Community Support & Grants Community Support & Grants

Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Appeal ‘Help Aussie Farmers' Fund

The Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Appeal ‘Help Aussie Farmers’ has raised more than $10 million and the Queensland Country Women’s Association is now distributing funds to help affected farmers.

If you’re a farmer in drought-affected areas, such as Balonne Shire, you are urged to apply for assistance of up to $5000 from the Queensland Country Women’s Association.

Funds are available in the form of store vouchers/store credit or unpaid bills/accounts such as vehicle maintenance, school expenses, electricity, gas or rates, phone expenses, dental or medical expenses. The one-page application process is easy.

Due to tax laws, funds raised by the Red Cross appeal cannot be used to cover farm business expenses, such as machinery, fertiliser and feed. However, you can still apply to the Queensland Country Women’s Association to have these expenses supported via other funding sources.

Here's what to do:

  • Download and complete the below application; or

  • Go online at; or

  • Call the Queensland Country Women’s Association for support - (07) 3026 1220


Drought assistance for Ergon Energy customers

If a property is in a drought declared area, or individually drought declared, and the declaration made under a Queensland Government administrative process the landholder may be eligible for drought relief.

Customers can make application for drought relief if:

  • They are a customer of Ergon Energy Retail
  • They are a farmer of a property that has been individually drought declared or is within a drought declared area
  • They have no water to pump or severely restricted access to water
  • They complete and submit a Drought Relief application form.

Drought relief assistance available to customers whose application is successful include:

Waived charges

For customers who are mainly using electricity to pump water for farm or irrigation purposes, we will waive the fixed charges on their account. These include annual fixed charges under Tariff 66, service fees and minimum payments. They don't include minimum demand charges. The waiver will continue until the drought declaration has been revoked.

Deferred payments

If customers are experiencing financial difficulty as a result of the drought, they can defer payments on electricity accounts that are used for farming purposes. The option to defer will continue until the drought declaration has been revoked. When that happens, repayment terms will be arranged on a case-by-case basis.

Please note, non-Ergon Energy Retail customers can apply for drought relief online at the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy.

A range of tariff options and more information can be found online at

It is recommended customers who are eligible for drought relief review their tariff options or contact Ergon Energy to discuss.

There are also a range of payment options ( and business tips ( online.

The Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy have more information about drought resistance schemes available for primary producers at which include:

  • Drought Relief Assistance Scheme (DRAS) freight subsidies and water infrastructure rebate;
  • Land rent rebates;
  • Water license waivers.

Queensland Government Drought Relief Assistance Scheme Guidelines and Forms

This is your one-stop site for all Queensland Government Drought Relief schemes including fodder freight subusidies, water freight subsidies, livestock transport subsidies, drought management plans and more.


Rural Financial Counselling Service

Eligible client groups include farmers, fishing enterprises, forestry growers and harvesters, and small related businesses.   Rural financial counsellors can:

  • help identify your financial and business options
  • help negotiate with your lenders
  • help you develop an action plan
  • help support you to access the Farm Household Allowance (FHA)
  • give you information about government and other assistance schemes
  • refer you to accountants, agricultural advisers and educational services
  • refer you to Department of Human Services

Continuously open

More information

Farm Household Allowance

To help your household bills while you improve your financial circumstances.

Dependent on individual circumstances.

Continuously open

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Farm Management Deposit Scheme

The farm management deposits (FMD) scheme is a risk-management tool to help primary producers deal with uneven cash flows. Uneven income is common in primary production businesses because of things such as natural disasters, climate and market variability. The FMD scheme allows primary producers to set aside pre-tax income from primary production in years of good cash flow to draw on in years of lesser cash flow.

Continuously open

More information

Farm Investment Loans

Prepare for, manage through or recover from drought.  You must sell (or want to sell) into supply chains outside your State or Territory.

Amount - up to $1, 000, 000 (3.58% variable interest rate)

Continuously open

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Drought Loans

For farm business owners affected by drought, or who want to prepare for drought.

Amounts up to $1, 000, 000 (3.58% variable interest rate)

Continuously open

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Rotary Drought Relief Assistance Scheme

The Rural Financial Counselling Service (RFCS) provides assistance to primary producers and small rural businesses within Southern Queensland in financial duress.

