Park burn-off bureaucracy gone mad

CATTLE farmers bordering the Moorrinya National Park, 90km south of Torrens Creek, are fighting to stop Queensland Parks and Recreation from conducting a scheduled burn off next week.
Nanjing Night Net

Graziers watching their cattle struggle to survive in severe drought conditions have signed a petition to stop the burning and allow cattle onto the national park land, an opportunity afforded to other producers north of Hughenden and the Upper Burdekin in recent days.

John Glimore from Cranford Station, adjacent to the park, said an email notifying graziers of the scheduled burn-off added insult to injury.

“They haven’t given a definite date but the neighbours said they emailed them saying they’d burn it off next week,” he said.

“That’s called rubbing salt into the wound – they’re going to burn it off while hungry cattle watch from the other side of the fence.”

Mr Gilmore spoke at the Richmond Beef Crisis Summit on Tuesday, telling of the distress farmers faced every year watching good fodder on the parklands burn up.

While the petition to halt back-burning at Moorrinya circulated yesterday, two producers north of Hughenden had more reason to rejoice after the Newman Government accepted their requests to run cattle on Blackbraes Resources Reserve, 170km north of Hughenden.

National Parks Minister Steve Dickson said while grazing on national parks tenures remained prohibited under the Nature Conservation Act, other tenures may be made available for such use on some occasions.

“The reason these farmers require hardship grazing is because their situations are dire and urgent and accordingly the department agreed to make the property available for a short time,” he said.

“Wildfires late last year, exacerbated by prolonged drought conditions, have destroyed grazing fodder on pastoral holdings near Blackbraes Resources Reserve, north of Hughenden.

“This is not a solution which will always be available and will always be decided on a case-by-case basis, however I am glad to be able to offer help in this instance, when it’s needed most by Queensland farmers.”

Hughenden mayor Gregory Jones said allowing cattle to chew down over-grown grasses on national parks like Blackreas could actually remove the need for a burn-off.

“Normally they don’t look after the national parks so at least somebody is in there chewing the grass down and helping stop the fire hazard,” he said.

“It’s good to see they (the government) are using their brains a bit to use the cattle take care of the place.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.