Topic: nsw govt
Every few years we have a public debate about preservation of the Snowy Mountain Parks due to wild horse populations. Just like feral camels damage the landscape.
We have been involved in this debate since the early 1990ies when 3 state MPs Smith, Schultz and Cochrane made it their mission to attack the NSW Wilderness Act 1987. The Act passed with bipartisan support but these rednecks believed in logging of public lands, high impact recreation and opposed anything proposed by the green movement. Our job was state organiser with the Wilderness Society at the time.
We caught via excellent local detective work of regional environmentalists Cochrane & Co misleading the Fahey Coalition Cabinet with a diagram showing townships and air strips in so called proposed sterilised wilderness areas. Not that we were in Cabinet, but sharp eyed Tumut residents took a photo of a diagram on local tv news and noted the false map boundaries and briefed us on the alarmist sham. We had a nick name for the land use sleaze "Horse Rorts" (a play on words of the infamous federal Minister Ros Kelly "Sports Rorts" scandal).
Cochrane MP in particular has been associated with horse riding commercial tourism interests in Kosciuszko National Park ever since.
We have kept the above cartoon and letter that ran in the News Ltd paper The Australian from15 years ago because it tells another side of the colonial story, when you remove the white arm band view of history.
That is that most horseman in the bush were Aboriginal blokes on low or no wages, and they weren't in the moutains but the plains. Second that "in the ranges horses had a very limited role" and the pioneers mostly walked. This puts a whole different view on the legendary fiction of the poem called The Man From Snowy River.
Horses, it appears, were never an integral part of the Australian Mountain heritage, they are a modern popular construct of film and literature not real history.