Outback Queensland graziers are celebrating after heavy rainfall broke the drought in the state’s west but many farmers are still struggling.
Heavy rains in outback Queensland have been welcomed by graziers who have been struggling to cope with the drought.
Grazier Rebecca Comiskey says her property at Alpha, west of Rockhampton, experienced 200mm of rain in recent days.
The downpour has left her previously dry dam “well and truly full” and she has postponed plans to sell off more stock, she says.
The rain could not have come at a better time, given there were only about eight weeks left in the grass growing season, Ms Comiskey says.
“We’ve already had to make quite a few tough decisions in terms of selling classes of stock we wouldn’t normally like to,” Ms Comiskey told ABC Radio.
“But the water situation was our biggest drama and we’re thankful to have our water supplies replenished.”
Ms Comiskey said while the rain was a positive, she was hoping the downpour would not be so severe as to flood her neighbour’s property.
AgForce CEO Charles Burke said the rain was boosting spirits in the outback.
“It creates an atmosphere of hope and it lifts morale and it lifts spirits,” he said.
“It’s quite amazing for those people who have never experienced this, that after such prolonged dry weather, the sound of rain on a tin roof is one of the most positive, morale boosting sounds you will hear.”
However, he said the rain was isolated to only a few properties.
Many graziers were still struggling, given 70 per cent, or roughly 6500 properties were drought affected, he said.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott is expected to announce drought assistance packages for affected graziers in coming days.