Dog fence repairs continue towards goals

SA Dog Fence repairs allow pastoralists to restock sheep

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WORK COMPLETED: Marree Local Dog Fence Board chair Peter Litchfield and SA Dog Fence Board chair Geoff Power inspect the rebuild.

WORK COMPLETED: Marree Local Dog Fence Board chair Peter Litchfield and SA Dog Fence Board chair Geoff Power inspect the rebuild.

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SMALL goals are being ticked off in the work to replace 1600 kilometres of the 2150km South Australian Dog Fence in the next 19 months.

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SMALL goals are being ticked off in the work to replace 1600 kilometres of the 2150km South Australian Dog Fence in the next 19 months.

SA Dog Fence Board chair and National Wild Dog Coordination Committee chair Geoff Power said four properties alongside the new fence had now been restocked with sheep after many decades of wild dog problems.

"With our strategic ground and aerial baiting and trapping programs, we believe we are making a difference," he said.

"But it is not the time to relax as we need to stay proactive rather than be reactive once the fence is completed by strategically ground and aerial baiting, and trapping.

"Where we haven't been able to run sheep for some time, it will give landholders the choice to run sheep.

"The flow on effects will be employment, more transport companies operating, shearing teams coming into the area, local businesses will generate more income and it will increase landholder resilience to drought."

About 310km of the fence has been completed, including the 141km leg from Erudina to the NSW border, while another 460km is underway as part of the $25 million project.

PIRSA Dog Fence Rebuild manager Lindell Andrews said the first 26km stage at Erudina and Curnamona allowed for the trialing of the fence design, material and actual costs.

The longest stage to-date of 196km at Mt Eba/Millers Creek strech is underway with a realignment through Millers Creek to move the fence out of a number of small, steep gullies.

In the Marree Local Dog Fence Board area, the 130km leg at Mundowdna is underway, Muloorina (87km) is completed, and a realignment is proposed along Finniss Springs/Callanna boundary to avoid floodways.

Approvals have been completed for other sections of fence in the north-east pastoral area at Moolawatana (129km) and Wertaloona (70km).

Further west, the private section at Malbooma of 61km has been adjusted to use both steel and wood posts, with electric fencing also added to prevent incursions by wombats and camels.

The Penong Local Dog Fence Board area will need about 60,000 wooden posts to cater for the saline soils.

Preparatory earthworks have been completed on 131km at Pureba and the procurement for the Penong stage (160km) is underway.

"It is a standard and flexible design to fit our budget - 1.5m high, the posts are 7m apart, and the mesh has an attached 400mm lap," Miss Andrews said.

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Australian Wool Innovation has provided an EzyWire™ Fencing Machine to roll out prefabricated mesh under tension.

It is available to all fencing contractors and has been used for the rebuild of the fence in the north-east pastoral area and north of Marree.

"The rebuild of the fence is the first stage in controlling wild dogs in SA - we have a wild dog trapping program worth $1.2m from 2018, a $100,000 wild dog bounty, coordinated ground baiting, aerial baiting, and a proposed 10-year plan to eradicate wild dogs valued at $15m," Miss Andrews said.

Five to eight road trains are needed to deliver the fencing materials to rebuild each new stage.

Up until August, $5.18m had been spent on the project, which is due for completion in June 2024.

The 1600km of new fence is funded with $10 million from the federal government, $10 million from the SA government, and $5 million from the livestock industry through increased levies.

  • Details: For more information on the SA Dog Fence Rebuild click here.

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