Burke decision on alpine cattle grazing a victory for good science and commonsense
Tuesday, 31 January 2012
Today's announcement by federal environment minister Tony Burke to ban cattle grazing from the Alpine National Park has been applauded by the Victorian National Parks Association as a victory for commonsense and good science.
The VNPA led the community campaign against the Baillieu Government’s deeply flawed decision to reintroduce cattle grazing as part of a nonsensical scientific trial in the Alpine National Park.
Executive Director Matt Ruchel has now called on the State Government to focus on sound, scientifically-based management of the unique Alpine National Park.
“Our magnificent Alpine National Park is a park not a paddock. The grazing trial has been extensively criticised over the past 12 months by scientists and the community as deeply flawed and should now be formally abandoned by the Baillieu Government,” he said.
The VNPA agrees with the federal departmental findings that cattle grazing in this habitat “…would have a clearly unacceptable impact on the national heritage values of the Australian Alps National Parks and Reserves National Heritage Place".
The VNPA applauds federal environment minister Tony Burke for accepting the advice "after careful consideration" and for ruling against the proposal.
The VNPA also points out that the alpine cattle grazing trial highlighted flaws in national environmental laws pertaining to national parks.
“The attempt by the Victorian Government to put cattle into the Alpine National Park under the guise of science shows that national parks are national in name only,” Mr Ruchel said.
“There needs to be clearer national laws in place to ensure all national parks are protected for all Australians, and fulfil our international conservation commitments.”
The VNPA calls on the Gillard Government to follow through on a plan to require proposals such as cattle grazing, mining and land clearing in national parks to be referred to the Australian Government for assessment under national environmental laws, the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).
“When state governments walk away from their key responsibilities on the environment, such as with alpine cattle grazing, it must fall to the Australian Government to ensure checks and balances,” Mr Ruchel said.
Please contact Matt Ruchel, VNPA Executive Director, on 0418 357 813.