In 2016, and again in 2017, The Remote Area Planning and Development Board (RAPAD), operating through the Queensland Feral Pest Initiative (QFPI), was successful in its bid to deliver projects under the Australian Government Pest Animals and Weeds (AGPAW) program for cluster fencing arrangements in areas with high wild dog density.
RAPAD has attracted two funding rounds worth in excess of $7m and this project will run through to December 2018.
The long term goal is for this funding to be the catalyst for growing jobs and achieving significant improvement in the profitability of regional businesses (both rural and non-rural) through the demonstration of the economic, social and environmental benefit of cluster fencing.
This funding is about more than just a fence, it is about:
- creating jobs in the region both directly, and indirectly along the supply chain and via the multipliers effect throughout regional communities;
- empowering people and giving them back control of their time, finances and wellbeing;
- delivering regional prosperity through reduced credit problems;
- growing employment opportunities and full sporting teams;
- enabling people to become better equipped to manage total grazing pressure and withstand future drought events; and
- as evidenced by RAPAD’s current proactive approach to the federal governments cooperative program, facilitating discussions and potential uptake of new models such as cooperatives.
Initial Rd 1 funding of $5.25M funding provided in early 2016 has:
- Resulted in 18 clusters forming, equalling 95 individual properties and 1823km of fencing, enabling 1,192,186 ha to be protected from wild dogs;
- Realised a private contribution of $10,791,318.50 from cluster applicants;
- Provided an expected 213,047 additional sheep into the region as sheep numbers grow from 262,037 to an expected 475,077;
- Generated an expected $5.7M in direct shearing, crutching and lamb marking wages per annum from the new expected total sheep numbers;
- Represents approximately a 35% public and 65% private investment, based on the maximum funding of $2700 per km and on average a vermin proof exclusion fence costs approx. $7000 per km
- Provided to date 6 new jobs so far for the long term unemployed through the federal governments community development program administered by RAPAD Employment Services Queensland (RESQ); and with the uptake in clusters and the flow on of Rd 1, private and council schemes we would expect at least another 10 jobs generated from the long term unemployed;
- 35 landholders, nearly 50% of cluster members, indicating a willingness to complete in Cert 3 Conservation Land Management training with RAPAD Skilling and 10 are currently in the first intake.
Perkins (2016 – provided on request) who is undertaking RAPADs Monitoring and Evaluation states his analysis indicates:
- An extra 45 FTE’s employed in the region worth $2.5m p.a. without further multipliers;
- For every 1 job created on a property there would be 1 more job in the region. Therefore total impact on employment is estimated at 90 FTE’s;
- Increased annual gross value of production in the region is estimated at $13m;
- Increased gross margin in the region is estimated at $9.5m;
- Cost to government is $4.85m directly for fencing, regional benefits in terms of direct increase in value of production and increased labour are estimated at $16.3m p.a. and;
- For every $1 of government spending there is a project $3.35 annual benefit to the region.
Round 2 Rd 2 funding of $2.35m:
- Will fund 31 producers;
- Will fence 794km and protect 396 473 ha from wild dogs;
- Will see a $6.43m private contribution or a 293% ROI for government;
- Will see sheep numbers grow from 103 552 to an expected 239 129, an expected increase of 135 578;
- Will generate an expected $2.87m in direct shearing, crutching and lamb marking wages per annum from the new expected total sheep numbers.
See interviews with various cluster group members on the RAPAD Youtube site