A Federal Labor move to ban cattle grazing in the Victorian High Country goes against the counsel of its own department, according to The Nationals Senator McKenzie today.
Questioned by Senator McKenzie as part of the Sustainable Management of Natural Resources and Environment Estimates, department representatives stated that “national parks and all the management issues within them are the responsibility of the states.” 1
“The department was very clear in its advice that national parks are under state control,” Senator McKenzie said.
“Labor’s meddling in Victoria’s cattle grazing trial has been revealed for the political ploy that it is: a move to appease Bob Brown’s Greens who are as great a threat to Prime Minister Gillard’s hold on the leadership as any former office bearer.”
Federal Labor Environment Minister Tony Burke recently banned the Victorian Coalition Government from grazing cattle in the high country as part of bushfire fuel reduction research.
Senator McKenzie said that while the Gillard Government rode roughshod over Victoria, the ACT Labor Government continued cattle grazing on public land as a fuel reduction method unimpeded.
“My grandfather was a high-country cattleman. I grew up in regional Victoria and am proud to call it home today,” she said.
“The Minister says his decision was based on a heritage clause in the Act however he seemingly ignores the fact this high country tradition is 177 years old.
“Given not one single Cabinet Minister lives in regional Australia, is it any wonder the Gillard Government shows so little regard, so little understanding of our traditions and ways of life?
“Regional Australia deserves better than a dysfunctional Gillard Government beholden to the Greens,” said Senator McKenzie.
- Environment and Communications Legislation Committee Senate Estimates proof, 13 February 2012