Four members of the Milton Branch of the National Parks Association will join a walk to pressure the NSW Government to change its policies on wild horse management Kosciuszko National Park.
Liz Searle of Mollymook, Helen Moody of Ulladulla, Denise Dent of Sussex Inlet and Bawley Point’s Melanie Davies are walking from Tarago to Canberra from November 19 to 22.
It is part of the 35-day, 560-kilometre Save Kosci Walk which aims to reach the summit of Mt Kosciuszko by mid-December.
The four women said they had seen the environment damage wild horses cause and will join others from the Far South Coast in the campaign. More than 250 people have registered to walk some, or all, of the way.
When they arrive in Queanbeyan the group will rally outside the office of NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional Development, John Barilaro, and in Canberra will meet with Mike Kelly, federal MP for Eden Monaro.
Retired scientist Dr Alan Laird is one of four people, who have registered to walk the full distance.
He said “brumbies, just like deer, rabbits and pigs”, were feral animals that cause considerable damage to the national park.
“We must protect our national parks by actively managing feral animals,” Dr Laird said.
Members of numerous conservation groups, bushwalking, ski and outdoors clubs will swell the number of walkers in different sections. Other people have signed up to cook meals for the walkers, some are letting them camp on their properties, some are driving support cars.
Walk organiser, Linda Groom, said the passage of the Kosciuszko Wild Horse Heritage Act by the NSW Parliament in June was the trigger for the walk.
In 2016 the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage developed a ‘middle ground’ approach that proposed leaving a small population of brumbies that could be kept out of the most sensitive areas, but the Act rejected this compromise and has given an introduced species more protection than the native animal in Kosciuszko National Park.
“That’s a disturbing precedent for all national parks,” Ms Groom said.
For more information visit https://savekosci.org/.