21 complaints about farm smells and an idiotic bureaucracy – enough to ruin a life, a livelihood, and a family home

This really, really, pisses me off. It stinks, and the stench isn’t coming from the animals.  WUWT’s call to action and generous readers have helped raise over $30,000 to keep a roof over the head of the Thompson children. Now we find that only 21 complaints are the sum of the issue.

Jo Nova writes:

Dear Mr Barnett, (Premier of Western Australia)

Please help the Thompsons in Narrogin and intervene to delay the administrators.

The Thompson’s followed every rule, broke no law, have no outstanding infringement notices, but the plans and rules kept changing. After they had put their money and hearts on the table the DEC added conditions that no one could meet, dangling them by a thread month after month as the Thompsons complied but the debts piled up. They passed all the tests, have local support, but they are being driven to bankruptcy by the Department of Environment and Conservation of WA.

People overseas are shocked at what can happen to honest hardworking entrepreneurs who come to WA. It’s sending a dreadful message of sovereign risk to the world. The receivers are just days away from making this injustice very hard to put right.

Federal politicians are standing up for West Australians, but not our state government?

In the last week hundreds of thousands of people all over the world have read their story. Hundreds of people have donated and in just a few days $30,000 US dollars has been given to help their children. The word is that tomorrow (Wednesday) one or two federal politicians are meeting with Cameron Clyne, CEO of NAB to try to solve this. Things are dire. The administrators are visiting the house today. A family with four children face eviction and loss of their life savings.

The Community wants them to stay

Their Timeline of success and ruin

All the basic information and links

A good place to start: 1. Tyranny: How to destroy a business with environmental red tape

Thank you for your immediate urgent attention and help to stop this train wreck. I applaud the way you stood up for WA against the Federal Health take over.

But one local family desperately needs you, and they have a growing band of thousands of supporters.

The overseas site Watts Up With That gets 100,000 hits a day and has covered this three times in the last week.

Please ask if you need any more details.

Sincerely,

Joanne Nova

UPDATE : DEC decisions against the Thompsons were based on only 21 complaints — they ignored community support.

This family is being destroyed by a few complainants (with a lot of help from the DEC), all of the complainants moved to a rural area, near to a piggery, but now complain that they don’t like the smell. Some of those who complain even moved in after the Thompson’s Beef feedlot was set up. Some of those who complain have also applied to rezone their land so they can subdivide.

from JoNova

Thompsons Part 7: Welcome to Investment Hell

http://joannenova.com.au/2010/09/my-letters-and-emails/

Support:

• 900 people signed a petition in their support (that was back in 2007 when they were running with 10,000 cattle).

• People give Matt $50 notes in the street and tell him to keep fighting.

• The local shire has written in support urging the DEC to allow them to run the full 14,490 capacity they have works approval for.

• Barry Carbon who wrote the 1986 EPA legislation chaired a local committee and also supports them and agrees they should have permission to run.

• Their two closest neighbours want them to stay and increase their cattle holdings up to the original design.

• 6000 recordings of smells taken in the town show the odours are not unusual or a problem. Most days no one in town can smell anything.

• We have raised $30,000 around the world in a week to support their children. Many people in the US are appalled at what’s happened to them. They are asking why Australians would do this.

The Thompson’s followed every rule, broke no law, have no outstanding infringement notices, but the plans and rules kept changing.

TIMELINE

  1. The Thompsons spent a year getting Works Approval from the Department of Environment and Conservation in WA (a year!) to run a feedlot 4.5 km from Narrogin for up to 14,490 cattle.
  2. They invested all their money and time, and complied with every request.
  3. They gradually built the farm up to 10,000 head, by 2007, and then applied to increase it to near 15,000.
  4. But suddenly in March 2008, they were cut back to 6,000, after they had paid to build the farm to carry 15,000, and locked themselves into the contracts for feed and water.
  5. They appealed immediately. The appeal for their 2 year license took 14 months. When it came through for them, there was only 9 months left. The banks won’t loan The Thompsons the money on a license that short, and the DEC had written in clauses effectively saying that the farm would lose it’s license if any one person complained about the smell. So if a few people don’t like the Thompsons all they have to do is ring and complain and the farm will be shut down based solely on their opinion and no evidence. We don’t convict people in court based on something so insubstantial. Yet we’ll ruin a family. The Thompsons wanted the DEC to set emissions limits that could be measured. The department refused to.

Some other beef farms don’t need licenses in WA — even large ones – they are registered, but not subject to licensing. The Thompsons were told originally they wouldn’t need licenses either. But then the DEC changed it’s mind, and said they’d have to because they were within 100m of a watercourse. You can go to their farm (we have photos I can send you) and film the so-called watercourses and mock the DEC. The watercourses are flat paddocks, with no banks, nor beds, nor flowing water. Even in a 100 year storm any run-off would eventually wash into distant salt pans, threaten no birds, no fish, and cause no algal bloom. This is not about the environment.

Is there a vendetta by some green elements of the DEC against the Thompsons?

What has the world come to when people think we can move to farm land and then shut down the farms, even when they are run with world’s best practice measures?

This sends a dreadful message to the world. “Don’t invest in WA because the government can’t be trusted to keep their side of the deal”. The Thompsons had an agreement to run a farm of 14,490 cattle, as long as they stuck to the rule book. They did, but the government won’t let them have more than 6000 cattle now, and the banks won’t loan them money to run because they know the license can be withdrawn without warning.

I have documented all this on my website. Two federal politicians are taking up the cause in Parliament.

I am ashamed of our government and the mental torture it has put these good honest people through.

Are we a country run by rule of law where the law applies equally to everyone?

The Thompsons are under seige, trapped in their farm for fear the administrators will take things away if they leave their home.

If you’d like to help the Thompson’s, please go to this link to read over sample letters you can send in support.

