Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Minister Mark Furner said he supports the advise given to him by the Local Drought Committee.
Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Minister Mark Furner said he supports the advise given to him by the Local Drought Committee. Kevin Farmer

Minister backs decision to strip drought declaration

QUEENSLAND Agriculture Minister Mark Furner has stood by a decision to remove the Western Downs from the drought-declared list.

Mr Furner backed the process which allows anonymous committee members to determine the drought status of a region.

"When making or revoking drought declarations, I consider the advice given to me by Local Drought Committees,” Mr Furner said.

"The LDC members freely give their time to serve their communities and must be able to perform assessments and make recommendations without being subject to lobbying.”

The Western Downs was taken off the list several weeks ago, with little explanation for the move.

Mr Furner said the committee took into account whether the region was experiencing a once in 10-15 year rainfall deficiency, how useful was rain that fell, the condition of livestock, water availability and other factors, including high temperatures.

Mr Furner said Western Downs farmers who were no longer drought-declared but still suffering could apply for a Droughted Property declaration, to access government support.