Federal budget – drought and rural assistance

On 9 May the Australian Government announced new funding of $333 million to support farmers, farm businesses and rural communities affected by drought. The new funding includes:

  • $250 million in 2015-16 to continue existing drought assistance concessional loans schemes.
  • $35 million for local infrastructure and employment projects that provide options for people whose work opportunities have been adversely affected by drought.
  • $25.8 million for programs to manage pest animals and weeds in drought affected areas.
  • $20 million to extend and expand existing social and community support, including mental health support and counselling, for drought-affected farming families and communities.
  • $1.8 million available to fund additional rural financial counsellors to meet increased demand during periods of drought.

Further information on each of the assistance measures will available on the Australian Government drought and rural assistance website shortly.