Protecting Wilderness and National Parks

National Party Wrecks National Parks Management as Barilaro declares Kosciuszko for horses for all time

NSW Deputy Premier, Minister for Regional NSW and Member for Monaro, John Barilaro yesterday announced the NSW Government’s next piece of national park legislation shall be about “heritage horses”. A probably livid Environment Minister Upton did not release a statement, as Deputy Premier Barilaro announced his Party’s colonial notions for the high country shall trump any scientific principles of park management.

“This announcement reveals an appalling state of park management affairs. Even a horse riding trial along scientific methods was biased by its political goal, and also at odds with the protection granted wilderness under law. All good, as the National Party equates little data with no impact, contrary to other reported science. The horse trial was an embarrassing flop and was expected to be quietly dropped! Not anymore”, said Mr Keith Muir, director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.

The heritage horse crusade

“The National Party has elevated the horse from feral to wild, and now it is to be ennobled as heritage. The National Party is prepared to defend heritage horse rights before the rights of national heritage listed Kosciuszko National Park” Mr Muir said.

“This the situation, Kosciuszko National Park must be degraded for the rights of horses. Yes, Mr Barilaro for nearly 200 years grazing prevailed over what is now Kosciuszko National Park. And now selective grazing will again see the herbs eaten out of this park. Yes, those delightful daisies, eyebright, billybuttons and buttercups, all those beautiful, high protein flower heads shall be eaten out of existence. All going into the gizzards of 6,000 large and hungry heritage herbivores; an supportable number,” he said.

“The preferential grazing of swamps and herbfields reduces them to quagmires and bare soil between large areas of unpalatable grass, opening the way for weeds; the companions of heritage horses, and mascots for the National Party’s crusade against national parks” said Mr Muir.

“When the Snowy Hydro scheme devastated the high country with 16 dams, the grazing was removed to stop these dams filling with sediment and abrading the turbine blades of power generators. But now in the Nationals’ post-modern colonial world facts don’t count any more than opinion. So the new Nationals’ slogan should be “to hell with the park, we ride with the horses.””

“The NSW Government can’t manage national parks, and it can’t manage major infrastructure projects, like Snowy 2.0 either. We are going billions of dollars further into debt, so what’s scientific management of national parks and wilderness areas matter? This Government has lost its way. It is bereft of Coalition party discipline that traditionally let Liberal Environment Ministers do their job of managing National Parks (to keep the moderate green vote on-side), while National Party focused regional affairs; but now the horse from old regret has got away...” Mr Muir said

 For more information contact: Keith Muir, (02) 9261 2400 (wk) or 0412 791 404 (mob)