If you are in Australia, take time to capture in a still photo the fence that runs across Australia. The fences that are supposed to keep rabbits, kangaroos, and wild dogs back in the Australian outback are thousands of kilometers long and in some cases more than a hundred years old.
In the mid-19th century, the Englishman Thomas Austin sailed to Australia. In his luggage: 24 rabbits. After releasing them on his property, he is reported to have said, “Letting out a few rabbits probably won’t do any harm and give you a little bit of a home feeling.”
Mr. Austin’s homely feelings were to cost Australians dearly in the future. Apparently, the Brit wasn’t a biologist, otherwise, he would have known that rabbits can hardly be stopped in their frenzy. Without the natural enemies from their native England, the population grew so quickly in just a few years that the first Australians spoke of a plague. It was these 24 rabbits, among others, that ensured that Australia is way ahead when it comes to fence construction.
From 1901 to 1907, 500 people worked on a gigantic fence in eastern Australia. The ” Rabbit-Proof Fence ” was intended to curb the spread of rodents from west to east.
A total of 3,256 kilometers of fences were erected in the most difficult conditions, mostly in the outback. The follow-up costs were enormous: 30 people were constantly busy checking the fence for damage and repairing it if necessary.
Dingo Fence or Dog Fence
In the 20th century, another fence was erected in the southeast of the continent: the “dingo fence” or “dog fence” (“Dingo Fence” or ” Dog Fence “) runs from the east coast near Brisbane in the state of Queensland to Ceduna in South Australia. Its height varies from 1.5 to 2.5 meters.
The fence is intended to keep the dingoes, i.e. Australian wild dogs, away from the sheep farms. The dingoes are a real plague for the sheep breeders: once the wild dog has found access to a herd, it kills several sheep at once.
Anyone who leaves the fence open will be severely punished. For example, anyone driving through the fence on a street and forgetting to close the gate again has to pay a fine of up to 2,500 euros.
The fence: A Hundred-Year History
In its hundred-year history, the fence grew at times to 8,000 kilometers in length. This made it the longest structure in the world, even longer than the Great Wall of China. However, the enormous costs of maintaining the dingo fence have meant that it is now only around 5600 kilometers long.
The longest-running fence in Australia could be the best proof that Australia has the best fencing contractors. Fencing contractors in Geelong take pride in their work. They may not have contributed to the historical fence but they could make a history of their own that could be Australia’s pride.