We have a new blog site. We have changed (some might say evolved) to a WordPress blog platform that is now part of the agmates site.
As you can see from the new address www.agmates.com/blog/ .
Since our last post on here I have been publishing more great articles on Agamtes News on the the www.agmates site. So go there for alook and you'll get tothe new blog.
Our News has also changed. This blog started out with just me publishing, but now we have moved to a user-contribed news service. Rural News and comment by rural people for Rural People.
So see you at the new site. Just go to www.agmates.com/News/index.html
Agmates - 100% Pro farmers
Australian agribusiness and agripolitics, news, issues & comments. Real Austraian farmers discussing the real issues that impact life in Rural Australian communities.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Friday, July 13, 2007
Due to a few technical problems we have not published so far this week so there’s a lot to get through.
We have changed our format to make it easier for you to read the news on Agmates
It just stun’s us that the mainstream rural press have once again ignore the civil disobedience “tree chop” campaign by farmers in QLD, NSW, Vic and SA. Reading either paper you would not know it was going on or more importantly the issues behind it.
The only article was by Canberra reporter Lucy Skuthorp “Choppers Barking up the Wrong Tree”. The article appeared in both the Land & Queensland Country Life”.
This article was based on an interview with David Crombie NFF president and again shows why the NFF is not fit to be the peak lobby group for farmers. Quotes taken from that article show all that the NFF can produce is dribble.
Mr Crombie (pictured)said there was no denying land clearing bans had impacted unfairly on a lot of producers and ‘the chop a day’ campaign had risen out of desperation.
He said – I just don’t think going and chopping down trees is the way to go about it.
I think it just sends a whole lot of wrong messages to the broader community.
What we are doing at the NFF is trying to put forward the outstanding record of farmers in terms of environmental management and the extent to which farmers have contributed to the reductions in emissions which has been for the community benefit in Australia.
No mention from Mr Crombie about the NFF actually trying to do something about farmers being compensated for government taking of their trees (land) and carbon credits.
No mention of NFF’s efforts to remove the tyrannical Native Veg Laws in each state of Australia.
No mention of fighting the Fundamentalist Green’s sponsored Native Veg Laws in each state which remove land holders property rights whilst achieving little or nothing for the environment.
The NFF as a Lobby group are a joke. The rural media as a means of keeping up to speed on “real issues’ are a failure.
Todays articles are a selection of stories the media could have run this week but chose not to – No wonder farmers rights are being eroded in this country every day. Australian farmers Peak lobby group is a joke and the mainstream media who are supposed to be the eyes and ears of the bush are asleep.
IN TODAYS ISSUE OF AGMATES NEWS:
1. Australian beef Association Backs “Tree Chop Campaign” –
2. Nationals MP Kevin Humphries – throws his support behind dissident farmers
3. NSW Gov't & Radical Greens declare WAR on dissident Farmers
4. Comment on StateLine Show - Peter Spencer CPPA
5. Comment on StateLine Show - Australian Beef Association.
6. How Farmers can survive a raid by the Green Gestapo.
7. SA Joins the Tree Chop Campaign – Whats wrong with SA Veg Laws and Regs
8. The Great Soil Data Swindle – Michael Keily
9. Readers Comments.
10. Part Four of Professor Suri Ratnapala’s paper -
1. AUSTRALIAN BEEF ASSOCIATION BACKS "TREE CHOP CAMPAIGN"
AUSTRALIAN BEEF ASSOCIATION SETS THE RECORD STRAIGHT ON TREE CHOP CAMPAIGN
Australian Beef Association Chairman Brad Bellinger (pictured) said his personal participation and that of other senior ABA Directors in the tree chopping action, has attracted some ridiculous comments from members of the public, who clearly do not understand the issues involved..........
The action of some members of the ABA executive by backing and participating in the tree-chopping campaign may seem radical. However we see ourselves as custodians of the land upon which we run our livestock in order to make a living. We support the Commonwealth Property Protection Association. We recognize that civil disobedience is a legitimate course of action in a civil society. The courts, public opinion, and the ballot box will ultimately judge the actions and arguments of all involved.
To the anonymous radical greens whom resort to abuse and threats many who have heard your method of expression, consider you to be in a class of your own. To Ben Fargher CEO of the National Farmers Federation that condemned the tree falling, you probably did so because the Federal Government told you to do so.
The ABA deplores the Federal Government’s duplicitous policy of profiting (tax and royalties and political donations) from the production, domestic consumption and export of fossil fuel, while taxing farmers by arbitrarily restricting their land use (including land clearing), to grandstand and claim carbon credits in domestic and international forums.
Click here to read this full media release on Agmates.
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2. NATIONAL MP KEVIN HUMPHRIES - THROWS HIS SUPPORT BEHIND DISSIDENT FARMERS
By Meg Strang ABC Reporter
A fierce land clearing row continues to flare in the Eastern States
Kevin Humphries, the National Party's MP for Barwon in the North Western NSW, has accused BOTH State and Federal Governments of mishandling native vegetation laws, and has thrown his support behind radical farmer group, the Commonwealth Property Protection Association.
