Ministers for the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities The Hon Michael McCormack MP Deputy Prime MinisterMinister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie Minister for Regional ServicesMinister for SportMinister for Local Government and Decentralisation The Hon Alan Tudge MP Minister for Cities, Urban Infrastructure and Population The Hon Sussan Ley MP Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories The Hon Andrew Gee MP Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister The Hon Andrew Broad MP Former Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister The Hon Scott Buchholz MP Assistant Minister for Roads and Transport The Hon Barnaby Joyce MPFormer Deputy Prime MinisterFormer Minister for Infrastructure and Transport The Hon Dr John McVeigh MPFormer Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government The Hon Keith Pitt MPFormer Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister The Hon Damian Drum MPFormer Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister Senator the Hon Fiona Nash Former Minister for Regional DevelopmentFormer Minister for Local Government and Territories The Hon Darren Chester MP Former Minister for Infrastructure and TransportFormer A/g Minister for Regional DevelopmentFormer A/g Minister for Local Government and Territories The Hon Warren Truss MP Former Deputy Prime Minister Former Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development The Hon Paul Fletcher MP Former Minister for Urban Infrastructure and Cities The Hon Jamie Briggs MP Former Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development

Drought assistance extended to help more communities in need

Media Release

BM007/2019

27 March 2019

The Liberal and Nationals Government is continuing to back regional Australia through a further $15 million extension to the Drought Communities Programme, with 15 additional councils now eligible to apply for funding under the program.

Minister for Regional Services, Sport, Local Government and Decentralisation Bridget McKenzie said the extension brought the total funding for drought relief projects in the worst-affected local government areas to $96 million.

“We have identified which local government areas across Australia are the most drought-affected, taking into account Bureau of Meteorology data and the proportion of the workforce employed in the agriculture, forestry and fisheries sector to assess the impact of drought in the region,” Minister McKenzie said.

“As a result of this review, 15 more councils were identified to be heavily drought-affected, taking the total number of councils eligible for this program from 81 to 96.”

Minister McKenzie said the newly eligible councils span across New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania.

“These councils will have until the end of 2019 to apply for and complete their projects,” she said.

“We know that drought is felt as hard on the main street as it is in the back paddock which is why our drought response is designed to help farmers as well as the towns and communities that surround them.

“Our Government is backing local communities to deliver local projects to drive more jobs in the communities doing it tough.

“The Drought Communities Programme has a track record of getting it done, and this is another way the Liberal and Nationals Government is tackling drought, and working together with local communities.

“This funding targets some of the worst hit areas, making it possible for councils to implement important infrastructure projects and other drought-relief activities.”

Funding has been used for a wide variety of projects that assist farmers and residents such as the Bollon Town Common Fencing Upgrade, which will renew fences for better management of stock close to main roads in the Balonne Shire, and the Unsealed Road Infrastructure Upgrade, which will install water filling stations closer to farmers and upgrading cattle grids in the Tamworth Shire.

Becoming eligible for the DCP Extension also enables farmers, farm workers and suppliers/contractors ito apply for the Drought Community Support Initiative (DCSI).

The DCSI provides up to $3,000 per eligible drought-affected household. Arrangements are being finalised to ensure this valuable support can become available as soon as possible through providers including St Vincent de Paul and The Salvation Army.

Further information on the program and a list of eligible councils is avialble at https://www.business.gov.au/assistance/drought-communities-programme.