Wild Horse Management in Kosciuszko National Park

Jenny spoke in opposition to the bill introduced by the Nationals.


Ms JENNY LEONG (Newtown) (19:10): I speak on behalf of The Greens on the Kosciuszko Wild Horse Heritage Bill 2018 introduced by The Nationals. The Greens oppose the bill. When it comes to the protecting of our national parks and our wildlife, The Nationals have no credibility and cannot be trusted. This bill requires the Chief Executive of the Office of Environment & Heritage to prepare a draft wild horse management plan for the Kosciuszko National Park. This plan must identify the heritage value of sustainable wild horse populations within certain parts of the park and how to protect the park. This plan must include the advice of the Wild Horse Community Advisory Panel, which is also established by this bill and is a panel of at least six members appointed by the Minister.

The plan will be exhibited and then carried out. The heritage plan will prevail over any plan of management for the park. The Greens recognise the damage caused by wild horses to the natural and sensitive environment of Kosciuszko National Park. The bill will legislate to keep wild horse populations in the park permanently, and that is unacceptable. The Wild Horse Community Advisory Panel seems designed to be stacked against control of the wild horse population, with no dedicated ecologist position. The New South Wales Greens support a scientific approach to the control of the wild horse populations in the Kosciuszko National Park and the reduction of harm caused by invasive species to the ecological values of the park.

Invasive species must be managed humanely by encouraging non-lethal methods, while ensuring that if lethal measures are used as a last resort they must be used humanely and through professional, effective and scientifically proven methods. We believe it is critically important to invest in non-lethal methods that can improve animal welfare outcomes while ensuring environmental protection. I foreshadow that The Greens will move amendments to the bill in the upper House. To make it clear, I will end how I began: when it comes to the protection of our natural environment, when it comes to animal welfare, The Nationals in this place have no credibility and cannot be trusted.

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