The Gold Coast has now joined the list of drought declarations across Queensland, as water levels continue to dwindle.
We’re one of eight council areas joining the list, as well as Logan and the Sunshine Coast.
It brings the totals of drought-declared areas across the state to 41 councils, along with four part council areas and 16 Individually Droughted Properties (IDPs) in a further five Local Government Areas.
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This means that almost 70 percent of the state is now drought-declared.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development Mark Furner said he accepts the recommendations of the local drought committees based on the significant lack of rain, depleted pasture reserves and escalating concerns about agricultural water supply.
“Local drought committees usually meet at the end of the wet season in April, but due to the deteriorating conditions since then, these committees decided to recommend the areas be drought declared from 1 December.
“There are now 41 councils and four part council areas drought declared, and 16 Individually Droughted Properties (IDPs) in a further five Local Government Areas.
“These declarations represent 67.4 per cent of the land area of Queensland.
“In these regions, local drought committee members have observed extreme rainfall deficiencies, above average temperatures, poor pasture growth, low soil moisture profiles, failed winter grain, forage and horticultural crops, little to no planting of summer forage and grain crops, and significant concerns about stock, irrigation and rural water supplies.
“Any producer who is experiencing difficult conditions in any council area that is not drought declared, can apply for an IDP declaration.
“This gives you the same access to Queensland drought assistance as an area declaration.
“To ensure the timely delivery of support, the Palaszczuk Government has employed additional drought assessment officers based in Toowoomba, Kingaroy and Rockhampton.
“This raises the number of drought assessment officers and Climate Risk Coordinators in Toowoomba to five, four in Kingaroy and three in Rockhampton.
“There is also an additional Climate Risk Coordinator in Charters Towers and in Longreach,” Mr Furner said.
It comes after the Tugun desalination plant was kicked into full gear last month, with dam levels across the South East continuing to plummet.
It’s understood the water levels have to get below 50 percent before mandatory water restrictions come into place, though we’re currently sitting at 57.9 percent.
The dam levels were still above 60 percent just one month ago.
For further information on drought assistance visit daf.qld.gov.au