Regional Investment Corporation


The Regional Investment Corporation (RIC) was established on 1 July 2018 by the Regional Investment Corporation Act 2018 (RIC Act). The RIC is a corporate Commonwealth entity for the purpose of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013

The RIC Act sets out the Corporation’s purpose and functions and establishes arrangements for the Board, Chief Executive Officer and staff.

Purpose and Functions 

The RIC was established to administer concessional loans for farm businesses. The RIC’s purpose is to support the growth, resilience and sustainability of Australia’s agricultural economy on behalf of the Australian Government. 

The RIC’s function, as described in the RIC Act, is to administer farm business loans which includes and is not limited to:

  • 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.

Responsible Ministers

The Minister for Agriculture and the Minister for Finance are defined as responsible ministers under the RIC Act. The responsible ministers appoint members to the RIC Board and issue directions about the performance of the RIC’s functions or may provide directions on other specific matters such as farm business loans and water infrastructure projects.

Operating Mandate and Rules

Operating Mandate

The responsible ministers must provide directions about the performance of the RIC’s functions by issuing an Operating Mandate. The most recent operating mandate came into effect on 8 January 2021. The Operating Mandate contains matters set out in the RIC Act in relation to but not limited to:

  • objectives that the Corporation is to pursue in administering farm business loans, financial assistance in relation to water infrastructure projects or programs prescribed by the rules
  • expectations in relation to the strategies and policies to be followed for the effective performance of the Corporation’s functions
  • eligibility criteria for loans or financial assistance.

The RIC Operating Mandate is a legislative instrument, which is not subject to disallowance.


In addition to the Operating Mandate, responsible ministers may make rules prescribing matters relating to the RIC Act and prescribe future programs to be delivered by the RIC.

RulesDate in forcePurpose
Regional Investment Corporation (Agribusiness Natural Disaster Loans – 2019 North Queensland Flood) Rule 201914 June 2019
  • prescribes terms and conditions that the RIC may include in loans provided to farm businesses that have suffered direct damage as a result of the North Queensland floods of January and February 2019
Regional Investment Corporation (Small Business Drought Loans) Rule 20201 October 2020
  • allows for loans to be made available to drought-affected small businesses with a demonstrated dependency on farmers
Regional Investment Corporation (Drought Loans Expansion) Rule 20201 October 2020
Regional Investment Corporation (Agristarter Loans) Rule 20191 April 2020
  • allows for two new loans to be made by the RIC:
    • farmer loans which assist first farmers to purchase, establish or develop a farm business in which they hold or will hold the sole or a controlling interest
    • succession loans which will assist with succession arrangements in relation to farm businesses and assets
Regional Investment Corporation (Plantation Development Concessional Loans) Rules 20216 December 2021

The Rules are a legislative instrument, which is not subject to disallowance.

Board appointment and membership

The RIC Board consists of the Chair and at least 2, and no more than 4, other members who are appointed by the responsible ministers. Members are appointed on a part-time basis for a maximum term of 5 years, with the possibility of reappointment. Section 17 of the RIC Act specifies the appointment criteria for the Board.


Past reviews

A Statutory Review of the RIC was published in February 2021.

Future reviews

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry has appointed Dr Wendy Craik AM to undertake a review which is looking into the operation of the RIC Act after 30 June 2026.

Further information

For queries regarding the RIC investments, or if you are seeking funding from the RIC, please refer to the Regional Investment Corporation website.

Queries on policy matters regarding the RIC should be directed to the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, which has the primary portfolio responsibility for the RIC.

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