Grants available to build local drought resilience

Media releases: 3 October 2023

Funding to strengthen community networks and capabilities

FRRR is inviting applications from community organisations in remote, rural and regional communities for projects designed to enhance local drought preparedness.

Supported by the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund through the Helping Regional Communities Prepare for Drought Initiative, the Small Network Grants program can fund simple, one-off or seed-type initiatives to strengthen community networks and capabilities in 35 agriculture-dependent regions.

Nina O’Brien, FRRR’s Disaster Resilience and Recovery Lead, said that there are a wide range of one-off projects that promote community networks, which the program can fund.

“Through this program, we are enabling agriculture-dependent communities to identify and act on their drought preparedness and resilience priorities at a grassroots level in the ways that best suit their communities.

“From previous programs, we know that social networks are critical to drought resilience because they promote a sense of belonging by providing opportunities for a diverse range of community members to connect and participate.

“Events, such as field days or practical workshops, are effective tools for improving mental health and wellbeing, because they give participants the opportunity to connect with their neighbours and learn skills to address the local risk factors associated with a changing climate. So we look forward to seeing the projects that come forward,” Ms O’Brien said.

FRRR wants to hear from groups with projects that fit into one of these five categories:

  • Networks: Initiatives to strengthen the capacity, capability, and coordination of professional, social or community networks
  • Community Events: Field days, conferences, forums, summits, and seminars that facilitate professional, social and community connection to build understanding of drought and climate change associated risks.
  • Training: Initiatives to improve skills and capacity in community risk management, planning and project delivery in relation to drought.
  • Community Infrastructure: Small scale community infrastructure projects to improve connectedness, wellbeing, and facilities.
  • Development and Learning: Initiatives to facilitate professional, personal and leadership related development and learning to support drought preparation.

There are two streams of funding – one offering up to $20,000 in agriculture dependent LGAs in priority remote, rural and regional locations, and the second stream offering up to $50,000 in eligible LGAs in the NSW Far West, NT Tablelands, NT Arid Lands and WA Great Southern regions, where there is no active Community Impact program. Details of the LGA’s in each stream are on FRRR’s website.

Applications are open now and close 14 November 2023, with successful applicants announced in March 2024. There will be a second round of the program, which is expected to open in February 2024, with funds announced in June 2024.

For more information, and to apply, visit the program page.