Western Queensland is in drought…and we know it.
Its a harsh reality we’ve all had to face and one that has been making headlines across the state in the past couple of weeks.
But aside from the drought appeals and the television coverage, there’s been a noticeable lack of support from the Federal Government and its got local Mayor rushing to the aid of our regional neighbours.
As seen in the map below, both the Quilpie and Boulia Shires have been deemed ineligible for 1.5 million dollars in Federal Government Funding for community projects.
Later this month, Murweh Mayor, Denis Cook and Quilpie Mayor, Stuart Mackenzie, will make their way to Canberra for discussions with Deputy Prime Minister, Warren Truss.
They hope to get to the bottom of just why Quilpie and Boulia have been left without support despite facing the same drought effects as their neighbouring regions.
Mayor Cook, says the Murweh Shire has been lucky enough to receive the funding, but it doesn’t mean they’ll be leaving Quilpie to fend for themselves.
“We’ve been quite lucky, we’re going to receive the $1.5 million, and we’ve got about four different projects in the works that will look at increasing employment for our people and that will be rolling out in the very near future,” says the Mayor.
“For some unknown reason our neighbour Quilpie missed out, and I just don’t know why. We border Quilpie so if one side of the fence is drought then it stands to reason that the other side is in drought too.”
“We’re headed down to try and rectify this, because we’re all in this together.”
If supported with financial aid, Quilpie plans to develop a park and the natural history museum in Eromanga; generating tourism and adding to the appeal of the shire.
Minister Truss has said that the status of those shires would be reviewed, and we can only hope for a positive outcome for both Quilpie and Boulia.
The Western Queensland Drought Appeal was officially launched in Longreach in late September and received huge media attention nation wide, bringing the drought to the rest of Australia’s attention.
Have your say:
Do you think Murweh, Paroo and Quilpie Shires have been receiving enough attention when it comes to the drought? Or would you like to see more coverage like Longreach has been receiving?