Declaration to stay
AS CLOUDS have gathered and rain fallen across the North Burnett, faces lifted to the sky and asked: “How long will the drought declaration last?”
North Burnett Regional Council chief executive officer Mark Pitt said the drought declaration was under constant review and more favourable conditions were needed in the near future for there to be any changes.
So, removal of the drought declaration should be a long way off.
“Whilst the recent rain was welcome, given the closeness of winter we will need favourable conditions through to spring and summer to lift the declaration,” Mr Pitt said.
Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Minister John McVeigh said drought declarations were made and revoked on advice from drought committees made up of local producers and industry representatives.
“The committees take into account when the rain fell, how useful it was, the condition of livestock, pasture quality and water availability,” Mr McVeigh said.
“Before any recommendation is made of revoking a declaration, the committee must be confident there will be enough pasture available to allow producers to restock, and carry them through to the next wet season,” he said.
Each year, drought committees assess seasonal conditions at the end of each wet season, using 12-month rainfall data from April 1 to March 31.
With the late arrival of this year’s wet season, these meetings were brought forward to mid-March.