Burnett and Cherbourg regions drought declared

THE South Burnett, North Burnett and Cherbourg regions have been drought declared.

Agriculture Minister Bill Byrne accepted the recommendations of Local Drought Committees that seven more regions be added to the list of shires officially in-drought.

"On Tuesday I asked Local Drought Committees across South East Queensland to meet at their earliest opportunity to recommend whether their Shires should be drought declared," Mr Byrne said.

"The committees would normally expect to meet during April but I asked them to bring their meetings forward because of the lack of rain during the wet season."

Mr Byrne said the declarations were effective immediately.

"These latest declarations bring the total area of Queensland where drought is declared to 87.47%," he said.

"That is the highest ever and I am still waiting for some committees to send me their recommendations.

"I have been advised that while some parts of the South East Queensland have received some patchy storm rainfall over the summer season, good general rainfall across the whole region has not been received."

Drought declared producers are able to access DRAS fodder and water freight subsidies and emergency water infrastructure rebates as well as access to other programs in the Queensland Drought Assistance Package if they are eligible.

This includes relief from electricity charges, land rent rebates and water licence waivers as well as access to a number of community and mental health programs.

The threshold for a drought declaration is generally a once in 10 to 15 year rainfall deficiency.

The drought-declared map on www.longpaddock.qld.gov.au will be updated next week.

For more information call 13 25 23 or visit www.daf.qld.gov.au for DRAS information.

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