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 $1.8 billion in additional Australian Government drought support measures already delivered.

Drought Support Payments

On 26 October 2018, the Australian Government announced $30 million in Drought Support Payments will be made available to farming households in the 81 eligible council areas facing hardship arising from the impact of drought.

Grants will be made available to a number of community and not-for-profit organisations to deliver the initiative and ensure the funding hits the ground quickly where it is most needed.

As a result of the Drought Support Payments grant, these community and not-for-profit organisations will be able to provide payments to farming households of up to $3,000 per household. The payments could include a mix of vouchers to spend in their local communities and cash to cover urgent bills such as food, petrol and utilities to help ease the effect of drought.

The program guidelines are currently being developed and in the future will be available at business.gov.au. The Business Grants Hub at the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science will administer the program and grant payments to the community and not-for-profit organisations.

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, the program was further broadened to reach even more communities suffering through drought, by adding a further 21 eligible councils and increasing the funding to $81 million in 2018-19.

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.