Drought Communities Programme

About the programme

The Drought Communities Programme (DCP) supports communities in the most drought-affected regions of Australia.

New Funding Announcement

On 7 November 2019, the Australian Government announced a further range of drought measures, including that it would provide $128 million under the Drought Communities Programme Extension to 128 councils, 122 of which had previously received funding and an additional six councils experiencing hardship due to drought. The 128 eligible councils will each be provided $1 million to complete local infrastructure and other drought-relief projects. This brings the commitment under the Drought Communities Programme Extension to $301 million since 2018-19.

Drought Communities Programme Extension

On 19 August 2018, the Australian Government announced it would extend the Drought Communities Programme to support local infrastructure and other projects for communities and businesses who have been impacted by drought.

Funding is available to eligible councils for local infrastructure projects and other drought-relief activities. Project funding is intended to provide short-term support, including by boosting local employment and procurement, and addressing social and community needs.

The Drought Communities Programme Extension is being administered through the Business Grants Hub at the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science.

Information about the Drought Communities Programme Extension, including a list of eligible councils, the program guidelines and application process is available at business.gov.au/dcp or call 13 28 46.

Drought Community Support Initiative (DCSI) - Round 2

On 27 September 2019, the Australian Government announced it would provide $33 million to resume the Drought Community Support Initiative. The funding will provide up to $3,000 in immediate financial assistance to eligible farming households who are facing hardship due to drought, as well as provide much-needed stimulus to local businesses.

The funding is available through The Salvation Army and St Vincent de Paul Society, in all eligible Drought Communities Programme Extension Local Government Areas. Only one DCSI (Round 2) payment is allowed per household from one of the delivery organisations.

The program guidelines for the Drought Community Support Initiative Round 2 are available at https://www.business.gov.au/assistance/drought-community-support-initiative.

The Australian Government invested over $30 million in much-needed support to drought-affected families through Round 1 of the Drought Community Support Initiative, providing up to $3,000 in assistance to households. Round 1 operated between 17 December 2018 to 30 June 2019.

Drought Communities Programme 2015 (now closed)

About the program

The original Drought Communities Programme was designed to deliver benefits in targeted drought affected regions of Australia. The Australian Government provided funding of $35 million over four years, commencing in 2015–16, to fund local infrastructure initiatives that provide employment for people whose work opportunities were impacted by drought. The program has now closed (see Drought Communities Programme Extension for more recent funding).

Funding was targeted at projects that stimulated local community spending, used local resources, businesses and suppliers, and/or provided a long-lasting benefit to communities and the agricultural industries on which they depend.

Funding was directed to 23 declared local government areas.

Declared Councils

23 councils were eligible for up to $1.5 million funding under the Drought Communities Programme 2015.


  • Drought Communities Programme Guidelines 2015 PDF: 614 KB ReadSpeaker


For further information regarding the Drought Communities Programme 2015 please email dcp@infrastructure.gov.au.