Link fences part of latest RAPAD cluster fencing EOI

WQ landholders have until mid-September to express interest in latest cluster fencing money

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Fences that link existing exclusion fencing projects together are among the possibilities that could be funded with the latest grant of $5 million from the Palaszczuk government.

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A snapshot of the cluster fencing program in western Queensland, showing where linking fences could be used to good effect.

A snapshot of the cluster fencing program in western Queensland, showing where linking fences could be used to good effect.

Fences that link existing exclusion fencing projects together are among the possibilities that could be funded with the latest grant of $5 million from the Palaszczuk government.

The Remote Area Planning and Development Board has laid down the gauntlet for a lion's share of the money promised as part of the state government's COVID-19 recovery response, announced at Barcaldine in June.

On Monday RAPAD announced it was calling for expressions of interest from eligible landholders and groups who were seeking support to build strategic cluster fences, which could include linking existing exclusion/cluster fences.

RAPAD's senior regional development manager Morgan Gronold agreed that while linear fences didn't technically meet the current Queensland Feral Pest Initiative guidelines for clusters, they wanted to gauge the desire for them among landholders.

"There may be opportunities for things to evolve," he said. "We'd like to capture the interest out there, to understand why people want to put them up, to present to government."

What feral pest funding is delivering in western Qld

Mr Gronold stressed that putting in an expression of interest wasn't in any way a suggestion of funding support at this early stage, but was a way of gathering information on the potential interest in the region.

"RAPAD funding rounds in the past have always been over-subscribed - we know the demand is out there," he said.

"We just want to get amongst it and take the next step.

"We definitely think we could use all the $5m here in western Queensland but I'm sure other areas will have their own point of view."

Barcaldine grazier David Counsell, far left, and mayor Sean Dillon, far right, discuss the employment opportunities brought about by cluster fencing projects to date with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Agriculture Minister Mark Furner, in Barcaldine in June.

Barcaldine grazier David Counsell, far left, and mayor Sean Dillon, far right, discuss the employment opportunities brought about by cluster fencing projects to date with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Agriculture Minister Mark Furner, in Barcaldine in June.

While not in the RAPAD area of governance, graziers from Richmond, Flinders and McKinlay shire have been included in the call-out for expressions of interest for fencing to keep wild dogs out.

Mr Gronold said producers from those north western shires could see the positive benefits that were emerging from existing cluster fencing programs.

"They've run sheep in those shires before - they're looking over the fence and saying, can we have some of that," he said.

A priority has been placed on people wanting to run sheep on the country to be enclosed and Mr Gronold said he didn't imagine that would change with this round of funding.

"It's a tool to try and get people back in the region, and that will happen when people run sheep," he said. "People who have had to get out of sheep because of dog attacks can apply, if they've maintained their sheep infrastructure."

If individual producers wanted to fence, Mr Gronold said they could also send in an EIO and he would start a process to link them with other projects, notably Longreach's loan scheme or the federal government's $10m drought pest and weed impact program.

"The money in that one went straight to councils, that had less rules around putting up clusters - it was up to them to determine their own guidelines," he said.

Applications close at 5:30pm on September 18.

Eligibility requirements:

  • Groups of landholders wanting to build cluster fences in the local government areas of Barcaldine, Longreach, Blackall-Tambo, Winton, Barcoo, Boulia, Richmond, McKinlay and Flinders;
  • Groups of landholders wanting to link current exclusion fences, either funded or privately built, in the above local government areas;
  • Individual landholder/s wanting to link current exclusion fences, either funded or privately built, in the above local government areas;
  • Fencing of an individual property only is NOT ELIGIBLE;
  • All applicants must complete the EOI;
  • Applications are to be sent in digital format only; and
  • All applicants must provide a map of the proposed cluster or strategic fence that meets the requirements of the application.
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