Extending the State Barrier Fence end point
Public environmental review period opens
18 December 2017 - 29 January 2018
The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) proposes to extend the State Barrier Fence eastwards from its current termination point near Ravensthorpe, extending north around Salmon Gums and terminating east of Esperance near Cape Arid National Park.
An Environmental Review Document (ERD) has been prepared by DPIRD in accordance with Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) procedures and has been released for public review.
The review period opened on 18 December 2017 and closes on 29 January 2018.
The ERD describes the proposal to extend the State Barrier Fence, and examines the likely environmental effects and the proposed environmental management procedures associated with the proposed development.
The State Barrier Fence is 1170 km long, extending from the Zuytdorp cliffs north of Kalbarri (in the State’s north) through to Jerdacuttup east of Ravensthorpe (in the State’s south).
The original fences (numbers 1, 2 and 3) were constructed between 1902 and 1907, and were known as the Rabbit Proof Fences, later becoming known as the State Vermin Fence and the Emu Fence.
Initially the fence was used to prevent rabbits from moving into the State from the east. Today, the fence plays an important role in preventing the large migration of emus from the rangelands into the south-west agricultural areas, which can affect grain crops, and the entry of wild dogs into the south-west of Western Australia, which attack livestock.
State Barrier Fence and wild dogs
The State Barrier Fence plays an important role in minimising the impact of wild dogs.
Wild dogs have become a significant threat to livestock enterprises in agricultural areas since the 1980s, with wool in decline and fewer staff in pastoral areas carrying out control.
Landholders are ultimately responsible for controlling wild dogs on their own properties, although the State Barrier Fence is playing an important role in supporting their efforts. The State Government, through the Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia (DAFWA) is also supporting landholders through:
- Arrangements with local community groups (matched community/government funding, local baiting coordination etc)
- Deployment of doggers in pastoral areas (trapping, batting and shooting)
- Various upgrade and maintenance State Barrier Fence projects
A number of surveys have shown that the investment in upgrading the fence is having a positive impact on wild dog management.
Ongoing maintenance is needed to keep the fence functioning as an effective barrier against wild dogs and other vermin. DAFWA staff are responsible for maintenance, which includes minor repairs, replacing fence wires and posts, small fence constructions, re-hanging gates and clearing the fence track.