Environment Group Bogus: foundation  

6 December 1977 The Canberra Times

An environmental organisation which believes that grazing, forestry and mining should be permitted in national parks was described as a "bogus conservation organisation" yesterday by the Australian Conservation Foundation.

The national director of the foundation, Dr Geoffrey Mosley, said from Melbourne that the Association for Regional Parks and Countryside Commissions of Australia Inc was "about 150 years out of date".

"Their real reason for existence is to try to get sheep, cattle, foresters and miners into the national estate", he said. "This is under the facade of a genuine conservation organisation.

"I think it is a fair charge against these people that they have the kind of viewpoint that what is needed to be done to the Australian countryside is to tame it like they did at the beginning of colonialism by Europeans". They could see beauty only through the eyes of an Englishman.

The association had its origins at a public meeting in Tumut in June. Its research secretary and guiding tight is a South Australian rural landowner, Mr Oliver Moriarty, who believes that grazing in national parks reduces bushfire risk.

This view has been upheld by the landowners' Neighbours of National Parks Association, the Mountain District Cattlemen's Association in Victoria, the Snowy Mountains Stockmen's Association and timber producers.

Dr Mosley said Mr Moriarty had been quoted, in two Tasmanian news papers recently on assertions that limestone mining would improve the Precipitous Bluff wilderness. He had argued that mining would provide access for bushwalkers and merely accelerate the erosive forces of nature.