Protecting Wilderness and National Parks

Cloud Seeding in Kosciuszko National Park is a greenhouse techno-fix that won't work

"The announcement by the Minister for Agriculture, the Hon Ian Macdonald regarding cloud seeding experimentation reveals that increased resource development, not nature conservation, is the Government's management priority in our largest national park," said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.

"A similar cloud seeding research project was proposed in 1993 but was rejected following strong objections by the National Parks and Wildlife Service that claimed the proposal was incompatible with the parkís plan of management", said Mr Muir.

"Kosciusko National Park already suffers from a vast number of structures that are incompatible with the protection of natural values. Cloud seeding, which will manipulate the Parks climate, requires the installation of many giant propane cylinders and burners in remote areas," Mr Muir said.

"These structures will not only detract from the enjoyment of park users but are likely to increase the rain shadow over Monaro Tableland, a fear which local graziers have already expressed. The experiment seeks a techno-fix for climate change that will bring a host of environmental problems," he said. "In addition to cloud seeding, the Government last week introduced into Parliament legislation that will hand over two key roads in Kosciuszko National Park to the Roads and Traffic Authority. This transfer will enhance vehicle access and encourage ski resort development," he said.

"These two decisions signal that protection of national parks and wilderness are not a priority for Government's management of this park. While Jagungal wilderness is not proposed to be used in the climate change experiment, no doubt other wilderness areas will be affected as the proposal covers a very large area of the park," Mr Muir said.

"Enough money and time has been wasted on cloud seeding experiments over the years with no conclusive results. The Foundation urges the Government to reject both the cloud seeding and road transfer proposals as being detrimental to the park," said Mr Muir.

For more information contact: Keith Muir, (02) 9261 2400 (wk) or 9550 3615 (ah)