Bil­lTil­ley says deer and not brumbies the big­gest threat

Mt Hotham Falls Creek - - NEWS -

BILL Til­ley (MLA, Be­nam­bra) has told the Vic­to­rian Par­lia­ment that deer and not brumbies are the big­gest threat to the alps.

This comes in the wake of En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter Lily D’Am­bro­sio re­leas­ing her plan for feral horses that will see the brumby pop­u­la­tion on the Bo­gong Plains, near Falls Creek, most likely shot and buried on site.

The min­is­ter be­lieves there are about 100 brumbies on the high plains, per­haps 2000 fur­ther to the east and closer to NSW.

The deer pop­u­la­tion in these re­gions is es­ti­mated at about 700,000.

Mr Til­ley told the Vic­to­rian Par­lia­ment that had the min­is­ter ever vis­ited the Bo­gong High Plains or Falls Creek then she would know that feral horses are not the prob­lem.

“The min­is­ter will tell you it is ter­ri­ble – there are 100 brumbies close to Falls Creek – lo­cals will tell you there’s a black stal­lion with a mob of 20,” Mr Til­ley said.

“But lo­cals will also tell you that deer num­bers are out of con­trol … con­ser­va­tively 700,000 in the high coun­try alone.”

Mr Til­ley said ex­pe­ri­enced high coun­try horse­men can no longer find the brumbies on the high plains but deer were run­ning ram­pant.

“An up­per Kiewa Val­ley farmer showed me night vi­sion of his pad­docks that back onto the na­tional park on just one night in May… there were 177 deer on the place,” he said.

“It is deer who are the real threat…deer are turn­ing the moss beds into wal­lows; deer are pos­ing a threat to mo­torists; deer are re­mov­ing the bark from the snow gums.”

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