2021 Eastern Australia Storms and Floods – updates from the Australian Government

Key dates

The National Drought and North Queensland Flood Response and Recovery Agency was announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison on 5 December 2019 to lead a national response to the drought affecting large parts of the country and to continue supporting North Queensland communities affected by wide-spread flooding in early 2019.

The Agency is led by the Hon Shane L Stone AC QC, Coordinator-General and Chairman of the Advisory Board. It was previously known as the North Queensland Livestock Industry Recovery Agency (NQLIRA).

On 24 March 2021, Mr Stone was asked to support the ongoing recovery and resilience of communities affected by the flood emergencies across Eastern Australia.

Below is a list of key dates highlighting the work of the Agency and significant events.

 

Key Dates

23 March 2021
Flood

Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud and Acting Minister for Defence Senator the Hon Marise Payne announced the deployment of Australian Defence Force personnel and equipment to support search and rescue activities for the flood emergency in NSW.

21 March 2021
Flood

Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud and New South Wales Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott announced the NSW Local Government Areas of Blacktown, Blue Mountains, Camden, Campbelltown, Canterbury Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Hawkesbury, Hornsby, Inner West, Ku-ring-gai, Liverpool, Northern Beaches, Parramatta, Penrith, Sutherland, The Hills and Wollondilly would receive disaster assistance following heavy storms and floods.

 

20 March 2021
Flood

Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud and New South Wales Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott announced disaster recovery assistance for the NSW Local Government Areas of Armidale, Bellingen, Central Coast, Cessnock City, Clarence Valley, Coffs Harbour City, Dungog, Kempsey, Lake Macquarie, Maitland City, Mid-Coast, Nambucca Valley, Newcastle City, Port Macquarie-Hastings, Port Stephens, and Tenterfield.  These LGAs had been impacted by heavy rainfall, severe winds and widespread flooding since 10 March.

02 March 2021
Drought

Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud announced Australian agricultural production is on track for a record-breaking year, with an expected farmgate value of $65.9 billion helping to drive the nation’s turnaround from drought.

17 February 2021
Drought

Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud announced the innovative Drought Resilience Self-Assessment Tool, one of the eight foundational programs announced under the Australian Government’s forward-thinking $5 billion Future Drought Fund to build drought resilience.

08 February 2021
Flood

Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud announced the opening of the $15 million grants program for improving connectivity and energy supply in North Queensland.  The grants program is aimed at giving communities in North Queensland more affordable and reliable internet, phone and electricity.

01 February 2021
Flood

Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud announced the opening of Round 1 of the $9 million North Queensland Economic Diversification Grants program. The program is designed to support the region's ongoing recovery and resilience through grants that diversify existing industries and start new ones.

 

01 February 2021
Flood and Drought

Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud announced further support to farmers and farm-related small businesses with the interest rate on Regional Investment Corporation (RIC) loans dropping to a record low of 1.77 percent. The interest rate drop came as part of a regular six-monthly review of the RIC’s concessional interest rate.

 

 

01 January 2021
Flood and Drought

Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud announced an additional $75 million in 2020-21 for the Regional Investment Corporation (RIC) AgriStarter Loan program to assist new entrants to farming looking to purchase, establish or develop their first farm business, and support farming succession arrangements.

16 December 2020
Flood

Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud announced $12 million in Recovery and Resillience grants for 14 LGAs hit hardest by the 2019 North Queensland floods.  The funding will allow councils to invest in projects that local communities had decided were priorities for their futures.

11 December 2020
Disaster

Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud announced a $50 million National Flood Mitigation Infrastructure Fund to help Australian communities to better prepare for extreme weather events and flooding. The program has been established under the Emergency Response Fund and aligns with recommendations of the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements, the National Disaster Risk Reduction Framework, and findings of the State of the Climate Report 2020.

04 December 2020
Flood

Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud announced that two Implementation Working Groups, one for the North-West and one for the North-East, have met for the first time to map out the next steps in the ongoing recovery from the 2019 North Queensland flood event.