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Southern Downs Regional Council receives $1 million in drought relief funding

Communities around the Southern Downs will benefit from new infrastructure projects with Council securing $1 million in drought relief funding from the Federal Government.

The Federal Government’s Drought Communities Programme (DCP) approved funding for all five of the drought relief projects SDRC applied for during the latest round of DCP funding.

The projects will boost the economy and provide long-term benefits for local communities.

SDRC has allocated the funds towards the following projects:

  • $150,000 for carting potable water to eligible rural property owners and occupiers not connected to the reticulated Council water supply
  • $200,000 for the Leyburn Auxiliary Water Treatment upgrade
  • $200,000 for sporting and community organisations to install or replace rainwater tanks and other water saving devices (Expressions of Interest close Monday, 25 February)
  • $250,000 for repairs and upgrades to eligible local community halls (Expressions of Interest close Monday 11 February)
  • $200,000 for 24-hour potable water dispensing stations around the region

The DCP funds infrastructure and drought relief projects that use local resources, businesses and suppliers to stimulate local community spending and provide long-lasting benefits to the community and their agricultural industries.

Southern Downs Mayor Tracy Dobie said the DCP funded projects will provide benefits across several sectors in the Southern Downs not only during the current drought but for future generations as well.

“While these projects will help the region conserve and improve access to water, they will also benefit the economy and local community organisations,” Cr Dobie said.

“Work on these projects will generate employment for the region as well as contribute to the community through the procurement of local supplies and resources.

“By applying for funds to install water saving devices and tanks, the region’s sporting and community groups can continue to use their own funds towards providing their valuable services to our communities.

“Community hall committees can apply for funding to make repairs or upgrade facilities that may not have been possible before so these essential community hubs can continue to be enjoyed for years to come.”

Since 2015, the DCP has supported communities in the most drought affected regions of Australia. The Southern Downs became eligible for funding in 2018.

The DCP requires that projects lead to the employment of locals, contribute to the economic activity of the region and lead to the retention of businesses, services and facilities. Eligible activities must directly relate to the project and can include:

  • repairs, maintenance, upgrading or building new community facilities
  • repairs, maintenance, upgrades, construction and fit-out of community spaces
  • employing local contractors to undertake repairs and maintenance
  • holding events
  • undertaking other drought relief activities including water carting for human consumption

The DCP funding stipulates that SDRC must complete all projects by 30 June 2019.

To learn more about the eligibility requirements of the DCP, please visit

For more information on how you or your community organisation can benefit from SDRC’s drought relief funding or for details on how to apply, please contact SDRC Development Assessment Coordinator Tonya Collier on 1300 697 372 or

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