Available Drought Assistance - summary

Updated: 28 Aug 2019


Drought Hub is a one-stop online source of information on services and support available to primary producers, their families and rural communities to prepare for and manage drought conditions.

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Financial assistance for NSW farmers

The NSW Government has committed over $1.8 billion to drought relief in NSW. Visit Available Drought Assistance in NSW  on Drought Hub for links to eligibility criteria, guidelines and FAQs. The following key assistance measures are available to eligible applicants:


  • Drought Assistance Fund – $50,000 available for interest free loans to transport stock, fodder and water, genetic banking of breeding herds and installing farm and water infrastructure. The seven- year loan term requires no repayments in the first two years and attracts no interest charges.
  • Farm Innovation Fund - a loan scheme for capital works up to a value of $1,000,000 for infrastructure works (e.g. sheds, silos, water tanks) to build resilience in dry times and improve on-farm efficiency.


  • Animal Welfare Transport Subsidy - 50% of eligible costs for the permanent transport of stock off a farm facing financial hardship and where livestock are at fat score 2 or below (dairy cattle 3 or below), to a maximum of $20,000 per financial year.
  • Donated Fodder Transport – 100% of cost of transporting donated fodder when transport providers are acting in conjunction with community groups and taking donated fodder to drought-affected properties within NSW. Maximum of $5 per km and up to 1500 km.
  • Drought Transport Subsidy - up to $40,000 per eligible farm business from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020, for the cost of transporting fodder, water to a property for stock or domestic use, stock to and from agistment, and stock to sale or slaughter. The subsidy covers up to 50% of the full cost of freight, up to a maximum of $5 per kilometre. From 1 July there will be no cap on distance per journey.
  • Farm Business Skills Professional Development Program - up to 50% of eligible costs for an approved course or activity, with a maximum reimbursement of $5,000 per farmer and $9,000 per farm business.


  • Bee Site Permit
  • Agricultural Vehicle Registration
  • Farm Innovation Fund Interest Charges
  • NSW Local Land Services Rates
  • Water Licences
  • Wild Dog Fence Charges

Commonwealth Government Assistance

For details of all Commonwealth drought support, visit Drought Hub or the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture and Water Resources. Measures include:

  • Regional Investment Corporation (RIC) Low Interest Loans – this Australian Government scheme offers two loan products for farm businesses – Farm Investment Loans and Drought Loans.
  • On-Farm Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate – an Australian Government scheme to assist livestock farmers to purchase and install pipes, storage, pumps and dams to address animal welfare needs and improve water storage in dry times.

Support services and tools

  • Assistance Near You – search the “Assistance Near You” map on Drought Hub to find a regional location where staff can meet with you in person to assist with lodging application forms, internet access and scanning documents.
  • Drought Feed Calculator – free mobile app helping farmers determine feeding requirements.
  • Farm Tracker app – free mobile app helping farmers to keep detailed records of farm conditions.
  • Local Land Services - technical experts providing farmers with on the ground support and advice on agricultural production, biosecurity, animal nutrition, pasture management and livestock health.
  • NSW Rural Assistance Authority – the RAA administers a wide range of financial assistance measures to the rural sector, both state and federally funded.
  • Rural Adversity Mental Health Program (RAMHP) - state-wide program to help link people in regional and remote areas of NSW with mental health support.
  • Rural Financial Counselling Service - helping farmers who are dealing with, or are at risk of, financial hardship. Rural financial counsellors can help identify options, develop action plans and access the Farm Household Allowance (FHA).
  • Rural Resilience Program – the team is dedicated to building the personal and business resilience of farming communities and strengthening networks and skills.
  • Young Farmer Business Program – supporting young farmers to develop skills, ideas and resilience through a range of products and services.

For contact details, local events and links to the above support services, visit Drought Hub.

Drought management information

NSW Department of Primary Industry (DPI) coordinates the NSW Government’s response to drought. Visit Drought Hub to view and download DPI’s wide range of fact sheets, information, tips and links to help farmers make sound decisions and locate support services when and where they are needed:

Charity coordination

The NSW Government appointed GIVIT as the official charity partner to manage offers of drought assistance. GIVIT works with local charities, schools and community service providers to match donations with the people who need them the most.