NOTE: Updates have been posted below, including the tally.
I need your help, because they need your help. Please read this whole story and consider if you can help. WUWT readers may recall this story: Death of a Feedlot Operator …in which the anal-retentive government of West Australia has “licensed” a family farm out of operation due to some shonky science and arbitrary application of the “sniff test”. Yes that’s right, cattle farms smell, so do pig farms, as does any farm. But now it’s reason to shut one out due to baseless complaints from the local greens. And, it all started when Matt Thompson started doubting global warming and talking about it publicly.
I’ve never made a plea to the WUWT worldwide readership for help, I’m making one now to donate to these people to stave off eviction. If nothing else, do it to spite the government of Western Australia and the greens (Environmental Defender’s Office WA) that have turned farming into a “crime”. The real crime is that government listens to these hotheads. From Jo Nova’s website:
4 days notice! The Thompsons are served notice of eviction.
Will, Abbey, Janet, Luke, Matt and Kate on their farm. April 2010
From Agmates (and many emails), news comes that The National Bank served notice today that the Thompsons have to be off their property in four days.
This is a family with four young children, who ran a profitable business; they filled in every form and ticked every box. They have broken no laws, and there are no outstanding environmental notices, but yet, they came to Western Australia with their life savings and they are losing everything. (Note: Matt and Janet are from the USA, Hugo, Oklahoma – Anthony)
Don’t bring your investment dollars to Western Australia — not while the Department of the Environment effectively controls the state.
The Thompsons waited a full year to get Works Approval for a 15,000 head feedlot. After they had already committed the capital, the rules kept shifting. They discovered they’d need ongoing licenses as well. After several years of ramping up the capacity on these licenses, things changed. Matt spoke out as a skeptic. About that time, the renewals were delayed, then the numbers were cut in half, and new conditions were added that were impossible to meet. To feed and supply water for thousands of cattle the Thompsons had to sign agreements in advance to pay for hundreds of thousands of dollars of goods they could not use, but had no way of knowing that at the time. When they appealed, it took 18 months to get “vindicated” but by then there was only six months left on the “two year” license. Not enough to set up all the contracts and run a business. The new sub-clauses meant that even licenses for a qualified “10,000″ head had vague untestable conditions: the license you have when you don’t have a license.
I am ashamed of what our government has done.
If the media won’t cover this, shame on them too.
I’ve written before in more detail:
There is much discussion on Agmates, and a call for donations (see below):
URGENT HELP – Thompson family in trouble
NAB had not long ago told Matt & Janet that they were not going to move on them before December 31st. But it appears that they have changed their mind.
Those familar with previous discussions on Agmates will know that the Thompson family have no funds available to them to face being thrown out on their ear by the bank. Donations are needed ASAP to help provide a roof over the children’s head. Please consider donating what you are able into the following bank account that has been set up so as any donations can’t be seized with all other assets of Matt & Janet including the few dollars left in their own bank account.Account Name: L&S BallardDescription: Kate/Aby/Will/LukeBSB: 016 770Account Number: 439863697ANZ: Bintamilling Arcade, Egerton Street, Narrogin, Western AustraliaSWIFT Code: ANZBAU3M
For International money transfers, or payment by credit cards, Jo Nova has set up a special PayPal donation button (in US dollars). This will go to her bank account, with an ID that means it will be recorded as a donation for Matt and Janet. She will transfer it to their account. I have complete trust here. Please give anything you can, no amount is too small.
I’m confident WUWT readers can turn this around.
LINK TO PAYPAL DONATION HERE
You can also use your credit/debit card if you don’t have a PayPal account.
(note this takes you to an intermediate page, which I have to do since wordpress.com won’t allow me to insert the full code).
Also for those who have other websites, or who frequent other forums, bulletin boards, and blogs, I ask your help in getting the word out.
