The government put into place tough rules on water quality, but are offering farmers $700 million to ease the financial pain. This will go towards the creation of jobs to implement the new regulations, including things like wetland planting, removing sediments and preventing runoff from entering waterways.
The government has also stood by its proposal to keep stock out of all waterways more than a metre wide however the rural fencing requirements were relaxed. The original specification was fencing that must be 5 meters from waterways, this has now been reduced to 3 meters.
Many fences have already be erected under previous regulations of 2 meters and, as long as these are permanent structures, they will not need to be moved.
Key things to know:
Fencing waterways is a priority under the Sustainable Dairying Water Accord.
- All stock must be excluded from any permanently flowing rivers, streams, drains and springs, more than a metre wide and 30cm deep
- All lakes must have all stock permanently excluded.
- Any significant wetlands, as identified in a Regional Plan or Policy Statement, must also have all stock permanently excluded. Check with your dairy company to see if you have one on your property.
Start by mapping your waterways and create a fencing plan.
Consider the overall layout of your farm; along with protecting waterways, new fencing can improve grazing management and stock control.
Plan out fence lines and crossing points.