Appeals dog State Barrier Fence plan
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.