The Australian Government partners with state, territory and local governments, the farm and finance sectors, charities and other not-for-profit organisations to help farmers and rural communities get ready for drought. We share information about and seek feedback on drought-related policy and programs through online and face-to-face engagement, including the National Drought Network and the National Drought Forum.
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National Drought Network
Australian, state and territory governments use the National Drought Network to share information related to drought with farming, finance, charity, government and other not-for-profit organisations and individuals.
The network, which meets at least twice yearly, provides:
- drought-related information that attendees can share with their members
- updates on drought conditions and impacts based on data and on-the-ground reports
- updates on Australian, state and territory government drought-related policies and programs.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to join the network.
The inaugural meeting of the National Drought Network was held on Monday 13 November 2023, with 79 people attending the virtual meeting.
The Australian Government (Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry) said the network:
- was established to share drought related information in a timely manner from all parties to the National Drought Agreement (Australian, state and territory governments).
- complemented, rather than replaced, other engagement and consultation activities
- expected to meet every 6 months at this stage.
The network heard presentations on the:
- Australian Government decision-making framework. The framework aimed to provide a more transparent, consistent, and collaborative process for monitoring drought conditions and their impact, and to inform advice to government on drought. Attendees could learn more or contribute to the framework by emailing DAFF on email@example.com.
- consultation on the Future Drought Fund’s funding plan. The Australian Government was seeking feedback until 6 December 2023 on how funding should be spent from 2024 to 2028 under the Future Drought Fund.
- current and predicted seasonal conditions. The Bureau of Meteorology ran through its latest climate outlook. It described and invited feedback on its agricultural decision support tools, including its regular regional forecasts on YouTube. Attendees could learn more by emailing the Bureau on firstname.lastname@example.org.
- New South Wales support for primary producers. NSW Department of Primary Industries provided an update on its drought assistance and support measures. These include financial support through the Farm Innovation Fund and other drought measures listed on NSW Drought Hub.
- Queensland support for primary producers. QLD Department of Agriculture and Fisheries provided an update on its drought policy and programs, including the state’s Regional Drought Resilience Planning Program Network and other drought assistance measures. Attendees could learn more by emailing DAF QLD on email@example.com.
The next meeting is expected to be held in the first half of 2024. Attendees were invited to provide feedback on the network and future agenda items.
National Drought Forum
The Department, in partnership with the National Farmers’ Federation, held the most recent of our biennial National Drought Forums in September 2023. At that event, over 180 representatives from government, industry, the finance and banking sector, First Nations, unions, not-for-profit and communities shared ideas and discussed the future of Australia’s drought policy.