The Next Steps in Regional Drought Resilience Planning

The long-awaited rain may have arrived at last, but the past year has been a stark reminder that drought is a constant in Australia’s history. The adverse effects of drought are also expected to become more frequent and severe as our climate continues to change. To help communities better prepare for or minimise the impacts of drought, the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund (FDF) provides support to develop regional drought resilience plans that focus on locally applicable solutions and responses.  

NACC NRM has now begun work to coordinate the next phase of drought resilience work for the shires of Chapman Valley and Northampton, and the City of Greater Geraldton. Funds were recently made available by the FDF and WA Government to progress implementation of priorities identified in the Regional Drought Resilience Plan (RDRP) that was completed last year for this pilot region in the Mid West.  

The RDRP for the Mid West pilot region is a living document, with more than 70 priority actions identified under the FDF’s three strategic priority areas of social resilience, environmental resilience and economic resilience. Stakeholder consultation facilitated the contributions of almost 600 individuals representing 140 organisations to the RDRP and its evidence base, the Drought Vulnerability Assessment, with vital input from a Project Advisory Group of key stakeholders. The RDRP was delivered in partnership between NACC NRM, Mid West Development Commission (MWDC), Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development. 

NACC NRM has now re-established the Project Advisory Group to determine the most pressing and impactful priorities from the RDRP and work them through a project design process. Along the way, we’ll liaise with stakeholders, project proponents and partners to design viable projects aimed at helping our local communities and rural businesses to continue to improve their preparedness for and resilience to drought. 

Read more about the Regional Drought Resilience Plan and implementation phase for the Mid West pilot region (Greater Geraldton, Northampton and Chapman Valley).

Further south in the Northern Agricultural Region, drought resilience planning is now rolling out across other local government areas too, thanks to an additional Future Drought Fund injection. 

North Midlands: The North Midlands RDRP will include the shires of Carnamah, Coorow, Irwin, Mingenew, Morawa, Perenjori and Three Springs. Consultation is now underway and if you’d like to know more, head to the Mid West Development Commission website or get in touch with the Project Officer Gilly Johnson at rdrp-northmidlands@outlook.com

Wheatbelt: The Wheatbelt RDRP will cover 37 shires, with Dandaragan, Gingin, Victoria Plains, Moora and Dalwallinu shires being the northernmost local government areas included. (The shires of Wagin, Lake Grace, Kondinin, Kulin and Dumbleyung were involved in the RDRP pilot and are now implementing priority actions identified in the plan.) The Wheatbelt RDRP will be developed through consultation with stakeholders and technical analysis to explore innovative actions to build resilience, adaptability and preparedness to drought in the region for agriculture, water, landscape, communities and regional economies. Visit the Wheatbelt Development Commission website for further details. 

For more information, please contact NACC NRM’s Regional Drought Resilience Project Officer Yvette Hollings. 

yvette.hollings@nacc.com.au(08) 9938 0117 | 0447 298 063 

This project is supported by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, through funding from the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund.  

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