JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


The Skeptics Handbook

Think it has been debunked? See here.

The Skeptics Handbook II

Climate Money Paper


Advertising

micropace


GoldNerds

The nerds have the numbers on precious metals investments on the ASX



Peter Spencer’s story is getting media (finally)

What’s interesting is that finally–after 45 days without food–Peter Spencer is starting to get some serious national attention. Today Tonight is a prime time “current affairs” show and this cover was fairly sympathetic. The British Financial Times has also run a story, both of these were serious enough to actually interview Peter Spencer. Finally it seems there is some investigation. A few new facts have been filled in, and also a very strong theme linking his actions to the Kyoto agreement.

The saddest point is that Peter Spencer has been trying to get some attention for at least three years, and probably over a decade. He wrote The War On Farmers in January 2006 and it lays it all out. He was already facing foreclosure in 2006.

The farm consists of about 14,000 acres, about 60 per cent of which was cleared before World War II. When I bought it in the 1980s, I had been working overseas to earn the money to buy the place. Unfortunately, I was unable to farm it for some time so extensive regrowth occurred. When I returned to Australia to begin to farm, I found that various laws to preserve native vegetation had been enacted in the meantime, and I was unable to “reclear” the land.

I could have applied for permission to clear, but not only was it unlikely this would have been granted, at that time it would have cost us over $300,000 merely to prepare the necessary farm plan. This was because of the number of different ecosystems present due to the 900 metre altitude variation on the property. There would have been no refund if the plan was rejected. It should be pointed out that under the just-released regulations (December 1, 2005) this cost would now be paid by the relevant department.

The result was that I was left with only 800 acres to farm: not nearly enough to live off and a financial catastrophe. The bank foreclosed on our mortgage and at the moment we are barely hanging on, thanks to the help of our extended families.

So three years later, what does a man whose land has been confiscated by the government have to do to get our media to stand up and pay attention, and focus some hard public questions on our elected representatives? He has to lose 40 kilograms and risk his life.

This is why we need to stand up and demand a healthy, investigative media. Spencer should have been the subject of feature articles years ago. If they had done their job then, he might not be so desperate, or destitute, now.

Today Tonight “Farmer Protest”

As a part of Australia’s commitment to protect native vegetation and to reduce carbon emissions under the Kyoto protocol, Peter Spencer and thousands of farmers like him, have been subjected to a government imposed ban on land clearing.

The saved trees are natural carbon sinks worth an estimated $10.8 billion to the government in reduced carbon emissions, should Kevin Rudd’s emissions trading scheme go ahead. But the farmers, who can no longer develop this land have received no compensation.

Says Peter: “Mr Rudd, how dare you tell me that you’ll just carry on breaching the constitution when I’ve followed every path known, I wrote to you two years ago and said, ‘don’t throw that excuse up to me in 2 years time’ – I knew he would pass the buck. How dare you work outside the constitution, wake up to yourself. It’s just not on. I’m not here to try and threaten you, I’m trying to get this country back on track.”

Peter King is Peter Spencer’s barrister. Before any hunger strike, the two Peters spent years fighting for compensation in the courts – to no avail.”

Peter King by the way, is a barrister and Rhodes Scholar, and was elected to the seat for Wentworth in Sydney. After only two years, he was ousted by none other than Malcolm Turnbull in a vicious preselection battle. Curious how these things go.

The constitutional legalities

“It’s my opinion, and I’ve offered that in support of Peter Spencer’s case, that it is unconstitutional for this reason. That there has been an acquisition of his land and that’s now been acknowledged by the lower courts, that there’s been a benefit to the Commonwealth, both in terms of an interest in his land and in terms of financial outcomes. And it hasn’t been paid for. Now in our country, under our constitution, the notion that we have, that is fundamental to our democracy, is that nobody loses his or her or its land unless it’s been paid for,” Peter King said.“What the Commonwealth did, before I came into the case, was to move to have it dismissed as being, as there being no case. I came into the case and we repeated the matter and the judge held that there was a case but then the Commonwealth moved in March of 2008, interestingly enough, shortly after the Kyoto Protocol commenced in operation in Australia, to have the whole case dismissed under a discretionary power that judges have in the Federal Court. And so that was to prevent the case from going to a hearing,” Peter Spencer said.

This poll question is rather loaded and it’s no surprise the results are predominantly “yes”. The serious question the government is trying to frame is “Why make policy because of threats?”, which seems eminently reasonable on face value, but ignores the point that a bad unconstitutional policy is still a bad unconstitutional policy.

Poll: Should the Prime minister meet with Peter Spencer?

