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Beyond the Fence

The Darling Downs-Moreton Rabbit Board (DDMRB) maintains the oldest and longest purpose-built, rabbit-proof barrier fence still in use in Australia, if not the world, and is the only organisation in Australia that is specifically dedicated to the eradication of rabbits.This thoroughly researched and attractively illustrated book is a fascinating account of rabbits in Australia, of the 130 year history of the DDMRB, and includes reminiscences told through interviews of those associated with the Rabbit Board, past and present.

Rabbits are Australian agriculture’s most costly vertebrate pest animal and are the single biggest menace to threatened native species. The DDMRB protects 28,000 sq. km of south-east Queensland with a 555 km fence, much of which is top netted for wild dogs. Keeping rabbits is illegal in Queensland and for over a century, the fence has protected valuable horticultural and agricultural areas, safeguarded the natural environment, and reduced the impacts of other invasive species. With a well-maintained rabbit-proof fence, rabbit habitats that are swiftly identified and destroyed, and shared, defined responsibility between the DDMRB, landholders and government, we have the best chance at keeping rabbit numbers and their impacts to a minimum.

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About the Author

Dr Margaret Kowald PhD, MA, BA, BEdStud, FRHistSQ is a Brisbane-based professional historian whose theses and books reflect a wide-ranging interest in Queensland history including:

  • The Queensland Police Force 1895-1910 (MA Thesis 1989);
  • The Australian Pastoral Company in the Maranoa 1888-1940 (PhD Thesis 1996);
  • Women on Course: The McLeod Country Golf Club, 1968-1993 (1993);
  • Lost Brisbane 1860-1960 (2014);
  • Lost Brisbane 2 and surrounding areas: the later years (2016);
  • You Still Can’t Make it Rain: The North Australian Pastoral Company 1877-2019 (2019).

She has worked as a teacher, lecturer, cultural heritage specialist, was Head of the Cultures and Histories Program at the Queensland Museum and has been editor of the Queensland History Journal since 2008. In 2019 she was awarded the John Douglas Kerr Medal of Distinction for Research and Writing Queensland and Australian History.