Queensland agriculture minister John McVeigh has declared Barcoo, Winton, parts of Blackall Tambo and parts of Maranoa council areas drought stricken, taking the number of Shires drought-declared in the State to 18.
There are also 42 individually drought-declared properties in seven other shires, taking the total area of the state drought-declared to more than 40 per cent.
Shires now drought-declared are:
- Blackall-Tambo (part declared)
- Maranoa (part-declared)
- Mount Isa
Mr McVeigh said Barcoo and Winton Shires had remained dry with high temperatures, low humidity and deteriorating pasture quality.
“There’s been some patchy rain in parts of Winton Shire, but too light for pasture growth,” he said.
The declaration also applies to the eastern part of Blackall Tambo.
The areas is bounded to the west of the shire by the Landsborough Highway, from the northern boundary of the shire through to Blackall, then by the Ravensbourne road through to the Langlo Road, then along the Langlo road and south to the Murweh Shire Boundary.
“In Blackall and Tambo there’s been little run-off from any rainfall this season resulting in poor water levels in dams and waterholes along many of the creeks in the area,” he said.
“It’s a slightly better picture in adjoining Barcaldine Shire, but the relevant Local Drought Committee will meet again in late July to further assess the situation.”
The southwest part of Maranoa Regional Council is declared west of Mitchell, south of the Warrego Highway, and west of the Mitchell-St George Road.
The Maranoa Local Drought Committee will meet again in August if conditions deteriorate further.
Primary producers who aren’t in declared areas but believe their properties are facing drought conditions should contact the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry to apply for an Individually Droughted Property (IDP) declaration.
Mr McVeigh said producers in drought-declared areas could apply for the Drought Relief Assistance Scheme (DRAS) and other support included in the drought assistance package announced last month, such as the Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate and the Land Rent Rebate.
“DRAS provides up to 50 per cent freight subsidies on fodder and water while an area is drought-declared, and freight subsidies for restocking and returning from agistment after the drought declaration is revoked,” he said.
“The Queensland Government will provide up to $20,000 (excluding GST) to drought-declared producers each financial year.”
Producers wanting to apply for DRAS including the Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate should contact the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry on 13 25 23. Access to DRAS claim forms and IDP applications can be found at www.daff.qld.gov.au