The Victorian Government is helping communities and farmers affected by drought through the Drought Employment Program. This program gives drought-affected workers in Wellington and East Gippsland shires the opportunity to earn an income off-farm by working with local Catchment Management Authorities.

The program

The Catchment Management Authority (CMA) Drought Employment Program employs farmers, farm workers and individuals affected by drought to undertake environmental projects.  

The Gippsland Drought Employment Program is administered by East Gippsland Catchment Management Authority in partnership with government agencies and local community groups.


All applicants must:  

  • Reside in one of the eligible locations: East Gippsland and Wellington Shires 
  • Have suffered financial hardship as a result of a recent drought event  
  • Be prepared to work/travel as a member of a work crew.  

Drought affected farmers, farm workers and individuals should contact the East Gippsland Catchment Management Authority for further information, including application details.


The program employs between 30 and 40 people working in small crews across the region.

Types of works

Participants will be directly engaged by their relevant CMA to undertake environmental works such as:  

  • Weed and rabbit control works  
  • Watering revegetation sites   
  • Fencing of rivers and native vegetation  
  • Activities to improve soil health  
  • GPS mapping of weeds
  • Riparian revegetation

Funding will not be provided for:  

  • Off-setting on-farm works as part of a planning approval  
  • Landholders working on their own land  
  • Construction of stock containment areas.


The program is delivered by East Gippsland CMA: 

An expression of interest process is run jointly by the East Gippsland CMAwith local employment provider Workways. Once engaged by the CMA, participants will receive practical skills training and development to carry out environmental works to improve land and catchment management health in their regions.

More information

For further information, please don’t hesitate to contact the CMAs or Workways directly.

  • East Gippsland CMA (03) 5152 0600
  • Workways 1800 631 196

See how the Drought Employment Program helped workers impacted by drought

Read the report (PDF, 4.3 MB) and participants' stories about how previous Drought Employment Programs have helped strengthen our farming community.

Page last updated: 01/08/19