YOU SAY: If it’s good enough for Banjo, that should be good enough

HISTORY: The president of the Mountain Cattlemens Association of Victoria wants to preserve brumbies in the Bogong High Plains. Email us: letters@bordermail.com.au
HISTORY: The president of the Mountain Cattlemens Association of Victoria wants to preserve brumbies in the Bogong High Plains. Email us: letters@bordermail.com.au

Mountain cattlemen are angry with the Victorian government’s announcement to exterminate every brumby from the Bogong High Plains.

The Bogong High Plains are vast and iconic. The small mob of brumbies that run on the plains (estimated less than 100) cause minimal impact to that vast area but are a significant part of the heritage that makes the plains so special to visitors.

With any debate about public land there should be a balance and keeping the small mob on the plains should be part of that balanced management for cultural, heritage and tourism reasons.

The Bogong High Plains are one of the few places in the park that the visiting public can gain a glimpse of the brumbies and such an experience is very exciting and rewarding even to hardened and experienced bushpeople.

The MCAV has supported the need to reduce numbers of horses in other parts of the Alpine Park, such as near the NSW border where numbers are increasing to levels where there is impact on the environment. That area is mostly closed up to the public so glimpses of horses are rare.

It is interesting that the Government has chosen to introduce emotional language, naming the brumbies “feral horses” to justify this extermination of a cultural icon in the Bogongs.

If it was good enough for Banjo Patterson, Elyne Mitchell, Jackie French and Alison Lester to write about the brumby, it’s good enough for modern day Victoria to continue to call them brumbies.

We are losing enough of our history and traditions to please minority groups as it is.

Graeme Stoney, president of the MCAV

An ‘own goal’ from Labor

Tony Abbott said this week that he believed if there were an election now, the Coalition would win. I think he is right. Not because the government has done anything right, arguably they haven’t, but because of Labor’s “own goal”. 

Labor’s proposed changes to dividend imputation credits will alienate all Australian voters. Even voters who don’t own shares or are not directly affected by this brutal tax grab will be annoyed by the unfairness of the measures which will discriminate against those who have worked hard to provide for their own retirement, they feel demonised, victimised, and penalised. 

Traditionally seniors have tended to stick with their party over the years even when they don’t always agree with it. But not this time. Retirees could suddenly lose up to $7000 each and every year from their income. Labor won’t get their vote after that. 

Several associations have formed the “Alliance for a Fairer Retirement System”. The Australian Shareholders’ Association, Australian Listed Investment Companies Association, National Seniors Australia, SMSF Association, Self-managed Independent Superannuation Funds Association and Stockbrokers & Financial Advisers Association have formed the Alliance to work together on this important issue. More groups like the Association of Independent Retirees (AIR) are expected to join the Alliance shortly. 

These associations represent millions of senior Australians, shareholders, self-funded retirees and those planning a sustainable retirement, including over one million members of self-managed super funds. This issue will not go away. Goodbye Labor’s hopes of a win at the next election. 

Len Shefford, Thurgoona

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