Drought Policy

​​​​The Australian Government’s approach to drought policy and programs is guided by two key documents:

1992 National Drought Policy

The 1992 National Drought Policy describes the broad context of drought policy​ in Australia and sets out the Australian Government’s overarching approach to the provision of support and assistance.

The objectives of the 1992 National Drought Policy are to:

  • encourage primary producers and other sections of rural Australia to adopt self-reliant approaches to managing for climate variability
  • facilitate the maintenance and protection of Australia’s agricultural and environmental resources base during periods of climatic stress
  • facilitate the early recovery of agricultural and rural industries, consistent with long-term sustainable levels.

National Drought Agreement

On 12 December 2018, the Council of Australian Governments signed a new National Drought Agreement (NDA). The NDA sets out a joint approach to drought preparedness, responses and recovery, with a focus on accountability and transparency.

The NDA recognises the need to support farming businesses and farming communities to manage and prepare for climate change and variability. The new agreement focusses measures across all jurisdictions on bolstering risk management practices and enhancing long-term preparedness and resilience.

This agreement replaces the 2013 Intergovernmental Agreement on National Drought Program Reform.

For information on assistance available now, please visit Assistance Measures.

History of Drought Policy and Programs in Australia

For information on past drought policies and programs, please visit History of Drought Policy and Programs.