Less than half of Queensland in drought after significant wet season

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities The Honourable Mark Furner

The total area of Queensland drought declared has fallen from 61.1% to 44.9% after welcome rainfall this wet season.

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities Mark Furner said Local Drought Committees (LDCs) recommended the drought revocation of another six shires and one part-shire after a good wet season in some areas.

“Last month, eleven shires in South East Queensland had their drought status revoked,” Mr Furner said.

“The remaining LDCs across Queensland have met and members have commented on the welcome rainfall since October 2021 and the green flush and excellent pasture growth that has occurred.”

The drought status for the following shires and part shires is revoked:

  • Balonne Shire Council
  • The part declared of Flinders Shire Council
  • Maranoa Regional Council
  • Murweh Shire Council
  • North Burnett Regional Council
  • Western Downs Regional Council
  • Quilpie Shire Council.

Mr Furner said LDCs from other drought-declared regions of Central and Northern Queensland had noted the failed wet season, lack of pasture response, limited surface water for stock use and low moisture soil profiles.

“After Anzac Day, there was recent significant rainfall across parts of western Queensland, however this occurred after the majority of LDCs had met and didn’t influence their recommendations,” he said.

“If LDCs observe a response from this rainfall, which has occurred at the tail end of the growing season, they can make a further recommendation.

“Primary producers in drought-revoked areas can now access freight subsidies for restocking and returning from agistment under the Drought Relief Assistance Scheme (DRAS).

“I remind all producers that they now have access to the new proactive drought preparedness measures including tailored training, grants and loans available through QRIDA.

“However, if accessing the new assistance from QRIDA, they will no longer be able to access DRAS which is being phased out and will not be available if areas become drought declared again in the future.

“If a producer is experiencing difficult conditions in a council area that is not drought declared, then they could apply for an Individually Droughted Property (IDP) declaration. This gives them the same access to our drought assistance as an area declaration.”

The drought declaration map can be viewed at longpaddock.qld.gov.au and the prototype drought monitor can be viewed at nacp.org.au/drought_monitor.

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