The service is funded by the Federal Government Department of Agriculture to provide this support with part of the Southern Queensland area serviced by the Roma and St George offices.

RFCS has worked very closely with clients during the drought conditions that have affected our region over the last five years and has strong networks within the region. They have worked with the Rotary Club of Queensland since 2014 to assist with the distribution of the clubs drought appeal funds to producers in need.

These funds are issued in the form of vouchers which can be spent in local businesses in St George, Surat and surrounds.

The system has provided a mutual benefit for the producers as well as the regions small business that experience the effects of the drought conditions on their business trade as well.  

Please do not contact Council for further information on this scheme.

For more details contact:

Rural Financial Counselling Service

PO BOX 433, Roma, Qld.4455


P    07 46224858

M   0447 760743

F    07 46223699


Community Drought Support Program

Applications for this program have now closed.

The Community Drought Support program, provided by the Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors, has been operating successfully for several years in the South West Region, providing support to communities that are affected by ongoing drought.   Balonne Shire Council is again participating in this program.

The program aims to support local communities within the Balonne Shire by allocating funds to organisations who demonstrate the ability to deliver events and activities which support connectedness, social wellbeing and increased access to support services for drought-affected community members.

Council invites community organisation/school/sporting clubs to submit a proposal for an activity or event, which meets the objectives of the grant. 

Further information regarding the grant objectives can be found in the Community Drought Support guidelines.  Events or activities must be completed by 31 December 2018.


Festivals Australia - Australian Government

Festivals Australia provides funding to support individual art projects at festivals or significant one-off community events, such as a town’s centenary celebration or opening of a new community resource.

Available Funding - $5000-$100,000

Closing Date - 19 October 2018

More information

Aged Care Regional, Rural and Remote Infrastructure

This grant opportunity is designed to assist existing approved residential and home care providers in regional, rural and remote areas to invest in infrastructure. 

Available Funding - up to $500, 000

Closing Date - 24 October 2018

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Community Giving Fund - Aurizon

Are you a charity or community group with a project in the areas of health and wellbeing, community safety, environment or education? If you are in need of funding, we can help. 
In the latest round of our Community Giving Fund, we are offering additional cash grants to charities and not-for-profit groups to support regional and rural communities in Queensland & New South Wales affected by the drought crisis.

Available Funding - up to $20,000

Closing Date - 26 October 2018

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Cancer Australia

Cancer Australia's Supporting People with Cancer Grant initiative, 2019 Grant Round 11 now - Australian Government

The Supporting People with Cancer Grant initiative aims to reduce the burden of cancer through the provision of grants to community organisations; and encourage effective partnerships between organisations in order to improve coordination, accessibility and development of quality cancer support networks to better support people affected by cancer.

Available Funding - up to $120, 000

Closing Date - 30 October 2018

More information

Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship Program - Fostering Integration Grants

To help local groups to assist migrants to integrate into Australian economic, social and civil life.  Encouraging the social and economic participation of migrants by developing skills and cultural competencies to integrate into Australian social, economic and civil life, and build community resilience. 

Available Funding - $10,000 - $50,000

Closing Date - 9 November 2018

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Connellan Airways Trust - Outback Grants - Individual Grant

To assist people of all ages in Outback Australia through financial support for educational, health, communication and transport needs.                                                   Available Funding - Various

Closing Date - 15 November 2018 and 15 February 2019

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Saluting their Service Community Commemorative Grants

Designed to preserve Australia’s wartime heritage and to involve people throughout the nation in a wide range of projects and activities that highlight the service and sacrifice of Australia’s servicemen and women in wars, conflicts and peace operations, and promote appreciation and understanding of the role that those who served have played in shaping the nation

Available funding - up to $4000

Closing Date - 27 November 2018 / 26 March 2019

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Community Benefits Fund

To enhance your capacity to provide services, leisure activities and opportunities for Queensland communities.  Funding Priorities - drought declared areas.

Available Funding - $500-$35, 000

Closing Date - 30 November 2018

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Tackling Tough Times Together

Helps communities access the resources they need to support one another through the ongoing effects of the drought.

Available funding - up to $15,000 / a small number of up to $50,000

Closing Date - 14 January 2019

More information