$986,000 of funding towards a cell fence to protect sheep stations in the West Gascoyne from wild dogs has been announced by the WA Government.
The proposed 362 kilometre Carnarvon Rangelands Barrier Fence will encompass six properties spanning 805,000 hectares.
It follows investment in three other cell fences across the Murchison and Goldfields as part of the Rangelands Cell Fencing Program, co-funded by the State and Federal governments.
The program supports pastoralists in the rangelands to build cell fences to protect sheep and goats, with successful applicants required to contribute a minimum of half the cost of fence construction and undertake ongoing fence maintenance and wild dog control within the cell.
Results from these trial cell fencing sites will be provided to the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development and be used by industry to assess whether cell fencing is a preferred approach to renewing small livestock enterprises.
The funding for this Carnarvon cell replaces a previously proposed fourth cell, the Southern Gascoyne Rangelands Cell which withdrew its application.
This new application includes three pastoral leases from this previously proposed cell.
According to WA Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan, "Prolonged predation by wild dogs has affected the confidence to restock or invest to grow pastoral businesses and strengthen the pastoral industry across the rangelands.
"Pastoralists in the West Gascoyne are some of the last remaining sheep producers in the rangelands of Western Australia. Completion of the cell fence will allow these producers to rebuild their flocks and create more economic activity in the region.
"Pastoralists inside the Carnarvon Rangelands Barrier Fence estimate this will take livestock production from around 20,000 head up to 65,000 head of sheep, or equivalent mix with cattle and goats.
"These trial cell fencing projects are part of a strategic approach by the Western Australian Government in partnership with industry to help small-stock growers deal with wild dog predation."
This article was first published in The Fence.