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15th May 2017

Media Release, Palaszczuk Government delivers another helping hand to drought-affected farmers

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Media Release

JOINT STATEMENT

Minister for State Development and Minister for Natural Resources and Mines
The Honourable Dr Anthony Lynham

Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Economic Development
The Honourable Bill Byrne


Palaszczuk Government delivers another helping hand to drought-affected farmers

The Palaszczuk Government is providing more assistance to landholders facing hardship due to the State’s worsening drought.

Minister for State Development and Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Dr Anthony Lynham said that, as part of the Palaszczuk Government's drought assistance package, annual water licence fees would be waived for any landholder who was billed in the month immediately preceding a drought declaration on 10 March 2017.

“The Palaszczuk Government recognises the hardship faced by many landholders and their families as a result of the drought conditions affecting many parts of Queensland,” Dr Lynham said.

“That is why landholders in the affected areas – including parts of Banana, Cherbourg, the Fraser Coast, Gympie, Bundaberg, North Burnett, Somerset and South Burnett – will receive either a refund or a credit.

“In February and March of this year, the Department of Natural Resources and Mines (DNRM) sent a total of 377 invoices to landholders in those areas which were subsequently drought declared in March.

Agriculture Minister Bill Byrne said with 69.75% of Queensland drought declared every bit of assistance to producers to help with costs is appreciated.

“Overall Queensland endured another harsh summer of well below average rainfall and above average temperatures,” Mr Byrne said.

“Waiving the $76.55 annual water licence fee acknowledges that some landholders face the very real prospect of not having any water to access as dam levels drop and bore supplies dry up and demonstrates our commitment to this vital part of the State’s economy.”

Dr Lynham said landholders should be aware that they must still comply with the provisions of their water licence or entitlement, despite the waiving of the water licence fee.

“Waiving water licence fees was one of a number of measures the Palaszczuk Government had taken to support landholders in drought affected areas,” Dr Lynham said.

“Since 1 September 2013 we have waived annual water licence fees for Queensland producers in drought declared areas effective from the date of the drought declaration.

“Additionally, since 1 June 2015, DNRM has waived all new water licence application fees for the take of stock and domestic water in all drought declared areas throughout Queensland.

“The Palaszczuk Government has also provided land rent rebates, freight subsidies for fodder and emergency water through the Drought Relief Assistance Scheme, community assistance, mental health support services and other assistance through its Drought Assistance Package.”

Further information for drought-affected landholders is available on the DNRM website, www.dnrm.qld.gov.au , or by calling the Queensland Government on 13 QGOV (13 74 68).

ENDS

Media contact: 0419 562 389