(People overseas and in WA can’t join this poll)
Yes – Phone or text 1902 558 770
No – Phone or text 1902 558 771

Australian hunger striker fights farming ban

[Financial Times] By Peter Smith in Sydney   Published: January 5 2010

Peter Spencer is scathing about the country’s prime minister and his campaign to cut the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions. “I want the world to know that while Kevin Rudd is strutting the world stage crowing about how he met his Kyoto commitments, he has been stealing from Australian farmers,” the 61-year-old sheep farmer told the Financial Times as the wind crackled down the phone line.

With barely 10 per cent of his property cleared, the determined father of six has been fighting federal and state authorities for the best part of a decade for the right to clear an additional 30 per cent of his 8,000-hectare property for sheep farming.

Mr Spencer argues the clearing ban violates his constitutional rights because the government has rendered his land commercially unviable. He says desperate other farmers have been driven to suicide and has written to Mr Rudd calling for a Royal Commission to examine the issue and for fair compensation for farmers.

Finally a letter from Peter’s neighbor to Senator Heffernan

This was copied from the Agmates site but it can be hard to find there, so I’ve reproduced it here. It’s not media coverage, nor is it “science”, but if you are interested in who the man is, this has some insights.

Senator Heffernan,

Firstly I would like to state that I am a ‘Peter Spencer Supporter’ [but number one a Family Friend] and I guess one of the ones that you referred to when you said and I quote ”I think it’s barbaric that we’re all sitting around here wondering how long the bloke is going to last … I think they, absolutely this afternoon, should go and get him, and take him to hospital,’‘ I would just like to help you try and understand the type of man Peter Spencer really is, a man that has the guts and the courage in standing up for what he truly believes in. Peter is a very passionate and determined man especially when dealing with anything that he truly believes in and especially when it concerns his family and will follow it through as far as he is physically able and he unfortunately is not afraid of death.

I have known Peter since 1989 when I became one of the Spencer Family’s next door neighbours and the two families spent a lot of time together especially the children as living 42 kilometers from the nearest town..

In those days Peter spent a lot of time in the highlands of Papua New Guinea as he had various… tourism accommodation type businesses and had been operating them for 10-15 years prior to us knowing him. Peter is/was accepted as a Chief in one of the Highland Tribes in Papua New Guinea and has been known to be called in by the then Papua New Guinea Government to negotiate peace between the two… fighting tribes putting his own life on the line in these situations but coming out with very positive results. In 1996/97 there was a riot at his Hotel in Mt Hagan where rascals tried to rob and burn his Hotel, Peter was taken captive and placed on his knees with hands tied behind his back and a gun placed at his head, fortunately for Peter the gun misfired and in the rascals confusion he was able to escape.

I guess my point being in all this is that Peter Spencer while he has ANY control will not come down from that tower, come hell or high water it won’t get him down, he’s that type of man fighting for what he truly believes in, and that scares the hell out of me and my family, let alone what his own kids Aaron, Khan, Sarah & Emma are going through. They flew out from America to be with him…

Yes! It is barbaric that we’re all sitting around here wondering how long Peter is going to last. BUT! not all of us have been voted into a position by the trusting people of this Great Nation and have the power to help Peter put pressure on Rudd to talk to him at the very least.”

Thanks to Peter,  Pat and Linda for updates.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)
Peter Spencer's story is getting media (finally), 10.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

Tiny Url for this post: http://tinyurl.com/y8qxwf8

39 comments to Peter Spencer’s story is getting media (finally)

  • #

    He who is free, never submits.
    He who submits, was never free.


    Report this

    00

  • #

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Vt Conservative, ClimateGate_RT. ClimateGate_RT said: JoNova: Peter Spencer’s story is getting media (finally) http://bit.ly/5ZVPlw #climategate [...]


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Treeman

    Well said Lionell.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    KDK

    How do these people get into office? It is certainly indoctrination, and more of this to come unless we, the people, force our ‘media’ and gov to promote truths; the ‘schools’ teaching gore’s BS as fact should be illegal. We can prove his nonsense is fiction… PROVE it, yes, we can and there it is, in the ‘school’ system.

    The only hope one has is to homeschool your kids, and that will require a sacrifice parents, in one way or another, whether money or time, you are the parents and the responsibility is YOURS. Letting the state indoctrinate is NOTHING short of irresponsibility and, certainly, confusion.

