Drought results in 60% business downturn in western towns

THE Central Queensland region has rallied behind its drought-stricken regions, but we might just be killing them with kindness.

David Phelps, chair of the Western Queensland Drought Committee, said while the Longreach area was genuinely touched by the efforts of strangers to improve their lives, the retail sector was suffering as a result of the free goods and services.

"The businesses are doing it really tough here as well," he said.

"The survey we did of town businesses in July showed that our town business turnover is down by 60% compared with last year, and they have had to lay off around 30% to 40% of staff.

"Unfortunately most people don't realise that, and that is why we gratefully accept the help, and the goods and the services that people are offering us; but we just really want to highlight that businesses are doing it tough, as are the farmers."

Longreach has long been in the grips of drought, with Mr Phelps commenting that there were now "more flies than livestock" in the region.

He said the town, which is home to about 3500 people and over 200 family farms, was made of resilient folk.

"It's hot, dry and dusty here," he said.

"Things are certainly tough but our farmers and our community in general are pretty resilient too. They are hanging in but conditions are hard."

With Christmas approaching, and more people wanting to be charitable as the merry season approaches, Mr Phelps said there was a better way to give to the people of Longreach.

"There are lots of things that keep morale up, and (donating) is fantastic, but if you bring money in to buy those goods in town it's even better because then you are giving twice," he said.


Topics:  business drought longreach

From foster child, to author, to social worker

RISING ABOVE: Daryl Brougham authored Through the Eyes of a Foster Child, documenting the abuse he suffered in his 18 years of foster care.

Daryl is speaking out for children with no voice.

Armed teen on bike not yet located by police

Police are attending a scene in Koongal

A teenage male is armed with a knife.

Step-father sexually abused daughter for years


He bribed his step-daughter with lollies and chocolate.

Local Partners

Retro recycling trivia night

TO get into the swing of National Recycling Week, the Alton Downs Hall Association will be hosting a Trivia Night at the hall on Friday, November 4.

Your chance to win

Learn More

Program announced for weekend's film festival

Lead character Frankie in one of the Capricorn Film Festival's short films, Slingshot, to screen this weekend.

Over 20 short films by CQ filmmakers to screen this weekend

Community garden set for Palmwoods

Kay Nixon at the Palmwoods Community Gardens will be hosting a launch day and inviting the ecommunity to come along and sign up.

Parcel of land to supply sustainable gardening for community

Former Split Enz front man Tim Finn finds new niche

Singer Tim Finn has written the music for theatre production Ladies in Black.

Musician finds his way to theatre

Kristie doesn't mind being the third wheel in Survivor final

Kristie Bennett in a scene from Australian Survivor.

SOLO player will take on Survivor's power couple Lee and El tonight.

Scary hoping Posh and Sporty will re-join The Spice Girls

Mel B

Mel B hoping Victoria Beckham, Mel C will re-join The Spice Girls

REVIEW: Michael McIntyre has Brisbane in stitches

Michael McIntyre in a scene from his TV series Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow.

BRITISH comedian is in the country on his Happy and Glorious Tour.

Cliff Richard doesn't need Rod Stewart's help with legal bills

Sir Cliff Richard

"'Don't worry, I'm loaded. I won't keep you to it.' "

Bindi Irwin named in MAXIM HOT 100 list

Wildlife Warrior named among Australia's most beautiful women

Look at me! Kath and Kim home up for sale

Kath and Kim from the iconic Aussie TV series.

'Crack open the Baileys and grab a box of BBQ Shapes'

How to fit 100,000 new homes on the Coast

Property, real estate, housing, suburb,  August 2016

Fitting 2m extra people in south-east Qld in 25 years a balance

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals