Well-above average rainfall in the northern coastal areas of Queensland has seen drought declarations in Burke, Carpentaria and Doomadgee Shires revoked.
However the Charters Towers Regional Council area would become fully drought declared as the dry weather conditions continued in the region.
Agriculture Minister John McVeigh said Queensland’s total land area drought declared would reduce slightly to just under 75 per cent.
“The number of local government areas drought declared is now 36, plus three partially declared shires and 34 Individually Droughted Properties in another eight shires,” Mr McVeigh said.
“I am revoking the status of Burke, Doomadgee and Carpentaria Shires effective 30 April 2014.
“Tropical Cyclone Fletcher in early February and Tropical Cyclone Gillian in early March both delivered very good rainfall to much of these Shires.
“This rainfall did not always extend very far south, and poor conditions may still be in place on some properties in the far southern reaches of both Burke and Carpentaria shires.
“Farmers in these areas can apply for an Individually Droughted Property declaration which provides the same assistance as a drought declaration.
“We promised to grow agriculture as one of the four pillars of the economy and we are committed to assisting our producers through this tough time.
“In response to the drought we have allocated $31 million towards assisting farming families, $5 million more than any previous government.
“I urge any producers in these shires that feel that they do not have enough pasture to get them through to the next wet season to contact my department on 13 25 23 to ensure these arrangements are in place.”
Mr McVeigh said the revocation of drought declaration status meant farmers would no longer be eligible for fodder and water freight subsidies, or access to the emergency water infrastructure rebate, however they would be eligible for other subsidies.
“Farmers can apply for returning from agistment and restocking freight subsidies under our Drought Relief Assistance Scheme,” he said.
“These freight subsidies are up to 100 per cent for eligible breeders, and up to 75 per cent for eligible non breeders. Eligible livestock movements are up to two years from the date of the revocation.
“I am declaring the remaining part of Charters Towers Regional Council drought declared effective 1 April 2014.
“Rainfall deficiencies have continued to worsen in the eastern parts of the Charters Towers Regional Council area.
“Stock water shortages are critical in some areas with limited flows in rivers and creeks. Producers are destocking with not enough pasture to carry normal livestock numbers through the dry period.
“Drought declared producers are eligible to apply for fodder and water freight subsides and an emergency water infrastructure rebate and can do so by contacting my Department on 13 25 23 or downloading claim forms online at www.daff.qld.gov.au.”
Source: Qld Govt.