The southern portion of Central Highlands Regional Council, defined as south of the Capricorn Highway, has been drought declared after the Queensland Government accepted a recommendation made by the local drought committee’s review in April.
Mayor Kerry Hayes said the drought declaration is welcome but more frequent reviews of pasture conditions are needed.
‘Over the past six months council has been advocating strongly to have the region drought declared and as a result the number of Individually Droughted Properties in the region increased from 40 to 100,’ Mayor Hayes said.
‘Ninety of these properties are in the now drought-declared southern part of the region with ten remaining in the north-western and north-eastern areas.
‘These properties receive the same benefits as anyone in a drought declared area, but ongoing monitoring of pastures is needed to review the status of areas north of the Capricorn Highway.’
Mayor Hayes said recent rainfall had eased the pressures on rural producers, but some might feel the declaration is a little too late.
‘We are grateful but constraints on finances and tough conditions have persisted and landholders need the support.
‘There is an opportunity to review the drought declaration mechanism and more frequent reviews of pasture conditions will increase awareness and encourage more participation and make people more resilient about their drought-proofing.’
The drought-declaration was released in a statement by the Queensland Government on 1 May 2019. As reviewed on 1 April 2019, there are a total of 30 councils and five part-council areas drought declared. These declarations represent 65.2% of the land area of Queensland. There are also 61 Individual Droughted Properties (IDP) in a further 17 local government areas.