Fence would cut major woodland and threaten emus - Courtesy of BirdLife International
January 2013. BirdLife Australia (BirdLife Partner) has joined an alliance of conservation groups calling on the West Australian government to halt its plans to extend the State Barrier Fence.
Construction of the fence extension in the Esperance region would create a largely continuous barrier that would run through five bioregions from North of Geraldton to Cape Arid.
BirdLife Australia has many serious concerns about this proposal, including concerns that the WA Government made a commitment to build the fence prior to the completion of appropriate socio-economic and environmental studies.
However our major concerns relate to the potential ecological impacts of the fence, particularly where the fence will cut through the Great Western Woodlands, separating 300,000 ha of contiguous bush from the main woodland block.
BirdLife Australia Conservation Manager Jenny Lau said that the fence may lead to the death of thousands of emus in migration years, prevent dingo re-establishment and destroy at least 1000 hectares of bushland.
At a time when most governments are working to improve wildlife corridors, the WA government's plans to create a massive wildlife barrier, deliberating fragmenting the world's largest remaining intact temperate woodland, is both puzzling and disturbing.