NSW Wild Dog Fence Extension project

December 2020

Background

The NSW Government has committed to extending the NSW Border Wild Dog Fence (commonly known as the dog fence) by 742 km which it will fund at an estimated cost of $37.5 million. The commitment comes following a feasibility study (first published January 2019) that was commissioned by the Border Fence Maintenance Board and funded by Local Land Services.

The study determined there would be considerable benefits to be had by extending the fence by 420 km in the east adjacent to Mungindi and 322 km in the south to just short of the Murray River. The fence is currently approximately 583 km in length and erected along parts of the NSW/Queensland border and NSW/South Australian border.

Work underway

The mapping for the proposed alignment along the NSW and South Australia border has been completed, and around 320 km of mapping for the proposed alignment along the NSW and Queensland border undertaken, with around 100 km to be mapped.

The biodiversity assessments along the NSW and South Australia proposed alignment have been undertaken, while the biodiversity assessments along the NSW and Queensland proposed alignment will commence once the mapping is completed. The two consultants engaged to carry out the assessments for Aboriginal cultural heritage, as well as Recognised Aboriginal Parties and local Traditional Owners, have been out on country to carry out assessments along the proposed fence alignments.

The initial on-ground assessments along the NSW and South Australian border were carried out in late August, and a remote sensing assessment at a number of highly sensitive sites has been recently completed. The results of these assessments will be used to identify sub-surface features and will assist in developing the methodology for sub-surface archaeological testing across the alignment. This methodology will be taken to the Recognised Aboriginal Parties in early 2021 and sub-surface testing undertaken.

The initial on-ground assessments along the NSW and Queensland border commenced in mid-October. Following the initial on-ground assessments, further remote sensing and sub-surface investigations will be carried out in conjunction with the relevant local Aboriginal representatives. Consultants are also in the process of finalising the cultural heritage agreements with the Queensland Aboriginal groups and it is expected field assessments along the remainder of the alignment will occur in early 2021. The findings of the remote sensing assessments and follow-up investigations will be input into the Environmental Impact Statement which forms part of the project’s submission for approval.

Construction at a priority pilot site near Hungerford is nearing completion. Construction of the 15 kilometre pilot site commenced in September and its purpose was to test and evaluate the systems the project team has in place prior to the main construction phase of the project. The project team has learnt a lot and as a result there will be improvements to construction techniques, contractor engagement and the consideration of cultural heritage and Aboriginal engagement. All the materials for the pilot site were sourced from a business in Bourke and the construction company employed Aboriginal contractors from Enngonia.

Tender opportunity

The NSW Government has called a tender to undertake the construction of the 742-kilometre extension and associated earthworks, with businesses in regional NSW encouraged to apply.

Click here to view the tender documents.

Interested parties are advised the tender closes on 2 February 2021. Businesses and individuals can get further information by reading the ‘notice of intent to issue a tender’ document in the below resource library.

There will be a number of employment opportunities in the construction phase of the project, with some positions to remain ongoing to manage the extended fence. The NSW Government has already run two tender rounds for the project, the first to manufacture and supply fence materials and the second for the construction of the pilot site.

Developing our Environmental Impact Statement

As with any major project, the NSW Wild Dog Fence Extension project is subject to a rigorous and comprehensive Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). This assessment examines all potential environmental and social impacts that may occur during the construction and operation of the project and proposes mitigation measures to avoid and manage any potential impacts. This includes biodiversity, air quality, noise and vibration, construction methodology, soil and sediment management, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal heritage, flora and fauna and sustainability.

Development of the project’s EIS commenced in the second half of 2020 with the project team undertaking community consultation for this purpose from early November to 18 December 2020.

This involved face-to-face sessions throughout Western NSW, online community meetings and phone, email and hardcopy feedback opportunities.

Feedback received during the consultation phase is now being collated and considered. It is expected the project’s EIS will be lodged in the first half of 2021 with the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment who will then publicly display the documents for further community and stakeholder feedback.

The project team will keep the community informed at each step of the way and thanks all parties that participated in the community consultation phase.

Want to know more about the project?

Read or download the latest project updates for a snapshot of project progress:

A number of other resources have been developed to inform stakeholders of the project:

Contact us

The project team will continue to provide updates to landholders and community members as the project progresses. We are happy to make presentations and provide updates to any stakeholder group, or individual, in person, over the phone, email, or other. If you have any questions about the NSW Border Wild Dog Fence Extension Project, don’t hesitate to contact the project team.

Phone: (02) 5852 1215 (during business hours, Mon-Fri)
Email: wilddogfence@scs.nsw.gov.au
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