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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 the same situation with waste treatment facilities. This is standard procedure. The Department is not interested in shutting the operation down.

Janet (JT) points out this did not happen. (No Environmental Field Notices were issued apart from earlier bunding ones that are not connected with the number of cattle).

JT: But none of that happened in the past. That process did not occur when our numbers were limited to 6,000 head. The only EFN we ever received was for bunding around our diesel and petrol tanks.

The DEC rep admits they were treated unfairly.

[WE = Wayne Elliot of the DEC ]

WE: This is true. The Thompsons have not been treated in a fair and proper manner by the Department. There was no process.

Nice people get done over

Here’s a telling point: Why have I hesitated to post this? Because Matt and Janet hesitated, because they are reluctant to cause trouble for the good people at DEC who they know and like. Here Wayne Elliot is acting as a whistle-blower by simply stating the truth. And Janet and Matt don’t want to drag him into this, because they are fairly sure he was given a hard time at DEC, and this surely won’t help him.

Matt and Janet have told me about the good people at DEC, the ones who they’d meet, who would promise to help and genuinely try to sort things out, but who were always transferred off their case. So once again, Matt and Janet are the kind of people who don’t want to cause anyone pain, even as their life savings are being taken away. In other words, every step of the way Matt and Janet have tried to be nice, and what have they got for it?

So I’ve decided enough is enough that these minutes need to be shown to the world. And to Wayne and the other good people at DEC, I know you didn’t ask for this trouble, and it’s hard to be a whistleblower, but right now, there is a dreadful injustice, and perhaps it might be possible still for the DEC to help slow the administrators by issuing a proper licence, say one for 10,000 head for five years as was mentioned, and without the impossible unmeasureable clause A1. Even speaking out would help.

Here Matt and Janet are searching for some business certainty — they need a written document that the banks will loan against, but all they get are verbal assurances. (How well does DEC understand business risks?):

Janet: Unfortunately the banks will not agree to that type of approach.  They look at the license and the conditions.  Also, what happens if there is another person from DEC who comes on the scene?  The focus can suddenly shift, which has happened in the past.

WE: Alan has offered to speak to the bankers regarding this matter.

AS:  I did speak to a banker.

Janet: This is part of the problem.  There have been lots of meetings and conversations but nothing has been in writing.  Conversations are not acceptable to a bank. Can the conditions and approval of the licence be written down? There is a solution to this problem through managing it at a local level; however it needs to be something in writing. We need to have 10,000 head clearly stated on the license.

Matt: What happens if there is no improvement?  Will we be forced to destock?

AS: We do not believe this will be the case.  [my emphasis]

How can a bank loan on a guarantee so weak?

The DEC, possibly with mostly good intentions, dangles Matt and Janet’s hopes with possibilities that don’t pan out.

AS: There must be an assessment to go to 10,000 head.  A five year license is not out of bounds, with the conditions stated.  There will need to be an audit process. There needs to be some regulatory structure to go forward.

Matt: DEC had no condition in the Works Approval or licences regarding odour.  Here is a copy of the Shire’s most recent letter of support.  The original approval from the Shire says that we must maintain odours at a reasonable level. This letter states that they judge we have done so.

The basic conflict between DEC and us is about burden of proof.  Alan Sands says there needs to be some regulatory structure for the DEC to address problems going forward.  DEC has the authority to address real problems that occur without that structure being written into the licence.  DEC is not content to simply have the authority to fine us because they know they can’t prove that we are out of compliance. Putting a limited head count in the licence damages us financially, and puts the burden of proof on us that it’s acceptable to increase our numbers.  There is no way for us to prove that it’s acceptable to increase numbers.  Once a condition is put on the licence, NBP has no real options, as it is impossible to prove a negative and the appeals process is too lengthy, and the law requires us to comply with the conditions in the mean time.

The forced destocking by DEC caused massive economic destruction, with loss of jobs at NBP, as well as upstream and downstream from NBP.  DEC should have held the burden of proof and been required to prove NBP’s violation before causing such and economic disaster as a remedy.

Using the most recent standards imposed by DEC (i.e., a 2.5 ou at our property boundary), every restaurant and bakery would need to close because they exceed that level of odour.

Janet: The 2.5 odour unit standard, if it were ever going to be employed, should have been tested before the Works Approval was issued.  If we had known that we would be held to that standard at our  property boundaries, we would never have invested the first dollar. We are all for true environmental management, however, those standard have to be measurable.  There is no way to measure acceptable standards with odour. The source of odour in our area is determined by which way the wind is blowing.  DEC is managing this issue based on complaints, and the complaints only come out when we renew our license.

Then the Department admits that when they change the license the Thompsons ought to be able to keep operating at the previous license limit while it is under appeal. This did not happen in 2008.

CA: With any license that is issued, the original terms would stand even during appeal.  If there is an appeal, the terms stand until the appeals process is complete.

Then look, the DEC implies that a five year license at 10,000 head is possible, yet when they did issue a license in March 2010, it was only for 6,000 until the” Thompsons prove they can manage 10,000″. (Which they already have shown, and how could they do it even better this time when they are not even allowed 10,000?)

This is what I mean by the Thompsons being strung along. Again there is talk of a license that never eventuates.

DF (standing in for the Minister of the DEC): We need to change the wording on the license and make it simple.  The license needs to specify that they are permitted to operate at 10,000, and that there are conditions over odour that will need to be addressed to proper practices, and that it can be extended to five years.

Janet: When could we get a draft of the license?

AS: We will come back with an appropriate time line.  There is a process we need to go through. Need to take a look at the term and the wording.  Am more than happy to push for an extended license. Will need to clarify that this complies with the Act.

JC: Can this be put in writing? And can you get back by next week because time is running out?

WEIt is important that we resolve this matter quickly.  The Thompsons have been dealt with unfairly in the past.

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Thompsons Part 10: The DEC admits it treated them unfairly, 7.0 out of 10 based on 3 ratings

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67 comments to Thompsons Part 10: The DEC admits it treated them unfairly

  • #
    DirkH

    Bring on the lawyers. The Thompsons need a preliminary injunction.

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    Henry chance

    They do need an injunction. This case would fast track if in a real court.

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    This whole senario stinks – literally – and not from the cattle. This is rampant abuse by a bunch of incompetent bureaucrats who should be dragged straight into court and forced to explain why they did not follow their own process rules. They are quick enough to wave them to dodge flack when it suits them. Frankly, the Thompsons should receive compensation and the DEC cabal should be sacked – the lot of them.

