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Drought declared areas

We are providing advice and assistance on a range of issues impacting Queenslanders in drought declared areas.

Drought situation reports are released regularly by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries. These reports provide information about drought conditions in Queensland.

For general information about drought in Queensland, call 13-QGOV (13 74 68).

Accessing water

The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries offers the emergency water infrastructure rebate under the Drought Relief Assistance Scheme (DRAS). This rebate applies to the purchase and installation of water  infrastructure  such as pumps, bores and tanks.

Other requirements and approvals may apply before you can start taking water or constructing water infrastructure.

Water fee relief

The widespread drought across the state is causing many landholders severe hardship. As part of the Queensland Government's drought assistance package, the department is waiving annual water licence fees in Local Government Areas which are drought declared.

  • Annual water licence fees from 1 July 2015 until 30 June 2016 will be waived.    
  • Affected landholders will be advised of the waiver by letter.    
  • Annual water licence fee relief will be available in additional areas which become drought declared.    

Application fees for a new water licence to take water for stock and domestic purposes

From 1 June 2015, the department is waiving all new water licence application fees for the take of stock and domestic water in all drought declared areas throughout Queensland.

Drought assistance land rent rebate

The Queensland Government recognises that the widespread drought across the state is causing many landholders severe hardship. As par tof the government's drought assistance package, landholders of rural leases (being Category 11 leases used for grazing and primary production) issued under the LandAct 1994 are eligible for a rebate of 12% of the annual rent where that annual payment is more than the minimum rent of $235.

The rebate is available to leases that are in drought-declared areas and to those that are Individually Droughted Properties.

Landholders who are eligible for the rebate will receive information with their annual/quarterly invoices.

Drought assistance land rent deferral

As a further hardship assistance measure, the payment date for all Category 11 drought declared invoices has been extended until 1 July 2016.In addition, no penalty interest will accrue on overdue balances during the 2015–16 financial year.

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Last updated: 27 January 2017


The Department of Natural Resources and Mines is an economic development agency that enables the productive and responsible use of our natural resources – water, land, mineral and energy resources – to generate wealth and prosperity for current and future generations of Queenslanders.

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