http://joannenova.com.au/2010/09/my-letters-and-emails/

To our State Government

To: peter.abetz@mp.wa.gov.au, frank.alban@mp.wa.gov.au, Premier.Barnett@dpc.wa.gov.au, ken.baston@mp.wa.gov.au, liz.behjat@mp.wa.gov.au, geraldton@mp.wa.gov.au, ian.britza@mp.wa.gov.au, troy.buswell@mp.wa.gov.au, Minister.Castrilli@dpc.wa.gov.au, john.castrilli@mp.wa.gov.au, vincent.catania@mp.wa.gov.au, jim.chown@mp.wa.gov.au, peter.collier@mp.wa.gov.au, elizabeth.constable@mp.wa.gov.au, murray.cowper@mp.wa.gov.au, mia.davies@mp.wa.gov.au, john.day@mp.wa.gov.au, wendy.duncan@mp.wa.gov.au, phil.edman@mp.wa.gov.au, brian.ellis@mp.wa.gov.au, Minister.Faragher@dpc.wa.gov.au, joe.francis@mp.wa.gov.au, philip.gardiner@mp.wa.gov.au, nick.goiran@mp.wa.gov.au, brendon.grylls@mp.wa.gov.au, philippa.reid@mp.wa.gov.au, kim.hames@mp.wa.gov.au, liza.harvey@mp.wa.gov.au, alyssa.hayden@mp.wa.gov.au, colin.holt@mp.wa.gov.au, barry.house@mp.wa.gov.au, albert.jacob@mp.wa.gov.au, graham.jacobs@mp.wa.gov.au, rob.johnson@mp.wa.gov.au, carine@mp.wa.gov.au, bill.marmion@mp.wa.gov.au, john.mcgrath@mp.wa.gov.au, sandra.scott@mp.wa.gov.au, wanneroo@mp.wa.gov.au, michael.mischin@mp.wa.gov.au, andrea.mitchell@mp.wa.gov.au, norman.moore@mp.wa.gov.au, helen.morton@mp.wa.gov.au, mike.nahan@mp.wa.gov.au, simon.obrien@mp.wa.gov.au, christian.porter@mp.wa.gov.au, terry.redman@mp.wa.gov.au, darlingrange@mp.wa.gov.au, michael.sutherland@mp.wa.gov.au, max.trenorden@mp.wa.gov.au, twaldron@mp.wa.gov.au, grant.woodhams@mp.wa.gov.au


From: James Doogue

Subject: Matt and Janet Thompson – Feed lot Narrogin WA

Dear Members of the Coalition Government in WA,

No doubt you are aware of the case of Matt and Janet Thompson who have had their lives turned upside down by bureaucratic red tape and obstructionism in trying to develop a successful feed lot business. This project was given the green light and was planned and built on the basis of approvals received. Since then the goal posts have been continuously moves, ostensibly on the basis of environmental concerns and complaints from a small group of people. The feed lot is some 4 kilometres from town and next to a very large piggery, and is in a rural area yet most of the issues which have been raised are related to odours. Any greenhouse gas concerns raised are mischievous because if these cattle are not producing GHG’s at this feed-lot they will produce them else where. Stopping this project from operating will not reduce net GHG’s in this state.

At a time when country populations are declining because there are no local jobs, it should be a priority to support long term jobs in country areas. The vast majority of the vocal community support the feed lot. The State Government needs to take up the cause of this business immediately.

There are five steps I believe the state government of WA should take immediately:

  1. Firstly suspend any State charges being levied on this business for unused allocations of water.
  2. Refund payments for unused water allocations made while the bureaucrats have denied this business to operate at it’s originally approved level of production.
  3. Ask the local government to refund rates and other charges paid during this period the Thompson’s have been forced to operate at a loss.
  4. Step in and approve the feed lot operation and original specifications and with a long term licence grant to allow these people to earn a living and reduce debt.
  5. Consider an ex gratia compensation payment to the Thompson’s for the unnecessary red tape, delays and interference and damage the government bureaucrat have caused.

If you are not familiar with the story then I direct you to:

a) A summary of the story.

b) All related links and information (including evidence, maps and graphs).

c) A review of complaints show activist motivations and how limited the opposition really is.

d) Part I and Part 2 of the story in the Thompson’s own words at Youtube.

I hope you will do what you can to help this family and a potentially beneficial business.

Most Sincerely

James Doogue

Perth Australia

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I ask WUWT readers to help elevate this and make media aware. So far, dead silence from MSM. This could happen to any family farm the way regulations are being hurled at agriculture these days. Make your voice known.

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UPDATE: It was brought up in Australian Parliament, Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Senator BERNARDI (South Australia) (6:54 PM) —I rise tonight to speak about the plight of a family on the cusp of losing everything they have worked for. Matt and Janet Thompson came to Australia from the United States in 2001. They had expertise in cattle farming and they applied their life savings to establishing a feedlot in Narrogin in Western Australia. It took a year for them to receive approval from the Department of Environment and Conservation for that feedlot, which is nearly five kilometres from Narrogin. Approval was given for the construction of a feedlot to house up to 15,000 cattle—or slightly less than 15,000 cattle. They invested their time and their money and they are at risk of losing it all.

I am advised the Thompson family have broken no law, they have no outstanding environmental infringements, they have done everything asked of them by government, they are popular in their local community and nearby towns, and yet they still face ruin. They run a profitable business—or they ran a profitable business. But an over-officious and what would appear to be an overzealous government bureaucracy has cut the profitability of their business and their ability to access any capital.

We go back: the Thompsons applied for construction approval for a feedlot. They received it and they gradually built their farm up to house more than 10,000 head of cattle by 2007. By all reports it was a very successful business. By all reports they were turning away business because people wanted to tap into their expertise. So they applied to further increase their licence to house the maximum of 15,000 cattle. And this is where the problem came in. They were advised to apply for their licence, which they did, and it took a full 11 months for it to be approved. But the unsettling case is that in 2007 the department started to make further inquiries into the feedlot operations because of complaints about the smell. What I neglected to mention before is that this feedlot is located next to a piggery. The piggery has been in operation for some decades in Narrogin, and apparently in the town some people have been complaining about the smell. They have not been complaining about the piggery smell; they have been complaining about the feedlot smell. I am not quite sure how you determine the smell of a pig versus the smell of a cow when they are located next to each other, but somehow the department has concluded that it is the feedlot that smells.

The end result of this is that rather than continue their licence for 10,000 head of cattle which the Thompson family had invested in—they had entered into contracts for feed and water for those cattle—the licence was cut to 6,000 for the Thompsons’ feedlot operation. They could not sustain that. They could not sustain their operations and fulfil their contractual operations with only 6,000 head of cattle. Everything, all the capital they had invested—some $10 million in input costs in the previous year—had come to nowt because this licence was cut unilaterally.

Even the department, in a meeting with the Thompson family, acknowledged that there are procedures and processes that need to be gone through in order to cut people’s licences. And in a meeting on 15 December 2009 a department official said: ‘This is true. The Thompsons have not been treated in a fair and proper manner by the department. There was no process.’ So there was no appropriate process applied by the government department. There has been no law broken by the Thompson family, and yet they still stand on the cusp of losing everything simply because the department decided to change the conditions of their licence.

In the department’s defence, whatever departmental defence I can mount for them, they did, after some 15 months of stalling, give the Thompson family the ability to have 10,000 head of cattle on their property once again. The difficulty was that the licence was due to expire only months after it had been approved and no bank would lend or advance capital, on the assumption that all licences were in such short-term supply and that there could be a reduction or a change in licence conditions without notice, without due process, at the whim of the department. So the Thompsons have not been able to access the capital necessary to sustain their operations.

Today the Thompson family have administrators at their gates trying to enter their property because they cannot continue their operations, which were approved in the initial instance. The difficulties come because the department has also said that if one complaint about smell is received then the licence can be removed and they will have to reduce the number of cattle on their property again. Primary production business cannot continue to operate like this. When people come to this country, become Australian citizens, raise their families, invest their money, break no laws and establish profitable businesses, why is it that government departments can shut them down without due process?

