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Drought-affected Queensland graziers welcome weekend rainfall

By Lydia Burton and Arlie Felton-Taylor, Monday January 4, 2016 - 14:39 EDT
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Some drought-affected properties in north-west Queensland have had some of their best falls of rain in years. - ABC

Parts of drought-affected Queensland have received the start to 2016 that graziers had hoped for.

Windorah, in the Channel Country, has had the most rain, with 149 millimetres falling over the weekend.

Gay Tully, from Tenham station east of Windorah, recorded 73mm.

"We were very fortunate we ended up with 73mm of rain, which was absolutely wonderful," she said.

"It is probably the best new year present we could get."

But Ms Tully said there would need to be follow-up rain.

"It should grow quite a bit of feed because it was lovely steady rain, but we will need follow-up rain," she said.

Charleville, Augathella and Morven have recorded 50mm or more.

The weather also has caused flash flooding in the Quilpie Shire, while a moderate flood warning is in place for the Bulloo and Barcoo Rivers and Cooper Creek.

Morven grazier Will Roberts said the 50mm in his gauge was unbelievable.

He had destocked his cattle property by half for the majority of 2015.

"We are absolutely blessed ... we had about 44mm over the Christmas period and our grasses have started to kick away, and you could not ask for a better change," he said.

"It will allow the country to recover."

Great start to new year

Boothulla Station, between Quilpie and Charleville, recorded 126mm in the rain gauge for the weekend.

Grazier Judy Treloar said the rain was the best way to start the New Year.

She said things had been looking grim until the recent rainfall.

"Last year the total [rainfall] was 224mm ... so this is a wonderful start to 2016," Mrs Treloar said.

"One rainfall does not break a drought but by golly it sets us up for a terrific season into the winter ... it takes the pressure off."

Some southern Queensland graziers also were lucky with some substantial falls.

The Mitchell region received some of the best falls, with some people reporting more than 100mm in 48 hours.

South of Mitchell, Andy Douglas said there had been 82mm in his rain gauge, which had put a run in the Maranoa River.

"We had about 3.8 metres there and I suspect it could get to anywhere between 4 and 5 metres," he said.

Mr Douglas said the last time the river reached those heights at Springfield was in December, 2014.

Graziers devastated as they miss out

However, plenty of areas have missed out.

Theresa Curr is from Glenample Station, near Aramac in central-west Queensland.

Her property has only received 14mm in three days.

She said 14mm was "basically good for the garden and that's about it".

"We have not had rain for three years and we have been destocked for approximately 18 months ... we have got breeders we want to bring home still on the road."

Like many, Mrs Curr will keep holding on to the hope that she will see some big rainfall soon.

"[We will] keep doing what we do, waiting for the next change.


© ABC 2016

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