The NSW Government turned Australia into a global laughing stock last night when it passed legislation protecting destructive feral horses in Kosciuszko National Park, locking in the ongoing degradation of sensitive alpine plains and wetlands.
“The NSW Government crossed a line last night when it passed legislation to protect destructive feral horses at the expense of one of Australia’s most iconic national parks and the threatened species it protects,” Invasive Species Council CEO Andrew Cox said today.
“The decision to let destructive feral horses run free in Kosciuszko National Park means we will see ongoing degradation of precious alpine habitat and threatened species like the critically endangered corroboree frog will be put at greater risk of extinction.
“If allowed to stand this decision sets a dangerous precedent for feral animal management in Australia. It will lock in pain and suffering for the horses, which, as their numbers grow, will eat out the bush and then starve, and gives the green light to environmentally destructive management of our national parks.”
The International Union for Conservation of Nature is so concerned by the legislation that it has written directly to NSW environment minister Gabrielle Upton. In the letter it says:
“The intention of this Bill to override the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974, and possibly other legislation, such as the Threatened Species Act, creates a disturbing precedent at both national and global levels.”
Feral animals such as horses and deer are inflicting increasing damage on national parks and other natural areas across eastern Australia.
The Kosciuszko Wild Horse Heritage Bill 2018 completed its passage though both houses of NSW Parliament late last night.
“This legislation protects feral horses in one of Australia’s most iconic national parks and over-rides important wildlife protections – the opposite of what we expect in a national park,” Mr Cox said.
The government rejected all amendments, including those to improve consultation, scientific input and protection of national park values.
“We praise Labor and the Greens for their strong, principled opposition to the bill and Labor’s commitment to repealing the law if they form government after the March 2019 election.”
- Invasive Species Council: CEO Andrew Cox – 0438 588 040.