CANBERRA, AAP – Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the drought continues despite the recovery being “well under way”.
Mr Morrison on Tuesday visited western Queensland to inspect Bunginderry Station – a struggling Quilpie property he first saw just after taking office in 2018.
He visited again after winning the 2019 election.
Station owner Steve Tully said during that visit the “place was just dust” and he hated the idea of the prime minister thinking the property remained the same today.
He said government support for a 139km fence had allowed him and his family to be “happy, profitable and positive” despite continuing low rainfall.
“We are viable, continuously adapting to whatever conditions are thrown at us,” he said.
Queensland has 41 councils and four part-council areas drought-declared, representing 67.4 per cent of the land area of the state.
There are also 31 individual properties in drought in a further 12 local government areas.
Mr Morrison said he was struck by the resilience of farmers such as the Tully family.
“That’s a tremendous encouragement, I think, to all of us around the country,” he said.
“The practical things, like fences and on-farm irrigation or water infrastructure and things of that nature, are all making a practical difference.
“But the main ingredient has been the resilience, resourcefulness and optimism and hope of the people themselves.”
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, who also travelled to the region, said it was important not to “set and forget” when it came to supporting drought-hit communities.