Politics and activism

The truth behind cattlemen?

According to a sticker left on the glass partition of a now dis-used office at work, “Mountain cattlemen care for the high country.”

The other week I was chatting to a friend about the issue of the Victorian Government banning livestock grazing from the Alpine National Park.

Apparently the image of the mountain cattlemen — all Akubras, Drizabones and horses — doesn’t quite match up to the reality. In actual fact they tend to arrive with trucks of cattle, unload them all, let them eat all the grass in the area, load up and drive off again.

It’s a long way from the Man From Snowy River image they promote when they ride through the cities hoping to influence the populace.

Admittedly, this view comes from national park advocates. But it leaves one thinking that often things are not what they seem.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

6 replies on “The truth behind cattlemen?”

They don’t drive up, let them eat, then drive off. They put them there for months at a time to graze. You go camping there and you can lie in bed listening to cow bells. It’s quite good fun. They’ve been doing it for generations and the mountains haven’t fallen down and, until the enormous bushfires four years ago, the vegetation was in excellent condition because there are not enough cattle up there to ruin it.

There have been studies (not that I can remember where to find them) that have shown that since the ban on cattle to parts of the Victorian Alpine National Park over the past 5 years, there have been bush fires that have near eradicated several endangered species of plants. One of the reasons this is so is that the stock that are run through the alpine areas keep the grass and underbrush down and prevent massive bush fires.

well why dont we all vacate the blocks of land we occupy so that it can return to its 200 year ago natural state.

aint gonna happen.

but we can force some distant group to abandon their traditions cos that makes us feel like were green.

hypocrisy of the highest order from urban dogooders.

Pretty much all the studies show that cattle grazing significantly changes the diversity of flora in the high country. Studies have also shown that cattle grazing has no effect on the scale or intensity of fires. The real question is what is the purpose of the Alpine Natural Park, conservation of biological diversity or subsidising a small group of people to maintain their ‘culture’?

I am a Mountain Cattleman on The Bogong High Plains and I can tell you that’s not true. Whoever told you that has been misled or is spreading deliberate lies.

The route my cattle took to the plains was from the Bundarrah Valley to McNamara’s Hut and beyond. You can’t get a truck up there.

The Briggs’, Blairs, Westons and Hicks families all drove their stock up along Snowy Creek Track then up Lake Spur.

Our opponents are always desperate to smear us but ask them to produce some proof and you won’t hear from them again.


Phil Maguire.

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