Wednesday, 31 December 2014

One lousy sentence

Treasurer Tim Nicholls in Gladstone Harbour
source: Courier Mail

One lousy sentence given grudgingly by the Qld treasurer, Tim Nicholls, gives no justice and portrays no understanding what farming families and other landowner...s have been subjected to in the unleashing of the CSG colossus.

Tim Nicholls is quoted in the Courier Mail article, Liquefied coal seam gas shipment set to leave Gladstone, as saying, “landholders had to be acknowledged for the sacrifice and trouble they had been put to as CSG companies moved onto their land.”

It has been a lot more than just mere trouble, Tim. Try non-disclosure of information; isolate, divide & conquer; lying; pressured negotiation; bullying; ambushing with contrived bluffs; tactics to apply pressure; limited, miserly compensation; landowners time uncompensatedstress; complete disregard & disinterest in how agricultural management systems can work in with a gas field; the co-existence myth; gates open; weeds; loss of underground water; no solution for a mountain of salt brought to the surface; loss of amenity of living; roads destroyed; dust; noise; sense of community lost; liability from contamination; diminution of property value.

The list continues.

The government has failed to govern for all. The Newman LNP government & preceding Bligh Labor government have not allowed the agricultural department to protect even the small percentage of good quality soils; the Department of Environment & Heritage has not been allowed to do its job; there was very limited legal aid made available & that did not continue; landowners suffering impacts ask government for help only to be fobbed off by organisations devised by government, Gasfield Commission & CSG Compliance Unit, with the purpose of to be seen to be doing something and to dampen down the voice of the rural landowner to be heard in the urban communities.

On top of all that with landowners already suffering significant imbalances of power the Newman government systematically made significant legislative changes that removed what few rights landowners had.

What for? This Courier Mail reveals the answer; this first ship alone has loaded $50 million worth of LNG. When the industry gets into full stride in 2017 there will be 360 ships leaving the harbour loaded with LNG every year. The Qld government is expected to rake in $500 million annually. 
LNG tanker, Methane Rita Andrea, docked at QGC LNG plant at Curtis Island
photo sourced Gladstone Observer

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Rising Seas are Nothing New

by Viv Forbes
The most careful analysis of world sea levels suggests they are rising at between zero and 2mm per year. Measurements to this accuracy are questionable as they are complicated by changes in ocean currents and wind direction, and shorelines that may rise and sink.

Sea levels are never still, but with global temperatures flat and snow cover and polar ice steady, sea levels are probably as stable today as they ever get.

Image sourced [here]

However, we still have creative climatists concocting complex computer models that predict dangerously rising seas to justify their goal to ban coastal development and to revive their failing war on carbon.

Alarmists should study earth history.

At the depth of our recent ice age, just 16,000 years ago, a thick sheet of ice covered much of North America and Northern Europe.
So much water was locked up in ice that humans could walk on dry land from London to Paris, from Siberia to Alaska and from New Guinea to Australia. The River Rhine flowed across a broad coastal plain (which is now the North Sea) and met the Atlantic Ocean up between Scotland and Norway.
image sourced [here]

There was no Great Barrier Reef as Queensland’s continental shelf was part of the coastal plain, and rivers like the Burdekin met the ocean about 160 km east of its current mouth. Most of its ancestral river channel can still be recognised beneath the Coral Sea.

Then, about 13,000 years ago, with no help from man-made engines burning hydrocarbons, the Earth began warming. This was probably caused by natural cycles affecting our sun and the solar system, aided by volcanic heat along Earth’s Rings of Fire under the oceans.

The great ice sheets melted, sea levels rapidly rose some 130m and coastal settlements and ancient port cities were drowned and are being rediscovered, even today
As the oceans warmed, they expelled much of their dissolved load of carbon dioxide. The warm temperatures and extra carbon dioxide plant food caused vigorous plant growth. Permafrost melted, forests colonised the treeless tundra and grasses and herbs covered the great plains. Iceball Earth became the Blue/green planet, supporting a huge increase in plant and animal life.

Without any zoning laws to guide them, our smart ancestors moved ahead of the rising waters and adapted happily to the warmer climate with less snow, more rain, more carbon dioxide plant food and more ice-free land.

This warming phase peaked in the Medieval Warm Era about 1,000 years ago, when sea levels also peaked. They fell during the Little Ice Age, rose slightly during the Modern Warm Era, and are relatively stable now.

