11 January 2006

Private cow paddock or national heritage park?

For thousands of years the area of the Alpine National Park ecosystems and rich biodiversity was cared for by the Aboriginal communities. For the last one hundred and fifty years a tradition of mining the land for meat and minerals has taken place. This private appropriation of the land has resulted in erosion, feral animals degrading the delicate habitat, the spread of weeds and various dumps which later had to be picked up by the public to take care of. Even after the area was protected and restored as a National Park under public ownership, many mindsets refuse to acknowledge the law and insisted on their un-reflected 'traditions'.

The extractive 'heritage' of driving cattle through the National (public) Park seems unstoppable.Today,cowboys engaging in illegal acts "…are vowing to defy the new rules…" Privately 'grazing' public assets is a 'tradition', a 'heritage' right to trample the land. The authorities seem unable to counter the DIY law of 'the people'. Despite the $100,000 handouts each from the public purse, the 40 cattle-barons insist on turning the national heritage into a private cowpaddock.
The 'proud to defy rules' tradition
'Harvesting' the N.P.
Converting NP to private property
Alpine National Park
What you can do

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