8 October 2014
The Napthine Government missed a once in 5 year, golden opportunity to take a massive step forward for river health in Victoria when it issued renewal notices for 10,000 grazing licences on public land on river banks last week, says Environment Victoria.
“Livestock grazing is the number one manageable threat to river health in the state but licences have been renewed without any prospect of change to their conditions,” says Juliet Le Feuvre, Environment Victoria Healthy Rivers Campaigner.
“It’s deeply disappointing that the Napthine Government has made no effort to improve the condition of our river banks. These biodiversity hotspots are a precious natural asset and Victoria is incredibly fortunate that so much of our riverbanks have been reserved as public land.”
“With the licences due for renewal, the Napthine Government had the opportunity to establish a comprehensive program to assist landholders to fence off the public land from their properties and install off-stream watering for stock. They have the money available to fund it from the environmental contribution all Victorians pay through their water bills.”
“Instead they chose to allow stock access to public land to continue to degrade our rivers.”
“Excluding livestock and revegetating riverbanks is the number one achievable action to improve the health of our rivers and has great benefits for water quality as well as for wildlife. It’s even a benefit for farmers themselves with better stock management and health and increased property values.”
“By making this business-as-usual decision the Napthine Government is continuing its shocking record of complete disregard for the environment. It has passed up another opportunity to improve the health of our precious rivers. They need all the help they can get as less than 25% of them are in good condition.”
“The Napthine Government has one last chance to come good for rivers by committing to a comprehensive riparian restoration program ahead of the state election.”
“Environment Victoria is calling on all political parties to show leadership and commit to a fully funded program to remove livestock form river banks.”
Juliet Le Feuvre is available for comment.
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