Wellington Local News:
Call To Open Up High Plains To Drought-Stricken Farmers
The short-term move could save the Victorian cattle industry from years of financial setback
By Karen Gregory - 10th September 2002 - Back to News
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Wellington Shire Council has called on the State Government to open up the High Plains/Alpine region to cattle grazing to provide drought relief for our Victorian farmers.
Wellington Mayor, Malcolm Hole said that the short-term move would save the Victorian cattle industry from years of financial setback.
"There are thousands of acres of good feeding grounds in the high country capable of supporting cattle over a period of drought," he said.
"The NSW Government set a national precedent for this in the late 70s when it opened up Mount Kosciusko national park to assist drought-stricken farmers in that State.
"This is a demonstrated body of evidence that the environmental impact of short-term grazing would be negligible."
"Gippsland farmers have recently been through a five year period of drought. Much of their breeding stock was lost as they cut their herds drastically to stay in business, while prime cattle which lost condition were sold for pet food.
"It takes years to build up breeding stocks and a viable herd again. The financial losses and economic impact on farming in this region were severe.
"The State Govt needs to take urgent action now to assist, rather than wait until the situation deteriorates further because the longer we wait, the longer it will take to recover."
Mayor Hole said he had spoken to the Mountain Cattlemen’s Association who supported the idea and were prepared to assist in managing extra cattle in the Park and high plains.
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