Fifty per cent wild dog bounty boost at Cloncurry

Cloncurry increases wild dog, weed budget in show of landholder support

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Wild dog scalps in the Cloncurry shire are now worth $75 a head.

Wild dog scalps in the Cloncurry shire are now worth $75 a head.

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Bounties have increased by 50 per cent for eligible wild dog scalps in the Cloncurry Shire, and the council is allocating a quarter of a million dollars for weed control measures in its 2020-21 budget.

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Bounties have increased by 50 per cent for eligible wild dog scalps in the Cloncurry Shire, and the council is allocating a quarter of a million dollars for weed control measures in its 2020-21 budget.

Cloncurry mayor Greg Campbell said the increased bounty shouldn't be seen as a sign of greater wild dog activity but as a signal of support for landholders in the region.

"There are no specific reports of more dogs - this is our way of showing moral support for our landholders," he said.

"In the overall scheme, we're spending $10,000 on scalps.

"It's not a big part of our budget, it just makes it front of mind for shooters and others out and about."

The approved increase takes the bounty from $50 to $75 for scalps accompanied by the required paperwork.

In comparison, the Boulia Shire Council to the west and south of Cloncurry shire offers a bounty of $30, while to the east, McKinlay pays a $32 bounty.

Cr Campbell said council would look to exclude anyone found falsifying paperwork but he didn't see it as an issue of concern.

"There are a lot of ranges and hills to our south that are home for wild dogs to venture out on to the downs, so this is a way for us to support our neighbouring shires of Boulia and McKinlay," he said.

The bounty is in addition to the twice-yearly 1080 baiting program coordinated by council to assist landholders to meet their obligations, and Cr Campbell said that with continued uncertainty about the future of government 1080 supplies, the bounty boost was another way of assuring landholders of council support.

"Dog bitten cattle are rejected or have their price reduced drastically," he said. "This is the greatest beef producing area in Queensland and we want to make sure every beast that leaves here is the best it can be."

The increase is part of the council's biosecurity plan and the start of a number of pest control initiatives the shire is rolling out, which will see expenditure of $250,000 on weed control if the budget is brought down as expected next week.

Cr Campbell said a shire-wide plan was being put into action that would involve coordinating actions with Southern Gulf NRM, and was something they would be looking to the state government to for a financial contribution to follow their lead.

"We've definitely got areas of prickly acacia and parkinsonia, and in the Cloncurry River, which flows to the Gulf, there are neem trees and rubber vine.

"We've seen that it's exacerbated by the 2019 flooding and that the next lot of seedlings will be growing.

"It is essential that we support landholders to control legitimate threats to their livestock operations, and now that we have a lot of our other infrastructure issues under control, this is the next thing for us to concentrate on."

A weeds control officer position within council had been vacant for two years and so Cr Campbell said the amount allocated to weeds in this budget would be a significant increase in expenditure by the council.

Anyone looking to apply for the wild dog bounty or for more information on the process is asked to contact the Cloncurry council ranger on 4742 4100 or to access the form via the council website.

The story Fifty per cent wild dog bounty boost at Cloncurry first appeared on North Queensland Register.

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