As Michael D. Smith writes in comments below:
Let’s show the Aussie Government what “We The People” can do…
Thanks for your consideration – Anthony
Dale Stiller writes in comments: Thank you all who have sent donations for the Thompson family. You can also help by emailing your disgust to Main Stream Media in Western Australia. Below are a few email addresses.
W A Newspaper contacts:
(does not give a Perth email, only phone no (08) 94823111 )
Email for Sydney Rep Office (The West) email@example.com
Western Australian statewide rural newspaper
W A Radio – Perth National:
ABC News Radio – http://www.abc.net.au/newsradio/about/contact.htm
ABC News Rural – wwwabc.net.au/rural/contact/
ABC Midwest & wheatbelt http://www.abc.net.au/contact/contactabc.htm
Janet Thompson responds to the issues raised by some saying she said in a public meeting: “there will be no odour”. Given Matt’s and Janet’s extensive involvement in animal agriculture, including feedlots and saleyards, in the States prior to coming to Western Australia, I find it hard to believe that she’d say this. Here is an excerpt of her response:
The myth has been propagated that I stated at our original open public meeting in March 2002 that I made the statement that there would be no odour. In considering any proposition in which animals are to be located in one area, it is ludicrous for anyone to state that there would be no odour. (And, I submit, for anyone to blindly believe such a statement.) I know places that have one horse, and there is odour to manage. Whatever statement that was made that night has been taken out of context, and now many people who were not even in attendance that night are repeating this myth. We spoke about manure smelling when it was wet, and for that reason, found it desirable to be located on the south side of town, when prevailing winds are away from town. We were always open about this, and are gravely disappointed in friends who have not come to us to discuss things, but instead worked actively behind our backs to wreak havoc in our lives, and to attempt to destroy our livelihood, the livelihoods of our employees and contractors, and our life savings.
Here’s the document as PDF. FYI, You’ll see today’s date on it since I made the PDF today from a Word DOC sent to me.
UPDATE3: HOW TO WRITE A LETTER Reader Mark from Australia writes and provides sample letter ideas for contacting MP’s in Australia and members of the media:
People should reword as they desire and add questions if they have any specialist knowledge or expertise, especially in the feedlot business. They MUST keep it civil. People should send FOUR SEPARATE letters or emails. One to each Minister. That is important. Each MUST be answered so they must put their return addresses on them. I will be sending mine as letters, today.
Be sure to edit this to cover the points you want to include and your own words. Note that simpler hand written letters are likely to carry more weight. It is important to distinguish between EDO Environmental Defenders Office (which is the Non Governmental Organization) and DEC Department of Environment and Conservation (which is the state department of environment and conservation, which is responsible for licensing and the decisions that have been made). In that vein, most of the questions should be about DEC, not EDO (although the funding ones are great to ask).
Premier The Honourable Colin Barnett MEc MLA
Minister for State Development
24th Floor, Governor Stirling Tower,
197 St Georges Terrace,
PERTH Western Australia 6000
Tel: (08) 9222 9888 Fax: (08) 9322 1213
The Honourable Brendon Grylls MLA
Minister for Regional Development & Lands; Minister Assisting the Minister for State Development
9th Floor, Dumas House,
2 Havelock Street,
WEST PERTH Western Australia 6005
Tel: (08) 9213 7000 Fax: (08) 9213 7001
The Honourable Terry Redman MLA
Minister for Agriculture and Food
Address: 11th Floor, Dumas House, 2 Havelock Street, WEST PERTH WA 6005
Telephone: (08) 9213 6700 Fax: (08) 9213 6701
The Honourable Donna Faragher MEd(Hons) BA(Hons) GradDipEd JP MLC
Minister for Environment
10th Floor, Dumas House,
2 Havelock Street,
WEST PERTH WA 6005
Tel: (08) 9213 7250 Fax: (08) 9213 7255
MINISTERIAL REQUEST – NARROGIN BEEF PRODUCERS
Matt and Janet Thompson moved from the USA to establish a feedlot business about 4 km outside Narrogin, WA. The business started operation in 2003 and employed about 20 locals at peak. This represents a success for WA and a success for Australia in attracting foreign investment.
