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

Australian farmers and beef producers are digesting the implications of a Chinese 80% barley import tax and the country's delisting of four major Australian meat processors as the Australian government works to negotiate a way forward.

The Rural Financial Counselling Service SQ offers free, impartial, confidential financial counselling for financially struggling primary producers.
If these matters cause financial duress, call 07 46 22 5500.

ARTICLES YOU MAY FIND INTERESTING

BARLEY
Queensland Country Life published an article about the Barley Import tax that indicates prices are already being impacted.
Read the article here

BEEF
The ABC published an article about the delisting of four Australian meat processors.
Read the article here

COAL
The Guardian has published an article in relation to reported cancellations of Australian thermal coal purchases by China.
Read the article here
 
DROUGHT DECLARATIONS UNCHANGED

May 25, 2020
While the population is firmly focused on COVID19, the drought continues to cripple regions of Queensland.

The total area of Queensland that is drought-declared remains unchanged at 67.4% after the latest local drought commitee meetings.
Local Drought Committees (LDCs) did not recommend any changes to drought declarations after their annual end of wet season meetings.
LDCs found that while rainfall received during February-March was welcome, there was a lack of follow-up rainfall and the benefits were limited.
The drought declaration map can be viewed at longpaddock.qld.gov.au 

Queensland drought support measures will continue to be available, and these measures can be found at www.daf.qld.gov.au.

Additionally, the planned implementation of Drought Program Reforms scheduled for this year have been delayed until 1 July 2021 due to the impact of COVID-19 on producers and ongoing high levels of drought support.

For further information on drought assistance visit daf.qld.gov.au or call the Customer Service Centre on 13 25 23.
COMMERCIAL PREMISES

Our small business team is being inundated with questions in relation to commercial rent arrangements in light of the Coronavirus impacts.

WHAT DO YOU NEED TO KNOW?
You need to ensure your landlord is aware that your turnover has been affected by COVID19 so your landlord can apply for support.

The Queensland Government has committed over $400 million to support landlords and tenants, both commercial and residential, impacted by the COVID-19 disaster.

Initiatives include up to $400 million in land tax relief for eligible landlords, which must be passed onto tenants.

Temporary legislative changes will be made to protect eligible tenants, including eviction moratoriums and rent freezes.
Landlords, tenants and banks, which are also offering concessions to landlords, should continue to engage in constructive discussions around appropriate rental arrangements for those impacted by COVID-19.

$400 MILLION LAND TAX RELIEF

Eligible landowners can apply for up to three months waiver and three months deferral of land tax if either of the following circumstances apply.
1. You are a landowner who leases all or part of a property to one or more tenants and all the following apply:
  • the ability of one or more tenants to pay their normal rent is affected by the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • you will provide rent relief to the affected tenant(s) of an amount at least commensurate with the land tax relief; and
  • you will comply with the leasing principles even if the relevant lease is not regulated.
2. You are a landowner and all the following apply:
  • all or part of your property is available for lease;
  • your ability to secure a tenant(s) has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • you require relief to meet your financial obligations; and
  • you will comply with the leasing principles even if the relevant lease is not regulated.
If you are a commercial landowner, the principles are as follows:
  • You will negotiate in good faith with your tenant to seek a mutually agreeable resolution if their ability to pay is impacted by COVID-19;
  • You will not evict your tenant if they are in financial distress and unable to meet their commitments due to the impact of COVID-19;
  • You will not increase rent, except where rent is linked to increased turnover;
  • You will not penalise a tenant who stops trading or reduces opening hours;
  • You will not charge any interest on unpaid or deferred rent; and
  • You will not make a claim on a bank guarantee or security deposit for non-payment of rent.
     
RELIEF FOR COMMERCIAL TENANTS
Any land tax relief provided to commercial landlords must be passed onto eligible tenants.
 
For all the details and to apply click here.
INCREASED SUPPORT FOR SMALL BUSINESS

SMALL BUSINESS GRANTS - CLOSED

Queensland Government this month announced $10,000 grants for small businesses to undertake a project to counter the impacts of COVID19.
Applications have now closed.
The announcement is part of Queensland’s $500M jobs assistance package announced in March 2020.
More detail is available at www.business.qld.gov.au

QRIDA JOBS SUPPORT LOANS - CLOSED

In early May, Queensland's Palaszczuk Government announced an additional $500 million in funding for interest free loans for COVID19 affected businesses, taking the overall investment to $1 billion.

