John Barilaro by CEBIT Australia - CC BY 2.0

John Barilaro by CEBIT Australia – CC BY 2.0

Seriously wounded and weakened NSW deputy premier John Barilaro has survived Labor’s no confidence motion.

“But there are many reasons why the people of Australia’s most populous state should remain less than confident about the member for Monaro”, Andrew Cox Reclaim Kosci spokesperson said.

1. He prefers feral species to iconic cuddly animals
Mr Barilaro is the architect of the 2018 Wild Horse Heritage Act, a law which protects feral horses in Kosciuszko National Park, which are now in record numbers and are trampling rare alpine plants, animal habitats and turning pristine alpine streams and wetlands to mudheaps.

2. He said he would manage horses numbers but keeps finding excuses not to
Prior to the 2019 NSW election, Mr Barilaro said at a public forum he would immediately halve horse numbers in Kosciuszko. Virtually no feral horse management has occurred since and their numbers are now estimated at around 20,000 – by far the highest ever number of horses in our iconic high country.

Meanwhile Mr Barilaro’s latest tactic to avoid hard management decisions is to dispute the count, which used world-leading methods to count animals in remote areas.

3. He attacks his own national parks service
The vast majority of people in New South Wales love their national parks and use them for varied forms of recreation. Mr Barilaro panders to a tiny proportion of his constituency by constantly attacking the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service. On 2GB recently he swore, then said “I’m sick to death of national parks”.

4. He undermines the very reason national parks exist
John Barilaro claimed in Parliament that his “brumby bill” doesn’t override anything in the National Parks Act. In fact his horse protection law specifically overrides the Act.

Under the horse law, core park management principles such as the “conservation of biodiversity” and the “maintenance of ecosystem function” can be swept aside.

5. He thumbs his nose at consensus
We saw it with the koala laws and we’ve seen it countless times in the past on the issue of feral horse management. Mr Barilaro repeatedly claimed he wanted “an end to conflict” on horse management yet he over-rode a consensus-based plan negotiated over three years – and replaced it with a process stacked with horse advocates.

6. He claims to represent local farmers and communities, but his real mates are developers
As revealed in today’s Sydney Morning Herald, the only representation made by Mr Barilaro in relation to the contested Koala SEPP (State Environmental Planning Policy) was not from a farmer or local community, but on behalf of a NSW property developer.

7. He just doesn’t know when to stop
Even in the face of a no-confidence motion, Mr Barilaro said in NSW Parliament this afternoon (in response to a question from the opposition leader) that he is unable to guarantee stable government in NSW by refusing to rule out further threats to withdraw from the coalition government.