FENCING FUNDING: 28km of ring lock fencing with an electric wire on the outskirts surrounds of a Rockdale sheep producer’s property. Photo Emma Boughen
FENCING FUNDING: 28km of ring lock fencing with an electric wire on the outskirts surrounds of a Rockdale sheep producer’s property. Photo Emma Boughen

How to get your hands on $350k pest fencing

SOUTHERN Downs farmers in dire need of pest help will have to quickly jump on additional exclusion funding to be considered by Southern Downs Regional Council.

At Monday’s council meeting, acting sustainable development director Craig Magnussen revealed SDRC had $350,000 of federal funding to allocate to sheep farmers left out of a $2 million cluster funding package.

According the council report, it was anticipated the “available funds will be oversubscribed”, leading the council to apply an expression of interest process.

The move comes as it is revealed less than half of the residents who put in expressions of interest to the council’s recent $1 million water tank rebate will receive the assistance.

Alongside other requirements, only sheep producers would be eligible for the money, according to Mr Magnussen.

“The benefits in cluster fencing aren’t just limited to reducing wild dog impact, there’s broader economic development benefits that come with these projects,” he said.

“Sheep and wool production requires more labour input, more than many other types of agricultural enterprises, and the hence the flow-on effect to local economy.”

Other eligibility requirements included:

– The applicant needs to be the owner or legal lessee of the property/ies

– The property/ies must be in the Southern Downs Regional Council area

– If there are no sheep currently, there must be existing sheep

infrastructure on the property/ies e.g. shearing shed(s), sheep yards and loading facilities

The report estimated a kilometre of preventive fencing would come at a cost of $10,000-$15,000, and council contracts would only be paid in full once the fencing areas was inspected and considered closed by council officers.

Mr Magnussen said work was to shortly commence on the five successful clustering properties who had already won their portion of the intial $2 million contracts.

“This is great after a number of years of planning work with those landholders involved,” he said.



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