Wild Dog Exclusion Fencing


Balonne Shire Council has collaborated with rural landholders to construct Wild Dog Exclusion Fencing (WDEF) across the region.  The fencing protects livestock from wild dogs, crops from feral pigs, and improves pasture management. 

By controlling these impacts farmers have the confidence to diversify production, including small stock, increase stock numbers, invest in plant and infrastructure, and employ more staff. This has a flow-on affect to the local economy, environment, and communities, and the Shire’s population increases.

The program to co-fund individual properties has involved three Federal grants and a special rate scheme since 2019. In general, the funding has provided the materials and farmers have cleared and constructed 1,692 km of WDEF boundary fences, increasing the proportion of the Shire’s agricultural area fenced by 22 percent or nearly 700,000 hectares. It has also been the catalyst for farmers to privately fence, such that well over two thirds of the Shire has been fenced by 2024.

An independent report on the WDEF program is commissioned every two years or so to monitor impacts over the long term. The second Monitoring, Evaluation, Reporting, and Improvement Report on the BSC Exclusion Fencing Program 2024 by Hall Chadwick is on the following link. The report outlines the economic background and impacts from investment by farmers involved in the WDEF program, as well as their opinions.

The report shows that during the last 5-6 years of the program, from the original $13m of Council obtained funds, farmers have funded or constructed $44m in fencing and invested $42m in assets. Hall Chadwick estimate that this investment will over time lead to an increase in the value of agricultural production in the Shire of at least $100m per year.  

The five benefits rated most highly by farmers surveyed in the report were: “More control over pasture and total grazing pressure”, “More flexibility with enterprise choice”, “Less stress about dogs attacking livestock”, “Improved viability now that the dogs are under control”, and “Feeling more positive about the future”. 

Currently, Council has no active Wild Dog Exclusion Fencing grant programs, but will continue to look for opportunities.

Previous Schemes

  • The Special Rate Scheme is supporting 28 Balonne Shire landholders to build Wild Dog Exclusion Fencing on their properties. 

    These unique funding rounds are loans offering low repayments and a fixed rate over 20 years. The Special Rate Scheme is proving to be a more accessible and viable option for Balonne Shire landholders (compared to traditional financing or grant schemes). 

    Across the two rounds, Council's Special Rate Scheme is funding $6.7 million of Wild Dog Exclusion Fencing - about 600km. Current estimates suggest the fencing built under the Special Rate Scheme will give an economic return of over $9.4 million to the region.  

    All monies from the Special Rate Scheme Rounds 1 and 2 are now exhausted.

  • 58 properties at Dirranbandi and St George are building - or have already built - their Wild Dog Exclusion Fencing through the Murray Darling Basin Economic Development Program. 

    More than 973km of fencing has been constructed under the program, protecting farm land and designated environmental areas. 

    With an investment of $11.1 million, the program is expected to return $15.5 million to the local economy. 

    The Murray Darling Basin Economic Development Program supports economic development projects in identified communities impacted by water recovery under the Basin Plan. 

    For more on the Basin Plan, see the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment website

    This project is proudly funded by the Australian Government and Balonne Shire Council, and is supplemented by co-contributions from landholders. 

    All monies from the MDBEDP grants are now exhausted. 

  • CCWI (Round 1) funding has helped 11 Balonne Shire properties build 123km of Wild Dog Exclusion Fencing. 

    The scheme began in 2019 with an $800,000 grant awarded to Council and shared among landholders. All fencing was completed by October 2020. 

    Across Australia, the Communities Combating Pest and Weed Impacts During Drought (CCWI) has delivered more than $25 million to Councils in drought-affected areas. 

    The program objectives are to help communities manage pest animals and weeds during drought; reduce the impact of pest animals and weeds on agriculture and the environment and; contribute to broader national biosecurity objectives. 

    This project was proudly funded by the Australian Government.