Nature group wants protection of Vic parks

Cattle grazing and 99-year private leases in national parks should be scrapped, a nature conservation group says.

Victorian National Parks Association executive director Matt Ruchel says there are yet to be any significant environmental policies issued by either major party in the Victorian election.

“There is almost universal support for national parks across the Victorian community,” Mr Ruchel said.

“The environment and management of national parks and conservation areas are key state government responsibilities, yet most politicians are operating an environmental policy vacuum.”

Mr Ruchel urged politicians to prioritise the banning of alpine cattle grazing and the reversal of 99-year private leases which currently allow potential commercial development to occur in up to two-thirds of Victoria’s national parks.

The measures are part of the VNPA’s 10-point action plan which Mr Ruchel said the group hopes might help guide policy from the major parties.

THE VNPA’S KEY ENVIRONMENTAL PRIORITIES INCLUDE:

* Reverse legislation allowing 99-year private leases in parks

* Ban cattle grazing

* Complete national park and reserve system, including creating new Great Forest National Park

* Strengthen park management agency

* Adequate and effective funding to manage threats to parks such as invasive species.

Published by 9 NewsHerald SunNews.com.au, The Mercury and Perth Now.

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About Alana Mitchelson

Alana Mitchelson is a journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Follow her on Twitter at @AlanaMitchelson.

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