'Consequences will be catastrophic'
IT WAS a hot and dry year for the Mackay region, with above average temperatures and below average rainfall.
The Bureau of Meteorology has reported that 2018 was the third hottest year on record for Australia, with the average mean temperature 1.14 degrees above the 1961-1990 average.
In Mackay, the total rainfall received in the entire year was 1168mm, with an unseasonably small amount of rain falling in January and November.
In January there was only 35mm of rain, with 538mm the year before. In November, only 12mm of rain fell, the year before seeing 131mm.
However, in December it was exceptionally wet, with 348mm falling in the Mackay area. In 2017, only 65mm of rain fell in December.
The monthly average for January 2018 was 32.3 degrees and in November, the average was 31.5 degrees. Michael Kane from the Mackay Conservation Group said the reported highlighted a terrible year for the environment and agricultural industries.
"Nine of Australia's hottest years on record have occurred in the last 10 years. These are not a records we want to have," he said.
"The BOM report is a stark testimony to how rapidly our climate is shifting.
"We are now in a climate emergency and without urgent action the consequences for central Queensland will be catastrophic."