The Association is fighting for compensation for lost property rights in the courts and claims governments have illegally appropriated farmers' carbon credits to meet international green house gas abatement commitments.
While Mr Humphries isn't advocating chopping down trees, he said farmers have been forced into radical action by bad government.
Mr Humphries says the Federal Government should not have utilized State restrictions on land clearing to meet Kyoto targets: "Not without paying compensation, and if you look at our constitution when the Federal Government resume an asset or a resource, they need to stump up compensation.
Whilst we haven't signed off on the Kyoto protocol, they certainly ratified elements of it and part of meeting our carbon credit commitment was you know the end to broadscale clearing in certain parts of the country is helping us meet those targets."
Read full interview on ABC web site here.
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3. NSW GOV'T AND RADICAL GREEN GROUPS DECLARE WAR ON DISSIDENT FARMERS
Last Friday nights NSW State Line with Quentin Dempster showed one of the most chilling displays of utter the arrogance and contempt that the NSW Government and the radical green groups hold for farmers.
Here's a few extracts:
QUENTIN DEMPSTER (Pictured): There's been an outbreak of political hostility around private and leasehold rural land.
A group of militant farmers has been urging landowners throughout Australia to illegally chop down trees each day before State and Federal Governments compensate them for removing their rights to clear native vegetation as they see fit.
They are mimicking tactics by green groups threatening to blockade exports over protest over climate change.
The NSW Government is under pressure to more tightly regulate logging of private native forests.
There's a dispute between conservationists and the Lands Department over the sale of thousands of hectares of crown lease-hold land at below market rates.
First, let's deal with the tree choppers.
Steve Truman, a farmer from Gympie in Queensland runs a rural marketing website called "Agmates".
From 1st July, Mr Truman claims thousands of farmers who subscribe to the website have been chopping down trees on their properties each day in a campaign of civil disobedience against both Federal and State Governments and their vegetation management acts.
EXCERPT OF EMAIL FROM STEVE TRUMAN: The peak farming bodies, including the NFF and the NSW Farmers Association have become totally ineffective on this issue. The recent admission by Federal Treasurer Peter Costello on ABC's 7:30 Report that it was Federal coalition policy that stopped landclearing so Australia could meet its Kyoto target has sparked the uprising.
QUENTIN DEMPSTER: Needless to say environment and conservation groups are outraged at the "Chop Down a Tree" tactic.
JEFF ANGEL, TOTAL ENVIRONMENT CENTRE (Pictured): The minority of farmers clearing trees as a stunt against tree clearing vegetation should be prosecuted to the full scope of the law.
QUENTIN DEMPSTER: NSW climate change and Environment Minister Phil Koperberg has appealed to the public for any information on illegal tree chopping in this State, so with the aid of satellite tracking his department can prosecute.
PHIL KOPERBERG, MINISTER FOR CLIMATE CHANGE (Pictured): There are a number of potential breaches if for argument's sake the trees are being cleared or felled for landclearing purposes.
Well that clearly breaches the native vegetation legislation and penalties of up to $1.1 million if a conviction is obtained can be applied.
PHIL KOPERBERG: This is a new regime, we're in hot pursuit of people who would engage in what some might describe as "environmental vandalism".
QUENTIN DEMPSTER: In an e mail exchange Stateline asked Steve Truman:
You are inciting farmers to illegal acts. I put it to you that rather than building support across the community, this lawlessness will destroy support, confirming in the public mind that you and your supporters are irresponsible red necks?
EXCERPT OF EMAIL FROM STEVE TRUMAN: There is no bigger issue in rural Australia than farmers who have their property rights stolen by legislation. If the Federal Government wants to claim they are meeting their Kyoto targets, let them pay for the 74 million tonnes of carbon they have already accounted for in meeting their emission targets.
The value of the sequestered carbon is on the low side $1.85 billion and on the high 5.18 billion. You'd have to shut down the entire economy of New Zealand or Ireland to achieve the same reductions. The vegetation management acts are the most draconian legislation ever seen in this country. They take property from their lawful owners and invest it in the state.
QUENTIN DEMPSTER: If you really want to win this debate, shouldn't you be supporting the farmers to get compensation for the carbon sequestration services to eco management that they are indeed providing?
JEFF ANGEL: Well, the fact is everyone has an environmental responsibility. In the city we're required to look after bushland and we have tree preservation orders. There's a certain minimal level of individual responsibility which the farming responsibility did not have until we had tree clearing laws.
REECE TURNER, WILDERNESS SOCIETY: I think people would be surprised to know that on the lease-holds, these perpetual lease-holds, the lessees are only playing a flat rate of $190 a year whether they're leasing two hectares or 2,000 hectares.
GEORGINA WOODS, NATIONAL PARKS ASSOCIATION: At the moment, what we need a moratorium on the sale of any of the high conservation value Crown leases in particular. That's a little bit over half of the Crown leases in this State.
We need an inquiry into land management generally in NSW because of the incompetence of the Department of Lands and their inability to recognize and protect conservation values.