Rising seas are never a lethal threat to life on Earth. The danger sign is falling sea levels caused by a return of the great ice sheets. This would quickly put high-latitude farming into the deep freezer, thus creating widespread starvation. Trying to grow crops on emerging salty mudflats in an icy climate will give some future farmers a real climate concern.

And despite World Heritage listing, when the next ice age comes the skeletons of the stranded Great Barrier Reef will become bleached limestone deposits on the coastal plain. The indestructible coral populations will abandon their marooned homes and build new reefs further out under the retreating seas.
Image sourced [here]
For those who would like to read more:

Ice Age Europe

Nothing New about Rising sea levels:

Sea levels were probably been higher than this during the Medieval Warming, and fell in the Little Ice Age:

The Buried Burdekin River Channel

Sea level in the southwest pacific is stable:

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Renewables NOT Renewable

by Viv Forbes
Horse Hollow wind farm
There is an incessant chorus from the green gospellers glorifying “renewable” energy and warning disbelievers that continued use of carbon fuels will damn the world to eternal fires of global warming.

Their ire is focussed on carbon dioxide, one very minor but beneficial atmospheric gas which is accused of causing more of everything bad: pollution and extreme weather, droughts and floods, snowstorms and hurricanes, malaria and mosquitos, icebergs and glacier retreat, heat waves and blizzards, declining polar bears and multiplying cane toads.

We are told that using “renewable” energy will prevent all these disasters and produce cheap “clean” electricity. Four points are relevant:

First, carbon dioxide produced by burning coal, oil, gas, diesel, petrol or wood is not a pollutant in the atmosphere, not the key driver of global warming or climate change, but a boon to all plants (and thus all life). It is clean and green. There is thus no environmental or climate justification for punitive taxes on carbon dioxide, or for really silly stuff like emissions trading or carbon capture and burial.

Second, wind and solar power have a role in remote or mobile applications and in domestic hot water generation, but are an unreliable and high cost addition to grid power. Because of their intermittent and unpredictable supply characteristics, the large areas of land required to collect significant energy, and their need for back-up generators or huge batteries, they can seldom compete in a fair market with coal, gas, nuclear or hydro power. Nothing anyone can do will change these natural characteristics.

Third, those who wish to use “renewable” energy or to become independent of the grid are free to do so, and this should continue. But green energy should not be molly-coddled with subsidies from taxpayers or other users, nor protected by extra taxes on carbon energy, taxpayer loans, mandated market shares or propped up prices.

Finally, there is one killer point that has recently emerged.

The data collected shows that renewables will barely generate sufficient energy over the life of the facilities to recover the energy used to manufacture, construct and maintain those facilities.

Google has long supported green energy and had a dream to power all of their energy-hungry computers and air-conditioned data centres with “renewables”. It was revealed recently by their own technical advisers that this dream is a delusion. The fatal flaw discovered is that wind/solar energy may not reduce life-time emissions of carbon dioxide and is unlikely to ever be cheaper than coal. The data collected shows that renewables will barely generate sufficient energy over the life of the facilities to recover the energy used to manufacture, construct and maintain those facilities.

Most so called “renewable” energy relies on the sun, and is better referred to as “in-exhaustible”. But at any point on Earth, wind/solar is more accurately called “intermittent energy”. And to build plants to extract electricity from the sun using wind or solar collectors is a zero-sum game or worse – they may not produce enough energy to recoup the energy cost of replacing those facilities.

Wind/solar energy thus fails its central justification – it is not renewable.

Viv Forbes,

For those who would like to read more:

Google Green tried hard to make green energy work:

But Google Engineers now say renewable energy won’t work:

Troubles at world’s largest solar plant: production down, gas usage up:

The Catch22 of Energy Storage:

Large amount of steel & concrete used for a wind turbine base. photo sourced [here]

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Tragedies under Kyoto 1 will be echoed under proposed Kyoto 2.

