Drought Communities Programme

About the program

The Drought Communities Programme (DCP) supports communities in the most drought-affected regions of Australia and builds on the more than $7 billion in additional Australian Government drought support measures already announced.

Drought Community Support Initiative (DCSI)

On 26 October 2018, the Australian Government announced it would provide $30 million in much-needed support to drought-affected families through the Drought Community Support Initiative. This is providing up to $3,000 in assistance to at least 10,000 households in Local Government Areas eligible under the Drought Communities Programme Extension.

The funding is now available for farmers, farm workers and farm suppliers/contractors facing hardship due to drought. It can be used to spend in local communities or to cover urgent bills such as food, petrol and utilities. The $3,000 per household can consist of up to $2,000 in cash and $1,000 in vouchers.

The Salvation Army, St Vincent de Paul Society and Rotary Australia World Community Service have been engaged to deliver the assistance. Eligible households should reach out to these organisations directly to seek financial support (details below).

The Salvation Army
24 hour hotline: 1300 551 030
Website: salvos.org.au/drought

St Vincent de Paul Society
Hotline: 13 18 12
Website: www.vinnies.org.au/page/News/National/National_News_Items_2019/The_Drought_is_Taking_Its_Toll

Rotary Australia World Community Service
Website: rawcs.org.au

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

Drought Communities Programme Extension

On 19 August 2018, the Australian Government announced it would boost the Drought Communities Programme by $75 million and provide initial support of $1 million to 60 eligible councils in 2018–19 to support local infrastructure and other projects for communities and businesses who have been impacted by drought.

On 26 October 2018, funding was increased to $81 million in 2018–19, with a further 21 councils becoming eligible for the program; and bringing the total number of eligible councils to 81.

On 25 March 2019, an additional 15 councils became eligible for the program, with funding increasing to $96 million over 2018–19 and 2019–20.

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 Communities Programme 2015

About the program

The Drought Communities Programme is 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 have been impacted by drought.

Funding is targeted at projects that stimulate local community spending, use local resources, businesses and suppliers, and/or provide 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.