JEFF ANGEL: I think what we're seeing with both this Crown lands issue and the tree chop minority who are going out clearing vegetation is a kickback from a minority of people both in the Crown lands Department which aren't particularly capable conservation managers and a minority of farmers who would like to keep clearing vegetation.
Those two institutions, or those two bodies of people need to be radically reformed.
The Government should not give in to them. The Crown lands Department frankly should be abolished so we can have modern conservation principles put in place.
Click here to read entire transcript of the Stateline interview
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4. COMMENTS ON STATELINE SHOW - PETER SPENCER CPPA
Publicly admitting their (Fundamentalist Gren Groups Total Environment Centre & World Wildlife Foundation) agenda was to stop the further granting of Freehold land, says Peter Spencer head of CPPA (Pictured)........Their claim they had spoken the minister to stop all conversions from Crown lease to Freehold is no more then a declaration of war on all property owners.
Then they showed the maps and spoke of an amount of $190 being all it cost and a demand that the Minister for lands immediately stop this process claiming all land should be controlled my stockholders and environmental limitations.
If property owners do not appreciate the real impact of this agenda and that we have been warning land owners for over ten years of the next stage in this move to abolish property rights - now here it is.
Every one in Australia who owns property of any kind should read this transcript again and be briefed on this objective as it will impact on every person across the Nation.
This outburst this threat worse then what took place behind the iron curtain is now here in Australia......it is part of a plan......Wake Australia.
This is a real eye opener.
Peter Spencer CPPA
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5. COMMENT ON STATE LINE SHOW FROM ABA
On the ABC’s NSW Stateline on Friday night (7/7/07) the environmental group the “Total Environment Centre” (TEC) spokespeople Mr Ian Cohen Greens (MLC in NSW), Mr Reese Turner (Wilderness Society), and Mr Jeff Angle (TEC) openly declared their collective disgust and hostility towards not only farmers but also all privately owned land owners.
The trio also called for the complete dismantling of the NSW Lands Department, which holds all the ‘Land Title Deeds’ for NSW under the ‘Real Property Act’. This outburst by the TEC, gave the public a rare insight into the environmental movement’s real political agenda, which is based more on the ideals of Communism rather than environmentalism with their statements with the removal of private ownership of all land. This cannot be accepted by the ABA.
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6. SURVIVING A FARM INVASION BY THE NATIVE VEG GUESTAPO
With NSW Environment Minister Phil Koperberg promising to crush dissident farmers it is timely that we advise what you can when you suffer a farm invasion by his departments goons. Click here to read what they did to the Hudson family when they raided their property "Yarrol" at Moree.
ABC radio reported this week they they were able to confirm the following facts about the property "Yarrol".
1. It is unrestricted Freehold land.
2. It is NOT in the Heritage Ramsar Listed Gwydir Wetlands.
3. There was a Gwydir Catchment Management Authority plan in place for cleaning up
the invasive weed Lipia.
This is what they reported when they (ABC) tried to question MR Koperberg about these facts:
The Minister Phil Koperberg has declined to comment saying it is not appropriate given that the issue is still under investigation. A spokesperson for the department also declined to comment.
This is the same minister who has had plenty to say earlier when vilifying the Hudson's for their incredible act of environmental vandalism. Honestly Minister why don't you run back to your mate Reece Turner (WWF) and ask him why he perpetrated this BS in the first place.
In case you have forgotten it was Mr Turner who flew over the property and took the photo's of the weed clearing at "Yarrol" and then over the Gwydir wetlands telling the ABC (who broke the story) and the media that they were before and after shots of clearing in the Heritage listed Ramsar Wetlands.
Or perhaps Mr Koperberg might take some council from his departments former employee Mr Jeff Angel who in 2005 while still head of The Total Environment Centre worked as a paid consultant for the department of the Environment, advising the Government on Environmental Policy.
Click Here for the "WHAT TO DO WHEN THE GREEN GESTAPO RAID YOUR PROPERTY".
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7. SOUTH AUSTRALIA'S TREE CHOP UPDATE– WHATS WRONG WITH THE SA NATIVE VEG LAWS AND REGULATIONS
Comments on the South Australian Natural Resource Management Act
It is with absolute dismay that I read such complex draconian legislation in a South Australian Act.(Photo of trees that have been secretly chopped in South Australia as part of the campaign of Civil Disobedience)
The legislators are the servants of the voters, but anyone reading this document would conclude otherwise. Our common law rights that previously allowed us to make decisions on they way we viably manage our fee simple properties and protect the environment have gone, illegally legislated away.
Under common law, fee simple titles, we as landowners own the vegetation, a fair share of the water falling on the land and under the land, the soil, the air and any other property associated with the land. This applies to city dwellers as well. Yes, you own that tree on your property that threatens your house structure and you can cut it down without approval.
If the government believe that for the community good a landowner must give up his ownership of one of these things associated with his title the landowner is entitled to compensation, on just terms (i.e. they buy it for the community). Unfortunately the government believes that they can just abolish common law rights without compensation. To this end it has started with farmers.
