Today is a big day for the trial of Peter Spencer versus the Commonwealth with Dr David Kemp, Minister for the Environment and Heritage in 2003, appearing as a witness. Bob Katter will give a press conference. Dr Alan Moran, former IPA director will appear too. See times and details below. Public are welcome.
The background: Peter Spencer versus the Commonwealth and why it’s potentially “bigger than Mabo”
Peter Spencer is the farmer in New South Wales who bought a farm and then lost 80% of it when rules changed to stop people clearing native vegetation. Unable to use most of his property, but still owing money on the mortgage for it, he was bankrupted. He broke no law, but lost his life’s work. Farmers all around Australia lost billions of dollars in assets but at the same time the federal government gained billions of dollars in carbon credits and met our Kyoto requirements by counting the carbon in the vegetation that was locked away.
The implications of this case apply to land holders across the continent. Indeed, if any governments can arbitrarily take assets without paying, or force a small minority to bear the burden of the majority, this is not just about property rights, it’s about the kind of country we want to live in.
Testimonies December 4th, 2014:
- 9:30AM, Federal MP Mr Bob Katter will hold a press conference in support of Peter Spencer at the entrance to the Federal Court building in Queens Square, Sydney.
- The valuer for Peter Spencer, Mr Colin Davies, will complete his evidence.
- Followed into the witness box by Dr David Kemp, who was the Minister for Environment & Heritage in the Howard Government at the time of the proclamation of the 2003 Native Vegetation Act. (Scheduled for 10:15am at Court 22B, Federal Court of Australia, Law Courts Building, Queens Square, Sydney.
- Next Dr Alan Moran, former Director of the Institute of Public Affairs as an expert witness for Peter Spencer.
Public visitors welcome — the sessions are 10:15 to 12:15 PM, and 2:15 to 4:15 PM.
The Federal government must pay compensation for confiscating assets — it is in the constitution, but the the native vegetation acts were officially brought in by the state governments. It is a loophole that should not exist. The legality of this is finally being tested in the Federal Court in Sydney and continues next week too.
“My concerns are directed at the families of the hundreds of farmers who have suicided and the politicians who have failed to show any concern, compassion or morality for what the government has done to these families and the nation’s Constitution.”
~ Peter Spencer
My previous post on this: Peter Spencer versus the Commonwealth.
Thanks to those who donated. Part of those funds helped to cover the flights for a carbon modeler, Dr David Evans, to Sydney to be an expert witness in the trial last week.