Australia has 75 million sheep, kept for both meat and wool, and most of them are in the southeastern part of the continent. The export of wool in particular is very important to the Australian economy.
The problem? Dingoes are also in abundance, and they consider sheep to be good tucker.
To prevent their sheep becoming a meal for these hungry predators, the Australian station owners started building fences to keep the dingoes and the rabbits out.
The fence was originally intended to be rabbit-proof, but in this it totally failed.
In 1880, many different fences had been built by individual owners, which offered patchwork protection at best.
In 1946, Australia passed legislation that brought all the fences together into one enormous barricade.
New fences were built and old ones joined together to stretch across all of Southern Australia including New South Wales, South Australia and Queensland.
While the Australian government does offer some subsidies to keep the maintenance of the fence up, the responsibility of maintenance usually lies with the landowners of the specific areas.
An increasing threat to the fence are herds of wild camels, who will smash down any section of the fence which isn’t electrified.