast Businesses at the Small Business Expo on October 15th."
"There was a sense of optimism and enthusiasm amongst both exhibitors and guests with a wide range of industries involved”

To contact Felicity, call 0491 259 658
To contact Jodie, call 0436 099 098

Gympie Rural Financial Counsellor, Derk Abberfield was the guest presenter at this months GrowCom 'Farm Financial Fundamentals' webinar.
Nearly 20 participants kept Derk on his toes with some thought provoking questions.

The Gunabul Homestead in Gympie and the Old Bundy Tavern in Bundaberg hosted our 'Equipped for Finance' workshops last week.

The events were designed to investigate ways to improve banking outcomes for primary producers, a panel of bankers, financial advisors and financial counsellors discussed way to build relationships with banks, renegotiate loans and prepare for bank dealings.

Gympie Rural Financial Counsellor, Alison Paulger said the bank panel members were impressed by the event.
"They were not sure what to expect as they had not been part of an event like this, but were impressed with the professional presentation from the Rural Financial Counselling Service.
"The level of knowledge shown by the Rural Financial Counsellors gave them confidence in the Service and the quality of the assistance we provide our clients."
Alison said feedback from attendees on the day was that having rural bankers available to answer questions and discuss lending from a bank’s perspective was interesting.
"There was some great discussion around options for communicating effectively with your bank when you may not have only one person who looks after your loan," she said.
With the centralisation of banks, bankers are sometimes harder to access and the general feedback was that the opportunity was appreciated.

Bundaberg Rural Financial Counsellor, Kath Clarke was delighted with the response to the Bundaberg event and the strong showing on the day.

You can contact Alison Paulger on 0429 186 897, Derk Abberfield on 0428 755 708
or Kath Clark on 0439 067 944.
Collaborating with Regional Development Australia and the Australian Small Business Advisory Services Digital solutions team, RFCSSQ will present at four webinars through October and November.

Register at

The Small Business Financial Counselling Program kicked off a series of webinars this month that have been organised in collaboration with Regional Development Australia and Australian Small Business Advisory Services (ASBAS) Digital Solutions.

There were two held in October and two more planned for November.

Webinar 1 - Financial Reports
Central Queensland Small Business Financial Counsellor, Sharon Kingston delivered a Financial Reports presentation for our first webinar.
She explained why understanding a Balance Sheet, Profit and Loss Statement, Cash Flow Statement and Annual Report is vital and taking the time to produce the documents insightful.

Webinar 2 - Understanding Cashflow
Gold Coast Small Business Financial Counsellor, Jodie Terzis used her Cash flow webinar presentation as a practise run for her live presentation at the Toowoomba Small Business conference.
Jodie talking through how to monitor your cash flow and why.

To talk to the Small Business team, call 1300 732 777
Rural Financial Counsellor, Gympie

Covering from Maryborough in the south through to Caboolture in the north and taking in the Fraser Coast, Gympie, Sunshine Coast and Moreton Bay regions, Derk Abberfield enjoys helping people through tough times.
"It's good when they get their business to a point that they can see a way foward," he said.

The bulk of Derk's work for clients is preparing cash flow statements as part of business planning to help clients develop options for their business.
"We get a lot of requests for finance application assistance and bank negotiations."

Married to Kristie and Dad to two boys, Hamish and Lachlan, Derk is a keen photographer and lists camping, fishing, hockey, tennis, walking and swimming as his hobbies.

Contact Derk on 0428 755 708
Rural Financial Counsellor, Roma

Maranoa based Financial Counsellor, Nathan Wichlacz services clients in the Roma, Injune, Taroom, Wandoan, Dulacca, Glenmorgan, Surat, St George, Bollon, Mitchell and Mungallala area.

Nathan spends the majority of his time assisting farmers apply for government assistance, (including Loans through the Regional Investment Corporation and QRIDA), Farm Household Allowance and Drought Assistance Relief Schemes.
"I spend a lot of time assisting primary producers in preparing documentation like budgets, business plans and credit applications for their commercial lenders to ensure that the business has adequate finance to meet its needs and that it can continue to service its future financial obligations."
What's the best bit?
"All parts of my job are rewarding, however I especially enjoy finding creative solutions to financial issues that may not have been considered."

