What we do

Rural Financial Counselling Services are:

  • Free, independent and confidential
  • Staffed by qualified and experienced Rural Financial Counsellors (RFCs) who understand farming and business – our RFCs are required to have a Diploma of Financial Counselling as minimum qualification, and have years of experience in assisting farming businesses
  • For primary producers of livestock, milk, honey, fruit, crops, wool, meat, vegetables, eggs, fish, plants, trees and logs
  • For small businesses who mainly support primary production such as: fencing, shearing sheep, controlling weeds or agricultural pests, managing stock, planting crops etc.
  • Able to assist farm or small agribusinesses experiencing or at risk of financial hardship
  • Able to come to your place of business or you can come and see us.

Assistance when

Rural Financial Counselling Services can assist businesses affected by:

  • Drought/water issues
  • Low commodity prices
  • Natural disasters
  • Structural adjustment
  • Industry downturns
  • Low equity/tight cash flow
  • Difficulties with lenders or access to finance
  • Unpaid creditors/debtors
  • Market disruptions
  • Changes in personal circumstances
  • Farm accidents or illness
  • Share farming/succession agreements/ contracts.

How can we help you

Rural Financial Counselling Services can help you:

  • Understand your financial position and the viability of your enterprise
  • Identify options to improve your financial position
  • Develop a plan to implement your chosen options, and implement that plan
  • Provide information, referrals, and support to access, government or industry grants and programs
  • Assist you to deal (whether through meetings or otherwise) with lending institutions in relation to:
    • Applications and contracts with those institutions; and
    • Processes relating to farm debt mediation
  • Assist you to identify the need for advice from professional service providers, and provide support with preparation for meetings with professional service providers.


NE Regional Soil Health Conference

NECMA conference

North East Regional Soil Health Conference - 14 May 2021 at Beechworth is for ALL land managers, agriculture industry groups and soil health service providers in North East Victoria.
Read more ...

Farm Finance getting prepared 2021 Webinar

Farm Finance

The team at the Young Farmer Business Network have put together a series of sessions designed to build skills in financial planning and business resilience for your farm business.
Read more ...
blog rru
Regional Round-up is a monthly newsletter providing an overview into the environmental and business conditions affecting farmers and rural businesses in the Goulburn Valley and North East Victoria.

Appalling weather conditions dominated the NE region throughout January with a number of major fires affecting large areas of the Towong, Alpine, Wangaratta and Mansfield LGAs. A considerable area of both public and private land has been burnt resulting in an unquantifiable cost across all sectors of the regional economy.
There has also been extensive indirect damage from the fires on the regions wine industry due to smoke taint. The most recent estimates are that possibly 90% of the grapes in the North East wine regions will not be harvested this year.
Near Myrtleford approximately 2,400 ha of pine plantations were burnt.
The full impact on small business due to a dramatic decline in tourists is difficult to quantify.
The stress on all families dealing with 3 weeks of smoke pollution and the uncertainty of potentially getting burnt has been telling.
Water quality in some burnt areas is also an issue.
The rain which followed up caused large areas of top soil lost and black water.


Forty dairy farmers in region effected by bushfire had to dump milk over a 48 hour period due to road closures. Both major milk processors in the region agreed to pay to for all dumped milk.
The Water for Fodder program was extremely popular, but unfortunately saw only 1 in 5 applications being successful.
The good milk price being offered by processors has helped many farmers be more optimistic about the future, especially if they own their own water. The Temporary Water price and therefore money spent on purchased fodder, are still the main drivers of industry pain.
Dairy farmers continue to exit the industry, with an RFC reporting that a local smart and successful young farmer selling the dairy herd but remaining on land.
RFCs are reporting that banks are reducing their lending whilst the drought continues. There are also some dairy farmers out there evaluating options of expanding their businesses and/or being proactive and not looking to exit. Some clients have included seeking information to support new share-farming contract, assessing merits of buying another farm and/or out-block, succession planning, and referral for guidance on financial planning to minimise tax implications and how best to fund their retirement. This has shown that there are dairy businesses out there still viable, and optimistic about the future. The common denominator with these farms is that they tend to have lower debt levels and/or own significant amounts of water.
High feed prices, high water prices and cash flow remain issues for dairy farming clients.
Dairy herds continue to be reduced.
Farmers struggle with temperatures in 40’s putting pressure on feed stocks as they try to maintain production. There has been reports of some herds’ milk production dropping due to fodder availability and climatic conditions.
RFCs continue to identify exhausted dairy farmers currently operating temporary mixed ration systems in lieu of pasture based systems.


Harvest yields were slightly below average, however elevated grain/hay prices have meant that gross margins have been strong.
Croppers are now focusing on what they will sow given recent rains and likely prices.
Hay sales have reportedly quietened during past couple of weeks. This is believed to be due to considerable rainfall in northern NSW and QLD.
Cropping contractors are concerned about the lack of forward planning by farming clients, finance for crops and available soil moisture are all posing concern
With some reasonable rainfall this month farmers will have to start spraying for summer weeds. A local Goulburn Valley agronomist suggested this summer is the quietest season he can recall due to the absence irrigated summer crop activity.


Sheep prices still looking good.
The very hot and dry summer has put pressure on stock water, with many dry dams.
Areas that had good spring growth (foothills and valleys) have led on to a very good source of dry feed for livestock. This dry pasture has been a great benefit to many areas and has reduced pressure on supplementary feeding.


Large numbers of beef cattle and sheep have been moved to agist out from the Upper Murray, with a number also having to be slaughtered. It is believed that hay will run short in the Upper Murray in the near future.
Rainfall will bring new life back to pasture still in rotation, however it may do more harm than good due to weed strike.
Hill areas with high stocking rates are noticeably bare and is prone to erosion during recent heavy rainfall events.
Graziers continue to receive good prices at market for sales in January.


The Goulburn system continues to track at average to dry and the estimated allocation is 70%. The Weighted Average Price for allocation water traded in the Goulburn for the month of December was $590 and for January was $675. High prices have seen a decline in demand with water traded in January, almost half (27,687 MegL) against the same period in the previous season.
Rainfall in January provided a much needed morale boost to farmers in the GMID and saved pasture watering, but will also grow weeds.

Irrigators want clearer information about the future plan for water to have business confidence.

Service Area Map

rfcs vic ne region map

Local Government Areas

The RFCS VIC-NE Region includes the following Local Government Areas;

  • Alpine
  • Benalla
  • Campaspe
  • Greater Shepparton
  • Indigo
  • Mansfield
  • Mitchell
  • Moira
  • Murrindindi
  • Strathbogie
  • Towong
  • Wangaratta
  • Whittlesea
  • Wodonga

Call 1300 834 775 to find out what assistance we may be able to provide you, or make an appointment with one of our experienced Rural Financial Counsellors.

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Contact Us

Rural Financial Counselling Service Victoria - North East.

102 Hume Street

Wodonga VIC 3689

PHONE: 1300 834 775


FAX: (02) 6100 6123