Republished from Australian Climate Sceptics blog (LINK)

But the Abbott Government is also in the middle of a new controversy at the Lima conference over the way Australia's emissions target will be calculated under the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, the current global climate agreement, due to expire in 2020 and replaced by any new deal signed in Paris next year. 
With apologies to John Spooner.
Australia is seeking to use favourable rules around land clearing - originally agreed to under Kyoto in 1997 to establish an earlier target - in calculating its promised cut for 2020 under the protocol's second stage. 
If Australia is not allowed to include land use emissions to calculate its target it is estimated that it will increase the national 2020 goal by between 40 to 80 million tonnes of carbon emissions or up to 2.5 per cent. 
Australia is threatening that it will not ratify Kyoto again if it does not get its way on targets, and has won support from major developed nations and also Brazil. (bold added)
In 1998, under the Howard Government, the Science, Technology, Environment and Resources Group issued Current Issues Brief 10 (link) contained inter alia:

Allowance for emission reductions from land use changes was permitted in the base year in the Kyoto Protocol. Thus, reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from declining rates of land clearing or forestry can be used to meet target commitments. Similarly, removals of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by absorption into biological systems can be used. These removals of carbon dioxide, for example the planting of forests, are referred to as 'sinks'. 
Ian Hampton writes of Australia's actions in Lima:
This is a carbon copy of the tactics adopted by the then Howard Government in the lead up to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol agreement. Australia's "success" in getting the "Australia Clause" in the Kyoto Protocol led directly to the Howard Government "engineering" the much more restrictive 2003 NSW Native Vegetation Legislation and similar legislation in Queensland.
Why Tony Abbott would pander to the loony lefties who read the SMH and watch "our" ABC is a mystery. Turning his back on the people who voted for him and bowing to  people who will never vote for him seems a suicide move.

SO, how did the Kyoto 1 Land Use Protocol work out for Australian Land holders. Let's look at two examples:
  • Farmer tried to work with the Land Use Protocol;
  • Farmer lost farm due to the Land Use Protocol. 

Farmer tried to work with the Land Use Protocol

Cate speaking to ABC radio May 20, 2014, about how carbon farming is a “good business strategy” at . But the banks, for good reason, thought otherwise.
Cate Stuart among the mulga trees the Stuarts have used to create a
carbon-storage scheme with the help of Australian Carbon Traders.
Picture: Lyndon Mechielsen
 Source: News Corp Australia

Mark and Cate Stuart tried to work within the system and create a carbon sink. The sink was supposed to create income of $400,000 every 3 years. (link)
Cate and Mark Stuart will be evicted from their historic Charleville cattle station, Mount Morris, on Thursday after rural lender Rabobank last year called in the receivers Ferrier Hodgson to ­recoup an outstanding debt of $2.6 million. 
The Stuarts are heartbroken. But the tough outback family, which has run the 20,000ha far-west Queensland spread for the past six years, isn’t going without a fight. A very modern fight. 
They say the bank has failed to recognise their wild and sprawling home is more than just a cattle farm: it is a carbon bank. 
For the past four years, the ­Stuarts have worked with thespecialist carbon farming company Australian Carbon Traders to capture and store carbon on 5000ha of their mulga tree ­reserves. 
They planned to earn up to $400,000 every three years in valuable carbon credit payments.
Mt Morris is now for sale - See LINK.  The Stuarts have lost everything.

Cate has been featured before on the Australian Climate Sceptics blog, during the Convoy of No Confidence: LINK
Cate is now known as "Convoy Cate from Charleville." Listen to Cate on ABC's Counterpoint HERE.

Farmer lost farm due to the Land Use Protocol 

Readers of these pages should be aware of Peter Spencer: Our friend, Joanne Nova, has written a magnificent summary HERE
Peter Spencer’s story is one I didn’t think could happen in Australia. He 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, he was slowly bankrupted. Though he broke no law, he lost his life’s work and his beloved farm in late 2010. There was no way out. He couldn’t sell the property — who would buy a piece of land that could not be used? Farmers all around Australia lost billions of dollars in assets as the value of their land and produce declined. 
It is this legislation and the resulting theft of the stored carbon in the resulting trees by the Commonwealth (enabling Australia to meet its Kyoto commitments) that is at the root of Peter Spencer's case against the Commonwealth and NSW. (link)

Read the trial notes in  "Peter Spencer: Court diary"

These are just two stories (from both sides of the boundary fence) of the myriad tragedies caused by Land Use Protocol under the original Kyoto Protocol.

Now, landholders (and all Australians)  should gear up for more tragedies IF the Abbott Government gets acceptance of their new Land Use Protocol.

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Peter Spencer: Court diary

The case Spencer v. Commonwealth of Australia began being heard in the Federal Court, Sydney on the 24th November, described as the biggest property rights case since Mabo.  

This post will feature the daily updates that Ian Hampton has been providing for the first week of the court case which will continue in the comment section below.

