National Parks Oral (Debate)

National Parks-Oral
In 2005, cattle were removed from the Alpine National Park when the Brack’s Labor Government did not renew licences for farmers due to the detrimental environmental damage they caused. The Baillieu government has now allowed 400 cattle to be returned to the Alpine National Park at six sites covering 25,600 hectares as part of a bushfire risk trial under the Department of Sustainability and Environment. It is quite difficult to understand how this trial can be considered “research” as it goes against any rational research guidelines. The environment that these parks accommodate is at risk and so is the recreation and tourism that it brings about. Removing the cattle was allowing the environment as well as the culture and heritage to be restored; let’s keep it that way.
Apparently Mr Baillieu needs more evidence as to whether “grazing reduces blazing.” Sixty years of impeccable research by ecologists showing that grazing had no impact on fire risk mustn’t have been satisfactory for him. The CSIRO released a detailed report into their thorough research in 2006 clearly stating that cattle do not reduce blazing. On the website it states that “the available bio-physical evidence, based on long term ecological research and the behaviour and impacts of the widespread 2003 fires, suggests it does not.” Also, it is evident that shrubs are the main agent for carrying fires in Alpine regions, which cattle do not eat. It almost seems ridiculous that the Baillieu government would even consider a so called research trial. However, the DSE claims that more work is needed on the effects of grazing on fuel load and structure in all alpine and subalpine ecosystems. But it seems that they don’t even have a real idea of what they will be researching in the trial that is intended to take six years. “Completing analyses of the scientific literature” they say will be the main agenda for the first year. Now how can we possibly think this research is flimsy when they...