South Australia’s 100-year-old Dog Fence will receive a $25 million upgrade under a re-elected Morrison Coalition Government with joint funding from the South Australian Government and industry.
The $25 million will be made up of $10 million of Commonwealth funding if the Coalition is re-elected with a matching contribution from the Marshall Liberal Government and $5 million from industry.
Federal Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey and South Australian Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone made the election commitment today to replace 1,600 kilometres of the ageing 2,150 kilometre-long South Australian Dog Fence.
Mr Ramsey said the Morrison Government’s commitment to renewing the fence was an absolute game changer for the state’s livestock industries.
“Investing in the Dog Fence is a multi-generational investment in our livestock industry,” said Mr Ramsey.
“The current fence is 100 years old and in desperate need of renewal and an upgrade will serve the industry well into the future.
“The election last year of the Marshall Government has provided a new era of co-operation between the Federal and State Governments.
“At last we have a government in South Australia as keen on investing in the regions as we are.
“Wild dogs have been tearing thousands of sheep to pieces in the areas to the south of the leaking fence.
“Increasingly the dogs are finding their way further and further south. Now is the time to act and I am pleased we are stepping up to do that job.
“Federally we will front-load the investment by making $1 million available now and the balance will be one of the first projects delivered from the $3.6bn Drought Future Fund, which kicks in on 1 July.
“The fund will provide $100 million a year to assist Australian farmers to prepare and deal with drought. This investment is just the first example of the benefits of this new fund.”
Mr Ramsey said he would also like to thank Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud for his strong support.
“Last October I invited the Minister to a meeting in Jamestown with a group of affected South Australian producers from across several areas of the state and he was quick to grasp the enormity of the problem and has been very supportive in my quest to get things moving on the renewal of the fence,” said Mr Ramsey.
Minister Whetstone said the South Australian Government is committed to partnering with the Morrison Government and industry to renew the state’s Dog Fence.
“The Marshall Liberal Government will provide $10 million towards the required works if $10 million of Commonwealth funding and $5 million of industry sector funding is secured,” said Minister Whetstone.
“The South Australian Government looks forward to working with both the Morrison Government and industry to finalise arrangements to renew this very important asset.
“It is the longest continuous fence in the world, and a crucial part of supporting and protecting the South Australian sheep industry.
“South Australia’s component of the 5,400 kilometre Dog Fence is approximately 2,150 kilometres, with approximately 1,600km being more than 100 years of age.
“The $25 million announcement today to replace 1,600 kilometres of ageing fencing will ensure its continued effectiveness and support pastoralists from the ongoing threat of wild dogs.”