Minister for Climate Change and Water, Senator Penny Wong, said the funding would help establish a research network through Land and Water Australia, bringing together regional and sectoral research expertise from across the country.
'The Rudd Government has three priorities in our plan to tackle climate change: reducing carbon pollution; helping to shape a global solution; and adapting to the climate change that is already happening,' Senator Wong said.
'This research network will help us adapt to climate change by building knowledge in areas including water use in agriculture, landscape management systems, and the capacity of plant and animal resources to adapt to climate change.
'Other areas of research will include socio-economic impacts and regional resilience.'
Challenges posed by climate change to agriculture include declines in water availability, more frequent and more extreme droughts and bushfires, and increases in pests, weeds and disease.
'We've are already seeing the devastating impact that drought can have on rural and regional communities that depend on agriculture.
'We want to better understand the future potential impact of climate change so we can help these communities adapt.'
The funding is part of a $10 million national effort in eight priority areas – primary industries; terrestrial biodiversity; water resources and freshwater biodiversity; marine biodiversity and resources; disaster management and emergency services; settlements and infrastructure; human health; and social, economic and institution dimensions.
The work is being undertaken by „adaptation research networks? hosted by the Government?s National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility, as part of a broader $126 million Rudd Government investment in climate change adaptation.