Ratepayers are angry
The Mount Buffalo Chalet is owned by the people of Victoria and is therefore a state government concern, this being confirmed by Parks Victoria. This leaves the ratepayers of Alpine Shire rightfully and legitimately angry that money that should be directed towards necessary infrastructure works within the Shire is being re-directed to a problem that is outside of their mandate.
It also brings into question the whole shire involvement including the commissioning of the Price Waterhouse Coopers feasibility study costing $186,000.
Since Saturday’s article Community Action for the Chalet has posted that this $2 million-plus cafe, which would irreparably damage the magnificent front rooms, is “just an interim step” and this is “ahead of refurbishing” the north wing of the building, including the kitchen and the original and much loved Mansfield’s Cafe. We are all stunned that they would consider ruining the stunning front rooms for a temporary fix instead of putting this money directly into Mansfield’s Cafe.
Richard Rhodes, Wangaratta
Deer changes a start
NSW Farmers cautiously welcome the NSW government’s announcement regarding new rules for deer hunting, and call on the government to continue to work with landholders to implement stronger measures that effectively manage increasing deer numbers.
The changes remove certain conditions which had prevented activities such as hunting at night or the use of spotlights, electronic devices, aircraft or motor vehicles. They also remove the ‘open season’ conditions which had governed when certain species could be hunted. Some of the areas worst affected by deer were already exempted from these rules, however this announcement represents a state-wide lift.
The new rules for deer hunting in NSW are a step in the right direction, but effective management cannot be achieved unless deer are given pest status. These changes remove onerous conditions and standardise requirements across the state, however unless deer are classified as a pest we are going to struggle to make any meaningful impact.
Deer are not native, they generate significant costs to landholders and pose serious biosecurity risks - in any other case this would warrant pest status. Allowing deer to be exempt from pest status under a special ‘game’ classification appears to favour the recreation of hunters over the livelihood of farmers.
If a control campaign is to be successful, every private and public landholder needs to do their part. However the Local Land Services are not able serve pest control orders for game animals, meaning there is no way of making recalcitrant landholders comply.
NSW Farmers has closely monitored the roll out of the regional pest plans and will continue to advocate for a collaborative, coordinated and pragmatic approach by all parties involved in pest management.