State Minister for Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries, and Member for Toowoomba South, Dr John McVeigh has advised Â more than 79% of Queensland is now officially drought declared, the largest area ever recorded. The 15 shires now listed Â are Banana, Bundaberg, Cherbourg, Fraser Coast, Gladstone, Goondiwindi, Gympie, Moreton Bay, Noosa, North Burnett, South Burnett, Southern Downs, Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba, and Western Downs. Also included in the declaration are partial declarations for further areas of Central Highlands and Woorabinda.
Toowoomba Region Mayor Paul Antonio has welcomed the Â announcement that primary producers affected by the drought in the Toowoomba region are now eligible for State Government assistance.Â “I thank the State Government for taking decisive action in helping those suffering from one of the worst droughts in Queensland history,” Mayor Antonio said.Â “This region is Australia’s second most productive agricultural region and we know there are many farmers out there struggling to survive, this emergency aid and funding available will help to ease some of the pain.”
The Drought Declaration means that eligible primary producers can now access both State and Federal assistance. Â The Toowoomba region is one of 38 Queensland local government areas eligible for assistance from 1 March 2014.Â To find out more call the Queensland Department of Agriculture on 13 25 23, or visit www.qraa.qld.gov.au, or go to the DAFF website at www.daff.qld.gov.au.
Member For Nanango, Deb Frecklington is also encouraging producers in financial need to contact Centrelink on 13 23 16 to access the Federal Governmentâ€™s Interim Farm Household Allowance. You can also visit the Federal Department of Agriculture website for details on the Federal Assistance package.Producers wanting to apply for Drought Relief Assistance should contact the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry on 13 25 23 or access DRAS claim forms at www.daff.qld.gov.au.