Drought Toolbox

Drought Toolbox

The following is a toolbox of services available from a range of bodies, both Government and NGO’s, compiled by the Southern NSW Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub.


 NSW Rural Assistance Authority

Other NSW Government

  • SafeWork and Fair Trading waive licence fees for drought-affected customers experiencing financial difficulty. To be eligible you must work or live in an area classified as ‘Intense Drought or Drought’ by the Department of Primary Industries.

Australian Government

  • Farm Management Deposits (FMD) Scheme – helps primary producers to manage their financial risk and meet their business costs in low-income years by building up cash reserves.
  • Farm Household Allowance – provides assistance to farming families experiencing financial hardship for any reason.
  • Taxation measures – various options available
  • My Climate View – online platform gives Australian farmers and communities climate information for their local area to help them better prepare for climate risks.

Regional Investment Corporation Loans:

  • Drought Loan – Prepare for drought. Manage or recover from the effects of drought.
  • AgBiz Drought Loan – For farm-related small businesses to manage and recover from drought.
  • AgriStarter Loan – Loans to assist first-time farmers and loans to support farm succession arrangements
  • Plantation Loan – Loans to support new plantation development and the replanting of bushfire-damaged plantations
  • Farm Investment Loan – Recover from severe business impact and prepare for future financial disruptions.


Rural Financial Counselling Service

  • Financial counsellors provide free guidance and support for primary producers to people experiencing financial difficulties in their businesses or personal lives; and
  • Offers free, personalised, independent, and confidential face to face support to small business owners in financial difficulty within regional NSW.

Rural Aid

  • Financial Assistance – currently closed
  • Fodder – Rural Aid sources and delivers fodder for primary producers when there is a localised need for assistance. If you are in need of fodder assistance, contact us for more information.
  • Domestic Water – Rural Aid coordinates domestic water deliveries to assist farmers in need of household water.
  • Domestic Water Tanks – currently closed – Rural Aid provides farmers with the opportunity to apply for a 22,500/23,000 litre domestic water tank as part of Rural Aid’s sustainability initiative.

Country Women’s Association
The CWA is the largest women’s organisation in Australia and aims to improve conditions for country women and children. Phone 8337 0200 or visit www.cwaofnsw.org.au 

St. Vincent De Paul

Provides personal support, advocacy, clothing and some financial assistance. Phone 131 812 or visit www.vinnies.org.au

Mental Health

Rural Adversity Mental Health Program

RAMHP has 20 Coordinators employed by Local Health Districts across regional, rural and remote NSW – who provide health promotion and educational activities in their local communities and link individuals with appropriate services.

  • Link – Provide personalised advice to link individuals who need assistance for their mental health to the most appropriate services and resources.
  • Train – Deliver standardised and tailored mental health training to build capacity among community members and workplaces to identify and link people to services and resources.
  • Inform – Produce and disseminate information about mental health and available services and resources through a wide variety of channels targeting rural and remote people.
  • Partner – Work in partnership with stakeholders to create pathways to care and a flexible interagency response to priority groups and issues.

Rural Aid

  • The Rural Aid Mental Health and Wellbeing team is made up of experienced counsellors who are based in rural towns across the country. Rural Aid counsellors offer free, confidential support to farmers and their families. Counselling Intake Line – 1300 175 594

Other Mental Health Services

Having a tough time and need someone to talk to right now? The following services are there to listen and help you out. They are confidential and available 24/7.

  • Lifeline – 13 11 14
  • Suicide Call Back Service – 1300 659 467
  • Mental Health Line – 1800 011 511
  • BeyondBlue – 1300 224 636
  • 13 YARN (Indigenous-led crisis support) – 13 92 76
  • MensLine Australia – 1300 78 99 78
  • Kids Helpline (to 24 years old) – 1800 55 1800
  • Domestic Violence – 1800 737 732