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Community-led model key to thriving local communities affected by drought

Australian Red Cross has launched a discussion paper advocating a community-led model of planning for drought in the state.

Today’s launch of the Drought Discussion Paper follows consultations across the state to consider how drought response and recovery currently function, and what more should be done. 

Red Cross Queensland Emergency Services Manager Collin Sivalingum said the teams spoke to 103 people in ten local government areas in the state. 

“With 65% of Queensland currently in drought, the impact continues to be shocking and widespread,” he said. “The impact is compounding with other disasters including COVID-19, global warming and bushfires.  

“We heard that people want to see reform and that there’s widespread recognition of the need for more practical, community-based planning for drought resilience and recovery. 

“Red Cross is in a unique position as an auxiliary to government to work with disaster planning, response and recovery. Since 2018 when we launched a Help Aussie Farmers Drought Appeal, which raised $11.5 million, we have been drawing attention to the deep, ongoing impacts of drought across Australia.” 

The report sketches a local community-led planning framework: 

  • Led by a Regional Organisation of Councils and local councils 

  • Supported by a backbone organisation such as Red Cross  

  • With input from individuals, businesses, community groups, charities and not-for-profit organisations, the three levels of government, representative bodies and universities 

A series of planning forums would result in a regional plan for local communities to drive. 

Mr Sivalingum said he hopes today’s discussion paper will widen the conversation about drought, its impacts on Queensland, amplify the voices of community members and contribute to the development of practical policies and models of community-led drought resilience and recovery.  

For media queries or interview requests contact, media@redcross.org.au or 1800 733 443.