- 660km extension of the State Barrier Fence to Esperance begins
- $6.9 million McGowan Government investment to protect farming properties from wild dog impacts
The long awaited extension of the historic State Barrier Fence has begun and will create a 660km boundary protecting south-eastern farming properties from the impact of wild dogs and emus.
The project is backed by a $6.9 million McGowan Government investment and is part of a broad range of measures to support the Western Australian livestock industry to combat wild dogs. Contributions have also been made by Federal and local governments.
The project will allow the State's Barrier Fence to run 1,850km, from the Zuytdorp cliffs north of Kalbarri to Condingup east of Esperance.
Original sections of the State Barrier Fence were built between 1902 and 1907, to stop rabbits moving across from the east. Today, the fence plays an important role in preventing the entry of wild dogs and emus from the rangelands into the agricultural region of WA.
The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development is coordinating the construction of the 1.35 metre-high fence, after final environmental approval was granted in April.
Construction is expected to take two-and-a-half years to complete.
The State Government will continue discussions with two native title groups regarding sections of the fence subject to native title.
Comments attributed to Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan:
"Wild dogs have loomed large for a number of years as an existential threat to sheep farming in the Esperance and Ravensthorpe regions.
"We have seen State Government work with industry, Federal and local governments to provide a funded fencing solution so farmers can take advantage of booming sheep meat and wool prices.
"We are making this landmark project a double-win: supporting employment and training opportunities for local businesses and for Aboriginal people.
"The first 8.5 kilometers of the fence build will involve training the Esperance Tjaltjraak Aboriginal Rangers in fencing construction so they are able to seek future contracting opportunities.
"This project forms part of a strategic approach through the WA Wild Dog Action Plan, to support industry and landholders to manage wild dogs in agricultural and pastoral areas of WA."
Comments attributed to Agriculture Region MLC Darren West:
"Livestock prices are at all-time highs and it is encouraging to see livestock returning to our farming systems.
"As a farmer myself, I've seen first-hand the devastation that wild dogs have on livestock and emus on crops.
"I commend Minister MacTiernan for stepping in and getting this project underway."
Minister's office - 6552 6200