Halfway Through the Regional Drought Resilience Plan for the Mid West!

Winding up towards the end of 2021, NACC NRM, DPIRD and the Mid West Development Commission are taking a breath and looking back on the progress so far in developing a new drought resilience plan for our region. Read more to find out how you can get involved over the next six months.

It is abundantly clear that the community in the City of Greater Geraldton and the Shires of Chapman Valley and Northampton recognise the role that drought plays in their lives and are working hard to ensure that they are as prepared as possible for the next major drought. There has been loads of interest in the Regional Drought Resilience Planning Program (the RDRP) from farmers, Aboriginal organisations, agribusinesses and local government. We are hoping for a plan that really represents the needs and interest of the regional community when it comes to drought resilience, and positions us all well to take advantage of upcoming funding opportunities under the federal Future Drought Fund (FDF).

The project team have been working hard to make sure that our drought resilience planning activities are coordinated with the other regions in WA (Great Southern and Wheatbelt) that are also developing drought plans in this foundation year of the RDRP. We are in regular contact with the SW WA Drought Hub,  DPIRD, the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation and CSIRO to make sure that we are up-to-date with other drought-related opportunities for our region under the FDF, including tools for accessing Better Climate Information, opportunities for Drought Resilience Leadership Training and Mentoring and grants for Building Resilient Communities and promoting Drought Resilient Soils and Landscapes (closing 11 Jan 2022). And we are looking for ways to link in with, learn from and support the other drought-focused, sustainable agriculture initiative in the region, such as Beyond Reasonable Drought (FDF) and the Chapman Catchment Regeneration Project (State NRM), and through formal agreements with Mid West Horticultural Growers Group, Mullewa Drylands Farming Initiative, Northern Agri Group, Northern Biosecurity Group and Yuna Farm Improvement Group.

We have been out and about in the region over last couple of months and, so far, 196 of you had your say on identifying impacts of drought in our region and reviewing responses that have been implemented in the past. You have engaged through your participation in the Mid West Regional Drought Resilience Project Advisory Group or the Councils of the participating Shires, your interviews with Anna and Rachel at your properties or your attendance at either the recent agribusiness event in Geraldton or the Mid West Aboriginal Ranger Program workshop in Walkaway.

Thank you for your interest and feedback! Over the coming month, after a bit of break over Christmas, we will be using what we have learned from you and our analyses of the available data to write a drought risk assessment to inform the Mid West drought resilience plan. In the new year, we will check with all of you as we begin to identify priority drought resilience projects and pull all of this together into a community-led plan. Until then, have a Happy Christmas and a lively New Year and we will see you in 2022.

For more information, please visit the Future Drought Fund website, DPIRD Drought Resilience Program website, Regional Drought Resilience Planning webpage or contact NACC NRM’s Senior Conservation Planning Officer, Dr Amanda Bourne (0474 652 595; amanda.bourne@nacc.com.au).

This program is jointly funded through the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund and the WA Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development.

Dr. Amanda Bourne – Senior Conservation Planning Officer

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