MP urges western Qld drought disaster declarationBy Kate Stephens, Friday September 20, 2013 - 10:03 EST
Mount Isa MP Rob Katter is calling on the Federal Government to declare the current drought in western Queensland a natural disaster.
More than 60 per cent of the state has been drought declared, with some graziers saying they have not seen rain for more than 18 months.
Mr Katter says the northern cattle industry is struggling.
He says the State Government's $11.2 million Drought Relief Assistance Scheme is not enough.
"The impacts it's going to have, not only on just the small towns that are out here but the whole of Queensland, because it is in trouble and people need to realise how much trouble it's in," he said.
"That level of assistance at the moment is a pittance and falls hopelessly short of being a solution to their problems."
Mr Katter says the financial stresses are also flowing to small businesses in rural towns.
"It needs to be acknowledged as an extraordinary event that is a big problem for the Government," he said.
"It's a big problem for the people of Queensland because this is a big industry and they need to give it some strong attention.
"I'm sorry but you can throw all the rhetoric at it that you want at it from the Government, but the $11.2 million package falls hopelessly short of that."
© ABC 2013
More breaking news
Backyards in Queanbeyan and parts of Canberra have been covered with "golf-ball sized" hailstones and the roof of a supermarket has partially collapsed after a storm hit the region.
A western Queensland church has raised more than $90,000 for a scheme to keep rural contractors in work during the ongoing drought.
Much of southeastern Australia is experiencing its sunniest week since spring and skies have been staying clear at night, effectively giving planet gazers a fine-tuned view of a rare feature.