Cattlemen want High Country rethink

AT the weekend’s Cattlemen’s Get Together at Mitta Mitta Mountain Cattlemen’s Association president Charlie Lovick called on supporters to pressure the government to improve the level of care for the High Country.

He told the crowd they had to accept the reality of the state government’s decision to stop cattle grazing in the Alpine National Park at Wonnangatta.

“We respect the decision, but we don’t agree with it because they did not allow the trial and the science to conclude,” Mr Lovick told the crowd.

“We are bitterly disappointed that a 180-year-old tradition has been destroyed, however, our commitment to the High Country remains.

Mr Lovick said the cattlemen would expose sham management policies, such as locking up the land, which some groups promoted.

“Governments past and present have failed their duty of care to the High Country and we must take a new direction.

“Fuel loads have built up to unprecedented levels, and the entire alpine environment and its surrounds have either already burned deep into the ground or will do in the foreseeable future. Native species of fauna and flora are threatened by National Park policies, not protected.

“Despite what the green activists tell you, the Alpine National Park is the very opposite of “pristine”. It is in terrible condition. Feral fauna and flora abound unchecked. Rivers are dying, forests are choked up and impassable to man and beast. Present, so-called green management strategies have failed. There has been far more destruction and deterioration in last 25 years since the Alpine Park was declared than occurred over the entire century and a half of alpine grazing and logging. The evidence is there for all to see.

“I am announcing that we wish to work with the new government in the interests of the High Country if they are willing to listen to what experienced bush people have to say.

“To that end, the Environment Minister Lisa Neville has just confirmed her acceptance of an invitation to inspect the High Country and to have it explained through our eyes,” Mr Lovick said.