Following his publicly expressing doubt as to the effect of the cattle industry on ‘global warming’ in June 2008, the West Australian Environmental Defenders Office (EDO) took an interest in complaints by Narrogin greens against the Thompson’s business.
In 2008, the Thompson’s applied to the West Australian Department of Environment and Conservation for an increase in their licence capacity from 10,000 to 15,000 head. Instead, the DEC cut their licence conditions back to 6,000 head, effectively closing the business by removing its economies of scale. The feedlot remains closed. This closure also played a role in the suicide of one of the employees, Mr Lindley Boseley.
The reasoning given by EDO on use of regulation to destroy this business is not available but seems subjective, indeed, specious (Reference page 2 of EDO newsletter at http://www.edowa.org.au/newsletters/200803Newsletter.pdf).
The EDO newsletter is itself disturbing. It displays the hallmarks of both a ‘captured bureaucracy’ and an issue-motivated NGO. It is positively triumphs the ‘Green cause’.
1.The Environmental Defenders Office is jointly funded by the West Australian State Government and the Federal Government. Why is WA funding this organisation when it seems to be little more than an arm of ‘The Greens’?
2.On what scientific grounds was the Thompson’s licence capacity reduced from 10,000 head to 6,000 head?
3.Was the viability of the Thompson’s business considered by the EDO in making this determination?
4.What are the scientific or other relevant qualifications of those who made this decision within the EDO?
5.Was this decision subject to review by anyone with skills in determining its impact on the viability of the Thompson’s business?
a.If so, who, and what are their business qualifications and experience?
b.If the EDO decision was not subject to review to determine the impact of the decision on the Thompson’s business by a person with appropriate business qualifications and skills, why not?
c.If the EDO decision included no business impact review from a person qualified to determine its impact on their business, were ‘the rules constantly changed’ in respect of the Thompsons applications?
i.If so, why and on what grounds?
ii.If so what were the qualifications of the person(s) making these ‘rule changes’?
d.Was ‘natural justice’ denied to the Thompsons in their application?
e.What appeals processes were available to the Thompsons?
f.Were they made aware of these in time to make effective use of them?
6.Why are the Thompsons being evicted from their property on 21 September 2010 instead of in December?
7.Are the WA Ministers for State Development, Agriculture, and State Development and Lands aware of the ability of the EDO to close any WA agricultural business on apparently subjective and/or ideological grounds?
8.Are the appropriate WA Ministers (State Development, Agriculture, and State Development and Lands) aware that this case is now attracting very adverse international attention to WA, due to the Thompsons being international investors in WA?
9.Are the appropriate WA Ministers (State Development, Agriculture, and State Development and Lands) aware that this case is causing damage to WA’s ‘brand’ as a safe place for international investment in agriculture?
10.Is there a link between Mr Thompson’s ‘offence’ against a Green ideological belief in ‘global warming’ and the EDO’s patently apparent belief in that same ideology?
11.Was Mr Thomson’s business targeted by the EDO on the basis of this ideology?
12.Did the ‘Green ideology’ so apparent in the EDO’s publications play any role in their determination?
a.If so, why is ‘Green ideology’ permitted to destroy a business and 20 jobs?
b.If not, what was the scientific basis for their decision to deny their application for an increase in license numbers from 10,000 head to 15,000 head?
13.Will the WA Government review the funding and operations of the EDO to prevent further damage to WA’s ‘brand’ as an investment destination?
Jo Nova reports that WUWT readers have given generously! Over $27,000 was raised in two days from 670 donations. My humble and sincerest thanks to you all for coming to their aid when asked. Jo Nova reports that the fund will go into the Thompson children’s names.
Of course the alarmist community has been silent, there’s not been one word of support that I’m aware of.
See the latest from Jo Nova of how the DEC defines ditches at farms, and you’ll understand the sort of green tyranny the Thompsons face.