Drought resilience grants to revitalise Southern Rangelands

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and Minister for Emergency Management, Senator the Hon Murray Watt

Western Australia Minister for Agriculture and Food, the Hon Jackie Jarvis MLC

  • Grants for six innovative projects to rejuvenate the rangelands and improve livestock profitability
  • McGowan Government working with pastoralists and the Albanese Government to restore the landscape and build business resilience

A cutting-edge project using ag-tech and data to rehabilitate the landscape and strengthen a Mount Magnet pastoral business is among six recipients to receive inaugural Southern Rangelands Revitalisation Drought Resilience Grants.

The $2 million grants program is backed equally by the McGowan Government's Agriculture Climate Resilience Fund and the Australian Government's Future Drought Fund - Resilient Soils and Landscape program.

Debbie and Ashley Dowden from Challa Station will use their $146,880 grant to install virtual fencing, trap yards and biodiversity monitors to improve groundcover and biodiversity through regenerative grazing.

The grant will also be invested in earthworks and a native seed nursery to improve perennial vegetation and rehabilitate degraded areas.

Other recipients will use grants to decentralise watering points and establish a grass nursery, erect exclusion fencing for revegetation, install trap yards and remote water monitoring to reduce grazing pressure and explore the use of lick feeders to aid feed management.

The projects emerged from the ground-breaking Southern Rangelands Revitalisation Pilot, where participants worked collectively to develop pathways to revive rangeland condition, increase livestock profitability and build business resilience.

The initiatives reflect fresh approaches to pastoral production, with experiences and learnings from the pioneering projects to be shared with peers in coming field days and workshops.

For a list of the grant recipients and more information on the Southern Rangelands Revitalisation Drought Resilience Grants program visit www.agric.wa.gov.au/southernrangelands.

Quotes attributable to Federal Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Murray Watt:

"We know many farmers in WA have experienced dry conditions and more are likely to be on the way. That's why both levels of Government have been working together to get WA agriculture in the best possible position.

"We want farmers and communities to be better prepared to withstand the pressures of drought in the future.

"There are some great WA ideas that embrace new technology and will help farmers right across the country, and I'm very pleased the Albanese Government can work with the McGowan Government to deliver support for WA's ag sector.

Quotes attributable to Agriculture and Food; Forestry Minister Jackie Jarvis:

"These Drought Resilience Grants are part of the McGowan and Albanese Government's support for pastoralists to enhance landscape condition, capture carbon opportunities and improve their businesses.

"I am impressed by the innovative projects to revitalise the land condition of the southern rangelands, while at the same time embracing new technology and management strategies to boost livestock production.

"For example, Debbie and Ashley Dowden are great champions of sustainable land management, with their Human Induced Regeneration Carbon Project, and this grant will help take their operation to the next level, enabling others to learn from their experiences.

"The Southern Rangelands Revitalisation Pilot has been a great initiative, where participants have talked over land management challenges and explored new ways of doing business and enduring solutions that build a strong future for the next generation."

Southern Rangelands Revitalisation Drought Resilience Grants recipients





Challa Station



Virtual fencing, trap yards and biodiversity monitors to improve groundcover and biodiversity through regenerative grazing, alongside ground works and a native seed nursery to improve perennial vegetation and rehabilitate degraded areas.




Implement an ecological rest-based grazing system to rotate cattle, supported by a centralised tank, pipelines and water points, and irrigated grass nurseries to re-introduce plants at free water points.

Murchison House



Land recovery to improve revegetation and ground cover by total grazing management, with exclusion fencing and a mustering race/linear trap yard, equipped with remote gates, monitoring, and additional water points.

Dairy Creek



Implement rotational grazing with trap yards and remote water monitoring to control total grazing pressure, support regeneration of perennials and improve cattle management through drought.

Carey Downs



Introduce rangelands self herding strategies with paddock fencing, trap yards and lick feeders to move cattle, alongside earthworks to rehabilitate degraded areas.




Fencing to aid total grazing pressure management and earthworks to regenerate groundcover and slow landscape water flow

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