Power in numbers project builds future in wool industry
12 June 2019
tracts of country across the Southern Downs are highly suited to sheep and goat
grazing, yet the region’s primary producers are cautious not to stock paddocks
with these animals. Years of experience on the land means they are all too
aware wild dogs will decimate their sheep, until they can no longer stay in the
industry. It’s a situation Southern Downs Regional Council is working hard to
the Southern Downs Region Wild Dog Management Group (SDRWDM) and local
landowner, Clive Smith said wild dogs have been a problem for the region’s
producers for a long time.
the lot on my land—baiting, trapping, and shooting—and dogs will still find a
way onto your property, because those things alone are not enough,” he said.
fencing is one way producers can help control wild dogs on their land and Council’s
Pest Management team is proudly working with the local sheep and wool industry
to fence properties to protect the region’s industry.
A power in
numbers approach to staving off wild dogs, cluster fencing involves a number of
adjoining landowners forming a partnership to erect fencing around the outer
boundary of a group of properties.
“I put up
some exclusion fencing around parts of my property and noticed a difference in
the amount of wild dogs coming onto my land. Even fencing part of your property
will disturb their patterns,” Mr Smith said.
landholders running sheep want to put up exclusion fencing but it costs too
much for them, and that’s why we need to work with our neighbours to put up
exclusion fencing as collective means landowners can reduce the amount of
fencing needed to protect their stock from the impacts of wild dogs, but it can
come at a cost.
Council has worked with landholders for the past 18 months to source funding,
plan potential clusters and develop funding applications for the State and
efforts have paid off, leading to Council securing $1.7 million in funding from
the Queensland Government’s Queensland Feral Pest Initiative.
will enable landholders in the Southern Downs to erect nearly 200 kilometres of
cluster fencing and help secure their future in the sheep and wool industry.
Local Laws Officer (Pest Management) Craig Magnussen said not only will cluster
fencing protect the sheep and wool industry in the region into the future; it
will provide economic benefits to the whole region.
sheep and wool industry will increase employment for the region, as more sheep
equals more labour in shearing and animal husbandry activities,” Mr Magnussen
employment opportunities in the industry will bring more people into the
Southern Downs and boost the local economy.”
recent success, Council and their industry partners will continue working to
secure funding for more cluster fencing and other control methods—like baiting
and trapping—in the region.
the community spirit that characterises the Southern Downs, Mr Smith said
landholders need to work together to tackle this problem for everyone in the
region’s sheep and wool industry.
just about looking at your own property, it’s a matter of looking at your
neighbour’s property as well, and thinking if we both put up a bit more fencing
in this spot, it would really help us both out,” Mr Smith said.
information on cluster fencing, contact SDRC’s Pest Management Team on 1300 697
372 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
more about the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries’ Queensland Feral Pest
Initiative, visit their website.