Tasmanian dairy farmer Simon Elphinstone has been working to deter his livestock from getting too near his waterways, with the support of a federal initiative.
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Fences: Flowerdale farmer Simon Elphinstone next to Environmental Minister Sussan Ley and Braddon Liberal MHR Gavin Pearce. Photo by Molly Appleton.

The Cows Out Of Creeks Program has financially assisted farmers in building fencing and off-stream watering systems since 2014.

The support has arrived through $5500 in federal funding, which is managed by Dairy Tasmania.

Simon Elphinstone, Flowerdale, Tas, said the addition of more troughs and fencing around the rivers running through his property prevented his cows from entering the waterways.

“Farmers need to role model the right behaviour in being good custodians of the land,” Mr Elphinstone said of his decision to participate in the program.

“If my kids decide to live off the land I want to leave it in a good place for the next generation.”

He also said the program’s aim of keeping cows out of creeks helps the rivers’ health, which in turn encourages fishing and recreational activities.

“It’s a win, win all around.”

Environmental Minister Sussan Ley said she called it “practical environmentalism”.

“How we can put the protection of the environment with agriculture on the same page is always a huge win,” Ms Ley said.

Tasmanian federal member for Braddon Gavin Pearce said the program allows the banks to be less prone to erosion.

He said the initiative also provides greater protection for giant freshwater crayfish.

Dairy Australia executive officer Jonathan Price said the program has had a strong focus on Circular Head due to the number of dairy farms in the region.

Regional small, organic dairy farm industry had been rocked by Horizon Organic nonrenewal.

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