Area or shire drought declarations

The Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries makes area or shire drought declarations based on the recommendations of local drought committees (LDCs).

LDCs comprise local producers and representatives from peak industry bodies. The committees are chaired by extension staff from the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF).

Criteria for an area or shire drought declaration

An LDC will recommend an area or shire for drought declaration when that area or shire meets the Queensland Government's drought criteria. The main criterion for declaring drought is:

  • a rainfall deficiency in the last 12 months that is likely to occur no more than once every 10 years.

Other criteria, such as pasture and water availability, frequency of supplementary feeding, and the condition of stock are also considered.

When LDC recommendations are made

LDCs first meet at the end of the wet season, generally once March rainfall statistics become available. The Minister usually receives LDC recommendations before the end of April. LDCs then meet as required throughout the year as they continue to monitor conditions.

When an area or shire drought declaration takes effect

The starting date of an area or shire declaration is usually the date recommended by the LDC.

How long an area or shire drought declaration lasts

An area or shire drought declaration remains in place until it is revoked by the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries.

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