Please also check out a web page set up for Peter Spencer - Peter Spencer versus The Commonwealth
and also the Facebook page - Support Peter Spencer & Australian Farmers

Peter Spencer's farm in the high country in New South Wales, fondly named "SAARAHNLEE",
a combination of letters from his children's names. He no longer owns this farm having lost it in 2010

Day 1 of the trial 24th November

The most important event today was the opening statement by Mr Kirk, the barrister for the NSW Crown Solicitor's Office.

Two things stand out - BOTH respondents (Commonwealth and State) are flatly denying the existence of any informal agreement or understanding between the Commonwealth and the State beyond the applicable legislation and relevant published intergovernmental agreements. The thrust of the rest of his statement was that the State had the ability to restrict Spencer's ability to clear timber on his land under legislation that existed before the Commonwealth involvement in native vegetation legislation after Kyoto, and that consequently Clause 51 (XXXI) of the Constitution (Commonwealth must pay just terms compensation for property taken) does not "come into play"...

From what I can see - neither Peter or Alastair were fazed by Kirk's opening statement.

Day 2 of the trial 25th November

In his opening statement, Mr Lenehan for the Commonwealth covered pretty much the same legal ground as Mr Kirk did the day before for NSW.

By contrast, in his oral opening statement, Peter Spencer started with the Magna Carta and traced the evolution of freehold title in Australia back to the foundation of Government in 1840 .

Spencer then went through the history of international, national and state government agreements and legislation linking environmental issues and native vegetation. Spencer traced a line of continuity from the First International Conference on Environmental Issues in 1950 and its Native Vegetation Advisory Workshop through to 2003. Important steps along the way included the 1972 International Conference Declaration of the UN on Human Environment, the 1992 Rio Earth Summit (the UN Framework Conference on Climate Change) where Australia signed the treaty, the resulting 1992 National Strategy for Ecologically Sustainable Development (signed by PM Hawke) and the 1992 National Greenhouse Strategy which was endorsed by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG).

In effect, the intention to take the benefit arising from the sequestration of carbon, through the native vegetation legislation of 2003 as the primary mechanism for meeting Australia's greenhouse gas commitments, was the logical outcome of the 1992 strategy.

So, the three opening statements have been completed - GAME ON.

Tomorrow morning the Judge will decide which documents from both sides are in or out. The afternoon will be taken up with the expert witness evidence of Dr David Evans for Spencer and by Mr Sturgess, a senior bureaucrat for the Commonwealth.

Peter Spencer and Alastair McRoberts boarding the train after Day 2

Day 3 of the trial, Wed 26th November

Peter Spencer had a good day in court today. Just as important, Peter is growing in confidence and really finding his feet as a self litigant.

The day started with the Judge expressing concern about the unavailability of former Howard Government Minister, Dr David Kemp when the Spencer team attempted to serve him with a subpoena last week.

The CGS and NSW Crown Solicitor then tried to "knock out" all of Spencer's witnesses with case law. Justice Mortimer adjourned the hearing to consider these submissions. She returned after a short break to confirm that the evidence of the two expert witnesses on the UNFCCC National Carbon Accounting System, scheduled for today could go ahead. The examination of these two witnesses - Dr David Evans for Spencer and Mr Sturgess for the Commonwealth went well.

Justice Mortimer will announce her decisions about the remaining witnesses tomorrow morning.

A long way to go - but definitely as good day for Peter Spencer.

DAY 4 of the trial, Thursday 27th  November

Justice Mortimer "knocked back" only one of Peter Spencer's nominated witnesses, in response to submissions from the Commonwealth and NSW Crown Solicitor to "knock out" all of them. This does not substantially affect Peter's case - good news.

Since then, Peter has been in the witness box. At the end of the second session, Peter was still being cross examined by the CGS (for the Commonwealth) and NSW Crown Solicitor. Consequently, we are not allowed to report on any of this until after he completes his evidence - scheduled to be lunchtime tomorrow.

DAY 5 of the trial, Friday 28th November


Peter Spencer was cross-examined by the two barristers for the Commonwealth Government and the NSW Government until the end of the afternoon session. The cross examination is now over. Unfortunately, we can't report on this yet because Peter is still under oath. He is returning to the witness box on Monday, allowed 15 minutes to provide corrections to any mistakes he may have made in his oral evidence.

Next week will be mostly taken up with witness statements and cross-examination.

On Tuesday, Justice Mortimer will announce which documents from both sides are admissible and which are inadmissible based on the arguments from the opposing sides.

