This content is under review and will be transferred to the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources as a result of the Administrative Arrangements Order made on 5 December 2019 with effect from 1 February 2020.

Supporting regional businesses


Around a third of Australia’s small businesses are outside of the capital cities. Regional small businesses provide local jobs and services and are central to building strong and vibrant communities. The Australian Government has a range of initiatives and programs that focus on creating jobs, supporting the economic growth and securing the prosperity of Australia’s regional small businesses.

Regional Development Australia

Regional Development Australia (RDA) is a national network of committees made up of local leaders who work with all levels of government, business and community groups to support the economic development of their regions. RDA Committees have an active and facilitative role in their communities and focus on growing strong and confident regional economies that harness their competitive advantages and attract investment.

Working in close partnership across all levels of government, and with industry, businesses, educational institutions and their communities, RDA Committees collaborate with small business to create jobs, attract investment and enhance the economic outcomes of these regions.

For more information visit the Regional Development Australia website.

Harvest Labour Services

The Government is making it easier for employers to find harvest workers by providing a fully subsidised screening and matching service via jobactive Harvest Labour Services. This service operates across 15 sites in 11 harvest areas. Harvest workers are also mobilised by the Government’s investment in the National Harvest Labour Information Service, which produces the National Harvest Guide, and the Harvest Trail Jobs Board. These services provide information on harvest related work opportunities, towns, accommodation and crops, to both foreign and Australian workers.

For more information visit the Harvest Labour Services page on this website, and the jobsearch website. 

Seasonal Worker Programme

The Seasonal Worker Programme offers employers in the agriculture sector and employers in selected locations in the accommodation sector access to a reliable, returning workforce when there is not enough local Australian labour to meet seasonal demand.

The Programme contributes to the economic development of nine participating Pacific Island countries and Timor-Leste, by providing access to work opportunities.

Seasonal workers benefit from the opportunity to earn Australian wages and gain valuable on-the-job learning opportunities.

For more information visit the Seasonal Worker Programme page on this website. 

Drought and disaster assistance

Help is available for drought-affected people and businesses. Call the drought assistance number on 1800 806 218 to discuss your situation.

For more information visit the Australian Taxation Office website.