AWI recruiting WA wild dog co-ordinator

30 May, 2015 01:00 AM
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Brett Kanny, Wagga Wagga station, Yalgoo, said a wild dog co-ordinator could be good for the area.
Brett Kanny, Wagga Wagga station, Yalgoo, said a wild dog co-ordinator could be good for the area.

AUSTRALIAN Wool Innovation (AWI) has committed to employing a wild dog co-ordinator for WA.

AWI program manager Ian Evans said after much success (with wild dog co-ordinators) in other States, AWI has moved to put one in place in the WA agricultural region.

The position was advertised in Farm Weekly last week.

"We have a new position open for WA," Mr Evans said.

"The proximity of the job would be towards the State Barrier Fence, but for the right person, they could live outside the area and travel.

"They would be working with the producers and the recognised biosecurity groups in the area to tackle the wild dogs in a co-ordinated effort."

Applications for the WA position close on June 22, with interviews expected to take place in Perth between July 28 to 30.

Mr Evans said the role has helped control other wild dog populations in the Eastern States.

"We have positions in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and we have a position pending in South Australia and we are very pleased with how they are running," he said.

"We need to reduce the pressure on the fence in WA, and we need to be able to produce sheep again.

"Having the co-ordinators hasn't eliminated the problem in other States, but it has definitely stopped the problem from getting worse.

"We want to be able to help industry to get on top of the wild dog problem and be able to manage it on their own.

"Government is short of funds, so we need to get over this hump.

"So if we can have a co-ordinator in the region, to get everyone on the same page and working together, it can only encourage better results."

Brett Kanny, Wagga Wagga station, Yalgoo, said having an extra hand to help fight the wild dogs in the area could only be a good thing.

"There are a few dogs on the boundary at the moment that we are trying to get," he said.

"They seem to be very active.

"We had one old dog kill five sheep in the past 10 days, he has been here a while, so I have asked a dogger to help.

"Everyone needs to bait and get involved, and if we have someone to encourage all pastoralists in the area to get on board - that can only be good.

"If the fences break because of storm damage, this new person could help get the ball rolling, to get it fixed as soon as possible.

"The job would be good for someone locally, or someone who doesn't run any stock anymore - but I am sure there will be people out here interested."

The impact of wild dogs is felt across Queensland, WA's pastoral and cereal zones, in the NSW and South Australian pastoral zone and along the Great Dividing Range in NSW and Victoria.

According to AWI, wild dogs cost the Australian economy $66.3 million every year, and have caused sheep production to be significantly reduced.

AWI surveys found that, despite known success in wild dog control, sheep producers were not confident to return to sheep or increase their flock size.

AWI helped 48 groups across Australia conduct on-ground activities to kill wild dogs by releasing cash payments from a project commonly referred to as the "Kill More Dogs" initiative.

Mr Evans said ideally it was seeking a highly motivated individual for the co-ordinator's role, who has grown up in the country and can take on a full time role.

"A producer's partner would make a good candidate, or someone who has grown up in the country would be ideal," he said.

"Possibly someone with a university degree, but we will be looking at all candidates."

Ash Dowden, Challa station, Mount Magnet, said the position will also work into the southern rangelands in areas where small stock is still the focus, as well as the northern Wheatbelt.

"It is fantastic to see AWI assisting the woolgrowers of WA in this way," he said.

"I would expect the assistance provided through this position to be readily accepted by those within the proposed area."

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