Funding brought forward to help prepare for drought

The Albanese Government has brought forward $17.7 million from the Future Drought Fund (FDF) to progress essential activities to prepare farmers and communities alike for drought conditions.

Today’s announcement is in line with key recommendations from the recent Productivity Commission Inquiry into the effectiveness of the FDF.

This response comes only a few short weeks after the Treasurer, Dr Jim Chalmers, tabled the report in parliament.

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Murray Watt said this funding will improve the operation of the FDF while stakeholders provide their input on the next phase of investment under the fund.

“Conditions around the country are beginning to dry and our government is committed to making sure the FDF is working for farmers and communities before the drought arrives,” Minister Watt said.

“This funding will help farmers and regional communities continue to access information and services needed to inform their actions as they prepare for drought and drying conditions.

“This will include $10 million for a short-term extension to the Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hubs, and $4.8 million for the Climate Services for Agriculture program.

“There is a lot of good work underway, and the government hopes to maintain that momentum through this funding.”

Minister Watt said as the climate continues to change, the next drought certainly won’t be the last.

“We are also looking to the future to ensure we have the settings right to build long term drought resilience.

“The funding also includes $2.9 million to kick-start activities to evaluate key programs, better understand the needs of First Nations’ communities, and improve collaboration, information sharing and the way we measure success.

“We are also seeking stakeholder feedback to help inform future investment under the Fund.

“I encourage stakeholders to get involved and provide their ideas on how to better support farmers and regional communities prepare for future droughts.”

You can submit your feedback or register to attend a public meeting in a region near you, via:

Consultation commenced on 20 October 2023 and will close on 6 December 2023.