Recent funding cuts to the central west Rural Financial Counselling Services mean that the Coonabarabran office will close. Agriculture Minister, Barnaby Joyce, says that while overall funding to the RFC has increased, local providors make the decision which offices stay open.

In addition to Coonabarabran, offices will close in Coonamble, Cowra, Lake Cargelligo, Parkes and West Wyalong. The National Party Member for Calare said funding would be redirected back to the offices should a big need arise.

Opposition Labor member Joel Fitzgibbon says the cut is a slap in the face for farmers doing it tough.

“I make an appeal to him at this time of very, very serious drought, this is not the place to come looking for savings.” he said.

A $700,000 transitional fund will be made available to the central west Financial Service while it winds down.

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