How Qld plan will help drought-stricken farmers
MORE than $34 million will go towards drought relief in next week's Queensland budget.
The government will commit to $34.6 million in drought relief - the same amount promised in the 2017 budget despite eight council areas no longer being drought declared after they received rain recently.
But Agriculture Minister Mark Furner said much of the state remained in desperate need of help.
"With more than half of our state still in drought, the Palaszczuk Government will continue to maintain existing drought relief arrangements to drought affected communities," he said.
The Toowoomba, Southern Downs and Lockyer Valley council areas are entirely drought declared. Banana, Isaac, Whitsunday and Charters Towers are partially declared. Almost all western and southern Queensland council areas are entirely drought declared.
But Mr Furner said farmers from non-drought declared areas could apply for an individual declaration.
A further $17.5 million will be budgeted for the Queensland Drought and Climate Adaptation Program aimed at increasing farm business capacity and improving risk management.
"Research includes working with national and international climate modellers to improve seasonal forecasts and improving predictions of multi-year droughts," Mr Furner said.
"Our focus is to help producers build resilience and increase business productivity, leading to more profitable and sustainable grazing businesses.
"This will be achieved by developing resources that will focus on reducing land degradation and boosting productivity in our variable climate through a range of tools, digital technologies and networks."
Farmers advocacy group AgForce has previously called for more help for drought-affected farmers.
Earlier this year AgForce said increased capital works, rates relief, education assistance and increased mental health support could help communities struggling with the drought. -NewsRegional