Drought preparation for primary producers

Drought in some areas of Queensland has been continuous since 2013. Having a plan in place to cope with drought can help to reduce the impact on your business and help you to recover quickly.

Prepare for drought

Consider what actions you can take to prepare for or reduce the likely effects of drought.

Prepare your property

When planning for a drought consider alternative ways to operate if water supplies are restricted or unavailable.

  • Plan for rising costs of products, produce and water.
  • Plan and document how to deal with supply chain alternatives.
  • Read how to respond to supply chain disruptions.

Managing and recovering from drought

Know where to get the most up to date information and where to get help if you need it.

  • Connect with your local community, neighbouring businesses and disaster recovery centres to find out how you can help your community, or they can help you.
  • Accept volunteer and community support – people want to help and you are not alone.

Communicate

Consider who your business might need to communicate with during a drought.

Key stakeholders may include:

  • staff
  • clients
  • suppliers and distributors
  • banks and insurers
  • industry body or association
  • regulatory body or agency.

Contact your bank

  • Ask your bank about financial hardship options, for example:
    • changing loan terms
    • temporarily pausing or reducing repayments
    • deferring repayments and interest payments (all missed payments and interest will need to be repaid)
    • waiving fees and charges
    • consolidating your debt
    • finance to help cover cash flow shortages
    • deferring upcoming credit card payments
    • increasing emergency credit card limits
    • waiving early termination fees to access term deposits.
  • Provide loan details (account name and number, payment amounts) and an overview of your financial situation.
  • Request a hardship variation by using the sample letter generator from the Financial Rights Legal Centre to send to your bank.
  • Your bank must advise you within 21 days about your hardship request. If you can't negotiate a variation, you can:
  • Speak to a rural financial counsellor if you are experiencing, or at risk of, financial hardship. It is a free, confidential service and can give you individual support to meet your needs and help you to make the right decisions for your business. This could include assistance with talking to your bank about your financial matters.

Contact utility providers

  • Contact your utility providers' hardship team about electricity, gas, phone or water bill payment options.
  • Contact your insurer if you:
    • aren't sure the event is covered by insurance – you may be able to claim under your business interruption or income protection insurance
    • have lost your policy documents – your insurer will have a copy.
  • Contact the Insurance Council of Australia (phone 1800 734 621) if you have questions about your policy or don't know who your insurer is.
  • Check your insurance policy:
    • review your cover
    • provides emergency or advance funds for wages or recovery activities.
  • Gather all information about the claim:
    • complete an event log
    • items to claim and when purchased
    • photo and/or video evidence.
  • Make a claim and resolve issues:
    • lodge claim as soon as possible – don't wait for a full damage assessment before making a claim
      • insurers must fast track a claim if you can demonstrate 'financial need' (read item 64 of the General Insurance Code of Practice) – if the insurer agrees, an advance payment must be made within 5 days
      • your insurer must inform you of their decision within 10 business days of receiving your claim
    • contact the Australian Financial Complaints Authority on 1800 931 678 if you can't reach agreement with your insurer
    • phone Legal Aid Queensland on 1300 651 188 if you need information and advice on how to get a claim paid.

Go back to Small business disaster hub for other industries and disasters.