The Court has ordered that Dr David Kemp, former Howard Government Minister for Environment and Heritage contact Peter Spencer about his availability to appear as a witness next week.

The team: the extended Kennedy family, and supporters Dan and Jeannie Hughes.

Previous related posts

Friday, 21 November 2014

The Federal Government can’t take your assets without paying - “bigger than Mabo”

Peter Spencer - who spent 52 days up a tree protesting the usurping of his "kyoto" trees on his own property....The Native Vegetation Acts were brought in by the states to stop farmers clearing native plants — but no compensation was ever paid to farmers.....however......The Commonwealth is not allowed to confiscate assets without due compensation...

Peter Spencer is doing this on behalf of all property owners in Australia and is determined not to give in.

Hat/Tip: Joanne Nova.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Wake Up Australia

by Viv Forbes
Today is Remembrance Day, an appropriate time to reflect on our ability to defend ourselves.

History holds lessons.
Back in Dec 1941, Japan suddenly attacked the huge US Naval base at Pearl Harbour. Three days later, two “invincible” British warships, “Repulse” and “Prince of Wales” were sunk by Japanese planes off Malaya. Soon Japanese armies were rampaging through Asia towards Australia. By Feb 1942, the British fortress of Singapore surrendered and Japanese bombs were falling on Darwin. By Sept 1942 the Japanese army had slashed their way down the Kokoda Track and could see the lights of Port Moresby. They were looking across Torres Strait to Australia. At that time, most of our trained soldiers were fighting Rommel in North Africa or in Japanese prison camps.

Suddenly Australia was on its own and needed to defend itself with what we had here. Armies need soldiers, weapons, bullets, vehicles, fuel, food (and cigarettes).

Rationing was introduced for petrol, food and cigarettes. An immediate critical shortage was copper for cartridge cases - we had mines producing lead, zinc, silver, gold and iron, but there was a critical shortage of copper.

The mill, Mt Isa, R Emerson Curtis, Australian War Memorial

Fortuitously, just before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour, an exploration drill hole at Mount Isa had struck rich copper ore.

Mount Isa was called on to avert a calamitous shortage of copper in Australia. With government encouragement, Mount Isa Mines made the brave decision to suspend the profitable silver/lead/zinc operations and convert all mining and treatment facilities to extracting copper.

The lead concentrator could be converted to treat copper ore, but the biggest problem was how to smelt the copper concentrates. Luckily the company had skilled engineers and metallurgists in the lead smelter. In a miracle of improvisation, scrap steel and spare parts were purchased and scavenged from old mines and smelters from Cloncurry, Mt Elliott, Mt Cuthbert and Kuridala and cobbled into a workable copper smelter. In 1943 the first Mount Isa blister copper was produced. Production continued after the war when Mount Isa returned to extracting the then more profitable silver/lead/zinc. Later new plant was built enabling both lead and copper to be produced from this fabulous mine.

This story of the importance of self-reliance has lessons for today.

The war on carbon energy, the carbon tax, the renewable energy targets, escalating electricity costs and the voices in Parliament calling for Emissions Trading Schemes have all unnerved our big users of carbon fuels and electricity. Smelting and refining have become threatened industries in Australia, and closure of the Mount Isa copper smelter and the Townsville copper refinery has been foreshadowed. Already six major metal smelting/refining operations have closed in Australia this century and more are likely. The closures have affected copper, lead, zinc, steel and aluminium – the sinews of modern industry. And the car industry, with all its skills and tools, is closing

Mt Isa mines sourced Herald Sun

Local production and refining of oil is also declining, while anti “fossil fuel” vandals are trying to 
prevent domestic exploration and production. More and more land and offshore waters are closed to exploration and mining, and heavy industry is scorned. It was estimated recently that by next year, half of Australia’s oil refining capacity will have closed. In the event of a disruption to tanker routes, Australia has just 12 days of diesel supplies before city fuel and food supplies start to dry up.

We are losing the resources, skills and machinery needed for our own security, while we fritter precious resources on green energy, direct action, carbon capture and storage and other pointless anti-carbon chimeras.

Our foolish green energy policies and the suicidal war on carbon fuels are killing real industry leaving us unskilled and defenceless – like a fat toothless walrus basking on a sunny beach.

Wake up Australia.

