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National Rural Advisory Council (NRAC)

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​About NRAC

On 15 December 2014 the Minister for Finance, Senator the Hon. Mathias Cormann, announced that as part of the Australian Government’s Smaller Government Reforms the NRAC would merge with the Agricultural Industry Advisory Council (AIAC).

NRAC​ ceased operating on 30 June 2015.

​NRAC annual reports

NRAC annual r​eports from 2005-06 through to 2009-10 are available by contacting the department.

​Previous NRAC work

Review of the Rural Financial Counselling Service

The Minister for Agriculture, the Hon. Barnaby Joyce MP, tasked NRAC with undertaking a review of the Rural Financial Counselling Service (RFCS) in May 2014. NRAC’s report was released by the Minister for Agriculture on 10 November 2014.
NRAC was tasked with assessing the agricultural and fisheries sectors’ need for the service, the effectiveness and efficiency of the RFCS program and its future role.

On 25 February 2015 the Minister for Agriculture, the Hon. Barnaby Joyce MP, announced the government’s response to the NRAC review of the RFCS after seeking feedback from state governments and current providers.

The government has accepted 26 of NRAC’s 33 recommendations in full, including ongoing support for the programme.
The government has agreed in part with four recommendations:

  • Local experience and previous RFCS board experience should also be considered as part of establishing boards (recommendation 2).
  • The government has accepted the management arrangements of recommendation 3 but does not see a need to limit the role of executive officers.
  • The government considers the 80-20 split in recommendation 8 is too high and instead wants to pursue a 90-10 split.
  • The government has accepted the need for eligibility criteria to be clarified (recommendation 11) but wants to allow providers some discretion in taking on new clients and retaining existing clients in line with programme objectives.

The government has rejected three recommendations of the NRAC:

  • A 20 per cent reduction in funding (recommendation 33).
  • Mandating single state providers (recommendation 7).
  • Implementing mechanisms for industry contributions (recommendation 26). The government has requested this be investigated as part of progress of a national farm debt mediation scheme.

Programme changes will be included in the next funding round for the RFCS programme.

Agricultural insurance products including multi-peril crop insurance and its feasibility in Australia

NRAC conducted an assessment of agricultural insurance products including multi peril crop insurance (MPCI) and its feasibility in Australia.

The findings were released by the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry on 11 October 2012.

Details of the full report can be found on the department's website.

The effectiveness of the Farm Management Deposits Scheme

NRAC conducted an assessment of the effectiveness of the Farm Management Deposits Scheme.

The findings were released by the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry on 26 April 2013. Details of the full report can be found on the department's website.​

Agricultural employers’ workforce planning capabilities

NRACconducted an assessment of agricultural employers’ workforce planning capabilities to ensure they are meeting the training and development needs of their workforce.

The findings were released by the department on 3 January 2014. See the Report on the workforce planning capabilities of agricultural employers.

For further information contact

NRAC Secretariat
Department of Agriculture and Water Resources
GPO Box 858
Canberra ACT ​2601

Email: NRAC Secretariat