The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its report and recommendations for the State Barrier Fence Esperance Extension and has recognised the proposal as environmentally acceptable, a decision WAFarmers has welcomed.
WAFarmers Livestock Council representative and Esperance farmer Scott Pickering said that this is a great outcome for farmers in the Esperance and Ravensthorpe regions and fits in with the WAFarmers policy to ensure the protection of all livestock in Western Australia from wild dogs.
“Assessments by the EPA have determined the Esperance fence extension proposal may be implemented provided the build of the extension is carried out in accordance with recommended dieback management measures and consideration of fauna including the western ground parrot,” Mr Pickering said.
“WAFarmers congratulate the EPA for taking a holistic view of the potential impacts of the proposal.
“The Esperance fence extension is expected to cost $10.8 million, with the State Government contributing $6.9 million, the Esperance Shire providing $1.4 million, and an extra $280,000 provided by the Ravensthorpe Shire.
“This total of $8.4 million falls short of the $10.8 million needed for the entire project and WAFarmers will continue to encourage the Federal Government to provide the additional funding needed to complete this project,” Mr Pickering said.
Following the release of the EPA’s Report, a two week public appeal period where an appeal against the content and recommendations of the report can be lodged with the Minister for Environment through the Office of the Appeals Convenor. Appeals close on Monday 10 December.
“The Minister for Environment will then consider the EPA’s Report and any public appeals before determining, in consultation with other Ministers, whether the proposal will proceed, and if so, under what conditions,” Mr Pickering said.
“Given there are no contentions to the extensions, building should commence early 2019.
“WAFarmers welcomes the report from the EPA, and encourages the Minister for Environment Stephen Dawson to sign off the proposal to allow the extension build to commence as soon as possible to avoid further demise to the welfare of livestock within this very important and productive agricultural area of Western Australia.”
27 November 2018