INDEPENDENT charity Rural Business Support launched a new financial assistance program in Adelaide last week.
The RBS Relief Fund aims to provide 'practical and immediate relief to primary producers, foresters, fishers and small related agricultural enterprises in distress and at risk of poverty, financial distress or emotional hardship due to adverse events or natural disasters beyond their control'.
The event was also held to inform attendees how they could become involved as donors in the program, which is already strongly supported by the Wyatt Trust, Red Cross, Rotary and SACWA.
RBS chief executive officer Brett Smith said the past 3-4 years had been "particularly painful and damaging" across the rural landscape.
"Asking for help is the most important significant first step, but for many farmers, it is also the hardest."
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RBS board chair John Harvey said they had many programs, funded by state and federal governments, that helped farmers in need, but could often be bound by lengthy processes.
"Some of that bureaucracy means that RBS can't quite operate as quickly as we would like - we lacked was that immediate tool to help someone in need when they are first seen," he said.
"That's where the relief fund comes in - it's a mechanism that allows us to help immediately, while also introducing people to the sorts of services RBS can provide more longer-term."
Stock Journal's ALISHA FOGDEN was in attendance.
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