Fencing banana farms to keep out Panama TR4 is being supported by the Cassowary Coast Regional Council (CCRC) but growers are being asked to check that fences are going up within property boundaries.
A Council spokesman has asked growers who are unsure of their exact property boundaries to contact Council for assistance.
He said some farmers had already erected lengthy sections of fencing that were actually outside their farms’ boundaries and on the road reserve.
Fences that are built on road reserves will need to be taken down and moved back inside farm boundaries.
“The road reserve needs to be kept clear so Council can maintain the road and ensure the safety of road users. It also provides access to utilities such as power poles which can’t be fenced off,” the spokesman said.
“We want to do what we can to make sure farmers save money and time.
“Don’t start believing any old tales about where your property boundary is. I would suggest if farmers haven’t done a property survey, get help from Council.
We can talk them through the process and help make sure the fence goes in the right place.”
The spokesman said the width of road reserves could vary between 20, 30 or 40 metres and the roadway may run on one side, so taking a fence line estimate by measuring from the middle of the road might not be accurate.
Some banana farms had also been growing bananas beyond their property boundaries and on the road reserve for many years but this does not mean fences could now be erected on the roadside of those plants.
The spokesman said plantings that went to the road’s edge also presented a TR4-risk because the plants were so close to passing traffic, and soil carried on vehicles was one way TR4 could potentially enter farms or be transferred to other areas.
He advised growers to keep plantings within their farm boundaries and allow space and headlands within the perimeter to access plants and fencing.
Growers wanting assistance with information on property boundaries should contact Council on 1300 763 903 or firstname.lastname@example.org