SEVEN more regions in Queensland have been drought declared.
Fraser Coast, North Burnett, South Burnett, Cherbourg, Gympie, Somerset and the remainder of Banana have been added to the list of shires that are officially in-drought.
Today’s declarations mean that a recored 87.47 per cent of Queensland is officially in drought.
Agriculture Minister Bill Byrne said he accepted the recommendations of Local Drought Committees after directing those committees to meet to recommend whether their Shires should be drought declared.
“The committees would normally expect to meet during April but I asked them to bring their meetings forward because of the lack of rain during the wet season,” Mr Byrne said.
“Today I have received the recommendations of seven committees to make a declaration and I have no hesitation in doing so. The declarations are effective immediately.”
Mr Byrne said said other committees were still to make their recommendations.
Drought declared producers are able to access DRAS fodder and water freight subsidies and emergency water infrastructure rebates as well as access to other programs in the Queensland Drought Assistance Package if they are eligible.
This includes relief from electricity charges, land rent rebates and water licence waivers as well as access to a number of community and mental health programs.
The threshold for a drought declaration is generally a once in 10 to 15 year rainfall deficiency.