You couldn’t miss the protests earlier this month over grazing rights in Victoria’s Alpine National Park. Hundred of high country cattlemen and women on horseback rallied outside State Parliament in Melbourne in their best Person from Snowy River gear, claiming the Victorian Government’s decision to ban cattle from the park had destroyed their way of life.

What didn’t get much coverage was the way in which people – including National Parks and Department of Sustainability and Environment staff – had been working with cattlemen for two years on a strategy and recommendations for viable cattle grazing in the high country.

The cattle announcement came through on 24 May – and another interesting bit of news came through the following day, hidden in a media release about road funding from the East Gippsland Shire Council quoting Mayor Cr Jane Rowe:

Cr Rowe said the opportunity to seal the road at a realistic price has followed the announcement by energy supplier Southern Hydro that it plans to construct a power station on leased land within the Alpine National Park.

“Large quantities of rock will be removed during the tunnelling works for their project and Southern Hydro has offered this rock free for use in the road sealing,” she said.

That’s better than grazing?