Rural Financial Counselling Service (RFCS)

​​The Australian Government has extended the period farmers and their partners can receive Farm Household Allowance from three to four years. The extra time will give Australian farmers facing hardship more breathing space to implement plans to become financially self-sufficient so they are better placed to sustain their farming businesses.

The additional year of assistance will come into effect from 1 August 2018. In the meantime, please call the Farmer Assistance Hotline 132 316 for assistance.

The Australian Government has committed more than $70 million to the RFCS program (from 1 April 2016 to 30 June 2020) this includes $17 million to extend the 12 national Rural Financial Counselling Service providers’ contracts to 30 June 2020 and a funding boost of almost $3.4 million to ensure the RFCS has the right number of counsellors in the right places, at the right time.

Eligible client groups include farmers, fishing enterprises, forestry growers and harvesters, and small, related businesses. There are 12 service providers across Australia that employ rural financial counsellors to assist clients in need. The RFCS is funded by the Australian, State and Northern Territory Governments. It delivers intensive, individualised support to each client without them having to pay.

Australia rural financial ​counselling service map PDF​  [836 KB, 1 page]

How can the RFCS help your business

Rural financial counsellors can:

  • help identify your financial and business options
  • help negotiate with your lenders
  • help you develop an action plan
  • help support you to access the Farm Household Allowance (FHA)
  • give you information about government and other assistance schemes
  • refer you to accountants, agricultural advisers and educational services
  • refer you to Department of Human Services and to professionals for succession planning, family mediation and personal, emotional and social counselling.

Rural financial counsellors do not provide family, emotional or social counselling or financial advice—but they can provide referrals and information.

Counsellors provide financial options and support to help farmers make the right decision for their business.

Find a rural financial counsellor

To get the details of your nearest rural financial counsellor, select your state below or phone 1800 686 175.

Contact details

Rural Financial Counselling Service
Department of Agriculture and Water Resources
GPO Box 858
Canberra ACT 2601

Email RFCS
Call 1800 686 175 for queries relating to the RFCS.​​