Our Community

Recovery in action

Where we have been

Visiting communities is a big part of our work, and we’re regularly out on the road talking to people and attending community events. Follow us on social media to stay up to date with our travels, and take a look below to see when we’ve been in your community.

Date Town Meeting
23 Mar 2020 to 25 Mar 2020 Darwin

(This trip was originally intended to include Katherine, Alice Springs and areas of South Australia but was curtailed due to travel restrictions imposed because of Covid-19.)

Coordinator-General Shane Stone and Agency staff travelled to Darwin to meet with government and non-government representatives and discuss current issues related to drought. Alister Trier, Chief Executive, Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries and other key staff from DPIF discussed the appointment of an RFCS counsellor for the NT, as well as deliveries to remote stations that had been cancelled due to Covid-19. Ashley Manicaros, CEO of NT Cattleman’s Association also discussed issues with deliveries to remote stations, including representations he had made to the NFF and media on behalf of affected stations and communities. NT Farmers’ CEO Paul Burke and Andrew Philip, Katherine and Regional Industry Development Officer, discussed opportunities in and around Katherine for the horticulture industry.

9 Mar 2020 to 14 Mar 2020 Swan Hill Wodonga Albury Cobram Deniliquin Mildura Birchip

Coordinator-General Shane Stone and Agency staff recently travelled through drought-impacted parts of Victoria’s Murray Valley. Meetings were held with local Councils to hear about how they are spending the Australian Governments Drought Community Programme funding, by using local contractors and materials to deliver a range of projects and infrastructure into their local government areas. Rural Financial Counsellors gave an update on what type of assistance and advice is being sought from businesses and farmers in their regions and what the common issues are that they are hearing on the ground. Horticulture, cropping and dairy industry representatives gave an overview on the challenges being faced by their members but also some stories about how their industries have withstood these difficult times and continued to deliver their produce and products. Mental health was raised consistently during the trip and we heard about some of the strategies being put in place to ensure people in need are able to access the services they require. Local Members of Parliament and Senators are always willing to meet and discuss the priorities they see in their States and electorates. We also got to meet many locals on the road who were happy to share their own individual stories about how the drought is affecting their families and businesses.

24 Feb 2020 to 27 Feb 2020 Winton Cloncurry

Agency staff attended the Remote Area Planning Development Board (RAPAD) meeting in Winton to gain insights into how RAPAD regions are faring in the current drought as well as the recovery from the 2019 monsoon flood event.
The team also visited the Winton Dinosaur Museum to learn about their expansion plans and other business innovations.
In Cloncurry they met with Greg Campbell – current Mayor and Agency Board member – as well as Dr Tim Driscoll from the Royal Flying Doctor Service and Susan Dowling from Sisters of the North charity to discuss issues such as mental health and community wellbeing.

21 Feb 2020 Launceston

The Coordinator-General provided a progress update to the Agricultural Minister’s Meeting in Launceston. This was informed by a cross-jurisdictional drought working group that met on 6 February in Brisbane to look at opportunities to improve access to support programs for affected farmers and communities across all levels of government. Mr Stone underscored the importance of all levels of government working harmoniously to support people affected by drought and that better collaboration and communication across federal, state, territory, local government and the community is essential. No single level of government has all the answers.

20 Feb 2020 Launceston Powranna

Coordinator-General Shane Stone, Advisory Board member David Galvin and Agency staff met with the CEO of Tasmanian Irrigation to learn about irrigation schemes across the state.
The team also met with a rural business and financial counselling service and visited the largest feedlot in Tasmania, to see the innovative ways the business is preparing black angus cattle for sale.

19 Feb 2020 St Helens Fingal Launceston

Coordinator-General Shane Stone, Advisory Board member David Galvin and Agency staff joined Break O’Day Council members on a tour of local infrastructure projects funded by the Drought Communities Programme.
The projects have provided direct employment for local people and include updates to streetscapes and community buildings.
The team also visited an Angus beef farm to learn how drought conditions are affecting local graziers and pastoralists.