Here’s what’s happening in rural communities around Australia
The number of rural development loans has grown by more than 50% in the past three years, with more than half of the loans being given to the most disadvantaged communities in Australia.
The Government’s Rural Development Loan Guarantee program has also seen a surge in applications for loans, with almost 400,000 people receiving a loan this year.
The latest figures from the Federal Government’s rural development bank show the rural community development loan application process is up by more then 80% since the end of last year, with about half of those applications approved.
“It’s a very welcome news and a testament to the resilience of communities across Australia, particularly those in remote and remote-eastern areas,” Rural Development Minister Brendan Nelson said.
“I want to thank the community development banks for their continuing support to the rural communities that we’re targeting to help meet the challenges of the 21st century.”
“We are confident that we will continue to support communities and our rural economy in their drive towards sustainable development.”
In addition to helping people achieve financial security, rural development is also a key way to provide job opportunities to Australians in remote communities.
In 2015, the Government announced that it would introduce a new Rural Jobs Guarantee to ensure that unemployed people could receive jobs in the rural economy.
“This is a really good thing,” Mr Nelson said, “but it’s also a really important thing to remember, particularly in remote, remote-southern communities.”
“There’s a real need to create jobs in these areas.”
In 2016, the Rural Development Commission found that rural development was the “most important source of employment” in remote areas.
“The most important thing we need to do in rural Australia is to create a pathway to employment,” Mr Sargent said.
Mr Suddaby also noted that rural employment has been shown to have a strong impact on people’s quality of life, with a strong link to rural living.
“You’ve got to have good jobs to get on the housing ladder,” he said.
The Federal Government has also committed to a new rural development strategy that will help rural communities develop more sustainable solutions for the environment and food security.
This will include developing a comprehensive framework for sustainable development in rural areas.
A national plan to improve rural development includes setting up a new National Rural Development Strategy to help guide development of the region, as well as a new regional plan.