Peter Garrett speaks of urgent need to reduce horse numbers

Edwina Mason 26 December 2020 63
Peter Garrett in Kosciuszko National Park.

“To come to this place and see the damage that’s been wrought by these feral animals has broken my heart, and we need to reduce these numbers urgently,” says Peter Garrett about Kosciuszko National Park. Photo: Reclaim Kosci.

Former Federal politician, Australian rock legend and passionate Kosciuszko National Park supporter Peter Garrett has called for urgent steps to cut feral horse numbers in the park, describing their current numbers as a ‘plague’.

Following an aerial and ground inspection of the northern end of the park, accompanied by Invasive Species Council CEO and Reclaim Kosci spokesperson Andrew Cox, Mr Garrett declared that an important part of our national heritage is being wrecked by the feral invasion across a unique Alpine region.

He also called for the Australian public to get onboard with a campaign to have the damaging NSW feral horse protection law, that was enacted more than two years ago, repealed.

“I’ve spent many years in different capacities – whether as a muso, a pollie or as an environmental activist – walking around and seeing many parts of the most beautiful country on earth for me,” said Mr Garrett.

“And yet to come to this place and see the damage that’s been wrought by these feral animals has broken my heart, and we need to reduce these numbers urgently.”

Mr Garrett’s public plea is the latest in a growing chorus of calls for the NSW Government to take decisive action and repeal its horse protection act to preserve threatened native animal and plant species unique to Kosciuszko National Park.

Mr Cox warmly welcomed the latest intervention by one of Australia’s best-known musicians and environmental activists as further evidence the NSW Government should act quickly to reverse ongoing damage in the national park and begin the process of restoration.

Peter Garrett and Richard Swain in Kosciuszko National Park.

Peter Garrett was taken on an aerial and ground inspection of the northern end of Kosciuszko National Park, accompanied by Invasive Species Council Indigenous ambassador Richard Swain. Photo: Reclaim Kosci.

“As a former Federal Environment Minister, Mr Garrett added significant weight to calls for NSW to end the resumption of grazing by stealth in the park by an estimated 20,000 feral horses at the last official count,” said Mr Cox.

“Donald Trump-style calls for a recount currently being conducted at significant extra cost to NSW taxpayers could not disguise the fact that every day more than 1000 feral horses trampled Currango Plain in the headwaters of the Murrumbidgee River.”

Mr Cox said the former Currango and Coolamine stations would never have run that many horses as grazing enterprises so why is it acceptable in a national park where grazing by farmers was banned after an official inquiry more than 50 years ago?

Mr Garrett said he could see clearly from the air the damage that is being done to the streams and waterways in the crucial catchment.

“Native vegetation is being trashed and important native species are under threat simply because there are so many of these wild horses here in Kosciuszko National Park,” he said.

“It’s really important to get all of these horses reduced in number in a humane way, and make sure the environment of Kosciuszko National Park is maintained and restored.”

Mr Garrett also urged park enthusiasts and supporters to sign the Reclaim Kosci petition to get the controversial horse protection law debated and then repealed in NSW Parliament.

He said Kosciuszko National Park provided a unique environment for family recreation and enjoyment by people in different stages of their lives.

“You might be charging down the hills on your skis when you are a teenager or a young adult,” he said. “You might bring your kids out and go camping when you are a family person. You might go bushwalking when you want a bit of contemplation and quiet, and what an incredible place for all those things to happen.

“And to know we’ve now got a really large number of feral horses in the park essentially trashing and destroying it. I saw it with my own eyes – there’s no question about it.”

Mr Cox welcomed Mr Garrett’s sounding of the alarm on the state of Kosciuszko National Park and said it should be a stark warning on the need for immediate action to halt the damage and begin the urgent work of park restoration.

He also called for more public figures to follow Mr Garrett’s leadership on the environment to speak out and bring an end to feral horse vandalism in the national park.

Original Article published by Edwina Mason on About Regional.

