The drought should not be forgotten, despite forecasts of a rainy summer ahead, Cattle Council of Australia (CCA) President Tony Hegarty said today.

“The weather bureau is forecasting a wetter summer, with La Niña conditions setting in,” Mr Hegarty said.

“This will raise spirits on cattle stations across the Eastern states, but the damage of the recent drought will take years to repair.

“Some producers have faced nine years of dry conditions and it has hit them hard.

“Others have missed out on the recent rains, despite a wetter than usual year so far.

“Likewise, entire states will not benefit from La Niña rains, such as WA and the NT and the area’s affected will vary.

“The La Niña declaration is very welcome and will make a big difference to producers.

“We’re humbled by how Australians have stood behind beef producers and farmers more broadly.

“The generosity of our friends in the city has made a difference to many lives and we thank them.

“But multiple years of drought will take more than one season to fix. We must stay focussed.

“Governments must continue supporting those facing dry conditions and those getting back on their feet.

“It’s also important we continue programs to build resilience in rural communities, such as the Commonwealth’s Future Drought Fund.”