Environment

Jindabyne candidates forum drives Brumbies debate further

By Ian Campbell 5 March 2019
John Barilaro, Bryce Wilson, Mick Holton, Andrew Thaler, Peter Marshall, Frankie Seymour. Photo: Steve Cuff, Snowy Mountains Magazine.

John Barilaro, Bryce Wilson, Mick Holton, Andrew Thaler, Peter Marshall, Frankie Seymour. Photo: Steve Cuff, Snowy Mountains Magazine.

All six candidates contesting the seat of Monaro in the NSW Election gathered in Jindabyne on Friday night for a Q&A with the community hosted by the Jindabyne Chamber of Commerce.

The night dealt with climate change, rural land management, infrastructure, local government mergers, and pressures within the local tourist industry but it was the management of Brumbies within Kosziusko National Park that seemed to be of particular interest to those gathered and the wider community since.

Bryce Wilson. Photo: Steve Cuff, Snowy Mountains Magazine.

Bryce Wilson. Photo: Steve Cuff, Snowy Mountains Magazine.

Labor’s Bryce Wilson acknowledged that some are uncomfortable with his parties position.

“This is an area of passionate debate, I encourage you to Google Labor’s six-point plan for managing wild horses in the Kosciuszko National Park, we are not managing the situation [feral pests] now, we have actually frozen or removed resources from National Parks – we need to put those resources back,” he says.

“I do note that our plan also includes, and some people aren’t happy with this, an element of cultural significance and recognising the place of the Brumby in our national story – but a balanced approach.

“We have also ruled out aerial culling, but the reason we will repeal the bill if elected is that Clause 12 of the act [Brumbies Bill] overrides the National Parks Act – that would be an anathema to environmental protection.”

John Barilaro. Photo: Steve Cuff, Snowy Mountains Magazine.

John Barilaro. Photo: Steve Cuff, Snowy Mountains Magazine.

Member for Monaro and Nationals Leader, John Barilaro says the Brumby Bill that passed parliament last year “ends the war.”

“The Bill doesn’t trump the plan of management, it doesn’t trump the act, what it puts in place for the first time is all stakeholders at the table, where we all agree that we need a 50% reduction [in Brumby numbers] immediately – we haven’t achieved that in decades,”  he says.

Mr Barilaro says nominations for the Brumby advisory panel are currently open, with the aim of including a broader range of views and stakeholders then have been canvased before.

“We have been able to approve a bill that recognises the cultural connection, nothing more, nothing less.

“We get on with the plan of management once the advisory committee is assembled and then we get on with the reduction immediately – to try and aim for 50% reduction.”

Mr Barilaro pointed to around 600 horses being allowed to remain in less sensitive areas of the national park under the Government’s approach, “like Labor and the scientists who agree with about 600 horses.”

The comments from Mr Barilario, aligning the government to the 2016 Draft Kosciuszko Draft Wild Horse Management Plan have been met with surprise and skepticism by Kosciuszko advocates.

Comments from other candidates include:

“I’d argue the dingo has a far more superior cultural attachment to the area and yet the poor thing is baited, hunted and shot,” says Andrew Thaler, Independent.

“We haven’t finished this argument, we haven’t settled it.”

Andrew Thaler. Photo: Steve Cuff, Snowy Mountains Magazine.

Andrew Thaler. Photo: Steve Cuff, Snowy Mountains Magazine.

Mick Holten, from the Farmers, Shooters, Fishers Party, “If Parks were properly resourced and doing their job from the get-go, we wouldn’t have this problem.”

“I can’t support repealing the bill.

“Is this a horse problem or is this a numbers problem?”

Mick Holton. Photo: Steve Cuff, Snowy Mountains Magazine.

Mick Holton. Photo: Steve Cuff, Snowy Mountains Magazine.

Frankie Seymour, Animal Justice Party, “We will never agree that killing is a solution to anything.”

“If there is a problem with an animal in the wrong place, fertility control is the only moral solution.”

Peter Marshall, Greens candidate, “Horses have their place, their place is not a national park.”

“The Brumby Bill is symbolic of this government’s absolute neglect and disregard for the environment.

“They have cut National Parks funding, you need to have staff on the ground.

“Zero horses have been removed from the park in 2018 – that’s the effect of the Brumby Bill.”

Frankie Seymour. Photo: Steve Cuff, Snowy Mountains Magazine.

Frankie Seymour. Photo: Steve Cuff, Snowy Mountains Magazine.

March 23 will decide the future management of Brumbies in the Australian Alps and along with it the conservation approach to a number of endangered native species whose existence is threatened by wild horses. Read more on the Liberal-Nationals position HERE ready more on Labor’s policy HERE.

Whatever happens, the passion on both sides of this debate suggests that Andrew Thaler’s comment on Friday night is perhaps the only one sure thing, “We haven’t finished this argument, we haven’t settled it.”

#Region Media’s Ian Campbell acted as facilitator of this event.

What's Your Opinion?

One Response to Jindabyne candidates forum drives Brumbies debate further

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JILLIAN MARIE KEUNING 3:48 pm 10 Mar 19

The total and complete blinkers that the labor party and the Greens have on is abhorrent! The total ignoring by these parties and the representatives pertaining to the number of pigs (which DO EAT FROGS) and small native marsupials like the Broad Toothed Rats and root all around the base of native flora and wallow in the waters of the Tantangara and surrounds to the point where they are infiltrating the ACT! The water ways are fouled by pig excrement frequently and man is no helping and the deer that feast on native flora ring barking new saplings to rid them of their felt on the antlers. The question is 'has no one learned of the horrific ineffectiveness of aerial culling?' The matrix used to 'count' and I use the term very loosely the wild horses was specifically designed for the arctic and Welsh moor ponies. This matrix has the instruction NOT TO USE THIS IN HILLY OR WOODED AREAS. Not sure if anyone has noticed, but the KNP is ALL HILLS AND HEAVILY WOODED AREAS! Not one of these people were worried or concerned about the Kosciuszko National Park until it was announced this was to be an election year. THERE IS NOTHING TO RECLAIM! The brumbies have been there for over 150 years.. so why now? Aerial Culling is cruel, inefficient, bullets are cheap.. but what then? Who is there to provide the clean up. One Reclaim Kosci stated it was impossible to cleann up the carcasses due to the inaccessibility of the area. Then why kill and then provide food for the wild dogs (not dingoes), foxes, feral cats, pigs and thus providing food for the animals that are the most dangerous and threatening to those who enjoy the park. This land, all 6,900 kms square should have never been made a 'park' as it has fallen into disrepair through mismanagement courtesy of the removal of the cattlemen and women, the shepherds the cattle and the sheep that assisted with the reduction of bushfire fuel, It has become a wasteland.. What kind of opposition do these parties have against the devastating environmental damage that will be caused by the heavy machinery set to start at Lobbs Hole (located in close proximity to the sphagnum bogs) WHY IS EVERYTHING BEING BLAMED ON THE BRUMBIES! The numbers are incorrect and all the reports are duplications of previous unproven guestimations bases on swiss cheese science.. full of holes! NSW PWS stated directly to me at an open day "There are too many pigs to deal with, they are here to stay".. so. let's blame the horses instead! Ludicrous.... PEOPLE ALSO NEED TO REALIZE THAT ACCORDING THE WILD AUSTRALIAN HORSE IN NSW WITH HERITAGE VALUE DOES NOT MAKE THEM HERITAGE LISTED! People need to get out and see these animals for themselves before signing petitions that are full or lies, myths and photos of pig and deer damage that are falsely labelled as being horse damage.

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