Agriculture Minister Mark Furner

May 9, 2024

Queensland is now officially free of drought for the first time since early 2013.

Agriculture Minister Mark Furner accepted the recommendations of Local Drought Committees and DAF to lift the drought declaration status of the last two drought-declared council areas, Bulloo and Diamantina.

These two LGAs cover almost 10 per cent of the land area of Queensland.

“This is a landmark moment,” Minister Furner said.

“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.”

He reminded farmers that previous programs, such as freight subsidies under the Drought Relief Assistance Scheme, would 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,” Minister Furner said.

“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 $2500 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 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.”


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