Drought Relief Assistance Scheme (DRAS) subsidies and rebates

The Drought Relief Assistance Scheme (DRAS) is offered by the Queensland Government and administered by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF).

The purpose of the scheme is to help primary producers with drought-declared properties to:

  • manage the welfare of their core breeding herd during drought
  • restore their herds after drought.

Types of assistance available

DRAS facilitates 5 assistance measures while an area or property is drought declared, and 2 assistance measures after the drought declaration is revoked.

Primary producers with a property that is currently drought declared may be eligible for:

  • freight subsidies for transporting fodder
  • freight subsidies for transporting water
  • Permanent Tree Cropping (PTC), which provides a rebate on the cost of dam desilting or bore drilling (Australian Government rebate)
  • Dam Desilting rebate (DDS), which provides a rebate on the cost of desilting a dam (Australian Government rebate)
  • the Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate (EWIR), which provides a rebate on the purchase and installation of water infrastructure installed for emergency animal welfare needs.

Producers with a property that has had its drought declaration revoked may be eligible for:

  • freight subsidies for transporting livestock returning from agistment
  • freight subsidies for transporting livestock purchased for restocking.

The fact sheet Recovering from drought - what assistance is available? (PDF, 204KB) provides more information.

Maximum amounts available during drought declaration

The maximum amount available under the DRAS is initially a total of $20,000 per property, per financial year.

For the purposes of this scheme, all properties or land parcels included under a single property identification code (PIC) are considered to be 1 property. DRAS does not allow the splitting of partnerships, properties or land parcels to access more than the prescribed maximum amount.

If you reach the $20,000 limit for your property, you can apply to extend the limit up to $50,000 depending on the length of time your property has been in drought. To do this, you will need to prepare a drought management plan (DMP) for your property and have it endorsed by a DAF officer. Once your DMP is endorsed, the applicable ceiling applies to the entire current financial year and later financial years.

Once a drought declaration is revoked, the DRAS ceiling is the level the property was on immediately before the revocation. It remains at that level for the period that the property is eligible to apply for DRAS. For example, if a property with an approved DMP was in the third year of being drought declared, the DRAS ceiling would be $40,000 once the declaration was revoked.

For more information on eligibility criteria for DRAS and to apply for DRAS, please see the DRAS guidelines and application forms.

Queensland Government Drought Reform

Significant drought reforms including improved Queensland drought assistance measures will help Queensland primary producers better manage future droughts through a suite of proactive measures including tailored grants and loans.

The drought preparedness measures will be open to all primary producers without needing a drought declaration.

DRAS will continue while this drought lasts. Drought-declared producers can choose to continue accessing DRAS support or transition to the new measures. Once they access the new measures, they cannot go back to DRAS which will be phased out as local government areas come out of drought. All other existing in-drought assistance measures will be considered for future droughts.

Also consider...