This week’s federal Budget includes significant funding for drought resilience. 

The federal government is looking to the Future Drought Fund to address agricultural climate challenges. 

In a major move to fortify its agricultural and rural sectors against the increasing threat of drought and climate-related disruptions, the government has announced a substantial allocation of $519.1 million over the next eight years. 

This funding, sourced from the Future Drought Fund (FDF), aims to bolster drought resilience and preparedness across regional and rural communities, enhancing their ability to manage and mitigate climate risks.

The allocated funds are earmarked for a variety of strategic programs designed to enhance the agricultural sector’s sustainability and resilience. 

This includes a significant $235 million over eight years, starting from 2024-25, to support regions and communities in developing local solutions and strategies to handle their unique drought and climate challenges.

This initiative will extend the life of the Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hubs and continue the Regional Drought Resilience Planning Program. 

Additionally, a revised FDF Communities program aims to empower community leaders and networks, enhancing social resilience to climatic impacts.

This includes $15 million set aside to involve First Nations communities in managing drought impacts, which honours their traditional connections to the land. 

This funding will facilitate place-based, First Nations-led projects and includes the establishment of a First Nations Advisory Group to consult on drought resilience strategies.

Further investments include $137.4 million allocated to enhancing decision-making capabilities through the Farm Business Resilience program and $120.3 million to trial innovative solutions aimed at long-term sustainability. 

These initiatives are supported by My Climate View, a digital platform providing accessible climate information, which empowers farmers and regional communities with crucial data for managing climate risks effectively.

In addition to these measures, the government says it will maintain its focus on drought resilience with an ongoing annual fund of $3.4 million from 2028-29. 

More information about the Future Drought Fund is accessible here.