JoNova

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The Tyranny grinds on: Update on the Thompsons

Background: Can a Western Government wipe out an honest business with red tape? (What a naive question…)

Janet and Matt Thompson

Matt and Janet spoke out as skeptics in May 2007 and their life savings and business are now at grave risk as they fight off bankruptcy. What has undone them is not the financial crisis, or any failure of their business, but impossible clauses and conditions. Indeed they were so profitable in 2007 they were turning away business. They’ve broken no laws, are popular with their nearest neighbors, 6000 odour tests showed there was little problem in the town, and the Thompsons complied with every departmental request to manage the farm. Yet licensing changes and new conditions were so onerous, that banks won’t loan money against the license (it’s not much of a licence). Clause A1 means their licence can be whipped away again at any time if they “offend” anyone anywhere or interfere with their “health and comfort”. How do we measure that — Let the loudest complainer win. (If complaints about “comfort” can shut down a business, there go the wind farms…. Why is there one rule for one business, but not for all?) Even the department (DEC) admits it broke it’s own normal procedures and treated them unfairly. The operations manager of Narrogin Beef committed suicide, and the Thompsons have been reduced to the last thread as they pin their hopes on the difficult task of suing the Western Australian Department of Environment and Conservation in the Federal Court.

The Thompson’s information page.

D-Day on the decision in the Federal Court is Friday April 1. Though if they win, it means they have the right to sue the Department, not that past injustices will be righted on the spot. This is a long road ahead.
Matt and Janet write:

“Thanks to all who have supported us in so many ways. We have managed to stay on our property and fight for our rights legally since this all came to a head last September.

The legal process is very difficult, expensive, and cumbersome. However, we have managed to fight off a series of minor skirmishes and will finally be presenting the main body of our case for the first time before a federal court Judge in Perth on Friday April 1. This hearing will not be the end, but it will set important directions.

Joshua Forrester of Ranger Legal in Perth, and Peter King QSC Sydney are acting on our behalf.
The bottom line is that when all this went public on the sites last year we had been asked by the receivers to prepare to leave by October 15. The public outcry and the actions of our solicitors have so far prevented the other side from gaining possession and kicking us out. However, we have been unable to earn income by operating our facility in the meantime while the case is pending for legal reasons.

Our legal team Peter King and Joshua Forrester seem happy with our case now. These cases require a tremendous amount of tedious work to develop and we have been very fortunate that Joshua has found a way to make an heroic effort on our behalf. The state solicitor’s office is still finding all kinds of spurious things wrong with our claims rather than the substance of our case. They still claim DEC can’t be sued because they aren’t an entity, and don’t believe the state can be sued under the Trade Practices Act, as our case alleges. Our legal team thinks they can, and Janet and I are still determined to get the facts and substance of our case heard in court.”

Matt and Janet used a little of the donations late last year to keep food on the table and electricity on and do the absolute bare minimum to keep their household running. Things are breaking on the farm (and given the legal situation, with receivers in, mostly they have to stay broken for the time being.)

At the moment Joshua’s tireless legal work is keeping the family on the farm (though still a cow-less farm), and the Thompsons want to give him something to help him keep going. Matt and Janet are doing as much legal work of their own that they can do.

I’m told there was a useful precedent set in December with another case which gives them hope that their case against the DEC has a decent chance. The DEC have sent a representative to the Thompson’s local State legal cases (that the bank brought against the farm) and the representative apparently looks worried, Janet tells me, and it’s all very odd, because the case of a farm versus a bank is none of DEC’s business. The DEC case was a federal case, and not in the local courts.

Ron Manners and Mannkal, the Perth based libertarian foundation has picked up the Thompsons case and run an information evening here in Perth which attracted a supportive crowd, though of course, we are all fighting the big-tax as well…

Donations can be made here.

PS: Yes, it is the same Janet Thompson who volunteered to organize the anti-tax rally in Perth. As if looking after her four young children and monster legal case were not enough. This woman (this couple) just keep on giving.

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37 comments to The Tyranny grinds on: Update on the Thompsons

  • #
    Bulldust

    What a small world. I know Ron Manners from my Kalgoorlie days – lovely man who came to my “Mining and the internet” one day courses a couple of times.