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    Stephen Brown

    Call me a cynic if you like, but over thirty years of Police service has taught me that the milk of human kindness is often found to be curdled. In the Thompson’s case I would be looking for the person(s) or institution(s) which would profit from the closure of this beef feed-lot (and its subsequent sale at a knock-down price because of previous problems which just might magically disappear?)

    Never attribute to malice that which arises from stupidity or incompetence. The DEC has been dragged around by its metaphorical nose by someone highly skilled in institutional manipulation. The alleged culprit has fed in just enough “evidence” in the way of complaints etc. at just the right time to make the DEC jump just the way that was wanted, in an effort to remain just out of sight The bureaucrats involved are simply too stupid to realise this manipulation, they go along the “desired” pathway blithely thinking that they are operating within the confines of their ‘legal’ remit even when this is not the case.

    The solution to many cases used to be “Cherchez la femme”.

    I think in the Thompson’s case it is much more likely to be “Follow the money”.

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    Dave

    “Nice people get done over”

    I’m delighted to read that the licensing might finally get sorted out. I only hope that the Thompsons aren’t too nice – or too tired out – to pursue rectification against the various individuals and groups who have persecuted them. If a second fund were to be set up for that purpose, I’d contribute gladly.

    It’s never been clear if a complaint was made to the professional standards board about the lawyer who failed to disclose his conflict of interest, but if it hasn’t, it should be.

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    hunter

    What are the odds that the Australian system will stand up against the enviro-extremists and deliver jsutice?

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    Doug - UK

    Stephen Brown

    Spot on!

    Agree 100%

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    Dave

    Stephen Brown>

    I think either way you’re putting it down to malice, whether internal or external to the DEC. The incompetence argument would be that what we see here is simply congruent with the standard of administration provided by the DEC.

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    John from CA

    AGMates | HERALD
    September 26, 2010 in Agribusiness, Agriculture, Banks, Feature Articles, Steve Truman, farm

    http://www.agmates.com/herald/thompsons-saga-shows-what-lies-ahead-in-australi/

    excerpts:
    Thompsons Saga shows what lies ahead in Australia
    Matt & Janet Thompson’s story is a human tragedy playing out before our eyes and all credit and power to them for sharing it with us and the world as it happens. You can follow their story in four places – all on the web. Jo Nova’s superb coverage , Anthony Watts and of course Dale Stiller’s coverage here on the HERALD on the AGMates members community in the Property Rights Australia Community”

    “The Thompson’s story is a big one and encompasses some of the biggest issues at play in our society today.”

    “Over zealous governmental environment enforcement officers can wage war on any business or landholder without any form of accountability. Most businesses rely on the good will of a bank or lender to continue to operate. The Thompson’s case is a graphic illustration that paid government officials can create sufficient and even unreasonable restrictions on any business, to the point where the banker loses confidence in the business. Once a lender loses confidence the personal and family consequences for the business owner / landholder are dire.”

    “The result of this is that the entrepreneur goes bankrupt and losses everything as we are seeing in the Thompson’s case and Peter Spencer before them while the government employees continues to collect their taxpayer funded pay cheque.”

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    Peter McLeod

    Joanne, I think I can help explain why the mainstream media and most politicians haven’t picked up this story. Like me, they have probably read the publicly available information, and can see that:
    1. The original 2003 works approval stated that the feedlot would be limited to 5000 head, and that any increases would be subject to performance – it never stated they could operate at 15000 head
    2. Each licence issued by the DEC from 2003 to 2008 limited the number of cattle to between 2000 and 8000 head (you said there was verbal advice from the DEC that they could have 10000 head, but it beggars belief that on such a critical issue, the Thompsons would not insist that the licence was amended)
    3. You say the Thompsons obeyed every rule, but isn’t it true that they did not construct the facility in the manner they had proposed in the works approval application? The WA Ag Dept concluded that the system as constructed is inadequate for the current feedlot area
    4. Feedlots emit odour – that’s a fact. The LCCC found that residents close to the feedlot were affected by odour. You only appear to have quoted the LCCC comments in respect to the town of Narrogin
    5. From the Google map, the feedlot looks like it is 10 to 20 times larger than the neighbouring piggery, which also looks to be totally enclosed – to say that the piggery is the source of odour is speculative at best
    6. Lastly, your timeline in an earlier post stops at an appeal from 2008. The WA Minister for the Environment decided in July this year to allow the Thompsons 10000 head, which is what they were after. The licence is also for 5 years, not 2 years as has been stated.

    I am all for outing bad decision making, but having read the available information, the case is not that black and white.

    I think the better approach would be to try and find solutions to the problem – if the feedlot is too close to residents, which really appears to be the case, then how can it be moved to a better location a few miles away? If there is so much local support, then I am sure a sympathetic land owner would be happy to do a land swap, and the bank would be happy to secure its liability for a site that is less likely to be the source of controversy down the track. Let’s try and find positive solutions for everyone, rather than trying to attribute blame.

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    Steve B

    I wonder if a 5 year Email audit of DEC would be in order?

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    Cate S

    Now can we REALLY start to fight? Thanks Jo for putting it on at last!

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    strewth

    “Private Enterprise, in essence, is the right of the individual, alone or with others, to engage in work of his own choosing or to set up in business to own, to use and to risk.

    The reward for success is profit or achievement in a chosen field, the penalty for failure is the loss of what has been ventured.

    Nothing can surpass the system of rewards and penalties in providing the incentive upon which economic progress is built.

    The desire to create something new . . . the hope of contributing to the betterment of others, these are incentives for individual conduct which Private Enterprise encourages and on which it depends.

    Just as individual capacities can be developed by education, so can capital goods be created and increased by saving, investment and advancements in industrial knowledge and techniques.”Unknown

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    John from CA

    UNCLE BILL’S CANADIAN BLOG
    TUESDAY, 28 SEPTEMBER, 2010

    Taking the fight to the enemy part 1
    http://williamsticker.blogspot.com/2010/09/taking-fight-to-enemy-part-1.html

    “There’s currently a lot of that currently going on in Australia, where farmers are being forced off their land following complaints from vociferous minorities. A case in point is that of the Thompson family; law abiding, taxpaying people who complied with all the rules and regulations concerning an agricultural operation, yet now find themselves facing eviction from their own property after 21 complaints about the odour from their beef raising feedlot operation, for which the correct permissions had been obtained.”

