The Mountain Cattlemen’s Association of Victoria (MCAV) represents a hardy group of people whose families and predecessors have grazed their cattle and maintained the Victorian High Country dating back to 1834.
Cattlemen are celebrated as icons of the Australian bush. From Australian settlement to the present, caring for their cattle and custodianship of the land has been a cross generational family undertaking, so their training in the mountains is a lifetime experience.
On behalf of the MCAV I wrote to the Minister Lisa Neville on the day she was appointed. I asked her to not make a hasty decision because the trials are vastly different from normal Alpine Grazing under rangeland conditions.
To learn of her decision on radio was very disrespectful. The Minister says "the science is in" - it is not and this trial is a way of deciding once and for all if cattle grazing does assist in fuel reduction as many scientists agree more investigation is required.
The issue of Alpine Grazing is totally political and any rational discussion about grazing assisting with good land management has gone out the window.
The Victorian National Parks Association (VNPA) continues to make fabricated claims about the Wonnangatta Trial which demonstrates its knowledge of the Victorian High Country is very limited and skewed by philosophy.
The Government has chosen to accept the VNPA's claim that "all the science is in", not all scientists agree with this. The trial was addressing gaps in the research that scientists had identified.
The MCAV, the GunaiKurnai Corporation and the Government previously signed an agreement to work on joint management plans for Wonnangatta. Included in the concept was to be the involvement of the young people from both groups. It is difficult to see how that can now proceed. This is a huge opportunity lost for two experienced groups with intergenerational knowledge working together for the betterment of the land.
The Cattlemen and many supporters will discuss the issue at the annual Get Together to be held at Mitta Mitta in January 2015.
To read our media release click here.
To read the nine page brief on the Wonnangatta trial and accompanying letter we gave to the new Minister the day she was appointed click here
Join us in our efforts to ensure our culture and traditions carry on into the future by becoming a member of the MCAV.