Bev McArthur MP, Member for Western Victoria Region, Media Release, 14 December 2021
It is impossible to imagine the stupidity of the plan to reintroduce dingoes into the Grampians – the Gariwerd National Park.
The trial proposal is part of the Greater Gariwerd Draft Landscape Management Plan – the final version of which is imminent. It is further mentioned in the recently tabled Inquiry into Ecosystem Decline in Victoria.
The Inquiry advocates that in ‘suitable Victorian ecosystems’ dingoes would reduce the number of feral animals such as cats and foxes.
But Member for Western Victoria, and Assistant Shadow Minister for Scrutiny of Government, Bev McArthur, said the only thing it will do is introduce another threat.
“This idea is so ludicrous, that when it was first floated locals didn’t take it seriously – they simply didn’t believe it was for real.
“Unfortunately, they now know how crazy and contemptuous it is, so much so that 4000 people have signed a petition to stop it happening,” Mrs McArthur said.
The national park is surrounded by some of Australia’s prime sheep and merino wool properties – including one of the most prestigious merino studs in the nation. In fact, the Hamilton area is considered the wool capital of Australia and renowned throughout the world for producing the finest of fine wools.
The threat of dingoes to these flocks is real.
“If you want to slaughter the wool industry in Australia, then take up this recommendation.
“The introduced dingoes will be hybrid-dingoes which are likely to breed with wild dog populations, further diminishing their genetic makeup.
“In other grazing areas in Australia, tens of millions of dollars are spent attempting to stop the damage that dingoes and wild dogs cause to farming.
“And yet Parks Victoria and Animal Justice MP, Andy Meddick, alongside tram-tracks-focused advisors are seriously proposing deliberately introducing this threat,” she said. It beggars belief.
On top of this, $33 million has just been spent to construct the Grampians Peaks Trail providing walking trails and camping options along the 13-day hiking track in the national park.
“Can you imagine spending this amount of taxpayer money to get people camping in the bush, and then introducing dingoes to the same area?
“On any front, anybody who thinks this is a bright idea needs to get out of Fitzroy and the City of Yarra and away from nonsensical Animal Justice Party and Greens ideology.
“Come out into the real world and see what really happens; where farmers actually do more for the environment than all the ill-informed city based politicians and bureaucrats sitting in urban offices.
“If they all focused on eradicating noxious weeds, utilised cool-burning techniques to reduce fuel loads to prevent intense bushfires, and removed feral animals in the Gariwerd – rather than introducing them – we might start to get somewhere.”
In the last sitting of the Victorian Parliament, Mrs McArthur invited the Minister for Energy and Environment, Lily D’Ambrosio, to leave Melbourne and travel west to meet the farmers and tourism operators whose livelihoods are now threatened by the Parks Victoria plan.
“Introducing dingoes to the Gariwerd is a dog of an idea. The Minister needs to understand this.”