    (part 2 to follow)

    Climatechange Truth and the Hidden Agenda
    September 21, 2010

    The Price Of Standing Up To Global Warming Alarmists in West Australian Govt.
    http://shooter-climatechangetruth.blogspot.com/2010/09/price-of-standing-up-to-global-warming.html

    “This is a particularly nasty story about warming alarmist facism by the Government of Western Australia and the retribution they let rip on a family resulting in the Thompsons receiving an eviction notice with just 4 days warning.”

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    Scott

    There is a Federal scheme for people to apply to the Department of Finance for compensation (for costs incurred) due to Government department maladministration. Is there a similar scheme in WA?
    Meaning this scheme when dealing with Federal bureaucrats tends to elicit a fast response.

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    Bulldust

    Assuming these minutes are accurate (and I have no reason to doubt this) then it’s game over for DEC on this case. This is a contentious issue which has the potential to blow up in Faragher’s face. This will need to be dealt with immediately. Keep up the pressure folks.

    The more I read the more I suspect that the EDO has their hands on the strings in DEC.

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    John from CA

    News Toplines sent to all members of the WA State Government including this article.

    Here’s hoping the news from NAB is positive!!!!

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    fedup

    Peter McLeod
    I think the better approach would be to try and find solutions to the problem

    Don’t you think the situation is a bit past that now?
    Such feel-good, be positive naive pop-culture preaching is not helpful.
    One does not just pick up the infrastructure of a sizeable feedlot and transfer it from A to B.
    The story of the Thompsons is clearly one of administrative abuse of process. The whole world has picked over this story and found very few holes in it. Those you believe you have found don’t make the case any less just and would not stop the MSM if they had the will to pursue it.
    If blame is not attributed and heads don’t roll the way is left open for small business and farmers to continue to be put out of business by administrative abuse.

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    Douglas Dc Oregon,US

    Hi been a while, but this made a local farm/ranch radio show in the Pacific NW US. If I can find the show URL I’ll try to get it
    in.
    I told the Cattleman’s assoc here in my area about this.
    Our National EPA is trying to regulate DUST!
    we are in this together..

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    pat

    jo -
    take a bow…u have played your part admirably.

    WUWT: Royal Society blinks – embraces sceptics and uncertainty
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/09/29/royal-society-blinks-embraces-sceptics-and-uncertainty/

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    Roy Hogue

    Never attribute to malice that which arises from stupidity or incompetence. The DEC has been dragged around by its metaphorical nose by someone highly skilled in institutional manipulation. The alleged culprit has fed in just enough “evidence” in the way of complaints etc. at just the right time to make the DEC jump just the way that was wanted, in an effort to remain just out of sight The bureaucrats involved are simply too stupid to realise this manipulation, they go along the “desired” pathway blithely thinking that they are operating within the confines of their ‘legal’ remit even when this is not the case.

    When I saw Stephen Brown’s comment above I was reminded of the quote below.

    Half the harm that is done in this world
    Is due to people who want to feel important.
    They don’t mean to do harm — but the harm does not interest them.
    Or they do not see it, or they justify it
    Because they are absorbed in the endless struggle
    To think well of themselves.

    (From The Cocktail Party, T.S. Eliot)

    It hardly seems worth debating whether malice was intended or not when the result was “malicious” (harm done to someone).

    That last line about wanting to think well of themselves, to be important is the killer.

    Matt and Janet seem to be caught up in just such a situation.

    Not knowing Australian government very well I’ll have to display my ignorance and ask, is DEC not accountable to someone or some agency with the power to look into their activities and demand change?

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    Blunt

    This comment i have brought forward to here with “Strewth” consent, from Jo’s update 7.
    To be blunt, these links are filthy, and need to be brought to the forefront.

    strewth:
    September 30th, 2010 at 12:13 am
    There seems to be fair bit of interest in the activities of the Environmental Defenders Office (EDO). Probably their best website, for access and detail of what they actually amount to as an organisation and descriptive people is their Australian Capital Territory (ACT) website.
    Here is a sample of what can be found.
    http://www.edo.org.au/edoact/publications/handbook.html
    Chapter 12 – “Taking Action”
    Scope of chapter
    Taking action can be broken down into eight elements:
    1. research—background science, economics, key players, policy context
    2. disseminating information to public—events, stalls, website
    3. media—building relationships, effective messaging, creative stunts, timing
    4. legal and parliamentary platforms—FOI, going to court, parliamentary processes, law reform
    5. political—supporting candidates, how to vote cards, the running of fair elections,lobbying
    6. fundraising—seeking donations, grants, selling merchandise
    7. non-violent direct action (NVDA)—necessity, safety, police, media, logistics, criminal justice system
    http://www.edo.org.au/edoact/about.html#top
    “How are we Funded”
    EDO (ACT) is largely funded by the Commonwealth Attorney General’s Department under the Community Legal Services Program. The EDO (ACT) also receives funding from the ACT Law Society. The EDO relies on members, volunteers and donations to operate.

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  • #
    Jaymez

    Peter McLeod@ #10

    I know you think you are looking at this matter rationally and dispassionately, but your approach is far too simplistic.

    It is reasonable for an enterprise such as NBP to build up gradually to capacity. It did not start out with a capacity for 10,000 or 15,000 head. It is reasonable to expect that if you meet all known requirements when you commence such a business venture, and you continue to meet those requirements, you would have the increases in head approved as a matter of course. What has happened here is that because of the activism of a non representative minority, requirements have been consistently changed to the point where the Thompson’s, and the Bank have no confidence that the feed-lot will be able to operate at the level it needs to repay debt and make a profit.

    The latest licence while allowing for up to 10,000 head only applies when they have jumped through some hurdles at 6,000 head. One of the hurdles is the nefarious requirement to ensure odours do not interfere with the amenity of others. The majority of locals including nearby residents have continuously indicated the feed-lot has not interfered with their amenity. The local shire, which represents all rate-payers has indicated they are happy with the standard of operation and the level of odours. Yet a small number of complainers who appear to have been coached by the EDO, and include neighbours who are wanting to rezone their land, have been able to frustrate this best practice operation over the past 8 years. It is not right and it is not fair.

    As others have pointed out on this site, if the same standards were to apply in urban areas, not a single bakery or restaurant would be able to operate. People might also be able to shut down their neighbour’s weekend BBQ’s, garlic laden dinners, or use of garden fertilizers.

