Fairfax Media Network

Weather News

Queensland drought assistance increases

Virginia Tapp, Tuesday October 15, 2013 - 13:39 EDT
ABC image
The Coorabulka road turnoff, east of Boulia in March this year. - ABC

Drought affected graziers across Queensland now have access to an extra $10,000 in rebates for freight and emergency water infrastructure.

The state's rural lobby group AgForce has welcomed the state government's decision to act on some of their suggested changes to the Drought Relief Assistance Scheme.

The Queensland Minister for Agriculture John McVeigh increased the cap on rebates per financial year, made some changes to the eligibility criteria of their drought assistance scheme and is still in negotiations to fast track water infrastructure funds for emergency situations.

AgForce's Chief Executive Officer Charles Burke says it's a good start.

"It shows the government is responding to industry's calls that the drought is worsening and therefore we need to make the relevant changes as we go along.

"We're still talking to state and federal governments about what other potential initiatives we can look at as this drought continues to persist."

Frank McKerrow from Weona Station near Winton says any assistance is positive, but he's not sure they'll be able to take advantage of the additional funds.

He says the way the rebates are calculated means they'd have to spend a lot of money to accumulate $30,000 in rebates in one financial year.

"If you're getting some one to cart fodder for you, you can either get back 50 per cent of the total freight bill or be reimbursed 13 cents per kilometre per tonne of fodder, but you receive whichever is less.

"It's a pittance really but how long is the drought going to go for? It's certainly very nice to be able to get something back, I'm sure it's going to help some people."

"It costs an additional $10,000 a month to run out business in drought, but at least we're in an industry that does get assistance, the shops in town are still feeling the effects of drought but aren't eligible for assistance."

Changes to the Drought Relief Assistance Package also means producers carting water to animals on stock routes will now be eligible for freight rebates.

In order to qualify for additional funds producers must complete an approved drought management plan.


- ABC

© ABC 2013

More breaking news

Sydney Morning Herald
ABC News
National Nine News
News Limited

Display Your Local Weather

Weather News

Wild weather on the way for New South Wales

12:42 EST

After a month of mostly high pressure, a cold front and trough will bump away the high and bring some woolly weather later this week to parts of New South Wales.

Turbulent skies over WA's interior

10:55 EST

Following a week of generally clear weather over the interior of WA, thundery clouds and a strong jetstream are leading to storm activity and some magnificent cloud features observable on satellite.

Skyrocketing beanies caused by winter

15:00 EST

We're now past the shortest day of the year and well into winter, so just how wintry is it in southeastern Australia? A weak cold front has just clipped Victoria and southeastern New South Wales, bringing with it frequent showers and fresh winds.