Up to $1M 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 Australian Government is providing $35 million over four years, commencing in the 2015 to 2016 financial year, 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.



Each Eligible Council can receive funding for projects up to $1 million. The grant amount will be up to 100 per cent of eligible project costs (grant percentage).

  • The minimum grant amount per application is $25,000.
  • Applications can include multiple unrelated activities up to the total funding amount of $1 million per Eligible Council

Co-funding from Eligible Councils is not mandatory, but you may access other funding for the project. Cash funding or in-kind support can be provided by any organisation including, but not limited to, the Eligible Council, state government, not-for-profit organisations and private sector companies.


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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