    Wish times had not changed and people still believed in what they saw with their own eyes, instead of believing the idiot box and the PAID propagandists. Pitchforks and torches should still be used and they may before the next few years expire. Lies, lies and more lies along with manipulation for profit for the few MUST and SHOULD come to light. AGW is a fraud and allows for RULERS/KINGS not representatives.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    P Gosselin

    I’ve had to work with environmental regulation here in Germany. You’re not allowed to do anything with “your private property” without the government first making sure that you don’t impact some toads, birds, insects, etc. They can can decide, as they wish, whether or not to allow you to put up a shed or garage.
    Environmentalism is the end of feeedom and the re-beginning of bondage.Today there’s nowhere you can go to get away from it.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Henry chance

    The return of slavery and serfdom. People seeking freedom and opportunity really don’t want to go to australia.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Lawrie

    I had the priviledge of attending the Canberra rally and visiting Peter on his “Tower of Hope”. You can find the tower on Google Earth at 35deg 58′ 13.59″ S and 149deg 01′ 36.58″ E. Most of the journalists who attended the rally and those who made the trip to Peters were quite moved not only by Peters story but by the effect the laws were having on farmers and landowners everywhere. The reporter from Channel Sevens Today Tonight, James, made the climb with his cameraman to Peters eerie so as to speak directly. Gutsy effort and he should be congratulated along with those reporters who are writing these stories. Sydney Morning Herald and Age excluded. Aunty ABC sent some young girl just out of school. Pathetic but expected. As one farmer told her and the other MSM; we have no other news service where we live and so it’s vital that the ABC give us news, not just government propaganda but all the news. Most MSM were not aware that the NV laws have directly or indirectly been responsible for some 550 suicides by farmers. Often other factors played a role but NV was the final straw. It was interesting that a number of protesters were not farmers but had immigrated here from central european nations to get away from socialism. As they said; we have seen what happens and we tried to leave it behind but now it finds us here.

    While Peter has been the catalyst it really is up to us by whatever means to spread the news about NV laws and the myriad rules and regulations that strangle common freedoms. Lionnel above summed it up. I will be involved by collating stories of hardship caused by the green sponsored and sociallist inspired NV laws in the hope that the individuals involved will know that they are not alone and that they have support. If any of our readers have stories that are verifiable and accurate I can be contacted through these pages initially.

    While these NV laws primarily affect farmers they also impact on timber workers, private woodlots and even suburban back yards. Dangerous trees that are unable to be removed until they fall and cause unnecessary destruction and in several cases injury and death. Few people are truly free of these laws but are not aware how they are impacted until it is too late.

    The ridiculous aspect of this attack on landowners is that most want to do the right thing by the environment. Landcare was a valuable aid in this respect but Rudd did away with it. He and his state Labor premiers prefer the big stick approach over carrots and co-operation. He pays more attention to environmental elites over experienced land managers. My cousin owns property in a valley popular with educated activists. He is in the Rural Fire Brigade, they run at the first sniff of smoke. That’s the difference.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Roy Hogue

    Can Peter now be persuaded to at least suspend his hunger strike and eat something while awaiting the outcome of all the publicity?

    I have to hope so! Will his friends please work on this!


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Roy Hogue

    If what I see in my local paper online is any indicator, proof by authority still carries a lot of weight. On the other hand there are more and more skeptics showing up a few at a time.

    I have hoped all along that success against the lies and corruption in Australia could be a catalyst for efforts here and elsewhere. Good on you down under! Australia should be called the land “up on top” because of this fight. Keep it going!


    Report this

    00

  • #
    janama

    Having endured long fasts myself I do hope someone qualified takes Peter off the fast as it can be dangerous to return to normal food too quickly. One positive of this experience might be that he’s actually going to be healthier for the experience when he returns to normal.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    LINDA

