Drought program

Agriculture is an important foundation of Victoria's economy and prosperity. Agriculture supports vibrant regional communities, with food and fibre industries employing 190,000 Victorians.

Shaping drought relief - YouTube

Read the video transcript.

Much of Victoria received below average rainfall from July 2014 to May 2016, with soil moisture and water storages falling to their lowest levels on record in large areas of the state. This puts stress on farmers, small businesses and rural communities, particularly in the north west.

A water truck filling up from a standpipe. The standpipe has been used a lot during the busy carting period earlier this year.

Drought Support Fund

In November 2015, the Victorian Government announced a $27 million Drought Response Package to support Victoria's drought affected farmers, small businesses and communities.

Support measures focus on community health and wellbeing, along with initiatives to increase preparedness to deal with future droughts.

These measures include:

  • Drought Employment Program – employing farmers, farm workers and individuals affected by drought to undertake environmental projects
  • Drought Extension Program – accelerating delivery of additional farm information and advisory services to support farmers during drought and dry seasons
  • Stock Containment Areas Program – providing eligible farmers with grants of up to $2000 and technical support to implement stock containment areas
  • Community events funding – providing local councils with continued support to implement important community events that bring people together and promote drought impacted regions
  • Agriculture traineeships for 20 school leavers in drought affected communities
  • Farm Risk Management Grants Program – providing eligible farm businesses with grants up to $10,000 to better manage risks and manage farm performance in changing climatic conditions
  • Recreational Water and Sports Grants Program – providing assistance for sport and recreational infrastructure projects
  • Funding for Foodbank – to support new refrigeration for the organisation to store food donations
  • Further strengthening the Rural Financial Counselling Service.

The Drought Response Package complements support which is already available to Victoria's farmers and communities statewide.

Want to know more?

Visit the Agriculture Victoria website to find out more about the drought program's initiatives and grants.

Page last updated: 24 January 2017