There are other alarming aspects to the Thompsons’ case. In 2008 they hired attorneys in Perth because they did not think they were going to get a positive outcome from the Department of Environment and Conservation. After the attorneys got up to speed with the case, the solicitor and barrister recommended they meet with a gentleman who was an environmental attorney skilled in property matters such as this, Dr Schoombee. The Thompsons met with Dr Schoombee, who advised them that they had no legal standing for the approval of the original feedlot and that they should apologise to the Department of Environment and Conservation for their initial development. In his advice, which took 40 minutes, Dr Schoombee recommended that he should be continually retained to meet with the department and smooth things over.

By the Thompsons’ account, for the original 40-minute consultation they were charged $4,000—at $100 a minute it is not bad money if you can get it. But people can charge what they like and give the advice that they like as long as it is competent and impartial. What is disturbing is that Dr Schoombee is the convenor of an organisation called the Environmental Defender’s Office. The Environmental Defender’s Office is a non-government organisation, but it is actually funded by government and it advises and teaches a small group of complainants how to file writs and appeals and target businesses or practices with regard to environmental matters. This is all a matter of fact which the Thompsons have put on the record, I believe, at a Western Australian parliamentary inquiry hearing. The fact is that Dr Schoombee is a convenor of the EDO and on its website the EDO lists ‘the fight against Narrogin Beef Producers’, which is the Thompsons’ business, as a major accomplishment in 2008. Dr Schoombee won lawyer of the year, partly for his work with the Environmental Defender’s Office.

I would suggest that something smells in Narrogin, but I do not think it is the Thompsons’ feedlot. Something smells when people come here, invest their money and seek unbiased advice and then find that government departments are running roughshod over people who have not broken any law and have complied with all the environmental requirements made of them and find that individuals who are advising these people on how to deal with their problems are also running organisations which specialise in advising people on how to mount such spurious complaints. Something does smell in Narrogin. Having now raised it in this place, I feel it might be too late for the Thompsons. But there is a lesson for all Australians: we cannot allow government bureaucrats and departments to ride roughshod over common sense and common decency. We cannot allow government to become unruly and unwieldy in its restraint of decent businesses. To do so would send a very poor message, not only to people intent on building up their own investments in Australia but to people who are interested in investing here from overseas, like the Thompsons.

I raise this issue not because I think it can make a great deal of difference to the Thompson family. It may be too late—though I hope it is not. I hope that they can retain their farm and that the people of Narrogin, who have already pledged a great deal of support, will be able to rise up and ensure that this previously successful business can continue to operate. But a point that I think we all need to be aware of is that the way government officials or people in public office respond to constituents is absolutely important. The Thompsons’ case needs to be aired publicly; a number of people are trying to do so. I stand with them and wish Janet and Matt Thompson and their family a successful outcome.

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80 thoughts on “21 complaints about farm smells and an idiotic bureaucracy – enough to ruin a life, a livelihood, and a family home

  1. You need a LICENSE to have a specific number of livestock?
    Regardless of how things turn out for the Thompsons, Australia is in deep trouble if you have a bureacracy that has the power to decide how many of what kind of livestock you can have on your ranch.

  2. The administrators are visiting the house today.
    Our hope is that these “administrators” of other peoples’ property show they are not so stupid. We need to know their names ASAP in order to remember them!

  3. This is the kind of liberal dictatorship which is looming over the world. “Tomorrow will be too late” if we don’t stop this Global Madness of Global of environmentalism.
    Those to blame for this are not in Australia but in a well known building in NY: At the UN.

  4. This problem the Thompson’s are dealing with needs a aggressive investigative reporter. There’s something going on here that goes beyond just a Greenie vendetta.
    BTW, the US EPA is about to issue several new regulations that, according to reports, will result in ~ 1 million jobs lost for a supposed benefit to the “environment”. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/09/28/inhofe-says-epas-new-boiler-rule-kill-nearly-manufacturing-jobs/ . This on top of other regs concerning “farm dust”, and other green agenda items that are being pushed.
    I don’t mean to hijack this thread or seem unfeeling about the Thompson’s plight, but they aren’t the only ones getting grief from government zombie’s.

  5. C’mon guys and gals. $A 30,000 is peanuts when compared with the numbers who have read about this story. £/$ 5 will hardly break the bank ( 2 beers ). Easy to do via Jo Nova’s site.
    Make an effort and feel good.

  6. Sounds like some powerful people want to start gobbling up land and make money off of it. If they win against the cows you know the pigs are the next target in their sights. Never have understood people wanting to move to the country and then complaining that it is too country. Here I am wishing I had bought some land 20 years ago so I can get away from the sounds and smells of the city.

  7. I have quite a few friends in Oz. Ozzies generally are very laid back, can’t get more so without dying. But even my easy going non-political friends are getting angry about what’s happening over there. What’s destined for Obama shortly is going to fuel a wave of discontent against these greens across the globe.
    Not going to be painless, but necessary.
    Vive La Revolution

  8. Matt has kept them off his property yesterday. By himself, with a camera in hand, a chain and paddlock on his gates, and 4 young children in his home. He was alone.
    No MSM, no local papers to report.
    Here in Australia there are people ringing, emailing, all MSM but they WILL NOT help not only Matt and Janet but any of the working class people.
    Anything to do that has a NEGATIVE exposure for green based regulation is blocked here in Australia in MSM.
    How did we stop this?
    The meeting today with banks and politicians will be watched across the country, indeed the world. Thank you Anthony for your continuing efforts, you truly are a life line and your supporters for Matt and Janet, but for all farmers / graziers in Australia.
    There is a post on Jo Nova’s site that i think sums up yesterday’s events.
    http://joannenova.com.au/2010/09/thompsons-part-5-community-support/
    Blunt:
    September 28th, 2010 at 2:11 pm
    A man alone, gate chained, desperately fighting for his rights.
    His only defence a camera…
    His right as a father to save duress from his family
    His right as a protector to save his children from feelings of intimidation, security that only a father can give.
    His right as a human being to have his day in court
    His right as a husband to ease his wife’s fears
    His right as an Australian to live without intimidation
    His rights have been eroded once again.
    No news crew, no local papers to help document this on his property, no moral support in the flesh…yet..the unwavering support that this man, Matt Thompson has taken from his friends, the National and International words of encouragement on this site, Anthony Watts and Property Rights Australia on Agmates have given him the strength to endure today’s event.
    Well done Matt Thomspon you have made your family proud, and us your supporters.

  9. How is it that a governmental agency can refuse to set measurable emissions standards and instead rely on a single complaint from another citizen?
    So, if I were near a military base in Australia and I complained about the noise, I could force Australia to create a standing army of ninjas? Bureaucracy in this world needs to be slapped back to the stone age, they’re taking powers not granted to them in many westernized democracies.