    Good to hear the fight is going reasonably well (from the sounds of it). I shall be keeping my eyes peeled for good news on 1 April. I must say this is evoking memories of The Castle. Let’s hope the vibe is on your side :)

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    Dixon Cruickshank

    I have been wondering what has been going on if anything – glad to hear maybe some progress, please keep us up to date as I have followed the saga from Florida US and get nothing except from you. I am just baffled by the whole situation, I do follow Bolt too and just can’t believe what is happening there. We have our own Obama issues but good lord you guys are eat up with this crap – hope we have turned the corner but the jury is still out – 1 more election on both sides of the world hopefully. More power to you Jo

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  • #
    Baron

    From Moscow, there’s not much I can do to help, but another donation is on the way with my best wishes for the case as well.

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  • #
    Bulldust

    A colleague just linked today’s Dilbert … O/T but well worth a look:

    http://www.dilbert.com/strips/comic/2011-03-29/

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  • #
    Alexander

    http://www.tech-know.eu/uploads/Understanding_the_Atmosphere_Effect.pdf
    The CO2-AGW effect does not exist.

    Recent and palaeo-warming was from aerosols decreasing cloud albedo [calculated from Mie theory applying to the first few scatterings at the tops of clouds]. The optical physics in the climate models is wrong because it does not include this effect so no CO2-AGW.

    I do hope that now the CO2-AGW scam is biting the dust, the WA State bureaucracy and its warmist lackeys stop hounding the Thompsons for telling the truth. Bastards!

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  • #
    overseasinsider

    Well done Bulldust…. just fell off my chair laughing!!!!!

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  • #
    Rob Moore

    Hello Janet and Matt,
    Fingers crossed for April Fools Day- the tide has to go out on all these weirdo Dept and there twisted staff.

    The ANZAC,s on Just Grounds will be with you to the end of this!
    Like running a marathon- it is no use stopping a metre from the finish line.Have done another transfer to the kids account to be used however you like (legal)

    I hope all our global friends can do the same.
    Regards Rob.

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  • #
    Lawrie

    Does anyone else have a similar problem with DECC? It seems despicable that a conservative (usually business friendly) government is complicit in this travesty.

    I just hope those who brought you this problem will one day reap their just deserts.

    What goes around comes around.

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  • #
    Lawrie

    Speaking of law suits. Here is one that may help everyone. Well there is at least one who might ultimately regret starting the ball rolling. (Pun intended)

    http://climaterealists.com/?id=7445

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  • #
    Rereke Whakaaro

    Bulldust: #3
    overseasinsider: #4

    It is going viral …

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  • #
    Rereke Whakaaro

    Lawrie: #7

    Thanks for the link.

    I think you will find that Mann will withdraw well before it gets to the discovery phase.

    It appears that his strategy is to identify critics who do not have deep pockets, and then threaten to sue. He does this, of course, in the hope is that they will withdraw first, with an apology, rather than face legal bills that they can’t afford.

    He can then claim “vindication” that “even his most rabid critics back down when asked to justify their criticisms”.

    Having other sceptics step up to the plate financially, will stop it dead in its tracks. If Mann is forced to release his data and calculations, or if he happens to “loose them”, then he is dead meat.

    If only things were so simple for Matt and Janet … :-(

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  • #
    val majkus

    Matt and Janet good luck at Court; hope it turns out in your favour; and thanks to Jo for her support and publicity too;
    In regard to the suit against Dr Ball John O’Sullivan published a post a couple of days ago; I understand at some stage there will be a donation site set up for Dr Ball; I’m wondering if Mann is paying his own legal fees or if Penn Stat are funding him

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  • #
    Adolf Balik

    All the Green politics are nothing but a counter-attack of feudalism, despotism and aristocracy against capitalism, liberalism and democracy. The environmental control is nothing but a tool how independent private owners can be converted into subjects again. The same production factor, which was represented by soil for agrarian society, is energy in an industrial society. Then the energy must be converted into a “feudum”, which will be allotted in limited amount to a beneficiary by lords only. That is why the feudal carbon control must be imposed.

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    klem

    What has happened to Australia? It has a global reputation of fiercely independent individuals who many in the rest of the world admire and emulate. But in reality it is a socialist state, not unlike the soviets or Nazis of old, where the individual Ozzie is on his knees, bending at the whim of politics and bureaucrats, people who have never had a real job. What happened?

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  • #

    Thank you, Jo, and thanks to everyone, once again, for your support. It really means the world to us.

    I went to Perth today to file another affidavit. I’m so thankful for Joshua Forrester, who has absolutely worked his fingers to the bone on this deal. I truly hope for his sake as well as ours (as well as for the many good people who have been negatively affected by out-of-control bureaucracy) that we can get some sort of a win on Friday. I must emphasise, though, that whatever happens, it is my understanding that this is only the beginning.

