Financial Assistance Available Now for Farming Households and Communities

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21 January, 2019

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:

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