Castlereagh Country Drought Resilience Plan

  • Project typeDevelopment Plan
  • Project value$200,000
  • Completion Date30 April 2025

The Castlereagh Country Drought planning program is underway in regional New South Wales. It is designed to enable small consortia of local governments (and their communities) to better prepare for, respond to and recover from drought.

The project is jointly funded through Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund and the NSW Government. The program will support selected councils to develop their drought plan and small grants that support implementation of the plan.

Gilgandra and Warrumbungle Shire Councils have been grouped into consortia based on their Functional Economic Region boundary. The purpose of the council consortia is to ensure the program reaches multiple regions while identifying local drought preparedness needs.

The Castlereagh Country consortium aim is to develop a drought plan, which will focus on the role of local government in building drought resilience and will be developed from the perspective that drought is a regional development issue; i.e. community level drought resilience depends upon strong primary industries and agricultural supply chains sectors as well as other businesses, community organisations and local government.

The Castlereagh Country Plan will leverage and integrate with existing regional strategies including the Regional Economic Development Plans (REDS) and Real Country Tourism Strategy (DRAFT), and will ensure to be strategically aligned with state and local strategic plans and community priorities and visions for the future, including economic, visitation and growth. The Drought Plan must be developed with close consideration of these regional and state priorities, along with the individual Council's Community Strategic Plans and relevant strategic documents.


The Plan will focus on three key pillars, including economic, social & cultural and environmental pillars.

The Castlereagh Country Plan leverages existing strategic regional collaborations between Coonamble, Gilgandra and Warrumbungle Shire Council’s including the ‘Real Country’ tourism campaign -

Gilgandra Shire Council has been nominated as the project lead. Drought plans will be co-designed with local stakeholders to ensure that plans are relevant and actionable for communities.

A Project Control Group (PCG), consisting of representatives from each council and the Department of Regional NSW (DRNSW) will be responsible for managing and supporting the co-design and development of plans.


The Castlereagh Country councils require an independent consultant to develop a Drought plan. Plans will:

• Increase understanding of the region’s current and future drought resilience; including consideration of the region’s unique economic, environmental and social characteristics.

• Identify actions, pathways and opportunities to improve drought resilience, mitigate risks and adapt to change; including identifying and scoping additional detailed technical studies.

• Placing communities in a stronger position to implement strategic actions and take advantage of opportunities as they arise. 

• Informing and supporting future Commonwealth, state and territory government, local government and private sector investment. Enabling regions to identify and articulate drought resilience knowledge and data about the impact of drought on the region.

• Leveraging and building upon on existing strategic planning at the state, local, regional and issue-specific planning.

• Forming stronger connections and relationships between and within regions.

• Supporting communities to consider the incremental, transitional and transformational opportunities needed to strengthen drought resilience and encourage innovative initiatives at the regional level.

• Facilitating increased community understanding of their drought resilience including by encourage communities to share their learnings with each other.

• Encouraging improved natural resource management capability through planning.


Investment Logic Map