 Viv Forbes,
Rosewood    Qld   Australia

For those who would like to read more:

Australian Fuel supplies very vulnerable to disruption. Food and fuel Chaos within days:

“Mines in the Spinifex – the Story of Mount Isa Mines” by Geoffrey Blainey, Angus and Robertson, 1960

“The Challenge of Standing on the Shoulders of Giants” by Collin Myers, Congress of the International Mining History Association, Charters Towers, 2014.

Disclosure: Viv Forbes is a geologist, financial analyst and farmer. He has spent a lifetime working in various roles and places including Rum Jungle, El Sherana, Mt Isa, Goonyella, Blackwater, Nebo, Brisbane and Sydney. He is a non-executive Director of a small Australian coal exploration company and, with his wife Judy, breeds cattle and sheep at Rosevale in Queensland. He was the founder of the Carbon Sense Coalition.


Sunday, 9 November 2014

Peter Spencer: Farm associations where is your support now?

Farm associations were very supportive of the Peter Spencer case back in 2010 but now at the very crucial time of the final court case starting November 24 2014 any support from these farm organisations is conspicuous by its absence.
Letter to the editor, The Land, Nov 6 2014
Wally Mitchell in his letter mentions the NSW ABC Country Hour interview with Hugh Nivison, Chairman of the Trust administering the Australian Farmers Fighting Fund (AFFF).

Recently in my role as chair of Property Rights Australia I was informed by a member who spoke with the AFFF secretary and that upon inquiring why AFFF was not backing the Peter Spencer case with funding was told that,
"they were prepared to support him but he to date had not accepted their offer”
The response from the Peter Spencer team upon being informed of how AFFF were deflecting any heat from their lack of action was,
"There has been no offer from AFFF to Spencer to resume funding of the case.  Spencer is providing some documents to AFFF relating to the case requested, by them. "
This is worst than just being unhelpful.
NFF president David Crombie.
NFF president in 2010, David Crombie
photo sourced The Land
The 9th August 2010 media release by NFF president David Crombie, Farmers’ property rights under siege . Earlier in March 2010 David Crombie made strong statements in the article, Families and natural justice suffer as property rights usurped.  

“It’s a perfect scam where state and federal governments use their respective powers in concert to effect property takeover but avoid paying ‘just terms’ compensation. Enough is enough."

Peter Spencer needs your support, to learn how you can help please read the following article:


Monday, 27 October 2014


Update November 14 - A new site dedicated to Peter Spencer was launched today. Please go to Peter Spencer versus The Commonwealth

Update November 30 - A new post where daily updates of the court proceedings by Ian Hampton. Please go to  Peter Spencer: Court diary

by Ian Hampton, Cooma, on behalf of Peter Spencer
Tony Abbott as opposition leader at the Peter Spencer
farmers rights rally February 2010
photo sourced farmonline
 Peter Spencer will need financial assistance to enable his “day in court”.  After 8 years of effort, countless directions hearings and a notable success in the High Court of Australia in 2010, his case Spencer v. Commonwealth of Australia will be heard in the Federal Court, Sydney from the 24 November this year.

 Spencer has done his homework and believes he has the ammunition to prove his case, however the problem is that the Australian Farmers Fighting Fund (AFFF) which has been financing Spencer’s courtroom case in the Federal Court has withdrawn its funding with the finish line in sight.  The AFFF have offered no coherent reasoning for this withdrawal of funding and actually state that they are still considering the issue, however the time is now and Spencer needs funding to continue.    

Spencer’s immediate problem is that he is required to pay up-front costs including the expenses of the witnesses he calls, filing, record keeping, printing and stationary costs.  At this time his own finances are exhausted because of the eight year war of attrition he has fought against the might of the Australian Government Solicitor representing Australian Governments of both major parties. The other respondent to the case is the Crown Solicitor’s Office of NSW representing the NSW Government.

As discussed below, this is enormously important for farmers directly affected by native vegetation legislation, and indirectly for all private property owners.


Many regional people will remember Peter Spencer's 52 day hunger strike in late 2009 and early 2010 over farmer's property rights and its link to Australia's climate change commitments.  The hunger strike led to a more than 3,000 strong farmers rights rally in front of Parliament House in February 2010 and the Senate Inquiry into Native Vegetation Laws, Greenhouse Gas Abatement and Climate Change Measures later in the same year.

Spencer’s case and the hunger strike arose out of his inability to properly farm his property "Saarahnlee" at Captains Flat near Cooma, NSW following imposition of more stringent native vegetation laws by the NSW Government in the early 2000s.


