This audit would assess the effectiveness with which funding is being delivered through the Drought Communities Program and Drought Communities Program Extension.

The program was established in 2015, with 23 councils eligible for up to $1.5 million each in funding. The original program is now closed.

The Drought Communities Program Extension commenced in late 2018. The extension was expanded in November 2019 and January 2020, bringing the current number of eligible local government areas to 180 and funding for the extension to $301 million.

After a council is declared as eligible, it is able to apply through the Business Grants Hub to have project proposals assessed against the published program guidelines. The audit would examine the process by which councils are declared as eligible, as well as the processes by which eligible councils obtain access to program funding and the oversight of the delivery of approved projects.