A new drought working group has been established, following Tuesday's historic meeting of agricultural ministers in Moree.
The working group will aim to integrate commonwealth, state and territory drought support programs to improve access for affected farmers and communities, reducing inefficiencies and double-ups.
The group is a partnership between the new National Drought Agency and the National Farmers' Federation and will be chaired by the newly-appointed Federal Drought Coordinator General Shane Stone AC QC.
Federal Drought Minister David Littleproud said the working group will improve the effectiveness of drought relief programs and ensure that the right assistance is delivered at the right time, to farmers and communities.
"This brings more transparency for farmers who want to access help, and less red tape," he said.
"Each government currently offers a variety of different drought measures. We have a responsibility to ensure that drought assistance is complementary at the different levels of government, and not working against other assistance measures.
"This is a step forward in the way the system is being delivered and I have great confidence a new Drought Commission."
NSW Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall, who called the AgMin meeting in Moree, welcomed the commitment by his fellow ag ministers.
He said the working group will improve coordination and help streamline drought assistance, which is the outcome he was hoping for.
"I am pleased today's meeting has resulted in a firm commitment from other governments, including the commonwealth, to streamline drought assistance and better co-ordinate response measures," he said.
"Urgent action is required to integrate the many and varied assistance measures at a state and commonwealth level and today NSW secured an agreement to make this happen by February.
"The sheer number of programs, different criteria and hoops to jump through is unnecessarily confusing and time consuming for farmers and businesses - we can and must make this easier."
Mr Marshall said he remained optimistic other governments would come to the table and support the development of a nation-wide farm income insurance scheme, following the commonwealth's agreement to keep an open mind on the scheme, while it is being developed by the National Farmers' Federation (NFF).
"Now is the time for bold action and we must take the learnings of this drought to prepare for the inevitable next droughts after this," he said.
"That's why I continue to urge other governments to support NSW in developing a national farm income protection scheme.
"There is a clear market failure when it comes to farm income protection models in Australia and that is why I am of the firm view there is a role for government in getting such a scheme off the ground.
NFF president Fiona Simpson said she was also pleased with the outcome, which she said was a huge step forward for the way we treat drought in Australia.
"We are going to have all the parties who need to be at the table, at the table when they're talking about the assistance that people need on-farms and out in the regions," she said.
"One thing we know ... is that we are going to have droughts. Droughts come and they go. We need to be prepared for them and we need to treat them as a regular occurrence. It's not just enough to deal with them when we're in drought."
The drought working group will report back to the Ministerial Council in February.
The Ministerial Council has also agreed to NFF's proposal to make the AgMin forum a continual one, twice a year.