Landholders in Western NSW will be relieved of paying annual NSW Border Fence Maintenance fees, known as ‘dog rates’, with the Nationals in Government announcing they will cover the $1.7 million bill.

NSW Nationals Deputy Leader and Minister for Primary Industries Niall Blair said the move would alleviate a cost on landholders in the Western Division of NSW, which was experiencing some of the worst drought conditions in the State.

“This announcement means more than 1300 landholders will get a break to help them in this trying time,” Mr Blair said. “This is just one part of what the Nationals in Government are doing to make life easier for those feeling the effects of this intense drought. We provide annual funding to maintain the border fence along with rates levied on Western Division landholders, but in 2019 we will also cover the annual rates.”

The ‘dog fence’ as it is more generally known extends more than 600 kilometres along the borders of NSW with Queensland and South Australia to protect landholders in NSW from incursion of wild dogs from the adjoining States. The NSW maintained section of the national wild dog fence extends from Hungerford on the Queensland border westward to Cameron Corner and then south along NSW and South Australian border.

NSW Nationals Candidate for Barwon Andrew Schier said the fence was essential for maintaining a viable sheep meat, wool and rangeland goat industry in the region, as well as protecting native fauna from wild dogs.

“Landholders in the area are experiencing severe drought conditions, so assistance with their dog rates means there is one less thing from them to worry about,” he said.

The Nationals in Government have secured more than $1.1 billion to help our communities and farmers through the worsening drought.