Up to $10.6 million was provided through the Royalties for Regions program for upgrades and extensions to the State Barrier Fence. Funding was allocated to:
- upgrade the existing State Barrier Fence to wild dog standard by installing lapwire to the base of the fence (completed February 2013)
- plan and construct the 170km ‘Yilgarn Gap’ in the State Barrier Fence between Southern Cross and Hyden (completed November 2014)
- plan and seek approvals for the proposed State Barrier Fence ‘Esperance Extension’ (in progress).
Complementing these projects, a further $4.4 million of Royalties for Regions investment provided for an additional eight Licensed Pest Management Technicians in the pastoral and adjacent agricultural areas from 2010/11 to 2016/17. The funding was provided to reduce the number of wild dogs on government managed lands and adjoining agricultural/pastoral lands to enable increased small livestock production.
The funding was administered by the Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia (now Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development) and was provided to Biosecurity Groups who employ Licensed Pest Management Technicians. The funding provided for wild dog control activities above and beyond those already conducted by these community groups.
Extending the State Barrier Fence end point - public review
The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) proposes to extend the State Barrier Fence eastwards from its current termination point near Ravensthorpe, extending north around Salmon Gums and terminating east of Esperance near Cape Arid National Park.
An Environmental Review Document (ERD) has been prepared by DPIRD in accordance with Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) procedures and has been released for public review.
The review period opened on 18 December 2017 and closes on 29 January 2018.
The ERD describes the proposal to extend the State Barrier Fence, and examines the likely environmental effects and the proposed environmental management procedures associated with the proposed development.
The intention of the ‘Esperance extension’ is to protect 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.
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 and tracks. The final alignment of the proposed Esperance extension will be determined following detailed assessment and mapping of environmental and cultural values.
The Esperance Extension Reference Group (EERG) was formed to advise DAFWA (now DPIRD) through the development and approvals processes. Key stakeholder organisations are represented on the EERG. The processes of the EERG and DAFWA for this proposal were open and transparent.
Environmental referrals for the proposed extension were made by DAFWA to the WA Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) and Commonwealth Department of Environment in June 2016. On 5 September 2016, the WA EPA determined that the Esperance extension proposal will be subject to their Public Environmental Review process.