    While it might not look like we’re getting anywhere in fighting idiocy, I do encourage good people to have a look back — one year ago, two years ago, 10 years ago — and see how far we’ve come.

    I have had several calls from students at WA’s Curtin University, interviewing me due to my role as coordinator of the Carbon (sic) Tax Protest in Perth.

    I’ve never been so buoyed! These students asked excellent questions and seemed to be true journalists in the classical sense of the word… working to get all sides of a story, and asking questions without bias. I have been impressed. I look forward to seeing “The Western Independent” in print.

    There are many positive things happening in the world…thanks to each individual doing whatever you can. As it relates to our case specifically, thank you. As it relates to the broader issues that we’ve all been dealing with for years, thank you. We appreciate the latter as much as the former. Good people like you give us hope, regardless of the outcome of our legal battle.

    We won’t let the bastards get us down as long as you don’t! :-)

    Kind Regards to All,
    Janet

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  • #
    Greg

    “PS: Yes, it is the same Janet Thompson who volunteered to organize the anti-tax rally in Perth. As if looking after her four young children and monster legal case were not enough. This woman (this couple) just keep on giving.”

    I nominate Matt and Janet for “Superheroes of the Year.”

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  • #
    Thumbnail

    I made a donation today. I am up early in Brisbane. Matt and Janet did not ask for this burden, they have it, like it or not. We can help them carry a part of it. Shoulders to the wheel everyone. PUSH. Breathe. PUSH. We are almost at the top of the hill.

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  • #
    Ian Hill

    klem @ 14

    I think you will find that Aussies are still like that. However it is only now, with the recent announcement of the carbon (dioxide) tax that they are realising that something fishy has been going on. One thing the average Aussie hates is BS, and once they realise that they have been had, there will be hell to pay.

    “A DEC official looks worried”. That’s a good sign.

    Good luck tomorrow Matt and Janet.

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    wes george

    They still claim DEC can’t be sued because they aren’t an entity…

    Sure is convenient being a non-entity.

    Wonder why the people of Western Australia fund non-entities? Of course, the DEC is only a non-entity when being invisible to the legal system is to their advantage. Otherwise, the DEC whole reason to exist is to muscle OEPA policy through the legal system. Funny that.

    In this memorandum of understanding between the OEPA and the DEC, the DEC is described as an “agency” and a “department of State” with “statutory functions” that included the “responsibility” for “environmental regulation” One could be forgiven for imagining the DEC is a powerful piece of State machinery designed to implement environmental policy within the legal system rather than a nonentity of no standing before the courts.

    The memorandum also mentions “Contentious Issue Management” which declares that when “both agencies are involved in an issue, agreement will be made on which agency will have the lead and respond with advice from both agencies.” In other words when the OEPA has some nasty work to do it can use the DEC legal nonentity as their sockpuppet, thus insulating themselves from any blowback. Or so they hope.

    http://www.dec.wa.gov.au/content/section/29/2035/

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  • #
    Jim Barker

    Sent another donation. Hope lawyers and money will get it done :-)

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  • #

    I was staggered to read about this case. It looks like another outbreak of Fascism in Australia. The CO2-AGW scam is biting the dust but it’s death throes are vicious and dangerous to honest people. State and Federal bureaucracies with their warmist lackeys will not admit their folly and cover their shame by hounding the ones like Matt and Janet for telling the truth.

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  • #
    cohenite

    wes@19; don’t worry; the doctrine of Ultra vires was specifically designed for recalcitrant bureacracies and so-called non-entities; one of the most effective ways of proving this is when such a body demonstrates inconsistency in its actions towards one person or between persons; this goes beyond a lack of natural justice/due process, which is an equitable remedy and, I presume, figuring strongly in the Thompson’s action.

    It is however, a continual battle with bureacracies always striving to insulate themselves from redress by the citizenry; for instance the old distinction between actionable malfeasance has been brought closer to non-actionable non-feasance through the introduction of a burden of proving intent with malfeasance.

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  • #
    pattoh

    Somebody need to use the same law to shut down a few of Perth’s sewerage treatment facilities. NOW!!

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  • #
    Bernd Felsche

    pattoh:

    Somebody need to use the same law to shut down a few of Perth’s sewerage treatment facilities. NOW!!

    It seems to me that the effluent from DEC needs more treatment.
    Perhaps an overhaul of the internal machinery will suffice.

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  • #
    Jeremy

    It would seem to me, that if the Thompsons were kicked off their land by the bank, then they could easily throw in the loss of property/livelihood into their suit against the DEC. I am not a lawyer, but I can see this happening in the U.S. I could understand the DEC being worried that might happen, or at the very least wanting to know if that happens.