    DEC need to get real, they need to provide reasonable, measurable odour standards appropriate to rural areas. There needs to be leeway given for occasions when wind and weather combine to heighten the level of odours. DEC need to grant the licence for a number of head which will allow the NBP to repay debt and operate profitably, and for a minimum of 5 years. Though I question why any time frame needs to apply. Other industries have licences granted indefinitely provided licence requirements are met (liquor, retail, bank, securities dealers, builders, etc etc). In addition, if a dispute arises regarding whether the licence obligations are being met, the Thompson’s should be able to continue operating at the full capacity while the dispute process goes on (other than if serious health issues are at risk).

    I have a very broad range of business experience and knowledge and cannot think of any other business which has had to deal with the uncertainty NBP have had to deal with. This flies in the face of both the State Government and Federal Government’s stated commitment to supporting regional Australia.

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  • #

    A few thoughts while I sruggle to digest all this. There can be no thought of protecting the jobs of select individuals. A family has been ruined financially and physically, and the whole family will have to cope with the trauma of all this for many years to come.
    This is a time for seeking retribution and financial compensation for the losses.
    Also Australia needs a system of governance that will root out incompetence and negligence in Government Departments that deal with the public.
    Government departments have been dismantled and renewed before. They will again.
    Matt and Janet should take a leaf out of Jom Selim’s (pan Pharmaceuticals). He settled for $55 Million against the Therapeutic Goods Administration.
    Bear in mind that along the way the receivers sued him for negligence.
    There are no friendly players in this game.

    The most important thing to do now is to find all documents that support matters in this post.
    Word of mouth will not have any currecy in the matter that will unfold.
    PS I have often wondered why this law exists:

    CIVIL PROCEDURE ACT 2005 – SECT 20
    Claims for possession of land
    20 Claims for possession of land

    (cf Act No 52 1970, section 79)
    A claim for judgment for possession of land takes the place of a claim in an action for ejectment that could have been brought under the practice of the Supreme Court as it was immediately before 1 July 1972.

    Norm

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  • #
    Bernd Felsche

    Roy Hogue 21:

    Not knowing Australian government very well I’ll have to display my ignorance and ask, is DEC not accountable to someone or some agency with the power to look into their activities and demand change?

    Ultimately, under the Westminster system, the Minister is responsible. But the Minister seldom appears to be the Captain of the ship; rather a first-class passenger who pays all the bills whilst stumbling about in a haze.

    Departments “go feral”. Not only is it a common attribute of all organizations to try to perpetuate themselves; they are also obsessed with consuming all the funds that have been budgeted; and then some. The Department becomes the reason for the existence of the Department. Meanwhile; those who use their position within the Department to further their personal goals are protected by being “public servants”. Those individuals tend to actively reinforce the notion of “solidarity” within the Department to ensure that blame can be distributed and penalties diffuse.

    There is an Ombudsman. But the Ombudsman has little investigate powers and relies on being told the complete truth by the Department and complainants.

    Ultimately, a Royal Commission may be called to investigate matters. It has full investigate powers and can compel people to testify.

    But for the victims of maladministration and vindictive/unfair practices; that is too slow a process for justice. And the perpetrating individuals know it. The harm will have been inflicted and the perpetrator seem to escape penalties that are proportional to the magnitude of the crime.

    In the recent letter to my local “representative” I included the call for a:

    Review and redraft all State legislation that gives arbitrary powers to departments without responsibility for their actions or inactions. Individuals in Departments must be made responsible. It NOT conducive to good government to be able to diffuse responsibility when the consequences of their decisions are bad.

    Sometimes I toy with the idea of government Departments being created with a “use-by date”. There are dozens of reasons why that is a worthwhile concept and few reasons to argue against it in general.

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    Len

    In today’s Farm Weekly magazine there is an artilce on page 8. It is entitled “Receivers move in to Narrogin Feedlot.” The article is by Beth Johnston. It mentions the appointment of receivers Ferrier Hoodgson by NAB. The Perth partner is Darren Weaver. The article contains quotes from Mr Thompson on his actions over the previous years. There is a photo of Janet and Matt Thompson. The caption mentions that the Thompsons have been told they must be out of their house by October 15.

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  • #
    John from CA

    excerpts from the
    Countryman

    Bank rolled
    30-09-2010
    News | Kate Matthews

    WA farming family and Property Rights Australia (PRA) have launched a public pressure campaign in an eleventh-hour bid to stop the National Australia Bank (NAB) from closing down a Narrogin feedlot.

    PRA vice-president Lee McNicholl said they would be doubling their efforts to ensure a just outcome for the Thompsons.

    Mr McNicholl said he was personally involved in a farm foreclosure fight in Queensland and said public pressure resulted in the receival paperwork being pulled, receivership costs refunded and a solution hammered out.

    Online farm forum AGMates is also running a lobby campaign on behalf of the Thompsons, calling on its members to contact local media.

    Countryman understands NAB chief executive Cameron Clyne and politicians mediating on behalf of the Thompsons met this week.

    Full story: http://www.countryman.com.au/article/3715.html

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  • #
    Ferdinand

    They responded very promptly to my polite but critical letter to Donna Faragher from the UK and say I can expect a reply from her. Perhaps common sense is beginning to take hold.

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    Bulldust

    Bernd Felsche @ 25:

    You forget the CCC – they are effectively the “internal affairs” group that goes after corruption in the service. Then again they are not so much after misadministration but more corruption within the service:

    http://www.ccc.wa.gov.au/Pages/default.aspx

    Not sure what you mean by a “use by” date for departments. Civil servants are mostly equivalent to tenured staff at universities. It should be a requirement that you have such tenure so that you can give “frank and fearless advice”* to your minister(s). The problem is that the top echelon in departments is not tenured, they tend to be on 5-year contracts. While this might be great to ensure change from time to time, it does mean that politicians have more influence over the top placements. Hence all the furor you seem from time to time when it is argued that a particular CEO/DG placement was “political.”

    With contracted staff heading departments it becomes like picking chief justices in the USA… the party in power has most sway over the position when it comes up for grabs. Also a minister will want a CEO/DG that “they can work with.” It’s a slippery slope…

    But I also get your point about departments getting a mind of their own. Take DEC as an example. It stands to reason that many of the people that work for DEC have an active interest in the environment. It would have been a motivating factor to work there in the first place. It is not a huge stretch of the imagination to assume that many of them have Green leanings politically. Therefore it is not beyond the pale to imagine that you may find a few that are willing to “stand on the hose” when it comes to approvals/conditions within their area. Just saying… this is obviously speculation, and I personally know a lot of good folks in DEC, but that is largely because I deal with the more pragmatic branches.

