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Victorian Alps Wild Horse Management Plan

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Welcome to the planning page for the Victorian Alps Wild Horse Management Plan.

Parks Victoria, in partnership with the Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI), is developing a Victorian Alps Wild Horse Management Plan to guide the management of wild horses and their impacts on public land in the Victorian Alps.

Project Update – Public Consultation Outcomes Now Available

The first stage of public consultation for the development of the Victorian Alps Wild Horse Management Plan is now complete. The Roundtable Group has reviewed the public consultation outcomes and provided collective advice to Parks Victoria for the development of the draft plan. Parks Victoria and DEPI are currently considering the Roundtable Group’s advice and views expressed through the public consultation process as the draft plan is prepared.

Key outcomes from the first stage of public consultation, including advice received from the Roundtable Group, public submissions and the results of a random telephone public perceptions survey, are now available on the Resources page.

More details on the consultation process are provided in the ‘Developing the Plan’ section below.

Background

Wild horses have been present in the Victorian Alps for more than 150 years, since being introduced by early European settlers. While valued by some in the community for their cultural association with the alps, populations have grown rapidly following widespread bushfires in 2003. Latest estimates suggest that in 2012 there were 8200 – 10 900 wild horses in the Victorian Alps. Wild horses pose a significant threat to the important environmental values of the Victorian Alps, including to a number of threatened species and ecological communities. The "degradation and loss of habitat caused by feral horses" is listed as a potentially threatening process under Victoria’s Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act (1988).

A series of Information Sheets and Background Papers have been prepared to assist the community with information on wild horses in the Victorian Alps and are available from the Resources page. A Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document is also available.


Developing the Plan

Developing the Victorian Alps Wild Horse Management Plan involves three stages. We are currently nearing the completion of stage 1 with public consultation for this stage completed and the draft plan in preparation.

Stage 1 - Preparation of the Draft Plan

Roundtable Group

A community based roundtable group has been established to bring together key stakeholders with varied background and experience to consider and discuss collaboratively management of wild horses in the Victorian Alps. The Victorian Alps Wild Horse Management Plan Roundtable Group consists of an independent chairperson, Duncan Malcolm AM, and a representative from each of the following organisations:

  • The Alpine Brumby Management Association
  • The Australian Trail Horse Riding Association
  • The Friends of the Cobberas
  • The High Country Tourism Industry 
  • The Mountain Cattleman’s Association of Victoria
  • The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Victoria)
  • The Victorian Brumby Association
  • The Victorian National Parks Association

The group has met four times and have provided collective advice to Parks Victoria and DEPI for the development of the draft plan. A document summarising the group’s advice to Parks Victoria and DEPI for the development of the draft plan is available on the  Resources page.

The chairperson of the Roundtable Group, Duncan Malcolm, can be contacted by email: duncan.malcolm@bigpond.com.

Interviews with Key Interest Groups

Interviews with key peak and regional interest groups were undertaken in July, prior to the development of the draft plan. The purpose of these interviews was to obtain a detailed understanding of the key issues concerning each group.

Public Submissions

Parks Victoria invited submissions on issues the public believe should be considered in the draft plan over a 30 day period. Submissions closed on Monday the 22nd of July 2013. Eighty four submissions were received during the consultation period. An analysis and summary of the submissions, together with the individual submissions are now available on the Resources page.

There will be an opportunity to comment on the draft plan later in the planning process.

Wild Horse Technical Reference Group

A Wild Horse Technical Reference Group has also been established to provide specialist/expert environmental, cultural, social and animal welfare advice on the plans proposed and their implementation.

Public Perceptions Survey

In November 2012 Parks Victoria undertook a random telephone survey of 800 Victorian residents to investigate public perceptions towards wild horses and their management in Victoria. The purpose of the survey was to develop a more thorough understanding of the range of the Victorian community’s knowledge of and attitudes towards wild horses and their management in Victoria. A web based version of the survey was also made available on the Parks Victoria website in June/July and was completed by 522 respondents. A report detailing the results of the random telephone survey is now available on the Resources page.

The collective advice of the Roundtable Group, feedback from interviews with key interest groups, advice from the technical reference group, public submissions and survey results are currently being considered as the draft plan is prepared.

Stage 2 - Release of the Draft Plan for Public Comment

Once the draft plan is completed the community will be invited to comment and make written submissions within a nominated 60 day period. A Community Open House Forum will also be held to provide information on the draft plan and seek input from the community on its contents.

Stage 3 - Finalisation of the Plan 

Parks Victoria and the Roundtable Group will analyse and consider community comments on the draft plan during the preparation of the final plan. A final review will be undertaken by the Wild Horse Technical Reference Group to provide specialist/expert environmental, cultural, social and animal welfare advice on the proposed plan. 


What’s Happening Now

Parks Victoria and DEPI are currently preparing the draft Victorian Alps Wild Horse Management Plan. Public submissions together with the collective advice of the Roundtable Group, feedback from interviews with key interest groups, advice from the technical reference group and survey results are all being considered as the draft plan is prepared.

Once the draft plan is completed the community will be invited to comment and make written submissions within a nominated 60 day period.

If you would like further information on the project please email:

AlpsWildHorsePlan@parks.vic.gov.au

Keep Up To Date

This website will be updated as the plan is developed so stay tuned. You can register for our mailing list to receive updates and more information as it becomes available by sending an email to: AlpsWildHorsePlan@parks.vic.gov.au

 

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