Dry and drought conditions

​​​​​​Tasmania does not undertake a formal drought declaration process. The “exceptional circumstances” process was replaced in 2013 which means there is no longer the requirement to “draw lines on maps” to trigger support to farmers. 

The National Drought Agreement (NDA) between the Australian, State and Territory Governments sets the agreed principles for how drought support will be rolled out to farmers and rural communities.   

The NDA has a focus on:  

  • preparedness 
  • resilience 
  • self-reliance 

It also establishes that drought support should be provided through a phased approach to allow Governments to tailor the type or level of support provided to farmers and/or rural communities as seasonal conditions change. This means support can change over time and include: 

  • support measures available at all times to farmers facing hardship 
  • increasing existing measures to address growing demand 
  • new measures are introduced to address identified needs 

Tasmania uses a range of indicators and trends monitored over a 12 to 18 month timeframe to determine which phase of the seasonal or drought “cycle” parts or all of Tasmania is currently in. Information is gathered across a range of meteorological, hydrologic, agronomic and socio-economic indicators.  

Meteorological data is sourced from the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) and hydrological information produced through the Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tas (NRE Tas). Indicators used include (but are not limited to):  

  • rainfall and water 
  • water restrictions 
  • soil moisture 
  • temperature 
  • vegetation 
  • pasture growth 
  • forest fire danger indexes  

​For those who may be experiencing financial hardship, safety net measures are available now for individuals and families such as Australian Government income support. 

​Information, tools and resources are available now to help you to be drought ready and make the best possible decisions for your business, your family and yourself​. 

 Information and Support for Tasmanian Farmers (PDF 276Kb)