Devastating dry prompts minister to make drought declaration
THE North Burnett has joined the South Burnett and 32 other local government areas as being officially drought declared.
The North Burnett's local drought committee recommended the local council area be drought declared due to the significant lack of rain and rapidly depleting pasture reserves.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development Mark Furner said he had accepted the recommendation as there were significant concerns around pasture growth and water supplies.
"Local drought committees usually meet at the end of the wet season in April, but due to the late summer rainfall in March, the North Burnett local drought committee decided to wait a few months,” Mr Furner said.
"Given the deteriorating conditions since then, the committee decided to recommend the area be drought declared from 1 September,” he said.
"There are now 33 councils and 4 part-council areas drought declared. These declarations represent 66.1 per cent of the land area of Queensland. There are also 23 Individual Droughted Properties (IDP) in a further 8 Local Government Areas.
"In the North Burnett region, local drought committee members commented that while there was beneficial late summer rainfall and reasonable pasture response, since then, there has been little to no follow-up rainfall, above-average daytime temperatures, heavy frosts, poor pasture growth, failed winter forage and grain crops, and increasing concerns about stock, irrigation and rural water supplies.
"I'd like to remind any producer who is experiencing difficult conditions in any council area that is not drought declared, that they can apply for an Individually Droughted Property (IDP) declaration.
"This gives them the same access to Queensland drought assistance as an area declaration.”