The following comes from The Weekly Times, and is written by Rob Harris.
THE “lawfulness” of the Victorian Government’s alpine cattle grazing policy will be challenged in the Supreme Court today.
The Victorian National Parks Association, represented by Environmental Justice Australia, is attempting to test the validity of the cattle grazing trial under Victoria’s National Parks Act.
The Wonnangatta Valley, in the Alpine National Park, was the site of a three-year cattle grazing trial which began in April this year.
The former federal Labor Government had blocked an original attempt to return Victoria’s mountain cattlemen to the high country when the Ted Baillieu’s Coalition came to power in 2010.
Cattle would return to the site in January 2015 if the Coalition wins the Victorian election on Saturday.
“The prime purpose of national parks is for conservation, not cow paddocks,” VNPA spokesman Phil Ingamells said today.
He said in recent weeks the VNPA had commissioned an expert ecological assessment of the Wonnangatta Valley, the site of the Coalition’s proposed three-year cattle grazing trial.
“They have been irresponsible in locating their cattle grazing trial in the remote and beautiful Wonnangatta Valley,” Mr Ingamells said.
He said the Coalition had “grabbed at least $1.5 million of taxpayers’ money for this so-called scientific trial” which he said was “primarily designed to buy votes in East Gippsland”.
“The grazing trial won’t give us any new information. Comprehensive research already shows that cattle have greatly damaged the Alpine National Park, and that grazing doesn’t significantly reduce fire risk in the high country.”