The Invasive Species Council is backing federal environment minister Sussan Ley’s desire to use federal laws to protect Kosciuszko National Park from growing numbers of feral horses.
Speaking at the National Press Club yesterday the minister said the damage being inflicted on Kosciuszko National Park makes her ‘extremely angry’ and that she is looking at possible legal avenues that would allow federal government action on this issue.
“Sussan Ley clearly has a personal connection with Kosciuszko National Park and is deeply troubled by the impacts of feral horses on the sensitive ecosystems of Kosciuszko and the Australian Alps,” Invasive Species Council CEO Andrew Cox said.
“The Australian Alps are a priceless national heritage icon and home to many nationally threatened species that need urgent protection from feral animals.
“Any federal intervention to address the significant and unmitigated impacts of feral horses on Kosciuszko National Park and the Alps would be welcomed, historic and necessary.
“We know the NSW Government is soon to release a new feral horse management plan.
“The NSW environment minister Matt Kean needs to follow through on the statement he made earlier this week that he is working on a horse management plan with deputy premier John Barilaro that will see a sizable reduction in feral horse numbers within Kosciuszko National Park.
“Kosciuszko National Park can’t afford a half-baked management plan that fails to drive down the number of feral horses in the park.
“We’re backing environment minister Sussan Ley’s call to action, and her plea for everyone who cares about Kosciuszko to speak up about this issue so that we can find a solution together.”
Kosciuszko National Park is part of the Australian Alps National Heritage Place and protects large numbers of nationally threatened species. It contains incredible but threatened ecological communities that are highly sensitive to the impact of invasive herbivores, such as feral horses.
Management of feral horses in Kosciuszko has spiralled out of control due to a policy paralysis triggered by 2018 legislation introduced by the NSW Government, which protects environmentally destructive feral horses.