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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Thursday, 17 January 2008
Is Peter Cochrane increasing the risk of equine flu outbreak?
Mood:  incredulous
Topic: nsw govt

Picture: A letter to the editor some 12 years old now and still a cracker everytime we read about Peter Cochrane ex MP and his brumbies.


We notice "the vaccuum" as Sue Cato of 702 abc radio spin doctors puts it, a media season generating quite a few stunts and fillers, some of them Big Media generated but also sneaky pollies.

We've had the water tanks on Parliament House by Nathan Rees MP Minister for bottled electricity ... err delivery of the hugely expensive, vandalistic desalination plant.

We've had Peter Garrett MP on the ice runway in Antarctica, and before that reviving the junk the plastic bag agenda. And again with the Chinese fossils homeward bound.


But Peter Cochrane, ex Nationals NSW MP is possibly our favourite so far, ever since we helped expose him misleading a NSW Coalition party room while a national party MP in the early 1990ies: By producing maps of so called "inaccessible by terrain" of the Kosciuszko area.

This was his way of claiming govt bureaucrats were destroying freedom and the Australian way of life by declaring even more wilderness areas when viewed in aggregate that excluded horse trails. Seems the "inaccessible by terrain" areas via a picture off the local regional tv (when he flashed the diagrams), had the odd township, airport and other sundry trafficable areas that the city slickers wouldn't second guess. But they di via deft work of concerned local conservationsists who took that picture off the tube.

From about that time on Premier John Fahey seemed to go very cold on the crusading Cochrane MP on his backbench and his anti green clique, and the lot of them were turfed out in March 1995, in no small part to such as Peter Cochrane's vehement anti environmentalism. At the time we named this the Cochrane 'horse rorts scandal, after the more famous Ros Kelly 'sports rorts' whiteboard scandal at federal level.

Now we have this story below beating for all its worth in quiet radio time too, which either omits or glosses some salient facts:

1. Cochrane as a commercial horse trekker has a clear financial conflict of interest with the public interest;

2. Given his record above he really does lack credibility;

2. After the huge and costly inconvenience of the equine flu outbreak perhaps the Big Media might question whether the brumbies are carriers of the flu, and whether Cochrane's threat to mingle is putting the livestock and hobby industry in peril ... all over again? But they don't have the equine flu, we predict he will say. But how does he know for sure?

Here is the Herald reportage: Anger at Brumbies cull 16 Jan 2008, but it's also run on ABC radio too:

Date: January 16 2008


RENEWED calls for a cull of wild brumbies in Kosciuszko National Park have prompted a former National Party MP to act as a human shield by riding among the herds.

But the NSW Parks and Wildlife Service yesterday said no cull was being considered, and that horses in the park could be effectively managed by trapping and moving some of them.

The former federal National Party member for Monaro Peter Cochran, who owns a commercial horseriding operation in the area, said he would do whatever it took to stop horses being taken away.

"If it means that we get in amongst the brumbies to make sure they don't go in to the traps, then we'll do that. If it means we have to get in the way of aerial shooting, we'll do that," Mr Cochran told ABC radio.

The brumbies are blamed for trampling native vegetation and destroying waterways in the park, and the National Parks Association of NSW yesterday called for a resumption of aerial shooting, which was banned six years ago after a public outcry.

The Parks and Wildlife Service has prepared a draft plan for trapping and managing the horses. It will be considered by the Government. If approved, it will be adopted in March, and trapping would then resume.

Ben Cubby


Posted by editor at 5:10 PM EADT
Updated: Thursday, 17 January 2008 6:36 PM EADT

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