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Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell
14 October 2005
The Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, has decided to endorse a recommendation from the Australian Heritage Council to assess the entire Australian Alps for inclusion on the National Heritage List.
This means the Victorian alpine national park will not be listed separately.
“My decision to have the Alps in New South Wales, Victoria and the ACT assessed for National Heritage listing is in line with the $15 million plan I unveiled this week to create a Greater Alpine National Park that would conserve nature in the Alps, protect its unique environment and also preserve the iconic cultural heritage of cattle grazing in Victoria’s high country,” he said.
“Since announcing that plan I have considered the Australian Heritage Council’s assessment of national heritage values of Victoria’s alpine park and noted council’s advice regarding a single park.
“The advice said National Heritage significance of the Park derives from being part of the broader Australian Alps, a unique landscape on the Australian mainland.
“Council supports my view that a broad listing of the Australian Alps National Parks is a preferable approach to the listing of individual parks. The council has informed me that an assessment of the entire Alps for the National Heritage List is overdue and is necessary to facilitate the development of a unified management plan to ensure a consistent approach to the management of heritage values.
“I have therefore decided to request the Australian Heritage Council to provide me with advice on the National Heritage values of the Australian Alps in their entirety.
“As a consequence, I have decided not to confirm the emergency listing of the Park made on 9 June this year, and to remove it from the National Heritage List.
“I will reconsider the inclusion of the Australian Alps in the National Heritage List once I have received the advice of the Council on the full Alps area.
” Senator Campbell said the $15 million, three-year plan offered to the Victorian Government to enable a reduced level of cattle grazing to continue remained on the table.
“It is a commonsense, practical proposal that would guarantee the protection of the alpine environment and retain the living, 170-year-old cultural heritage of cattle grazing. It is a win/win and the Victorian Government should at least consider it.”
He said that in its assessment of the Victorian park the council said that cattle grazing was “an iconic story that has recognition in the nation” and the park “is outstanding in demonstrating the national story of a seasonal practice of moving stock to alpine pasture, the associated lifestyle that involved seasonal living in hand-crafted bush huts, and the bush-style construction of fences and stock yards, high country droving and mustering in rugged environments.”
Senator Campbell said the council also pointed to the damage uncontrolled cattle grazing caused.
“My plan also acknowledges that grazing has impacts, as do brumbies, deer and feral pigs and recreational pursuits like four-wheel driving, which is not banned by the Victorian Government. That is why the Australian Government has committed $6.5 million under the plan to protect bogs and fens and rehabilitate damaged areas.
“If Premier Bracks is hell-bent on chasing green votes at the expense of enhanced environmental management balanced with our heritage values, then the $15 million plan will simply stay on the table until commonsense prevails.”
Renae Stoikos (02) 6277 7640 or 0418 568 434