For Like minded people who like to see-
Another horror story on Alan Jones' programme this a.m. The following are the basic facts as I was able to scribble them down.
Story of a farmer Warren Berry who bought back the family farm in 1999 (where he, his father and his grandfather had all lived). It's 4,000 acres but was in a bad state. He cleaned it up, put up fences and put in roads. In 2006 he was told to stop work, took it to the L & E Court in 2007 then he and the Central Western Catchment Management Authority worked together on a PPVP. Then Dept. of Environment and Climate Change gave the CMA the run-around so he couldn't get the PPVP.
A year later he got a vegetation plan which was totally unacceptable so he had meetings with the CMA and his solicitor and was told nobody could change the plan. Then they said to him "Sign this property vegetation plan or the Dept. of E & CC will lock up the property." Then the next day the Dept. officer was at his place threatening to charge him and take out an injunction to stop him doing any work on the property. He was half-way through constructing a roadway. They said the road was too wide because it could only be 6 metres wide and anything over that was illegal but he pointed out that most of the machinery was 8,9,10 and even 12 metres wide so how do you get a piece of machinery like that up a track and his response was it was not his (the officer's) problem.
So it has been two and a half years of waiting for the Dept. to charge him with alleged clearing. Now he has been hit with a remedial direction to lock up 250 hectares which means he can't touch it including holding yards, paddocks, etc. He has to remove all livestock and lock up the country for 15 years but he has to maintain it in the meantime and he has to report to the Dept. every four months. He can't do anything on the land that HE owns. He's spent money, lost production and had sleepless nights plus he has a wife and children who are also suffering.
Warren says that the really annoying factor is that he has been improving the environment on the farm - clearing up the rubbish and fixing the erosion and they don't care. They say if you don't have a PPVP to do the work you are in breach of the Act. You can't get one because they won't give it to you so you can't improve the farm. He said that it was the first time in his life that he felt so totally stuffed. He can't afford to fight the case and his biggest worry is that the banks will find out.
Alan asked about the name of the Dept. officer concerned but he wouldn't say. However, Alan has a name which is the signature on the documents in his possession.
The current situation Warren said is that he has a meeting with this person again on Friday to try and mediate some of these orders but he had already attempted one meeting last week. All he wants to do is get an environmental outcome on the situation but the Dept. only wants a paper outcome. He ended by saying that the really annoying thing is that all he wanted to do was to tidy it all up so that his children would have something passed on to them because his father and grandfather all lived on the farm and looked after it.
I know this is just another story as there are many others like this coming in every day but it is still unbelievable and something absolutely MUST be done to stop it. This is not the Australia that we all love so much - this is a foreign and unfriendly place reminiscent of some authoritarian country like North Korea and we simply cannot allow this to continue.
Alan was outraged at this story - which of course we've all heard before. At the end of the interview Alan told Warren that he would be doing something about this and undoubtedly we shall hear more about this in the coming days.