ALPINE National Park fuel loads are high and a court decision to ban cattle grazing will make the situation worse, a mountain cattleman says.
Mountain Cattlemen's Association of Victoria president Charlie Lovick today said the Federal Court's decision to side with the Federal Government to ban grazing in Victoria was disappointing.
"I'm disappointed. It might be the proper decision (legally) but (Federal Environment Minister) Tony Burke made a personal bloody-minded decision against the Victorian Government.
"The trials were in the best interests of the bush.
"I'll wait to see what the Victorian Government does next."
Mr Lovick said the fuel loads within the park were increasing each year cattle weren't in the area.
"I believe there could be catastrophic damage if we don't get on top of the fuel load . . . there will be terrible consequences and to that end I say any tool to manage fuel loads is good."
He said he believed a combination of cattle grazing and fuel reduction burns were the best way to keep fuel loads down.
Mr Lovick was concerned the decision would set further grazing trials back another year which would create a greater fire risk.
Today the Federal Court rejected the Victorian Governments attempt to overturn Mr Burke's decision to stop trials involving 400 cattle.
Justice Susan Kenny dismissed the challenge, saying none of the Victorian Government's four grounds for seeking a judicial review were successful.
The trial had been promised by the Baillieu Government at the 2010 election and the Federal Government ordered the state to remove cattle from the park in 2011 after starting a scientific trial into alpine grazing and fire mitigation.
In court last August, Victorian Solicitor-General Stephen McLeish SC argued that Environment Minister Tony Burke erred in relying on reports and advice that had not been presented to him by the state government in its referral.
But Justice Kenny rejected the argument, saying the minister was entitled to consider advice from his department and to take into account the reports that he used in coming to the decision.
The judge also rejected an argument that the state government was denied natural justice.
Mr Burke had said in January last year that cattle grazing in the Alps had "clearly unacceptable risks" to ecology and species diversity, and was incompatible with values relating to aesthetics and recreational use.
In court last year, Peter Hanks QC for Mr Burke said natural justice was not denied because the additional reports and advice considered by Mr Burke were well known to the Victorian government and had previously been referred to by them.
Even if aesthetic and recreational values were not considered, Mr Burke's decision would be the same, he said.
The Victorian Government this afteroon said they were disappointed by the decision and would examine the court's findings and consider its position.
"The Victorian Coalition Government is strongly committed to the responsible long-term management of the Alpine region, particularly in relation to reducing the risk of bushfires," a statement said.