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Drought Communities Programme – Extension

The Drought Communities Programme – Extension provides councils with up to $500,000 per announcement for drought relief projects. Funding is available for eligible councils in areas impacted by drought.
Application detail:

Applications close:

  • 1 December 2019 for councils announced in March 2019
  • 1 June 2020 for councils announced during the 2019 election campaign
  • 1 June 2020 for councils announced in September 2019
  • 1 December 2020 for councils announced in November 2019

Applications are now closed for councils announced in 2018.


What do you get?

Up to $1 million per announcement for local community infrastructure and other drought relief projects.

Who is this for?

Eligible councils listed below and invited by the Minister to apply.


The extension of the Drought Communities Programme provides funding of $250 million to eligible councils for drought-affected regions of Australia. The program supports local community infrastructure and other drought relief projects for communities impacted by drought.

Funding targets projects that:

  • provide work for people whose employment has 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 they depend on


What are the eligibility criteria?

To be eligible, you must:

  • have an Australian business number (ABN) and
  • be an eligible council listed on this page (and on GrantConnect) or
  • be invited to apply by the Minister

Eligible projects

To be eligible, your project must:

  • be in an eligible council area
  • meet project requirements
  • include eligible activities and expenditure
  • have at least $25,000 per application in eligible expenditure

You must complete your project by:

  • 30 June 2019 for eligible councils announced in 2018
  • 31 December 2019 for eligible councils announced in March 2019
  • 30 June 2020 for eligible councils announced during the 2019 election campaign
  • 30 June 2020 for the eligible councils approved for funding in September 2019
  • 31 December 2020 for the eligible councils approved for funding in November 2019

For more information on eligibility and project requirements, check the grant opportunity guidelines.

Eligible councils

The following councils are eligible based on need and the economic impact of drought in the region.

We assess this using:

  • rainfall deficiency data from the Bureau of Meteorology
  • population and industry data – particularly reliance on agriculture

The Government monitors drought conditions across the country and may add more councils depending on conditions.

New South Wales

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



Balonne Goondiwindi Quilpie
Banana^ Lockyer Valley Somerset
Barcaldine Longreach South Burnett
Barcoo Maranoa Southern Downs
Blackall Tambo McKinlay Toowoomba
Bulloo Murweh Western Downs
Boulia North Burnett Winton
Diamantina Paroo  
Flinders Richmond  


South Australia

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



Buloke Mildura Wellington
East Gippsland Pyrenees Yarriambiack
Gannawarra Strathbogie  
Latrobe Swan Hill  



Break O Day
Glamorgan Spring Bay


How do you apply?

You will receive an invitation to apply with a link to our online portal. The portal allows you to apply for and manage a grant in a secure online environment. You’ll need to set up a user account to get access.

You should read the grant opportunity guidelines and sample grant agreement before you apply.

To apply, you must:

  • complete the online portal application form
  • provide all necessary information and attachments 
  • address all eligibility criteria

Your chief executive officer (or another officer authorised to sign grant agreements) must submit your application.

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  • Need help?

  • Contact us for help with your application or to find out more.

  • Monday – Friday, 8am – 8pm across Australia

Key documents

Grant opportunity guidelines

Sample application form

List of eligible councils

Additional 52 councils announced 28 January 2020