STATE and Federal Government leaders are being urged to unite to combat the disastrous drought, with eight additional shires being officially drought declared in the South East Queensland this week.
Local Government Association of Queensland chief executive Greg Hallam has written to both the Prime Minister and Queensland Premier urging them to drive a unified approach to water security.
LGAQ has spent the past week documenting the devastating effects of the drought on the people living on the land and in struggling towns in the Southern Downs and Burnett regions.
"Queensland towns like Stanthorpe, Clifton, Bell, Canungra and Dayboro are now relying on water carting to provide what we in the city take for granted," Mr Hallam said.
"The Federal Government's move to provide drought funding for non-farm businesses and extra funding for councils in drought-affected regions was a huge win for Queensland communities.
"Similarly, the State Government's funding for upgraded water infrastructure in towns like Stanthorpe is welcome.
"What is missing, however, is a strategy for rural towns water supply, agreed to and supported by all three tiers of government.
It's time politicians put aside their differences and stood shoulder to shoulder with Queensland councils who are at the frontline of this creeping disaster.
"This should be the highest priority for COAG (the Council of Australian Governments) and needs to occur in a spirit of collaboration, innovation and without blame. And it needs to occur urgently."
More than two-thirds of Queensland's land area is now drought declared, affecting almost three million people.
There are 41 councils and four part-council areas drought declared, and 16 Individually Droughted Properties in a further five Local Government Areas, representing 67.4pc of Queensland.
"It's time politicians put aside their differences and stood shoulder to shoulder with Queensland councils who are at the frontline of this creeping disaster," Mr Hallam said.
"The greatest gift we can give the hundreds of thousands of Queenslanders this Christmas is that someone is listening and delivering real solutions to water security, a basic human need."