Sus­tain­abil­ity loan helps build fenc­ing

Central and North Rural Weekly - - FRONT PAGE -

FOURTH gen­er­a­tion gra­zier Scott Coun­sell has grown up in the wool shed.

Raised on a sheep sta­tion, he spent ev­ery op­por­tu­nity work­ing the prop­erty along­side his fam­ily.

Af­ter fin­ish­ing school, Scott ob­tained his wool classers’ sten­cil which landed him jobs in wool sheds across Queens­land and parts of the United States. Af­ter re­turn­ing home from work­ing abroad, Scott was of­fered the chance to man­age one of his par­ents’ sta­tions, Lyn­don.

“Lyn­don is 18,200 hectares and I man­age it with my wife, Sharon, and sis­ter, Frances. We cur­rently run beef, sheep and goats,” Scott said.

As dry con­di­tions con­tin­ued to grip Western Queens­land, wild dogs be­gan to close in on Scott’s prop­erty mak­ing it im­prac­ti­cal to run sheep. Feral pests were caus­ing dam­age not only to his live­stock but also his pas­tures.

“We couldn’t vi­ably run our sheep op­er­a­tion due to the in­creased pres­ence of the pests and preda­tors. The huge num­bers put pres­sure on what lit­tle pas­ture was left,” he said.

The re­sult­ing de­crease in pro­duc­tiv­ity and prof­its led Scott and his fam­ily to con­sider ex­clu­sion fenc­ing and they ap­plied for a Sus­tain­abil­ity Loan through the Queens­land Ru­ral and In­dus­try De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity. The loan helped Scott fund the in­stal­la­tion of an ex­clu­sion fence to pro­tect his live­stock and pas­tures from on­go­ing feral pest dam­age.

“Our busi­ness was able to pur­chase fenc­ing ma­te­ri­als and then con­struct the ex­clu­sion fence to en­close ap­prox­i­mately 8900 ha quickly,” Scott said.

“The Sus­tain­abil­ity Loan has al­lowed us to fence our prop­erty un­der tough sea­sonal and fi­nan­cial times.”

Scott highly rec­om­mends that other pro­duc­ers who are fac­ing sim­i­lar chal­lenges with feral pest dam­age look into how a Sus­tain­abil­ity Loan from QRIDA could help their sit­u­a­tion.

“Our ex­pe­ri­ence work­ing with QRIDA has been pos­i­tive and it was rel­a­tively easy to com­plete an ap­pli­ca­tion in or­der to source the fund­ing,” he said.

“I would def­i­nitely rec­om­mend the ser­vice of QRIDA and I have also in­formed other gra­ziers of the ben­e­fits of be­ing part of this pro­ject.”

For more in­for­ma­tion about el­i­gi­bil­ity and how a Sus­tain­abil­ity Loan could help you pur­sue your own agribusi­ness goals sooner, look on­line at www.qrida.qld.gov.au or call 1800 623 946.

We couldn’t vi­ably run our sheep op­er­a­tion due to the in­creased pres­ence of the pests and preda­tors.

— Scott Coun­sell

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

PEST CON­TROL: A Sus­tain­abil­ity Loan through the Queens­land Ru­ral and In­dus­try De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity helped Scott Coun­sell fund the in­stal­la­tion of an ex­clu­sion fence.

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