EXCLUSIVE: CATTLE are back in Victoria's Alpine National Park today ending a controversial five-and-a-half-year ban.
Mountain cattlemen today said the Coalition Government had delivered on its election promise to allow the reintroduction of cattle to the National Park.
An official announcement is expected at this weekend's Mountain Cattlemen's Get Together at Hinnomunjie.
The Weekly Times can exclusively reveal that a group of cattlemen was permitted by Parks Victoria to return small numbers of cattle to fenced areas in the Alpine National Park today.
It will be a tightly controlled reintroduction but mountain cattlemen - who have protested and lobbied tirelessly to have grazing returned to the National Park since the Bracks Government banned it in May 2005 - have described the move as a huge windfall.
Former Mountain Cattleman's Association president Christa Treasure said a group of cattlemen and women had spent the past two days fixing fences before the cattle were mustered into the National Park today with horses.
"We just want the whole world to know that cattle are back in the Alpine National Park," she said.
"It has been a long tough road since the ban and the cattlemen have worked so hard to see it through so to see this day finally come is just fantastic."
Mrs Treasure said the mountain cattlemen had been told to keep the news under wraps until the stock were in the park to prevent any potential Federal Government injunction.
At the end of last year Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke had warned the Victorian Government that he would have the final say on the reintroduction of cattle to the Alpine National Park.
More to come.