Up to $1.5M is available from Drought Communities Programme to support projects that will help targeted drought-affected regions of Australia.


Drought Communities Programme (DCP)

The Drought Communities Programme (DCP) is designed to deliver benefits in targeted drought-affected regions of Australia. The Government is providing $35 million over four years, commencing in 2015-16, to fund local infrastructure initiatives that provide employment for people whose work opportunities have been impacted by drought.



The objective of the Drought Communities Programme (DCP) is to deliver benefits in Declared Council areas, by supporting investment in local infrastructure initiatives.

Funding will be targeted at infrastructure projects that provide employment for people whose work opportunities have been impacted by drought; stimulate local community spending; use local resources, businesses and suppliers; and/or provide a long-lasting benefit to communities and the agricultural industries on which they depend.

The desired outcomes of the DCP are:

  • increased employment in regions by providing work for locals and/or farmers and farm  labourers/staff/contractors whose employment opportunities have been affected by drought;
  • improved levels of economic activity in regions;
  • increased productivity in regions; and
  • better retention of businesses, services and facilities.



Funding of $1.5 million will be available to support projects in each Declared Council area. Declared Councils may submit as many projects as they wish up to their total funding amount of $1.5 million. The component of a project funded under the DCP must be completed by 30 June 2019.


Eligible Projects

Eligible projects must relate to economic, social and cultural infrastructure, safety and accessibility upgrades, and/or town facility developments and upgrades.

These infrastructure projects must be expected to:

  • lead to the employment of locals and/or focus on employing farmers and farm labourers/staff/contractors; and/or
  • contribute to the economic activity of communities/regions; and/or
  • lead to the retention of businesses, services and facilities


Eligible Applicants

Declared Councils
Declared Councils that can receive funding under the DCP are those specified by the Minister for Regional
Development in consultation with the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources.

In 2015-16, DCP funding will be prioritised to focus on the following Declared Councils: Balonne, Barcaldine, Barcoo, Blackall-Tambo, Boulia, Bulloo, Burke, Carpentaria, Diamantina, Flinders, Longreach, McKinlay, Murweh, Paroo, Quilpie, Richmond and Winton in Queensland; Brewarrina, Coonamble and Walgett in New South Wales; and Buloke, West Wimmera and Yarriambiack in Victoria.

Additional Councils
The Minister for Regional Development, in consultation with the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, can consider approving further Declared Councils under the DCP at their discretion.

The DCP does not create an entitlement for all drought-affected Councils to receive funding under the programme. DCP funding is capped at $35 million, and once that ceiling is reached through additional councils being added to the list of Declared Councils, then no other approvals are possible, without a further consideration of the DCP’s parameters by the Australian Government.



Applications close 30 June 2019.


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