Drought Assistance Information
The Southern Downs was drought declared in May 2018 following extremely dry conditions and little to no rainfall for many months.
While we can’t make it rain, there are other ways our farmers can be supported through this incredibly tough time. Information and links to a number of government and community drought-assistance and financial support programs are below for farmers who are adversely affected by drought.
- The Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy have announced that the waiver on annual water licence fees has been extended for another two years. Water users in drought declared and disaster-affected areas will continue to be exempt from these fees in 2020-2021 and 2021-2022. Additional information on drought assistance regarding the land rent rebate and land rent deferral can be found here.
- The Australian Government's Energy Efficiency Communities program is offering dairy farming businesses from across Australia grants of up to $20,000. Grants are available to upgrade equipment to reduce energy consumption, invest in monitoring systems to better manage energy use, and conduct energy audits to investigate other opportunities for energy efficient activities. Grant guidelines and applications forms are available at business.gov.au or by telephone on 13 28 46. Applications close on 17 August 2020.
- MoneyCare is a free financial counselling service being offered by The Salvation Army. Appointments by phone or skype are available to residents in the Southern Downs region. MoneyCare offers advocacy assistance with creditors, debt collectors and utility providers, insurance claims and appropriate referrals to other support services MoneyCare is available to assist residents who are under financial stress due to drought. For more information contact Debbie Robbie on phone: 0436 353 071 or email: Debbie.email@example.com. This opportunity is available until December 2020.
- Lifeline Darling Downs & South West Queensland Ltd have announced that they have funding available that may be of assistance to those who are suffering from the drought and need financial support. Up to $500 per family may be granted. This funding is provided by the Queensland Government as part of the Community Drought Support Package. Eligibility details and the application form can be found here (DOCX 313.3KB).
- The Salvation Army is working to deliver the Drought Community Support Initiative (DCSI) for eligible drought affected households across the Southern Downs. If you're a farmer, farm worker or farm supplier/contractor who is struggling financially because of the drought, you may be entitled to receive a one-off payment of up to $3,000. There are two ways to apply. Either call the application line on 1300 551 030 or visit www.salvationarmy.org.au/drought for the online application. Both options are available 24 hours of every day.
- Tune in and Tune Up: Free Drought and Wellbeing Webinars. Join Australian Red Cross in a five-part series of free webinars. Expert speakers have been invited to share their insights to help us support our own communities, ourselves and our loved ones through this tough time. Webinars will be held each fortnight starting 17th June from 10am. For full details, including how to register click here.
COVID-19 Agency & Community Support Guide
The following guide has been collated of supports and agency contacts on all manner of services that may be of benefit to you or someone you know during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This guide is relevant to individuals, families, carers, schools, community groups, and service organisation and includes specific phone numbers, website and after hours contacts in addition to a description of the tools and support available.
How to access assistance
For more information on how to access assistance please click on the following links: