Drought declared in more southern Queensland regions after hot, dry summer
Posted on 14.03.2017
More than 87 per cent of Queensland is officially in drought, with the driest 12 months ever recorded in the Fraser Coast adding that region to the list amid a warning things could get worse before they get better.
Queensland Agriculture Minister Bill Byrne said the Fraser Coast, Gympie, Cherbourg, Somerset, North and South Burnett, along with the remainder of the Shire of Banana had been officially drought declared.
He said that meant producers in those regions were now eligible for drought assistance, including relief from water and electricity costs.
He said the latest declarations bring the total drought affected area in the state to its highest level ever recorded.
“These latest declarations bring the total area of Queensland where drought is declared to 87.47 per cent,” he said.
“That is the highest ever and I am still waiting for some committees to send me their recommendations.
“In fact, the Fraser Coast region had the lowest rainfall in its recorded history over the past 12 months and the overall outlook for the cane industry and other cropping in the Fraser Coast is poor.
“I have been advised that while some parts of south east Queensland have received some patchy storm rainfall over the summer season, good general rainfall across the whole region has not been received.”
Mr Byrne said drought committees from other regions would make their recommendations soon and this could push the figure higher.
He said the threshold for a drought declaration was generally a once-in-10- to 15-year rainfall deficiency.
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