About 30 jobs will be created and economic benefits will flow after Orange was named as the headquarters for the federal government’s new Regional Investment Corporation [RIC].
Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce visited Orange on Tuesday morning to announce it had beaten six other regional centres to become the national hub for rural banking and finance.
We want to create a centre of excellence in rural financing and rural banking.
Nicknamed ‘Barnaby’s bank’, the RIC will co-ordinate delivery of $4 billion in concessional loans for farming and water infrastructure.
Mr Joyce said Orange was well-located and already had several key agricultural investment institutions.
“Orange has the capacity for a strong form of simpatico with other entities that are already here; Paraway Financing, the rural financing arm of the Macquarie Bank, the Department of Agriculture, the Rural Assistance Authority, so we have a skillset here we can build on.
BARNABY JOYCE BACKS ORANGE
“We want to create a centre of excellence in rural financing and rural banking in the Central West, in the city of Orange.”
Mr Joyce compared Orange to the American base for rural financing, Chicago.
“We are going to create that for Orange,” he said.
Orange mayor John Davis said council sought to attract government organisations.
“We’ve made submissions to the government and a recent Senate inquiry on decentralisation,” he said.
Regional Development Australia Central West deputy chairman Reg Kidd said there were flow-on benefits.
“This is great for our region, it is unbelievable,” he said.
“The knock-on effects, people who are coming into the area, they will stay overnight and eat somewhere.”
National Farmers Federation president Fiona Simson said streamlining the delivery of loans and funding would cut red tape that frustrated farmers.
“It just makes sense for all farm finance support to be handled by one federal agency,” she said.
When the RIC starts next year there will be 18-30 jobs created with more possible.