Michelle Lensink

DEH Fencing

I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the minister representing the Minister for Environment and Conservation a question about DEH fencing.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: I have been contacted by a disgruntled constituent who lives on a property north of Port Lincoln. Some of his adjoining fencing was replaced by DEH and National Parks following the bushfires. He has expressed gratitude that DEH chipped in to help replace the fencing but he has some concerns with it, which I will outline. I am advised by him that cyclone fencing is not allowed and, instead, there must be plain wire fencing which will keep stock out of the adjoining park. Unfortunately, the wildlife can get into his property and, in so doing, the kangaroos will pull up to half a kilometre out at a time if they get caught in it. Emus can also get caught in the fencing and suffer harm. He has spoken to people within the department who have advised him that he is a de facto ranger, and it is entirely at his cost to maintain fencing in spite of the fact that the wildlife that are being sought to be preserved are being injured in the process. My questions are:

1. Has there been a change in policy in relation to whether either DEH or NHT funding can be applied for fencing?

2. Will it revise its policy of using inadequate fencing in the interests of farmers not having to spend considerable hours fixing fencing every time a roo comes through?

The Hon. CARMEL ZOLLO (Minister for Correctional Services, Minister for Road Safety, Minister for Gambling, Minister Assisting the Minister for Multicultural Affairs) (15:56): I thank the honourable member for her question. In relation to fencing, I will pass on her question to the Minister for Environment and Conservation in another place and ensure that the honourable member has a response.

Thursday 27 November 2008

In reply to the Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (29 July 2008).

The Hon. G.E. GAGO (Minister for State/Local Government Relations, Minister for the Status of Women, Minister for Consumer Affairs, Minister for Government Enterprises, Minister Assisting the Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Energy): The Minister for Environment and Conservation has provided the following information:

1. The Department for Environment and Heritage (DEH) reviewed the departmental fencing policy in 2006. The Fences Act 1975 does not require the government to pay for fences along the boundary of land parcels more than one hectare in size. Responsibility for fencing, if required by the adjoining landowner, such as to prevent stock straying onto reserves, is the responsibility of that landowner.

Whilst in general there is no legal obligation for DEH to contribute to the cost of fencing adjoining land, the fencing policy states that where a boundary fence is required for a specific reserve management purpose, the government, through DEH, will contribute to the cost of boundary fences. Reserve management purposes include preventing unauthorised vehicle access from neighbouring land and protection for threatened species.

Further, where DEH requires a fence of a standard greater than that required by the adjoining landowner, the department will contribute to boundary fencing on a negotiated basis.

2. I am advised that the majority of fences adjacent to parks north of Port Lincoln is the cyclone type fencing which the honourable member made mention of in her question. It was not clear in the question if the land is adjacent to a reserve or if the replacement fencing related to a heritage agreement. A standardised plain wire fence is used for heritage agreement type fencing in order to allow for a set payment per kilometre.

Either way, the honourable member should encourage her constituent make contact with the Port Lincoln office of the Department for Environment and Heritage to better explore what options are available that will lead to a mutually acceptable outcome.

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