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Cluster fencing funds available to landholders in Southern Downs

Farmers in the Southern Downs region can receive funds towards building cluster fencing within sheep and wool growing areas.

Southern Downs Regional Council will submit applications on behalf of eligible landholders to receive funding provided through the Queensland Feral Pest Initiative (QFPI).

Council will hold landholder meetings at Southern Traprock on Tuesday, 30 October and Karara on Friday, 9 November to discuss the funding scheme.

Councillor for Agriculture, Environment and Sustainability Cameron Gow said the Southern Downs region is a prime candidate for cluster fence funding.

“This is a great opportunity for the region to secure a share of the $6 million of funds available to reduce the threat of wild dogs and support long-term sustainability for our sheep and wool producers,” Cr Gow said.

Chair of the Southern Downs Region Wild Dog Management Working Group Clive Smith said sheep and wool producers can demonstrate a commitment to working together to manage the wild dog problem.

“Sheep numbers have declined sharply in the Southern Downs primarily because of wild dogs. Cluster fencing can help reverse the decline and reinvigorate the industry,” Mr Smith said.

Statistics throughout Queensland indicate that lambing rates and sheep numbers increase dramatically in areas that erect cluster fencing, with some areas reporting increases of 90%.

Council is already working with groups to submit applications for cluster fence funding, and is looking for expressions of interests from other sheep and wool producers in the Southern Downs region.

Landholders must demonstrate the following to qualify for funding:

·         working with neighbours to form a ‘cluster’ (a number of adjoining properties to be enclosed with wild dog exclusion fencing);

·         recognised as primary producers by the ATO;

·         already do or will run sheep;

·         have existing sheep infrastructure; and

·         have a track record of commitment to managing their wild dog problems.

Council strongly urges landholders to consider cluster fencing, as the fencing can increase viability and profits for sheep and wool producers and benefit the entire region economically.

Applications for funding close on 23 November 2018.

For more information on cluster fencing and the QFPI funding scheme, please contact Craig Magnussen, Senior Local Laws Officer (Pest Management) at 1300 MY SDRC (1300 697 372) or on craig.magnussen@sdrc.qld.gov.au

For more information on controlling invasive pests, including Council’s Invasive Pests Control Scheme, please visit www.sdrc.qld.gov.au.

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