Drought support for Queensland primary producers

Our drought assistance focuses on greater preparedness and business planning to manage the ever-present risk of drought in Queensland.

New Queensland drought assistance

Significant drought reforms will help Queensland primary producers better manage future droughts through a suite of proactive measures including tailored grants and loans.

The drought measures are open to all primary producers to better manage future droughts without needing a drought declaration.

Through the Farm Business Resilience Program producers can access subsidised training through to develop farm business resilience plans. Once the plans are completed, producers can access grants and loans for activities that will improve the drought preparedness of the property and assist producers while in drought.

The Farm Business Resilience Program is jointly funded by the:

Future Drought Fund Regional Drought Resilience Program

The Regional Drought Resilience Planning (RDRP) Program is a partnership between the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund, Queensland Government and the Rural Economies Centre of Excellence (RECoE). ReCoE will work with five regional communities in the pilot year (2021-2022) to develop regional drought resilience plans to prepare for and manage future drought risks.

Drought Commissioners

Mr Mark O’Brien was appointed by the Premier and Minister for Trade on 13 August 2018 as Drought Commissioner.

The role of the Commissioner is to ensure that the government remains appropriately informed of current drought conditions and provide updates to the Government on the impacts of drought on rural and remote communities.

The Commissioner liaises with other stakeholders in the agriculture sector and provides a direct conduit to the government, including the Premier and Minister for Trade and the Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries, for any issues arising from the current drought. This includes current conditions and the effectiveness of drought assistance across affected areas of the state and the government response.

To contact the Commissioner:

Queensland drought declaration process review 2023

The Queensland drought declaration process is currently being reviewed by independent advisor, Mr Charles Burke, who co-chaired the 2019 drought programs review with Ms Ruth Wade.

Mr Burke will review the process used to determine drought declarations and make recommendations for improvement in late 2023.

Mr Burke’s review will:

  • assess and provide analysis on current arrangements for Local Drought Committees (LDC) and whether they are appropriate
  • provide alternative policy options for future drought declarations or alternative triggers
  • advise on the purposes of future drought declarations and their nature.

The review process will include a targeted consultation process with stakeholders including with the existing members of LDCs.

For drought@daf.qld.gov.au for more information.

Drought program review 2019

The drought program review was undertaken by an independent panel of Ms Ruth Wade and Mr Charles Burke. They were engaged to look at what can be done during droughts and to prepare for future droughts.

The independent panel provided the Drought Program Review report to the Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries on 31 January 2019. The recommendations from the report were used as a basis for the Queensland drought assistance measures.

Find out more:

National drought agreement

On 12 December 2018, Queensland as a member of the Council of Australian Governments agreed and signed a new National Drought Agreement (NDA).

The NDA:

  • outlines a joint approach to drought preparedness, responses and recovery, with a focus on accountability and transparency.
  • recognises the need to support farming businesses and farming communities to manage and prepare for climate change and variability
  • focuses on enhancing long-term preparedness and resilience.