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Proactive Planning for Drought in the Great Southern

The next phase of Albany Waterfront planning has begun, following the completion of Stage 1 of the project by the Great Southern Development Commission and partners.

Mar 18, 2024 | Read Time : 2 minutes

Following the completion of the Inland Great Southern Regional Drought Resilience Plan, federal and state governments have committed to implementation, and the development of further planning projects throughout regional Western Australia. 

In the foundational year of the Regional Drought Resilience Planning (RDRP) Program, the Great Southern Development Commission (GSDC) delivered a plan for the inland shires of the Great Southern region. The purpose of RDRP is to help agriculture-based communities prepare for and manage future drought risks to regional landscapes, community and economy. 

The preparation of the Inland Great Southern Regional Drought Resilience Plan encompassed advice from technical experts, peak grower groups, natural resource management organisations, and regional businesses among others, resulting in a list of priority projects within the region. 

Following the successful pilot program and publication of the original drought resilience plans, the Albanese and Cook Governments have announced the allocation of $900,000, to start implementing priority projects for the three foundational regions. 

In addition, work is underway to develop the next set of plans for the regions of North Midlands, northern Wheatbelt, Goldfields-Esperance, Gascoyne, Pilbara and the Kimberley, and the lower Great Southern. 

GSDC Acting Chief Executive Officer Jarrad Gardner, commented on the importance of the RDRP Program, and the challenges to communities facing drought. 

“With weather conditions predicted to get drier and more unpredictable in regional Western Australia, being proactive in this space is vital. These drought resilience plans provide a blueprint for our communities on how to manage and adapt to our drying climate”.  

“Being a part of the pilot program and producing a plan for the inland shires of the Great Southern was a valuable experience and has allowed the Commission to better understand the challenges of drought across community wellbeing, landscape function and economic resilience”, he said.  

The next stage of the RDRP Program is implementation of projects resulting from the pilot program plans, and the roll out of new plans across regions. 

RDRP is a collaborative project through the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund, with Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Regional Development Commissions across the state, Local Government Authorities, and community groups. 

For more information on the Regional Drought Resilience Planning Program, visit agric.wa.gov.au/regional-drought-resilience-planning. 

To read the Inland Great Southern Regional Drought Resilience Plan, visit https://gsdc.wa.gov.au/project/regional-drought-resilience-plan.