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Drought planning more important now than ever

Update on the Regional Drought Resilience Planning program, a key program under the Australian Government’s $5 billion Future Drought Fund

As Queensland flood recovery continues, more than 60 per cent of the state remains drought-declared, making drought resilience planning as important as ever.

The next stage of planning is underway by the Rural Economies Centre of Excellence (RECoE), an economic research collaboration of four universities including the University of Southern Queensland, University of Queensland, James Cook University and Central Queensland University.

RECoE Chair Professor John McVeigh, who is also Executive Director of University of Southern Queensland’s Institute for Resilient Regions, said the centre had made impressive progress in the Regional Drought Resilience Planning (RDRP) program as part of Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund.

“With so many communities impacted by recent flood events, it may seem like a difficult time to discuss drought,” Professor McVeigh said.

“We’re seeing people continue to engage in drought resilience planning, knowing that the reprieve is often short-lived.

“Enhancing resilience to the impacts of drought is fundamental for many of our regional and rural economies.”

RECoE was appointed by the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries to lead the state’s rollout of drought resilience planning in five pilot regions as part of the Commonwealth Government’s foundational year for the RDRP program.

The program was announced by Federal Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia David Littleproud and Queensland Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Minister for Rural Communities Mark Furner late last year.

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