Immediate financial assistance available now for farming households and communities

January 22, 2019


Immediate financial assistance available now for farming households and communities

Federal Member for Wide Bay Llew O’Brien is encouraging drought affected farming families and employees in the South Burnett to access assistance through the Liberal Nationals Government’s $30 million Drought Community Support Initiative.


The practical Community Support packages of up to $3000 per household, including up to $2000 in cash and $1000 in vouchers, are being distributed to people in drought declared local government areas.

“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:

St Vincent de Paul:
Rotary Australia World Community Service:
Government drought support:
Region-based mental health services:
For immediate mental health support, you can contact:
  • 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 
New South Wales
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
South Australia
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
Wakefield                                    Wudinna

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