The Queensland Government has confirmed it will allow starving cattle to graze in national parks.
But while it’s only a short-term solution, not everyone is happy.
Maritza Munoz reports.
It’s open season for five national parks and eight reserves.
That’s how much greenery cattle will be allowed to graze when legislation is rushed through State Parliament next week.
Northern Australia’s beef industry is struggling.
But environmental groups do not agree that national parks must be sacrificed.
Paul Donatiu, National Parks Association of Queensland: “Effectively there’s more than 90% of the state available for cattle to be grazed.”
The Government’s made it clear the biggest issue is animal welfare.
Steve Dickson, National Parks Minister: “I’m very happy to give you a gun and some bullets and you can go and shoot them. Because that’s the option. We cannot allow these animals to die in the paddock and the only humane thing would be to feed them or put them out of their misery.”
Lobby group AgForce agrees the Government’s move is necessary to feed about 25,000 starving cattle.
At this stage cattle will only be allowed to graze for six months to a year. But a major concern is whether new strategies will be implemented in time to stop this happening again.
Paul Donatiu, National Parks Association of Queensland: “We believe it’s much more appropriate to actually put the dollars that would be used for monitoring and building fences into either taking the cattle to another part of the state or into providing feed for them.”
The emergency amendments are expected to be finalised next week.
Maritza Munoz, QUT News.