More than 60 per cent of Balonne set to be exclusion fenced
BALONNE Shire Council has secured an $8 million loan from the Queensland Treasury Corporation, which will see more than 60 per cent of land wild dog-proofed.
Earlier this year, councillors voted unanimously to support shire landholders wanting to fence their properties through a special rate levied over 20 years.
With about 30 per cent of the Balonne Shire currently wild dog exclusion-fenced by property holders, Mayor Richard Marsh said the successful QTC loan of up to $8 million would progress to 60-70 per cent of the land being secured.
"Council is involved in the construction of the fence, at completion council then hands that asset to the landholder and the special rate commences,” he said.
"The first two years there is nothing paid by the landholder, the next three interest only is paid back through the rates and for the balance of the 15 years the interest and the redemption of the principal is done through the rates.
"At the end of the 20 years they would've paid off their debt to council with a special rate.”
Cr Marsh said the fencing would see sheep and small stock flourish in the region.
"I am extremely proud of council's efforts to secure this fund,” Cr Marsh said.
"We see this as a generational change to the operation of the shire, to the point of view 50 years ago we didn't have dingoes and now we do, so we are putting in a process to control them.
"It is a magnificent initiative that will not only improve the lot of our graziers but the lot of the shire in general because with more sheep come more people, they need to be handled a lot more than cattle and with that handling comes population and more economic development.”
An independent executive group will come to the council this week with a list of applicants who will be endorsed in the program, with the council expected to grant straight approval.