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


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Thompsons Part 10: The DEC admits it treated them unfairly

This comes from the DEC’s itself: they have a standard procedure, and they didn’t follow it for the Thompsons.

Here are what I believe are the most damning critical passages of the whole Thompson case, and they come from the minutes of a meeting with DEC and the Thompsons held in December 2009.

From these minutes I quote the passages below. Matt confirmed that no one who attended queried the accuracy of these minutes of Dec 2009. (I have highlighted things in this copy of the minutes and added two notes in red ink and brackets. Forgive the unsubtle additions.)

The minister tell us what their procedure is:

(DF is representative of Donna Faragher the Minister)

DF: There is a clear process that is gone through in these situations. Letters are sent out advising of the problem and providing a time frame for correction. Then an Environmental Field Notice is issued and the proponent is given time to comply. Then and Environmental Protection Notice is issued, and the proponent is given time to deal with that. Only after that exhaustive process, would an operation be shut down…or limited in throughput which would lead to it shutting down. We have had [...]

Thompsons Part 9: Senator Cory Bernardi speaks out in Parliament

Cory Bernardi

Cory Bernardi: As I See It.

Senator Bernardi is not even a Senator from the same state as the Thompsons, yet he has gone out of his way to find out some of the information behind the case, and raised the issue in Parliament. It’s the mark of a man of principle.

Senator Cory Bernardi is a Senator for South Australia. He was one of the leading advocates within the Liberal Party who stood against the Rudd Labor Government’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme.

He has written  As I see It: Thoughts of a Conservative.

Alan Jones referred to him as a man of character.   See Cory’s excellent blog. (I enjoy it.) His speech on the Thompsons follows:


Thompsons Part 8: Mexican standoff at the Farmgate

They came with trucks to take his possessions. Matt Thompson had locked the gates only minutes before. For two hours they waited. Matt watched with his camera in case they forced entry.

Where is The West Australian? Are they too busy covering beauty pageants to write about the real news? I’ve just sent them this link. But I’ve sent them the story twice before. I think they need to hear it from hundreds of people. You can suggest a story to them here, and you can write a letter to The Editor, of The West Australian <>.


They came with a car and two trucks


Thompsons Part 7: Welcome to Investment Hell

Apologies to those far away who are interested in more international stories, but as Matt Thompson says, it’s sure isn’t dull around here — yesterday he locked the farm gates just in time. The administrators came calling again to start removing items. He and they had a Mexican standoff for 2 long hours — he with camera in hand, they in their car. Matt tells me he can’t leave the property.

I wrote two letters, and sent the first one below to our politicians and The West Australian, and The Australian. I sent the lower letter to A Current Affair (who have expressed an interest) and also to Senator Cory Bernardi and Dennis Jensen, the Federal Member for Tangney. Both men have rung me in the last few days to talk about the Thompsons. They both give me hope that despite all the self serving pork barrelling and spin, there are still good people — great people — in our Federal Parliament. Senator Bernardi was planning to raise the issue in Parliament last night.

I’ve included a third letter from James Doogue (written in July) below mine, because he has taken a different angle with some very valid [...]

Climate Wars: EU Threatens Rest Of The World With Flight Ban

Europe is doing “so well” with the success of it’s carbon trading that some people there have given up wait for the rest of us to join them voluntarily and decided to try threats and intimidation.

It’s another lesson in why trading schemes are so dog-messy to unravel once they are in place.

We here in the land of the long-distance-haul-to-everywhere find the idea of taxing carbon emissions on flights especially appealling. Just marvellous for our tourism and business after all. And what are the odds that our Gullible Gillard-and-Greens Government will fight in the WTO to save Australia from this effective tariff on doing business here?

Benny Pieser spotted the article in a German publication.


22 September 2010

Thomas Ludwig

Foreign airlines are threatened with a flight and landing ban from 2012 in the European Union if they do not participate in emissions trading.


Nanny State Goes Ballistic: $100 fine if you fly a kite or dig a hole on beach.

Welcome to council-control-freak insanity in WA –  the ruling class who think there is no cost to adding more rules and regulations, assume they can replace common sense with guidelines that dictate the size of the hole you can dig on a beach.

