On 7 November 2019, the Minister for Education, the Hon Dan Tehan MP, announced that the Morrison Government would provide $10 million additional funding through the Special Circumstances Fund to support non-government schools facing financial hardship as a result of ongoing drought conditions. The Government subsequently increased the amount of funding by $10 million, bringing the total amount to $20 million.
The funding round targeted schools with students from the 128 local government areas eligible as at November 2019 for assistance under the Australian Government’s Drought Communities Programme. It complements a range of initiatives in the package announced by the Government for drought-hit farmers, small businesses and rural towns.
Many rural towns are doing it tough as a result of the drought and many schools have introduced fee relief and/or curtailed their operations to cope with this drastic situation.
On 28 January 2020, Minister Tehan announced that funding support had been approved to assist school communities facing mounting costs as a result of the drought.
The funding was fully expended with payments made to eligible schools in February 2020.