The Nationals WA have welcomed the launch of the State Barrier Fence Esperance Extension project, with the first post being hammered into the ground today.
Agricultural Spokesperson Colin de Grussa MLC said the project commencement was a long time coming.
“Farmers from the region have been advocating for this project for years, and it’s great to see their hard work finally pay off,” Mr de Grussa said.
“The fence extension will be integral in supporting farming operations between Ravensthorpe and Esperance, and protecting crops and livestock from wild dogs and other pests.
“Wild dogs are wreaking havoc on agricultural and pastoral properties, and the extension of the fence will have a significant impact on reducing this damage.”
Mr de Grussa and Member for Roe Peter Rundle MLA visited Ravensthorpe in March this year with Federal Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud, who announced a further $1 million funding boost for the fence extension.
Mr Rundle said he had been lobbying for this fence since his election to parliament.
“My colleagues and I have been putting pressure on the State Government to commence this project for the last two years, but WA Labor have been very reluctant to adequately fund this project” Mr Rundle said.
“Colin and I went to Canberra to promote this project to the Federal Government, and we were pleased to have been able to bring Minister Littleproud to Ravensthorpe to meet directly with key stakeholders.
“The biggest advocates of the project however were the Esperance Biosecurity Association, who have worked tirelessly for nearly two decades to get this project off the ground.”
The extension involves adding a further 660km to the 1170km fence to protect farms in Ravensthorpe, Salmon Gums, Cascade and Esperance. Environmental approval for the project was confirmed in April 2019, clearing the way for work to begin.