Paroo Shire is officially out of drought as of December 1, for the first time since 2013, bringing the area of Queensland still drought declared down to 38.1 per cent.
Paroo Shire Mayor Suzette Beresford told the Toowoomba Chronicle she welcomed the Queensland Government’s decision.
“We had some regular rain this calendar year, I was certainly expecting the government to make this decision,” she said.
“We’ve had a good season this year and a little bit last year, so for most people it won’t probably make much difference for them. It’s mainly a formality."
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities Mark Furner said he had accepted the recommendation of the Paroo Local Drought Committees (LDC) to revoke the region’s drought status due to ongoing average to well-above-average rainfall since the start of the year.
“Over the past six months there has been green flush and excellent herbage growth,” Mr Furner said.
“LDCs in remaining drought declared areas are still monitoring pasture recovery as the wet season approaches.
“Primary producers in drought-revoked areas can access freight subsidies for restocking and returning from agistment under the Drought Relief Assistance Scheme (DRAS).
“If a producer believes they are still experiencing difficult conditions in a council area that is no longer drought declared, then they could apply for an Individually Droughted Property (IDP) declaration. This will continue to give them the same access to drought assistance as a current area declaration.”
Cr Beresford said the region had experienced some tough times over the past two decades and hoped for a longer break between now and the next drought.
“Towards the end of drought is always the worst because people have probably de-stocked and have very little or no income from their properties,” she said.
“The latter part of this drought was very, very difficult, especially coming on after another big drought, 2019 and 2020 might have been the worst years.
“Droughts affect the whole shire.”