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On 1 March 2019, the North Queensland Livestock Industry Recovery Agency (NQLIRA) was established as an executive agency under the Public Service Act 1999 (PS Act) as a non-corporate Commonwealth entity subject to the requirements of the PGPA Act. NQLIRA’s purpose was to coordinate and ensure the timely and effective delivery of the Australian Government’s response to the 2019 Monsoon Trough, and to advise government on long-term recovery of the livestock industry in the region.

As announced by Prime Minister the Hon Scott Morrison MP on 5 December 2019, NQLIRA’s role was expanded to include leading a national response to the severe drought conditions affecting farmers and rural communities across Australia. Re-named the National Drought and North Queensland Flood Response and Recovery Agency, the Agency operates under the same legislative requirements.

This annual report has been prepared to reflect the broader remit, as reflected in the Drought and Flood Agency Corporate Plan 2019–20 –2022–23 and the Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements 2019–20.

The Agency is part of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C) portfolio. Since December 2019, The Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management, the Hon David Littleproud MP, had ministerial responsibility for the Agency. Prior to this the Agency reported directly to the Prime Minister, the Hon Scott Morrison MP.

Our Role and Functions

The Agency plays a key role in providing strategic leadership and coordination of the Australian Government’s North Queensland flood and national drought response and recovery efforts in affected regions across Australia. It works with impacted communities to identify and design appropriate and effective mechanisms for recovery, as well as long-term strategies so individuals, businesses and communities can be better positioned to respond to future droughts and natural disasters.

The Agency’s organisational structure at 30 June 2020 is outlined in Figure 2.

Figure 2 Drought and Flood, Organisational Structure
Figure 2: Organisational Structure

Our Leadership


In 2019–20, our Accountable Authority for the Agency was the Hon Shane L Stone AC QC.

Table 1: Accountable Authorities 2019-20

Period as the accountable authority or member within the reporting period


Position Title/Position held

Date of Commencement

Date of cessation

The Hon Shane L Stone AC QC




The Hon Shane L Stone AC QC, Coordinator-General

Shane Stone, Head shot
Shane Stone’s appointment as Coordinator-General for the National Drought and Flood Agency builds on a life dedicated to public service.

The former Chief Minister of the Northern Territory (NT), Shane served in the NT Legislative Assembly for almost 10 years. On retiring from parliament, he was elected and served six years as the Federal President of the Liberal Party during the Howard Government era.

In 2014, Mr Stone was appointed Chairman of the Northern Australian Advisory Group by then prime minister, the Hon Tony Abbott. The Group informed the Australian Government White Paper on developing the north. He also has an extensive background working with not-for-profit
organisations and charities.

Prior to entering parliament, Mr Stone worked as a primary school teacher, has graduate qualifications in education, and subsequently trained as a solicitor before reading at the Victorian Bar. He worked on the Royal Commission into the Australian Meat Industry in 1982. As the NT Attorney-General, first law officer, he was appointed a Queen’s Counsel in 1997 by the administrator. Throughout his working life, Mr Stone served in the Citizen Military Forces (CMF) and Navy Reserve.

Mr Stone was awarded the Centenary Medal in 2001 and appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia in 2006 for his service to politics, industry and bilateral relations between Australia
and the Asia-Pacific region.

Having grown up in Wodonga on the NSW/Victorian border, Mr Stone understands the quiet strength of country and rural Australians who work hard to give their families a decent life and look out for each other in the good and not-so-good times. Prime Minister the Hon Scott Morrison MP selected Mr Stone to lead the North Queensland flood recovery in early 2019, and later that year, added Coordinator-General of the National Drought and North Queensland Flood Response
and Recovery Agency to his responsibilities.


As at June 2020, our Senior Executive were:

Figure 3 Drought and Flood Senior Executive
Figure 3: Executive Directors