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Parched outback Qld in 'dire straits' without rain

By Chrissy Arthur, Wednesday February 27, 2013 - 12:57 EDT

While coastal Queensland mops up from torrential rain, parts of the interior are still awaiting the arrival of the wet season and hoping a weather change forecast for the end of the week might deliver rain.

Bulloo Mayor John Ferguson says surface water is still the big issue for most graziers in his shire, with water supplies running low due to dry conditions and the extreme summer heat in January.

He says cattle on some stations are becoming stuck in boggy waterholes.

"One of our major problems now if we don't get any rain is water," he said.

"We've got more of a water drought than a grass drought.

"There are dams, waterholes where they thought they had water for three or four months and they've dried up in six weeks.

"When your cattle, particularly cows and calves ... they walk in to get a drink, they get bogged and then you've got to pull them out and it is a 50-50 chance whether they get up again or not."

The state Member for Warrego, Howard Hobbs, says parts of his electorate are still desperate for rain, with water supplies running low due to last month's extreme heat.

He says there is a need for widespread rain in the west.

"The whole urban media are focused on the rain and the floods down there by the coast but certainly there are parts of this diverse state that are very, very dry," he said.

"We'll certainly be hoping that in the next couple of months we'll get some rain because if we don't, they'll be in dire straits.

"Like around Morven, around Charleville, out on the Cooper there, very, very dry and in fact people are really concerned about their future."


© ABC 2013

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