No relief in sight for drought-affected Scenic Rim farmers, says BOM

THE drought-hit Beaudesert district's parched paddocks and fire blackened mountains can expect little weather relief, with a grim spring forecast released by the Weather Bureau.

PUDDLE: A cow drinks from an otherwise parched paddock in Beaudesert. Photo: Larraine Sathicq

PUDDLE: A cow drinks from an otherwise parched paddock in Beaudesert. Photo: Larraine Sathicq

The bureau expects little rain from October to December so farmers will have to rely on storms which last season mostly failed to appear.

To add to drought and fire woes, forecasters say daytime temperatures like those over the past week are likely to remain above average.

"An extended warm spell is expected during September, with weekly temperatures likely to be two to three degrees above average across eastern and central Australia," the bureau said in a statement.

Veresdale dairy farmer Rodney Teese is leaving nothing to chance, planting enough crops today that he can irrigate for the next eight weeks.

"That'll be when we run out of feed so hopefully it will keep the herd going for another six weeks or so," he said.

"The paddocks look like crap, literally, cow manure is all you can see and not a blade of grass anywhere.

"We were lucky to get that week of storms in March but others didn't get that and people have been selling young heifers to the meat works because they've run out of feed and that's the only place they can get money for them."

This comes as the state and federal governments announce that emergency hardship assistance grants are available for people in areas directly impacted by fires.

Funding will also be made available to the Scenic Rim Regional Council for restoration of essential public assets.

Federal Natural Disaster Minister David Littleproud said this was in addition to Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements already available for the Scenic Rim and the Southern Downs local government areas.

Grants to alleviate personal hardship and help reconnect essential services are up to $180 per person, to a maximum of $900 for a family of five or more for people experiencing genuine financial hardship as a result of the bushfires.

Primary producers also could apply for disaster recovery assistance.

Agriculture Minister Mark Furner said as conditions and access improved, staff would conduct assessments.

"Producers don't need to wait for a formal activation.

"Producers suffering severe damage can apply for an Individual Disaster Stricken Property declaration, which gives access to freight subsidies up to $5000 from DAF, and Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA) Disaster Assistance loans of up to $250,000 at a concessional interest rate," he said.