Nats continue successful drive to decentralisation
As part of the 2017 Budget funding strategies for regional Australia, The Nationals delivered on their election promise and announced the establishment of the Regional Investment Corporation (RIC).
The media have already termed it the “Barnaby Bank”.
This Corporation will administer nearly $4 billion in funding to benefit farmers and regional centres, including the delivery of more consistent farm business loan assessments and the National Water Infrastructure Loan Facility.
Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce along with fellow National and Federal Member for Calare Andrew Gee further announced last week that the RIC was to be located in Orange, a regional centre of 40,000 people which is now generating some $1.7 billion in gross annual agricultural production.
Orange is already home to the NSW Department of Primary Industries, the NSW Rural Assistance Authority and is the headquarters of Macquarie Bank’s Paraway Pastoral enterprise.
Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce said it was a move that simply made sense.
“Locating the RIC in Orange makes sense, building on the existing base of agricultural investment institutions in the city… Establishing the RIC here will present new growth opportunities for the city and surrounding area, creating expanded career pathways for regional people.”
Federal Member for Calare and fellow National Andrew Gee has welcomed the decision.
“I am excited to see that the RIC will open here in Orange in 2018, bringing with it about 30 skilled jobs initially, with the capacity to grow as needed,” Mr Gee said.
Labor has already promised to scrap the RIC should it win government.
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