Now here’s a surprise, the state government has stacked the new Alpine Advisory Committee dominated with pro-cattle-grazing members. 

Published by the Victorian National Parks Association, August 2013

Image: VNPA
Image: VNPA

Victoria’s environment minister Ryan Smith has appointed a new Alpine Advisory Committee dominated by pro-cattle-grazing members, including MLC for Eastern Victoria and vocal cattlemen supporter Phil Davis MP.

The committee’s task is to review the long-running Alpine National Park draft management plan, which has yet to be released for public comment.

Some commentators see this as the first step towards a bid to try once again to reintroduce cattle grazing to the park, particularly if there is a change of government federally.

A representative of the Prospectors and Miners Association is also included.

The environment minister seems to have mistakenly signed off on the Mountain Cattlemen’s Association Christmas card list, instead of appointing an independent advisory committee.

No nature conservation groups are represented.

Who is on the commitee?

Chair: Ewan Waller.
Members: Philip Davis, David Packham, Peter Attiwill, Russell Mullett, Ronald Moon, Walter Wright, Mervyn McGuire, Geoffrey Burrowes, Stephen Dingwall, Andrew Dwyer, Christopher Commins, Christa Treasure, Trudy Anderson and Peter Roper.


The following information comes from the Weekly Times and highlights the heavy weighting towards grazing and other extractive interests.

The committee is being chaired by former Department of Sustainability fire chief Ewan Waller who revealed its scope allows them to give advice on forest and crown land in the high country as well as national parks.

Members include two former Mountain Cattlemen’s Association presidents Ensay’s Chris Commins and Glenaladale’s Christa Treasure and another MCAV member Neville Wright of Bobinwarrah plus Alpine Shire Mayor and Tawonga producer Peter Roper, and Trudy Anderson of Benambra.

Also appointed were retired CSIRO scientist and former forest chief David Packham along with retired forest ecologist Peter Attiwill, both known advocates for greater planned burning.

The Man from Snowy River film producer and Mansfield farmer Geoffrey Burrowes has also been selected and the tourism industry is represented by Andrew Dwyer of Jamieson and outback adventurer Ronald Moon.

Other members are Eastern Region MLA Philip Davis, Prospectors and Miners Association representative Stephen Dingwall, recreational fishing advocate Mervyn McGuire, indigenous consultants Russell Mullett.