As a bush kid, Nathan spent his childhood on the family property, south-west of Mitchell.
Helping out with shearing, mustering and feeding livestock during droughts has given him an important insight into farming issues on the land.

"My family now operate a cattle breeding and cropping primary production enterprise near Muckadilla and I enjoy helping out on the family farm on weekends and playing lawn bowls in my spare time."

Contact Nathan on 0428 341 397
Jenny Whip

Raining somewhere …. 

Some areas of our region have been fortunate to receive some rainfall in October.
However, as is normally the case, rainfall has been patchy across Southern and Western Queensland.
The Bureau of Meteorology has declared a La Nina is officially underway, signalling parts of Australia could be in for a wet spring and summer.  

This is the most positive news for areas in drought when rainfall for 2020/2021 may be substantially higher.
With increased rainfall the Bureau has mentioned the chances of flooding and cyclones this summer has also increased.  

RFCS-SQ has seen a number of clients especially in flood prone areas activating some planning strategies to manage for the predicted high rainfall which may produce flooding.  
Some farmers have checked or added in additional contour banks, preparing their land to aid in managing high rainfall.
“The best preparation for tomorrow is planning today”

The weather is like any business and planning is a vital component.
As we prepare to head into 2021 it may be time to take the opportunity offered by the RFCS-SQ and have a free business health check.  
The rural and small business counsellors will assist you to determine any avenues where you may find savings in your business, review your loan arrangement or look at further opportunities that may be available for your business.

Like harvest time, it about planning the seed to reap the rewards.  
Our specialist team of rural financial counsellors are available for appointments at a time suitable to you.  
Please telephone 07 46225500 (rural) or 1300 732 777 (Small Business) or visit to access free and confidential financial assistance.


Karen Tully

“Timing, perseverance and then years of trying will eventually make you look like an overnight success”.
Biz Stone – Co-founder of Twitter

In many parts of Southern Queensland, agricultural production systems have continued to flourish during the 2020 pandemic.  
Seasonal conditions have generally been favourable throughout winter and commodity prices and production rates have been positive for many industries this year.  

Nationwide, the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) has indicated that the gross value of agricultural production is estimated to be $1.9 billion higher in 2020–21. 
However, ABARES also predicts that there are some potential downside risks on the horizon which may impact future prices as we go forward.  

Firstly, the global pandemic certainly clouds future demand forecasts.
If periodic COVID19 outbreaks and lockdowns continue to occur or if we were to have a tsunami of new infections across Australia and/or the world, this would further restrict the movement of people and result in business closures.  
With consumer spending falling, unemployment rising and the subsequent shutdowns to manufacturing facilities and the ensuing disruptions to the supply chain, there is a strong possibility that demand for Australian agricultural products (both domestic and export) could be disrupted as we go forward into 2021.  
This downside risk to business remains a strong possibility as we go forward. 

If your small business or agricultural enterprise is now turning a profit—congratulations!
Your hard work and perseverance is paying off and you may be considering how you will use and manage the profit that is being made.  
The one guiding mantra is – manage your profit with the long-term success and growth of your future in mind. 

If you are in a profit positive situation, you may consider the following uses for your surplus.
-    Debt reduction.
-    Farm Management Deposits or savings.  
-    Building superannuation assets.
-    Investing in information technology, machinery or equipment to expand production capacity.
-    Paying out family members during a planned succession process.
-    Paying bonuses to employees (and yourself). 

However, whilst you are planning uses for your profits, you need to carefully track your future profitability to ensure things are not slipping.  
As always, conversations with your accountant should continue on a regular basis, as you will be required to pay tax on those profits.  
We here at the Rural Financial Counselling Service Southern Queensland recognise that many businesses are not in the fortunate position of having to consider how to use profits.
If you are experiencing hardship in your small business or primary production enterprise, we have financial counsellors who can help you to manage your circumstances.  

Our free and independent financial counsellors can be found in numerous locations in Southern Queensland.


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.
Copyright © 2019 Rural Financial Counselling Service Southern Queensland, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
42b Wyndham Street, Roma QLD 4455
Phone: 07 46 22 5500 Email:

Rural Financial Counselling Service Southern Queensland is supported by the Federal and State Governments

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