Here is a direct quote from a letter from Mr John Johnson, General Manger of the South Australian Murray-Darling Basin Natural Resources Management Board 11th September 2006; “Please note there are no provisions for compensation for the NRM Act abolishing common law rights.” The question is where does the removal of common law rights without compensation end?............
Click Here to read the full article on Agmates web site.
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8. THE GREAT SOIL DATA SWINDLE - Michael Keily
The federal government has swindled Australian farmers out of Billions of Dollars in Carbon Credits from trees that it's used to claim its met its Kyoto targets. Agmates has always held that they plan to do exactly the same thing with Soil Carbon Credits. Now here proof -
An email from Michael Keily - Convener of the Carbon Coalition Against
Please find attached a point by point refutation of the Grains Council's hatchet job on soil carbon credits. We've done the research, talked to the scientists who know where the bodies are buried.
THE GREAT SOIL DATA SWINDLE
The Grains Council is using flawed scientific evidence from the Australian Greenhouse Office to attack the emerging soil carbon credit market.
“The AGO does not have the data to back up its claims about Australian soils, and industry bodies like the Grains Council are stumbling while trying to play catch up on the carbon issue,” says Convenor of the Carbon Coalition Against Global Warming, Wellington woolgrower Michael Keily (Pictured). The Carbon Coalition has campaigned for soil carbon credits since 2005 to give farmers an additional revenue stream to encourage landscape restoration.
“We informed the AGO more than a month ago that the data sets used to compile the reports on soils for National Carbon Accounting System (NCAS) were incomplete and that they were incapable of sustaining the advice they were giving to Government and industry,” he says. “We warned the AGO that conclusions based on these data sets are misleading and wrong. Alan Umber’s report is flawed due to his reliance on this inadequate data.”
The evidence is available in the NCAS Technical Reports published by the AGO. The gaps in the data sets have been verified by several soil scientists.
The Grains Council Report is wrong on 9 counts:.......
Click Here to read the full article on Michael Keily's Web Site.
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9. READERS COMMENTS.
Agmates has had a huge amount of comments on recent articles. Click here to go to the Agmates site to read these.
Comments by Sue Maynes, Rob Wass , Doug and various
10. PART 4 OF PROFESSOR SURI RATNAPALA'S PAPER
"CONSTITUTIONAL VANDALISM UNDER GREEN COVER"
The main concerns
Environmental law is one of the fastest growing areas of the legal system. It
comprises a vast body of statute law that includes Acts of Commonwealth and State Parliaments, subordinate legislation in the form of regulations, orders and decrees, and case law interpreting these provisions.
There are rising concerns within primary and manufacturing industries, as well as scientific and legal communities, that the processes of environmental policy
formulation and implementation are leading to outcomes having seriously negative impacts on individual producers, industries, local and national economies, civil liberties, the rule of law and on sustainable environmental protection.
In its August, 2004 Report on The Impacts of Vegetation Management and Biodiversity Regulations, the Productivity Commission acknowledged the validity of many of these concerns, and made recommendations that in effect require the radical re-evaluation of the philosophy and processes of environmental regulation in Australia. The Commission's report highlighted the following serious defects in the current regulatory system:
* Lack of cost-benefit assessments before regulations are made, and the absence of on-going monitoring and independent reviews of costs and benefits once the regulations are in operation.
* The poor quality of data and science on which native vegetation and biodiversity policy decisions are based.
* Inadequate use of the extensive knowledge of landholders and local communities in the formulation of policy and regulations.
* The failure to take account of regional environmental characteristics and agricultural practices in imposing across-the-board rules, particularly in
relation to native vegetation regrowth.
* Serious impediments to private conservation measures, including tax distortions and regulatory barriers to efficient farm management.
* The imposition on landowners of the cost of wider conservation goals demanded by society.
The Productivity Commission's report deals only with native vegetation and
biodiversity issues. However, many of its findings are relevant to environmental law and policy generally. There are also other fundamental issues that call for investigation.
To read the full paper Click Here
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Your Agmate - Steve
Agmates - 100% Pro Australian Farmers
Posted by Agmates at 2:14 PM
Friday, July 6, 2007
Kevin Humphries National Party Member for Barwon. MLA Kevin Humphries is a rare breed of a politician. A man that sees injustice and will fight it, a National party MP willing to stand up and fight for Farmers.
NSW National Party MP Kevin Humphries is spearheading a drive to have the National party State and Federal fight for farmers property rights.
Agmates has just received this email from Alastair McRobert, dissident Cobar farmer and member of CPPA:
From: "Alastair McRobert"
To: "'Steve Truman'" Agmates
Subject: CPPA media release and Follow up.
Date: Fri, 6 Jul 2007 19:20:37 +1000
Barnaby has a mate, another politician willing to stand up for the people and what Australia stands for, Kevin is our local State Nationals MP, have spoken to him tonight again, he has been on the blower all day between golf shots playing in a charity golf day, his letter has wiped up a frenzy both State and Federal.
He said for Agmates to publish it and send it far and wide and he will back every word, his plan is to push at the highest level and has already got response. I reiterated to kev again tonight that the line in the sand is a Grand Canyon and there will be no compromise to our position as set out in letter to Koperberg, he appreciated that, as you will see in his letter.
