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Government drought support

Public inquiry

This inquiry has concluded. The final inquiry report was sent to Government on 27 February 2009 and was publicly released on 12 May 2009.

The Productivity Commission was asked to undertake a public inquiry into the government drought support arrangements in Australia. The Commission had been asked to identify the most appropriate way for governments to assist farmers, farm businesses and farm dependent rural small businesses improve their self-reliance and preparedness for drought events.

Specifically, the Commission was requested to:

  • report on the appropriateness, effectiveness and efficiency of the Commonwealth, state and territory governments' business support and income support measures
  • identify impediments to improving self-reliance and preparedness for periods of financial difficulty
  • identify the most appropriate, effective and efficient responses by Commonwealth, state and territory governments, to build self-reliance and preparedness to manage drought.

The inquiry was part of a national review of drought policy that included:

  • an expert panel's assessment of the social dimensions of the impacts of drought and the extent and range of government and non-government social support services available to farm families and rural communities
  • the Bureau of Meteorology and Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation's assessment of what a changing climate means for drought in Australia and the appropriateness of using the concept of exceptional climatic circumstances to trigger the availability of assistance measures.

The Commission drew upon the findings of these assessments.

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Media release: Details of national review of drought policy released

Please note: The draft report is for research purposes only. For final outcomes of this inquiry refer to the inquiry report.

Draft report (PDF - 1708 Kb)

Key documents