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Drought Communities Programme


The Drought Communities Programme (DCP) is designed to deliver benefits in targeted drought affected regions of Australia.  The Australian Government is providing $35 million over four years, commencing in 2015-16, to fund local infrastructure initiatives that provide employment for people whose work opportunities have been impacted by drought.

Funding will be targeted at projects that stimulate local community spending, use local resources, businesses and suppliers, and/or provide a long-lasting benefit to communities and the agricultural industries on which they depend.

Funding will be directed to declared local government areas.

Eligible Projects

Eligible projects must relate to economic, social and cultural infrastructure; safety and accessibility upgrades; and/or town facility developments and upgrades.

Projects will need to demonstrate they expect to:

  • lead to the employment of locals, with a focus on employing farmers and/or farm staff/labourers/contractors); and/or
  • contribute to the economic activity of communities/regions; and/or
  • lead to the retention of businesses, services and facilities.

Declared Councils

Declared Councils that can receive funding under the DCP are those specified by the Minister for Regional Development in consultation with the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources.

Funding will initially focus on the following Councils: Balonne, Barcaldine, Barcoo, Blackall Tambo, Boulia, Bulloo, Burke, Carpentaria, Diamantina, Flinders, Longreach, McKinlay, Murweh, Paroo, Quilpie, Richmond and Winton in Queensland; Brewarrina, Coonamble and Walgett in New South Wales; and Buloke, West Wimmera and Yarriambiack in Victoria.

Additional Councils

The Minister for Regional Development, in consultation with the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, can consider approving further Declared Councils (Additional Councils) under the DCP at their discretion.

The Programme does not create an entitlement for all drought-affected Councils to receive funding.  Programme funding is capped at $35 million, and once that ceiling is reached through additional Councils being added to the list of Declared Councils, then no other approvals are possible, without a further consideration of the Programme’s parameters by the Australian Government.

Programme Funding

The Programme will provide up to $35.0 million [$12 million in 2015‑16, $13 million in 2016-17, $5 million in 2017‑18 and $5 million in 2018‑19].

Declared Councils will each receive total payments of $1.5 million.

Drought Communities Programme Guidelines PDF: 153 KB ReadSpeaker 


Last Updated: 27 March, 2017