NSW Farmers encourages the NSW Government to increase the resources to manage National Parks after announcing a target of doubling the area of additional land to be included in the National Park estate.
NSW Farmers President James Jackson said while it should be a privilege to border a National Park, too often it is the opposite for farmers in NSW due to under resourced management of feral pests and weeds and insufficient bushfire hazard reduction.
“The protection of biodiversity is a shared goal of all in NSW and a key component of achieving that is managing the land,” Mr Jackson said.
“Locked up and neglected land loses it function and jeopardises populations of vulnerable and threatened species through competitive feral pests and uncontrolled weed growth.”
“We also believe the hazard reduction policy of National Parks ignores at least 60,000 years of indigenous management through widespread cool mosaic burns that reduce the threat to flora and fauna that National Parks are tasked to protect.”
“It is vital that the NSW Government reinvest in management of the National Park estate to reverse the decline we are seeing due to the ravages of fire through lack of vegetation management. It is simply not acceptable that farmers incur significant cost in managing the invasion of pests, weeds and fires from National Parks, while public land is not adequately resourced to ensure their control.”
“The expansion of the National Park estate should be a reason to celebrate, however this will not be the case for farmers across NSW if there is not a reality check in funding and more appropriate management to ensure the land is both a benefit to the environment and community, and not a burden to farmers.”
“Making an area a National Park does not protect native species, only sound vegetation and land management provides protection,” Mr Jackson concluded.