Immediate financial assistance available now for farming households and communities
“A fundamental part of this support is that vouchers are to be redeemed at local businesses,” Mr O’Brien said.
“This injection of money in rural and regional communities will help boost local businesses because it is not just farmers who are doing it tough during this crippling drought. Drought impacts on local businesses, their cash flow and their employees so this targeted assistance is important to them too.
“Supporting farming households, communities and businesses to help keep people living and working on the land and in their towns is critical to the health and prosperity of the entire country.
“Regional Australia accounts for around two-thirds of our nation’s exports and employs hundreds of thousands of Australians. The Liberal Nationals Government is backing the regions all the way, during the tough times as well as the good.”
Minister for Regional Services, and Nationals Senator for Victoria, Bridget McKenzie said getting practical support to those facing financial pressure because of the severe, long-term drought was a top priority.
“I am pleased to confirm the $30 million Drought Community Support Initiative is up and running,” Minister McKenzie said.
“It provides immediate assistance to at least 10,000 farming households facing hardship because of the drought.
“We are continuing to work with trusted not-for-profit organisations and I am pleased that The Salvation Army, St Vincent de Paul Society and Rotary Australia World Community Service are delivering this assistance on behalf of the Liberal & Nationals Government.
“These community organisations are experienced in delivering cash and vouchers and, importantly, can provide immediate relief across all of the eligible Local Government Areas.
To be eligible to receive this assistance, an individual from a household must be 18 years or older, a farmer, farm worker or farm supplier/contractor who lives or works in one of the 81 eligible Local Government Areas and suffering financial hardship as a result of the drought.
The Drought Community Support Initiative was announced by the Australian Government at the National Drought Summit on 26 October 2018.
The initiative is a stream under the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities’ Drought Communities Program, which supports the most drought-affected regions of Australia by funding eligible Local Government Areas for local infrastructure projects and other drought-relief activities.
The Liberal & Nationals Government has committed almost $7 billion for drought support including more than $25 million to improve mental health services in drought-affected areas.
For more information about eligibility and accessing support visit:
The Salvation Army:
- 24 hour assistance line: 02 8757 8088
- Assistance Line: 13 18 12
- Lifeline on 13 11 14
- Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800
- MensLine Australia on 1300 789 978
- Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467
Eligible Local Government Areas under the Drought Communities Programme – Drought Community Support Initiative
Armidale Regional Bega Valley Bland
Blayney Brewarrina Broken Hill
Bogan Bourke Cabonne
Carrathool Central Darling Cobar
Coonamble Dubbo Regional Forbes
Gilgandra Glen Innes Severn Shire Gunnedah
Gwydir Inverell Lachlan
Liverpool Plains Mid-Western Regional Moree Plains
Muswellbrook Narrabri Narrandera
Narromine Oberon Parkes
Tamworth Regional Tenterfield Unincorporated Far West
Upper Hunter Uralla Walcha
Walgett Warren Warrumbungle
Balonne Barcaldine Barcoo
Blackall Tambo Bulloo Boulia
Diamantina Flinders Goondiwindi
Lockyer Valley Longreach Maranoa
McKinlay Murweh Paroo
Richmond Quilpie Somerset
South Burnett Southern Downs Toowoomba
East Gippsland Wellington
Barunga West Ceduna Clare and Gilbert Valleys
Cleve Franklin Harbour Goyder
Karoonda East Murray Kimba Loxton Waikerie
Mid Murray Mount Remarkable Northern Areas
Orroroo/Carrieton Southern Mallee Streaky Bay