Work is underway on the Esperance extension to the State Barrier Fence, with key equipment used for the landmark project the result of a partnership between the Western Australian Government and the Australian wool industry.
The project will extend the fence 660km from its current end-point near Jerdacuttup to east of Esperance and help prevent wild dogs and emus from moving into the State's agricultural areas from the north-east.
Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) has provided an exclusion fencing construction unit, including a loader, hydraulic rock hammer for driving in strainers and fast fencer, under a lease arrangement with the WA Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD).
The arrangement is one of many contributions to this collaborative project, which has funding support from the Western Australian, Australian and local governments.
AWI Vertebrate Pests program manager Ian Evans said the organisation was pleased to support a project of significance to Western Australian wool growers.
“A completed Esperance extension will provide confidence for the sheep industry for new investment, increased wool production, regional jobs and economic growth,” Mr Evans said.
“This state-of-the-art fencing machinery will enable stronger fence strainers to be used, greater distance between fence strainers and 500 metre fence rolls to be safely rolled out.”
The collaboration supported two DPIRD staff to visit Queensland and bring back innovations in barrier fencing technology which could be adapted to WA conditions and maximise the efficiency of this large fencing project.
Department Invasive Species director Victoria Aitken said the equipment was on site and being used where construction had begun near Jerdacuttup.
“The machinery will enable faster, safer and more cost effective works to be undertaken,” Ms Aitken said.
“An extended and enhanced State Barrier Fence will support Recognised Biosecurity Groups and farmers in targeting their efforts against wild dogs.”
Esperance Biosecurity Association chair Scott Pickering recognised AWI’s contribution.
“The fence will bring confidence back into the livestock industry and it’s good news for the Merino industry,” Mr Pickering said.
Jodie Thomson, DPIRD media liaison +61 (0)8 9368 3937