Friday, 10 May 2013

IPA: Let farmers do what they do best

First published [here] by the Institute of Public Affairs
Cross posted under the terms & conditions of IPA's copyright

The Colac Otway Shire council has faced local outrage over the proposed new laws that will place “draconian” restrictions on how farmers manage their land.  The council encompasses some of the great Western district farming areas of Colac, Cressy and Beeac, including the popular coastal destinations of Wye River and Apollo Bay.

The Shire has brought in the new laws to keep it in step with the Department of Environment and Primary Industries plans to remap the biodiversity and native vegetation maps across Victoria, leading some to warn that other councils may follow suit.

The Weekly Times notes that the proposed overlays on private property “can restrict ploughing of native grass, removal of fallen tree limbs for use as firewood, timber harvesting from purpose-planted native trees and even removal of rocks.”   What is perhaps the most galling about the proposed rules is that it in fact punishes farmers who have striven to be good conservationists by planting and caring for native species on their properties, and yet those who have stripped the land back will have no restrictions placed on them at all.  Local Beech Forest cattle breeder and business man, Ray Cooper, explains that farmers have been less considerate in their treatment of  the land “won’t end up having these overlays because they don’t have the native trees.”
Beeac farmer and former president of the Colac Shire, John Daffy, states that this is a prohibitive intrusion into private citizens’ lives.
What it means is they’ve got control of your property…Their fines are so prohibitive that you could be nearly forced off your property…
Concern has been so great that Daffy has formed a local action group to try and prevent the changes.  Yesterday’s deadline for the public outcry to the proposed changes illustrated that
Agriculture is the primary economic driver [for the Shire]. Why would you crucify your farmers?
Furthermore, it will affect the local economy, as farmers and businesses will be driven to trade in different areas as the new law will make it “very, very difficult for people to do business.”  The Institute of Public Affairs has written before on the impact that native vegetation and environmental laws have: please read them here and here.  The end result of making the good conservationist practices that Australian farmers are renowned for prohibitively expensive and overly regulated, will be to actively discourage the preservation of native species.  Perhaps more importantly though, it will decimate local farming communities, as people flee to make an easier, less micro-managed, career and businesses elsewhere

About Vivienne Crompton

Vivienne Crompton is a Researcher for the Legal Rights Project. Undertaking her Bachelor of Arts at the University of Melbourne, she majored in both History and Archaeology, focusing on Medieval and Early Modern Europe. Furthering her studies, Vivienne undertook the Juris Doctor, the University of Melbourne’s new graduate degree in law.


  1. Another GOOD reason to vote against the proposal in the forthcoming referendum to legitimise councils under the Australian Constitution. Another line of bureaucrats and "wanna-be coppers" who think they have some sort of government sanctioned control over our lives is neither wanted nor welcomed.

  2. About the local government referendum the IPA send this message out as an email this last Thursday.

    "Julia Gillard wants to enshrine local government in the constitution.
    We think it is a terrible idea, as Chris Berg explained in this important article for the Sunday Age this week, and as Tim Wilson said in this media release issued today.

    And here's another reason, from Julie Novak's excellent new report on big government in Australia. Local government employees have boomed enough on their own already, do we really want to make it easier for the federal government to subsidise them?

  3. I SO AGREE with your comment Tony.

    And Tim Wilson's excellent press release (linked by Dale above) is a must read for all who are concerned about further serious erosion of our freedoms.

    A couple of his astute statements:

    "With every single federal dollar comes strings attached, this plan is about centralising more power in Canberra and further away from local communities. Local government rules and regulations, from planning applications to caring for local parks, will be driven by Canberra."

    "The referendum is a rehashing of Gough Whitlam’s failed attempt to bypass the states and promote a level of government that is easier to control from the Prime Minister’s office."

  4. A timely post Elizabeth.
    In a former life ,I was once a member of the ALP, and as I recall it was in the national policy framework that the States should be done away with , and a regional system of government be adopted.
    I was of the opinion that the policy was in the process of implementation when Comrade Beatty so hastily ordered the amalgamation of shires in Qld. Am I correct in understanding that similar amalgamations have occurred in other states?
    If so, then there can be little doubt that the process is under way.
    Certainly the ALP has long been aware of the two tier government model as depicted in the constitution. It was never the intention of the founders of the Commonwealth to have a third level of bureaucrats to contend with, although the Labor Party can see no problem with multiple levels of "authority" , to whom those who dare (or wish)to be independent must kowtow.
    And indeed Councils only have authority because such has been invested in them by State governments, which, of course, are recognised under the constitution.
    Gillard and co will be able to bypass States that do not fall in with their ideology and deal directly with Council bureaucrats, a position which will be much easier to infiltrate and load up with political party sympathisers.
    Lord knows , most of these Council CEO's ( formerly called "shire clerk") seem to have the capacity to build up their own little kingdoms, where apparently they think they are unassailable.

