Construction has begun on a 742-kilometre, $37.5 million extension to the New South Wales Border Wild Dog Fence, with tenders to be called for the main construction and earthworks for the project.
The fence runs along the Queensland and South Australian borders and aims to protect NSW landholders from pests and predators.
Deputy Premier John Barilaro and Agriculture and Western NSW Minister Adam Marshall turned the first sod on the project near Hungerford.
“The wild dog fence runs along the NSW and Queensland/South Australian borders and is critically important to landholders and local communities in Western NSW and around the state,” Barilaro said.
“Once the extension is complete the NSW Border Wild Dog Fence will have more than doubled in length to 1325 kilometres, which will be the longest in the world and a titanic tool in the fight against pests and predators.”
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Marshall said the fence played a vital role in mitigating the impacts of wild dogs and was critically important to Western NSW and the entire state.
“Wild dogs are a plague on primary producers and their local communities, causing more than $22 million in damages and lost production in NSW every year,” Marshall said.
“Not only that, it will help to stimulate local and regional economies that have been devastated by the impacts of the drought and COVID-19, with around 85 jobs expected to be created through direct, supply chain and flow on benefits.
“Even better is that stage one construction will be done with materials that have been sourced from Bourke, stimulating the local and regional economy.”
Hungerford landholder Kylie Baty said wild dogs cause devastation.
“We are doing all we can to manage wild dogs and while the current dog fence does a great job, this extension will be a game-changer. We are grateful to the NSW Government for delivering this project and it is wonderful to see construction commence,” Baty said.
The first stage of construction is a 15-kilometre priority pilot site at Hungerford, with the rest of the build to follow on a staged basis.