A new working group is the latest attempt to improve drought support for farmers after concerns were raised over inefficiencies in a confusing system.
Federal and state agriculture ministers agreed to the group at a drought meeting in the rural NSW town of Moree on Tuesday.
New drought co-ordinator Shane Stone will oversee the attempt to improve access to recovery programs through getting rid of inefficiencies and doubling up.
It is due to report in February as governments try to better integrate relief amid criticism current arrangements need to be streamlined.
"This cannot be kicked down the road any longer. It has to be done now," Federal Drought Minister David Littleproud said in Moree on Tuesday.
The National Drought Agency and the National Farmers' Federation will manage the group in partnership, with progress reported at every agriculture ministers' meeting.
"We have a responsibility to ensure drought assistance is complementary at the different levels of government, and not working against other assistance measures," Mr Littleproud said.
NFF president Fiona Simson said the group would ensure transparency, avoid duplication and lead to a better understanding of the best support for farmers and communities.
South Australia agreed to Mr Littleproud's demand to help farmers and small businesses with council rates.
The state's $21 million relief package will also help with pastoral lease rent relief, an expansion of the Rural Financial Counselling Service and boost a rebate scheme for emergency water infrastructure.
But other states are yet to budge despite heavy criticism from Mr Littleproud, who also wants payroll tax and crown leasehold relief.
Ms Simson said with summer setting in and Christmas looming, the financial position of drought-affected farmers was getting more dire.
"State-facilitated payroll tax and rate relief would be welcome respite for many farming families, struggling to make ends meet," she said.
The federal government is holding firm on its opposition to funding a multi-peril insurance to guard farmers against drought, fires and floods.
"The Australian taxpayer cannot be expected to subsidise multinational profitable companies to make billions more out of Australian farmers," Mr Littleproud told AAP.
Earlier, Mr Stone bristled when he was asked if he believed in man-made climate change, accusing an interviewer of seeking a "gotcha" moment.
"Whatever I believe or don't believe in climate change is really quite irrelevant to what I'm doing," the former NT Country Liberal chief minister told ABC Radio National.
"My view is the climate's always been changing. If you want to draw me into that debate you're really asking the wrong question."
Australian Associated Press