Alpine National Park cattle ban welcome
Tuesday 17 March 2015
Legislation introduced into the Victorian Parliament today will hopefully end cattle grazing in the Alpine National Park and red gum national parks once and for all.
The legislation will explicitly ban cattle grazing for any purpose in the Alpine National Park and a series of red gum national parks along the Murray River.
The move has been enthusiastically welcomed by the Victorian National Parks Association.
"Cattle grazing is not appropriate in national parks - they are parks after all, not paddocks," the association's executive director Matt Ruchel said.
"Attempts by the former Baillieu and then Napthine governments to get cattle grazing trials up in the Alpine National Park in 2010, 2011 and 2014 lacked scientific merit. They were fundamentally an attempt to turn back the clock on park management.
"Hundreds of scientific studies going back many decades have proved beyond any doubt that cattle grazing damages our water catchments, spreads weeds, and brings some species close to extinction."
The VNPA's Park Protection officer Phil Ingamells said the decision is backed by years of scientific evidence.
"Importantly, recent exhaustive scientific studies in the high country have shown that alpine grazing is not effective in reducing bushfires in the region," he said.
"Cattle grazing in alpine areas is more extensively studied than any other land management issue in Victoria, and we welcome the stand by the Andrews Government to act on that clear evidence.
"Now that the cattle have gone it is time to focus on the resources and expertise needed to protect Victoria's remarkable Alpine National Park, and our other national parks, well into the future," he said.