b' News Outback Wild Dog Fence Early pastoralists in South Australiasnorthern arid lands sorely under- to be maintainedestimated the capability of the land tocarry stock at sustainable levels, northe impact of the dingo on their sheepmobs.The impact of the dingo on sheepwas felt almost immediately, andgraziers began constructing dog-proof netting fences around theirproperties to protect flocks fromdingoes and wild dogs.The first Vermin Districts Act waspassed in 1894, with amending legislation passed three times prior to1931. By 1931 the Act defined verminto include rabbits, foxes and wilddogs, and aimed to establish Vermin-Fenced Districts in areas of the Statenot under the jurisdiction of localgovernment. At its peak, Vermin-Fenced Districts included more than48,000 kilometres of fencing. The enthusiasm for the Vermin-Fenced Districts started to wane inthe 1930s, largely driven by the inner(southern) districts where wild dogshad not been seen for some years.The first Districts began closing in1932. In 1936, a meeting of stockown-ers was called to discuss the aban-donment of Vermin-Fenced Districtsand a possible reliance on a singlefence. The Second World War thenmade it very difficult to get the materials and the labour to maintain Governor the power to proclaim the Recently it was announced that thethe network of vermin-proof fences.site of the Dog Fence on the advice of 100-year old dog fence will receive aIn 1945-46, the Pastoral Board and the Dog Fence Board. The re-align- $25 million upgrade financed jointlyStockowners Association looked at ment of the fence was not completed by the Federal and South Australianthe remaining vermin-proof fences in until 1960.governments. Under the upgrade it isthe norther pastoral districts. It was Many four wheel drivers will have proposed to replace 1,600 kilometresapparent that there existed an almost driven along sections of the dog of the ageing 2,150 kilometre-longcontinuous fence from the far west fence, and noticed it in various stan- South Australian Dog Fence. coast of South Australia to the east dards of condition. The 1.8 metre high South Australian Minister for Primarycoast of New South Wales. Thewild-dog fence traces a crooked line Industries and Regional Developmentcondition of the fence varied dramati- from Jimbour in Queenslands south- Tim Whetstone, said It is the longestcally, and so recommendations were east to the Great Australian Bight, and continuous fence in the world, and amade to the Government that future at 5412 km, its the longest fence in crucial part of supporting andefforts and resources be concentrated the world. The Queensland Border protecting the South Australian sheepon this outside fence, and that the Fence stretches for 394 km west- industry. remaining inside Vermin-Fenced wards along the border with New South Australias component of theDistricts would be disbanded.South Wales, into the Strzelecki 5,400 kilometre Dog Fence isIn 1946, a Dog Fence Act was drafted Desert. The fence passes the point approximately 2,150 kilometres, withand approved on 19 December; it where the three states of Queensland, approximately 1,600km being morecame into operation on 17 June 1947. New South Wales and South Australia than 100 years of age. The legislation provided that a dog- meet at Cameron Corner. At this The replacement of 1,600 kilometresproof fence was to be established point, it connects with the South of ageing fencing will not only ensureand maintained in the northern areas Australian Border Fence, which runs its continued effectiveness andof South Australia for the purpose of for 257 km southwards along the support pastoralists from the ongoingpreventing the entry of wild dogs into border with New South Wales. It then threat of wild dogs, but maintain anthe pastoral and agricultural areas of joins a section known as the Dog iconic part of Australian history.the State. It did not delineate or Fence in South Australia, which isdescribe the fence, but gave the 2,225 km long. Brian Tanner 12 SEPTEMBER2020 TRACKWATCH'