    Best of luck to the Thompsons.

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  • #
    Bob Malloy

    All the best today, may justice be served.

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  • #
    Ian Hill

    Further to my posting @18 above, I was talking to a bank employee yesterday and had the opportunity to mention the “Carbon Tax” which may become law, as we were talking about interest rates and foreign exchange rates. I was stunned at her reply “Oh I don’t follow politics and whatever will be will be …”. She seemed unconcerned when I mentioned that food prices may double and started talking about the flood levy.

    I wouldn’t call this apathy, rather she preferred to be in an “ignorance is bliss” situation, which she admitted. I think her bliss may be shattered in the coming months, either by demonstrations which will be impossible to ignore (hopefully), or by training sessions run by the bank about the impact of the carbon tax, with emphasis on how this is a new opportunity for them to increase profits (naturally).

    I was a day ahead of myself above. Now it’s good luck to the Thompsons tomorrow!

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    Mark D.

    Ian Hill @ 27
    The bank employee doesn’t surprise me. How I would describe her attitude is not “ignorance is bliss” but instead “what can I do about it anyway”.

    What the Tea Party groups here in US did was prove to “regular” people as well as the rotten politicians, that the individual does indeed still have the power to fight and vote and WIN. Fortunately it seems that in AU the people are gaining confidence that they can do something too.

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  • #
    Jaymez

    It is worthy of a Monty Python skit:

    DEC: “You can’t sue us, we are a non entity, for legal purposes we don’t exist”
    JANET: “Well if you don’t exist, then you can’t tell us how we should run our farm”
    DEC: “But we are an entity for the purpose of making your life miserable, we’re just not an entity if you want to make our life miserable”

    I hope things went well for you today, but I suspect as you say, it is only the start. I myself was in court on quite a different matter today (well my lawyer was). Trying to finish up a matter which started in 2004 and which I thought would take 6 months at most! I do not like the legal system here.

    Joshua Forrester of Ranger Legal in Perth, and Peter King QSC Sydney
    Joshua Forrester of Ranger Legal in Perth, and Peter King QSC Sydney
    Joshua Forrester of Ranger Legal in Perth, and Peter King QSC Sydney

    I am just repeating these hero’s names so that I remember them and hope. I know they are not doing it for personal reward, but maybe some of us will be in a position to recommend them in the future.

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  • #
    DirkH

    Due to the deepening crazyness here in the EU i keep my eyes open for possible emigration target countries… I must say that reading about the way citizen’s rights are treated by the judicial system of Australia made me strike that continent off the list. In any case, best wishes to the Thompsons from Germany.

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  • #
    Another Ian

    Re Ian Hill #27

    Banks in Queensland seem to have caused a bit of a tiz lately by asking what the effect of Coopers Creek wild rivers will be on land valuations. The effect of the vegetation management act already shows.

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  • #

    UPDATE: Matt and Janet tell me that the day in court has been extended to Monday, so there is no outcome to report this afternoon. — Jo

    PS: I spoke to the Cattlemans Association (NTCA) today. They are very worried about the carbon tax and the impact that will have on their industry. Several of them expressed anger and felt that are no representatives in government who are really speaking for them and wondered why Tony Abbott gives any credence to the “carbon pollution” push.

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  • #
    Tim

    I suggest we get a global perspective on this. It’s bigger than the Thompsons, WA or Australia. Try some research on Agenda 21 – in particular: cattle grazing / desertification.

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  • #
    Bernd Felsche

    Ian Hill @27:

    I find the quiet, apathetic compliance of the public most disturbing. The resignation surrender of power to those who should be their servants. As if that power hadn’t taken a thousand years of civilisation to wrestle from the despots and self-appointed others who cultivated the delusion of a divine right to rule over the ignorant masses.

    Maybe I’m “hypersensitive” having been unable to avoid learning at least some history.

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    Dixon Cruickshank

    As a follow up to the above posters comments I think this is appropriate at the momement:

    “When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion–when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing–when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favours and approvals–when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you–when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice–you may know that your society is doomed.”” Ayn Rand

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  • #
    Dixon Cruickshank

    Anything today ?????

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  • #

    Dixon, the Rand quote is excellent, and apropo.

    We did not finish the oral submissions yesterday. They will be finished off in written form. It looks like the judge will be able to begin his deliberations next Monday.

    I apologise that I cannot report more at the moment. We appreciate you all very much.

    Cheers,
    Janet

    PS Jo, well done on your talk to the NTCA. :-)

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