By LOUISE AYLING
The exhibition period for the draft Kosciuszko National Park Wild Horse Management Plan has been extended by six weeks.
The NSW National Parks and Wildlife service says the high level of public interest and media attention has led them to push back the closure for community input until 5pm on Friday the 19th of August.
President for the Snowy Mountains Brumby Sustainability and Management Group Alan Lanyon says they're thankful for the extra time, but says they may still require more time to prepare submissions.
"I think that it was a gesture of reasonable good will, on behalf of the government and the office of environment and heritage. Quite possibly it may come down to the fact that getting close to that 19th of August we re-submit application for an extension again. I mean, this plan was 3 years in the making, so to expect us to- an ordinary layman - to be able to come up with a submission- an alternative document- in a very tight time frame is not a very intelligent move," he said.
While Peter Cochran from the Snowy Mountains Bush User's Group says its better than nothing.
"The Snowy Mountains Bush Users Group made a request to the Minister for Environment and Conservation to extend the period of time that residents could make submissions. I wasn't happy that the extension only goes until August- I would like to see it to go through to October, but we'll take what we are given and make sure our submissions are in," he said.
In an email to individuals who have previously expressed interest in the management of the wild horses, it was advised a great deal of misinformation in regard to the draft plan has been presented in both media reports and social media.
The email says it has been wrongly represented that the draft plan proposes to use aerial shooting or recreational hunters/shooters for ground shooting as control methods for example.
In an effort to better inform stakeholders and the community in regard to the draft plan a common Question and Answers section has been added to the ‘Protecting the Snowies’ engagement website.
The NPWS will also host a series of community ‘open house’, information and feedback sessions in relation to the draft plan in Tumut, Jindabyne and Queanbeyan and with the extension of the exhibition period, these will now be held in July.
Rhe Snowy Mountains Brumby Sustainability and Management Group is holding a community forum at the Lake Jindabyne Hotel tomorrow at 2pm.
Anyone interested in the plight of the Kosciuszko brumbies are being urged to attend, to help formulate submissions against the state's government's draft wild horse management plan.