The Queensland Government has declared 13 Local Government Areas drought stricken, which collectively represent a third of the entire state.

“While much of southern and coastal parts of Queensland have had a lot of rain since the start of the year, large areas of western and northern Queensland have missed out,” State Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry John McVeigh said.

“Local Drought Committees, which include local producers, meet after each wet season to review conditions and this year they have completed their assessments throughout April.  They have confirmed a very sober picture in the west and north west.

“Extreme dry conditions have persisted, which has resulted in considerable destocking on some properties as producers respond to deteriorating pasture and water availability.”

Council areas now drought declared (as at 1 April 2013):

  • Boulia
  • Burke
  • Carpentaria
  • Croydon
  • Cloncurry
  • Diamantina
  • Doomadgee
  • Etheridge
  • Flinders
  • McKinlay
  • Murweh
  • Paroo
  • Richmond.

Mr McVeigh said prior to this, there have been no entire Council areas drought declared in Queensland since 2011, but there had been a rapidly increasing number of Individually Droughted Properties over the last few months.

“Now we have 13 shires drought declared covering a major part of our state - this shows just how quickly the situation has changed,” he said. 

“We’re keeping an eye on a number of additional council areas and the Local Drought Committees have advised me that they will be reviewing their status over the coming months.”