DRY TIMES: Ian Lindenmayer surveys his drought stricken property in Mt Sylivia at the end of May.
DRY TIMES: Ian Lindenmayer surveys his drought stricken property in Mt Sylivia at the end of May. Dominic Elsome

Drought funds to give Lockyer Valley relief

THE LOCKYER Valley's share of government drought relief funds is set to increase.

The Queensland Government has committed to continuing statewide drought relief worth $34.6 million, despite eight council areas having drought declarations removed earlier this year.

The Lockyer Valley, Somerset and Toowoomba council regions are all entirely drought declared.

Agriculture Minister Mark Furner said much of the state remained in desperate need of help.

"With more than half of our state still in drought, the Palaszczuk Government will continue to maintain existing drought relief arrangements to drought affected communities,” Mr Furner said.

Almost all western and southern Queensland council areas are entirely drought declared.

A further $17.5 million will be budgeted for the Queensland Drought and Climate Adaptation Program aimed at increasing farm business capacity and improving risk management.

"Research includes working with national and international climate modellers to improve seasonal forecasts and improving predictions of multi-year droughts,” Mr Furner said.

"Our focus is to help producers build resilience and increase business productivity, leading to more profitable and sustainable grazing businesses.

"This will be achieved by developing resources that will focus on reducing land degradation and boosting productivity in our variable climate through a range of tools, digital technologies and networks.”

Farmers advocacy group AgForce has previously called for more help for those drought-affected farmers.

AgForce General President Grant Maudsley met with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull earlier this month calling for more help, in both the short and long-term.

"The prolonged and severe nature of the drought has taken an enormous financial, emotional and environmental toll on many regional Queensland communities,” Mr Maudsley said.

"Primary producers need both immediate support, to help them through this tough time. and long-term policy certainty to promote better planning and risk management.

"The ongoing nature of this drought has overwhelmed even the best efforts of producers to prepare and while current government assistance measures are very welcome, they are really only designed for droughts that last two to three years.”


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