Queensland sheep and wool producers are calling for continued government investment in wild dog exclusion fencing to help revitalize the industry, create jobs and boost regional economies.
AgForce Sheep and Wool President Alan Rae applauded the efforts of both the Federal and State Governments for the assistance they had given so far to help sheep producers build fences to protect their flock, but said the job was not yet done.
“Wild dogs have had a devastating effect on the Queensland sheep industry for decades, but the roll-out of fencing supported by government programs is helping the sector rebuild,” he said.
“Landholder surveys from the central west Queensland area alone indicate that sheep numbers will almost double from 365,600 to 714,200, generating an additional $8.5 million in wages from shearing, crutching and lamb marking.
“It’s clear that rebuilding Queensland’s sheep numbers will help build Queensland’s regional communities, bringing renewed prosperity and increased employment opportunities.”
Mr Rae said AgForce were calling on the Federal and State Governments to each contribute an extra $5 million a year, to be matched by landholder contributions, to ensure more exclusion fencing could be constructed to protect sheep flocks throughout Queensland.
“Without exclusion fences, there’s no sheep, it’s as simple as that. Cluster fencing funding has been oversubscribed to date, which highlights how eager producers are to restock with sheep in the 45 million hectares of Queensland that is suitable for sheep grazing,” he said.
“With both the Federal and State Budgets only weeks away, Queensland producers will be eager for both governments to build on the generous funding commitments they have already made so we can once again create a productive and sustainable sheep and wool industry.”