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Future Drought Fund: University of Southern Queensland research to help build community resilience

Working with the community to tackle the problems that matter.

A rural economic research collaboration of universities, including the University of Southern Queensland, has been funded to work with regional communities plagued by drought, to deliver better risk management.

Federal Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia David Littleproud and Queensland Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Minister for Rural Communities Mark Furner announced two new programs as part of the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund, including the Regional Drought Resilience Planning (RDRP) program.

In Queensland, the regional planning process will be supported by the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and delivered by the Rural Economies Centre of Excellence (ReCoE) which is based at the University of Southern Queensland and includes researchers from The University of Queensland, James Cook University and Central Queensland University.

“Regions across Australia will have an opportunity to develop regional drought resilience plans to prepare for and manage future drought risks,” Minister Littleproud said.

“The plans will identify how to manage through droughts by finding ways to build resilience across agricultural sectors and allied industries. Planning will be community-led and owned. It will bring regional knowledge and perspectives, along with the best available evidence and data.

Queensland Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities Mark Furner said RDRP support local government groups to write regional drought resilience plans, ensuring greater regional coordination of responses and supporting local solutions.

The Regional Drought Resilience Planning program will begin with five key regions across Queensland: Fitzroy and Capricornia; Darling Downs plus South Burnett; Cape York and Torres Strait; Burdekin and Charters Towers; and South West.

ReCoE director and University of Southern Queensland researcher Associate Professor Ben Lyons said the RDRPs would bring people together to share local knowledge and perspectives, recognising that no two regions were the same.

“They’ll help put regional communities in a stronger position to adapt to changes and take advantage of opportunities as they arise, building their economic, environmental and social resilience to future droughts.”

RECoE is rural economic research collaboration between The University of Queensland, James Cook University, Central Queensland University and the University of Southern Queensland.

This program is jointly funded through Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund and the Queensland Government

Fast Facts:

• Queensland has received $4.4 million in Future Drought Fund funding, including $1.8 million for Regional Drought Resilience Planning.
• Regional Drought Resilience Planning program is a key program under the Australian Government’s $5 billion Future Drought Fund. 

man leaning on fence
Associate Professor Ben Lyons said the RDRPs would bring people together to share local knowledge and perspectives, recognising that no two regions were the same.