For Like minded people who like to see-
Something that is becoming a regular feature in the rural press is stories of landholders being threatened and/or prosecuted for land management practices that fall foul of their bureaucratic rules. They vary from clearing invasive weeds like turkey bush and parthenium weed right through to creating firebreaks, the list is endless. Clearly, farmers property rights mean little in these times.
Draconian penalties and an endless process of harassment and costly legal expenses seem to now be the order of the day. This is happening in all states including Queensland, but an interesting case has emerged here in which a Department of Environmental Resource Management staffer seems to have been given special privileges. Doug Gillett reports in ‘Rural Weekly’ (an inclusion in some provincial papers) on what appears to be such a case:
A Lowmead grazier has accused a Department of Environmental Resource Management employee of destroying protected vegetation on a camping and water reserve.
Lynton Hayman has called for a full investigation into the felling of large gums and bloodwoods in the granite creek water and camping reserve. He also alleged that signs identifying the area as a reserve open to the public have been removed from the property.
The bushland area was leased from DERM by an employee of the State Government department for grazing purposes. …
A spokesman for DERM said it had been notified in advance of the leaseholders intention to fell trees to protect a fence line on the reserve.
(However) Mr. Hayman said the trees had been felled far away from any visible fence line. …
Apart from the strong probability that a government department leasing ground under its control to its own employees being a conflict of interest, questions arise as to the process of granting the lease and whether special privileges were granted, given the removal of the public access signs. The column is not online but an image with it is of stumps with no fence present.
Is Lowmead near Gatton between Brisbane and Toowoomba?
Just as well I usually travel with a map.
Lowood is probably the reason I had the initial feeling it was Brisbane/Lockyer Valley as well.
I am usually reluctant to get behind incidents like this as they are sometimes nothing more than a dispute between neighbours being played out in the public arena, but this one seems genuine.
I'd say Dale has just about nailed it there; they may even be adjoining or very close.
What proof do you have that the lease was issued to a DERM employee? And even if it was, an employee of the department that administers the Land Act has the same rights as every other citizen to apply for a lease. The Land Act sets out the rules under which each application is assessed. In fact, back in the days when it was still the Department of Lands and it created residential subdivisions that it offered as Auction Purchase Freehold (APF) leases, departmental staff, with the Minister's permission, could bid at the auctions, and if any lots didn't sell, they could lodge an application for one of those unsold lots. Of course, it had to for your principal place of residence. Someone from Brisbane couldn't bid for a lot in Cairns, unless they intended to move there. That was the only restriction. Apart from that, a departmental employee has the same rights as any other Queensland resident when it comes to leasing land.