Western Qld MPs back dog fence

06 Jan, 2015 01:00 AM
We've got two droughts out here - one created by nature and the other by wild dogs

MPS representing the interests of western Queensland in state and federal parliaments have each expressed support for the proposal to ringlock more than 8 million hectares and build a 1400km fence to address the wild dog problem.

Retiring member for Gregory Vaughan Johnson accompanied Agriculture Minister John McVeigh on his recent five-towns-in-two-days visit to western Queensland, and told the gathering at Blackall he was fully supportive of the multi-shire check-fence proposal.

"We've got two droughts out here - one created by nature and the other by wild dogs," he said.

"People don't realise the impact they're having on small businesses in our towns.

"They're carrying months of credit and employing all our kids.

"This is crunch time - we need to get the sheep industry going again and it's absolutely paramount that we see an injection of funds as part of the four-pillars policy."

The federal member for Maranoa Bruce Scott has called for all groups with an interest in the central-west check-fence idea to work together to put a proposition for funding up.

"You can throw up all the reasons why a multi-shire check fence might not work, but now's the time to get started," he said.

"When the GABSI scheme began, not everyone was inside the tent, and look what a success that has become.

"I urge people to come to a concluded view."

Mr Scott personally favoured the multi-shire proposal over cluster fencing because he thought it had the capacity to stop the inflow of wild dogs from the range areas in the state's east.

"It will give people confidence to invest, and benefit all the cattle people being affected by dog-bite discounts and lost calves as well."

He said cluster-fencing models would be more difficult to fund under federal programs.

Grants ranging from $20,000 to $10 million are available through Sustainable Regions, under 50 per cent partnership arrangements.

Mr Scott said there were already a number of projects from around his electorate, and the check-fence idea needed to be in the system demonstrating its advantages.

"This project would fit all the guidelines - sustainability, a depressed region, a multiplier effect.

"Best of all, it gives you skin in the game."

Sally Cripps

Sally Cripps

is a journalist for Queensland Country Life at Blackall
Date: Newest first | Oldest first


Eddie Randle
6/01/2015 4:38:16 AM, on Queensland Country Life

Bit like shutting the gate after the horse has bolted methinks.


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