The Nationals Senator for Victoria Bridget McKenzie has described Victorian Labor’s permanent ban on cattle grazing in Victoria’s national parks as the equivalent of banning the Scots from wearing kilts.
“It beggars belief that Labor would seek to end a practice which is so ingrained into our cultural heritage,” Senator McKenzie said.
“Labor’s decision to ban cattle from our national parks is the equivalent of banning the Scots from wearing kilts, banning our Indigenous communities from holding smoking ceremonies or banning Aussie Rules umpires from bouncing the ball.”
Senator McKenzie joined Mountain Cattlemens Association of Victoria President Charlie Lovick in the High Country today to express her disgust at the recent decision by Labor’s Minster for Environment Lisa Neville to place a permanent ban on cattle in Victoria’s national parks.
“Cattle grazing in the High Country is part of our heritage, it's part of our living culture, yet in one fell swoop Minister Neville has destroyed almost 200 years of our history,” Senator McKenzie said.
“From her office in Spring Street, Minister Neville has attempted to put the final nail in the coffin of the Man from Snowy River.
“If Labor really wanted to protect the High Country in this way it would be up here removing the thousands of deer and wild horses that roam completely unchecked.
“But we know Labor is more interested in protecting it votes from the Greens in inner city Melbourne seats, the only place where this decision has been welcomed.
“I am here today to tell Minister Neville and the Victorian Labor Government that the fight is not over and we will never give up until our Mountain Cattlemen are back where they belong.”
Mr Lovick said he appreciated Senator McKenzie’s support for the Mountain Cattlemen and the return of cattle grazing to the High Country.
“Labor’s irrational decision to ban cattle from Victoria’s national parks is purely political, completely fails the ‘pub test’ and has terminally damaged the heritage of the Mountain Cattlemen,” Mr Lovick said.
“Cattle grazing in alpine areas and national parks is a tool used by authorities around the world to manage their land, is protected by law and strongly celebrated as part of their culture and heritage – yet here it continues to be a political football.
“Labor has lost all perspective on this issue and I strongly encourage the Federal Government to step in and help us overturn this ban.”
Senator McKenzie said she would invite a number of Federal Members and Senators to the High Country over the coming months to highlight the important role Victoria’s Mountain Cattlemen play in caring for the High Country.
Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0488 747 770 firstname.lastname@example.org