The Queensland Farmers’ Federation (QFF) has welcomed the state government’s decision to accept the recommendations of the local drought committees and drought declare an additional eight local government areas in South East Queensland.
The new declarations cover the Fraser Coast Regional Council, Gold Coast City Council, Gympie Regional Council, Logan City Council, Moreton Regional Council, Noosa Council, Redland City Council and Sunshine Coast Regional Council.
There are now 41 councils and four part council areas drought declared, and 16 Individually Droughted Properties (IDPs) in a further five Local Government Areas, which now represent 67.4 per cent of the total land area in Queensland.
QFF CEO Dr Georgina Davis said the situation was dire and encouraged farmers in these areas to apply for drought assistance measures to ease their hardship.
“Farmers can access drought assistance including subsidies to ensure the welfare of livestock through the transport of fodder and water, a rebate for water infrastructure and low interest loans,” Dr Davis said.
“But Queensland’s drought framework is not one size fits all, with intensive animal industries operating high throughput businesses that require a constant, high quality feed supply and currently do not receive any assistance from the state government to deal with this escalating cost.”
“The sector is also experiencing further water restrictions with more areas, even those outside current drought declared areas, seeing zero per cent water allocations. Many businesses still have crops in the ground and produce that must get to market, all of which requires a reliable source of water.”
“Following the release of the Queensland Drought Program Review in July, QFF has continued working with the state government to get the right policy settings for the sector to help farmers better prepare for and manage through droughts.”
“In the meantime, buying local produce and paying a fair price is the best way Queensland consumers can support the agricultural sector. By doing so, they will continue to play an active role in helping to build more resilient farming businesses and ensure a bright future for Queensland agriculture.”
For more information about drought assistance for drought declared farmers, visit: www.daf.qld.gov.au/business-priorities/agriculture/disaster-recovery/drought/assistance-programs.