Ground has broken on construction of what when complete will be the world’s longest wild dog fence which will run along the NSW border with Queensland and South Australia.
NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro and Minister for Agriculture and Western NSW Adam Marshall have turned the first sod on the first stage of a 742-kilometre extension of the New South Wales Border Wild Dog Fence.
Part of a national wild dog fence, the current fence runs along the border NSW border and extends for 583 kilometres from Hungerford on the border with Queensland to Broughams Gate on the border with South Australia.
It aims to protect livestock and native animals from the impact of wild dogs, which are estimated to cost up to $111 million per annum nationally – $22 million of which is attributable to New South Wales.
Under the new works, the fence will be extended in two sections by 420 kilometres in the east adjacent to Mungindi and by 322 kilometres in the south to just short of the Murray River.
Once complete the fence will span for a total of 1,325 kilometres – the equivalent length of Sydney to Bourke and back again.
The extension will take place on a staged basis, with the first stage of the extension involves a fifteen-kilometre priority pilot site and Hungerford.
Tenders for the main construction and earthworks contracts will be called soon (register your interest by contacting the project team via (02) 5852 1215 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
All up, 85 jobs will be generated during construction of the fence whilst 7 additional jobs will be created for ongoing fence management.
The extension will cost $37.5 million to build and $1.2 million annually to maintain.
Marshall said the fence’s role in mitigating wild dog impact should not be underestimated.
“Wild dogs are a plague on primary producers and their local communities, causing more than $22 million in damages and lost production in NSW every year,” Marshall said.
“NSW continues to be on the right side of history, building the right kind of barrier along state borders which once complete will run the equivalent length of Sydney to Bourke and back again, to keep wild dogs off farming properties.”
Hungerford landholder Kylie Baty welcomed the start of construction, saying that wild dogs are the biggest single problem for landholders in the state’s far west – more significant than any drought.
“You can’t underestimate the impact and devastation they are causing,” Hungerford landholder Kylie Baty said.
“We are doing all we can to manage wild dogs and while the current dog fence does a great job, this extension will be a game-changer. We are grateful to the NSW Government for delivering this project and it is wonderful to see construction commence.”