The following information is provided courtesty of the Queensland Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry:
More than 60 per cent of Queensland is now drought-declared.
A full list of drought declared shires is available at www.longpaddock.qld.gov.au.
A range of financial assistance and services to help farm families, businesses and communities is available through the Drought Assistance Package announced in May 2013, including:
Assistance is available to producers with properties in drought declared areas or with an individually droughted property (IDP) declaration, including:
- a freeze on rural land rents in the 2013-14 financial year;
- temporary grazing for at-risk cattle on selected properties and national park land;
- transport concessions for drought-affected primary producers;
- mental health support workshops to help those who may be finding it difficult to cope.
• Drought Relief Assistance Scheme (DRAS): This scheme provides up to $20,000 each financial year to help graziers transport fodder and water during drought, and after the drought has ended, freight subsidies for returning livestock from agistment or restocking after the drought.
• DRAS now also includes the emergency water infrastructure rebate on water infrastructure purchased for emergency animal welfare needs. A QDAFF officer needs to approve a water availability statement completed by the claimant, which ensures eligibility to apply for the rebate on the basis of emergency animal welfare need. Examples of emergency water infrastructure rebates include sinking a bore on properties where surface water has run out, or piping water to a trough in a grassed paddock that is too far from the nearest watering point for livestock to walk. All forms for claiming water and freight rebates are available at www.daff.qld.gov.au/environment/drought or at local DAFF offices.
• Income support: Call the Drought and Farmer Assistance Hotline 13 23 16, visit the Federal Department of Human Services, (formerly Centrelink). Income support, Transitional Farm Family Payment, assistance for isolated children information is available at www.humanservices.gov.au.
• QRAA: For information on farm finance concessional loans or productivity loans call 1800 623 946.
• Land rent relief: Rural land rent increases will be frozen for the 2013/14 financial year for those farm businesses in drought declared areas. Visit www.nrm.gov.au or call 13 74 68.
• Transport concession and assistance for road trains: Assistance for drought-affected primary producers may be available for the payment of fees and permit requirements, including vehicle inspection fees, drought road train permits, pilot escorts and vehicle height limits when transporting livestock or machined baled hay. Visit www.tmr.qld.gov.au or call 13 74 68.
• School Transport Assistance Scheme (STAS): Families that drive their children to school or connect with a school bus run may be eligible for an increase in the school transport allowance. Visit www.tmr.qld.gov.au or call 13 74 68.
• Farm Management Deposits: Visit the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (Australian Government) http://www.daff.gov.au/agriculture-food/drought
• Electricity rebates or concessions: Visit www.dews.qld.gov.au or call 13 43 87.
• Ergon Energy: For drought relief rebates or concessions visit www.ergon.com.au or call 13 10 46
• Legal Aid Queensland: Rural legal services for severe, debt-related problems, lender disputes, or financial hardship with farming businesses, visit www.legalaid.qld.gov.au or call 1300 65 11 88.
• The Telstra Bill Assistance Program: Short term emergency relief to residential customers if you are unable to pay your Telstra fixed home telephone bill. Administered by national welfare organisations including Salvation Army, Smith Family Anglicare and St Vincent de Paul. Qld: Salvation Army 07 3222 6666; NSW: Smith Family 02 9085 7222.
Social and community services
• Lifeline 13 11 14 Crisis Counselling Line 24-hours for individuals and families. www.lifeline.org.au
• Salvation Army 1300 36 36 22 telephone counselling 24 hours a day, 365 days. www.salvationarmy.org.au
• BeyondBlue 1300 224 636 help with personal issues, depression or anxiety. www.beyondblue.org.au
• Relationships Australia 1300 364 277 confidential counselling and family support services. www.raq.org.au
• Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800 A national 24-hour telephone counselling service for children and young people (ages 5 to 18). www.kidshelp.com.au
• Women's Infolink 1800 177 577 Free, confidential information & referral service Queensland-wide to support women. www.communities.qld.gov.au/communityservices/women
• Mensline Australia 1300 789 978 help men with relationship issues www.mensline.org.au
• Queensland Health 13 43 25 84 will be providing a series of mental health and psychological support workshops across drought-affected areas. Workshops aim to enhance mental health and wellbeing in communities affected by drought and will provide community members and human service workers with the skills to identify, support and protect people that may not be coping during difficult times. www.health.qld.gov.au
• Frontier Services 1300 787 247 provides health, family, community services and pastoral support in remote Australia. ‘Outback Links’ 1300 731 349 places volunteers with rural and remote families for short periods www.frontierservices.org
• The Bush Connection 07 4639 7897 free confidential support and referral. Personal support, identify options, advocacy, in crisis situations
• Local doctors, clergy, hospitals or community health centres can also help.
Climate and management information
• The current Queensland drought situation report, map and seasonal outlooks are at www.longpaddock.qld.gov.au/queenslanddroughtmonitor
• QDAFF 13 25 23 and FutureBeef have resources on feeding and management of livestock during drought, strategies to help cope with stress and software packages to evaluate options and assist in decision making. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or web
• A booklet “Dry season management of a beef business” can be downloaded free from http://futurebeef.com.au/resources/publications/