  10. How many greens does it take to fill a salty. Juries out on that one mate. Check back next year and we will have all the data you need.
    🙂

  11. Dr T G Watkins says:
    September 28, 2010 at 2:41 pm
    C’mon guys and gals. $A 30,000 is peanuts when compared with the numbers who have read about this story. £/$ 5 will hardly break the bank ( 2 beers ). Easy to do via Jo Nova’s site.
    Make an effort and feel good.
    Yes!
    Please donate – even if its only $5!!!

  12. What got me the most was the ‘complaints’ from the Ag. College. I went to an ag college that had cattle barns On Campus. If you don’t like the smell of manure, you don’t belong in farming… or an ag school.

  13. In other States of Australia a watercourse is defined as a blue line on a government map. It would be interesting for them to look at the legal definition of a watercourse as a lot of the issues seem to surround that.
    More on watercourses here;
    http://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=3&ved=0CB4QFjAC&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.water.nsw.gov.au%2FArticleDocuments%2F35%2Flicensing_rights_harvest_dams_where_can_they_be_built_without_licence.pdf.aspx&ei=bGyiTNa7D46WvAOg-d2UBA&usg=AFQjCNGbQ0SX2VcAwuggJ8oZRQEOmaZITA&sig2=saiEPUe357-zk4TOrKIvsA

  14. This is what happens if you forget to weave the word ‘organic’ into your submissions to the local regulatory authorities.

  15. Hells’ delight! This is worse than a drive by shooting. Australia has become a Marxist state, we unfortunates in Englandistan aren’t far behind. As usual American politics is our only hope to stop this utter madness.
    The only sliver of consolation I can take from this, is that the usual trolls have not dared to show their face. Sigh.

  16. Would that we could turn the clock back a century or more to when this statement still rang true: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”
    I would willingly stand shoulder to shoulder with Matt Thompson at his gate, bearing arms, in order to stop this iniquitous process.
    Bureaucrats all over the world are busily chipping away at the concept of Freedom; they don’t like it and they don’t want it. What they want is total control so that they might direct in whence lives and businesses go.
    Anthony says that he is pissed off, I’m a trifle more agitated than that, I am absolutely FURIOUS.

  17. I second the reasonable recommendation to not invest in Western Australia. But let’s up the ante a bit. How about a purely voluntary tourist embargo that applies to the Australian states with the most draconian environmental regulations. Lets not reward the Greenies for their shortsighted policies. Because of the plight of the Thompson family, WA is definitely on the list.
    Victoria is also on the list, because of the Black Saturday Bushfires of 2009 that killed more than 170 people. Some of these deaths could have been prevented if the powers that be had allowed homeowners in places like Marysville to cut down highly flammable eucalyptus trees near their homes.
    I’m also throwing in New South Wales, on general principles.
    On the other hand, Queensland has an older demographic, and a higher proportion of the population that live in rural areas. ‘Banana Benders’ may be slightly better informed about rural issues, and slightly less militant, as compared with people in the other states that I mentioned. Visit beautiful Queensland.
    Better still, forget about the twin ‘ecotopias’ of the Southern hemisphere, and visit beautiful Northern California! Our coastal redwoods should be on everyone’s ‘bucket list’.
    My day-hiking friends tell me that even at the peak of the Summer tourist season, when Yosemite Valley is a zoo, you can find camping spots in Lassen Volcanic National Park.
    If you don’t count Canyon Creek, the backpacking opportunities for experiencing Nature and solitude in the wilderness areas of the Klamath Mountain system (in the extreme Northern part of the state) are outstanding. I’m talking about the Trinity Alps and the lesser-known Marble Mountains.

  18. Bet nearly every one of the 21 complainers are hard-core environmentalists. You in AU, find out, you still have the right to talk and listen don’t you? File a class-action suit against them for distrurbing the peace of the entire community! 900 to 21 should do it. Kick ’em out of town.
    Here is a great description of these people protecting “their own little habitat, their own little corner of this world” only now they have gone further and added “Worrying about the odor”.

  19. Stephen Brown says:
    September 28, 2010 at 3:52 pm
    Would that we could turn the clock back a century or more to when this statement still rang true: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”
    I would willingly stand shoulder to shoulder with Matt Thompson at his gate, bearing arms, in order to stop this iniquitous process.
    Bureaucrats all over the world are busily chipping away at the concept of Freedom; they don’t like it and they don’t want it. What they want is total control so that they might direct in whence lives and businesses go.
    Anthony says that he is pissed off, I’m a trifle more agitated than that, I am absolutely FURIOUS.

    ==========================================
    Saw a hand drawn sign at a rally the other day: I’ll keep my Guns, Freedom, & Money. You can keep your “Change”.

  20. Curiousgeorge says:
    September 28, 2010 at 2:40 pm
    This problem the Thompson’s are dealing with needs a aggressive investigative reporter. There’s something going on here that goes beyond just a Greenie vendetta.
    EPA…
    =====
    That is the really odd part of the mess. This isn’t an environmental issue. The water courses aren’t at risk because they don’t exist and the odor problem was clearly shown to be a none issue.
    The issue is either power mad DEC administrators who vindictively used delays and grandfathered licensechanges to force the business into insolvency or DEC administrators who are so inept that they deserve to be sued.
    To top it all off, you’ve also got the National Australia Bank triggering insolvency 2 months early and DEC as well as the Politicians in Western Australia ignoring the will of the people of the Town and Shire.
    Administrators showing up before the actual eviction to pillage the property is an abomination — they’re morally bankrupt.
    Property laws and rights in Australia must be nonexistent, unenforced, or very bad.
    Your comment about the EPA is dead on. EPA licensing and policy needs to be carefully crafted and constantly monitored or we’ll end up suffering the same fate.
    The farm dust issue is a good example of an EPA 2 bricks shy of a full load.
    EPA to Crack Down on Farm Dust
    http://www.news9.com/Global/story.asp?S=12899662
    OKLAHOMA CITY — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is considering a crackdown on farm dust, so senators have signed a letter addressing their concerns on the possible regulations.
    The letter dated July 23 to the EPA states, “If approved, would establish the most stringent and unparalleled regulation of dust in our nation’s history.” It further states, “We respect efforts for a clean and healthy environment, but not at the expense of common sense….”

  21. [snip] This comment was inappropriate, you’ve been warned on other occasions. Now you will have your comments automatically sent to the troll bin. – Anthony

  22. Been a bit busy on the home front lately. 🙂 Know that we appreciate your support immensely.
    But remember always: this is much bigger than Matt and Janet Thompson. If we can tie our horrendous story to the underlying problem (increasing centralised control) and use it to make a difference in our world, we must.
    Seems to me, in reading the comments, that you all get this very well. That makes us happy.
    Another deep breath, and into the day.
    Cheers,
    Janet (and Matt and kids)

  23. Maybe this comes down to being a simple case of: follow the money.
    I’m sure a subdivision brings in more revenue to the government than a feed lot does. When in doubt, look to see who gets money in their pocket.

  24. There’s a similar situation in NZ, where neighbours complained about the smell of compost used for growing mushrooms. The firm was one of the biggest employers in the small farming community, and will be moving to where people want jobs.
    I wonder if the neighbours are now happy.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10676445
    About 160 jobs will go in Morrinsville when Meadow Mushrooms closes there – but jobs will be created in Christchurch, where the company is expanding.

    The Waikato Times reported that neighbours of the company’s Taukoro Road composting plant last year successfully opposed resource consents for emissions from the plant, describing the stink as being like “dead cows”.
    The court found the smell was in breach of existing resource consents, and after compliance requirements were deemed to be too expensive, the company decided both it and the Avenue Road factory would close.

  25. Can’t we get newsmedia from some other country to go down there and embarass and scoop Oz press? Maybe Fox News, Delingpole, or somebody. Isn’t there a 60 minutes or W5 program that would be interested? I can’t believe this isn’t news.

  26. This kind of reminds me of the time the Belgian GP was at risk because of ‘noise pollution’. Turns out it was the local green party creating some ruckus, getting fellow local people to complain about the noise, no matter how much revenue the area gets from hosting the annual F1 racing weekend. There was some serious doubt as to whether it would be held again, but needless to say, Bernie Eccelstone, the sports promoter (of sorts) sorted it out quickly behind closed doors.
    However, that race is only held once a year. About the smell, one could imagine the stench that many cows can produce. If I was a local I wouldn’t want to live anywhere near the place, especially downwind. What’s worse is if someone’s property value shot through the floor because of this mega-ranch – same perdictiment as the Thompsons.
    I think the way this family’s been treated is awful, but I don’t think we’ve seen every angle to this story yet.

  27. I have sent that letter to those people listed by Jonova.
    Let’s do a massive email campaign to these people. Keeping it nice and professional.

  28. Wow! and I thought that in Argentina we were subjected to a insane tyrany. So, Australia is one of those countries I would never think of settling in as North Korea, Sudan or Ethiopia. Perhaps the greens are doing it just for keeping foreigners away.

  29. And it was thought by some that Ayn Rand exaggerated when she said that without property rights, no other rights were possible.

  30. Moving to a rural farming area for the sole purpose of getting away from the stress, noise, violence, and smell of the city is about as senseless as moving to an industrial area for the same reasons.
    If you want to move to the country, or (note to my three grown kids) visit the family ranch, bring work clothes. If all you have are Bermuda shorts and sunglasses, don’t bother.

  31. I’ve seen the same kind of thing in Oregon. Someone didn’t like living next to bees used to pollinate rye grass fields because they got stung occasionally. Someone didn’t like living next to fields that were burned every fall because it put a film of straw ashes in their backyard pool. Someone didn’t like living next to a mint field because for only a small part of the year, the field smelled like rotting mint compost. The list goes on. City people who move there just to smell the country air should be banned from living in the country.

  32. I don’t believe Australia shares the same history as America. But, we share the same heritage and beliefs…..I’ll share this, as a gift……
    “… but if circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude, that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people, while there is a large body of citizens, little if at all inferior to them in discipline and use of arms, who stand ready to defend their rights ..” — Alexander Hamilton

  33. I think it might be a good idea if some video of the Thompson’s plight was available via Youtube or even the censorship free service Eyetube to pass the message around the Liberty loving members of the blogosphere . Make the movie, post the links and pass the word.
    If their story is told well it will run, and run, and run.

  34. The complaints about farms smells are an example of Clueless Arrogant Yuppie Syndrome. When gentrification hit some of the US’s older cities in the eighties, Yuppies would move into rehabbed 19th century mansions located in neighborhoods that were situated between wealthy neighborhoods and impoverished neighborhoods. Invariably, yuppies would demand locked fences around their neighborhoods. Of course, existing residents saw this as destruction of the neighborhood. The Clueless Yuppies were shocked that they could not have the same lifestyle as their parents out in the suburbs. What was the source of conflict? Well, if a Clueless Yuppie left a bicycle on the lawn overnight it was gone the next morning. Existing residents accepted this as part of the turf and understood that any object on a porch behind a screen latch would be undisturbed. So much for the empathy and love pouring from these Clueless Arrogant Yuppies who, invariably, were Liberals. I predict that the developed world will see great suffering at the hands of Clueless Arrogant Yuppies and their favored organizations such as the Sierra Club.

  35. Gary Pearse says:
    September 28, 2010 at 4:45 pm
    Can’t we get newsmedia from some other country to go down there and embarass and scoop Oz press? Maybe Fox News, Delingpole, or somebody. Isn’t there a 60 minutes or W5 program that would be interested? I can’t believe this isn’t news.
    ==========
    ABC News AU Tip line:
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/investigations/contact.htm
    Phoning into a local US radio talk program frequently gets the news in the papers. If you know a local news director, send them an email.

  36. Pamela Gray says:
    September 28, 2010 at 6:22 pm
    City people who move there just to smell the country air should be banned from living in the country.
    ========================================================
    Or, they should be forced to live with the consequences of their actions. I have a particular disdain for people that move into a rural setting expecting things that are unreasonable.

  37. While I was digging around on the ABC site looking for any references to the Thompsons a ran across their Special Reports tab and found a 2 day special report on protecting Australia’s food base from China and Middle Eastern interests.
    It looks like DEC missed that story as well.

  38. So where are you supposed to put cattle if you can’t have them in the country?
    On floating rafts?

  39. Try to find Germaine Greer and get her interested. She’s based now in or near Melbourne where she bought some land. She is a genius when it comes to the media
    Given what she used to write in her much missed column in the Telegraph, she is very environmentally savvy but would be up in arms about the job-destroying bureaucracy involved here. She loves tilting at windmills and puncturing the pompous. And she will see the wider picture, instantly

  40. If you have 6,000 head would the smell be stronger with 15,0000?
    Manufactured reasons to destroy this family.I hope they can sue for compensation.

  41. The worst of this is that Western Australia has one of the only “liberal” state Governments, remaining in Australia. This is the political Party that is supposed to be about protecting small business, fostering economic growth and in Coalition partnership with the National Party, looking after the interests of the Farmers and rural industries throughout Australia.
    The Thompsons and their present plight are the very people that this Liberal coalition should be breaking their necks to help and protect, yet they seem bogged down in a mire of political correctness, inaction and powerless against the powerful bureaucracies that have been built up as successive governments have done deals with the “greeny” leftists to remain in power. The WA Liberals were swept into power to undo the damage of the previous leftist State Labor Governments, but don’t seem up to the task given the power and impact of the environmental would be could be’s that seem to have the power and influence. Its these same behind the scenes people who spent their lives in government feather bedded luxury of Education, Environment, Universities that are the fellow travellers of the leftist green environmentalist wreckers pushing the same agenda that is trying to derail the rights of US Families, introduce secret legislation, control by excessive regulation and remove the rights of the individual.
    Australians will wake up and lament their loss of freedom and their formerly wonderful laid back style of life, but it will be too late.
    I have emailed key members of the State Government and the Leader of the Federal Opposition. Its time to make a stand and show what can be done on behalf of the democratic rights of all of us.
    The response so far is like shell shocked silence, and probably the reason we have a minority government in power overall in Australia in our recent Federal Elections, there were too many willing to sell their souls to gain the middle ground rather than fight the insidious agenda of the Green left.
    They can prove me wrong if the party that claims to stand for small business, rural industries and the ordinary people that are willing to work and make Australia listen to Jo Nova and ignore the agenda of the wreckers, the environmental Left who hate any sort of prosperity, initiative or drive to success.
    Yes we, the old silent majority ARE upset at what we see happening under the guise of “saving the world for our children” a cover for wreck the economy re-distribute wealth and impose control by stealth.
    Sorry for that passion Anthony, it comes out of total frustration in seeing this great country fall by the wayside.

