The Government has introduced legislation to establish a new, secure, revenue stream – which will grow to be worth $5 billion – for drought resilience, preparedness and recovery.
Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud said the Future Drought Fund was a forward-looking policy which will pay off for decades to come.
“We’re guaranteeing long-term revenue to build drought resilience,” 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 the fund would start with $3.9 billion, growing to $5 billion over the next decade.
“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.”