Dog barrier fence extension waits on green appeals

Zach RelphCountryman
There is no set date for when the decision will be made.
Camera IconThere is no set date for when the decision will be made. Credit: Wayne Fletcher Copy

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, one submitted by Wilderness Society WA, 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 660km of fence will be erected.

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

Ms McGurk told Countryman 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, after the Appeals Convenor’s investigation, the project must leap funding hurdles — it also needs an extra $2.5 million.

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