It is hoped a multi-million-dollar extension to a predator-proof fence will help regional New South Wales recover from the trifecta of drought, bushfires and COVID-19.
- The NSW Government has opened a $17 million tender to extend the NSW Border Wild Dog Fence by 742 kilometres
- When finished, the $37.5 million fence will total 1,325km, making it one of the longest of its kind
- Wild dog attacks are estimated to cost the livestock sector millions of dollars a year in NSW alone
The project will see 724 kilometres added to the NSW Border Wild Dog Fence, making the 1,325 kilometre barrier one of the longest in the world.
Straddling the shared NSW, Queensland and South Australian borders, as well as providing relief to farmers battling wild dogs, it is also expected to bring an economic boost to struggling country towns.
Deputy Premier John Barilaro said a $17 million tender was now open for the project.
“Most of regional NSW is still recovering from COVID, bushfires and the worst drought on record so using local businesses in the bush to build the fence is a top priority,” he said.
“The NSW Government has taken steps to assist regional businesses in the tender process by creating a panel of suppliers who will be able to quote on individual stages of the build.
“The stages of construction will be 50 to 120 kilometres in length, so there will be plenty of opportunity for smaller local suppliers to get involved.”
Calling for tenders
The NSW Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall said wild dogs were a cause of consternation for farmers across the state.
“Wild dogs alone cost farmers just in the western parts of NSW more than $25 million a year in lost stock,” he said.
“Everyone knows about the drought that we’ve just come through — the worst that we’ve ever experienced — and when you throw on top of that increased predation of wild dogs attacking, killing and pulling down stock in paddocks throughout Western NSW, the impacts of that have been horrific.
“The State Government has called a $17 million tender for local, country-based businesses to provide materials and labour to undertake the largest single expansion of the wild dog fence in its history.
“That’s designed to not only make sure we have a fence that can keep all the wild dogs and feral pests out of Western NSW, but also to ensure that this project provides and enormous economic stimulus for country communities.”
The fence is expected to be finished by mid-2022.