From The West Australian 22-Sept-2010

In Australia we’re passionate about our beaches and equally so about them belonging to all Australians. But one of the most popular beaches in Perth could be hit with council rules that stop you flying a kite, digging a hole, bringing a toy truck, or meeting with 11 friends. Good intentions run amok.


Blog Warfare — Warmist attacks their own

Then today Richard Black of the BBC finds out how ugly it can be when you make the mistake (the travesty!) of missing a chance to tell everyone that the Earth’s falling apart due to Man-made Global Warming.

It’s the first time Richard Black has been on the receiving end. He’s a bit put out.

It seems that something new, and not altogether welcome, may be happening in the politicking over climate change.

I have written before of the orchestrated villification that comes the way of climate scientists from some people and organisations who are unconvinced of the case for human-induced climate change – “sceptics”, “deniers”, as you wish.

This week, for the first time, I am seeing the same pattern from their opponents.

Joe Romm, the physicist-cum-government-advisor-cum-polemicist, posted a blog entry highly critical of the Arctic ice article I wrote last week.

Joe Romm took him to task for doing a story on the hottest year without “mentioning the primary cause of global warming” (according to climate models which are known to be wrong). Romm set lots of emailers onto Black. The original “dreadful” story is just reporting how arctic ice melted fast, but didn’t shrink as much as 2007.

Then [...]

Thompsons part 6: Strong Community Support

NEWS: The Thompsons received notification yesterday that they will be evicted on October 15. They ran a popular, profitable business, broke no laws, and received no infringement notices related to their stock numbers.

UPDATE #2: See below for the most useful thing you can do if you want to help them.

Here is a key point people have asked about in comments.

What about the community? How do the people of Narrogin feel — do they want the farm to stay?

The layout of the surrounds, the town, and various complainants. References to the watercourse and gully relate to the need for a license. (Can you see a waterway?)

Narrogin is a town of around 5,000 people.  900 people signed a petition in support and the two nearest neighbors want the feedlot to stay. They don’t just agree the feedlot should run at 10,000 head, they put their names to 15,000. People give Matt money in the street, the complainants live further away than some strong supporters, and the piggery was operating right next door for all those years. The Shire has written to the DEC urging them to allow the business to operate.


Minister of the Environment and Queen of WA?

! UPDATE ! : The administrators have just written to give notice of eviction for October 15th. They also want the legal rights to the proposed litigation by Narrogin Beef Producers. In other words, they want to firesale the farm and clean up any proceeds of the wrongs done against Matt and Janet. The Thompsons would lose everything. Right now more than anything they need legal brains to help them out.

Here’s the sweet two line clause that pretty much gives total control over all businesses in WA to the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC).

Condition A1 is an all encompassing point recently added to the Thompson’s license. It’s a sweeping clause, and measured entirely with opinions. Anyone with the right to say Yay or Nay on what’s reasonable here is the proxy for ruling Monarch. It’s so powerful that if we referred to noise instead of odour, and applied it to, say, Perth Airport, I’m pretty sure we could stop all flights to Western Australia until they shift those runways to the Gibson Desert.

ODOUR CONTROL A1 The licensee shall ensure that odour emitted from the premises does not unreasonably interfere with the health welfare, [...]

Join us in Sydney, Friday October 1

A free one day seminar in Sydney on Climate Change. Friday, October 1

Hosted by The Heartland Institute, it’s the fifth in a series of international conferences on climate change that Heartland has hosted since March 2008, and the first to be held outside the United States.

Chris de Freitas | Bob Carter | Cory Bernardi | David Evans

| Alan Moran | Barun S. Mitra | Jo Nova

Emissions policy

Sea level changes

Corruption, Costs, Benefits,

Defeating the Witchdoctors

The seminar is part of the Pacific Rim Policy Exchange, sponsored by Heartland, Americans for Tax Reform, the Property Rights Alliance, and the Institute of Public Affairs.

For more information or to register for the Policy Exchange, click here.

ATR and the HEARTLAND INSTITUTE are offering FREE [...]