    1. I agree Tony. back in the Whitlam era a neighbour of mine was telling me that he was on the policy committee that was formulating the takeover of all private land and it being vested in the Govt. There would be no more Freehold land, everything was to be vested in the Government. This man quit the Labor Party because of the action that they took.
      The first move towards this was when all title deeds were declared void and useless and all titles were simply listed on a "register". there are no landowners anymore, only Landholders. This action was reinforced in Queensland in 2001 when Beattie created a new "Constitution" for Queensland and refused to put it to a referendum of the people as is required by law. It was about this time that Beattie declared that all land in Qld belonged to the State.
      Even your fishing club can't change anything in their Constitution without a Majority vote of it's Members. (in effect the Referendum)
      From that point on the Queensland Govt (and I believe all states have now followed the same path) started destroying our Constitutional and Democratic rights.
      One of the most notable actions was the forced amalgamation of the Councils. In an unofficial poll done by the Electoral Commission (non binding) it was an almost a unanimous result that amalgamations not be permitted.

      The Local Govt Act specifically stated that amalgamations could not take place without a COMPULSORY referendum but Beattie because of his new "Constitution" claimed that he had the power to do as he wished.
      I contacted the Governor (Bill Shortens Mother In Law) and she held the answer to my correspondence up for 5 months to allow beattie to disregard the legislated law that Amalgamations must be approved by the people at a referendum.
      Since then the Public have been disregarded by all levels of Government. I definitely say NO to Local Govt being recognised because it will just give the Dictators another foothold to strangle the people.


    This is a link to the booklet by Arthur Chresby Titled your Will Be Done.
    Chresby at his death was recognised as Australia's leading Research analyst in Constitutional Law. He was the federal Member for Griffith, the seat that Krudd now holds. This can be downloaded.

    He produced many articles regarding our Constitutional rights and produced another booklet titled "WHITLAM'S REPUBLICAN DREAM & EVIDENCE THAT DEMANDS A VERDICT"
    This is available through some state libraries.

    I have one original copy given to me by Arthur himself but I can't find where it can be downloaded on the web.

  6. Thanks for all that informative comment, Peter - very enlightening. Yes, obviously just another step along the road to Totalitarianism.

    And very interesting, Tony, what you said about the ALP plan for a 'regional system of government'. I'd heard somewhere years ago that there was a plan for the eventual abolition of the States and for Australia to be divided into regions under the direct control of Canberra. And I actually said to a few folk, after the forced amalgamations, that I wondered if it could be part of a progression towards the formation of regions. I don't know if other States have forced amalgamations - perhaps someone could verify?

    A comment by Chris Berg in his article for the Sunday Age (another of Dale's links) is of concern:
    "The Coalition might be expected to oppose Gillard's referendum. Federalism is a bedrock principle of Australian liberalism. But Tony Abbott is no fan of the states, either. He supports a yes vote."

    Sounds like we'd better be letting Tony know of our objections!

  7. Government is developing and legislating law without due study and diligence.

    For example nutrient loadings measured in tidal rivers and estuaries are being attributed to land farm sources, without scientifically measuring and assessing the loading from city and town sewage dumpoed daily that with incoming tide enters estuaries and lower river waters, from ocean coast alongshore current.

    (P.S. I am in a remote area again without much Internet access for reply)

  8. Maybe we had better let up on Juliar. It must all be getting too much for her. I've heard of people going grey through stress and worry and I noticed on TV this morning in a broadcast from Canberra that Juliar has suddenly gone almost blond.

    Could this be from the stress and worry of knowing that she has stuffed the country and will shortly be out of a job or was it just that Tim, wearing his tiny Asian butt examiners rubber gloves stuffed up when he mixed the dye for her hair.

    Whatever it was it hasn't improved her demeanour or jogged her truth sensors in her brain.
    The only change is that we now have a fair haired Ranga.

  9. Her crocodile tears in parliament yesterday dominated the TV news last night too rather than the more broken promises in the very dodgy federal budget.

  10. There have been some very good comments in this discussion (IMHO, that is ;-)and elsewhere on JG.

    One point on forced council amalgamations, they probably (from memory) started here in Vic under Jeff Kennett, but for Very different reasons to those which motivated premier Beatty, in Qld. Here, it started as a metro thing where various councils were being run on an old Tammany Hall basis, encouraged to go their hardest by a succession of terrible Labor state governments which had run a once - proud state into the ground. JK certainly turned that around!

    Back to the topic and again this is only my opinion, I would caution all here against turning legitimate discussions into a personal rant against public figures, of whatever political persuasion. Many of you have expertise in laudable areas where I am a dunce, but one sphere where I do know "a bit" is in strategy and tactics. I am pleased personally to see that the Opposition, led by TA, seems to be very much focused on content and less on name calling. This will be infuriating to the PM and co, witness Shorten's inane raves this morning.

    That "other site" which many of us supported for so long before it went pear - shaped / off the rails continues to provide a case book study in how NOT to do it - domination by a hand full for all the purported membership, lots of loony tune theories and opinions, extreme stuff, including a very recent reference to this site by one of its self - appointed gurus.

    Whatever, good luck to all and bring on the election!!
    Cheers al

    1. Meant to add, I too strongly oppose amending the Constitution to recognise the 3rd tier of government, as proposed. How such a simple, reasonable - sounding thing can hold such a Pandora's Box full of feral green, metro intelligentsia and worse scorpions!! :-(
      Cheers al


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