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 2013

More breaking news

Sydney Morning Herald
ABC News
National Nine News
News Limited

Display Your Local Weather

Weather News

Tropical Cyclone Nora expected to reach category four before hitting Queensland

08:21 EDT

Rapidly-intensifying Tropical Cyclone Nora is expected to become category four system in Queensland's Gulf of Carpentaria as early as this afternoon, the Bureau of Meteorology has warned.

Tropical Cyclone Nora: BOM issues warning as storm approaches Gulf of Carpentaria

01:08 EDT

Tropical Cyclone Nora is passing by north-east Arnhem land, before moving to the Cape York Peninsula and intensifying over the weekend.

Cyclone Marcus and Cyclone Nora joined by two other systems as storms converge on Australia

00:36 EDT

A very active cyclone season is stepping up around the Australian tropics, with the Bureau of Meteorology monitoring four significant systems spiralling around the country's north.