    IAN GORDON HAMILTON
    I HAD A NIEGHBOUR WHO WAS MY ANCHOR IN MANY TIMES OF GREAT DISPARE . WE HAD 20 YEARS OF BRINGING UP OUR FAMILIES TOGETHER ON SMALL FARMING LOTS ON THE OUTSKIRTS OF PERTH, IN 1998 MASSIVE FIRES WENT THROUGH OUR FARMS AND WHILE CONTENDING WITH THE INSURANCE COMPAMY AND THEN THE FAI INSURANCE COLLAPSE AND REPAIRS WHERE NEARLY COMPLETE A BUSHFOREVER BOOKLET WAS PUT IN OUR MAIL ,OUR XMAS PRESENT FROM THE COURT GOVERNMENT. ABOUT 20 PROPERTY OWNERS WHERE ORIGINALLY HAVING 100% LAND RESUMED FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE WHOLE COMMUNITY,AT NO COST TO THE COMMUNITY.
    THEY CANNOT EVEN BUILD A HOME ON THE PROPERTY, THIS IS STILL ONGOING TODAY ELEVEN YEARS , SOME HAVE DIED FROM CANCER OTHERS HAVE CANCER FAMILIES HAVE BROKEN UP AND OTHERS ARE UNDER MEDICAL SUPERVISION FOR SERVERE DEPRESSION. THET CANNOT GET LOANS , THEY CANNOT GET A PENSION AND IF THEY WANT TO SELL IT IS A CASE OF WE WILL PAY YOU OUR PRICE ON OUR TERMS WHEN AND IF WE NEED YOUR LAND, BUT YOU CAN USE IT ON STRICT TERMS AND PAY THE MORGAGE AND RATES.
    I HAVE SINCE MOVED FROM MY FARM, BUT I MISS MY BEST FRIEND AND NIEGHBOUR EVERY DAY , AND FOR THE MEMBERS IN MY COMMUNITY WHO ARE ALL GOOD HARDWORKING FAMILIES AND STILL IN THE LAND OF LIMBO , I HAVE PUT ELEVEN YEARS INTO TRYING TO GET A FLAWED AND UNJUST SYSTEM REPAIRED, BY WAY OF RESTORATION OF THE CONSTITUTION OUR GREAT FOREFATHERS LEFT FOR ALL OUR BENIFITS.
    WITH A NEW MINISTER IN OUR AREA, HE HAS BOUGHT HOPE TO MANY AND RESTORED THEIR FAITH IN MANKIND,BUT MORE SO THE MANY TIMES I WANTED TO WALK AWAY, MY STRONGHOLD AND INSPIRATION HAS BEEN PETER SPENCER AND MEETING HIM IN EARLY 2008 ,AS I SEE ALL THESE SCHEMES COME AND GO , I OFTEN THINK I AM THE ODD MAN OUT AS THEY ARE METHODS OF DIVIDING THE COMMUNITY.
    SINCE WHEN WITHOUT ANY FINACIAL OR EXTRA POWERS HAS GOVERNMENT DONE ANYTHING FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE PEOPLE.
    FOR INSPIRATION ONE CANNOT GO PAST THE POTATO FARMER FILM.
    AND THANKYOU TO IAN FOR SHARING YOUR FRIENSHIP OF A COURAGEOUS PERSON, AS I TO LOVE MY NIEGHBOUR.
    THANKS TO JO AND CHANNEL 7 FOR THE FIRST REAL ATTENTION THE ISOLATED WEST AUSTRALIAN POEPLE HAVE HAD IN ELEVEN YEARS.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    J.Hansford

    Peter’s cause is just. His methods are desperate. His grievance is real…

    … and now that he has the attention of the media and politicians, it is probably time to end the Hunger strike and fuel his mind and body for the task ahead…. Winning true rights of property ownership in Australia, recognized and upheld in law.

    If Land owners are serious about their objections to the state and federal interference in their property rights, then they had better start organizing a siege on Peter’s land and a lot more besides. It is up to Rural Australia to lay siege to Canberra if that is what it takes…. Either that, accept that you have no right to your own property…. This is as serious as it gets.

    If the landowners movement is many, motivated and militant. The Government has lost and must concede. They have to bow to you. There is no civilized alternative…. In some ways it is strange that Rudd is letting this spiral out of control on him… I think that is a testament to Rudd’s lack of leadership skills… Peter Spencer has a real point… and Rudd is failing to make capital on one of Howard’s few failings.

    Time to fight for what is right.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Louis Hissink

    Oh there is a way to deal with this environmental legislation that seems to have grown world-wide – just ignore it. If everyone ignored it and just ridiculed the “eco-police” then the laws become uneforceable. They can’t fine everyone can they? Of course not.

    The only way to counter the Green menace is to ridicule them at every opportunity, for they have one overiding objective – to eliminate private property, for without private property, there is no freedom at all.


    Report this

    00

  • #

    According to the theory, I think Constitutionally, governments and parliaments are only given mandates by the sovereign people at elections to execute some particular policy which has been submitted to them.

    If new issues of importance arise, the constitutional theory is that the sovereign people should be consulted.

    There are only a couple of occasions in the last hundred years that I know of where the people have been consulted.

    Were the people asked whether they wanted to have the numerous wars that the politicians organised? Were the people asked whether it was okay for the sovereign peoples representative to go ahead and arbitrarily sign away freehold property rights at Kyoto?….etc…..etc…

    Then again our politicians can be either cunning or stupid as it was never explained to the people that a vote to become a republic would obliterate freehold title as all titles are issued by the Queen.

    What is so grandiosely described as “Government of the people, by the people, and for the people” is nothing more or less than the exploitation of the people by the politicians for the aims of International finance.

    The system of government in Australia today can be described as: a plutocratic oligarchy, materialist in philosophy, anti-Christian in purpose and tyrannous in effect.


    Report this

    00

  • #

    Re Lawrie’s observations about the Fairfax press and the ABC. It would appear that most in these institutions believe that a huge whaling vessel is capable of ramming a lightweight, high-powered trimaran. Meanwhile, their northern counterparts at The Guardian have this week been attributing the freezing deaths of Peruvian peasants to AGW.

