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THE BORDER FENCE MAINTENANCE BOARD OF ... ADELAIDE ROAD BROKEN HILL I am pleased to present the Annual Report of the Border Fence Maintenance Board for the year ended 31 December 2017

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  • ANNUAL REPORT AND STATEMENT

    THE BORDER FENCE MAINTENANCE BOARD OF NEW SOUTH WALES

    AS REQUIRED BY THE PUBLIC FINANCE AND AUDIT ACT, 1983

    AND ANNUAL REPORT (STATUTORY BODIES) ACT 1984

    FOR THE YEAR ENDED- 31 DECEMBER 2017

  • BORDER FENCE MAINTENANCE BOARD (FOR THE WESTERN DIVISION OF NEW SOUTH WALES)

    ABN: 14 286 958 340

    Please address all communications to The Secretary PO Box 279 Broken Hill NSW 2880 Phone: (08) 8088 4 724 Fax : (08) 8088 2051

    3 April 2018

    The Hon. Paul Toole, MP Minister for Lands and Forestry, and Minister for Racing 52 Martin Place SYDNEY NSW 2000

    Dear Minister,

    ADELAIDE ROAD BROKEN HILL

    I am pleased to present the Annual Report of the Border Fence Maintenance Board for the year ended 31 December 2017 for your information and presentation to Parliament.

    This Report has been prepared in accordance with the Annual Reports (Statutory Bodies) Act 1984 and the Public Finance and Audit Act 1983.

    Yours Sincerely

    Andrew Bell Chairman Border Fence Maintenance Board

  • Charter

    The NSW Border Fence Maintenance Board is established and administered in accordance with the provisions of the Border Fence Maintenance Act 1921.

    The Border Fence Maintenance Act 1921 originally placed responsibility for the fence under the Western Lands Commission and an amending Act in 1957 established the Wild Dog Destruction Board and transferred responsibility to the Board. In 2017, the name of the Board was changed to the Border Fence Maintenance Board as it better reflects the function of the Board.

    The Board's primary function is to erect, maintain and repair a dog proof fence along specified sections of the New South Wales borders with Queensland and South Australia, thereby excluding wild dogs from grazing lands of the Western Division of New South Wales.

    The South Australian section of the border fence is erected on or near the western border of New South Wales and extends from the North West border of New South Wales (Cameron Corner) in a southerly direction for approximately 257 kms along the NSW/SA border.

    The Queensland section of the border fence is erected approximately 15 metres north of the border of New South Wales and extends from the western border of NSW (Cameron Corner) for 349 kms east to a point 15kms from Hungerford.

    The Border Fence Maintenance Act 1921 requires the Board to establish a fund and for the Board to use that fund for the purposes of maintaining the fence. The Board is also able to charge a levy in the form of wild dog rates on certain landholders in the Western Division . These rates must be paid into the fund .

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    Current fence alignments

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  • MANAGEMENT AND STRUCTURE The Board

    The Border Fence Maintenance Board comprises six Members , including the Chairperson, who in accordance with the provisions of the Border Fence Maintenance Act 1921 is the Western Lands Commissioner. The other five Members are all resident pastoral landholders of the Western Division of NSW. Appointment to the Board occurs on nomination by the Western Local Lands Services (three Members) and one each from the Western Division Council of New South Wales Farmers' Association and the Pastoralists' Association of West Darling.

    Details of current Board Membership;

    Mr Andrew Bell Western Lands Commissioner Chairman Department of Industry- Lands & Water 45 Wingewarra Street DUBBO NSW 2830

    Mr Callum Robinson Western Division Council NSW Farmers' Association Level 25, 66 Goulbourn Street SYDNEY NSW 2000

    Mr Neill Leigo Western Local Lands Services BROKEN HILL NSW 2880

    Mr Ken Turner Pastoralists' Association of West Darling BROKEN HILL NSW 2880

    Mr Nicolaas Bonselaar Western Local Lands Services BROKEN HILL NSW 2880

    Mr Robert Wason Western Local Lands Services BROKEN HILL NSW 2880

    Board Members and Operations Manager discussing proposed works on sand hills.

  • Current Staffing

    The Board's administration is based in Broken Hill in an Office situated on the Adelaide Road, approximately 8kms from Broken Hill, where the Board Secretary, Ms Robyn Mann is employed to manage the administrative and accounting functions of the Board.

