Brett Wortman

$20 million more for farmers as Qld drought bites hard

FARMERS are being offered $20 million in new funding as Premier Campbell Newman tries to ease the seemingly endless dry currently hobbling the state's agriculture industry.

At a press conference in Longreach - a region declared as drought-stricken  this morning - Mr Newman said there was still no sign of a quenching rain.

"The extreme dry conditions continue to spread and we are potentially facing a second failed wet season," Mr Newman said.

In total, the state has now put aside $31.2 million to help farmers sector survive the big dry.

Two more councils earned "drought stricken" status today, with Longreach and Barcaldine Regional Council each given the title from January 1.

The additions mean 26 of Queensland's 73 council regions - more than one-third - are now struggling with the big dry.

Among those already on the list are Isaac and Central Highlands, each "part declared", Balonne, Blackall-Tambo and Winton.

Agriculture Minister John McVeigh said farmers needed to know they had not been forgotten.

The status allows growers and producers to now tap into government aid.

"This brings the area now drought-declared to almost 65% of Queensland," he said.

"There have only been very patchy rainfall events during the summer months over much of western Queensland."

Those wanting help can apply for help through the state's Drought Relief Assistance Scheme can phone 13 25 23 or at
Councils now listed as drought-affected:

  • Balonne
  • Barcaldine
  • Barcoo
  • Blackall-Tambo
  • Boulia
  • Burke
  • Carpentaria
  • Central Highlands (part declared)
  • Charters Towers (part declared)
  • Croydon
  • Cloncurry
  • Diamantina
  • Doomadgee
  • Etheridge
  • Flinders
  • Isaac (part declared)
  • Longreach
  • Maranoa
  • McKinlay
  • Mt Isa
  • Murweh
  • Paroo
  • Quilpie
  • Richmond
  • Woorabinda (part declared)
  • Winton

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