Eleven years of drought ends with remaining declarations revoked

Published Thursday, 09 May, 2024 at 10:18 AM

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities
The Honourable Mark Furner

  • Last two Queensland local government areas have drought status revoked
  • Bulloo and Diamantina Council areas now drought free
  • Assistance available to prepare for next drought

Queensland is now free of drought with the last two local government areas having their drought status revoked.

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities Mark Furner accepted the recommendations of Local Drought Committees and DAF to lift the drought declaration status of Bulloo and Diamantina council areas.

Representing almost 10 per cent of the land area of Queensland, those two shires were the last still considered impacted by the drought that started in early 2013.

The recommendations came after improved seasonal conditions developed during late 2023 and 2024.

The drought declaration map can be viewed at longpaddock.qld.gov.au.

For further information on drought assistance visit daf.qld.gov.au or call the Customer Service Centre on 13 25 23.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities Mark Furner:

“This is a landmark moment with no areas of Queensland now drought declared.

“We know many farmers did it tough during the long years of drought, so the improvement in seasonal conditions that has led to these declarations being lifted has been important.

“Previous programs such as freight subsidies under the Drought Relief Assistance Scheme will not be available in future droughts.

“But we all know that droughts will happen again and that is why the Queensland Government now provides funding to help our primary producers prepare for the next drought.

“Thanks to our government’s ground-breaking reforms, primary producers no longer need to be in a drought-declared area to access assistance.

“Drought assistance in Queensland has been broadened and is open to eligible primary producers across all agricultural sectors with a focus on preparedness and resilience.

“We have the Farm Business Resilience Program that provides information and training sessions to improve drought preparedness, including help with a Farm Business Plan.

“We offer Farm Management Grants providing a rebate of up to 50 per cent to a maximum of $2,500 to primary producers for the cost of professional assistance to develop a plan.

“The Farm Business Resilience Program and Farm Management Grants are jointly funded by the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund and the Queensland Government’s Drought and Climate Adaptation Program.

“Additionally, the Queensland Rural Industry Development Authority (QRIDA) is delivering drought preparedness grants of up to $50,000 and drought ready and recovery concessional loans up to $250,000 that are available in any year, regardless of drought status. 

“If a producer believes they are still experiencing difficult conditions in an area that is no longer drought-declared, they can apply for an Individually Droughted Property (IDP) declaration. I also acknowledge there are a handful of IDPs in areas which experienced a significant dry spring in 2023.”


Media contact: Martin Philip 0407 675 008