30 Apr 2012

Australia declared drought-free

10:44 pm on 30 April 2012

Australia has been officially declared drought-free for the first time in more than a decade.

Substantial rain in the past two years has helped replenish water supplies.

Australians call it the Great Dry - the parched decade that began in about 2001- but now the government says it is no longer in drought.

The final two areas to be affected will lose what is called their exceptional circumstances subsidy, where farmers receive up to $A1100 a month in help, the BBC reports.

Some farm leaders have said the move is premature.

The government's declaration has been made possible in large part due to increased rainfall. In the east, for example, last year was the third wettest on record.