STILL DRY: The Bundaberg region still drought declared.
STILL DRY: The Bundaberg region still drought declared. Emma Channon

Drought hangs on

THE Bundaberg region remains in drought despite good rains over the past few weeks.

While farmers and cane growers celebrated the rain, the region remains in the grip of the big dry.

A Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry spokesman said even though there had been significant rainfall recently, the Bundaberg area still had experienced below average rainfall for the wet season.

"To determine if an area is no longer in drought, the Local Drought Committee (LDC) takes into account when the rain fell, how useful it was, the condition of livestock, pasture quality and water availability, and other factors it considers relevant," he said.

"LDCs must be confident there will be enough pasture available to allow producers to restock, and carry them through to the next wet season. This can take a few weeks at least to observe."

He said the Local Drought Committee (LDC) would discuss conditions once pasture response was clearer.

And there seems to be no relief on the horizon, with the region predicted to remain dry.

Bureau of Meteorology forecaster David Bernard said this was very much a dry time of year for Bundaberg.

"There is the possibility of some showers in the middle of the week," he said.

Mr Bernard said April was an extremely variable time, and there was still the possibility of more good rain.

Bundaberg joined the list of drought declared areas just over a year after the worst flood in the region's history.

Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Minister John McVeigh included Bundaberg in a list of 15 shires he declared in drought on March 7.

The move put 79% of the state in drought, the largest area ever recorded.

The declaration gave farmers access to emergency aid and funding.



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