Labour’s six point plan to save Kosciuszko National Park and manage the wild horse population

Good news. The following is taken from a statement put out today (29 May) by Penny Sharpe MLC Shadow Minister for the Environment. Labour’s six-point plan to save Kosciuszko National Park and manage the wild horse population:

  • Ensure that the plan of management of Kosciuszko National Park is the primary management document to guide the operation of the park;
  • Restore resources to the National Parks and Wildlife Service cut by the Liberal-National Government to protect the park’s pristine environment and threatened species;
  • Minimise the impacts of pest species (both plants and animals) through adequately funded and effective control programmes. This includes wild pigs, dogs, deer and horses;
  • Conduct a scientific assessment and count of the horse population in consultation with key stakeholders;
  • Ensure wild horses are acknowledged for their cultural value by retaining a smaller population in the park where degradation is less critical, and manage the horse population guided by the extensive work that produced the 2016 Draft Wild Horse Management Plan to:
    1. Increase resources and research capacity for humane population control measures such as fertility control;
    2. Establish a formal and well-resourced rehoming program for wild horses to rapidly increase the number of horses able to be rehomed outside of the park;
    3. Ensure that large horse populations do not lead to starvation and the poor animal welfare outcomes of mortality from starvation;
    4. Ensure that horse populations in identified sensitive landscapes are actively managed to protect the fragile alpine habitat and threatened plant and animal species; and
    5. Maintain the ban on aerial culling to continue humane animal welfare standards.
  • Repair the mountain catchments – establish a highly-trained Kosciuszko works crew dedicated to halting erosion in the mountain catchments and restoring and repairing the current eroding slopes, wetlands and mountain streams. This work will restore the best possible water delivery from the catchments to the Snowy Scheme and for downstream farmers, towns and cities.