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63 Responses to Peter Garrett speaks of urgent need to reduce horse numbers
Bill Gemmell Bill Gemmell 8:01 pm 01 Jan 21

I reckon they would make a good addition to the National compost reserve, along with feral cats and other introduced pests (like cane toads)

George Watling George Watling 12:28 pm 01 Jan 21

Round them up and rehome them.

franky22 franky22 2:04 pm 31 Dec 20

I camped at Tantangara Dam this spring – bloody horses and horseshit everywhere. Saw them in swampy areas and small creeks trampling the vegetation & eating the young green shoots. They are an abomination.

Russell Nankervis Russell Nankervis 9:05 am 31 Dec 20

Why is it so important to protect the horses?

    Darren Bryant Darren Bryant 9:45 am 31 Dec 20

    Russell Nankervis some people value sentiment/nostalgia over thousands of years of history

    Candice Bartlett Candice Bartlett 4:34 pm 31 Dec 20

    Good question!

    Zeva V Rees Zeva V Rees 6:39 am 01 Jan 21

    Russell Nankervis “pretty horsies.” That’s why.

Capital Retro Capital Retro 8:18 am 31 Dec 20

Who could forget the most infamous words Peter Garrett ever said?:

Capital Retro Capital Retro 9:20 pm 30 Dec 20

10/10 for wearing a hat Mr G. Makes you an excellent role model for bald people.

Capital Retro Capital Retro 9:18 pm 30 Dec 20

And while your at it Peter, how about culling the feral trout that have almost wiped out native fish in the highlands.

Phil Hopkins Phil Hopkins 9:10 pm 30 Dec 20

Can't wait for the song

Judy Carn Judy Carn 5:09 pm 30 Dec 20

And what would Peter Garret know......NOTHING :(

Jocelyn Dexter Jocelyn Dexter 2:48 pm 30 Dec 20

People who rant about brumbies being a pest should also rant about sheep and cattle farming destroying Australia with their hard hooves. But of course greed for meat and export money males that ok..leave the brumbies alone!

    Bek Clark Bek Clark 6:23 am 31 Dec 20

    Private property, public land; tomayto, tomarto? Critical reasoning not your thing hey?

    Zeva V Rees Zeva V Rees 6:39 am 01 Jan 21

    Jocelyn Dexter feral horses can be left alone in your paddocks. We’re all cool with that. When are you moving them in?

    Caitie JL Caitie JL 8:46 am 03 Jan 21

    You do understand grazing in kosci was stopped many many years ago for the exact reason of those hard hooves damaging the fragile soils and plants along with almost making certain plants extinct due to over grazing... which makes it easy to see why horses in kosi need to be adequately managed...

    Its not about ranting, it's about understanding the issue at hand which relates directly to a national park, not farmland.

Jayne Hooper Jayne Hooper 1:13 pm 30 Dec 20

Peter who????

Liam Thomas Liam Thomas 12:38 pm 30 Dec 20

The amount of people that are taking issue with them being culled is astounding. They are an introduced pest species that’s only been given this protection because someone who profits off the horses paid the nationals $10k. There isn’t a single shred of reason otherwise to not maintain their population. Hell even the amount of people in the national park at any given time is controlled.

Michael Langridge Michael Langridge 12:35 pm 30 Dec 20

Shoot the horses

    Adam Newman Adam Newman 1:04 pm 30 Dec 20

    Michael Langridge and that’s the way it’s gonna be little Darlin’.

    Dail Arnold Dail Arnold 10:58 pm 31 Dec 20

    Send in the military

Michael Norris Michael Norris 12:01 pm 30 Dec 20

Humans are a poor substitute for thylacoleo, but someone has to do their job.

Lee Perkins Lee Perkins 11:23 am 30 Dec 20

Sounds like we need to thin the numbers of 'woke' former celebrities.

Douglas Lumsden Douglas Lumsden 11:21 am 30 Dec 20

Another issue where science is over ruled by emotion

Ian Napier Ian Napier 11:04 am 30 Dec 20

All non-native plants and animals should be removed from all National Parks. All feral horses should be removed immediately from Kosciuszko National Park.

