Is Alpine Grazing back on the Agenda?

Shortly after the election of the Coalition to power, the Mountain Cattleman's Association of Victoria (September 17, 2013) issued a call for the new Federal government to overturn the current ban on grazing in the Alpine Park in Victoria.

In response, a spokesperson for Gippsland MHR Darren Chester said the federal government would "look at the issue should the state government put it forward".

"Darren is still fully supportive (of cattle grazing) and we would be happy to take it to the party room if and when it happens."

In October it came to light that the Mountain Cattlemen's Association of Victoria has written to the Victorian Government asking it to call on the Federal Government to reintroduce grazing trials.

Such an action would be consistent with Mr Abbott's intention to get rid of 'green tape' (ie, environmental protections), thereby removing the federal government from involvement in most key environmental decision making processes. It was only intervention by the previous Minister for the Environment, Tony Burke, that saw the removal of the cattle after they were introduced by the Victorian government.

The mountain cattlemen are directly appealing to the government to remove "red tape (which is) is the only thing stopping the federal and state governments from moving ahead with the plan".

If this troubles you, please contact the new Minister for the Environment, Greg Hunt, making it clear you would not support such a move.

E: [email protected]



Possible tweet:

Alpine grazing is about politics, not good policy.  - please: No cows in the Alpine Park.



The Coalition intends to ‘streamline assessments and approvals’ processes for major development projects. It says it will set up a ‘one-stop shop’ for environmental approvals to cut what Mr Abbott calls ‘green tape’ (but what most of us call environmental protection).

Under these changes, State Governments would be given sweeping powers to assess and approve major development projects. If implemented, these changes would be a disaster for our nation's environment and wildlife.

A number of states have repeatedly put short-term commercial interests ahead of rigorous environmental protection. This was shown in the case of Alpine grazing: the state Coalition government made a political promise to re-introduce cattle into the Park, without bothering to determine whether such a trial would be scientifically robust. In the real world, watering down federal powers over developments will most likely mean more coalmines, more gas rigs, and more port facilities in places like the Great Barrier Reef or the Kimberley.

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