This was in response to the overwhelming response to the program which forced the unexpected closure of the offer due to over subscription.
The additional $500 million will be used to fund the over subscription.
New applications will not be accepted.

As at the 20th of May, $575.7 million had been allocated over 3887 loans.

Submitted applications that have already been received by QRIDA, will be assessed in the date order that they have been received complete with all the required information for assessment.
Applications will continue to be assessed up until the $1 billion in funding is fully committed

For further information - click here.

For more information on the COVID-19 Jobs Support Loan Scheme contact
QRIDA via email: contact_us@qrida.qld.gov.au or phone: 1800 623 946.

If you would like a quick recap on the range of Small Business support programs available - Click here to read our March edition of Rural Finances.
DAIRY CODE OF CONDUCT

On the 1st of January, 2020, a mandatory industry code for the Dairy Industry came into effect.
The code relates to farmers and processors.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has released a fact sheet explaining the changes which you can view here.

Key Dates:
June 1, 2020
Processors must publish standard form milk supply agreements on their website.
**Under the code anyone who buys milk directly from farmers (including co-operatives, retailers, brokers and other direct buyers) are defined as processors.
Some sections of the Code (including the publishing requirement) will not apply to either a farmer or processor if a processor is a small business entity as defined by the Code.


For more information about the Code of Conduct - click here.
TAX TIME

Whether you're heading to the accountant for your annual tax return or meeting one of our Financial Counsellors for a consultation, the terms used are the same.

Assets = Liabilities + Owner's Equity is the principal equation for accounting.

Many business owners understand the importance of the words, but not what they mean.
Throw in debits, credits, ledgers and journals, and a business owner's head might start spinning.
Accounting terms are foreign to most people who have not studied accounting, but for a business to run successfully, a certain amount of accounting understanding is required.

"A business owner does not have to be an accountant, but it helps understanding some of the terms."

1 Your business has assets and liabilities.

An asset is an item the business owns and has a cash value.
Cash, office equipment, vehicles, buildings, inventory and investments are examples of business assets.
Liabilities are dollar amounts a business owes to creditors.
Examples of liabilities include money owed on accounts to other businesses, credit card balances, wages owed to employees, and vehicle loans and building mortgages.

2 Understand the difference between debits and credits.

Debits and credits are used to represent money that comes in and goes out of a business.

When an asset is increased, it is debited; when an asset is decreased, it is credited.
For example, if a customer makes a $100 purchase and charges his account, your accounts receivable is debited.
When that customer comes back and pays off his account, your accounts receivable is credited.


For liabilities, the process is reversed; when a liability is increased it is credited; when it is decreased, it is debited.
When a business gets a loan for a new piece of equipment, your accounts payable is credited.
When the business makes a payment on the account, your accounts payable is debited.


3 Distinguish between the General Journal and the General Ledger.

The general journal is where daily transactions are recorded.

The general ledger holds the account balances for every account, such as accounts payable, equipment and accounts receivable.

For example, if a customer spends $50 in cash, the general journal entry would be a debit to cash and a credit to sales.
Then a $50 debit will be added to the cash account and a $50 credit would be added to the sales account in the general ledger.


4  Examine the Income Statement and Balance Sheet.

These two financial statements are a picture of your business' financial health.
The Income Statement shows total sales, total expenses and the net profit or loss of the business.
It is comprised monthly and annually, but can be completely quarterly as well.

The balance sheet shows the balances for all the business' accounts and represents the formula Assets = Liabilities + Owner's Equity.

 
CORONAVIRUS BUSINESS SUPPORT LINE

The Australian government have a team of dedicated customer representatives who can help you if your business has been affected by the coronavirus.
They are available between 8am - 8pm across Australia, seven days a week.
Call 13 28 46
AROUND THE TRAPS
The Rural Financial Counselling Service SQ team found Google Team meetings interesting.

GOING ONLINE

Like many other organisations, the Rural Financial Counselling Service SQ responded to COVID19 restrictions with online meetings/consultations and information sessions.