    It could well be that appeals to the reason and decency of the MSM are a bit like patting a dog with rabies. We may have to simply give up on all that.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Tel

    He wrote The War On Farmers in January 2006 and it lays it all out.

    I read that and very interesting it was. Peter certainly knows how to spell out the key points in clear and simple terms. I also listened to the interview with the ABC reporter and I can well understand how Peter was so short with the guy because the reporter had basically no interest in any of the issues and had done no background reading.

    I also read through the comments and kept seeing flashes of the movie Idiocracy where the people put salt on their own crops. From the comments under Peter’s article:

    There is no dispute on this – too much land is farmed in Australia.

    People really believe this crap? I’d be dismissive except that I’ve heard it from various places. That Robin guy (who also seems to be turning up of Steve Feilding’s blog BTW) was saying similar things about Australian agriculture and I don’t know where they get this idea about the goodness of land lying fallow but it’s worrying.

    Regulars have no doubt heard my Green Luddite theory but I’ll indulge myself with a brief summary (hey, rate me down into oblivion if you don’t like it). Modern people live stressful lives under shitty conditions with technology they don’t understand, doing jobs that don’t make sense within an overcrowded transport and employment infrastructure. The human reaction to these harsh conditions is to lash out and attempt to destroy technology, and as part of that process they would destroy the rational thought that builds technology, and destroy any person who can successfully deploy technology.

    I’ll extend that theory with the concept of “Farm Envy”. Most of our population are from families that were small-village farmers maybe four or five generations back, so are pre-programmed to desire a low stress life in a grass hut or log cabin, with a circle of land around themselves, a hearth fire and a handful of domestic animals. The modern city lifestyle of boxy highrise apartments does not deliver the dream so a number of things happen…

    City dwellers feel ripped off that a farmer has the idyllic life that they don’t have so they hate the farmer (it makes no difference what life a farmer may really lead, only the imaginary image of a farmer makes any difference).

    City dwellers imagine that they would make far better farmers than anyone else because they have a clear image of themselves picking a ripe harvest and they are educated in how nature works — you just have to love it enough and look after the trees and it all works out (in a movie somewhere).

    Especially in Australia, a great many city dwellers feel guilty about taking land from the Aboriginals but they don’t want to hand over their own home (small and boxy thing that it is) so they feel good about handing over someone else’s land (and they know that the silly farmer doesn’t really love the land like the Aboriginals did). Admittedly, there are no present day people (Aboriginal or otherwise) who benefit from this but the thought is what counts, and we are giving the land back to the spirit of what the Aboriginals once were (and by the way, typical city dwellers know about as much about how Aboriginals lived as they do about farming).

    The conclusion?

    It’s got electrolytes, what plants crave!

    The winners?

    Will be agribusiness combining science, profit savvy and political muscle. The Socialists can bash individual farming families who are good at one thing only (i.e. the farming) but they can’t bash agribusiness who are good at playing the game, even when the game gets dirty. Even when they do bash agribusiness in public, they will take those bribes (err campaign donations) in private and use selective enforcement where necessary.

    Australian family farmers who want to survive have only one viable direction which is to get together and figure out how to incorporate themselves and offer generous share-exchange deals with the supermarkets. That’s the only thing that can protect them, because Australian governments don’t have the balls to play pushy pushy games with the supermarkets.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Louis Hissink

    Tel,

    I think you better do some homework on Fascism – big govt, big companies, big unions all acting in cahoots.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Bush bunny

    Now Peter’s family has brought up family business, and it seems sympathy is being lost… this is typical of course. The Greens were
    proposing placing taxes for methane production of $11 per head of cattle and $7 per head of sheep. Even Ads on TV for ‘Save the planet and don’t eat meat!” But would not give land owners any
    carbon credits for soil carbon sequestration. Certainly healthy soil
    and pastures contain more carbon sink. And animal’s manures assist soil fertility etc., and water retention. And there is a growing awareness of farmers, that former farming methodology using phosphates is a band aid affair to fertility and soil maintenance. Subjecting cleared ploughed soils to salinity level increase, degradation and erosion… But Peter seems owes family money, that he hasn’t paid back, and I am not sure his motives for this protest are clearly understood now? And as one poster states, that’s all the government needs and the media to dose his protest with the doubt
    that he is being irrational and just wanting to gain attention. A
    shame as he has a very very just argument.

