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More Funding for Cluster Fencing

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16 October 2018

More Funding for Cluster Fencing

A third round of funding has been announced for exclusion fencing clusters across the Goondiwindi region.

The funding is part of the Queensland Government’s Feral Pest Initiative, which aims to reduce the economic, environmental and social impacts of pest animals and weeds.

Goondiwindi Regional Council is now taking expressions of interest from local cluster groups who wish to apply for the funding.

The announcement follows the success of the first two rounds of cluster fencing in the region. To date, 465 kms of exclusion fence have been erected in cluster groups across the region, enclosing over 150,000 hectares of land.

Wild dogs and feral pigs are listed as priority pests in the Goondiwindi Regional Council weed and pest plan as well as the regional natural resource management (NRM) plan.

Data shows that exclusion fencing has been a successful tool when utilised with existing coordinated control programs. Producers inside the cluster are able to better control key invasive animals and reduce predation and disease – which is especially important in current times of drought.

Bill Cranney was the co-ordinator for the Bendidee forestry cluster group. His property, Dunworrie, is one of the 12 properties inside the cluster that received funding during the second round of the program. He said that protection from wild dogs and the eradication of feral pigs had been key concerns for the landholders inside the cluster.

“It’s well worth doing,” said Mr Cranney. “It’s a great initiative for the region as a whole. We are confident the area within the cluster fence is now free of wild dogs, which is a huge win.  Our role going forward is for everyone in the cluster to work together to implement control programs targeting feral pigs as well as maintaining the fence to keep pests out. 

“Council have been very good, we had good support and the extra funding was really helpful to kick it all off,” he said.

The new exclusion fencing has also provided some producers within the cluster with the confidence to restock with sheep and Mr Cranney said he hoped the landholders inside the cluster would see an increase in value of their country.

Martyn Morrissy has recently purchased property inside the Bendidee forestry cluster group and has converted a previously cattle run property to sheep.  Mr Morrissy said “The existence of the exclusion fencing was a major selling point in purchasing.  To be able to walk onto a property that is already free of wild dogs and has quality exclusion fencing, reduces future capital and operating expenditure.”

As more clusters develop throughout the region, there is greater opportunity for other producers to link with the current fences, allowing for a much wider area of productive country. 

“The work doesn’t stop when the fence goes up,” said Mr Cranney. “That’s just the start of it. Everyone has to do their bit to maintain the barrier and control the pests inside the fence.”

Expressions of interest should be made to Rebecca Morrissy on 0427 638 835.  With funding applications closing mid November, Council is keen for interested farmers to make contact as soon as possible. 

Pictured are Sarah & Martyn Morrissy and Bill Cranney

For further information, please contact:

Councillor Graeme Scheu
Mayor
Goondiwindi Regional Council
Mobile: 0427 718 877
Email: gscheu@grc.qld.gov.au

Published: October 16th 2018