The demand for cluster fencing in Central Western Queensland continues to outstrip State Government funding, with the Remote Area Planning and Development Board’s round three applications oversubscribed by almost $1.5m.
RAPAD Chairman Rob Chandler is pleased with the interest but understands there will be some left disappointed.
“We were hopeful the rain earlier this year would encourage people to commit to building a fence, so it’s great to see plenty wanting to get in behind wire. It’s just a shame some have to miss out,” said Councillor Chandler.
RAPAD cluster fencing applications saw:
- 17 clusters of 45 properties applying to fence 1,216 km and protect 454 590 ha from wild dogs;
- Applicants requested $3.3m from Government matched by $10.7m in private investment;
- Expected sheep numbers growth of 290 584;
- By shire: BTC 1; Barcoo 2; Winton 2; LRC 5; BRC 7; so
- As such this round has been oversubscribed by 500km;
The applications once again tell the story of the impact of wild dogs on western communities and their flocks. For a full picture go to www.notjustafence.org
“People who have run more than 20 thousand sheep for decades are back to having a hatful if they are lucky,” Councillor Chandler said.
“A landholder south west of Barcaldine has reported killing 160 wild dogs since January, which is directly linked to lambing rates in decline from 80% down to just 5%,” he said.
“Once the sheep go it means less kids in our schools, less nurses in our hospitals and less people in the region. This is about more than a fence, it’s about creating jobs in the region, empowering people and giving them back control of their time, finances and wellbeing,” he said.
Councillor Chandler says because the interest in being part of the project remains high, RAPAD is committed to lobbying the government to continue the funding for a fourth round.
“People want to fence that’s why we have been oversubscribed in every round we have held. People are itching to get back into the wool job, but it’s risky without a fence,” he said.
The Queensland Feral Pest Initiative has received funding through the Queensland Government to support the growth of a productive and prosperous food and fibre sector in Queensland and the Australian Government Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper, the Australian Government's plan for stronger farmers and a stronger economy.