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Beyond the Bale : September 2015
36 ON FARM Awild dog facilitator has been appointed in the north-east of NSW to assist woolgrowers and other key stakeholders to work together to lessen the impact of livestock predation by wild dogs. Reduced attacks will improve on-farm productivity, rural community wellbeing and rural biodiversity. The position is funded by AWI and managed by the Invasive Animals CRC in partnership with AWI, NSW Department of Primary Industries, NSW Farmers, Northern Tablelands Local Land Services and local Landcare. The north-east NSW position complements the AWI-funded wild dog coordinators currently operating in western NSW, Victoria and Queensland, and a new position in Western Australia. COORDINATION IS VITAL Wild dog coordinators facilitate collaboration between landholders (in new or existing wild dog management groups) and with other key stakeholders, locally and across shires. They also help coordinate on-ground wild dog control activities. This is vital, but can be challenging for landholders without the external help provided by an independent coordinator. The coordinators use a 'nil-tenure landscape level' approach with local communities that highlights the benefit of focusing on the 'common problem' rather than attributing ownership of the dogs to individual land managers. This approach encourages good working relationships between private and public land managers. More importantly, it can have a positive impact on the emotional well-being of farmers in the area who now feel that something positive is being done to address the constant financial and emotional impact of wild dogs. NEW FACILITATOR DAVID WORSLEY The new wild dog facilitator for north-east NSW is David Worsley based at Armidale. David has been a farmer in the Northern Tablelands for the past 20 years. He is the owner/manager of a 3000ha grazing enterprise, running at different times up to 9500 sheep, 3500 goats and 400 breeding cows and cropping enterprises. Backed by a degree in Agriculture, this gives him a very sound knowledge of agricultural practices in the region. David already has extensive knowledge of wild dogs and pest control, and experience in coordination, facilitation and mediation with farmers and stakeholder groups. He has been president of the Nullamanna Wild Dog Control Group for the past 11 years and has helped facilitate and coordinate aerial and ground baiting for wild dogs, fox baiting programs and helicopter shoots for wild pigs for the past 20 years. He has also dealt with pest issues as Gwymac Landcare chairman and committee member and Northern Tablelands WILD DOG FACILITATOR FOR NORTH-EAST NSW Newly appointed wild dog facilitator for north- east NSW David Worsley with his working dog on his property on the Northern Tablelands.