Jenna Vdv Jenna Vdv 10:34 am 30 Dec 20

He doesn’t even live up here

    Anura Samara Anura Samara 10:36 am 30 Dec 20

    Jenna Vdv so you have to live somewhere to be concerned about it or comment on it? National Parks are an investment for the whole country and future generations, just not for the people who live nearby.

    Michelle Fischer Michelle Fischer 10:37 am 30 Dec 20

    Jenna so by that logic, because I live in Queensland I have no business being concerned about environmental issues interstate...?

    Jenna Vdv Jenna Vdv 10:37 am 30 Dec 20

    Anura he has no idea what’s happening in the national parks. And it’s not the horses doing the damage.

    Jenna Vdv Jenna Vdv 10:37 am 30 Dec 20

    Michelle gees people can’t see the joke in my post with the gif. You must be real fun!

    John Brinsmead John Brinsmead 10:47 am 30 Dec 20

    Jenna Vdv ever thought of agisting your horses somewhere else

    Jenna Vdv Jenna Vdv 10:50 am 30 Dec 20

    John who said i own a horse?

    Billy Watson Billy Watson 10:54 am 30 Dec 20

    Jenna Vdv and that matters because? It’s not only the local residents who have a stake in the protection or destruction of this national treasure

    Jenna Vdv Jenna Vdv 10:55 am 30 Dec 20

    Billy can you see the gif? It’s called humour mate, find a sense of it

    Anura Samara Anura Samara 10:57 am 30 Dec 20

    Jenna Vdv how do you know? He has clearly partnered with those who do know what’s happening and is trusting their advice. Surely that’s what all of us do?

    Jenna Vdv Jenna Vdv 10:59 am 30 Dec 20

    Anura spend some time

    In the region, talk to the locals in the know. Understand what’s happening for yourself rather than listing to someone like Peter garret.

    Anura Samara Anura Samara 11:04 am 30 Dec 20

    Jenna Vdv the problem is that passionate local knowledge built up over generations is no substitute for science. The reality is that the horses are an introduced species like goats, foxes and pigs. If allowed to breed in the wild, they become feral. They are nit designed for that landscape so by definition will ALWAYS inflict some damage on it. I think it’s weird that people will defend feral horses but not say feral pigs.

    Julie Delves Julie Delves 11:06 am 30 Dec 20

    Jenna Vdv so what?

    Julie Delves Julie Delves 11:06 am 30 Dec 20

    Anura Samara well said

    Jenna Vdv Jenna Vdv 11:11 am 30 Dec 20

    Julie Delves can you not see the gif? It’s called a joke 🤦🏼‍♀️

    Michelle Henry Michelle Henry 9:27 pm 30 Dec 20

    Anura Samara horses don't have litters every 17 weeks

    Neenie Baines Neenie Baines 11:27 pm 30 Dec 20

    Jenna Vdv so what? Anyone with a modicum of environmental management knowledge knows those horses are doing a massive amount of damage, and need to removed.

Michelle Henry Michelle Henry 10:27 am 30 Dec 20

and the pigs, goats, deer ????

    Michelle Fischer Michelle Fischer 10:33 am 30 Dec 20

    Michelle feral pigs goats and deer are actively and aggressively culled already.

    The only ones not are feral horses.

    They need to go.

    Jenna Vdv Jenna Vdv 10:44 am 30 Dec 20

    Michelle I’m sorry but how is the ‘damage’ these ‘feral horses’ do any different to any other horse in any other paddock?

    Eric TF Bat Eric TF Bat 10:56 am 30 Dec 20

    Jenna Vdv ... Huh? Don't you know?

    Clue: the word "paddock" is a giveaway.

    Jeremy Thomas Jeremy Thomas 9:17 pm 30 Dec 20

    Jenna it’s about them being in a national park rather than a privately owned piece of land.

Nell Feneck Nell Feneck 10:22 am 30 Dec 20

Sit down Peter Garret - you sold out

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