In this weekends issue of Agmates read:
1. Letter to Koperberg from Member for Barwon Kevin Humphries
2. Readers Comments:
3. Part 3 Of Professor Suri Ratnapala's paper "Constitutional Vandalism Under Green Cover" -
ENDOGENOUS THREATS TO CONSTITUTIONAL GOVERNMENT
----- Original Message -----
From: Kevin Humphries
To: Alastair McRobert ; Peter McGauran ; Barnaby Joyce
Cc: John Anderson ; firstname.lastname@example.org
Sent: Thursday, July 05, 2007 11:37 AM
Subject: Re: CPPA media release and Follow up.
I have attached a letter which I have written to Minister Koperberg. Contact with his office indicated they have not received the CPPA letter. I am sending it through today. (Click Here to read CPPA's letter to Koperberg)I want to be able to follow my letter up at both the State and Federal level.
Letter From Kevin Humphries National Party Member for Barwon to The Honorable Phil Koperberg NSW Minister for Climate Change and the Environment.
The Hon Phil Koperberg
Min for Climate Change, Environment and Water
Please find attached a copy of the letter from the Commonwealth Property Protection Association.
The letter was posted June 19 0f 2007.
At the conclusion you can see potentially why they believe the door is closed.
As you can see by the tone of the letter the group are angry and have drawn a line in the sand.
I have indicated earlier that the Native Vegetation Laws under the current format do not work – nor are they legitimate in terms of our Constitution. To place in effect a restrictive covenant for whatever reason over some one’s land a demand for recompense would be expected…..
The very purpose of the legislation to avoid environmental vandalism has in effect vandalised both due process and our constitutional principles.
No where in a democratic country does there exist the issuing of a compliance notice by a delegated officer who may then proceed to physically enforce his own order (compliance order) without having to seek judicial determination.
In effect the issue of compliance notifications are both a simultaneous conviction and sentence without trial.
The powers of the authorised officer combine legislative, judicial and executive powers in the one person. This must ring alarm bells with our judges, lawyers, politicians, civil leaders and none the least the general community.
The Commonwealth Property Association is one of a number of groups that are fearful that Australian constitutionalism is in serious trouble.
My experience of the approach used by Government to date regarding the Management of Native Vegetation has compromised due process and procedural fairness for an arbitrary executive style approach. The science in most cases is thin and is offset by a bullying approach.
Farmers and farming communities do have a commitment to conservation. Their voice has been drowned out by decades of unchallenged pontificating by environmental fundamentalists. Public opinion is being driven by alarmist prophets of doom rather than objective and reflective debate about conservation.
Farmers do and will set aside identified areas of high conservation value. Farmers do and will provide stewardship in terms of protecting conservation values.
What farmers are asking for as community expectations are raised in terms of setting aside more land for conservation that “lost opportunity” compensation be integral to the process. The denial of compensation is very damaging to good governance and undermines constitutional principles and the demands that justice prevails.
For Governments of all persuasions to get it right free hold owners must be compensated for lost opportunity. By separating financial responsibility from the privilege of power allows government to seek short term political gains.
Politics and ideology is currently overriding fact, science and the goodwill that has existed in our rural communities of this state.
I am urging the Minister to alter the current course of action and seek to promote a legitimate process in dealing with Land Management Legislation and regulation in NSW.
Kevin Humphries Barwon MP
As the spontaneous Campaign of civil disobedience fans across rural Australia Agmates, CPPA, ABA, and PRA and other Associates Welcomes MP Kevin Humphries & Nationals Senator Barnaby Joyce to the fight to win back Property Rights for EVERY Australian Farmer. That includes those farmers and Peak Farmer Associations that ridicule our actions and our cause.
To give your support and help win this historic struggle against the tyranny of the Vegetation management laws email Agmates at email@example.com
You don't have to chop trees to help, there is plenty of other activities to help with, whether it's lobbying your local polly, or just getting all of your neighbours and friends to follow and contribute to the debate on Agmates. There is heaps to do, theres a huge task ahead and you can help.
2. Comments from Agmates readers over the last 2 days:
Comments on Article - WHY PEAK FARM BODIES - CONDEMN CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE
NSW FARMERS DAUGHTER BRE said
"It seems to me that the National Farmers Federation (NFF), the State Farming Organisations (SFO’s), the State Governments and the Radical Green radical groups do actually have more in common than I first thought.
What they have in common is the use of the words “illegal clearing”. With a quick reference of my own families Fee Simple Title Deeds, it is stated on these deeds that my family own all the native vegetation including the timber, so in fact there is no such thing as “illegal clearing” in the first place. Having said that I will put that to one side.
I would like to expand on the term “illegal clearing” as against “legal clearing” or just “clearing”. One has to wonder how the criminal justice system in Australia can handle what appears to be two different definitions placed upon the single word “clearing”. For example, under the State Government vegetation management acts (VMA’s) clearing can be both legal or illegal, with “legal clearing” being defined as clearing with a permit. The permit being issued to private property owner with the consent and blessing of the “public” that being the Government.
