Dam good drop of rainfall

SEVEN council workers and two shearers had to be rescued from floodwaters in Aramac on Friday.

The council workers were doing construction work on Torrens Creek Road when the flood waters rose and they were unable to get out.

The men were eventually rescued by the SES flood boat and the Muttaburra and Aramac police.

Aramac Police Station officerin-charge, Sergent Mick Newell said the SES did a great job and all the workers were safe.

Falls of up to 250mm and widespread flooding in Northern and central-west Queensland during the past few days had brought mixed blessings.

Peter Kenny, president of the peak rural lobby group, Agforce said the falls had been good news.

"There is certainly going to be some short-term losses, particularly in regards to stock and damage to fences and other infrastructure, but in the long term the effects of flooding are going to be positive for a region that is hard hit by drought,'' Mr Kenny said.

Heavy falls recorded over the past seven days in the central north-west of the State include Aramac with 150mm, Muttaburra 135mm, Richmond 132mm, Hughenden 91mm and Burketown 268mm.

Police at Longreach in the central-west said main roads were open but some secondary roads were closed.

Some communities, such as Muttaburra, were isolated and residents were being supplied with essentials by boat.

The Weather Bureau has issued a flood warning for the Thomson, Barcoo and Cooper river systems but floodwaters are continuing to ease around the town of Aramac, where one property recorded a whopping 225mm of rainfall in 24 hours ? its best rain since 2000.

Mr Kenny said it was almost getting too late in the season to expect heavy rain and producers had become concerned about stock surviving the winter. "Livestock producers were worried there was not enough soil moisture to provide feed through the winter and, in some cases, surface water supplies were very low,'' he said. Unfortunately, the rains had not fallen everywhere they were needed and there had been only patchy falls around Longreach, Jundah and Stonehenge, and the state's south-west had received no rain, he said.

Around 65 per cent of the State is still in drought.

But in north-east Queensland, the State's largest dam is full to capacity and more inflow is expected.

State Water Minister Henry Palaszczuk said the Burdekin Falls Dam, near Ayr and Charters Towers, has a capacity of 1.86 tril- lion litres. "Since rainfall associated with the destructive Tropical Cyclone Larry last month, Burdekin Falls Dam levels have risen by more than a quarter,'' Mr Palaszczuk said.

"Now the dam has reached full capacity and more than 10,000 megalitres per day is the current flow over the dam's spillway.''

Work is underway to build a $270 million pipeline from Burdekin Falls Dam to Moranbah and on to the south, while there are also plans to transfer water north-east from Burdekin to Bowen. The Fairbairn Dam near the central Queensland town of Emerald is only 17 per cent full and in the south-east, Wivenhoe Dam near Brisbane is 31.4 per cent full.

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