A TRIAL of high country cattle grazing would be supported by its major opponents if held outside the Alpine National Park.
Victorian National Parks Association spokesman Phil Ingamells said Environment Minister Ryan Smith should have considered such a move in 2011 when the Coalition fulfilled an election promise to allow cattle back into the park in a bushfire mitigation trial.
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The trial, later overruled by federal Environment Minister Tony Burke, came five years after the former state Labor government banned cattle from grazing the park because of environmental concerns.
"We were happy to have discussions with the minister about an alpine grazing trial, as long as the possible trial was outside the park," Mr Ingamells said.
"There's no reason why the trial couldn't be outside the park."
Mr Smith said he had asked the VNPA to review Victoria's alpine grazing trial, before it was blocked last year.
Mr Smith said he was disappointed the VNPA refused.
But Mr Ingamells said the VNPA would not have reviewed the trial as it did not support it being inside the park.
Mr Smith, asked if the Government would now consider a trial outside the park in a comparable alpine area, did not rule it out entirely, but said: "The commitment to undertake a scientific trial in this (park) region ... took into account the cultural and heritage connection of the land to the high country cattlemen and the fact that given the land had been grazed, prior to 2005, for around a century, it provided a real opportunity to achieve an evidence-based, long-term comparison."
The Weekly Times understands a grazing trial outside the park would not be subject to federal environment law.
Mountain Cattlemen's Association of Victoria president Charlie Lovick said it was "difficult to see what a trial outside of the park would achieve and if it would produce meaningful results and if grazing produces any significant, detrimental environmental impact".
The cattlemen are counting on the Coalition winning this year's federal election and allowing the state to run the trial.
Opposition environment spokesman Greg Hunt said "if elected, we would consider any proposal on its merits".