Lockyer Valley joins Somerset Region, Ipswich and the rest of south-east Queensland on the drought declaration list as of today.
Lockyer Valley joins Somerset Region, Ipswich and the rest of south-east Queensland on the drought declaration list as of today. Derek Barry

Lockyer Valley, Somerset and Ipswich all drought declared

WHILE it looks like good rain is on the way, it hasn't stopped the State Government from officially declaring south-east Queensland drought declared as of today.

The declaration impacts Lockyer Valley, Somerset and Ipswich and follows a deterioration in rural pastures in the region because of a lack of significant rainfall.

Agriculture Minister John McVeigh said they were among eight council areas declared drought-stricken, backdated to August 1, meaning three quarters of Queensland was now drought declared.

"Unfortunately, the dry winter and heavy frosts from the cold nights have hit pastures in the south east," Mr McVeigh said.

Mr McVeigh said the declaration would have no effect on domestic water supplies in the south east.

"The 12 dams in south east Queensland that contribute to the water supply system are currently at an average of 86 per cent of their full supply capacity."

According to Seqwater, south east Queensland's water security status was "high" and added that irrigation schemes in the region are at or near 100 per cent allocation.

Lockyer Valley Growers president Linton Brimblecombe said the declaration would affect cattlemen more than his members at the moment.

"This is good news that the government realises there is an issue especially for cattlemen keeping their animals alive on feed," he said.

"Our growers are still producing at capacity but we'd need to review the situation if there is no serious rain in the next six months.

The drought declarations mean drought assistance measures for primary producers will now become available in south eastern council areas.

Primary producers may be eligible for the Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate (EWIR)  and other assistance measures under the Drought Relief Assistance Scheme (DRAS).

More information regarding DRAS can be found by contacting 13 25 23.

The eight council areas added to the list are Brisbane, Gold Coast City, Ipswich City, Lockyer Valley, Logan City, Redland City, Somerset and the Scenic Rim.


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