Future Drought Fund Consultative Committee

17 September 2019

•    Consultative Committee will seek input from stakeholders for a Drought Resilience Funding Plan
•    Ensures Future Drought Fund used for the best drought resilience measures

A group of eminent Australians has been established to help deliver $100 million in drought resilience and preparedness programs to communities every year through the Future Drought Fund.

Minister for Drought David Littleproud announced the Future Drought Fund Consultative Committee as an important milestone in taking action on drought. 

The committee will now develop the Drought Resilience Funding Plan for the Fund, which begins with a $3.9 billion credit that will grow to $5 billion. 

“The Australian Government is getting on with the job of building nationwide drought resilience,” Minister Littleproud said.

“The Future Drought Fund was established to give drought-prone Australians the best tools to plan and prepare for drought and sustain their livelihoods and communities. 

“To ensure best use of the Future Drought Fund, the Consultative Committee will seek input directly from drought-vulnerable communities for the Drought Resilience Funding Plan.

“This committee is made up of people with track records of success in agricultural economics, managing climate risk, rural and regional development and natural resource management.

“What’s more – they come from rural and regional communities across Australia and the committee is 80% women.”

Chair, Mr Brent Finlay, and committee members Dr Kate Andrews, Dr Wendy Craik AM, Dr Elizabeth Peterson and Ms Caroline Welsh will begin their work in Canberra later this month. 

Background:

Mr Brent Finlay has over 40 years’ experience in agriculture with a strong record of representing myriad interests across the agricultural sector as well as developing drought resilience measures. In addition to running a manufacturing, importing and retailing business; he has led AgForce, the National Farmers Federation and Traprock Wool Association.

Dr Wendy Craik AM is a leading independent policy advisor renowned for her contributions to natural resource management and water reform. She is currently Chair of the Climate Change Authority and has roles with the Reserve Bank of Australia, the Australian Farm Institute, and the NSW Maine Estate Management Authority among others.

Dr Kate Andrews has an excellent reputation for her collaborations across communities, government organisations and research institutions – applying science to advance agriculture and natural resource management. She is the director of Agrifutures and previously led Australia’s only community designed and run cross-border NRM organisation, the Lake Eyre Basin Coordinating Group. 

Dr Elizabeth Peterson specialises in agricultural, environmental and fisheries economics where she applies a range of analytical tools to produce valuable research. She is an adjunct senior lecturer at the School of Agriculture at the University of Western Australia. 

Ms Caroline Welsh has extensive experience successfully applying science-based research to broadacre farming and irrigated horticulture – including roles with GWMWater, Lodden Mallee Regional Development Australia Committee, Department of Primary Industries and Birchip Cropping Group.

Fast facts:

  • The Future Drought Fund Consultative Committee and public consultation will inform the Drought Resilience Funding Plan. 
  • The Drought Resilience Funding Plan:
    • will guide investment decisions on specific drought resilience projects.
    • will be reviewed every four years.
  • The Future Drought Fund begins with an initial credit of $3.9 billion with earnings to be reinvested until the balance reaches $5 billion, expected to be over the next decade. 
  • The Fund provides $100 million every year from 1 July 2020, for new investment in drought resilience and preparedness.
  • The Fund will support a range of drought resilience measures including:
    • research and innovation
    • new technology
    • better environmental and natural resource management
    • infrastructure
    • community initiatives