New drought assistance will help Queensland primary producers better manage future droughts through proactive measures, including tailored training, grants and loans. The new drought preparedness measures will be open to all primary producers without needing a drought declaration.
New measures include:
Farm Business Resilience Program
Skills training will be offered on drought and climate preparedness and other business risk management for primary producers.
Farm Management Grant Program
A rebate of 50 per cent to a maximum of $2,500 will be available to primary producers for the professional cost of developing a farm business resilience plan for their property.
Drought Preparedness Grant Scheme
The Drought Preparedness Grant scheme will provide a rebate to primary producers of up to $50,000 for on-farm capital improvements identified in their Farm Business Resilience Plan to improve the drought preparedness and resilience of their property. Examples include drilling of a bore, installing water infrastructure, installing feed storage, expanding dams and improving irrigation.
Drought Ready and Recovery Loan Scheme
The Drought Ready and Recovery Finance Loan provides a concessional interest loan of up to $250,000 for primary producers to undertake preparedness measures identified in their Farm Business Resilience Plan to improve the drought preparedness and resilience of their property. Examples include drilling of a bore, installing water infrastructure, installing feed storage, expanding dams and improving irrigation. This is a complementary measure to the drought preparedness grants.
Emergency Drought Assistance Loans Scheme
The Emergency Drought Assistance Loans Scheme provides an interest-free concessional loan to drought-declared primary producers of up to $50,000 as emergency finance for carry-on activities like paying wages or creditors during drought.
Drought Carry-on Finance Loan Scheme
The Drought Carry-on Finance Loans Scheme provides a concessional interest loan to drought-declared primary producers of up to $250,000 for drought carry-on finance. These loans will be available where the $50,000 available from the Emergency Drought Assistance Loans Scheme is insufficient.
These new drought assistance measures are the Queensland Government’s response to the Drought Program Review and will also deliver Queensland’s obligations under the National Drought Agreement.
These new assistance measures will be available for application through the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA) from late 2021 and are funded by the Queensland Government. The Farm Business Resilience Program and the Farm Management Grants are jointly funded through the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund and the Queensland Government.
The Drought Relief Assistance Scheme (DRAS) will continue while this drought lasts. Drought-declared producers can choose to continue accessing DRAS support or transition to the new measures. Once they access the new measures, they cannot go back to DRAS which will be phased out as local government areas come out of drought. All other existing in-drought assistance measures will be considered for future droughts.
For further information visit https://www.daf.qld.gov.au/business-priorities/agriculture/disaster-recovery/drought