Governments are forever pulling the wool over the eyes of the general population and most politicians and bureaucrats lie or, at the very least, tell half-truths to get their way.
To say that something really smells over the decision to ban grazing in the Barmah forest is an understatement and recent revelations are cause for real concern.
Despite government arguments to the contrary Freedom of Information revelations have shown some DSE and Parks Victoria staff acknowledge cattle grazing reduces fire risk.
Yet the official stance is that “there is no scientific evidence that cattle grazing reduces fire risk”.
I’d say that to the contrary that there is no scientific evidence to say it doesn’t.
The Rivers and Red Gum Alliance says it was recently handed another government study supporting grazing in the Barmah.
The report, called managing the grasslands of the Barmah Forest, is by Professor David Kemp of Charles Sturt University, Orange, NSW – a recognized expert in grazing management.
The RRGEA says the report, commissioned for DSE and Parks Victoria and never mentioned by them or VEAC in its three-year “thorough, scientific investigation” into land use, shows controlled cattle grazing, on a seasonal basis, is a valuable tool for land managers.
Call me cynical but withholding information or selective inclusion tells a half-truth and discredits claims that support bans on grazing in the Barmah and, for that matter, in the Alpine National Park.
The report, by Professor David Kemp is downloadable from http://www.rrgea.org
Basically, Dr Kemp says seasonal and strategic grazing can be used to restore and manage the native grasslands within the Barmah forest.
He says this can be achieved by exclusion zones to allow overgrazed areas to recover before reintroducing cattle as a management tool, with stocking densities, time and duration of grazing set on botanical composition.
If my memory is correct, Dr Kemp made similar recommendations for the Alpine park.
*To read more What's in store see Stock & Land, April 30.
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