Pastoralists from the Southern Rangelands of WA visited south-west Queensland early July to meet with rural landholders to discuss actions about environmental issues and control of grazing, pests (wild dogs and kangaroos) and weeds.
The group of ten pastoralists were funded by Rangelands NRM to travel on the field trip to Charleville and Quilpie from 8 to 12 July. The group visited various stations in the area and met the Queensland locals who have formed a Collaborative Area Management Cell. This concept involves the control of wild dogs and total grazing pressure through the construction of an exclusion fence surrounding a cluster of properties.Dr Karen Cosgrove, Rangelands NRM Program Manager for Sustainable Pastoralism said the locals shared their stories and observations about the cluster management process.
“Pastoralists from WA were keen to hear stories from their counterparts in Queensland as to the benefits of the exclusion fence, and how the Queenslanders went about developing up an agreement which addressed such matters as long term governance and maintenance of the fence,” Dr Cosgrove said.
Dr Cosgrove said the WA pastoralists are particularly concerned about wild dog predation and the impact it has on livestock, predominantly sheep and goats.
“The exclusion fence is considered a viable measure to address the dog and grazing pressure problems associated with uncontrolled numbers of kangaroo for example,” Dr Cosgrove said.
The trip was very well received by WA pastoralists. The social benefits for WA pastoralists through improvements to pests and weed control, improved native flora and fauna, ground cover are estimated to be high.
“The trip has met my expectations and more,” pastoralist Neil Grinham from Meka Station said. “It’s great to see how the guys in Queensland have worked together to form collaborative area management cells. It gives us a basis from which to work from.”
Ross Wood from the Kalgoorlie Pastoral Alliance said “The trip has provided us with opportunities to look at governance issues and how to bring pastoralists together to work to a common cause.”
“Many of us come from diverse backgrounds but have a common interest. The cell concept engages a group effort to make an area become productive.”
Dr Cosgrove said the cluster concept has the potential to create significant economies of scale for the public and government through the execution of grazing practices and management plans that are conducted on a larger scale than normal.
Participants who attended were: Bob Grinham and Neil Grinham (Meka Station), Tom Jackson (Austin Downs Station), Ashley Dowden (Challa Station), Jorgen Jensen (Yowergabbie Station), Christine Higham (Meedo Station), Jason Hastie (Pingandy Station), Henry Jones (Boogardie Station), Bart Jones (Avoca Downs), Ross Wood (Kalgoorlie Pastoral Alliance) as well as Rangelands NRM Operations Manager, John Silver and Dr Karen Cosgrove.