Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

THE AUSTRALIAN reports on Queensland’s long drought (not a mention of climate change)

Farmers in distress as devastating drought enters its sixth year  The Australian, RICK MORTON, Social Affairs reporter, Sydney @SquigglyRick

Almost five years after drought was last officially declared in Queensland, two-thirds of the state, or 120 million hectares, is in the grip of a dry so long and grinding that many who can afford to have forgotten it even exists.

At the end of last year, 35 council areas in the state remained wholly drought declared — some since April in 2013 — affecting thousands of beef and sheep ­stations, farms and other agricultural businesses.

Take Audrey Stone, a beef ­cattle property in Queensland’s central-west. It would be easy, owner Brett Wehl says, to sit back and believe it is the driest place on the continent.

The Wehl family homestead, about 40km northwest of Barcaldine, sits among a flat moonscape filled only with choking acacia bushes and tumbleweeds. The 6070ha property has run about 1000 head of cattle in the past but there are just 20 on it now.

Others have it worse, some have it better, but playing that game will drive a person mad, Mr Wehl says.

At the end of last year, precisely two-thirds of Queensland remained drought-declared with much of this officially in drought for four years and counting.

The state government has handed out $140m in drought assistance in that time. The proportion of the state affected has fallen from 87 per cent at the beginning of last year but thousands of farmers and graziers are still in its grip.

The public has largely moved on, however, and families have been left behind to eke out an existence in the regions…….. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/farmers-in-distress-as-devastating-drought-enters-its-sixth-year/news-story/0f479b80d90d53fcf8360cd2c99a11ee

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January 14, 2018 - Posted by | climate change - global warming, Queensland

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