The Australian and NSW Governments have announced the pilot locations for the Regional Drought Resilience Planning program, which will identify how communities can manage the impact of drought and find ways to build resilience.
The three pilot consortium regions are the Hilltops and Upper Lachlan, Tamworth and Walcha, Gwydir and Inverell Local Government Areas (LGAs). Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia David Littleproud said the program, co-funded by the Australian and NSW Governments, was designed to help regional communities better prepare for, respond to, and recover from drought.
“This is an important program under the Australian Government’s $5 billion Future Drought Fund and we thank the New South Wales Government for partnering with us for its delivery,” Minister Littleproud said.
“Planning for the pilot will be community-led and owned, it will bring regional knowledge and perspectives together, along with the best available evidence and data to prepare the community for times of drought.”
Acting Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole said the NSW Government is delivering the pilots as part of the $64m Future Ready Regions Strategy, which identified priorities that will help NSW regional communities to plan and prepare for future droughts.
“Agriculture is booming right now in regional NSW, but we know that despite recent flooding events, drought is a fact of life for many communities and to see this sector continue its growth, the best time to prepare for the next drought is right now,” Mr Toole said.
“In the pilot phase of the program, individual consortiums will be eligible for support to develop Regional Drought Resilience Plans.
“Building stronger regional communities and economies by planning for future droughts is a key commitment of the NSW Government, and this pilot program shows that we are continuing to deliver on that promise.”
The pilot phase of the Regional Drought Resilience Planning program will also be used to inform future rounds, which local councils will be able to apply for in 2022.
The program is co-funded by the Australian and NSW Governments, with $1.9m from the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund and $2m from the NSW Government’s Regional Growth Fund.