ATSE welcomes the opportunity to respond to the Productivity Commission’s inquiry into the effectiveness of Part 3 of the Future Drought Fund Act 2019. ATSE supports the Fund’s vision to increase resilience to drought and climate change impacts. ATSE makes the following recommendations to build on the impact of the Fund’s current activities:
Recommendation 1: Future Drought Fund investments should focus on building resilience to climate change by developing rural and regional communities and their economies.
Recommendation 2: The Future Drought Fund should focus on establishing foundational structures to combat drought-related challenges utilising a system of systems approach, with transparent and publicly accountable funding decisions.
Recommendation 3: Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hubs should establish national coordination between its regional programs and other relevant established federal and state programs.
Recommendation 4: Industry collaboration activities should be prioritised through the Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hubs.
Recommendation 5: Programs established by the Future Drought Fund should be developed in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities, and seek to apply Traditional Knowledge where possible and relevant.
Recommendation 6: The Future Drought Fund should invest in training and education programs that target current and emerging skill shortages to build and prepare communities for droughts.