Drought assistance programs

The latest drought situation map can be viewed on the Long Paddock.

Learn how an area or shire is drought declared here.

The Queensland Government and Australian Government offer programs to help farm families, farm businesses and farm communities affected by drought. This page provides broad descriptions of government drought assistance programs available to Queensland producers.

The latest information on drought declarations and revocations in Queensland is available on the Long Paddock website .

Queensland Government programs

Business assistance

Drought Relief Assistance Scheme

The Drought Relief Assistance Scheme is administered by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries  DRAS provides:

  • freight subsidies for the transport of fodder, water and livestock; and
  • the Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate (EWIR).

Access the guidelines and application forms.

Australian Government On-Farm Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate

Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries is operating the Australian Government On-Farm Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate on behalf of the Australian Government.  Producers are able to access:

  • a 25% rebate for new purchases and installation of water infrastructure.  This rebate is added automatically to the Queensland Government’s Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate.  There is no need to apply separately for this 25% top up.  Claims from 1 July 2018 and the commencement of the top-up will be automatically paid to applicants that have already received a payment from the Queensland scheme.
  • a 25% rebate for the cost of a contractor to desilt dams on your property under the Australian Dam Desilting Rebate. Access the guidelines and application forms.

A maximum of $25,000 can be accessed through the On-farm Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate.

Financial counselling services

Read more about financial counselling services.

The Queensland Government has contributed additional funding to the Australian Government's Rural Financial Counselling Service (RFCS).

Pest animal and weed management in drought-affected areas

The Queensland Government and Australian Government fund projects aimed at wild dog, cat, feral pig, rabbit and weed management in Queensland.

Read more about:

Other drought rebates and fee relief

Find out about other drought rebates and fee relief, including land rent rebates, water fee relief and transport-related drought assistance.

Community and family assistance

A range of counselling services are available for drought-affected communities.

Health care services

Queensland Health provides primary mental health support to drought-affected areas through the Drought Wellbeing Service provided by the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

Queensland Health also provides grants and coordination of local mental health services through the Tackling Regional Adversity through Integrated Care program to help build community resilience to drought, disaster and other crises.

Transport concessions and school transport allowance

The Department of Transport and Main Roads provides transport concessions for primary producers in drought and increased school transport allowances for some families that drive their children to school or connect with a school bus run.

Australian Government drought assistance

The Australian Government provides a number of assistance measures for farmers and rural communities affected by drought and other hardship. Measures include: