The Coalition Government has introduced the “Future Drought Fund Bill 2018” to Parliament, which, if passed, will create a future drought fund of initially $3.8 billion, growing to $5 billion over the next decade.
The Future Drought Fund was the key announcement from October’s national drought summit in Canberra.
From 1 July 2020, $100 million annually will be directed from the fund to drought resilience projects.
Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud said the Future Drought Fund will establish a new, secure, revenue stream for drought resilience, preparedness and recovery, and was a forward-looking policy which would pay off for decades to come.
“We’re guaranteeing long-term revenue to build drought resilience,” Minister Littleproud said.
“The Future Drought Fund will help give out farmers tools to prepare for, manage and sustain their businesses through drought.
“The Future Drought Fund will deliver infrastructure projects, promote the adoption of new technology and help improve environmental and natural resource management on farms.
“Importantly, it will not be used to fund existing measures already in place.”
Minister for Finance and the Public Service Mathias Cormann said from 1 July 2020, $100 million will be directed annually to fund a wide range of drought resilience projects, while the balance is reinvested the Fund.
“A predictable funding stream for drought resilience will enable Australia’s $60 billion agricultural industries to fulfil their potential.”
The government will develop and publish the Drought Resilience Funding Plan to ensure a transparent and consistent approach to funding drought resilience projects.
“The plan will be informed though public consultation and reviewed at least every four years to ensure it captures emerging priorities.”
Source: Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources