Parks Victoria is exploring the viability of reintroducing dingoes to the Grampians to help manage pests.
The proposal, part of Parks Victoria's 172-page Greater Gariwerd Landscape Draft Management Plan, aims to help restore key species' in the region.
The plan was developed in partnership with Traditional Owners, and suggested exploring the reintroduction of dingoes to manage foxes, feral cats and rabbits, as well as reducing the number of kangaroos and wallabies.
Dingoes are thought to be extinct in the area, and the plan states they could "restore missing ecological processes" through their reintroduction.
The plan has been harshly criticized by the region's farming communities.
The plan states: "Dingoes have an important ecological role and may have the potential to support the management of overabundant macropods (kangaroos and wallabies) and to suppress cats and foxes.
"There are, however, many unknown interactions or outcomes that may result from their reintroduction to the existing state of ecosystems.
"The re-establishment of dingo or dingo-hybrid populations in the Greater Gariwerd Landscape has the potential to cause community concerns due to possible conflicts with grazing."
The Landscape Management Plan is now open for public comment.
Farmer Luke Dunn is one of many livestock farmers operating in close proximity to the Grampians.
Mr Dunn said the proposal could have negative ramifications for agriculture.
"I would question the understanding of agriculture by the people that have produced the plan," he said.
"It's largely livestock farms bordering the Grampians, as it's generally a higher rainfall zone. Lambs and sheep would be highly susceptible to dingo attacks.
"I don't see how the park could be fenced off or closed off to not allow dingoes onto private property.
"I hope the idea is knocked on the head pretty quickly, because there is no way I could see that it would work from an agricultural perspective."
Associate Professor in wildlife ecology and conservation at Deakin University Euan Ritchie said the proposal was about finding new and innovative ways to maintain healthy landscapes.
He said the reintroduction could start small, with de-sexed and GPS-tracked dingoes in areas well away from farmland.
"My understanding is it could start in an area like the Victoria Valley or Wartook Basin to see how they affect the landscape," he said.
"You could see whether it was having an effect reducing foxes, cats, deer and wild goats. Through tracking, you could also detect if they cross over the boundary and cause problems for livestock."
Mr Ritchie said it was important to take every party's perspective into account.
"Conservation is looking at new ways to control pests and keep things healthy, but we also acknowledge that we need to do that in a way where we don't threaten livelihoods and livestock," he said.
"We also want Traditional Owners to have their values, aims and goals met as well."
Barengi Gadjin Land Council on-country operations manager Stuart Harradine, who represents theWotjobaluk, Jaadwa, Jadawadjali, Wergaia and Jupagulk peoples, said the plan was about "bringing back some ecological barriers".
"Dingoes have traditionally filled a niche in the environment and they're not only an important part of how the country should work, but they're also important totem species for our people," Mr Harradine said.
"They are important concerns by farmers and we acknowledge that. We don't want that sort of thing to happen and affect people's livelihoods or income."
Victorian Farming Federation president David Jochinke said it was "difficult to imagine" dingoes focusing solely on pests, and not on nearby livestock.
"I really value the views about culturally sensitive areas and value the objectives they are trying to capture in the plan," he said.
"But we've got to take the macro and micro into account, and think about the surrounding communities as well.
"The Grampians is like an island within a whole farming community, and that needs to be considered."
Mr Jochinke hoped the VFF and farming communities would be a major part of future consultation.
"It has to be a combined effort to take all perspectives into account," he said.
"We want to be there to tell the story of our concerns and the needs of our communities.
"We also want to be a part of the decision making process from the very beginning. We don't want to be consulted after the fact.
"We need to make sure all views are considered and to try to be pragmatic about what outcomes are achieved."
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