On 26 November 2018, the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) released its report on the 660km Esperance extension to the State Barrier Fence. The EPA has concluded that the proposal is environmentally acceptable and recommends that it may be implemented, subject to meeting a number of conditions and procedures.
You can download the EPA report for review.
A 2-week appeals period on the EPA’s conditions closes on 10 December 2018. See the the Appeals Convenor website for more.
Approval for the project rests with the Minister for Environment, who will make a decision following the appeals process.
The intention of the Esperance extension is to protect south-eastern agricultural enterprises from the impact of emus, wild dogs and kangaroos coming from the rangelands and adjacent woodlands. The proposed extension is in response to socio-economic impacts on industry and communities in the region from periodic emu ‘migrations’, kangaroo damage to crops and pasture, and the impact of wild dogs in limiting livestock enterprises.
The proposed Esperance extension will provide significant benefits to agriculture and have other associated positive impacts for the region. These benefits were endorsed by the agricultural industry in the Esperance community and the WA Government.
The Esperance Extension Reference Group (EERG) was formed to advise DPIRD throughout the development and approvals processes. Key stakeholder organisations are represented on the EERG.
Most of the proposed alignment for the Esperance extension is adjacent to agricultural private property boundaries on vacant Crown land along an existing cleared fire break and/or following existing roads or tracks.
Most of these fire breaks were re-cleared during the emergency Esperance fires in November 2015 and ongoing fire break fuel modification/clearing will continue to occur irrespective of the proposed Esperance extension. Re-alignment of the proposed fence on private boundaries is proposed where high environmental or cultural concerns are encountered on vacant Crown land.