Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Drought plan rolls out to WA regions

The WA and Federal Governments have announced a combined $900,000 to implement drought resilience plans across regional Western Australia to help communities prepare for and manage the impacts of dry seasons.

The State’s $450,000 contribution was matched by the Australian Government through the Future Drought Fund’s Regional Drought Resilience Planning Program.

The funding will enable drought resilience plans to be rolled out in the north of the Mid West, inland Great Southern and the southern parts of the Wheatbelt, following a successful pilot program.

“These drought resilience plans provide a blueprint for our communities on how to manage and adapt to our drying climate,” said WA Agriculture and Food Minister, Jackie Jarvis.

“The documents were developed following extensive community consultation and engagement with experts to support our regions to withstand the impacts of climate change.

“This investment is part of our Government’s commitment to creating strong regional communities that continue to grow and thrive.”

The community-led plans were developed over the past two years, with support from hundreds of individuals across the State’s Regional Development Commissions, 16 Local Government Authorities, community groups and the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development.

The plans aim to prepare the regions for future droughts, build resilience, improve natural resource management, and position the regions for investment opportunities – enhancing their capacity to withstand drought.

The intensity and duration of hot spells is projected to increase across WA with wet years likely to become more infrequent and dry years set to become more common.

“WA is a vast and diverse State that can be vulnerable to climate variability and extremes, as we have seen with floods and fires in recent times,” said Regional Development Minister, Don Punch.

“This investment provides a roadmap to help communities prepare for and manage difficult conditions and situations with confidence and support.”

Further drought plans are now also being developed for the North Midlands, lower Great Southern, northern Wheatbelt, Goldfields-Esperance and Gascoyne, as well as a joint initiative by the Pilbara and the Kimberley.

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