Burke rallies alpine cattle grazing crowd
More than 500 people packed Box Hill Town Hall on April 6 to demand permanent removal of cattle from Victoria's Alpine National Park.
Powerful speeches by federal environment minister Tony Burke, Dr Greg Moore and Dr Libby Rumpff rallied the crowd to keep up the fight against alpine cattle grazing and for better protection and management of national parks across Australia.
Mr Burke declared that 'national parks should be above politics', and asked if a government had ever before deliberately introduced an invasive species into a park.
He said he had been shocked by the cattle damage he observed in the park on a recent visit.
The minister also warned that if the Victorian Government failed to refer the issue for federal scrutiny he could force a referral - which would entail removing the cattle while the Federal Government assessed the issue.
"We will defend our national parks," he promised, adding that if existing federal laws are not adequate he will make every attempt to change them.
The meeting ended with the unanimous adoption of statements calling on the Victorian Government to end alpine cattle grazing, reassess research priorities and improve park management, and on the Federal Government to end grazing in Victoria's Alpine National Park and 'make national parks national'.