Week­end rain helps, but more is needed

Western Times - - NEWS -

RAIN has been wel­comed in drought-hit parts of Queens­land, but farm­ers are warn­ing they are nowhere near out of the woods.

Rain­fall has been patchy across the south but ar­eas east of Charleville have re­ceived as much as 50mm of rain since Fri­day.

“Most of the rain is east of Roma, over the Dar­ling Downs and fur­ther east,” Bureau of Me­te­o­rol­ogy’s Lach­lan Stoney told AAP on Sun­day.

“Ar­eas west of Roma are quite clear at the mo­ment and they won’t see any fur­ther rain, but they have seen that same pat­tern of gen­er­ally 5-20mm.”

The week­end’s rain­fall was more than some com­mu­ni­ties had re­ceived in years, but it was not enough to end the drought.

“There’s been some good falls but it’s def­i­nitely not drought-break­ing rain,” Ross Henry of Queens­land Farm­ers’ Fed­er­a­tion told AAP.

“We need fol­low-up rain to get peo­ple on the road to re­cov­ery.”

The State Govern­ment on Sun­day re­vealed a two-per­son ex­pert panel would re­view its drought pol­icy on re­silience and as­sis­tance for farm­ers fol­low­ing a de­ci­sion to spend $9 mil­lion on a re­lief pack­age with a fo­cus on farm­ers’ men­tal health.

But Mr Henry was crit­i­cal of “re­ac­tive” moves to im­prove farm­ers’ well­be­ing.

“Talk­ing about drought in a drought is not the best way to make farm­ers feel like there’s some­thing hap­pen­ing,” he said.

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