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.
- A new round of funding for the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA) was released on the 1 July 2020. Up to $100 million is available to help primary producers invest in the future of their enterprise with First Start and Sustainability loans. For more details call QRIDA on 1800 623 946 or your local RFCSSQ Financial Counsellor on 4622 5500. Alternatively visit their website at www.qrida.gov.au.
- The Future Drought Fund has been announced by the Australian Government. The fund will deliver $100 million available annually for drought resilience projects with programs starting to roll out from July 2020. Details on the eight programs, totalling $89.5 million can be found here.
- 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.
- 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.firstname.lastname@example.org. This opportunity is available until December 2020.
- The Community Connections Program is designed to help drought affected communities and community members access training and resources around social and emotional wellbeing, supporting others and building strong communities. Any individual living or working within the region can access a variety of free training. Click here (PDF 273.5KB)to access the training calendar. To find out more contact Community Connections at email@example.com or call 1300 991 443. This program is another initiative delivered by Lifeline Darling Downs and South West Qld Ltd.
- 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.
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: