Support for those affected by drought

Local News

Our drought affected farmers and communities are doing it tough, with conditions likely to deteriorate going into summer.

The Federal Government is acting to help them get through the problems of right now, and prepare for the future.

The National Drought Agreement was signed by the Prime Minister and Premiers on 12 December 2018 following the National Drought Summit, and sets out the approach governments are taking.

The Federal Government is doing its part by looking after our farmers and communities, while states and territories are responsible for ensuring animal welfare and land management issues. The Australian Defence Force (ADF) continue to provide significant support to firefighting operations, including aerial fire reconnaissance, logistical support such as ground transport, accommodation and meals, and re-fuelling and water re-supply of firefighting aircraft.

Immediate support for farmers; measures to support farmers right now and keep them going until the drought breaks        

  1. Building Better Regions Fund grants (applications closed 19 Dec 2019) – $200m
  2. Farm Household Allowance over $365m
  3. Water for Fodder Program – providing discounted water at $100 per megalitre for the production of fodder, silage and pasture. Applications open NOW 
  4. Rural Financial Counselling Service $5m
  5. Business Energy Advice Program $11.5m
  6. Combating weed and pests impacts $25m
  7. Great Artesian Basin drought resilience $27.6m
  8. Regional weather and climate guides $2.7m
  9. Bureau of Meteorology radars $28.1m
  10. FarmHub on the NFF website $774,400
  11. Empowering our Communities, Connecting Youth Awareness-raising initiative and Telehealth services $29.4m
  12. CWA financial aid to farmers suffering hardship $5m
  13. National Drought Map $4.2m
  14. Drought Community Support Initiative providing up to $3,000 to eligible households experiencing hardship $65.4m
  15. Farm Management Deposit Scheme (inc accelerated fodder storage asset depreciation) $75m
  16. Regional Investment Corporation Loans to help farmers prepare for, manage, and recover from drought $1b

Immediate support for farming communities; support for the communities that depend on our farmers and are the heart of this country

  1. *Bushfire response* – The compulsory call-out of Australian Defence Force Reserve Brigades – the first time in Australia’s history
  2. *Bushfire response* – Deployment of ADF resources from Sept 2019, including 2,000 personnel deployed to support with logistics, evacuations, catering, accommodation and clearing; Air Force helping transport firefighters, Defence bases being used as refuelling and staging sites and HMAS Albatross assisting with water and fire retardant reloading. 
  3. Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal grants to not-for-profit and community groups $15m
  4. Drought Communities Programme Extension for local projects to provide employment and support local businesses ($1m per local council)
  5. Pilot rural financial counselling service (financial planning, mentoring and coaching) $7m
  6. On-farm emergency water infrastructure rebates $50m
  7. Koala hospital funding $3m

Long term resilience and preparedness; initiatives to build up our resilience and ability to withstand drought periods in the long term

Establishment of the National Drought and North Queensland Flood Response and Recovery Agency to oversee Federal Government support to communities undergoing hardship

Future Drought Fund to boost future drought resilience, preparedness and response across Australia $5bn

National Water Grid Authority established 1 Oct 2019 $100m

Aerial firefighting fleet $11m (on top of the $15m provided each year)

$3.5b to build dams, weirs and pipelines:

QLD Rookwood Weir; Emu Swamp Dam; Hughenden Irrigation Scheme; Warwick Recycled Water for Agriculture project; Mareeba-Dimbulah Water

NSW Dungowan Dam; Wyangala Dam

VIC Sunraysia Modernisation Project

VIC East Grampians Water Supply Project; Macalister Irrigation District Modernisation; South West Loddon Rural Water Supply Project; Mitiamo & District Reticulated Water Supply Scheme

SA Northern Adelaide Irrigation Scheme; McLaren Vale Treated Water Storage; Coolanie Water Scheme

WA Myalup-Wellington Project; Southern Forests Irrigation Scheme

TAS Scottsdale Irrigation Scheme; Tasmanian Irrigation Tranch 3


Drought preparedness - Ted O'Brien MP

Please download details of the Government drought response below:

Drought - Ted O'Brien MP



Droght response plan - Ted O'Brien MP












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