New government means cattle grazing off again

ROAD TO NOWHERE: The previous government’s approval of a trial of cattle grazing in Victorian alpine areas has been cancelled by the new Andrews Labor Government. Leaseholders have not lost their right to graze cattle but the monitored trial has been stopped.

THE drama continues: a change of government in Victoria has meant the old bogey of alpine grazing of cattle has again be revisited and reversed.

Up to this point it has been on-again off-again for lease holders in the alpine national parks.

The Federal Labor Government overruled the grazing trial put in place by the Baillieu Liberal Government, with Environment Minister Tony Burke saying a national park should not be used as a farm – it was there for people to enjoy nature.

The minister then rushed new rules through parliament to stop the return of cattle to the alpine region.

With the change of federal government in September 2013, the Victorian Government – following an election promise – again sought leave to establish a trial, with 400 cattle to be introduced to the alpine region for five months each year over five years as a monitored trial.

There was unlikely to be any doubt this would be approved by Environment Minister Greg Hunt, and the new trial was scheduled to begin in the Wonnangatta Valley in March 2014, but under somewhat different conditions.

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