STAFF MEETINGS
Our staff meetings are quite exciting nowadays.
Utilising Google Teams, staff can check out each others offices and make sure everyone is paying attention.
(We are discovering some shy team members who avoid the limelight and prefer the camera to face the trees!!)

WEBINARS

We hosted two webinars this month.

First up was the Small Business COVID19 Support webinar with our very capable Small Business coordinator, Jo Tardent.
Then, later in the same week, our Roma based technical guru, Nathan Wichlacz hosted our Rural COVID19 webinar.
Both events attracted around 10 registrations and we were happy to have a small attendance for our first foray into webinars.
We recorded both webinars for you.
Webinars have been offered as another opportunity to provide information on the government assistance packages currently available. 
Rural - Click here
Small Business - Click here

Looking forward, RFCSSQ is hoping to hold monthly webinars which drill into the detail of particular support measures.

CONSULTATIONS
A huge number of our clients are embracing the online/video consultations but it's fair to say for others, it's in the 'too hard' basket.
Connectivity issues and a lack of computer skills certainly impede some of our clients ability to communicate using video conferencing facilities.
However, the 'old fashioned' telephone still works effectively and for our rural clients, they are quite comfortable doing business over the phone.
Jenny Whip pictured in the Theodore region.

RECRUITMENT

CEO, Jenny Whip was able to get on the road to conduct interviews for new Small Business Financial Counsellor roles this month.
"It was so good to see farms in full production and our clients continuing to adapt to COVID19 restrictions," she said.


Jenny was joined on the selection panel by RFCSSQ Chair, Karen Tully and RFCSSQ Financial Counsellors, Bronwyn Schultz and Jo Tardent.
STAFF
BRONWYN SCHULTZ

Our Biloela Rural Financial Counsellor, Bronwyn Schultz is busy with Farm Household Allowance enquiries and low interest loan applications.
"FHA continues to be a life line for many," she said.
"The opportunity to access interest free lending through the Regional Investment Corporation subsidised loans is also attracting a lot of enquiry."
Bronwyn commented that summer rain has relieved some day-to-day pressure for farmers in her area and allowed producers time to investigate the support options that they have heard about but haven't had time to follow up.

What do you like best about your job?
"The best bit is finding out that you added value from the clients view point."
"They now have more confidence, they now see options, and get to make choices."
"That’s when they start to take back control of what they believed they didn't have control over."
"It may have been a big and messy pathway or just levelling a few ruts but people are back in control of their own outcomes."
"That’s good stuff."

What's important when you’re dealing with a client?
"Making sure that everything that is being done and every decision made has been driven by the client and that they have gained sufficient education in the process to confidently make their own choices."

Tell us about your life….
"What’s to tell, it’s wonderful."
"I live in the beautiful community of Biloela which is located in the gloriously resilient Callide and Dawson Valleys region."
"I have a huge extended family and my own contribution to this is three children and eight grandchildren."
"My husband Jeff has two small business’s in town and we are both involved in much of the life of our town."
"My favourite hobby is sitting on the veranda having a wine and nibbles with my husband until it is too late to bother with dinner."

To contact Bronwyn, call 0448 124 016
DALE MURPHY

Roma Rural Financial Counsellor, Dale Murphy is a well-known face in the region.
Growing up at Yuleba, Dale, his wife Olivia and his two daughters and son  have only recently moved to Roma.
“I maintain a connection with the day-to-day operations of the family farm with weekend trips as often as time allows and I enjoy the balance the move has brought to the lives of my family and myself.”

Dale sees his role as a Rural Financial Counsellor in simple terms – he facilitates communication.
“Most farmers have a fairly good idea of what they want to do business wise.”
“I recognise that farmers are built to drive livestock and/or tractors, not computers and as such, a big part of my job is getting plans and ideas out of clients heads and onto paper in a way that bankers, accountants and financial stakeholders can best understand.

Dale has a Bachelor of Business (Agribusiness), a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting and Finance) and a Diploma of Financial Counselling.
He has also undertaken the MLA Business Edge, Mental Health First Aid Course, Domestic Violence Awareness training and the AIM – Negotiation Skills.
“I get a sense of satisfaction from observing a client become confident using spreadsheets to model their businesses financial performance.”


Contact Dale on 0408 790 087 or dale.murphy@rfcssq.org.au
KYLIE RADFORD

We're building the small business team and the timing is perfect.
So many small businesses are struggling right now, particularly in light of recent COVID19 trading restrictions.

