Cattle on drought stricken property

Drought 2018: help for farmers and rural communities

A record-breaking drought is gripping NSW and Queensland, pushing our farmers and rural towns to breaking point. But a little support can make a big difference.

Fighting for our Farmers – 2018 Drought Relief Fund

The National Farmers’ Federation is proud to be partnering with Rotary Australia and Channel 9 to help raise much needed funds for communities in crisis.

The funds raised will be distributed to trusted relief organisations operating in drought-affected communities around the country.

Please give what you can by visiting the Rotary donations page or calling 1800 732 165.

Our Drought Relief Fund charges no transaction or administration fees, so you can be sure that 100% of funds will make their way to organisations making a difference in drought areas.

Fighting for our Farmers - 2018 Drought Relief Appeal

Are you a farmer looking for immediate drought support?

Our 2018 Drought Relief Fund is providing funds to a host of great relief organisations.

See contact details below for organisations who can offer immediate support – many of which will benefit from the funds we raise.

Federal Government Support

Farm Household Allowance (FHA)

Provides eligible farmers and their families experiencing financial hardships support through planning and training for long-term financial improvements as well as income support for up to four years.

The FHA program provides:
– A fortnightly payment and supplementary allowances of up to $590 (such as rent assistance, phone and pharmaceutical allowances and Health Care card).
– Individual case support with a Farm Household Case Officer and Rural Financial Counsellor
– A financial assessment of the farm enterprise up to $1,500.
– A $4,000 activity supplement that gives farmers and opportunity to develop skills, access training and pay for advice to better manage their business.

On Sunday 5 August, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, announced changes to the FHA. Eligible farmers will soon be able to receive two lump sum payments worth up to $12,000 for households and single households will get $7,200. The asset threshold has also increased to $5 million to allow more farmers to access support.

The first payment will be made on September 1 2018 and the second will be made on March 1 2019.

Assess your FHA eligibility: here
For more information call the Farmer Assistance Hotline on 13 23 16.
For FHA guidelines click here.
To apply for the FHA click here.

Rural Financial Counselling Service 

Provides primary producers and small rural businesses that are experiencing hardship with free and impartial financial information, options, decision-making support and referral services. A Rural Financial Counsellor can also assist with accessing Farm Household Allowance.

For more information call 1800 686 175.

Drought Concessional Loans scheme

Is designed to assist farming operations that have experienced significant financial impact as a result of the drought.
Eligible businesses must have been operating for at least three years and have good long-term prospects of returning to profitable trading with sustainable debt levels.

For more information see the Regional Investment Corporation website here or call 1800 875 675.

National Relief Organisations

Rural Aid

Is a non-for profit organisation that provides assistance and relief to those in rural areas struggling with the adverse effects of nature including, but not limited to, drought, floods and other natural disasters in Australia. Rural aid is the holding organisation for campaigns such as Buy a Bale and Farm Rescue.

To register as a farmer in need of these services click here or call 1300 327 624.

Thirsty Cow

Is a drought and bush fire appeal which provides financial support to affected farmers as well as fodder delivery, fencing, vehicle maintenance and animal care services. Farmers can self-nominate by emailing info@thirstycow.org.au or call 1300 45 11 88

The Salvation Army

Provides drought affected farmers in remote locations with grocery vouches and cash grants and fund rural chaplains.
Farmers can reach out for support by clicking here.

Mental Health Services

Farmers can access mental health support from:
Lifeline 131 11 14 and
Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636

New South Wales

Emergency Drought Relief Package

Aims to help farmers manage the effects of the current drought and includes:


Assistance to help meet household expenses for drought affected families, up to a maximum of $3,000 per family/household, is available to eligible applicants. Expenses can include grocery bills, vehicle maintenance, school, electricity, rates, telephone, dental and medical (gap payments or cost of travel to access treatment) etc. For expenses that are current and/or outstanding.

Farmers can self-nominate by clicking here.
For more information call (02) 8338 1595

Lions Need for Feed

The Lions Club’s need for feed program is working to deliver fodder, household supplies, water and more to families in need throughout NSW and Victoria.

To register for assistance, click here.


Government Assistance

The Queensland Government is providing drought assistance through multiple programs to farmers who are affected by drought. These programs include:
– Drought Relief Assistance Scheme (DRAS) freight subsidies and water infrastructure rebate
– Drought Relief from Electricity Charges Scheme (DRECS)
– Land rent rebates
– Water license waivers
 Transport-related drought assistance measures

Queensland CWA

The Queensland CWA is assisting farmers in drought areas with up to $5,000 in financial assistance in the form of vouchers and direct assistance with household bills.

For more information and to apply, click here or call 07 3026 1220.

Drought Angels

Provides stock feed, pre-paid visa cards for farmers, local produce vouchers (within the affected community) and face-to-face or phone services to drought-affected farmers.

To apply and for more information click here or email: droughtangels@gmail.com.

Western QLD Drought Appeal

Offering pre-paid debit cards and vouchers to farmers in Western QLD.

To register for support, click here.


Victorian Government Concessions

Concessions are available to low income Victorians experiencing difficulty in paying their council rates, water, gas and electricity bills. Discounts are available on essential services to ease the financial burden for low income Victorians who are experiencing unexpected financial hardships. For more detail, click here.

Agriculture Victoria 

The Victorian Government is currently providing technical support to help advise farmers responding to drought, in addition to facilitating access to Rural Financial Counsellors and financial support.

For more advice on options available, call Agriculture Victoria on 136 186 or click here.

South Australia

The South Australian Government Primary Industries and Regions provide South Australian specific information on federal drought support programs as well as farm management decision tools.

To speak to a Rural Financial Counsellor about accessing financial assistance, call 1800 836 211.

Look after your mental wellbeing during drought. If you require support, phone Lifeline on 13 11 14.

More information on available support can be found in our Guide to Drought Support.



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