The criminal justice system in Australia which is “codified”, deals only with single definition criminality. For example, the crime of “Murder” can not be defined under two definitions, that being “illegal” and “legal”. In other words “illegal murder” can become “legal murder” if one obtains a permit which is issued using the same prescription and definition for “legal” and “illegal clearing” as specified in the VMA’s. Therefore there is no such thing as “illegal clearing” as the criminal justice system is constitutionally unable to deal with the dual definition.
I am absolutely appalled that the NFF and others would constantly use the term “illegal clearing” when it is clearly a nonsense, and may I suggest that these organisations pull their heads in when referencing this issue. It is little wonder that the Farmers Organisations are in steep decline when they seem to be so inept at representing “The Hand That Feeds Them”."
BEGA FARMER TRACEY BLOMFIELD said
"My thoughts exactly - the whole thing. I have 1,100 acres near Bega -beautiful, gorgeous country. I recently went to an information evening about Carbon Credits in Bega, where what you are talking about was not addressed. I became very bristly, and declared that the one group of people who have something that the climate change lobby ACTUALLY NEED is farmers - yet we are living in the dark and treated with scorn for even trying to ask.
As an ex ABC journalist, I find the whole thing is a bit of a fudge. I am a very green organic farmer and want to know where I line up to get the handouts for the sequestrations."
"PETER SPENCER" said
"I am just back and note your comments to NSW Farmers EXEC and re Greens International comments - Excellent stuff Steve - If you keep up the work load, you soon will not be sleeping you, will not have enough hours.
The Exec sure came up with some rubbish, they are so disappointing. I wonder which Miles -stones he will bring to your attention - I really do not think he will find any.......unless he is going to try and count the fact that his committee handed on a plate- gave away, our hard fought - 800 years of land rights with a negotiating team that was an embarrassment in its level of competency.
How could you enter a room with out knowing you had no Authority to do- such a thing......They had no idea the SCOPE - the Monumental issue they were dealing with.
As - even a Bank when we borrow against our assets has dozens of pages of documents to sign, witness, file and register - YET the NSW Framers Assoc gave our land away and nothing was signed of agreed it was Crate Blanche - Gratis, unbelievable.....No one even appointed them as our Representatives.
200 years ago their would not have been an act of civil disobedience in protest, instead, they would have all been hung drawn and quartered, for their treachery."
COMMENTS IN GENERAL-
STEVE & JANICEsaid
"My parents are farmers, they love preserving and planting trees....People like you make farmers look like total rednecks - you are a disgrace."
NEW ENGLAND FARMER said
"I read with aghast the amazing claim that farmers chopping trees is like leaving a tap running in a time of water restrictions. This ill advised comment is typical of the short sighted ill informed rhetoric we must endure from our city cousins.
Water to cities comes from dams paid for by tax payers, if they run out it is either because there are not enough dams or people waste the water or both.
We live on a farm and we have two 22000 litre tanks which service our family of 5. We paid for this infrastructure and if we run out of water we buy water at aprox 100 times the price the winging author pays for his water. It would be a different issue if this person had his own water tank and the government confiscated his water.
These people don’t realise that the issue of property rights has nothing per say to do with trees. It is just that the trees happen to be on our farms and the government all of a sudden decides we don’t own them. If a council decided to park all its machinery in this wingers suburban yard would he think it is ok? I suspect not!
All you city folk along with a large proportion of complacent farmers don’t forget that property rights, the right to free speech an, the right to your day in court and the expectation that government will govern within its constitutional limitations effect us all.
It is time to stick together and stand up to bullying governments and puffed up bureaucrats"
ANON SHOCKED AND DISGUSTED said
"As a responsible property owner, I am shocked and disgusted by your actions.It is hard to believe that in this day and age of environmental awareness, you are promoting this kind of stupid protest. If you cannot responsibly care for your land, then I suggest that you find another vocation as you and your cohort obviously do not deserve to have any part of our fine nation to care for. Shame on you, you give farmers and all landholders a bad name. I pity you."
MODERATE GREEN FARMER said
"I would like to suggest that the so-called green fanatics and farmers have similar objectives and that more can be achieved by working together than by slandering each other.
Greens and farmers want sustainable farming practices. Greens want the conservation of biodiversity and the preservation of Australia's remaining native vegetation for future generations. Farmers want productive and profitable farms and can benefit from maintaining remnant vegetation as windbreaks and as protection from salinity and erosion.
The problem seems to be that farmers are being asked to shoulder the burden of preserving native vegetation. This is clearly unfair and unworkable. Farmers should be rewarded for sustainable land management.
The Native Vegetation Act attempts to make both greens and farmers happy with the result that neither is. but we should not be fooled by the government into thinking that only one side can be pleased. The government benefits from the standoff and the environment and farmers suffer.
Many greens are campaigning hard for carbon trading and such a scheme should reward farmers for holding onto native veg. Many greens have fought for better incentives for farmers to encourage sustainable land management practices. And things such as property vegetation plans have mechanisms to provide financial incentives as well as technical support to farmers who agree to protect their native veg. Many greens ARE farmers.