    * For those not familiar with the concept: sometimes the ministers have to be told what they do not want to hear. If it could cost the staffer their career/job obviously you end up with a bunch of civil service yes-men for the government of the day, and no one wants that. It’s a delicate balance of course…

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    Bulldust

    Ferdinand @ 29:

    You would have received the standard “we received your letter” type response. By a response from her, they mean a response drafted by one of her personal staff or one of the departmental (DEC) staff who are more knowledgeable about the case and signed off by the Minister. Expect a 2-3 week wait and the response may be full of woolly “motherhood” statements that cover their backsides but don’t really address the issue. That’s assuming you get a response… I’d be somewhat surprised if they respond to people that aren’t even from this country, but you never know.

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    Bulldust

    The appalling nature of the media has not changed… searching for Narrogin beef producers on Google news (Australia):

    http://news.google.com.au/news/search?aq=f&pz=1&cf=all&ned=au&hl=en&q=narrogin+beef+producers
    0 hits.

    Searching the same site for Paris Hilton:
    http://news.google.com.au/news/search?aq=f&pz=1&cf=all&ned=au&hl=en&q=paris+hilton
    5,664 hits…

    That sums up the media folks… and they wonder why people are migrating from the mainstream media to the blogosphere…

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    Roy Hogue

    Bernd,

    Thanks for the explanation.

    I’ve noticed that sooner or later most organizations, however lofty their founding principles and ideals, begin to serve themselves. I like your idea of an expiration date!

    Bulldust,

    God forbid that the Thompsons should ever do what Paris Hilton has done to “earn” her celebrity! But I wish their fortunes ($$$) were reversed. That would be simple justice for both.

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    Bernd Felsche

    Bulldust 30:

    The “use-by date” applies to the whole Department, not just the staff.

    A Department has a life of its own; ritual practices, processes that once had purpose but were perpetuated “because that’s how we do things around here”. Rocking the boat is the last thing that newcomers with a different perspective want to do; so it’s “impossible” to stop people already settled into the Department from going through their rituals. Process becomes more important than purpose.

    Note that these observations apply not just to government departments! It happens in the private (and volunteer) sector as well.

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    Bernd Felsche

    Ferrier-Hodgson appointed as Receivers of Narrogin Beef Producers Pty Ltd

    Appointment Type: Receivership
    Appointment Date: 21/09/2010

    Current Status and Actions Required by Creditors:

    The Receivers and Managers have taken control of NBP and the properties, and are attending to the affairs of NBP as necessary.

    As NBP had ceased trading 8 months ago, there will be no trading activities conducted by the Receivers and Managers.

    Further updates will be released on the Ferrier Hodgson website as they become available.

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    John from CA

    Hi Bulldust,
    Use a google advanced search for the past “time frame of choice”and either Thompsons Feedlot or Narrogin Feedlot nd you’ll find a number of hits.

    This is new today:

    Silobreaker
    http://www.silobreaker.com/bank-rolled-5_2263759156563411038

    Bank rolled

    A WA farming family and Property Rights Australia (PRA) have launched a public pressure campaign in an eleventh-hour bid to stop the National Australia Bank (NAB) from closing down a Narrogin feedlot.

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    Norm Martin

    Bulldust

    It is my considered opinion that both the bank and DEC will attempt to keep the Thompsons as financially distressed as pessible so they will not have the resources to bring actions against them.
    Re reading some of the earlier posts by the Thompsons, the bank may have lent money under a situation not in keeping with standatds of due diligence required.

    The DEC meeting minutes are dynamite. Joanne has performed a great public service in publishing this account of feral burocracy.

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    Norm Martin

    Just in case anyone who is interesred has not seen this document, I will post the link.
    It is the official NEAT document written after on of the appeals in 2009.

    http://portal.environment.wa.gov.au/pls/portal/docs/PAGE/OAC/ADMIN_CONTENT/DECISION_SUMMARIES/2009/029-034-08%20MINISTERS%20APPEALS%20DETERMINATION.PDF

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    Blunt

    Who are there legal representatives now? One would assume Thompsons would have been working to injunct the receivers now.

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    Dale Stiller

    Blunt, yes there is an effort going on behind the scenes. They’re at the stage of putting something together & although it can be appreciated that people of good will would be liked to be kept informed, I’m afraid that you may have to wait a couple of days.

    It wouldn’t hurt that when the WA politicians & NAB executives come to work on Monday that there are more emails waiting for them

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    Blunt

    Dale Stiller, that information is now available to a select few, “Blunt” is informed.
    Agreed, pressure is imperative now as information becomes public.
    NAB and DEC one would “assume” should be very nervous about now.
    Vigilance now would be advisable against the character assassination and innuendo that may be waged at the Thompson’s.

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    Roy Hogue

    CO2 Insanity @42,

    The EPA is implementing Obama’s intent to drive his country down to the level of some least common denominator in this world.

    He has systematically tightened his grip on everything until there’s almost nothing left that he doesn’t have a way to control or a way to gain control of. He tells auto companies and banks that they may not repay their government loans. Why? Hint: that way he retains the power to control them. He finds many willing helpers in this effort, many who don’t even realize what his true intent is.

    He may not meet the legal definition of treason but he meets the spirit of treason almost perfectly.

    Now before you start to call me a conspiracy theorist or an off the wall nut case, read the following.

    http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2010/0927/politics-socialism-capitalism-private-enterprises-obama-business-problem_print.html

    This link has been posted here before. The full impact of it may escape the casual reader. But to one who lives in the U.S., who loves his country and spends a lot of time watching what goes on in DC, I can assure you, this spells out exactly the message of my first paragraph. And it scares me for the future of my country.

    As you read it note the critical thing that D’Sousa points out — Obama’s book was entitled Dreams from My Father, not Dreams of My Father. He is all about his father’s ant colonialism. He’s trying to save the world from a United States he sees as an oppressor. Never mind that for a very long time it has been the United states that has lifted up the rest of the world, not put boot across other’s necks.

    Think of me as you will but read this with a critical eye. If you live in the U.S. read it as a wakeup call that may already be too late.

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    Roy Hogue. Good article. I don’t want to hijack things here. My e-mail is co2insanity@gmail.com if you want to contact. Here’s latest.

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    John from CA

    New Coverage:

    Farm WEEKLY:
    Receivers move in to Narrogin feedlot
    BY BETH JOHNSTON
    03 Oct, 2010 02:00 AM

    http://fw.farmonline.com.au/
    http://fw.farmonline.com.au/news/state/livestock/cattle/receivers-move-in-to-narrogin-feedlot/1957518.aspx?storypage=1

    National Rural News – Queensland Country Life
    22 hours ago – 03 Oct 10
    links to Farm WEEKLY article

    CO2 Insanity:
    Climate Dictatorships Arising From AGW Ashes?
    Is the government in Australia is crazy, too?

    http://co2insanity.com/2010/10/02/climate-dictatorships-arising-from-agw-ashes/

    Liputan Terkini
    http://www.liputan-terkini.co.cc/liputan/minister-of-the-environment-and-queen-of-wa–jonova.html

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    John from CA

    from the Farm WEEKLY article:

    “Mr Thompson said the whole situation was heartbreaking for the family, but even when things look to be finished, they remained positive that a solution may still be achieved.

    “I can’t believe that a solution wouldn’t be worked out, but there are obviously some things going on behind the scenes that I don’t understand,” Mr Thompson said.

    “I’m in disbelief that NAB is proceeding despite this political pressure.”

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    Norm Martin

    John from CA

    It has become totally and irrevocably obvious that the Thompsons are the victims of gross negligence by DEC.
    I can find no authority for such an action to be transferable to NAB.
    Now the poo has hit the fan, all parties will be endeavouring to limit their liabilities.
    It would be in the interest of NAB and DEC, (and others) to keep the Thompsons so financially distressed that they will never be able to sue.
    As it appears from doccumentation that this negligence has been ongoing for some time, it would be prudent to keep an eye on the Statute of limitations which is 6 years, so any cross claim against NAB has probably been already eroded.
    The receiver has the power to prosecute for debts owing to the Thompsons, but an action for damages encompasses a host of intangibles, eg Stress, Trauma, Loss of future opportunities and so on. Several prime years of their lives have been stolen.
    So don’t be surprised what happens. I dont believe any arrangement would be valid except by Consent Orders.

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    Dale Stiller

    Thanks John from CA for alerting us to the article in the Farm weekly

    http://fw.farmonline.com.au/news/state/livestock/cattle/receivers-move-in-to-narrogin-feedlot/1957518.aspx?storypage=0

    This is WA’s biggest rural newspaper, in the Rural Press stable that has newpapers in every state in Australia.

    If you go to the link above & read the article in full, you will see that you can add comments.

    Please do so!

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    David L. Hagen

    Hon. Speaker Grant Woodhams reports that “DEC is in the process of issuing an amended licence to Narrogin Beef Producers”

    ——————————–
    Email received Oct 4, 2010, 12:32 AM

    Thank you for your email regarding your concerns in relation to the current dispute between Narrogin Beef Producers and the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC). This has indeed become a very emotive issue.

    I have been advised that DEC is in the process of issuing an amended licence to Narrogin Beef Producers and I will closely monitor the outcome of this process.

    Yours sincerely

    Hon Grant Woodhams MLA
    Member for Moore, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly
    ———————————–
    From: David L Hagen. . .
    Sent: Wednesday, 29 September 2010 7:37 AM
    To: Premier.Barnett@dpc.wa.gov.au etc.
    Subject: Please intervene and uphold Thompson’s right to live and work with 97% community support against tyrannical DEC

    Dear Premier Barnett

    As an Australian, an engineer and a scientist, I petition you to restore the rule of law and common sense in WA.

    A very tiny 2% of townspeople smelling a neighboring piggery and a tyrannical DEC are destroying the Thompson family and their efforts to earn a living after investing their life savings. See below. The objected smell is NOT associated primarily with the Thompson’s feedlot.

    At least 900 neighbors (>97%) have petitioned to allow the Thompson’s to run their business.

    The plight of the Thompson’s in the hand of arbitrary abuse by DEC will strongly warn off businessmen and investors considering doing business in WA. This severe anti business environment will very severely harm ALL people in WA.

    This abuse of the Rule of Law by the DEC is no different from King John robbing barons and bishops alike.

    The very foundation of Constitution guarantees that the “King” is not above the law. The DEC has very clearly acted ABOVE the law, destroying equal rights before the law, and destroying the foundations of civilization.

    Please restore the Rule of Law in WA and establish a swift reliable environmental process.

    Yours sincerely

    Dr. David L. Hagen

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    Norm Martin

    David L. Hagen:

    Good one Doctor! I like it when it all comes together. You pressed the right buttons. Now to wait and see what next.

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    John from CA

    Dr. Hagen,

    I received the same email message from Hon Grant Woodhams MLA.

    One can only pray that its sufficient to motivate NAB to reverse the receivership!!!

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    David L. Hagen

    Copy of my followup letter:

    Hon. Speaker Moore & Premier Barnett

    Thank you Speaker Moore for monitoring redress of the Dept. Environment and Conservation’s (DEC) tyrannical handling of Narrogin Beef Producers’ license.

    1) Please ensure complete restoration with full issuance of Thompsons’ 15,000 head license with ALL formal commercial documentation (not just verbal).

    2) Please ensure DEC fiduciary duties, including thorough restoration of Thompson’s full credit and reputation with the banks.

    3) Please arrange compensation to Thompsons for DEC’s tyrannical handling of this application.

    4) Please thoroughly reform DEC over their arrogation and abuse of power.

    5) Restore the Rule of Law at DEC, empowering DEC’s Ombudsman to rapidly investigate, enforce speedy response, and provide restoration for abuse.

    Yours sincerely

    Dr. David Hagen

    PS I have posted my letters & your response at JoNovo.com.au, with copies to MPs
    See:
    Tyranny: How to destroy a business with environmental red tape
    http://joannenova.com.au/2010/07/tyranny-how-to-destroy-a-business-with-environmental-red-tape/
    Thompsons Part 10: The DEC admits it treated them unfairly
    http://joannenova.com.au/2010/09/thompsons-part-10-the-dec-admits-it-treated-them-unfairly/

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    David L. Hagen

    Correction: JoNova.com.au. Apologies

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    strewth

    Norm Martin @ 47

    You say – “I can find no authority for such an action to be transferable to NAB.”

    Assuming you are referring to an authority in ‘Negligence’ or duty of care (due diligence) that could occasion a vicarious liability against NAB, such an authority would be held by (and in the principles of) Hedley Byrne & Co Ltd v Heller & Partners Ltd.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hedley_Byrne_%26_Co_Ltd_v_Heller_%26_Partners_Ltd

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    David L. Hagen

    strewth
    Please bring Hedley Byrne & Co Ltd v Heller & Partners Ltd. to the attention of NAB officials together with documentation above of DEC’s failures.

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    David L. Hagen

    At best DEC is guilty of overeaching arrogation of power. See:
    Are we sliding into a tyranny of good intentions? Neil Reynolds

    He quotes Prof. Minogue:

    “A populace which hands its moral order over to governments, no matter how impeccable its reasons, will become dependent and slavish. . . .The point is that governments have no business telling us how to live. They are tiresome enough in the exercise of authority. They are intolerable when they mount the pulpit. . . One reason is that our rulers now manage so much of our lives that they cannot help but do it badly. They have overreached. Blunder follows blunder.

    Enough of such arrogation of power.
    Restore the responsibility DEC has to the Thompsons as secured in Magna Carta.

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    John from CA

    Dale Stiller:
    October 4th, 2010 at 9:44 pm
    Thanks John from CA for alerting us to the article in the Farm weekly

    http://fw.farmonline.com.au/news/state/livestock/cattle/receivers-move-in-to-narrogin-feedlot/1957518.aspx?storypage=0

    This is WA’s biggest rural newspaper, in the Rural Press stable that has newpapers in every state in Australia.

    If you go to the link above & read the article in full, you will see that you can add comments.

    Please do so!

    =======

    Farm Weekly posted my comments.

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    Norm Martin

    Strewth and David H

    Three points
    Statute of Limitations is 6 Years

    Sweeping changes to negligene laws in High Court in Brodie v Sigleton et al. Misfeasance and malfeasance were sidelined.

    Uniform Civil Procedures Act 2005 intrduces other factors, eg vulnerability.

    The Summary in Hedley was:

    Held: A negligent, although honest, misrepresentation, may give rise to an action for damages for financial loss even if there was no contract between the advisor and the advisee and no fiduciary relationship. The law will imply a duty of care when the advisee seeks information from an advisor who has special skill and where the advisee trusts the advisor to exercise due care, and that the advisor knew or ought to have known that reliance was being placed upon his skill and judgment.

    However, in this case there was an express disclaimer of responsibility and there was therefore be no liability. This case established the doctrine of negligent misrepresentation, but in this case the disclaimer effectively barred the claim.

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    strewth

    Norm Martin @ 59

    I brought Hedley Byrne & Co Ltd v Heller & Partners Ltd (1964) as remediation to your post @ 47 where you said – “I can find no authority for such an action to be transferable to NAB.”

    Your part summary of Hedley Byrne & Co Ltd v Heller & Partners Ltd is correct giving rise to the principle of “Pure Economic Loss” based on professional negligence whether intentional or unintentional in the absence of any contract. “Hedley Byrne & Co Ltd v Heller & Partners Ltd (1964) AC 465 created the rule of “reasonable reliance” by the claimant on the skills of the defendant.” It said – “Where a person is so placed that others could reasonably rely upon his judgment or his skill or upon his ability to make careful inquiry, and a person takes it upon himself to give information or advice to, or allows his information or advice to be passed on to, another person who, as he knows or should know, will place reliance upon it, then a duty of care will arise.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Professional_negligence_in_English_Law

    You say – “Uniform Civil Procedures Act 2005 intrduces other factors, eg vulnerability.” – This is a NSW jurisdictional statute which is actually called the “Civil Procedure Act 2005” and totally irrelevant with respect to my post @ 54 and NAB that would associate NAB to the Corporations Act 2001 (C’th) and the jurisdiction of Federal Court of Australia and more specifically to the jurisdiction of Western Australia. In Western Australia the equivalency would be the “Civil Procedure Act 1833 (IMP) (W.A) but even that Act would be subordinate to the Federal Court Rules governing processes and procedures for the Corporations Act with respect to negligence, duty of care (due diligence).

    Statutory immunity for State authorities (WA – DEC) that you reference by Brodie v Singleton Shire Council is a 2001 case and would be seriously challenged by the results of the settlement delivered on the 14/08/2008 (approved by Justice Emmett – FCA) in the amount of $50 million by the Commonwealth paid to Mr Jim Selim, founder of Pan Pharmaceuticals, for abuse of public office by an “Authority”.
    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/business/news/pan-pharmaceuticals-boss-jim-selim-wins-55m-in-tga-case/story-e6frez80-1111117192025

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    Norm Martin

    Strewth !

    You are not trying to tell me that any perceived relationship between DEC and NAB is comparable to the Pan Pharmaceuticals case are you?
    There is no claim of any advise being sought by NAB from DEC, and even if it was that is likely to be before the matter becomes Statute barred and also likely to have a substantial disclaimer. DEC is most unlikely to have any mandate to advise third parties.

    As I said Hedley is not an authority for an action. It is only a finding that an action may exist under certain circumstances.

    Read this case from High Court

    http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/sinodisp/au/cases/cth/HCA/1997/8.html?stem=0&synonyms=0&query=%22esanda%22%20and%20%22hedley%22.

    The duty of care identified by Barwick CJ in Evatt and later accepted by Mason and Aickin JJ in Shaddock is concerned with the duty owed in relation to information or advice provided in response to a request[43]. The duty recognised in Hedley Byrne extends to a situation in which advice is communicated to a third party. That duty was subsequently explained by Lord Oliver of Aylmerton in Caparo Industries Plc v Dickman as a duty on the part of a person who gives advice upon which others rely in the ordinary course of business to take reasonable care in the giving of that advice if[44]:

    Note. Shaddock was the guy who contacted, I think, Burwood Council and got very bad advice about a road being planned to go tyhrough his property.

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    strewth

    Norm Martin @ 61

    You say – “You are not trying to tell me that any perceived relationship between DEC and NAB is comparable to the Pan Pharmaceuticals case are you?” – No Norm……you must read what is written which was “Statutory immunity for State authorities (WA – DEC) that you reference by Brodie v Singleton Shire Council is a 2001 case and would be seriously challenged……………….” What part of “Statutory immunity” (in the singular) and (that you referenced) do you not understand ?? I merely responded to your reference by extension. The rest of your paragraph now becomes extraneous.

