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Townsville, Burdekin now drought declared, Queensland Agriculture Minister Bill Byrne says

November 29, 2015
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Another seven Queensland regions have been drought declared, including Townsville and the Burdekin region, which are in the usually wet areas of north Queensland.

More than 86 percent of the state is now in drought.

Agriculture Minister Bill Byrne made the extra declarations in a visit to Giru in the Burdekin.

He said the spread of the drought out of the west and along the coast showed how severe the situation was.

“That moves the centres of Queensland, which most of us would know, to 86.1 per cent drought declared,” he said.

Mr Byrne said the continuing dry conditions were affecting the Burdekin, Townsville, Pormpuraaw and Kowanyama councils, and were very apparent in parts of the Cook, Whitsunday and Isaac councils.

“The dry winter period coupled with persistent drought conditions means there has been little relief for drought-affected areas,” Mr Byrne said.

“While poor pastures and lack of surface water have made things difficult for livestock in these council areas, dropping water levels and restrictions in the Burdekin have escalated costs for irrigation-reliant canegrowers and horticulture.

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Published by ABC News 26 November 2015