LEGISLATION banning alpine cattle grazing has been welcomed by the Victorian National Parks Association.
It backed up more than a century of science and confirmed Victoria’s parks were created for the protection of nature, not cow paddocks.
“The new law closes a loophole that allowed cattle grazing to be undertaken in the Alpine National Park under the guise of flawed scientific trials,” Victorian National Parks Association (VNPA) executive director Matt Ruchel said today.
“National parks are the cornerstone of our efforts to protect and conserve nature, they are parks not paddocks," Mr Ruchel said.
“NSW, the ACT and Tasmania have all disallowed cattle grazing in alpine parks. Victoria has now caught up.”
The law also bans cattle grazing in River Red Gum national parks.
More than 100 years of scientific studies and inquiries had ruled against domestic stock grazing in Australia's alpine regions.
Cattle threatened the survival of rare species, spread weeds, caused erosion and damaged our important water catchments.
“This is a victory for nature and good science and hopefully we can now focus our effort on better managing our fabulous alpine and red gum habitats,” Mr Ruchel said.
But the Shooters and Fishers Party supported the argument of the mountain cattlemen, built on the twin pillars of fire prevention and heritage.
The Member for Eastern Victorian Region Jeff Bourman and the Member for Northern Victorian Region Daniel Young said the risk of fire had increased dramatically since cattle producers were locked out of the park.
"Those in opposition to the scientific trials, put in place by the previous government, are city based politicians who say they support the bush but their actions contradict these statements," Mr Bourmann and Mr Young said.
Common sense had lost out and been overridden by the extreme environmental concerns of a small minority, who seldom visited, or even knew the high country.
"This is another example of rural community's voices being shouted down by inner city politicians," Mr Bourman said.