Senator McKenzie yesterday quizzed the Minister representing the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Senator Stephen Conroy on the merits of grazing, as endorsed by his state Labor colleagues.
“The New South Wales Government last week announced a scientific trial of grazing in the Riverina area’s red gum and cypress forests, on land where the former Labor government had issued grazing permits.
“The ACT Labor Government continues to use grazing as a fuel reduction measure, as highlighted in the latest weekly mowing report and reinforced by the Fire Management Unit, which last fire season said strategic grazing removes and compacts bushfire fuel.
“And in Victoria at Terrick Terrick, just outside Bendigo, ecological grazing has occurred since the park was proclaimed in 1999. Expert grassland scientists have recommended grazing as a way to preserve habitat and endangered species.”
All these trials and programs were endorsed by former state Labor governments, yet federal Labor, in its desperation to appease the Greens, refuses to acknowledge the benefits of grazing.
Now Minister Burke is trying to find a way to intervene in the NSW trial, in a similar way to which he interfered with Victoria’s grazing trials in the High Country.
Senator McKenzie said Labor cannot chop and choose when it wants to use science.
“Science should be applied first and foremost to decisions such as these, as state governments from both sides of politics have effectively done.
“Minister Burke and his federal Labor government colleagues cannot continue to intrude on matters that scientifically have a proven track record of success.”