Drought Relief

This page contains drought relief information current as at 10 August 2018. We hope that this will provide an overall perspective on State and Federal Funding, along with some other resources that might be of assistance to landholders and rural communities.

For an overview of Federal and State Government funding, go to our Looking At Landcare article here.


The Federal Government has announced additional funds for eligible landholders through the addition of two lump sum payments up to the value of $12,000 under the Farm Household Allowance. These payments will be delivered on 1 September 2018 and 1 March 2019. Single households will receive up to $7,200. To find out more information and to see if you qualify for the allowance, click this link.

The Farm Management Deposits scheme has been active since 1 July 2016, for primary producers affected by drought, allowing them to withdraw their FMDs before 12 months without losing any taxation benefits, if they: made their FMD in the previous financial year; have held their FMDs for at least six months; and can demonstrate that an area of their farming property has been affected by a rainfall deficiency for six consecutive months. To be eligible, the rainfall must be within the lowest five per cent of recorded rainfall for their property for that six-month period.

The Managing Farm Risk Program provides rebates for advice and assessments to help farmers prepare and apply for a new insurance policy that assists with the management of drought and other production and market risks.

These one-off rebates will be for half of the costs incurred by eligible farm businesses, up to a maximum of $2 500 (GST exclusive). The rebates are not for insurance policy premiums.

Drought Loans are available to: prepare your farm business for drought; manage and recover from the effects of drought; refinance existing debt; or access new debt for operating expenses and capital.

There are no fees, with a ​3.58% variable interest rate. You may apply for up to $1 million anytime. You must have a drought management plan, provide security for the loan, secure the support of your commercial lender for the proposed loan and repay the loan. To find out if you are eligible click here or ring 1800 875 675.

Please utilise the Rural Financial Counselling Service if required. NSW contacts can be found here. The general enquiry number is 1800 686 175. A map of the areas can be found here.

Note that the asset cap has been raised from $2.6 million to $5 million.


As per our Emergency Drought Relief newsletter, the State Government released subsidies as follows:

Drought subsidy overview

Detail of waivers

For more information go to the DroughtHub website here or go directly to the Rural Assistance Authority website here.


Do you want to contribute to the drought relief? Here are just a few organisations that are making a difference that you can contribute to:

Aussie Helpers

Drought Angels

Buy A Bale

Australian Red Cross

Country Women’s Association NSW

Frontier Services

The Central West Local Land Services are running weekly drought drop in sessions and Making Livestock Decisions workshops. Check out a venue near you.