    Governments can’t reclaim land just when they want to without the
    land owner being compensated. However, forest clearance should be
    done carefully, as the land exposed isn’t necessarily good pasture
    land, unless treated with very expensive organic or approved fertilisers (not super phosphate) Though strip clearance is better
    retaining some native trees and shrub lands. Just hope everything doesn’t turn out to be a furfee, as public sympathy seems to be turning against him, with people suggesting he doesn’t look any thinner etc. After his brother spoke up and blamed Sen.Barnaby Joice and the Media, for exploiting Peter’s stance politically.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Lawrie

    Bush Bunny,

    Agree. The story should be about the great land theft which also affected Peter Spencer. Instead it’s about Peter and now his brother wants to get into the act. Farmers are a rather naive bunch who just want people to know the truth just as we want truth from the AGW debate. Our protagonists however will use every trick in the book to divert attention from the key issue. You recall with Climategate according to the warmers the problem was not the content but the means by which the emails were obtained. Likewise with Peter.

    Should the AGW scam be exposed, the reason for the NV laws will largely evaporate. It is impossible to sue the govt for restitution but it may be possible to sue individuals who contributed to the false science. At least I hope there is an avenue to gain just compensation.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Bush Bunny

    Dear Lawrie.

    In a court of law, (this is hypothetical of course) if one is to present a case without just cause, it will be thrown out eventually.
    But I believe that in the constitution no government can requisition
    land without compensation.. we have a issue right now locally. You can google it – Waterfall Way Dump … from the protesters point of view.

    Agricultural land that was adjacent to a farmer was proposed for a
    land fill area, close to a World Heritage site… The Gara River However, one of the councillors part owned the land, hence the furor… As a land fill dump were putrification and leaching can occur it was a no no, but the EPA and
    State Government asked for amendments to the original plan, now it
    is being re advised the land will not be used for a normal land fill
    but a dumping ground for non leaching compacted waste, so it doesn’t matter. Why the friggin’ have one there then?

    Now originally the local council whose present land fill site is
    allegedly passed its used by date have changed the goal nets from the original application. It will no doubt be approved by both governments, and left to the public to object!

    Hey folks, how many times has any local, State or Federal government
    taken notice of what the local public have to say! It comes down to not public objection but points of law in the end.

    And with the Waterfall Way Dump, it’s been nearly 9 years from the
    beginning, long enough to search for more equable sites, not! In someway that local counciller was not elected last election, but as I get older I find I get depressed because I feel our civil rights are be eroded all the time.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Roy Hogue

    The Greens were proposing placing taxes for methane production of $11 per head of cattle and $7 per head of sheep.

    I’ve begun to see methane made a big deal of elsewhere. CO2 is in trouble as their demon du jour so the switch seems to be to methane as the new demon.

    As for the courts, the deck seems stacked and so political action is your only avenue of attack.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Bush Bunny

    Roy Hogue

    Who can afford legal representation? To my knowledge you take the Feds
    to court in the High or Supreme court… and that costs hundred of thousands of dollars.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Roy Hogue

    Bush Bunny,

    Yup!

    But I was referring to the 200 court appearances made by Peter that went nowhere.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Leigh

    I have heard on the radio this evening that Peter has agreed to come down tomorrow, with the full media circus in attendance – Alan Jones etc. He will get his celebrity status, become a local hero etc etc.
    Let’s just hope he then stops his tantrums, finds a business he can be successful at, or better still, go back to PNG, or live with his daughter in the US. Didn’t think he really wanted to die – just wanted all this attention he is now getting, and his friends are getting their 15 minutes of fame too – make sure you all get on tv tomorrow!


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Bernd Felsche

    This story on Joanne’s blog has been picked up by the German blog Oekologismus: Climate Facism Down-Under.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Tel

    I have heard on the radio this evening that Peter has agreed to come down tomorrow,

    Well good luck to Peter now he has decided to live, the issue deserves attention and I hope it gains more momentum with elections coming up.

    I will point out that nothing will bring back all the other suicide victims and no one even knows what they were upset about because they are only ever reported as a statistic.

    By the way, there’s another issue that Peter Spencer has brought up which is that Eucalyptus regrowth slurps up a large amount of water out of the topsoil because these trees are highly efficient water grabbers. If you check rainfall charts, the actual rainfall has been quite reasonable in the last few years but yet still most of Southeastern Australia is under drought conditions and the Murray-Darling is low. Some of this is caused by dams in Queensland, but at least some of this water is going into bush regrowth so there’s a second price to pay which no one has accounted for. The drought conditions cannot entirely be written off as climate change.

    Maybe someone knows how to put real numbers onto the water volume that goes through this green lobby bush regeneration project and invoice it at the going rate for water?


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Bush bunny

    A bit off topic…SBS are promoting TV ads from some group, saying “If all CO2 Emissions stop tomorrow, the methane produced by sheep and cattle is enough to continue global warming …”

    Save the planet – eat Veg not meat!

