Queensland's drought declarations remain unchanged at 67.4 per cent

AFTER a disappointing wet season, the total area of Queensland that is drought declared remained unchanged at 67.4 per cent.

TOUGH TIMES: The Kerry Valley in drought before some all-to-brief summer rainfall.

TOUGH TIMES: The Kerry Valley in drought before some all-to-brief summer rainfall.

Beaudesert, Redlands and Logan remain on the list of fully drought-declared areas.

The Local Drought Committees found that while rainfall received during February-March was welcomed, there was a lack of follow-up rainfall and the benefits were limited.

Agriculture Minister Mark Furner said there had been limited pasture growth, failed winter and summer crops, as well as concerns about stock, irrigation and rural domestic water supplies moving forward into the normally dry winter period

Mr Furner said the lack of rain combined with well above-average temperatures in 2019 and early this year meant there had been a serious impact on Queensland's agricultural production.

Planned reforms to drought programs scheduled for this year would be delayed due to the impact of COVID-19 on producers

Despite 67.4 per cent of Queensland remaining drought declared, the implementation of Drought Program Reforms would be postponed until July 2021.

"The Queensland Government has already invested more than $745m in drought-affected industries and communities since the drought began.

"Another $74.6 million was allocated over four years in the 2019-20 budget to continue the Drought Assistance Package and there's an additional $100 million for concessional loans to primary producers," Mr Furner said.

Mr Furner advised producers in any drought-declared area who believed their property conditions were improved enough to allow restocking could have their property individually revoked.

"If their drought declaration is revoked, producers can access returning from agistment and restocking freight subsidies through the Drought Relief Assistance Scheme (DRAS) for up to two years after the end of the drought declaration," he said.