I believe there is more to be gained by uniting against the government and sending a strong and unified message than fighting over the scraps that the government throws to each side in an attempt to placate them.
Cutting down trees illegally is a desperate measure, much like standing in front of a bulldozer. Having stood in front of bulldozers, I can attest to the fact that it doesn't work and it just pisses off the loggers!
Restrictions on a farmer's right to do what s/he wishes with their property is not 'taking a common law right' under the law. All property rights are subject to legislation. And compensating farmers for prohibiting clearing is problematic for many reasons.
But farmers should not be left to shoulder this burden, particularly when all of society benefits from the restriction. That is, i think, the key message. So, why cannot greens and farmers sit down and have a chat and find a common ground? then campaign together to get a good result?
Before you dismiss me as naive, let me say that I have worked with farmers of all ilks and understand their frustrations and challenges, especially with bureaucracy. But i have seen farmers turn their farms into models of sustainability and watched them marvel at the results. Working together can work and i strongly recommend it- to both sides."
The next 3 comments come fromCrikey on an article they did on "The National Chop A Tree Day" - TREES FALL IN FIGHT OVER LAND MANAGEMENT
For those of you that don't know Crikey is a city based Alternative News Digital Media that has 40,000 paid subscribers.
Philip Carman said
"If John Howard is serious about protection of the innocent and stopping harm before it becomes entrenched he should call in the ADF and the AFP to round up Steve Truman and his mates and have them detained. Perhaps he could then chop off a finger for every day that their stupid campaign continues to urge people to break the law by clearing land...?
These Neanderthals are the worst type of criminals because they, too, see themselves as being right when the reality is that they have not the morals, ethics or scruples – let alone enough intelligence – to understand why they are so wrong. I’ll not stay anonymous. And any farmer who doesn’t like it can shove it. But, my sincere thanks to those farmers who are law abiding, intelligent and green enough to know better than to r-pe and pillage their land because they misguidedly think they have "a right" to do so"
Rob Williams said:
"Re. "Trees falling in the fight over land management laws" (yesterday, item 2). The rights of Australians with regards to Freehold Title have been eroded for many years. It is the view of many of us that the Laws curtailing or overrunning Freehold Rights are unconstitutional. The enactment of legislation like that pertaining to land clearing makes a farmer a criminal on his own land. Unfortunately, Australians have long been denied the ability to challenge the Governments, both Federal and State to have their grievances heard by a Supreme Court.
Yes I know the mechanisms are there, but the cost and hurdles in getting to our day in court are hideous and the road to be threaded through the justice system is guarded by magistrates and others who know the ramifications if we win. Democracy in Australia is a hollow word.
Australian farmers are gutted from big business to government. The farmers’ only crime is that they haven't been aggressive enough to challenge those that would see them disappear. I support the farmers, and if the government(s) sees fit to fine them, then I will be in the group who would cheerfully blockade the road to help my fellow man"
Steven McKiernan said
"Agmates said they are chopping one tree on 1 July, two on 2 July and so on. Yet they have chopped 6,000 on day one and 8,000 on day two. Either they have lost a few fingers and cannot keep count without losing the boots, or fewer cockies are firing up the chainsaws or curriculum values in the bush are plummeting. It’s a national emergency, send in the troops!"
SIGNIFICANT COUNTRY FARMER said
"Well, my farm has 40% boxwood forest to 30m high so can I speak with a little experience.
Basically I have more trees than I know what to do with, seedlings everywhere, native box, bark and some gum amongst my livestock over 1,500HA of rough country which provides a but a trace of the income it used to in my Father's day, say in the 60's ~ 80's even with just two people left doing all the work and the same number of dependant animals it ever had in a sustainable, organic system.
To avoid turning the place into housing with subdivision I need to have the rights to Carbon, this is fraud and I am very angry because at my age it's time to consider going, that is without the option to alternative income.
If this works 'anonymous' there will be much more forest, so don't worry you are on the wrong track antagonising the few people who provide the satiety we all know from a full stomach.
One day that may not be possible, remember it only takes three hours to become hungry, unless you want to eat Chinese produce flown in from forced labour camps by air liners and all the carbon consequences of that ridiculous trade.
Of course Treasurer Costello summed up Rural Australia on Radio National Breakfast the day after the Budget,
Fran. “and the drought, what did that cost the economy?”
Costello. “oh, only 1½% downturn in the G.D.P”
Says it all really for the significance of country people when a leader speaks like that."
VIC FARMER said
"I have just been reading through the Agmates site. Very interesting with the amount of work and research done astounding particularly in the Carbon Credit area. However what stuck out like the perverbial is the bit that you've touched on,about how the NSW State Government has enabled the VMA laws that have removed certain rights of farmers in the area of the "Presumption of Innocence" amongst other things for offences committed under these laws.
The removal of these "Lawful" rights under these types of laws is nothing new, for example, they are also found in the states OH & S laws where they remove just about all your judicial rights, including the right of "appeal" and the "Presumption of Innocence".