    However, in the local Country leader supplement edition in the Armidale Express today there was a fresh approach. You remember the TV ads last year, about eat a lamb chop on the BBQ to celebrate Australia Day … well they have gone one further

    A small editorial on pg 11. A picture of Sam Kekovitch and a short
    article titled ‘Lamb chop goes global’

    Well I was amused by the TV Ads last year. Sam isn’t Okker but dresses in a suit. Seems he is addressing the UN to suggest that
    they make an International Australia Day (As our Lambassador LOL)
    …come together as mates, like we do in Australia on Jan 26 As our world would be a better place if it were more Australian, and throw
    a lamb chop on the barbie on Jan 26… and proudly acclaim Ich bin ein Barbecuer… That is so Australian, seems he’s going to New York, the UN and Holliwood… Through humor one can get a good message across – what do you think eh? Answer to those anti-farmer
    Greens and Vegan and PETA groups eh?


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Roy Hogue

    I have heard on the radio this evening that Peter has agreed to come down tomorrow, with the full media circus in attendance – Alan Jones etc. He will get his celebrity status, become a local hero etc etc.

    When I read post 24 yesterday I went to Peter’s group on Agmates looking for verification. There was no mention of his coming down and it remains that way up to now.

    Given that Joanne has not mentioned it either and the attitude of “Leigh”, I think we can safely ignore the whole of post 24.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Roy Hogue

    Bush bunny,

    I’ve seen it made even worse. The terrible threat is that Arctic tundra has so much methane stored up that when the tundra thaws the planet will be fried from the methane caused warming.

    Oh woe is me!

    If you remember the old M*A*S*H TV series — as Col. Potter would say, “Horse feathers!”

    These people have no shame, not to mention having no science behind them.

    I did some searching and sure enough, methane breaks down in the atmosphere with a half life of about 7 years (life is tough for organic compounds when exposed to solar radiation). Methane levels are said to have increased by some and stay relatively steady according to others. I’ve not found an honest non-AGW-pusher reference for any of this information so I won’t post a link because I don’t trust that the various statements are unbiased. The half life figure is not disputed by anyone, however.

    The result of methane breakdown is water and that old bogyman CO2. We already know these are not problems.

    The same types who say, no cows, are the ones wanting wetlands, letting everything go back to nature and so-on, which are significant sources of methane as once living things decay naturally. I guess you can have your cake and eat it too — at least in la-la-land!

    Our problem is how to fight them.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Roy Hogue

    Tel,

    I’ve no insight directly on Eucalyptus. I didn’t think about this a while ago. But it finally dawned on me that here in Southern California Eucalyptus appears to thrive well enough in places where the only near surface ground water could be from the rain that we get for only about 3 months (or less) during the winter. That doesn’t really amount to much water through most of the year.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Bush bunny

    Hi Tel,

    All young trees need more water when young until they grow roots
    that can go deep enough to benefit from sub soil moisture. Eucalypi
    from what I know are chosen for their ability to be reasonably drought resistent, and we used to export a lot to Israel.

    Cutting them down as has happened in some areas, means the sub soil
    water comes nearer the surface and that causes salinity problems.

    Young trees do absorb CO2 more than older trees too. However strip
    clearance is not as harmful to the environment as is total deforestation as observed in South America.

    In the New England National Park, there are small farms, and they
    are adjacent to temperate rain forest areas. A fire trail is between them and the change of the micro environment just with a ten foot fire trail separating them is amazing. And the temperature
    drops within a few yards of entering a rain forest.

    Eucalypti do not thrive well in a rain forest habitat. They have
    to grow so tall to get enough light and their leaves are almost
    non existent but near the canopy.

    Must fly now, but Peter’s case should be examined, to consider a
    compromise. He could clear some trees as animals need shade. Or
    strip clear, leaving tracks of bush as wildlife refuges etc.
    But – Chairman Rudd will not come and see him, as he is overseas
    again talking to Hilary Clinton I believe.

    So I think that Peter should come down now, as dying will not mean
    much to the governments, and he can pursue his complaint on the ground and through the law courts or the media!


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Tel

    Roy, Eucalyptus will survive on very little, where survive means sit and hibernate and not grow. However, if resources are available (particularly water) they will accelerate growth and grab whatever they can. We see it all the time in Australia where you will have a grassy field with just one or two trees and a ring of brown bare patch under the trees where the grass simply does not grow. Some of that effect is falling leaves adding oil to the area near the trees, but a lot of it is simply that the grass gets no water. I’m sure I can link to photos if you are interested.

    I know someone who basically never mowed their front lawn for many years while they had a tree growing out the front because the grass always died down to a few thin strands spread over bare dirt. Eventually the tree grew old and died (most of them are not long lived trees), and the grass was back within months and they were mowing it down like crazy. Now a thick and green lawn is in the spot where there was dirt not long ago.

    Cutting them down as has happened in some areas, means the sub soil
    water comes nearer the surface and that causes salinity problems.

