Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal

FRRR and ARLF are pleased to announce the next 25 organisations that are acting as the lead local community partner in the Future Drought Fund’s  Helping Regional Communities Prepare for Drought InitiativeCommunity Impact Program. The initiative is supported by the Australian Government, through the Future Drought Fund.

These 25 organisations, each of which is highly respected and well connected locally, will now lead the process of co-designing a detailed project plan, working closely with other local community groups, before submitting it for final assessment in early April. They join the lead organisations in regions announced late last year in scoping projects valued at up to $500,000.

FRRR’s Disaster Resilience and Climate Solutions Lead, Nina O’Brien, said that it’s exciting to have another 25 groups moving forward in this process.

“Widespread flooding affected QLD, WA, SA, NSW and VIC and given the severity of the impacts in so many places, we initially expected that there would most likely be a delay to some of these regions being ready to undertake drought resilience planning. However, after chatting to the affected groups, the majority confirmed that they want to proceed, to give communities something to look forward to and to change local conversations and outlooks,” Ms O’Brien said.

The local partner organisations will be supported by an independent facilitator, funded through the program, who will work with the groups to ensure that the plans are sound and that they engage as many local groups as possible in the project design.

The remaining three regions (Far West NSW, Northwest QLD and Great Southern in WA) will proceed later this year, allowing them time to recover from floods and, in some cases, to confirm the local lead partner organisation.

MurrayHolbrook Landcare Group
Central West Rural Financial Counselling Service – NSW Southern Region
North WestNorthern Slopes Landcare Association Incorporated
Northern TablelandsGlenrac Incorporated
Central WestCentral Western Queensland Remote Area Planning and Development Board
South WestSouthern Queensland Natural Resources Management Ltd
Northern Queensland Dry TropicsNorthern Queensland Dry Tropics Ltd
Arid LandsNorthern Territory Cattlemen's Association Inc
TablelandsCharles Darwin University
GascoyneGascoyne Catchments Group Inc
Wheatbelt CentralWheatbelt Natural Resource Management Incorporated
Wheatbelt SouthCorrigin Farm Improvement Group
MidWestNorthern Agricultural Catchments Council Incorporated
Northern and YorkeRegional Development Australia Barossa Gawler Light Adelaide Plains Incorporated
Murraylands and RiverlandRegional Development Australia Murraylands and Riverland Incorporated
Limestone CoastLimestone Coast Food & Agribusiness Cluster Ltd
MalleeMallee Sustainable Farming Inc
Loddon CampaspeGoulburn Murray Community Leadership
Wimmera Southern MalleeWimmera Development Association
East GippslandGippsland Agricultural Group
GoulburnRiverine Plains Incorporated
West GippslandFood & Fibre Gippsland Inc
Ovens MurrayAgBiz Assist
North and North WestRural Business Tasmania Inc
SouthUniversity of Tasmania

FRRR is pleased to announce the first eight lead organisations that will partner with FRRR and ARLF on the Helping Regional Communities Prepare for Drought Initiative, through the Community Impact Program. This is a part of the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund.

These eight locally-based groups will undertake a local program co-design process, with the support of on-the-ground facilitators and FRRR staff, to design local community focused drought preparedness activities, in collaboration with a diverse range of local program collaborators community involvement. That will occur in February, with the final plan and budget coming back to FRRR for assessment. Funding will be announced in early May and projects can then get underway.

“Among the significant communities challenges, we were incredibly pleased to see the creativity and tenacity of communities to plan ahead for drought in the future. The diverse range, strength and depth of Expressions of Interests put forward for consideration in Stage 1 demonstrate the importance of place-based, locally designed programs that respond to local conditions and context like this new program and approach,” said Nina O’Brien, FRRR’s Disaster Resilience & Climate Solutions Portfolio Lead.

In regard to other locations, many regions have been impacted by flooding since lodging their EOI, while in other areas there was more than one group that put forward a proposal to be the lead applicant. Over the coming weeks, FRRR will work with those groups to identify the lead applicant, before those communities also enter into a similar planning process. We will, therefore, be revising the program timelines for this cohort of communities and will advise that when that is agreed.

In the meantime, if you have any questions, email or call 1800 170 020 to speak with one of the program team.

The community leads in the first eight regions are:

Darling Downs and BurnettRed Earth Community Foundation South Burnett Limited
Fitzroy CapricorniaDawson Catchment Coordinating Association Inc
Hinterland to GulfNorthern Gulf Resource Management Group Ltd
Cape York - Torres StraitCape York Natural Resource Management Ltd
Great SouthernStirlings to Coast Farmers Inc
South-WestSouth West Catchment Council
Arid LandsSA Arid Lands Landscape Board
Eyre PeninsulaAgricultural Innovation & Research Eyre Peninsula Incorporated