Strong commitment to SA dog barrier fence after Queensland tour

Sheep Central, October 21, 2019

Members of SA Dog Fence board’s rebuild committee on Ben Chandler’s property, near Longreach Queensland, discussing design options for SA’s 1600km dog fence renewal project.

SOUTH Australia’s Dog Fence Board has returned from a Queensland fact-finding tour with a strong commitment to the state’s barrier fence.

The SA Dog Fence Board recently held a three-day, knowledge-sharing tour of Queensland cluster and exclusion fences.

The delegation focused on five properties around Longreach and comprised Livestock SA president Joe Keynes, chair of the National Wild Dog Management Coordination Committee and the SA Wild Dog Fence Board, Geoff Power, four regional SA Dog Fence committee chairs, the owner of the north-west private section of the fence, government delegates and the National Wild Dog Management co-ordinator, Greg Mifsud.

Mr Keynes said the group returned inspired by the Queensland producers’ energy and optimism, and with a strong resolve that SA’s barrier fence rather than individual cluster fences, is the best option for protecting the state’s sheep industry.

“We were really encouraged by their enthusiasm, ingenuity and business approach; they had a clear understanding of their return on investment and were confident about their future.

“We saw a lot of great designs and ideas for modifications we can use for SA’s varying topography,” he said.

“Some of the best outcomes were the opportunity for the dog fence rebuild committee to meet face-to-face for the first time to talk about ideas, and also the group’s resolve that restoring an effective barrier fence is the best option for protecting SA’s pastoral zone.

“Once we have that we can implement effective integrated control programs to reduce the number wild dogs inside the fence.”

Mr Mifsud said the National Wild Dog Action Plan as a Federal Government and industry-supported strategy that guides best practice wild dog management, has played an important role.

“The plan encourages networking, knowledge sharing and coordination of management programs across State borders and jurisdictions which, prior to the Plan’s implementation, rarely occurred,” he said.

Greg said the group was hosted by the Remote Area Planning and Development Board, which supplied a vehicle and arranged the on-farm visits.

“The Queensland producers were happy to showcase their achievements and share their knowledge to help others get it right the first time,” he said.

“They want to help South Australia to develop a successful program and bring some comfort to others enduring the continuous stress of wild dog attacks on their stock.”

The SA Dog Fence rebuild project oversight committee is finalising its audit of repairs along the 1600km requiring work and will meet in Adelaide later this month to finalise design details and procurements.

Mr Keynes said the project remains on track for its March 2020 start date.

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