30 August, 2021
State’s drought area reduced slightly
The drought-declared area of Queensland has been reduced slightly from 65 to 64.7 per cent of the state with the declarations for the Moreton Bay Regional Council, Sunshine Coast Regional Council and Noosa Shire Council areas having been revoked.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities Mark Furner said rainfall across the south east in March and April was promising, but the Local Drought Committees in those areas where drought declarations have now been revoked, had delayed their recommendations to see if there was enough follow-up rain to get through the dry season.
“After an extremely dry summer, committee members welcomed the follow-up rain delivering green flush and growth of pasture that occurred after the March and April rainfall, therefore recommending to me to revoke their drought status,” Mr Furner said.
“Water supplies have improved significantly, though it’s been noted that not all stock dams have filled and that streamflow in natural watercourses has been variable.
“The recent rainfall has provided an opportunity for winter cropping which is a significant benefit to the region’s dairy industry.”
Mr Furner said producers in any other drought-declared area who believed their property conditions were improved enough to allow restocking could have their property individually revoked before introducing stock if they wanted to access assistance.
“If their drought declaration is revoked, producers can access returning from agistment and restocking freight subsidies through the Drought Relief Assistance Scheme (DRAS) for up to two years after the end of the drought declaration,” he said.
Mr Furner said producers from within the drought-revoked area have up to two months to contact the Department if they believe that they are still impacted by drought. If deemed eligible, an Individually Droughted Property (IDP) declaration will ensure seamless access to drought support.
Drought declarations remain in place for most of southern Queensland, including the whole of the Toowoomba and Southern Downs Regional local government areas.
The drought declaration map (reproduced above) can be viewed at longpaddock.qld.gov.au
For further information on drought assistance visit daf.qld.gov.au or call the Customer Service Centre on 13 25 23.