Government's national farming loans hub will be based in the CBD

PLANNING: Regional Investment Corporation acting CEO Matt Ryan and chair David Foster in Cook Park in June.
PLANNING: Regional Investment Corporation acting CEO Matt Ryan and chair David Foster in Cook Park in June.

The federal government’s rural bank for farming loans is set to be based in Kite Street.

Regional Investment Corporation (RIC) acting CEO Matt Ryan told the Central Western Daily the organisation was finalising negotiations with the landlord to lease the CBD offices.

Mr Ryan said he could not name the exact address until talks were completed.

The RIC, nicknamed Barnaby’s bank after then-Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce announced 15 months ago its national headquarters would be set up in Orange, has made slow progress.

However, Mr Ryan said a lot of work was being done behind the scenes to have the RIC up and running in Orange by December.

“We’re close to signing on the lease, we have an in-principle agreement in place,” he said.

“We’ve got local architects on the layout.”

Mr Ryan said the RIC wanted a CBD location in Orange as “we want to be prominent”.

We've got local architects on the layout.

Matt Ryan, RIC Acting CEO

He said the RIC board was considering applications for the position of CEO, which was advertised on July 22.

“It’s pretty close, very close, I’m not involved in that process, that’s being managed by the board,” he said.

Mr Ryan said he expected that once the CEO was confirmed up to 30 staff positions, ranging from finance to human relations and lending services, would be offered.

“We expect to start advertising next month,” he said.

People from Orange would be able to apply for the jobs.

The RIC began operations on July 1 in Canberra with staff seconded from other departments.

“We’ve focussed on the establishment, getting things in place,” he said.

“It’s taken a little bit of time.

“We have always said we are going to Orange, there’s a ready workforce there.”

Mr Ryan said the RIC had received about 30 applications, most from NSW, from farmers seeking concessional loans for drought relief and farming investment.

The RIC can loan up to $2 million per application with $500 million to be allocated this year.

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