Nationals Senator for Victoria Bridget McKenzie has welcomed the decision by Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt to allow a cattle grazing trial in the Alpine National Park.
Senator McKenzie said Minister Hunt had made a practical and well-informed decision.
‘‘The Victorian Government’s application for approval for a trial of up to 300 cattle required the submission of extensive information about flora and fauna in the area and details about how the trial would be managed,’’ Senator McKenzie said.
‘‘This will be a strictly controlled trial which will carefully regulate the impact of the cattle.’’
‘‘This is the first step towards more extensive grazing in the longer term.’’
Senator McKenzie said Victorian Coalition Environment Minister Ryan Smith was investigating all possible methods of bushfire risk management, as well as responding to the needs of the community.
‘‘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 she looked forward to seeing cattle once again in the Wonnangatta Valley.
‘‘We can get the balance right between protecting and enjoying our national parks,’’ she said.
‘‘Caring for and using our natural resources do not have to be mutually exclusive concepts.’’
Media contact: Kathleen Tonini 0400530027