The Queensland Government has declared Mount Isa City Council drought stricken, taking the total number of drought declared shires to 14.

State Minister for Agriculture, John McVeigh, said that producers in the drought declared areas can now apply for assistance.

“Producers can apply for the Drought Relief Assistance Scheme (DRAS) and measures included in the drought assistance package recently announced,” Mr McVeigh said.

“DRAS provides up to 50 per cent freight subsidies on fodder and water while an area is drought declared, and freight subsidies for restocking and returning from agistment after the drought declaration is revoked.”

Under the DRAS scheme, drought affected producers will be able to apply for as much as $20,000 per year.

Including the freight subsidies under DRAS, the support package is worth up to $11.2 million and comprises:

  • land rent relief ($1.2m)
  • animal welfare help through access to grazing in national parks and reserves (equivalent to $2.2m)
  • fencing of sensitive areas within parks ($0.5m)
  • DRAS emergency water infrastructure rebate 
  • measures to reduce stock transport costs by providing free pilots to escort road trains along selected routes at an estimated to cost $100,000
  • a series of mental health first aid workshops across the drought declared areas.

Mr McVeigh said almost 36 per cent of Queensland is drought declared.

“In addition, there are currently 72 Individually Droughted Property (IDP) declarations in place in an additional eight local government areas,” he said.