Mayors in flooded western Queensland communities are preparing to make public their plan to dispose of hundreds of thousands of rotting cattle carcasses strewn across the outback.
The shires of Richmond, Cloncurry, McKinlay, Winton and Flinders will on Thursday sign and release a formal strategy to get rid of livestock killed by exposure when sun-baked properties went underwater this month.
It has been led by the military and maps out how just how long the clean up is expected to take, who will pay for it, and what exactly will happen to the carcasses.
But McKinlay mayor Belinda Murphy says the health and wellbeing of communities, particularly graziers, will come first.
"People are coping as best they can and getting on with it, but this is a very devastating and difficult situation," she told AAP.
"Everyone will be different, some people have already started burying cattle last week, especially if it was close to their house.
"There will be places that people cannot get to on properties for some time, so it's already started but it will keep going on in coming months."
Ms Murphy says estimates of how many livestock were lost vary between 300,000 and 500,000, but it won't be until mustering gets underway in coming months that a more accurate figure will be known.
"The other thing is cattle are still dying," she added.
Cattle that were saved after battling without food and against cold winds are now fighting against pneumonia.
Australian Associated Press