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

Regional Assistance

Supporting you as you recover

The Australian Government is committed to supporting farmers and communities in rural and regional Australia living through drought, flood and other hardships such as bushfires and the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The links below will take you to information on recovery assistance and the role of the National Drought and Flood Agency:

You can also stay up to date on the latest Australian Government rural and regional assistance measures and the work of the Agency by subscribing to our ‘Staying Connected’ newsletter.

If you’d like to know more about support available to help you recover from bushfire, please visit the National Bushfire Recovery Agency website (opens new page).

Key funding 

Drought assistance 

More than $10 billion (in drought support and concessional loans since 18-19) to help farmers and rural and regional businesses and communities respond to and recover from the current drought and be better prepared for future droughts.

This includes $5 billion Future Drought Fund, which provides secure and continuous funding for drought resilience initiatives.

Drought Communities Programme (DCP) Extension 

Provides immediate economic stimulus in drought-affected communities by funding targeted local infrastructure projects, events and drought relief activities to provide employment opportunities in communities experiencing hardship.

See overview here, and all 180 eligible councils here

Further information about the Drought Communities Programme Extension, including the program guidelines and application process is available here.

Drought Communities Program Extension – Roads to Recovery

The Australian Government announced $138.9 million additional Roads to Recovery funding in the 2020 calendar year for the then 128 Local Government Areas eligible for the Drought Communities Programme Extension. 

The Roads to Recovery Program supports the maintenance of the nation's local road infrastructure asset, which facilitates greater access for Australians and improves safety and economic and social outcomes. 

Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hubs

The $86 million Future Drought Fund program will establish eight Adoption and Innovation Hubs across regional Australia and will develop a Digital Foundations for Agriculture Strategy. 

The hubs will support networks of researchers, farmers, agricultural businesses and community groups to enhance drought resilience practice, tools and technology.

Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF)

NAIF is a Commonwealth Government development financier with a unique role to help unlock Northern Australia’s economic potential.

In investing $5 billion on behalf of the Commonwealth Government, NAIF is working to deliver a positive return for taxpayers and ensuring economic opportunities for Northern Australia.

Snowy 2.0

Snowy 2.0 is a nation-building renewable energy project that will provide on-demand energy and large-scale storage for many generations to come. 

Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF)

Round 4 of the BBRF is a drought round of $207 million and will target projects that benefit communities affected by drought.

The BBRF supports the Australian Government's commitment to create jobs, drive economic growth and build stronger regional communities into the future.

2019 North Queensland flood event

More than $3.3 billion has been paid or committed by the Commonwealth to assist affected people, businesses and communities by this event with recovery and reconstruction.

Find out more here

National Bushfire Recovery Fund

An initial $2 billion has been allocated to this fund, which is in addition to other services and support available under existing natural disaster support mechanisms.

The National Bushfire Recovery Agency is responsible for administering this fund to support recovery efforts across Australia over the next two years. 

Boost for road and community projects through local governments across Australia

$1.8 billion package of support, consisting of the new $500 million Local Road and Community Infrastructure Program and the bringing forward of $1.3 billion of the 2020-21 Financial Assistance Grant payment, to help local councils support jobs and businesses by delivering priority projects focused on infrastructure upgrades and maintenance.

Australian Government Response to COVID-19 

The Government’s economic support package provides support to COVID-19 affected workers, businesses and the broader community, including regional and rural Australians. 

The Government is also extending and further tailoring temporary economic measures to support sectors, regions and communities that will continue to face challenges.

More information here

Last updated on 2 February 2021