New national rural finance hub in Central West

BOUNTY: Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce announces that Orange will become the rural banking hub in Robertson Park on Tuesday. Photo: JUDE KEOGH

BOUNTY: Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce announces that Orange will become the rural banking hub in Robertson Park on Tuesday. Photo: JUDE KEOGH

The headquarters for the federal government’s new Regional Investment Corporation [RIC] will be in Orange and will create about 30 jobs.

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce said Orange had beaten six other regional centres to become the national hub for rural banking and finance.

Nicknamed ‘Barnaby’s bank’, the RIC will co-ordinate delivery of $4 billion in concessional loans for farming and water infrastructure.

Mr Joyce said Orange was well-located and already had several key agricultural investment institutions.

“Orange has the capacity for a strong form of simpatico with other entities that are already here; Paraway Financing,  the rural financing arm of the Macquarie Bank, the Department of Agriculture, the Rural Assistance Authority, so we have a skillset here we can build on.

“We want to create a centre of excellence in rural financing and rural banking in the Central West, in the city of Orange.”

Regional Development Australia Central West deputy chairman Reg Kidd said there were flow-on benefits.

“This is great for our region, it is unbelievable,” he said.

“The knock-on effects, people who are coming into the area, they will stay overnight and eat somewhere.”

National Farmers Federation president Fiona Simson said streamlining the delivery of loans and funding would cut red tape that frustrated farmers. “It just makes sense for all farm finance support to be handled by one federal agency.” 

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