I have also included the opposing sides misguided and in some cases pure undulterated lie
Labor has slammed the state government’s plans to prohibit the culling of brumbies in the Kosciuszko National Park.
On Tuesday, shadow environment minister Penny Sharpe and Country Labor candidate for Monaro Bryce Wilson announced they stood with “scientists, tourism operators, anglers, environmentalists and land rehabilitation groups” to oppose the Berejiklian-Barilaro Kosciuszko Wild Horse Heritage Bill.
Earlier this month NSW deputy premier John Barilaro stated his intention to introduce legislation to parliament recognising the “heritage value” of the brumbies.
“This bill from the deputy premier undermines one of the most unique and celebrated alpine national parks in the world as well as having the potential to damage tourism and jobs in the region,” Ms Sharpe said.
“After eight years of ignoring the growing population and the damage the horses are doing to the park, it is clear that this bill will make the problem worse, not better.”
Labor will vote against the bill and if it is passed plans to repeal it if elected next year.
“We acknowledge the cultural and tourism value of the wild horses, but we must also acknowledge the science that tells us of the damage being caused,” Mr Wilson said.
“Damage that is threatening the unique ecosystem of the park – there is simply too much at stake to risk the benefits the park brings to our region for tourism and employment.”
Established in 1944 by Labor Premier Bill McKell, Kosciuszko National Park is the most visited national park in NSW outside the Greater Sydney region with over two million visits each year.
The park’s environment is home to rare and threatened species such as the mountain pygmy possum, the southern corroboree frog and the broad-toothed rat as well as 21 species of flowering plants that are found nowhere else on earth.
The peatland soils are unique, as are the alpine and subalpine bog and wetland catchments which help to supply high-quality water to the Murray-Darling Basin.
“This bill represents the greatest conservation threat in 75 years to one of the great national parks of Australia and the world, and a threat to one of the most sensitive, important and economically valuable water catchments of Australia,” Australian National University’s Associate Professor Graeme Worboys said.
Letting thousands of brumbies roam wild through the Snowy Mountains and abandoning plans for controlled culling is “madness” and “disaster” for the nation’s natural heritage, says a leading professor.
Deputy NSW Premier John Barilaro has backflipped on the state government’s proposed culling plan in Kosciuszko National Park, citing the cultural significance of the brumby.
“Wild brumbies have been roaming the Australian Alps for almost 200 years and are part of the cultural fabric and folklore of the high country,” he said in a statement on Sunday.
Leading scientists from around Australia have long supported plans to cull the brumby population from 6000 to 600 over 20 years, arguing it’s needed to protect the delicate Alpine environment.
Professor Don Driscoll, from Deakin University, says Sunday’s decision will affect natural species, natural fauna and water supply, which could also affect the Snowy 2.0 scheme.
“It’s a disaster to our national heritage,” he said.
“(It’s) a slap in the face for wild horses, it’s a slap in the face to the people who care about Australia’s natural heritage and a slap in the face for the state’s threatened species.”
Prof Driscoll warned it could even do the horses more harm than good.
“It’s also cruel to thousands of horses because of the escalating population that will starve to death due to the decline in food resources,” he told AAP.
“Kosciuszko national park not only contains the nation’s highest mountain but rare animal and fauna species that evolved in the region over tens of thousands of years.”
For Mr Barilaro to sacrifice those things for feral horses introduced in 1820 is “madness”, he added.
Prof Driscoll is part of a group of 41 scientists from 16 universities who wrote to former NSW Premier Mike Baird in 2016 saying the only way to save the unique ecosystem was to cull 90 per cent of the brumby population.
Brumbies in Kosciuszko have degraded 48 per cent of the national park.
The brumby population increased from 4200 in 2009 to 6000, despite 450 being removed each year, Prof Driscroll said.
But Mr Barilaro said that if the brumby population climbed too high in highly-sensitive alpine areas then resources would be allocated towards their relocation and re-homing.
“Kosciuszko National Park exists to protect the unique environment of the Snowy Mountains, and that unique environment includes wild brumbies,” he said.
Environment Minister Gabriell Upton is expected to introduce a so-called “Brumbies Bill” to parliament next week prohibiting lethal culling of the animal.