Drought Communities Programme - Extension

At a glance


Provides Eligible Councils with up to $1 million for local community infrastructure and other drought relief projects for communities impacted by drought.

Who can apply

At a minimum, you must have:

  • an Australian Business Number (ABN); and
  • be an Eligible Council, listed on business.gov.au and GrantConnect; or
  • be invited to apply by the Minister

Other eligibility requirements apply.

Deadline to apply:

Applications close:

  • 30 June 2019 for Eligible Councils announced in 2018
  • 1 December 2019 for Eligible Councils announced in March 2019
  • 1 June 2020 for the Eligible Councils announced during the 2019 election campaign

Contact information:

13 28 46



The extension of the Drought Communities Programme provides funding of $110 million over two years from 2018-19 to Eligible Councils to deliver immediate economic stimulus and other benefits to targeted drought-affected regions of Australia. The program will support local community infrastructure and other drought relief projects for communities impacted by drought.

Funding will target infrastructure and other projects that:

  • provide employment for people whose work opportunities have been impacted by drought
  • stimulate local community spending
  • use local resources, businesses and suppliers
  • provide a long-lasting benefit to communities and the agricultural industries on which they depend.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible you must

  • have an Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • be an Eligible Council, listed on business.gov.au and GrantConnect
  • be invited to apply by the Minister

We can only accept applications:

  • where it is submitted by the Chief Executive Officer of an Eligible Council or other council officer authorised to sign a grant agreement.

To be eligible your project must:

  • be located in an Eligible Council area
  • meet project requirements
  • include eligible activities and eligible expenditure
  • have at least $25,000 per application in eligible expenditure
  • be undertaken in the project period and completed by 30 June 2019 for Eligible Councils announced in 2018, 31 Dec 2019 for Eligible Councils announced in March 2019, 30 June 2020 for the Eligible Councils announced during the 2019 election campaign

For more information on eligibility you should refer to the grant opportunity guidelines.

Eligible Councils

The following Eligible Councils were selected based on the level of need, determined using rainfall deficiency data from the Bureau of Meteorology, in conjunction with population and industry data (reliance on agriculture) to assess the overall economic impact of the drought in the region.

The Government will continue to closely monitor conditions across the country as the drought continues, and in consultation with the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources may consider expanding the program to reach more councils.

Councils marked with an asterisk were approved in March 2019 and these Eligible Councils must complete their project by 31 December 2019. Councils marked with a double asterisk were approved during the 2019 election campaign and these Eligible Councils must complete their project by 30 June 2020.

New South Wales

  • Armidale Regional
  • Balranald**
  • Bathurst Regional*
  • Bega Valley
  • Berrigan**
  • Bland
  • Blayney
  • Brewarrina
  • Broken Hill
  • Bogan
  • Bourke
  • Cabonne
  • Carrathool
  • Central Darling
  • Cobar
  • Coolamon**
  • Coonamble
  • Cowra*
  • Dubbo Regional
  • Edward River*
  • Federation**
  • Forbes
  • Gilgandra
  • Glen Innes Severn Shire
  • Gunnedah
  • Gwydir
  • Hay**
  • Inverell
  • Lachlan
  • Leeton*
  • Lithgow*
  • Liverpool Plains
  • Mid-Western Regional
  • Moree Plains
  • Muswellbrook
  • Murrumbidgee*
  • Narrabri
  • Narrandera
  • Narromine
  • Oberon
  • Parkes
  • Tamworth Regional
  • Tenterfield
  • Unincorporated Far West
  • Upper Hunter
  • Uralla
  • Walcha
  • Walgett
  • Warren
  • Warrumbungle
  • Weddin*
  • Wentworth


  • 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
  • Winton

South Australia

  • Adelaide Plains**
  • Alexandrina**
  • Barunga West
  • Berri Bamera*
  • Ceduna
  • Clare and Gilbert Valleys
  • Cleve
  • Copper Coast**
  • Flinders Rangers*
  • Franklin Harbour
  • Goyder
  • Karoonda East Murray
  • Kimba
  • Light*
  • Loxton Waikerie
  • Mid Murray
  • Murray Bridge*
  • Mount Remarkable
  • Northern Areas
  • Orroroo/Carrieton
  • Peterborough*
  • Port Pirie City and District**
  • Renmark Paringa**
  • Southern Mallee
  • Streaky Bay
  • Unincorporated SA**
  • Wakefield
  • Wudinna


  • Buloke*
  • East Gippsland
  • Latrobe**
  • Mildura**
  • Wellington
  • Yarriambiack**


  • Break O Day*
  • Glamorgan Spring Bay*

How to apply

Before applying, you should read and understand the grant opportunity guidelines and sample grant agreement before you apply.

You will receive an invitation to apply with a link to the online portal.

You will need to set up a user account to access our online portal. The portal allows you to apply for and manage a grant in a secure online environment.

To apply you must:

  • be listed as an Eligible Council or invited by the Minister to submit an application
  • complete the online application form through the portal
  • provide all the information requested
  • address all eligibility criteria
  • include all necessary attachments.

To apply, fill in the online application form and attach any mandatory attachments.

When you submit your online application, the portal will show the status of your application as submitted. You can monitor the progress of your application in the portal.

If you experience any issues with submitting your application through the portal contact us.

How we assess applications

We will assess your application for completeness and against all the eligibility criteria.

It is important to note that being invited to submit an application does not guarantee that an application will be successful.

To be recommended for funding, your project must meet all eligibility criteria as these projects provide the best value for money.

The program delegate will make the final decision.

If your application is successful

If you are successful, we will email you and include in the email any specific conditions attached to the grant.

If you are unsuccessful, we will email you and give you an opportunity to discuss the outcome with us.

Successful applicants must enter into a grant agreement with the Commonwealth. The grant agreement will specify the reporting requirements.

We will make an initial payment on execution of the grant agreement. We will make subsequent payments in advance, based on your forecast eligible expenditure as you achieve agreed milestones and adjusted for unspent amounts from previous payments. Payments are subject to satisfactory progress on the project.

We set aside 10 per cent of the total grant funding for the final payment. We will pay this when you submit a satisfactory final report demonstrating you have completed all outstanding obligations for the project.

The Program Delegate may approve alternative arrangements on a discretionary basis.

The payment will be made by direct credit into a nominated bank account.

Key documents

  • Grant opportunity guidelines
  • Sample application form
  • Sample grant agreement - simple
  • List of Eligible Councils

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