National Drought Forum 2021

9 June 2021

In partnership with the National Farmers Federation (NFF), the National Recovery & Resilience Agency (NRRA), hosted the National Drought Forum in Toowoomba QLD to bring together ideas for the future of Australia’s approach to managing drought. Chairman of the Forum Shane Stone updated participants on work done by the former National Drought and North Queensland Response and Recovery Agency to improve drought coordination, policy, and program reform. Following its establishment on 5 May 2021, the NRRA continues to have a leadership role in helping people at a local level to cope and better prepare for drought and natural disasters. He reiterated the ongoing role of the NRRA to champion disaster risk reduction and resilience and support recovery from a range of disasters. Shane Stone outlined the shift in responsibilities at the Commonwealth level with drought policy to transfer to the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE) with drought outreach and engagement to stay with NRRA. He confirmed there would be a close and ongoing collaboration between DAWE and the NRRA, with limited change for people on the ground. He also highlighted that while drought conditions have eased in many areas of Australia, it still lingers in others. Drought is a constant cycle with one drought starting before another one ends and that a continued focus on drought is needed – for improved preparedness, response, recovery, and long-term resilience.

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