Jun 10, 2005

Campbell Wrong on Emergency Listing of Victorian Alpine National Park

Campbell Wrong on Emergency Listing of Victorian Alpine National Park

MEDIA RELEASE – Anthony Albanese MP – 10 June 2005

Ian Campbell’s decision to give emergency listing for cattle grazing in the Victorian Alpine National Park flies in the face of scientific evidence and is yet another setback for the abysmal National Heritage List.

The Environment Minister says he believes “the Victorian Government’s decision to ban grazing in the Park poses a clear threat to the historic heritage values” but all the evidence suggests cattle grazing in the national park threatens the area’s outstanding natural heritage values.

Here’s the evidence that was before him:

· His own Department advised the Victorian Alpine Grazing Taskforce in 2004 that cattle grazing in the Alpine National Park “is highly inconsistent with the sustainable protection and management of its natural heritage values…continued grazing will result in the further deterioration of those values, especially in relation to the ecologically fragile alpine and sub-alpine areas”.

· Tom Harley, the Chairman of the Australian Heritage Council, said in 2004 “Any heritage related benefits from the ongoing activity of grazing would appear to be more than outweighed by the adverse impact of the activity on the natural heritage values of the alpine and sub-alpine areas.”

· The negative impact of cattle grazing on water quality and biodiversity has led to cattle grazing being withdrawn from all alpine national parks in New South Wales and the ACT.

The National Heritage List has been a disaster. John Howard promised Anzac Cove would be the first nomination to the List. That didn’t happen and instead the Howard Government requested road works that desecrated our most sacred site.

The Howard Government had a six month grace period to put all 16 World Heritage sites on the National Heritage List. That didn’t happen because Ian Campbell’s Department didn’t understand their own Act. Only one World Heritage site has been listed.

There are only nine sites on the National Heritage List, which the National Trust has described as “abysmal”.

The Howard Government is confused and complacent when it comes to protecting our heritage. They will always put politics before protecting the environment.