    Any evidence that Peter Spencer’s property was showing signs of salinity? I agree that if you want to find ways to consume ground water then growing Eucalyptus will do that, surely a farmer facing salinity can consider such options for himself.

    I also understand that over-irrigating can cause rising salinity but given that Peter’s objectives were trout streams and grazing I expect he was not doing a whole lot of irrigating either. Most of the problem in the Murray-Darling system right now is lack of supply water for irrigation, rather than too much groundwater. But again, this it rightly a matter for the farmers themselves to consider, all I’m pointing out is that the issue of growing trees consuming available water has been carefully ignored and should be considered.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Roy Hogue

    Tel,

    Interesting observation about the grass not growing around the Eucalyptus. I inherited a large one from the previous owner and grass always grew right up around it without any trouble. Some species are relatively common decorative trees and I’ve never noticed this problem where I see them used either. I don’t doubt what you say but it doesn’t agree with my own experience. Could the species make a difference or is something beyond water also in play?

    I finally had mine removed because it got too big for its place.

    As I said, I’m not a Eucalyptus expert, much less a botanist. So I can only tell you what I’ve observed.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Lawrie

    Roy and Tel,
    Eucalypts once represented about five percent of our tree species, many of the others were conifers and oak species. With the arrival of the aborigines the browsers and large herbivores were exterminated. The smaller grass eaters (kangaroos) cant handle coarse grass so to provide the green pick the aborigines started firestick farming. The conifers and oaks are not adapted to frequent and very hot fires so gradually died out leaving the fire tolerant types, eucalypts, to predominate. Many eucalypts, there are some 200 species, ensure survival and encourage fire by dropping leaves and bark which does not easily break down and which contains oil. The residue also prevents the growth of grasses and competition near the trunk. In summary eucalypts are natural survivors and ensure all competition is eradicated. A good reference book covering many aspects of our land and an easy read is “The Future Eaters” by Tim Flannery. Tim unfortunately is an extreme warmer but this book is sound. On hydrology in an Australian scenerio try a book by an acquaintance of mine, Peter Andrews, called “Back from the Brink”. His hypothesis is that fresh water overlays salt water so keeping fresh water in the upper soil layers prevent the salt from rising. He also believes grass cover is more beneficial long term than more trees. The greenies don’t like Peter and the aborigines weren’t keen on Tim so they are probably on the right track.

    I am constantly amazed by councils and govt depts recommending eucalypts in housing estates and around farms. We should be planting fire retardant types near homes. The good old pepper tree is a great fire break as are elms, oaks and other leafy imports. They catch flying embers too.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Tel

    Could the species make a difference or is something beyond water also in play?

    There are a lot of different species so I’d agree that it makes a difference. No doubt also where a reasonably large amount of water is available you get enough for all plants in the area. Do you water your grass? Very few Australians water grass because of the strong water restrictions here.

    I am constantly amazed by councils and govt depts recommending eucalypts in housing estates and around farms. We should be planting fire retardant types near homes. The good old pepper tree is a great fire break as are elms, oaks and other leafy imports. They catch flying embers too.

    In my area frangipani is popular for growing close to houses because it is cool and shady in summer, lets plenty of light in during winter, grows slowly, never burns, easy to prune, hard to accidentally kill, non-invasive root system. Also mango trees and avocado trees are popular for obvious reasons. The council are determined to push annoying bottle brushes and gums because for no particular reason it is politically incorrect to have non-native trees. Down the road one guy planted a row of olive trees and they were doing well until the local council pruners came past and had difficulty understanding that olives grow differently to gumtrees so they pruned the olive away until it was the shape of a gumtree (with thin tufts of leaves on the top). The concept of humans making their environment into something useful is completely lost on these guys.

    I certainly believe that choice of trees should be based strictly on their practical utility rather than some misguided sense of promotion of native species.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Roy Hogue

    Do you water your grass? Very few Australians water grass because of the strong water restrictions here.

    Yes we do water. Rain falls in only 3 months of the winter. So any kind of landscaping would simply die if not watered and grass would be impossible. I also didn’t let anything accumulate under the tree.

    Now that we’re in a period of less than usual rain and snow here in the western U.S. along with increasing demand, water use restrictions are becoming a necessity. How we view landscaping will be on everyone’s mind for quite a while.

    We have our own “use only native flora” morons here too.


    Report this

    00

  • #

    [...] Jo Nova and Michael Duffy have both written about the impact of tree-clearing legislation on Peter’s property, and on farmers and graziers in general. [...]


    Report this

    00

  • #

    [...] was not that different to the Peter Spencers story but with government at the helm and government policy basically also bankrupting people. With [...]


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Bush bunny

    ESL: I think you are on the wrong site. There is another similar on another of Jo’s pages.


    Report this

    00