The erection of more than seven hundred kilometres of fencing is about to start in central-western Queensland with more exclusion fencing clusters finalised.
Seven groups of properties, that will work together to build dog proof borders to protect their sheep, have been selected for government funding through round three of RAPADs Queensland Feral Pest Initiative.
The seven successful clusters from the Longreach, Winton, Barcaldine and Barcoo shire regions are made up of:
- 17 producers;
- Will fence 733 km and protect 319,637 ha from wild dogs;
- Will see a $5.93m private contribution or a 303% ROI for government;
- Will see sheep numbers grow from 19,240 to an expected 168,300, an expected increase of 149,060;
- Will generate an expected $2.02m in direct shearing, crutching and lamb marking wages per annum from the new expected total sheep numbers.
The Remote Area Planning and Development Board (RAPAD) has signed off on the clusters which were selected by an independent technical committee.
This round of fencing involves 17 sheep producers and wool growers working together in the
Archeron, Jedburgh, Eldwick, Luckham, Bristol, Western River and Salt Creek clusters, with Salt Creek to be part-funded.
Jeff Lloyd’s property “Jedburgh” started producing wool in 1926 and for a time was the largest private wool grower in Queensland running 45 000 sheep.
In 2006 all remaining sheep on the property which had survived relentless dog attacks were sold and replaced with cattle.
Mr Lloyd is eagerly looking forward to the return of sheep to his property and reclaiming the title.
“This funding will mean us getting back into sheep and once again becoming one of the largest wool growers in Queensland. The fence will give us back the option of running small stock and return the clusters highest productivity Mitchell grass downs country back into full sheep production,” Mr Lloyd said.
Near Winton, the Western River Cluster will protect some of the few properties in the district that still have sheep including Jodie Axford’s property.
“It has been harder and harder to hang on. This fence will mean we'll now be able to lamb out in the best paddocks with the most cover without the risk of predation and grow our breeder numbers once again,” she said.
RAPAD Chairman Rob Chandler understands there will be some disappointed unsuccessful applicants, but he’s optimistic there will be options for them.
“We have been oversubscribed in every round we have held. For those who missed out please know RAPAD is committed to lobbying the government to continue the funding for a fourth round for those that missed out, and for others who may wish to fence,” Councillor Chandler said.
“As well as the QFPI funding the Longreach and Barcaldine Regional, and the Winton and Barcoo Shire Councils have secured additional money for cluster fencing which will be dispersed soon,” he said.
For more information about the real impact of the cluster fencing initiative visit www.notjustafence.org
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.