  42. I am Australian, i read earlier up the post an idea regarding overseas tv media!
    Yes, yes yes!! Brilliant idea!
    Please do it – if anyone has any connections – 60 mins here in Australia know about the Thomspons – as do other current affairs shows, major news papers, all forms of radio – YET they still pander to political favour’s it seems – a cone of silence to the farmers here down under.
    I email daily, and ring twice a week as many as i can – i also state Anthonys site, and Jo Novas are covering it and many people are outraged, and are donating.
    Yet, still nothing! maybe the Australian media are doing it because not only do they not care about the Thompsons, and thousands of families like them, but its peeved them off that Anthony and Jo are covering this and getting support as well? What does any one else think?
    If this is the case, boycott Australia! (yes, i am Australian!)

  43. James Sexton says:
    September 28, 2010 at 6:52 pm
    Or, they should be forced to live with the consequences of their actions. I have a particular disdain for people that move into a rural setting expecting things that are unreasonable.
    =========================================================
    Like I just love the mob who moved into new houses in a new housing estate at the end of a regional airport runway here in my home town. We have one Virgin 737 landing and taking off once a day at midday. The airport has been there for ever, yet they have formed and “Action” group and get themselves on TV at least once a week to complain about the noise. The leader of the group is a member of the Green Party.
    I wonder what we are going to do with the airport if they get their way.

  44. The tone of the comments appears to have drifted away from the very suspect motives and actions of the relevant bureaucracy and towards the vilification of neighbours complaining about the smell.
    The 21 complainants are fully entitled to raise objections and it makes sense that they would be investigated. The authorities are not entitled to act in arbitrary and peremptory fashion and I reserve my outrage for them.
    With that said, I’d like to point out that it’s not just recent urban emigrés that might take issue with neighbouring feedlots; there are plenty of old-fashioned ranchers around Lethbridge, Alberta, for example who bemoan the recent trend of intensive cattle finishing lots.
    The world is a changing place and there’s no doubt that 50,000 head of cattle on a handful of acres is quite different from a herd of Herefords roaming the foothills.

  45. Fighting Spirit @ September 28, 2010 at 8:33 pm
    Maybe it has something to do with the $250 million Senator Stephen Conroy, the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy and Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate, handed out to the TV stations a few months back.
    The people in Australia are still wondering what the TV stations did to get this “GIFT”.
    One can only guess ???????

  46. One of the problems is the migration of “weeds” (greens sprouted from the concrete of the cities) to idyl — which is never as perfect as their imagination. Rural life isn’t about cuddly animals or living in harmony with nature.
    It’s an incessant struggle against nature.
    Narrogin, for those who are unfamiliar with Western Australia, is an isolated town that is a 3-hour drive away from the the next “big smoke”, Perth. It is cold at night. Usually very hot and dry in the day in summer. And usually dusty when it’s not muddy.
    Getting there.
    People choose to live there mainly because they choose to work the land or to provide services to those who do. They help to put food on the plates of the world. Even the plates in front of the weeds.

  47. Fat chance with Germain. Melbourne is home to armies of publicly supported green lawyers such as Environment Defenders Office http://www.edo.org.au/edovic/publications.html whose roving solicitors (see Nicola Rivers in picture of Narrogin victory party) http://www.edowa.org.au/newsletters/200803Newsletter.pdf who move between branches around the country and advise local activist groups like NEAT on bureaucratic entanglement techniques.
    Here is their legal “Enforcement Kit” with instructions for filing complaints: http://www.edo.org.au/edovic/publications/kits/edo_enforcementkit0708.pdf Note that section 19.1 emphasizes that “regard must NOT be paid to the number of people” complaining of a nuisance for the complaint to succeed. If you can get one it seems OK.
    Elsewhere is counseling on “direct action” disruption techniques and how to make the target pay for all the legal expenses, how to avoid being prosecuted for damage by claiming a “political” motive, how to manipulate the press etc.
    The state of Victoria, of which Melbourne is the capital city, has now declared CO2 and methane as “waste” and has a blanket law requiring “climate change sustainability” in most regulations: http://www.edo.org.au/edovic/policy/edo_vic_climate_change_act_paper.pdf
    If appears a government license is now required in order to fart. Environmental Defenders Office seems to feel the regulations are too slack.

  48. Those 21 complaints, i would not be surprised if this came from a single person, perhaps with ties to someone inside the DEC, or perhaps it is even someone inside the DEC who made the complaints.
    On average the majority of enviromental complaints are made by a very small minority, overhere in the Netherlands we had a single person who filed 14.000 complaints about noise polution from Schiphol Airport wich is 40 km away from where this person lives (in a better part of the Netherlands you are never far away from Schiphol). There is no way that you should take such a person serious.

  49. ARGGH! [snip]
    [Snip away, mods, but this makes my blood boil.]
    This is not a fight just for the Thompsons [although it is, bless them]….it is a fight for freedom and free enterprise everywhere.
    Was it not the Greens who made it difficult for the folks in Victoria to clear their brush, in a catastrophic fire circa Feb 2009 where many died??
    Bureaucrats [the world over] are like the Stormtroopers in Star Wars.
    They are STUPID.
    But they are BIG in number and always work to defend the Machine.
    But we have OUT-SMARTED them….eons ago [the bureaucrats].
    We just need to figure out how to OUT-POWER them.
    They are “second-handers” as Ayn Rand calls them.
    They are easy prey….just great in numbers.
    Just like any unwanted, opportunistic species.
    Destroy mode.
    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  50. Robert:
    I know first hand that the DEC will classify someone as a vexatious complainant if they make a lot of unfounded compaints. They are basically on the ignore list after that… you can only cry wolf that many times, even in the nanny state of Western Australia.
    My suspicion is that there are strings being pulled behind the scenes on this one… it is very difficult to understand why the mainstream media is not reporting this story, because it should be perfect for A Current Affair, The West Australian, and many others.
    The silence is the travesty, but the blogosphere is once again showing up the media irrelevance. I gave The Australian (Murdoch paper) a lot of flak for their lack of coverage on ClimateGate (and not because I was trying to bignote myself LOL), but they don’t like being told what is fit to print.
    Just this week The Australian decided to out a rather little known blogger running a blog called Grog’s Gamut, just because he had the audacity to lament the woeful (and it was woeful) media coverage during the national election just gone. The chap is a civil servant (federal I think) like myself and I would hate to think his career is in limbo because he spoke his views on a blog.
    In my case the funny thing is that a lot of people in real life know me as Bulldust, so it does not offer the degree of anonymity of many nom de plumes.

