Some semitrailers and cars drove through the floodwaters on the Bruce Hwy near Tiaro on Sunday.
Some semitrailers and cars drove through the floodwaters on the Bruce Hwy near Tiaro on Sunday. Contributed

Drought declaration to remain while rain benefits assessed

THE Fraser Coast will remain drought-declared for at least the next few weeks as local drought committees wait to assess the long-term impact of recent heavy rainfall.

Agriculture Minister John McVeigh said while there had been good rainfall for the area, it was only one event.

"It remains to be seen what the pasture response will be and if there will be any follow-up rain," he said.

"This response will take a few weeks at least to observe."

He said the local drought committee for each council area would assess the amount of rain that falls, how useful the rain was, condition of livestock, pasture quality and water availability.

The committees then made a recommendation to the Minister on whether the region should remain drought-declared or if it should be revoked.

"Before any recommendation is made of revoking a declaration, the committee must be confident there will be enough pasture available to allow producers to restock and carry them through to the next wet season," he said.

While the Fraser Coast is drought-declared, farmers will have access to relief grants and loans at both a state and federal level.

The rainfall from last week has resulted in access to irrigation being granted for farmers who were cut off in late February.

The Mary River barrage is now about 4m higher than it was only two weeks ago, sitting at EL 4.115m on Monday afternoon.

A total 195mm of rain fell in Maryborough and 122mm fell in Hervey Bay from Wednesday to Sunday.



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