THE saga of allowing cattle to graze on some of Queensland's national parks as a drought-assistance measure took another turn at the start of the year, with landholders accusing the State Government of reneging on an agreement to subsidise freight movements home.
David Holcroft from Peronne at Pentland said meetings had been held in Hughenden and Richmond last November with staff from national park and agriculture departments, and all attendees were of the understanding that a one-off subsidy would be available, consisting of a 100 percent rebate for breeding stock and 70pc for steers.
"It was a bit of a blow when we found out that wasn't the case," he said.
Fellow park user Robert Hacon from Euraba at Julia Creek didn't attend the meeting, but said his son Ryan had taken part and confirmed these sentiments.
"We're out of the national park but the situation is certainly not resolved," he said.
"From what I was told, the upshot of the meeting was they would pay the freight when we left the park. It was a word of mouth thing and it just hasn't come to light.
"They said they'd offered us assistance through the $20,000 freight rebate, but that's a drop in the bucket."
Mr Hacon mustered and moved his 1500 head from Nairana National Park south of Charters Towers almost a month before the controversial December 31 deadline ending of the emergency grazing measure.
He said he had been lucky enough to have some relief rain that had eased the pressure, and his cattle were still strong.
"The national park option was a way out for us, but they could have been kinder about how they went about it."
Mr Holcroft shared the grazing at Nairana with the Hacons and shifted his 750-head mob to a feedlot at Belyando at the end of 2013, to take advantage of a live export shipment.
"If we hadn't had the boats as an option, I don't know what we would have done. The December 31 deadline was just plucked out of the air. It was a time when everything was shut and there were no markets."
The Department of National Parks, Recreation, Sport and Racing has not commented on the allegations of reneging on freight assistance, other than to issue a statement saying that graziers have been provided with detailed information on subsidy arrangements, including eligibility criteria, and that they should contact the Department of Agriculture if clarification is required.
The 13 graziers involved have removed all but 130 stragglers, including cows that are calving, from the five national parks opened up for emergency grazing.