Agriculture Minister John McVeigh said nearly 52% of the state was now drought-declared, highlighting how serious the situation was.
Agriculture Minister John McVeigh said nearly 52% of the state was now drought-declared, highlighting how serious the situation was. Bev Lacey

List of drought-stricken local government areas growing

MORE than half of Queensland has been drought-declared.

Parts of Balonne and Maranoa shires are the latest areas to join the growing list of drought-stricken local government areas around the Sunshine State.

Agriculture Minister John McVeigh said nearly 52% of the state was now drought-declared, highlighting how serious the situation was.

He said the portion of Balonne Shire now drought-declared was where pasture was scarce, low in nutritional value and livestock was suffering.

"Areas without bore supplies are facing severe water shortages as dams are either empty or extremely low with no substantial runoff since February 2012," he said.

"In Maranoa, the already drought-declared area has been expanded to north and west of the Roma-Taroom Rd and west of the Carnarvon Hwy.

"The area had three years of good rainfall, which built up ground cover, but over the past 12 months there's little rain and little pasture growth and dams are low or empty."

Affected farmers can apply for relief funding from the Queensland Government, including an Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate and the Land Rent Rebate.

The Drought Relief Assistance Scheme provides up to 50% freight subsidies on fodder and water while an area is drought-declared and freight subsidies for restocking and returning from agistment after the drought declaration is revoked.

Producers can contact the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry on 13 25 23.



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