Sunday, April 13, 2008

National Parks Association conference in Sydney

Australia's historic network of travelling stock routes is facing an uncertain future, as money for their maintenance runs out and farmers over-graze them.
A National Parks Association conference in Sydney has heard the Queensland Government is considering long-term leases for some inactive routes, while the New South Wales Government is discussing plans to sell off parts of its network to raise funds.
Ecologist Bob Sutherst, from the University of Queensland, says neither state government is charging enough to use the routes, which will ultimately destroy them for future generations.
"The current income from grazing stock is just insufficient to cover the costs," he says.
"The figure we've heard is, in Queensland, the travelling stock rates are about one cent per animal per day.
"There's talk about getting up to something like 20 cents per animal but that's still far less than NSW currently charges and that, in itself, is even less than normal commercial rates."

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