Graeme Worboys, (Honorary) Associate Professor, Fenner School of Environment and Society, Australian National University
The 75th Anniversary of the establishment of Kosciuszko State Park falls on the 19th April 2019. The Park was famously established by Premier William McKell to protect the nationally important mountain water catchments; restore soil erosion caused by burning off and over-grazing by stock and to provide opportunities for visitor use and enjoyment. Kosciuszko is one of the Australia’s greatest national parks; it is a National Heritage Property protecting priceless Australian heritage and receives more than 1 million visits a year. The Park enjoyed 74 years of bipartisan support for conservation until regressive 2018 legislation was passed to retain thousands of feral horses within the Park.
Leading conservation groups have today announced that they will be boycotting the NSW Government’s call for nominations for the Wild Horse Community Advisory Panel. To do otherwise would be to lend credibility to a process that over-rides the National Parks and Wildlife Act.
Dr Graeme Worboys, (Honorary) Associate Professor of the Fenner School for Environment and Society, Australian National University
NSW Deputy Premier and State National Party Leader John Barilaro’s 2018 Kosciuszko Wild Horse Heritage Legislation is the single greatest political and ideological undermining of the conservation and protection status of Kosciuszko National Park in its 75 year history. It has elevated a pest animal to be more important than Australian native animals and has established a legislative precedent that threatens the concept of all Australian protected areas and National Heritage listed properties.
The National Parks Association of NSW expressed dismay at yesterday’s announcement that the NSW Government will introduce legislation that will allow feral horses to remain in Kosciuszko National Park.