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TAS Country : April 7th 2011
Friday, April 8, 2011 Tasmanian Country 3 News Farm finance help teeters RFCS chief makes plea for funding KAROLIN MacGREGOR Continued Page 10 TASMANIA'S Rural Financial Counselling Service may be forced out of operation if the Federal Government does not renew its funding commit- ment by the middle of the year. The service, which plays a vital role in helping Tasmanian farmers though difficult periods, will no longer be able to function after June 30 without the $460,000 of annual Federal Government funding it needs to operate. RFCS state chairman Bruce Wil- liams said the service, which was originally established through Rural Youth in 1986, plays a crucial role in helping Tasmanians in rural areas each year. ''It's important for people and government to understand the work that we actually do,'' he said. ''The service received quite a lot of focus during the recent drought period, and that allowed us to expand a little, but we'd been working in rural com- munities and with farmers for a long time before that.'' The RFCS provides free and confi- dential financial counselling to agricul- tural producers and families across the state who may be experiencing diffi- culties, especially in times of drought and flood. Mr Williams said he feared that if the RFCS was not adequately funded thou- sands of people nationally would be left without access to qualified financial counsellors, at a time when climate variability was creating more and more challenges. FIRM FRIENDSHIPS: New Rural Youth state president Katie Coad and fellow Rural Youth members Helen Gill, Martin McConnon and Katie Crane. Picture: BRUCE MOUNSTER New chief up for the challenge KAROLIN MacGREGOR GETTING involved with Tasmanian Rural Youth has been a life-changing experience for Katie Coad and as the organisation's new state president she is keen to get new members on board. A long-time Rural Youth member, Mrs Coad loves a challenge and said she was looking forward to her year at the helm of the organisation. Mrs Coad grew up at Levendale where her parents had a small property. ''Dad did livestock cartage so I was always going to the sales with him,'' Mrs Coad said. ''My cousin was in Rural Youth and I'd always wanted to join, but I didn't really know how.'' Mrs Coad eventually joined the organisation in 2003 and it was through Rural Youth that she met her husband, Anthony Coad. The couple now have two girls, one just a 10-week-old baby. Mrs Coad said there were quite a number of couples in Rural Youth that had met through the organisation. ''The social side of it and the friendships you develop are probably one of the best things about Rural Youth because some of the people you meet will go on to be lifelong friends,'' she said. While Rural Youth is often associated with rural communities and farming families, Mrs Coad said the organisation was open to everyone and had a lot to offer people from urban areas as well. ''I guess that's the message I want to try and get out there while I'm president, is that you don't have to be off a farm to get involved and in fact a lot of our current members are not from farms,'' she said. ''We just want anyone who's interested.'' Mrs Coad said becoming involved with Rural Youth also allowed young people to develop new skills. ''Rural Youth has a definite ladder of success, so the more experience you get the further up the ladder you can go,'' she said. ''When I first joined I had absolutely no idea how to run a meeting or take minutes, but they're things you can learn along the way if you want to.'' Rural Youth also provides opportunities for members to visit other countries on sponsored study tours. Like many volunteer organisations, in the past few years the number of new Rural Youth members joining up has been declining. Mrs Coad said this was something she was determined to change. ''We would like to see more new members coming into Rural Youth and I think creating a bit more awareness about the organisation and what we do is probably something we need to work on,'' she said. Extinosad Pour-On is Australia's No. 1 lice control for sheep. Knockdown control of lice Kills resistant strains1 Can be used off-shears or long wool Nil wool WHP and minimal ESI Low volume, water based formulation For more information contact your reseller or Elanco. Dead fast. Dead easy. 1800 226 324 www.elanco.com.au 1BF9001 *Elanco , Extinosad and the diagonal colour bar are trademarks of Eli Lilly and Company. EAH2003
March 31st 2011
April 14th 2011