    The Operation Manager, Mr Laurence Doidge is based at Smithville Depot located 240kms north of Broken Hill on the South Australian/New South Wales border fence. Laurence resigned from the position effective 8 December 2017.

    Other Operational Staff comprise a Leading Hand based at Wompah, eight Maintenance Employees and two Plant Operators. The Maintenance Employees are located at various locations along the length of the fence and are accommodated in cottages provided by the Board.

    Maintenance Employees are assigned a section of the fence to both monitor and maintain. The length of the section assigned to each individual varies between 60 - 100 kilometres. Fence inspections are undertaken by each Maintenance Employee twice weekly (Monday and Friday) to ensure the fence remains in a dog proof condition and has not been compromised. Maintenance of the fence is undertaken where required during each inspection and throughout the week.

    Contact Officers

    The Border Fence Maintenance Board's contact Officers are:

    Secretary

    Site Address

    Postal Address

    Telephone

    Email

    Miss Robyn Mann

    Adelaide Road BROKEN HILL NSW 2880

    PO Box 279, Broken Hill NSW 2880

    08 8088 4724

    [email protected] .com

    Office hours are from 7:00am- 3:00pm Monday to Friday

    Operations Manager

    Telephone

    Email

    Properties

    Operations Manager Border Fence Maintenance Board Smithville BROKEN HILL NSW 2880

    08 8091 3582

    sm ithvilleoutpost 1 @big pond . com

    The Border Fence Maintenance Board owns and maintains houses along the Queensland and South Australian Fence. Maintenance Employees, Leading Hands, Plant Operators and the Operations Manager reside in cottages located at the following locations;

    Queensland Border Fence

    Wompah Gate, Toona Gate and Hamilton Gate

    South Australian Fence

    White Catch , Smithville and Broughams Gate

  • Chair's Report

    The Board held five meetings during 2017 and conducted its annual inspection of the fence in September. The full length of the fence was able to be inspected which included recently completed works and ongoing contracted works occurring at that time being the clay capping of sand hills. The Board was also able to inspect various sites identified for major works, upgrades and replacement. Particular focus was placed on a proposal for extensive replacement of quite aged fencing in the Waverly Gate section. It was ultimately resolved at the November meeting of the Board that 20 kilometres of fence would be replaced in this section during 2018.

    Fence maintenance staff remained able to conduct their twice weekly inspections of the fence throughout the year. They were not impeded in any way by flood waters as was the case in the previous year. There were a number of staff resignations, in particular Plant Operators, and contractors were engaged to supplement resources to ensure the fence remained viable. Contracted grader and loader works along the full length of the South Australia fence reinstated and remediated roads, flood-ways and removed vegetation and sand from the fence.

    The Board's ongoing program of clay capping sand hills continued during the year with a focus on three separate localities. Five sand hills in each of the locations of Toona, White Catch and Broughams Gate (15 in total) were re-shaped and capped with clay and gravel base material to stabilise them. All of these sand hills were significant in size and created ongoing challenges for staff in terms of maintenance and continued to be a problem with sand accretion and erosion. As the number of sand hills capped incrementally increase, there is a corresponding and evident decline in the resources required to monitor and maintain the fence.

    Before and after images of sand hill c/aying works.

    The three kilometre section of fence through the Paroo channels immediately west of Hungerford has been scheduled for replacement for several years but flood waters have prevented the Board from undertaking these works. These works were completed during the year. This section of the fence is subject to a range of pressures including inundation for extended periods, debris captured by floods waters pressing against the fence and feral animals such as pigs. The fencing works, which were completed by contractors, have provided the Board with renewed confidence in the integrity of this section of the fence to withstand the natural elements and remain dog proof.

  • New fencing and flood gates erected through the Paroo channels.

    Approximately seven kilometres of foot netting was replaced during the year using 600mm wide plastic coated chain wire trenched 300mm into the ground. Long stretches such as this can easily be trenched in with the blade of a grader, however, short sections are replaced by hand. Replacement of short sections of foot netting by staff is ongoing due to the sadie nature of the soils in some locations coupled with the quality of netting used in previous years.

    Staff manually trenching in foot netting.