    You say – “As I said Hedley is not an authority for an action. It is only a finding that an action may exist under certain circumstances.” – You will note that your first sentence is inconsistent with your second. A proceeding’s of Tort only needs the adoption of the principle as to cause. The principle is the authority for the cause.

    You say – “Read this case from High Court” – [link] – I see that your link reveals the results of your search for “Esanda”. I also see that you have copy and pasted at [43] – [44] of that case in which it is examining the context of other cases, namely “Evatt”, “Shaddock”, “Hedley”, and “Caparo Industries” drawing on commonality with respect to “Pure Economic Loss”. If you had bothered to copy & paste the exact commonality (the very next paragraph) that they fell on for that purpose it would have revealed nothing contentious. – (next Para)“”(1) the advice is required for a purpose, whether particularly specified or generally described, which is made known, either actually or inferentially, to the adviser at the time when the advice is given; (2) the adviser knows, either actually or inferentially, that his advice will be communicated to the advisee, either specifically or as a member of an ascertainable class, in order that it should be used by the advisee for that purpose; (3) it is known either actually or inferentially, that the advice so communicated is likely to be acted upon by the advisee for that purpose without independent inquiry, and (4) it is so acted upon by the advisee to his detriment.””

    Again a little further on they (HCA) state and is also uncontentious – “This Court accepted in San Sebastian, as the House of Lords earlier accepted in Hedley Byrne, that liability for negligent statements is not confined to cases involving a request for information or advice. It was said in San Sebastian that” – “The maker of a statement may come under a duty to take care through a combination of circumstances or in various ways, in the absence of a request by the recipient. The author, though volunteering information or advice, may be known to possess, or profess to possess, skill and competence in the area which is the subject of the communication. He may warrant the correctness of what he says or assume responsibility for its correctness. He may invite the recipient to act on the basis of the information or advice, or intend to induce the recipient to act in a particular way. He may actually have an interest in the recipient so acting.”

    http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/HCA/1997/8.html

    This raises the question, that if there is nothing contentious viz- acceptance of “Hedley”, what exactly was/is your point ?? It appears to me that you are playing catch-up in relation to this specific issue, and if that is the case could you do it on your own time ??

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    Blunt

    Strewth – take my advise – yibby – yibby- yibby yadda!
    Some or us were born to comprehend and some others are vocationally challenged. You found one of the latter!

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    Norm Martin

    Strewth

    I never made any specific claim about statutory immunity, That was your mistaken interpretation.
    In particular WA and DEC. I challenge you to point to any comment I made that even imlies that immunity.
    You are right, this is a time wating exercise. If you want to believe Hedley is some sort of magic bullet, that is your pregrogative.

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    David L. Hagen

    Norm Martin & strew

    Note: “Then the Department admits that when they change the license the Thompsons ought to be able to keep operating at the previous license limit while it is under appeal. This did not happen in 2008.”

    CA: With any license that is issued, the original terms would stand even during appeal. If there is an appeal, the terms stand until the appeals process is complete.

    The Barons under the leadership of Archbishop Stephen Langton, brought King John back under the rule of law by the Magna Carta.

    The 1297 statute of Edward I confirms and enacts the principal provisions of the original Magna Carta which King John was forced by his rebellious barons to sign in 1215. The 1297 statute was enacted by Parliament (which did not exist in 1215) and is still in force in part in the United Kingdom and, indeed, in the Australian states and territories. . . .
    ‘No free man shall be taken or imprisoned or dispossessed, or outlawed, or banished, or in any way destroyed, nor will we go upon him, nor send upon him, except by the legal judgment of his peers or by the law of the land.

    To no one will we sell, to no one will we deny, or delay right or justice.’ . . .
    In 1973 the Australian Capital Territory Law Reform Commission prepared a report on imperial statutes still in force in the Territory. . .

    Bad King John and the Australian Constitution

    The original 1215 version codified:

    We will not seek to procure from anyone, either by our own efforts or those of a third party, anything by which any part of these concessions or liberties might be revoked or diminished. Should such a thing be procured, it shall be null and void and we will at no time make use of it, either ourselves or through a third party.

    Interposition over breach of constitution and law remains the foundational right of every citizen.

    Consequently,
    1) The Thompsons “ought to be able to operate under the previous license” to at least 10,000 head.

    2) Since the DEC breached their fiduciary duties and unlawfully delayed and withheld the license due the Thompsons, their inaction of not allowing the license is itself “null and void”.

    Under Magna Carta I submit that the Thompsons should be able to interpose and proceed with operating at the full 15,000 head and require the DEC to show cause why they should not, in light of DEC’s gross breach of due process.

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    strewth

    Norm Martin @ 64

    you said @ 59 – “Sweeping changes to negligene laws in High Court in Brodie v Sigleton et al. Misfeasance and malfeasance were sidelined.”

    So just what is “Brodie v Singleton” about in part ?? According to the man overseeing the hearing, a bloke by the name of Gleeson (Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia) at that time said this with respect to ss 220-277B of the Local Government Act 1919 (NSW)“In both matters, it was contended that this Court should reconsider, and overrule, a line of cases, which establish what is sometimes described as a rule of immunity, concerning the tortious liability of a public authority, responsible for the care and management of a highway, when sued by a road user who suffers damage to person or property in consequence of the condition of the highway. In brief, such an authority may be liable for a negligent act of misfeasance, but is not liable for non-feasance. It will be necessary to be more precise as to the nature and scope of the rule, but that is a sufficient description for introductory purposes.”

    http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/HCA/2001/29.html

    Now you claim @ 64 where you said – “I never made any specific claim about statutory immunity, That was your mistaken interpretation.” – “In particular WA and DEC. I challenge you to point to any comment I made that even imlies that immunity.”

    I accept your challenge and direct you to paragraphs (1) & (2) inclusively. Can I add that if you are going to read a document it is a good idea to read it (the document) as a whole instead of just skim reading [it] and picking out the bits that you like, that way you won’t go off semi-cocked.

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    Blunt

    Jo – cant figure out how to put this on, but man oh man, after reading “Norm Martin’s” challenge to “Strewth” and “Strewths” excellent patience with accepting his challenge really felt this was appropriate!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQAfkYJdbrM

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