JOINT MEDIA RELEASE WITH AGRICULTURE MINISTER DAVID LITTLEPROUD

  • $3.9 billion (growing to $5 billion) investment in the Future Drought Fund
  • $100 million will be available annually for drought resilience projects
  • Programs will start to roll out from July 2020

Regional Victoria is set to benefit from the Australian Government’s forward-thinking Future Drought Fund.

Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management, David Littleproud, said the Australian Government investment of $3.9 billion, which will grow to $5 billion will build resilience and provide the tools farmers need to prepare for, manage and sustain their businesses during and after drought.

“The long-term, sustainable investment will make $100 million available each year for projects which will help farmers to build resilience and prepare for future droughts,” Minister Littleproud said.

“The first eight programs set the foundation and will enable us to be agile and adapt as we go forward and continue to listen to people on the ground.

“The programs have been developed based on expert advice from the independent Consultative Committee, led by Mr Brent Finlay, a fourth generation farmer, as well as valuable input from communities and industry during last year’s national public consultation tour on the Drought Resilience Funding Plan.

Senator for Victoria Sarah Henderson, said the Fund will give Victorian farmers and communities the opportunity to help them be prepared for the inevitable future droughts.

“The programs will give Victorian farmers the tools they need to be successful and to keep providing Australia, and the world, with high quality products that contribute to our nation’s security and prosperity,” Senator Henderson said.

“This includes assistance in farm business planning, greater access to information for decision-making, adoption of research and technologies, and building the drought resilience of natural resources such as soil and vegetation in agricultural landscapes.

“Communities will also benefit through improved regional planning, strengthening networks, leadership and community capabilities and small-scale infrastructure projects.

“The programs will help our farm businesses to be better informed, more productive, profitable and adaptable, and to adopt more drought-resilient land and natural resource management practices into the future.”

“This is the first suite of programs to be delivered under this initiative initially for one year. We will continue to monitor and adapt programs to make sure they are building resilience and delivering for farmers and the community”.

“I expect to make a further announcement on the allocation of the remaining funds after the roll out of these initial programs”.

The Future Drought Fund is an important part of the Government’s Drought Response, Resilience and Preparedness Plan to deliver the support Australian farmers and communities need to be sustainable and productive.

Further details on each program will be available as implementation arrangements are finalised at http://www.agriculture.gov.au/ag-farm-food/drought/future-drought-fund

1 July 2020