I have noticed that you have not yet put a name to what this is called, when they remove such rights. WELL, it just so happens that I have done a fair bit of research on this issue. The inclusion of these "Clauses" into laws that remove these rights is called, wait for it:- "Privative Clauses".
The High Court of Australia has already BANNED the "Commonwealth" from using 'Privative Clauses' as unconstitutional however, they have, to a certain extent tolerated the States using them but, are viewed by the judiciary with great deal of suspicion."
PART 3 of Professor Ratnapala's paper -
ENDOGENOUS THREATS TO CONSTITUTIONAL GOVERNMENT
In countries where constitutional government lacks deep roots, liberty is fragile, and vulnerable to the ambitions of individuals and groups who seek by violent means the rewards of absolute power. In established liberal democracies such as Australia, the prospect of forcible overthrow of the constitutional order is remote. However, the freedoms that liberal democracy provides have a tendency to generate endogenous anti-liberal forces.
Freedom allows all manner of ideas, projects and movements to grow, including those inimical to freedom. Unless resisted, they can gradually debilitate constitutional
government to the point of irreversible decline. The paradox of free societies is that they cannot defend themselves by denying basic freedom to its enemies.
Liberal democracies face two common kinds of internal threat to constitutional government. The first arises from welfare politics. Under current electoral systems, special interest groups seek, and political aspirants offer, benefits that very often can be delivered only at some cost to constitutional government. Apart from direct wealth transfers through the tax system, governments pursue distributional goals through various forms of regulation, such as fair trading and consumer protection laws, competition laws, wage and price fixing, and the myriad licensing schemes.
These regulatory devices confer wide discretionary power on officials that seriously derogate from the ideal of government under known and general law that lies at the heart of constitutionalism. This kind of threat, though serious, is manageable, as it is possible to convince people that the short term gains they seek cause more
harm than good in the longer term. The worldwide trend to economic liberalization started by Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan and Roger Douglas, and now driven also by the forces unleashed by liberalized world markets, is evidence of this reversal.
The more serious threat to constitutional government arises from fundamentalism of various kinds. I do not mean, by fundamentalism, deep conviction about a particular worldview, philosophy or faith, whether that be Christian, Islamic, Buddhist or secularist. I employ the term "fundamentalist" to describe a person who not only has an unshakeable conviction in the rightness of his position, but also thinks that his view is so compelling and uncontestable that any competing view must be silenced, if not by persuasion, then by subtle coercion or brute force.
I learnt liberalism and the value of the rule of law very early in my life from a man who had not read any of the great liberal philosophers. He dedicated a major part of his life to the study and practice of the Buddhist doctrine that he embraced without reservation. He devoted another part of his life to politics, in defence of the rule of law and fundamental freedoms for all persons, particularly the freedom to practice other faiths and cultures. He was not a fundamentalist in my lexicon.
The 13th Century churchmen who ordered and carried out the Inquisition were
fundamentalists. The Marxists who pursued the goal of the Communist utopia at the cost of lives and liberties of many millions were fundamentalists. The Fascists who, following Hegel, deified the state as the ultimate good, were fundamentalists. The Al Qaeda terrorist group, and similar groups who wage holy war against infidels, are
There is a new fundamentalism that threatens the liberal constitutional order. It is Green fundamentalism. I do not mean by Green fundamentalism, genuine concern about the environment, and the desire to seek rational, balanced and scientifically sound solutions to environmental problems. Rather I refer to the growing intellectual movement that espouses a particular vision of the natural world, and relentlessly pursues the realization of that vision by legal and illegal means, where necessary by overriding the most fundamental rights and liberties of the citizen.
It is vocal in the advocacy of its point of view and insensible to other views. It has been spectacularly successful in elevating its message to the position of a faith that others may not question without being branded anti-social. It has skewed public discussions in a way that has stifled opposing views.
I am not suggesting that the issues that environmentalists raise are trivial. This debate is not about the need to protect the environment, but about rational responses to the problems. It is estimated, for example, that the total cost of global warming could be as much as US$ 5 trillion. Yet, as Bjorn Lomborg in his much reviled but unrebutted book, The Skeptical Environmentalist, points out, some of the solutions suggested could cost the world trillions, and even tens of trillions, of dollars over and above the global warming cost.5 This is money that, in the form of investment, could raise billions of people out of poverty and drive their societies to levels of prosperity that make environmental improvements affordable.
Lomborg is no libertarian capitalist ideologue. He is a left leaning statistician whose thesis is uncompromisingly grounded in data that even WWF, Greenpeace and the Worldwatch Institute largely accept. When he speaks of the bias in the environmental debate, it is worth listening. He asks why global warming is not discussed with an open attitude but with a fervor befitting preachers. He thinks that the answer is "that global warming is not just a question of choosing the optimal economic path for humanity, but has much deeper, political roots as to the kind of future society we would like".6 I cannot but agree.
Click HERE to read Professor Ratnapal's full paper "Constitutional Vandalism Under Green Cover"
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Posted by Agmates at 10:02 PM