Joint Agency Drought Taskforce

Assistance for farmers, their families and rural communities 

Farmers, their families and their communities can access a range of government services and support to help them manage during times of drought and prepare for future conditions. 

People are encouraged not to self-assess their individual situation, but to seek advice from an expert.

Visit to access assistance.


The Prime Minister has stated the drought is one of his top and immediate priorities for the Government. On 19 August 2018, the Government announced the appointment of a Coordinator-General for Drought, Major General Stephen Day, DSC, AM. To support this work the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet has established a Joint Agency Drought Taskforce in the Prime Minister’s department led by Major General Stephen Day.

The Prime Minister has also appointed a Special Envoy for Drought Assistance and Recovery, the Hon Barnaby Joyce MP to listen to affected communities so he can feed back a deeper picture of the human and economic impact of the drought, including positive examples of resilience. The Special Envoy for Drought will provide advice to the Prime Minister about the impact of relief efforts, including the performance of Government service delivery and advise about proposals that might be emerging from the community.

Read the Terms of Reference for the Coordinator-General for Drought

Key Dates & Progress

Coordinator-General’s travel and meetings

  • 05 October, 2018 - Rockhampton, Queensland – Meeting with the Mayor of Rockhampton, followed by a community meeting with farmers, educators, representative bodies and charities from the Rockhampton region. 
  • 03 October, 2018 - Perth, Western Australia – Separate meetings with CBH Group, WA Department of Agriculture and Food, WA Minister for Regional Development, Agriculture and Food and WA Farmers association.
  • 28 September, 2018 – Armidale, Queensland – Meetings with the Mayor of the Armidale Regional Council, Jim Maker, counsellors, the Armidale Regional Council Drought Taskforce, agricultural peak bodies, community representatives and not-for-profits.
  • 27 September, 2018 – Brisbane, Queensland - Convened the inaugural fodder meeting with agriculture sector, not-for-profits and government stakeholders to coordinate a response to get fodder to farmers who need it most.
  • 26 September, 2018 – Canberra, Australian Capital Territory – Convened the inaugural meeting with the education sector to discuss education support for isolated and remote families in drought-affected communities.
  • 25 September, 2018 – Adelaide, South Australia – Meetings with the Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, Tim Whetstone, key industry and local government representatives.
  • 21 September, 2018 – Tenterfield, New South Wales -  Meetings with the Mayor of Tenterfield Shire Council, counsellors and council staff, as well as local business and not for profit representatives.  
  • 19 September, 2018 – Canberra, Australian Capital Territory – Meeting with Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, Special Envoy for Drought and President of the National Farmers Federation to discuss progress. The Prime Minister announced the National Drought Summit.
  • 14 September, 2018 – Toowoomba, Queensland – Met with the Mayor of Toowoomba Regional Council and local farmers.
  • 13 Sept, 2018 – Brisbane, Queensland – Convened the inaugural meeting with charities providing assistance to drought affected communities.
  • 6 September, 2018 - Mullaley, New South Wales – Public meeting with farmers.
  • 6 September, 2018 - Tamworth, New South Wales – Met with the Mayor of Tamworth Regional Council, representatives from the Salvation Army and NSW Farmers Federation and the local radio station.

See earlier travel and meetings

Latest News


Contact Us

Joint Agency Drought Taskforce

Joint Agency Drought Taskforce
c/o Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
PO Box 6500
Canberra ACT 2600