  51. The problem, as illustrated here, is that greenies are generally vindictive individuals with absolutely no concept of economic reality and with a view on life which would make the Taliban seem tolerant and flexible.
    Any sane person believes in protecting the environment, so green issues are generally perceived as being good. Unscrupulous politicians recognise this and manipulate these issues for their own personal gain.
    However, green issues – especially if they can be given enough uninformed emotional hype – are all to often hijacked by the greenies and everyone suffers as a result. It is all about guilt tripping us with emotional blackmail – AGW and “save the planet” is a typical example. Use bad science, along with highly emotive and inaccurate prophecies of doom, and the gullible will come flocking to the latest trendy cause.
    Another typical example:
    The culling of Harp Seals in eastern Canada – a huge outcry because the cubs look so cute. There are 6.9 million harp seals in the North Atlantic each eating over one tonne of fish annually. Off eastern Canada, the population tripled between 1971 and 1996 to 5.4 million – that’s an increase of over 3.6 million tonnes of fish eaten annually by these verminous creatures. The greenies will argue that the disappearance of the once abundant fish stocks (especially cod) on the Grand Banks and elsewhere has nothing to do with ballooning seal populations with no natural enemies. So, hundreds of thousands of people in the fishing and their support industries no longer have a livelihood and the cost of fish on our plates has risen dramatically.
    The population of harp seals has risen so fast that they are now often found starving – the greenies will tell us that it’s our fault there is not enough food for them and far too many people believe this nonsense.
    Apologies for the rant, but emotively promoted bad science and greenies in general make me see red.

  52. Im my 65 years of memory of Australia, my home, the dominant change that worries me is the change in employment patterns.
    We were penniless when my Dad came back from Air Force service in New Guinea in 1945. Anything we have now is the result of our application and effort.
    At first, we saw a post-war revival when women and men used to doing things, making things to help the war effort, kept up their busy production. Australia then became a more integral part of the international community with the UN and with ease of travel improving. Along with the good points of other countries, we were unfortunate enough to also import some bad points. Strange ideologies, mainly from the Left, started to permeate society here. There was an influx of migrants from Britain, Greece, Italy – some of these were places where extreme politics had been felt.
    Against this backdrop, about 35 years ago there started to be a drift from productive, value adding work to armchair work. We saw fewer people mixing it with the factory, the farm, the fisheries etc., and more people getting paid to tell other people what they could and could not do.
    What was once the function of a trained judiciary became widened. At last count, we had some 600 bodies that somehow had acquired or assumed the power to allege, to summons, to hear, to find, to punish. Bodies like the Greyhound Racing Board, the Australian Football league and more worrysome, the EPA.
    There was a rash of domestic Treaty making under Gareth Evans and others in the 1970-80 period, at about 2 Treaties a week, many of which were backed up by new domestic legislation. The public has yet to learn about some of these, but there are over 1,000 International Treaties. The Rights of the Child, the International Labour Organisation and of course the UN are but some with whom we treat.
    Government assumed more functions. Compliant High Courts bent the clear meaning of language sideways to help rewrite what could be done without ostensible offence to our Constitution. We are now at the stage where Governments assume that they can do just about whatever they wish. The roots of the “Corporations Power” have nothing to do with the intents of the Founding Fathers.
    This has created more bureaucrats, with a dominant urge to grow and gain more powers.
    So we have a dwindling number of producers like the Thompsons and a cancerous growth pf people sitting around, with punitive powers, telling others what they can and cannot do.
    In the days of Queenslan’s premier Joh, there was a local song that started “Don’t cry for me, Cunamulla….”
    I cry.
    This used to be such a lovely country. Now, it’s an infighting collection of motley bodies whose main activity is to suck at the teat. Altruism is malnourished because much of the milk is going to fatten cats.

  53. Re Chris in Queensland,
    Re the Senator Conroy Broadband plan using fibre optic cable. I was told today by a source who should know that the completion of this project will require a greater length of fibre optic cable than has been produced to date in the whole world.
    If true, quite ambitious for 20 million people, very few of whom have even been asked if they want Conroy’s dream. Or the cost.

  54. “Geoff Sherrington says:
    September 29, 2010 at 1:29 am”
    The cost is estimated to be AU$43bil, with a 50/50 cost split between Govn’t and private investment as I understand. There is one real big issue with fibre, apart from the point you raised and one that hasn’t been discussed at this point and that is, unlike copper, there will need to be additional power supplies at many points along the firbe backbone network to keep the light shining down the backbone network. No power, no light, no network.

  55. Patrick,
    Point appreciated. At one stage I was working on undersea cables, which have similar booster requirements.

  56. Chris in Queensland says:
    September 28, 2010 at 9:04 pm
    Yep, i wonder?
    Breaking news – Peter Spencer has arrived at Matt and Janets property this afternoon.
    I now wonder if this will make msm?

  57. “Geoff Sherrington says:
    September 29, 2010 at 2:17 am”
    There was a similar attempt to install a NBN in New Zealand, all sorts of “pots of economic gold” were promised, not sure if it was fibre or copper nor how far deployment got. I know one area was installed first, Martinborough in the Wairarapa, a wine/olive oil growing region just down the road from me. Not sure if it had any economic spin-offs, not tried drinking wine over a network, might have to buy one of these…

    I do know one person, with a vinyard and olive grove, ran his business (IT) permanenty from his home in Martinborough afterwards, no need to commute to Wellington (Which is a pain. A 20 odd KM drive to Featherston, then an hour on the train to travel the 68kms. Or by car, over the Rimutaka Hill road (Read goat track)). It is ironic in this day and age and policy favouring public transport that the NZ Govn’t, after WW2, refused American military assistance to install significantly improved rail and road infrastructure to open up the region. In fact, the NZ Gon’t pulled up the rail network to Martinborough, which was in effect a branch line, in ~1954.

  58. A few people have questioned just how smelly a feedlot is. As with all things it depends. Some older feedlots left the dung in the pens until there were mini mountains with up to 200 head of bullocks able to stand on them. The most pungent odours come from decomposing grain. Undigested grain, spillage etc can be controlled by better management as can the removal of waste.
    I recently visited a 10000 head feedlot in QLD and the pleasant surprise was that there was no odour. The pens were cleaned weekly and the manure was turned into compost which was then spread on the farms paddocks. As the owner stated he never had to buy fertilizer; it came from the graingrowers fields. There was no wastage and since he used a soaking system to soften the grain before it was fed out meant that the grain was fully digested. I assume the Thompsons were running a similar operation and I further assume the odour level would be very low.
    The piggery next door would have a large volume of wet waste which would stink. It is treated in the same way a town would treat it’s sewerage; through a series of aerated ponds. These can be seen on GE south of the piggery sheds.
    This is about vindictive bureaucrats, gutless politicians and uncaring media.

