A National Drought Forum convening government, industry and non-government organisations will be held in Toowoomba, Queensland today to bring together ideas for the future of Australia’s approach to managing drought.
The National Recovery and Resilience Agency, in partnership with the National Farmers’ Federation, will lead discussion with over 100 Forum participants from peak bodies, charities, the finance and banking sector, and all levels of government to address the current and emerging challenges for drought policies and initiatives.
The Agency was established to drive efforts to anticipate and adapt to the changing climate and help businesses and communities to be more prepared for, and better able to reduce, the impacts of drought and natural disasters.
The Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management, David Littleproud said the Forum is an example of the Australian Government’s commitment to strengthening our defences against drought.
“We are all in this together and we want to hear from people on the ground. We can never drought proof the nation, but we can be better prepared,” Minister Littleproud said.
“The Australian Government has committed $11 billion to drought measures since 2018-19 with a key feature being the Future Drought Fund, making available $100 million each year to build resilience in our farmers, our landscapes and communities.
“Drought is a recurring feature and all levels of government, industry and farmers have a role in responding and making sure we are better prepared to deal with the next one.”
The Chairman of the National Recovery and Resilience Agency, the Honourable Shane said he looked forward to collaborating with our stakeholders to build on the progress already achieved since the 2018 National Drought Summit.
“We will continue to focus on a strategic approach to drought and long-term preparedness for farming businesses and communities,” Mr Stone said.
“Since the Drought Summit, the Australian Government has implemented its Drought Preparedness, Resilience and Response Plan, all jurisdictions have signed the National Drought Agreement and the first eight Future Drought Fund initiatives are being delivered.
“Now it’s vital that we hear directly from stakeholders on the ground, so we know what is working for them, what is not and why.”
National Farmers’ Federation President and National Drought Forum keynote speaker Fiona Simson said the Forum delivers on NFF’s call for a regular coming together of stakeholders, including governments, farmers and support agencies, to do an honest assessment of current drought measures.
“As a nation, we must be continually thinking about and planning for drought, especially in the good years. We must shift from a responsive to a proactive, preparatory approach,” Ms Simson said.
Over three sessions and workshops, Forum participants will share insights, discuss new approaches to drought management and test ideas for managing drought risk and building resilience into the future.