By Lew Markey – Climate Risk State Coordinator with the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
Drought-declared producers considering bringing livestock back onto their properties after recent good rain in parts of Queensland need to make sure that doesn’t affect the assistance they receive through the Drought Relief Assistance Scheme (DRAS).
Climate Risk State Coordinator with the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries Lew Markey said while 86% of Queensland was drought-declared, some useful rainfall had provided some much-needed relief which was prompting some landholders to start restocking.
“Freight subsidies are available through DRAS for restocking and the return of livestock from agistment, but to be eligible the drought declaration on a property must be revoked before livestock are moved back on,” he said.
“If you return or introduce livestock to a drought-declared property you run the risk of having drought assistance suspended.
“Individual properties within drought-declared areas can apply for revocation, but there is a minimum period of 12 months before the property can be reinstated in the drought-declared area or granted Individually Droughted Property (IDP) status.
“Any producers seeking revocation must be very sure that they have enough fodder/pasture and water supply to maintain normal or near-normal stocking rates for at least a year.
“I urge livestock producers to carefully assess the DRAS guidelines and their situation before deciding to restock.”
Local Drought Committees (LDCs) will meet in April to consider seasonal conditions and make recommendations regarding drought declarations and revocations.
For further information about drought revocations and DRAS eligibility call 13 25 23 or visit www.daf.qld.gov.au
Updated maps of drought declared areas and boundary descriptions can be found at www.longpaddock.qld.gov.au