All Queensland now drought-free

Field showing drought conditions and green pasture. | Newsreel
Queensland's 11-year drought is officially over. | Photo: Piyaset (IStock)

Queensland’s drought is officially over.

After more than a decade, the sate is now free of drought with the last two local government areas having their drought status revoked.

State Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Minister Mark Furner lifted the drought declaration status of Bulloo and Diamantina council areas on the recommendations of the local drought committees and his Department.

“Representing almost 10 per cent of the land area of Queensland, those two shires were the last still considered impacted by the drought that started in early 2013,” Minister Furner said.

The recommendations came after improved seasonal conditions developed during late 2023 and 2024.

“We know many farmers did it tough during the long years of drought, so the improvement in seasonal conditions that has led to these declarations being lifted has been important,” Minister Furner said.

“But we all know that droughts will happen again and that is why the Queensland Government now provides funding to help our primary producers prepare for the next drought.”

He said primary producers no longer needed to be in a drought-declared area to access assistance.

“Drought assistance in Queensland has been broadened and is open to eligible primary producers across all agricultural sectors with a focus on preparedness and resilience.

“We have the Farm Business Resilience Program that provides information and training sessions to improve drought preparedness, including help with a Farm Business Plan.

“We offer Farm Management Grants providing a rebate of up to 50 per cent to a maximum of $2500 to primary producers for the cost of professional assistance to develop a plan.”

Minister Furner said the Queensland Rural Industry Development Authority (QRIDA) was also delivering drought preparedness grants of up to $50,000 and drought ready and recovery concessional loans up to $250,000 which were available anytime, regardless of drought status.

“If a producer believes they are still experiencing difficult conditions in an area that is no longer drought-declared, they can apply for an Individually Droughted Property (IDP) declaration,” Minister Furner said.

Find out about drought grants and assistance at the Queensland Government website.