Nationals Senator for Victoria Bridget McKenzie has voiced her support for the Victorian Government’s application for a cattle grazing trial in the Victorian Alpine National Park.
Senator McKenzie said the Mountain Cattlemen’s Association of Victoria Annual Festival being held this weekend near Omeo, would be a celebration of the skills and practices of the high country cattle men and women.
‘‘Graziers have taken cattle into and across the mountains of Victoria’s Alpine regions as far back as the 1820’s,’’ Senator McKenzie said.
‘‘Some families like the Stoneys and the Lovicks still farm and live in the area. I myself am proud to be the granddaughter of a high country cattleman.’’
Senator McKenzie said the decision to ban a cattle grazing trial by the previous Labor Government to shore up vulnerable seats in inner Melbourne was blatantly political.
‘‘There are many people who live in Victoria’s Alpine areas and right across the nation, who value mountain cattle men and women as pioneers, as guides, as contributors to fire suppression activities, as skilled land managers and environmental stewards,’’ she said.
‘‘Many Australians view sustainably managed cattle grazing on the high plains as an important tradition and recognise it as a legitimate use of the Alpine area.’’
Senator McKenzie said this weekend’s event would see a celebration of community and tradition 150 years in the making.
‘‘It is timely to reconsider the decisions of the former Labor government which assumed it could impose the values of the people living in Brunswick on the people living in Benambra,’’ she said.
‘‘We can get the balance right between protecting and enjoying our national parks. Caring for and using our natural resources do not have to be mutually exclusive concepts.’’
Media contact: Kathleen Tonini 0400530027