Kylie Radford is our new Sunshine Coast Small Business Financial Counsellor.
Originally a country girl from Eulo, Kylie grew up on a sheep and cattle property.
“I’ve lived on the Sunshine Coast for twenty years but the country still remains in my heart.”
Kylie is looking forward to assisting small businesses to endure and achieve in challenging times.
She has spent her entire career focused on the financial side of business, including financial and administration management, banking and bookkeeping and has experience and knowledge across many small business industries.
“I appreciate how a business works,” she said.

Contact Kylie on 0429 525 406 or kylie.radford@rfcssq.org.au
 
CEO'S REPORT
Jenny Whip


As yet another month slips by and with the COVID-19 restrictions relaxing slightly, our team of counsellors will re-commence face to face consultations with their clients at the RFCSSQ offices. 

I have been amazed by the technological skills of our clients who have met with our team over internet meeting facilities and the telephone. 
The 'no contact meeting' concept has been embraced and will certainly be part of our delivery process in the future, especially when balancing high workloads or offering immediate assistance during natural disasters. 
Thank you to all our counsellors for changing their delivery practices to continue to provide quality assistance and thanks to our clients for engaging in new technologies to continue to work with the RFCSSQ.

Webinars have been offered as another opportunity to provide information on the government assistance packages currently available. 
During May, two webinars were delivered for both small business and rural producers. 
We recorded both webinars for those that were unable to attend.
Refer to news article above.

From next month and commencing firstly in rural and remote locations, RFCSSQ’s small business financial counsellors will be visiting as many small businesses as possible in their community. 
The service is keen to ensure businesses are provided with an introduction to their local small business financial counsellor and access to the information on the array of government support measures available. 
We understand our small businesses need to be on their premises to trade and assist their customers and we look forward to bringing our small business support to them.

There will be some more amendments to Farm Household Allowance from next month which may enable some of our rural producers to access this fortnightly hardship payment. 
More information will be provided in our June newsletter on these and other more recent changes which widens the accessibility for farmers to obtain this financial assistance.

I would like to encourage rural producers or small business operators to contact our team to discuss their business and the new assistance mechanisms to support them in the current times thereby insulating their businesses going forward. 
The RFCSSQ team look forward to your call either on 07 4622 5500 (Rural) or 1300 732 777 (Small Business).

Jenny

 
CHAIR'S REPORT
Karen Tully

“We think we can create a better Australia going forward. Everyone is really on board with this.
Things weren’t quite right before.
It’s a chance to hit the reset button, Control alt delete, and when you do that, you wouldn’t program in a two-hour commute.” 

Bernard Salt, Australian demographer.

Whilst in rural Australia, we may not have daily two-hour commutes, however, change in the CV-19 era is giving us the space and permission to do things differently. 
Is this the time to carefully examine facets of your personal life, your work life and our collective society and press ‘reboot’?

Does your small business or primary production enterprise need to make changes to survive and thrive in 2020 and beyond? 
Or do you simply wish to take advantage of the current state of uncertainty and flux to make changes? 
Can you realistically expect your daily life to return to ‘business as usual’ once restrictions are lifted? 
What will the future ‘new normal’ look like for you?

In 6 months or 12 months’ time, will your business be in a better shape than it is now? 
If you have been a recipient of stimulus support in the form of grants, loans, deferrals, or discounts, how will your business fare once the stimulus tap is turned off? 
Can your business realistically sustain itself in a holding pattern? 
Does it have the ability to grow during and after CV-19?

If you find yourself in the situation where you are asking yourself these type of questions, or you are being forced to make important decisions to ensure your business can continue or has the ability to adapt to changed operating circumstances, you might like to seek the support from a Rural Financial Counsellor or a Small Business Financial Counsellor.

 We have skilled professional people in your area who are ready to work with you to help you plan and prepare for change. 
Our services are free, impartial, and totally confidential. 
If you require assistance with your business ‘reboot’ to navigate into the future, why not contact the Rural Financial Counselling Service today? 

Karen

“Remember, the future depends on what you do today”.
Ghandi

 

 
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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42b Wyndham Street, Roma QLD 4455
Phone: 07 46 22 5500 Email: admin@rfcssq.org.au

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