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Authority, purpose and direction

The RIC was established on 1 July 2018 and operates under the Regional Investment Corporation Act 2018 (the RIC Act).

The RIC is a corporate Commonwealth entity governed by an independent board appointed by, and accountable to, the Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management and the Minister for Finance.

Our purpose is to provide loans that support the growth and resilience in Australian farm businesses and rural and regional communities. Our functions under the RIC Act are:

Administration of farm business loans

On behalf of the Australian Government we administer farm loans to help farmers support their long-term strength, resilience, and profitability.

Administration of farm business loans includes:

  • providing such loans to farm businesses, subject to relevant lending criteria being satisfied
  • consulting with commercial lenders and other industry bodies representing persons likely to seek a loan
  • determining, in accordance with the strategies and policies decided by the Board, the terms and conditions on which approved loans are provided
  • managing approved loans

Administration of the NWILF

On behalf of the Australian Government we administer financial assistance to states and territories in relation to water infrastructure projects.

Administration of the NWILF includes:

  • liaising, negotiating, and cooperating with states and territories and other parties on possible water infrastructure projects
  • providing advice to responsible ministers on a water infrastructure project
  • implementing directions of the responsible ministers to enter into agreements, on behalf of the Australian Government, for the grant of financial assistance to states or territories in relation to water infrastructure projects
  • periodically reviewing financial assistance granted and the terms and conditions.

For the reporting period, two ministers were responsible for the RIC - the Hon. David Littleproud MP, Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management, and Senator the Hon. Mathias Cormann, Minister for Finance.

The RIC was subject to ministerial direction Regional Investment Corporation Operating Mandate Amendment (Drought Loans – Interest-free Period) Direction 2019. The RIC complied with this direction to give effect to the change to our Operating Mandate to allow for interest-free drought loans.

No government policy orders were issued to the RIC under section 22 of the PGPA Act during the reporting period.