Updated: Feb 21
The Queensland and Australian Governments and other organisations are offering help to farming families, businesses and communities affected by drought. The process to apply might seem daunting but remember Cheesman Applegarth can assist you through the process.
Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries Drought Relief Assistance Scheme
The Drought Relief Assistance Scheme (DRAS) is offered by the Queensland Government and administered by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF).
The purpose of the scheme is to help primary producers with drought-declared properties to:
manage the welfare of their core breeding herd during drought
restore their herds after drought.
Types of assistance available
DRAS provides 3 assistance measures while an area or property is drought declared, and 2 assistance measures after the drought declaration is revoked.
Producers with a property that is currently drought declared may be eligible for:
freight subsidies for transporting fodder
freight subsidies for transporting water
the Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate (EWIR), which provides a rebate on the purchase and installation of water infrastructure installed for emergency animal welfare needs
Producers with a property that has had its drought declaration revoked may be eligible for:
freight subsidies for transporting livestock returning from agistment
freight subsidies for transporting livestock purchased for restocking
Drought Community Support Initiative – APPLICATIONS TEMPORARILY CLOSED Jan – 2020
If you are a farmer, farm worker or farm supplier/contractor who is doing it tough because of the drought you may be entitled to receive a one-off payment of $3,000 funded by the Australian Government’s Drought Community Support Initiative Round 2 (DCSI). You need to be over 18 years of age, be an Australian citizen or permanent resident, and live or work in an eligible Local Government Area (LGA).
St Vincent de Paul Society and The Salvation Army are delivering the DCSI, and the eligible LGAs have been divided between the two organisations.
The Salvation Army – Banana, Barcaldine, Blackall Tambo, Flinders, Goondiwindi, Lockyer Valley, Longreach, North Burnett, Quilpie, Somerset, South Burnett, Southern Downs, Toowoomba and Winton
St Vincent de Paul Society – Balonne, Barcoo, Boulia, Bulloo, Diamantina, Maranoa, McKinlay, Murweh, Paroo, Richmond and Western Downs
For a complete list of LGAs throughout Australia and to see which organisation is responsible for your area.
Farm Household Allowance Program
The Farm Household Allowance Program provides farming families experiencing financial hardship with assistance through planning and training for long-term financial improvements as well as income support for up to 4 years.
Australian Dam Desilting Rebate for Livestock Producers
The Dam Desilting Rebate provides a rebate of up to 25 per cent of the cost of a private contractor to desilt your dam on your drought-declared property up to a maximum of amount of $25,000 per Property Identification Code (PIC), per financial year. Your dam must be primarily used for livestock. More information regarding the rebate including qualifying and applying can be found in the guidelines.
The Dam Desilting Rebate is funded by the Australian Government and is administered by the Queensland Government (in Queensland only).
It is recommended that you obtain an endorsed Dam Desilting Statement before paying for dam desilting. The statement provides assurance that the proposed desilting activity can be considered for the rebate and is within the typical range of costs for dam desilting.
Other Organisations Offering Assistance
Drought Relief from Electricity Charges Scheme (DRECS)
The Drought Relief from Electricity Charges Scheme (DRECS) provides relief from supply charges on electricity accounts that are used to pump water for farm or irrigation purposes.
Financial assistance is available to account holders who do not have access to, or have severely restricted access to, farm or irrigation water in drought-declared areas, or properties that have been individually drought-declared.
Application process – Ergon Energy customers
Ergon Energy customers that are drought-declared can apply for a waiver of supply charges and/or a deferral of payment of electricity accounts relating to farm usage by contacting Ergon Energy on 13 10 46 or completing Ergon Energy’s drought relief application form at the link below.
Application process – customers of other energy providers
All other drought-declared customers can apply for reimbursement of supply charges through the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy, using the application process below.
Queensland Country Women’s Association Public Rural Crisis Fund
The QCWA are currently assisting farmers and their families with household support in every part of Queensland. Our support is in the form of grocery vouchers, store credit or being able to pay some overdue accounts e.g. electricity, phone, doctor etc.
Drought Angels Immediate Assistance Application
Drought Angels assists farming families affected by natural disasters Australia-wide. The level of support consists of providing stock feed, financial support via pre-paid visas and local produce vouchers from within the communities, moral support through personal face to face or phone contact and referrals to other support networks as needed for drought, fire and flood.