Ap­peals dog State Barrier Fence plan

Kalgoorlie Miner - - NEWS - Zach Relph

The fu­ture of the mooted $11 mil­lion State Barrier Fence ex­ten­sion from Raven­sthorpe to Esper­ance hinges on two ap­peals op­pos­ing the an­tic­i­pated in­fra­struc­ture on en­vi­ron­men­tal grounds.

The two ap­peals were lodged in re­sponse to an En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Au­thor­ity re­port on the pro­posed 660km devel­op­ment, de­signed to pro­tect the re­gion’s agri­cul­tural sec­tor from wild dogs.

Act­ing En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter Si­mone McGurk con­firmed the Ap­peals Con­venor was in­ves­ti­gat­ing the ap­peals, but did not re­veal who had made the sub­mis­sions.

Fol­low­ing the probe, En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter Stephen Daw­son will make the fi­nal de­ci­sion on whether the re­main­ing of fence will be erected.

There is no set date for when the de­ci­sion will be made.

Ms McGurk told the Kal­go­or­lie Miner in­ves­ti­ga­tions were on­go­ing to de­ter­mine the pos­si­ble im­pacts erect­ing the in­fra­struc­ture would have on flora and fauna.

“Dur­ing an ap­peal in­ves­ti­ga­tion the Ap­peals Con­venor will con­sult with rel­e­vant par­ties to un­der­stand their per­spec­tives on the ap­peals,” she said.

“Ap­peals are con­sid­ered on their mer­its, hav­ing re­gard to the sub­stan­tive en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues raised by the ap­peal.”

Ex­tend­ing the State Barrier Fence from its cur­rent ter­mi­na­tion point, 25km east of Raven­sthorpe, to Cape Arid Na­tional Park, east of Esper­ance, was granted EPA ap­proval on Novem­ber 26.

It came af­ter con­cerns were raised about the fence’s pos­si­ble im­pact on western ground par­rot pop­u­la­tions.

The en­vi­ron­men­tal watch­dog’s de­ci­sion to en­dorse the dog-proof fence was her­alded by sheep pro­duc­ers, in­clud­ing Cas­cade farmer Scott Pick­er­ing, who are bat­tling wild dog at­tacks on flocks.

How­ever, even if Mr Daw­son elects to give the ex­ten­sion the green light, the project must leap fund­ing hur­dles. The fence ex­ten­sion is in need of $2.5 mil­lion to cover a fund­ing short­fall, with the State and Fed­eral Govern­ments re­main­ing in a stale­mate as to who will cough up the cash.

WA Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter Alan­nah MacTier­nan re­mains firm the Fed­eral Govern­ment should pay.

Lib­eral Fed­eral coun­ter­part David Lit­tleproud has said pest con­trol and biose­cu­rity area a State is­sue.

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