w-valleyThe following information comes from the Victorian National Parks Association. A number of significant environmental decisions will be made by the federal environment minister before Christmas, with the danger that they will slip through relatively unnoticed and unreported.

If approved, it can be expected that cattle will be introduced over summer. Last time the Victorian Coalition government introduced cattle to the Alpine Park, they did so without setting in place adequate scientific frameworks to the trial. They had been clearly told that grazing would not be useful in reducing fire risk, yet proceeded to implement their policy.

The fact that the government has withheld information from the federal minister in their current attempt to reintroduce cattle is hardly the basis for assuming this trial will be any more scientifically robust.

Over the next few days Australia’s environment minister Greg Hunt must decide whether or not he will let the Victorian Government put cattle back into the Alpine National Park.

After failing to return cattle to the Alps in both 2010 and 2011 the Napthine Government is again asking the federal government to approve a new cattle grazing trial in the Alpine National Park.

They plan to bring 60 cattle into the remote Wonnangatta Valley, a beautiful river flat that sits below the Howitt High Plains and has been ungrazed by cattle since 1988.

We need your help. Please take action today or as soon as possible:

We cannot allow this grazing trial to go ahead.

The Victorian Government wants to put cattle into the park simply because of a promise it made to some graziers that once held privileged grazing licences.

Their new attempt comes on the back of repeated attacks by the Napthine Government on the integrity of national parks including changing legislation to allow 99 year leases for private development, expanding areas for fossicking and prospecting and making significant cuts to park budgets.

We have also uncovered many serious flaws in the proposed trial:

  • There is no scientific design for the trial, and apparently no scientists are involved.
  • There has been no consideration of a location outside of the national park, even though there are many areas where such a trial could be conducted.
  • The State Government has withheld an important survey listing rare and threatened plants in the valley from the Federal Government.
  • The application ignores the considerable evidence that cattle grazing does not significantly reduce alpine fires. There are far more important bushfire research projects on which to spend scarce research funds.
  • More than 60 years of research shows cattle damage alpine wetlands and the headwaters of many rivers, threaten nationally-listed rare plants and animals, and bring weeds into the National Heritage-listed Alpine National Park.

National parks are the cornerstone of our efforts to protect nature – not cow paddocks or private resorts.

Please email Greg Hunt today.