Drought Communities Programme – Extension

The Drought Communities Programme - Extension provides councils with up to either $1 million or $500,000 per announcement for drought relief projects. Funding is available for eligible councils in areas impacted by drought.

The maximum available funding for eligible councils announced in January 2020 is in two tiers:

  • Tier one - maximum funding available up to $1 million
  • Tier two - maximum funding available up to $500,000
This grant is currently closed to applications

What do you get?

Up to $1 million or $500,000 (depending on the funding announcement) for local community infrastructure and other drought relief projects.

Who is this for?

Eligible councils listed below and invited by the Minister to apply.


The extension of the Drought Communities Programme provides funding of $301 million to eligible councils for drought-affected regions of Australia. The program supports local community infrastructure and other drought relief projects for communities impacted by drought.

Funding targets projects that:

  • provide work for people whose employment has been impacted by drought
  • stimulate local community spending
  • use local resources, businesses and suppliers
  • provide a long-lasting benefit to communities and the agricultural industries they depend on


What are the eligibility criteria?

To be eligible, you must:

  • have an Australian business number (ABN) and
  • be an eligible council listed on this page (and on GrantConnect) or
  • be invited to apply by the Minister.

Eligible projects

To be eligible, your project must:

  • be in an eligible council area
  • meet project requirements
  • include eligible activities and expenditure
  • have at least $25,000 per application in eligible expenditure.

You must complete your project by:

  • 30 June 2019 for eligible councils announced in 2018
  • 31 December 2019 for eligible councils announced in March 2019
  • 31 March 2022 for eligible councils announced during the 2019 election campaign
  • 31 March 2022 for the eligible councils approved for funding in September 2019
  • 31 March 2022 for the eligible councils approved for funding in November 2019
  • 31 March 2022 for eligible councils approved for funding in January 2020.

For more information on eligibility and project requirements, check the grant opportunity guidelines.

Eligible councils

The following councils are eligible based on need and the economic impact of drought in the region.

We assess this using:

  • rainfall deficiency data from the Bureau of Meteorology
  • population and industry data – particularly reliance on agriculture.

The Government monitors drought conditions across the country and may add more councils depending on conditions.

New South Wales

Armidale Regional Federation Murrumbidgee
Balranald Forbes Musellbrook
Bathurst Regional Gilgandra Narrabri
Bega Valley Glen Innes Severn Shire Narrandera
Berrigan Greater Hume Narromine
Bland Gunnedah Oberon
Blayney Gwydir Parkes
Bogan Hay Richmond Valley
Bourke Hilltops Snowy Monaro
Brewarrina Inverell Tamworth Regional
Broken Hill Junee Temora
Cabonne Kempsey Tenterfield
Carrathool Kyogle Unincorporated Far West
Central Darling Lachlan Upper Hunter
Clarence Valley Leeton Upper Lachlan
Cobar Lismore Uralla
Coolamon Lithgow Walcha
Coonamble Lockhart Walgett
Cootamundra-Gundagai Liverpool Plains Warren
Cowra Mid-Western Regional Warrumbungle
Dubbo Regional Moree Plains Weddin
Edward River Murray River Wentworth

Northern Territory

Barkly Central Desert


Balonne Flinders Quilpie
Banana Goondiwindi Richmond
Barcaldine Lockyer Valley Scenic Rim
Barcoo Longreach Somerset
Blackall Tambo Maranoa South Burnett
Boulia McKinlay Southern Downs
Bulloo Murweh Toowoomba
Bundaberg North Burnett Western Downs
Diamantina Paroo Winton

South Australia

Adelaide Plains Goyder Peterborough
Alexandrina Kangaroo Island Port Pirie City and District
Barossa Karoonda East Murray Renmark Paringa
Barunga West Kimba Southern Mallee
Berri Barmera Light Streaky Bay
Ceduna Loxton Waikerie Tatiara
Clare and Gilbert Valleys Mid Murray The Coorong
Cleve Mount Remarkable Unincorporated Far North SA
Copper Coast Murray Bridge Wakefield
Flinders Ranges Northern Areas Wudinna
Franklin Harbour Orroroo/Carrieton Yorke Peninsula


Break O Day Devonport Glamorgan Spring Bay


Benalla Latrobe Swan Hill
Buloke Mildura Wangaratta
East Gippsland Moira Wellington
Gannawarra Pyrenees Yarriambiack
Greater Shepparton Strathbogie

Western Australia

Albany Denmark Lake Grace
Beverley Donnybrook-Balingup Mingenew*
Bridgetown-Greenbushes Dumbleyung* Moora
Brookton* Esperance Nannup
Broomhill-Tambellup Gnowangerup Narembeen*
Bruce Rock* Irwin Pingelly
Busselton Jerramungup Plantagenet
Carnamah* Katanning Quairading
Coorow Kellerberrin Ravensthorpe
Corrigin Kent* Three Springs*
Cranbrook Kojonup Wickepin*
Dandaragan Kulin*

*Indicates an LGA with a population of less than 1,000 and funding of up to $500,000. Funding for all other LGAs is up to $1 million.


How do you apply?

The Drought Communities Programme - Extension has closed to applications.

We’ll assess your application against the eligibility criteria. To be recommended for funding, you must meet all eligibility criteria. The program delegate will make the final decision.

Note: An invitation to apply doesn’t guarantee that your application will be successful.

If you’re successful, we’ll email you and include any specific conditions for your grant.

If you’re unsuccessful, we’ll email you and give you an opportunity to discuss the outcome with us.

Successful applicants must enter into a grant agreement with the Commonwealth.

We’ll pay an initial amount after you’ve signed the agreement. We’ll then make payments in advance, based on your predicted expenses as you complete milestones. Payments will depend on your progress. We’ll adjust payments if you have unspent money from previous payments.

We’ll set aside 10% of the total funding for the final payment. We’ll pay this when you submit a satisfactory final report.

We’ll pay directly into your nominated bank account.

Need help?

Let us answer your question via phone, email or live chat. And if we can't help, we'll put you in touch with someone who can.

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Key documents

Grant opportunity guidelines

pdf · 0.58 MB docx · 0.23 MB

Sample grant agreement

pdf · 0.66 MB docx · 0.25 MB

List of eligible councils

pdf · 0.66 MB docx · 0.15 MB

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