Drought Declared Areas Of Queensland Now Down To 66.27%

Drought Declared Areas Of Queensland Now Down To 66.27%

Queensland Acting Minister for Agriculture Anthony Lynham

Drought Status Revoked For Central Highlands And Woorabinda

Victor P Taffa

Acting Agriculture Minister Dr. Anthony Lynham has accepted the recommendations of local drought committees to revoke the drought declaration for Central Highlands Regional Council and Woorabinda Aboriginal Shire Council effective today.

“These revocations bring the drought declared area of Queensland down to 66.27%.” Dr. Lynham said.

“While this is a marked improvement for our producers on the record 87.47% drought declared area as recently as early this month, it is disappointing that the heavy rains associated with Severe Tropical Cyclone Debbie in many parts of the state fell too late in the main pasture growing season.”

 

“Local drought committees for Bundaberg, Cherbourg, Fraser Coast, Gympie, North Burnett, Somerset and South Burnett recommended that the drought declarations made in March this year remain in place.”

“They have advised that the rain those areas received as a result of cyclonic activity would not ensure adequate pasture growth before winter to last through to the next wet season.”

“I have also been advised that while the late rainfall improved seasonal conditions for many, significant rainfall deficits still exist for the areas remaining drought declared.” Dr. Lynham said.

“Local drought committees for Moreton Bay, Sunshine Coast, Noosa, Lockyer Valley, Ipswich, Scenic Rim, Gold Coast, Logan and Redland local government areas also met this month to determine the effect of the rainfall after Severe Tropical Cyclone Debbie.”

“I have accepted the recommendations of those committees that the cyclone rain alleviated the dry conditions experienced over the summer and they should not be drought declared.” Dr. Lynham said.

Acting Minister Lynham said the Palaszczuk Government would continue to support drought-affected farmers.

“Producers in drought declared areas are able to access DRAS fodder and water freight subsidies and emergency water infrastructure rebates as well as access to other programs in the Queensland Drought Assistance Package such as relief from electricity charges, land rent rebates and water licence waivers.”

“Package includes access to community and mental health programs that have not been offered in previous droughts.” Dr. Lynham said.

Drought Relief Assistance Scheme (DRAS) provides for producers in areas that have had their drought declaration revoked to apply for subsidies for returning stock from agistment and restocking for up to two years after the end of the drought declaration.

Producers in those areas still experiencing dry conditions can apply for an Individually Droughted Property (IDP) declaration which gives them the same access to Queensland Government drought assistance as an area declaration.