Drought Relief Assistance Scheme (DRAS) freight subsidies and water infrastructure rebate

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 provides 3 assistance measures while an area or property is drought declared, and 2 assistance measures after the drought declaration is revoked.

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

  • freight subsidies for transporting fodder
  • freight subsidies for transporting water
  • 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 factsheet Recovering from drought - what assistance is available? (PDF, 204KB) provides more information.

Maximum amounts available during drought declaration

The maximum amount available under 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 to $30,000. 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 $30,000 ceiling applies to the entire current financial year and later financial years.

When a property with an endorsed DMP is in its third or later year of being drought declared, the ceiling per financial year automatically increases again, this time from $30,000 to $40,000. Properties entering their third year of drought declaration with an approved DMP that have already reached their $30,000 ceiling in the current financial year will have their previously submitted claims adjusted to reflect the new ceiling.

For example, a property might reach its third year of drought in April and become eligible to increase its DRAS total to $40,000 from April. However, DRAS limits apply for an entire financial year, so all previous claims for that financial year (from 1 July) would then be reconsidered and funded if appropriate.

However, the increased ceiling cannot be applied to previous financial years. For example, if a property enters its third year of drought in early July, only claims from 1 July forwards would be considered in light of that new financial ceiling.

Maximum amounts available after revocation of a declaration

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.

Properties that do not have a DMP before a declaration is revoked can have a DMP endorsed after revocation and the DRAS ceiling limit will then be $30,000 regardless of the length of the drought declaration. For example, if a property without a DMP was in its third or later year of drought prior to revocation, the producer could have a DMP endorsed and apply for a ceiling extension to the limit of $30,000.

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

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