DESPERATE: Dry conditions seen in the Central Highlands but the area has still not been declared officially in drought.
DESPERATE: Dry conditions seen in the Central Highlands but the area has still not been declared officially in drought. Justin Comiskey

Heartbreaking story behind farmer's livestock pic

THE dry conditions continue in the Central Highlands, and farmers are being forced to find new ways to feed their livestock.

Justin Comiskey from Tadcaster, Willows, Gemfields sent in a photo of a hungry mob of cattle chasing their daily feed, caught in a cycle of hunger and temporary relief. Mr Comiskey said there were about 60 head of cattle chasing him through this gate to get to the feed.

"You can just see it by the way they chase you," he said.

"Farmers pray for a decent drop of rain, so they no longer have to see the desperation in their eyes.

"Drought has left livestock across Australia dependent on alternate food supplies such as cotton seed."

He said the grass hasn't been feeding the cattle since May this year.

"It has got so low that we've had to used cotton seed and other ways of feeding them just so they can keep going," he said.

"It's such a widespread situation in Queensland. I think it might be time to get a little bit more help."

Despite the dry conditions, the Central Highlands are still not officially drought declared.

Member for Gregory Lachlan Millar said only the Minister for Agricultural Industry Development Mark Furner could make that call to deliver local graziers and farmers the assistance they require.

"While the Central Highlands may look 'green' - the region is in the grips of a devastating drought," he said. "Fairbairn Dam is now under 20 per cent capacity and irrigators will be receiving less than 10 per cent of their regular allocation this year, due to the ongoing dry.

"Farmers and graziers from Gindie, Duaringa, Dingo, Rolleston, Capella and Springsure have all contacted my office requesting assistance with impacts of the drought."

Mr Millar is now calling on the Minister for Agricultural Industry Development to reconsider the situation in Central Queensland.

In the past week some parts of Queensland have received up to 50mm of rain - a small blessing in dry times. 

But in state's central district, and inland, most communities were not included in the weekend's downpour.  

The situation has been similar in NSW with coast districts receiving up to 25mm with isolated falls of 50mm.


Highest weekly totals (Queensland) 

  • Caloundra Airport: 60mm
  • Point Lookout: 30mm 
  • Beenham Valley Rd: 25mm

Highest weekly totals (NSW & ACT)

  • Careys Peak: 63mm
  • Williamtown RAAF: 53mm
  • Yamba Pilot Station: 51mm