Eligible families are urged to access much-needed vouchers and cash from 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 across drought-affected parts of Australia.
A fundamental part of this support is that vouchers are to be redeemed at local businesses.
This injection of money in rural and regional communities will help boost local businesses because we know it is not just farmers who are doing it tough during this crippling drought.
Supporting farming households and communities 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 back 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
St Vincent de Paul:
- Assistance Line: 13 18 12
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
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
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Day 5 tip: Waste – use organic waste for compost in your garden. This helps to avoid the build-up of food waste in landfill at the local tip.
• Check out great apps like ShareWaste which can help you manage your food waste. It will help you to connect with your neighbours who want to recycle kitchen scraps into composting, worm farming or chicken feed.
• Try having an ‘eat me first’ shelf in your fridge. That way you will throw out less food and save money. The average Australian family throws out up to $3,800 worth of food per year!
• If you compost your organic waste, you will not only be stopping garden and food waste from ending up in landfill which causes harmful emissions, you will be creating more nutrients for your garden. That’s great for the soil and you!
• If you live in an apartment think about having a worm farm on your balcony or an under-the-counter compost bin for your food scraps.
• Check out your local area to see if there are any community gardens close by. You might be able to drop off your food scraps for their compost.
• Check with your local or state government to see how you can get rid of your organic waste. Some areas have green waste bins for each home, or you can drop it off at a local collection point.
Day 4 tip: Reduce – buy a ‘keep-cup’ or a ‘reusable straw’. Ditch your foam, plastic or paper cups and straws and buy a reusable one instead.
- Try using a 'keep cup'; Australians drink more than 50,000 cups of coffee every half hour.
- By saying no to using disposable coffee cups you will be making a difference. Disposable cups are a cost burden on our waste management services and our environment. They fill up landfills and produce harmful emissions.
- You can recycle your coffee cups through Simply Cups. It’s Australia's first coffee cup recycling program helping businesses and schools to close the loop on disposed coffee cups.
- Try to avoid using single use foam and plastic products that can’t be recycled in most kerbside recycling bins.
- Did you know that one billion disposable coffee cups are used by Australians each year? Why not take your own cup or ask your local café or takeaway to consider biodegradable alternatives to single use foam or plastic cups?
- Swap plastic straws for a reusable straw instead. That way you can help reduce marine debris and plastic waste. Keep a reusable straw in your bag or car for when you go out to a restaurant or cafe.