The drought has closed in on South East Queensland with eight councils drought-declared.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development Mark Furner said he had accepted the recommendations of the local drought committees based on the significant lack of rain, depleted pasture reserves and escalating concerns about agricultural water supply.
“Local drought committees usually meet at the end of the wet season in April, but due to the deteriorating conditions since then, these committees decided to recommend the areas be drought declared from 1 December,” Mr Furner said.
The areas declared are:
Fraser Coast Regional Council
Gold Coast City Council
Gympie Regional Council
Logan City Council
Moreton Regional Council
Redland City Council.
Sunshine Coast Regional Council
“There are now 41 councils and four part council areas drought declared, and 16 Individually Droughted Properties (IDPs) in a further five Local Government Areas” he said.
“These declarations represent 67.4 per cent of the land area of Queensland.
“In these regions, local drought committee members have observed extreme rainfall deficiencies, above average temperatures, poor pasture growth, low soil moisture profiles, failed winter grain, forage and horticultural crops, little to no planting of summer forage and grain crops, and significant concerns about stock, irrigation and rural water supplies.
“Any producer who is experiencing difficult conditions in any council area that is not drought declared, can apply for an IDP declaration. This gives you the same access to Queensland drought assistance as an area declaration.
“To ensure the timely delivery of support, the Palaszczuk Government has employed additional drought assessment officers based in Toowoomba, Kingaroy and Rockhampton. This raises the number of drought assessment officers and Climate Risk Coordinators in Toowoomba to five, four in Kingaroy and three in Rockhampton. “There is also an additional Climate Risk Coordinator in Charters Towers and in Longreach.”
View the drought declaration map at longpaddock.qld.gov.au