Alan Jones with Peter Spencer outside Parliament House, Feb 2010
photo sourced, Farmers’ fight for rights won’t end with protest 
If Spencer wins, the likely outcome is that the case will be treated as a test case which should result in a flow on of compensation to the thousands of Australian farmers who have been similarly affected by the imposition of native vegetation legislation after the meeting of the Kyoto Protocol target in 1999.

 Further, Spencer v. Commonwealth of Australia is the most important property rights case to be heard by any Australian court since Mabo.  If Spencer succeeds this case will re-assert the primacy of the Australian Constitution over the on-going erosion of private property rights by Australian Governments of all persuasions at all levels of government.


Yes, if the case is truly heard.

Spencer’s case hangs on Section 51(xxxi) of the Australian Constitution which allows the Parliament to make laws for the acquisition of property on just terms from any state or person for any purpose in respect of which the Parliament has power to make laws.  The issue is that while the Commonwealth must pay compensation, the States are not required to.  The basis of Mr Spencer’s claim is that state and federal governments colluded to introduce land clearing legislation to lock up carbon on Australian farms through native vegetation legislation so Australia could meet carbon targets in the Kyoto protocol.  To win, Spencer must prove the intent of the Commonwealth to obtain carbon credits enabled by the “Australia Clause” inserted into the Kyoto Protocol Agreement in 1999, orchestration by the Commonwealth of the imposition of native vegetation legislation by the NSW Government (in Spencer’s case), and that the Commonwealth actually obtained gain through the resulting carbon credits which are clearly shown in the IPCC carbon accounts following application of the native vegetation legislation.  The IPCC accounts clearly show that these carbon credits have enabled Australia to meet its carbon targets set in the Kyoto protocol.  In essence this is Spencer’s trump card because it can be clearly shown that the Commonwealth has gained through the stored carbon.

The more important issue is that THIS IS A CASE THAT MUST BE HEARD.  This is a once in a generation opportunity for the courts to reassert the primacy of the Australian Constitution over the on-going machinations of Australian Governments at all levels to restrict and control private landowners use of their land.


The NSW Regional Community Survival Group Fighting Fund account is now dedicated to assisting Peter Spencer’s court case.  The RCSG is based in Tottenham NSW, and is an incorporated not for profit group with a long history of fighting for farmers rights and assisting farmers.
Electronic transfers to the "Fighting Fund" can be made to the following account:
BSB 032646    Westpac Dubbo
Account No     494974
To enable record keeping - please “label” the transfer with your name.  If you want a receipt – send either an e-mail or fax to Lesley Hillam -
e-mail address
fax number 02 6892 4449




Property Rights Australia will also accept a cheque in the mail payable to PRA Fighting Fund Account. Please include a note that the funds are earmarked for the Peter Spencer's court case and a return address so that a receipt can be issued.
Send the cheque to PRA Office PO Box 609, Rockhampton Q 4700 and the office will forward the funds on.

On Monday 10 November - Peter Spencer will submit his list of witnesses with the reasons why they are important to the case.
On Wednesday 12 November - Peter Spencer will appear before Justice Mortimer to argue the reasons why he wants to call the witnesses.

UPDATE # 2 Monday 10th November
The hearing on Wednesday 12 November will be at 2:30 PM in the Federal Court, Queens Square CBD Sydney before Justice Mortimer.  Peter Spencer will be arguing the reasons why he wants to call the witnesses on his list.  We can anticipate that the Commonwealth and NSW Government Solicitor will be opposing most if not all of them. 
If you are close enough to Sydney and have the time – Peter would really appreciate your presence.  We have a view that the legal system (like any other arm of Government) works best when it is subject to public scrutiny.

UPDATE #3 Tuesday 11th November

Tomorrows Witness Application Hearing has been delayed, and the hearing is now SET TO START AT 4:30 PM.

Tomorrow is not the start of the trial, but it is nevertheless a very significant day. By now, those that Spencer wants to call as witnesses know who they are, and you can bet that the Australian Government Solicitor (for the Commonwealth) and the Crown Solicitor’s Office (for NSW) will be going all out tomorrow to have them all struck off the list.

Win, lose or draw, one of the outcomes is that the Judge will have to read through the reasons WHY Peter Spencer wants to call each one. In other words, the witness list and Spencer’s reasons will paint a picture for the judge of the parts played by all of these “worthies”.