Queensland lambing rates burgeon after state-funded building of 5000km of fences

A fence-building spree to keep out wild dogs has created a booming lambing rate in western Queensland.

An extra 213,000 sheep have been recorded in the state flock in the past two years, following the state government’s funding of the construction of 5000km of fencing to keep out wild dogs and other feral invaders.

The region’s lambing rate – the number born per 100 “matings” – has soared from less than 20% to 90%, says the premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk.

She said this would deliver an extra “45 full-time jobs worth $2.5m per year”.

The fencing, funded by $13.2m in state grants, now protects almost 300 western Queensland properties from wild dogs and other feral invaders and stretches along a distance which Palaszcuk said was “the same as a return highway journey from Cairns to Sydney”.

The state government has also loaned Longreach regional council $18m to build another 2500km.

Palaszczuk said the government had gone “way beyond” a 2015 election promise to give $5m in funding over three years to tackle feral animals that threaten farmers, and “as a result we are now seeing renewed confidence in the sheep and wool sector”.

In its report on this project (HERE), The Guardian describes Queensland as a relative minnow in Australia’s $4.8b sheep meat export industry, the world’s largest.

It had only 2.2m of the nation’s 70m flock in 2015 and only 1.4% of its lamb production, according to Meat and Livestock Australia.