  59. “The Monster says:
    September 28, 2010 at 2:20 pm”
    In Australia and New Zealand, you need a license, or permit, to do almost anything…even on your own land.
    When I lived in NZ, I had a large property. I needed a large heater, 26Kw log burner in fact. I had to pay my local council, via the installer, a sum (Don’t recall how much now) for a permit to install it, then it had to be inspected for “compliance”.
    That, as we say in the UK, is “jobs worth” stuff.

  60. Looks like European Common Agriculture Policy, or how the socialistic management is called. EU dictates, who and how much sugar will produce, for example. Sugar is cheaper to get from abroad, but no, we buy more expensive sugar and subside producers, others are closed by EU rule. And Bono cries that we have to help Africa..

  61. Geoff Sherrington,
    you must be about the same age as me, my dad was flying Beauforts in New Guinea when I was born.
    I’m trying to keep this post on topic and encompass what you said about “employment”. The attitude towards employment has certainly changed in my life time. Today, it seems to me, the attitude is “why should I do any work when I’ll still get paid come Friday”. Thus, we now have everything “out sourced”. The “Peter Principal” has almost been fulfilled, and now, with total incompetence reigning, no one can make a decision without consulting the “rule book”. If there is no “rule book”, “we’ll” decide at a “meeting”, so if we get it wrong, no one person will get the blame.
    After I had “clawed” my way up the ladder into a supervisory position, (in engineering)(1970’s & 80’s), my decision was final, and if I got it wrong, I got the wrap. Fortunately that didn’t happen often as I had good training, I loved my work, and the job was more than a means to earn money. Going to work was a great hobby.
    So today we have young public servants, unable to deviate from the “rule book” or “meeting” dishing out decisions to people like the Thompson’s, without any regard to the impact the decisions have, as long as their collective backsides are covered.
    And, we let it happen.
    Apologies to the few good public servants that are left.

  62. “…an idiotic bureaucracy – enough to ruin a life, a livelihood, and a family home…”
    “Arbitrary power is most easily established on the ruins of liberty abused to licentiousness.” ~~George Washington
    The world misses our US founder.

  63. And by the way, I should have added to my above post My staff were told at the outset, “don’t come to me with a problem alone, come to me with your solution to the problem and we’ll talk”. Had I been in a position in the WA Department of Environment and Conservation to make decisions (based on what we know here) I would have told the wingers to piss off and filed the complaint in the round filing cabinet.

  64. Maybe they can disappear to live in a gulch somewhere. This really really sounds like it came straight out of a novel I read recently.

  65. Individualism has come in for an enormous amount of criticism over the years, and it still does. It is widely assumed to be synonymous with selfishness…But the main reason why so many people in power have always disliked individualism is because it is individualists who are ever keenest to prevent the abuse of authority.
    May God defend the rights of the individual from the conformist mob of enviro-[snip] who lurk in the dark corridors of government and authority

  66. Any word on how the meeting went with the CEO of the National Australia Bank?
    Also, I read over the comments and am concerned the message is getting lost.
    This isn’t a political party issue, it isn’t an environmental issue, its an issue of rule by bureaucrat undermining the Rule of Law.
    It is a chilling reminder of how fragile our rights are. It should be a concern for all Political Parties and all citizens worldwide.

  67. The type of complainants mentioned in this article are a common UK problem.
    They’ve complained about roosters crowing at dawn and got noise-abatement orders issued to the farmer who owns them!
    They’ve bought a house next to a field containing pigs, complained about the smell & the farmer’s had to move the pigs!
    They’ve contained about church bells being rung and got restrictions on what times this can be done.
    Most recently, a school’s kept its pupils in at playtime, as the noise of them playing is irritating the neighbours! I “kid” you not!
    http://news.uk.msn.com/uk/articles.aspx?cp-documentid=154700802

  68. We have entered the age where more and more politicians no longer feel the need to operate with “the consent of the governed.”
    As Thomas Jefferson said: The beauty of the Second Amendment is that it will not be needed until they try and take it.”

  69. Rick, I’ve read that novel, too. I told Matt in early 2009 (as I was re-reading that book for the third time) that we were LIVING Atlas Shrugged. We are.
    We’ve not heard anything since the pollies’ meeting with NAB. No fax coming thru removing the administrators, but no trucks at the gate either. We’re exhausted, but are getting good support – online and in person. We appreciate you all.
    Finally, I was trying to sleep early this morning, but could not, because I was thinking about the comments on here and elsewhere about the “morality” of feedlotting and other peripheral issues. I think it beautifully illustrates that what we are dealing with is something OTHER THAN true environmental issues.
    One thing is certain: this is not about the environment.
    Appreciate you all.
    Janet

  70. Bulldust says:
    September 28, 2010 at 11:40 pm
    savethesharks:
    Don’t kill the good guy bureaucrats in the friendly fire (e.g. me).
    =============================
    I certainly did not mean you, or guys like you.
    And I meant “bureaucrats” in its most pejorative sense, not in the broad definition which you use it. Point taken.
    -Chris

  71. Dirty tactics? Fences cut at the Thompsons…
    http://joannenova.com.au/2010/10/dirty-tactics-fence-cutting-at-the-thompsons/#comments
    “Yesterday Matt and Janet were horrified to find that someone had cut the wires on the perimeter fence. There was no evidence anyone had taken anything, nor do we know who did it.  An unrelated random crime, or, who knows — someone hoping to spook and intimidate them? (A future purchaser of a fire-sale bargain farm?)”
    Farm weekly: Recievers Move in To Narrogin Feedlot
    http://fw.farmonline.com.au/news/state/livestock/cattle/receivers-move-in-to-narrogin-feedlot/1957518.aspx?storypage=0
    This is WA’s biggest rural newspaper, in the Rural Press stable that has newpapers in every state in Australia.
    If you go to the link above & read the article in full, you will see that you can add comments. Please do!

  72. A quote from Peter Spencer from Tower of Hope fame who looked after Matt & Janet’s farm while they attented the wedding of friend & former employee in Perth.
    “Further and lets not forget this point, even if these policies had an environment thread of credibility then the method of procedure to achieve the objective does not include the wilfully and total destruction of the lives of Australian Families It requires the rule of law and just terms. It requires common decency.”
    http://sosnews.org/index.php?mact=News,cntnt01,detail,0&cntnt01articleid=65&cntnt01origid=80&cntnt01returnid=93
    Who is Peter Spencer – http://agmates.ning.com/forum/topics/peter-spencer-101-for-new
    My latest writting about Matt & Janet Thompson
    http://agmates.ning.com/group/propertyrightsaustralia/forum/topics/determined-to-fight-on

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