In order to maintain its standing with certain beef farmers over the Alpine National Parks grazing issue, the Baillieu government took its legal challenge to the Federal Court in early August – at great cost to you and I.
Victoria’s current conservative coalition wants to overturn a decision by federal Environment Minister Tony Burke that ousted 400 or so beef cattle from the park. Baillieu claims they are part of a so-called scientific trial that was planned for 5 years, but Tony Burke rightly declared they would do unacceptable damage to the park.
The judge has reserved her decision and we hope to hear the outcome within a few weeks.
The national environmental laws that have enabled Tony Burke to override the Baillieu government on cattle grazing are now planning to be weakened by Julia Gillard, handing back responsibility to the states for managing important national environmental values.
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As this story was about to hit your inboxes, a new twist to this story emerged. The Victorian National Parks Association obtained a document under FOI, after a 17 month battle with the government.
This ‘scientific’ review was one of two that the government relied on and is a seven year old draft that ignores key scientific information from the CSIRO and others. The review of existing literature on cattle grazing and the possible effect on bushfires was not peer reviewed or published (ie – very limp and questionable as a scientific document). The DSE spin doctoring said the government was in the process of having this draft peer reviewed and published. But they were quite happy to stand by it as a solid piece of science earlier.
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