It feels like national parks are under seige with minority interest groups taking advantage of the O’Farrell Government’s lax attitudes to the environment. Horse riders are getting a green light to cause more damage to our National Parks, a parliamentary inquiry has been set up to attack National Parks and the Government has a wholesale moratorium on new marine parks. What has our native wildlife done to deserve such an assault on their last refuges?
A deal between the Shooters & Fishers Party and Coalition members has seen a Parliamentary Inquiry established with a barely disguised intention to attack national parks. I have been appointed to sit on the Inquiry on behalf of the NSW Greens and will be doing my utmost to ensure an environmentally responsible view point is heard. You can help me defend our national parks and send a submission to the inquiry here.
Ask the average NSW citizen if they want national parks like the Blue Mountains to be free from weeds, erosion and other degradation and they would surely say yes. So why then is the O’Farrell Government deliberately adopting strategies that will inevitably increase weed invasion, erosion and environmental degradation in our national parks? The answer of course is politics.
The Government has just released a new policy to open up national parks, reserves and even some wilderness areas to horse riding Draft strategic directions for horse riding in NSW national parks and reserves
Horses introduce weeds through the seeds and pathogens carried in their manure and their hooves erode fragile soils. Once weeds are introduced you can’t take them back. National Parks & Wildlife Service frequently refers to horses as ‘pest animals’.
The policy throws science and the precautionary principle to the wind. We already know that horses introduce weeds to national parks yet the Government is prepared to exacerbate this risk further and even newly introduce horse rising to our precious designated wilderness areas. This will contravene the definition of ‘self reliance’ that applies to access to wilderness areas in the legislation.
This policy is being driven by an outdated 2006 MOU between the NSW Liberal/Nationals and a Coalition of Horse Riders and, as unfortunately becoming all too common-place with this Government, science has been swept aside.
Take action – make a submission
You can write your own personal submission online here. Individual submissions carry more weight but if you don’t have the time, please consider using this form submission below. Add any additional comments you may have at the bottom.