The joint Western Australian and Federal Government Drought Pilot panel has published its drought policy platform into adapting and dealing with future droughts in the country.


The  joint initiative has been testing programs and assistance measures designed to help farmers better manage and prepare for future challenges such as drought.


An independent Drought Pilot Review Panel was appointed in February 2011 to assess the efficiency, effectiveness, appropriateness and preliminary outcomes of the pilot measures.


The Drought Pilot was announced with $18 million in funding as part of the 2010-11 Budget and was extended and expanded for a further 12 months, with an additional $44.1 million in the 2011-12 Budget.


The panel recommended these measures for a future drought policy platform:

  • an income support safety net for farm families in hardship that is available based on demonstrated individual need
  • the permanent presence of social support services delivered via outreach to people in rural communities
  • continuing opportunities to engage in and implement strategic farm business planning; and
  • ongoing access to the Farm Management Deposits scheme and existing tax incentives for primary producers.


Any future reforms will be consistent with the principles for drought policy reform, reconfirmed through the Primary Industries Ministerial Council on 14 July 2011. A copy of the panel’s report is available on the Drought Pilot website.