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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    JOINT STATEMENT
    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk
    Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Economic Development
    The Honourable Bill Byrne

    Wild Dog Fencing sees outback sheep numbers rise

    JOINT STATEMENT

    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

    Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Economic Development
    The Honourable Bill Byrne

    Sunday, July 30, 2017

    Wild Dog Fencing sees outback sheep numbers rise

    Western Queensland can once again ride on the sheep’s back thanks to the Palaszczuk Government’s work with rural communities and councils to erect wild dog fencing.

    Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the cluster fencing program was re-invigorating one of rural Queensland’s great industries.

    "Over the last two years my Government had committed $31.2 million – in grants and loans – for wild dog exclusion fence construction,” the Premier said.

    “This includes $13.2 million in grants to assist regional communities with the construction of wild dog exclusion fences and a one-off $18 million loan to the Longreach Regional Council that will lead to the construction of 2500km.

    “We have committed to build more than 7,500 km of fencing, with more than 5,000 km built already protecting nearly 300 properties – this is the same as a return highway journey from Cairns to Sydney.

    “Our election commitment was to provide $5 million over three years to tackle the problem feral animals pose to our producers.

    “In fact, we have gone way beyond that initial commitment and as a result we are now seeing renewed confidence in the sheep and wool sector.

    “As a result of the fencing, lambing rates have increased from less than 20 per cent to more than 90 per cent.

    “This funding will result in an additional head of 213,000 sheep in the state flock, generating 45 fulltime jobs worth $2.5 million per year.

    The success of the Palaszczuk Government’s program to tackle the scourge of wild dogs may be a disappointment to the LNP.

    In January 2016, now Deputy Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington said “Labor seems to believe the wild dog menace will be solved by shiny new fences being erected in cluster models.”

    The Premier said it was a shame the LNP didn’t share the vision and commitment of the two Wild Dog Commissioners she appointed a year ago.

    She thanked the Commissioners for their leadership in helping to deliver the program for rural Queensland.

    “Former Member for Gregory Vaughan Johnson and former Murweh Shire Mayor Mark O’Brien have shared my Government’s passion to address the issue of wild dogs, as our wool and lamb industry regains strength,” the Premier said.

    Agriculture Minister Bill Byrne said there were now 23 projects under the Queensland Feral Pest Initiative due for completion over the next two to three years.

    “Our support for communities in the fight against wild dogs doesn’t stop at building fences,” he said

    “I have signed off on five new projects that will employ an additional seven wild dog officers to fight wild dogs in regional communities.

    “A total of $1.9 million is being invested over three years to fund three wild dog co-ordinators to cover western Queenslanders, and additional local government officers for Barcoo Shire, Winton Shire, Maranoa Regional and Barcaldine Regional councils.

    “These officers will work directly with local government and landholders to increase their feral animal management and planning skills and the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries is also working with Bulloo and Southern Downs shire councils to finalise similar projects in their areas.”

    -- Link to picture of Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, Agriculture Minister Bill Byrne and Wild Dog Commissioner Vaughan Johnson inspecting wild dog fence at Evanston station near Longreach in January.

    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/nkhkdkhvosfx9ac/AABIOzAN5vkkvkb2_hGkIQYga?dl=0&preview=DSC04464.JPG

    Media contact: Kirby Anderson (Premier's office) 0417 263 791