Finally, action to plan for future droughts
AN INDEPENDENT panel will review the State Government's drought program for the first time since the early 1990s.
Speaking in Charleville, Agriculture Minister Mark Furner will make the announcement which will aim to improve resilience and assistance for farmers in future droughts.
Former CEO of the Queensland Farmers' Federation Ruth Wade and former CEO of AgForce Queensland Charles Burke have been appointed to the review and will identify potential improvements for future droughts in line with national drought policy.
Mr Burke, who is a fourth generation cattle producer, told The Sunday Mail that farmers sometimes didn't reach out for help.
"Farmers at times do tend to self-assess and take that 'somebody is more worse off than me' attitude," he said.
"At the moment my advice to farmers is avail yourselves to what programs are already available."
Mr Burke said while it was too premature to say what recommendations may come out of the review, the panel would not look at this drought in isolation.
"At the moment people are just doing their damnedest to get through the current drought," he said.
"It's not up to me to tell people what to do to get through this issue.
"What we're going to look at is how we can better prepare for these events."
The State Government launched its Queensland Drought Appeal about two weeks ago in partnership with the Queensland Country Women's Association, The Courier-Mail, Sunday Mail and 7 News.
More than $1.3 million has been raised so far.
Forums will be held across six regional centres while written submissions can also be lodged through the review's website during September and October.
"We have always supported our farmers and I assure embattled rural families that our current Drought Assistance Package will continue for the duration of this drought," Mr Furner said.
"However, with drought foremost in people's minds, right now is the best time to work with industry and the community to review government, industry and community actions through this drought and to consider and recommend improvements for coping in future.
"All too often reviews have been conducted well after droughts are over and lessons are forgotten."
The Government's two recently appointed drought commissioners will also liaise with Ms Wade and Mr Burke.
Details on how to make submissions will be online from mid-September.
The panel will report to the State Government in early 2019.