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:


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 an 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 (PDF). 

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 The waiver will continue until the drought declaration has been revoked.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 The option to defer will continue until the drought declaration has been revoked.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 the Department of Human Services

Continuously open

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Farm Household Allowance

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

Dependent on individual circumstances.

Continuously open

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QCWA Public Rural Crisis Fund

Supports families suffering from drought, flood or fire as well as families experiencing any type of crisis.
The support is in the form of grocery vouchers, store credit or being able to pay some overdue accounts (e.g. electricity, phone, doctor etc.)

Various amounts available.

Continuously open

More information


Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation

The grants support four themes: Education – to provide opportunities for disadvantaged young people, Agriculture – to support the viability of the Australian agriculture sector, Christianity – to encourage interest and participation in Christianity, Community Wellbeing – to contribute to a stronger and brighter future for Australians, particularly those experiencing significant disadvantage.

Funding available: $20,000 plus

Continuously open

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Tim Fairfax Family Foundation

Support the particular needs of communities in rural, remote and regional areas, involve the following themes:  Arts, Education and Community.  

Grants: $10,000 plus

Continuously open

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The Courier-Mail Children's Fund

To help registered charities and not for profit organisations meet the needs of children with special needs. 

Grants: negotiable

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

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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


Phone:  (07) 46224858

Mobile:   0447 760743

Fax: (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.


Fundraise 4 Sport - Australian Sport Foundation

This is a great way to fundraise for individual athletes, sporting clubs and organisations.

Available funding - support 

Closing date - continuously open

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Catalyst Fund - Roddenberry Foundation

The goal of the Catalyst is to help those of you who have an innovative idea for real change to take the first step in doing so.  We are looking for individuals or teams who are unbound by convention; whose projects challenge our thinking; who compel us to see a problem in a new light; and whose creativity and imagination redefine notions of what can be done and how.

Grants: $2500-$15,000

Continuously open

more information

Skilling Queenslanders for Work - Queensland Government

Are you a Queenslander aged 15 years or older, no longer at school and need help to secure a job?
Skilling Queenslande​​​​​​​rs for Work training projects help job seekers gain the skills, qualifications and experience they need to enter and stay in the workforce.

Grants available: various

Continuously open

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Get in the Game - Young Athletes Travel Subsidy

This Queensland Government fund aims to foster the development of young athletes and support elite athlete pathways by providing financial assistance to help alleviate the costs associated with attending championship events. Officials (such as coaches, referees and scorers) officiating at eligible events can also apply for assistance if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Grants available: up to $1200

Continuously open

more information

New Enterprise Incentive Scheme

NEIS is a Federal Government initiative which provides accredited small business training, business advice and mentoring for eligible job seekers, as well as ongoing income support.

Free training

Continuously open

more information

Community Led Grants

This Federal Government program is to deliver a range of programs specifically for Indigenous Australians.

Grants available: $1000 - no limit

Continuously open

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Playing Queensland Fund

The objectives of this State Government fund is to maximise opportunities for regional Queensland communities to experience high quality arts events;  increase the number and reach of touring activities; and support tours with a strong demonstration of demand. 

Available funding: Net Touring Costs - negotiable

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Australian Communities Foundation

Suitable for charitable organisations and projects. It is recommended proposals are between 1-4 pages and include an overview of your organisation; the issue being addressed; the project; the impact or expected outcomes of the project; and the amount of funding you are seeking. 

Funding available: Negotiable

Continuously open

more information

Coopers Brewery Foundation

Supports charities that aim to improve and protect the quality of life of Australians in the areas of medical research and health care; educational development for the young; aged care; and promotion of family and community support based on Christian values. 

Available funding: Up to $30,000

Closing date: Quarterly

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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts – Australia Council

Its aim is to strengthen the financial and organisational capacity of arts organisations, by responding to innovative business ideas that will achieve an organisation's mission into the future. 

Available funding: Various amounts

Closing date: Continuously open

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Ignitor Fund - English Family Foundation

The EFF will consider applications where it is clear that the objective of the social enterprise is to make a transformational, tangible and measureable difference to the quality of life and welfare of the individuals and communities involved.

Available Funding: up to $50,000

Closing date: Quarterly

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RACQ Sponsorship Application - Veteran Groups

If you’re looking for sponsorship support from RACQ, and you believe your initiative (event, program or activity) aligns with one or more of our corporate responsibility categories, make sure you read the criteria to see if your initiative meets the requirements.

Available funding: up to $3000

Closing date: 15 November 2018; 15 May 2019.

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Veteran and Community Grants

These Federal Government grants are for activities and services which improve the health and wellbeing of members of the veteran community - the grant can provide seed funding for project which promote a healthy lifestyle or help veterans to remain living independently.  Also to fund programs to reduce isolation, support carers and improve access to community services.

Available funding: up to $50,000

Closing date: 30 November 2018; 28 February 2019.

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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 Dates - 15 November 2018; 15 February 2019; 15 May 2019; 15 August 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 $20,000 / a small number of up to $150,000

Closing Dates - 27 November 2018; 5 February 2019; 30 April 2019; 30 August 2019.

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