Letters to the Editor || Feral goats in Oxley Park || K.J. Lowe

Many of your readers may not be aware that feral goats have been roaming the hills behind Tamworth for over 15 years. Most of the land surrounding the Tamworth Lookout, and bordering houses in North and East Tamworth, is part of Oxley Park.

In 2004 I wrote a letter to the Tamworth Regional Council outling the problems caused by goats. My Letter was not even acknowledged. I have written letters to Tamworth Regional Council in 2009, 2013, and twice this year with minimal response.

It may already be too late for Council to rectify the problems within the Park, which should have been dealt with at least 10 years ago. Many areas of Oxley Park are now devoid of vegetation (except for large trees). The goats have destroyed most grasses and shrubs over vast areas. In some places all that remains are rocks, dirt and goat poo. 

Rocks on the steeper slopes are being dislodged and silting up gullies. Goats are now moving into other Council parks, eg Hizone Park at the top of Chelmsford St, and before long they will be in residential backyards.

Vegetaton is being destroyed at a rapid rate. The drought is now killing large trees within Oxley Park so that before very long there will be ‘Oxley Desert’.

Even if goats are removed today, it will take many decades for the vegetation/bush to recover. It is highly unlikely that full recovery will occur due to the more palatable and rarer plants being grazed to extinction.

Oxley Park is a valuable asset to the people of Tamworth and to visitors who like to walk in a bush setting. Very soon this bush will no longer exist. Do we want the hills of Tamworth to resemble a hilly desert? That’s what will happen if the current situation is left unchecked. 

Urgent action is required.

Mr K.J. Lowe (President – Tamworth Bushwalking and Canoe Club Inc)