South West NRM is one of the partners rolling out the Queensland Government’s $26 million investment in wild dog fences. Chairman Mark O’Brien highlights the need to protect this investment with fencing standards that prevent wild dogs scratching through.
“We are thrilled with the recent visit by the Queensland Premier to western areas to inspect the fencing infrastructure and see first hand the value of the Government’s investment. The Premier has clearly understood its worth not only to the production capability of the area, but also the transformation for whole communities.” Mr O’Brien said.
“Since 2013, South West NRM’s Collaborate Area Management project has supported 22 collaborative groups, involving over 180 landholders to construct 4,000 kilometres of high integrity exclusion fencing. The Government’s investment will benefit over 3,500,000 hectares of agricultural land in the South West with improved practices and protection from wild dogs.
“The success of the project hinges on the integrity of the fences and the maintenance program. Our monitoring and experience shows the importance of the 30cm apron on the ground to ensure dogs can’t scratch through. We are stringent on other design elements such as 1.5 metre height, rigid knot hinge joint wire and barb wire on the top and bottom.
“We also require landholder groups to maintain the fence for 20 years. Strong contractual obligations give the Government and public confidence that funds are invested for long term results. Our Project Officers are undertaking intensive on-ground monitoring of pest presence, land condition and economic data. Results are already showing a 63% increase in lambing from reduced predation for one producer. We look forward to reporting more of those results across the region,” Mr O’Brien said.
“South West NRM has received overwhelming interest from landholders in the region looking to participate in the program. The Premier’s visit is reassuring for further funding to assist more landholders improve their production capacity and return benefits to our communities.
“We urge the Government to ensure measures are in place that demonstrate the integrity of fencing and long term maintenance to deliver the full benefits of their investments. This is important to us, as poor fencing has far reaching consequences,” Mr O’Brien said.
The Collaborative Area Management project is funded through the Queensland Government Regional NRM Investment Program and the Feral Pest Initiative. Funding has also been provided through the Australian Government Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper, the Australian Government’s plan for stronger farmers and a stronger economy.
Prepared by Liz Todd, media consultant, 0457 831 512, firstname.lastname@example.org
More information Phil McCullough, CEO, 0407 126 689
Jon Grant, Project Manager, 0474 761 633