An update from the Thompsons down under

Jo Nova writes an update about the story of the Thompsons. My thanks to all WUWT readers who lended support. Know that your efforts have helped, but the battle continues. On the plus side, eviction has been stayed, for the time being. – Anthony


The Thompsons farm lies idle, under siege. 

For all the supporters of the Thompsons, Janet writes to describe the kind of limbo they are living in. The eviction day October 15, came and went in a blur of work. They remain on the property only due to court injunctions, which have no certainty. Matt and Janet are their own lawyers — doing all the paperwork — with helpful advice from all round, especially Peter King. Legal suits were launched from both sides. The Thompsons are basically under siege, living week to week in their home, waiting, though not sitting still. They can’t farm, so creating political pressure and fighting in the courts are their only options.

It’s an all or nothing game — they have to raise public support: 1/because it’s the best way to pressure the government (by shaming them), and if they could get an effective bankable license the situation might be transformed. 2/ Because for the bigger picture, it seems that hardly anyone is gathering the farmers, fishermen, landholders, and producers. Janet and Matt are a magnetic node in a embryonic movement that is desperately needed here. And 3/ Where is The West Australian?

The Thompsons business went from thriving to dying because the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) changed their license conditions for political reasons, partly it seems because the Thompsons spoke out against the theory of man-made global warming. The cause of their plight is purely political, not business-related. Therefore the solution, if any, has to be a political one.

To give an idea of just how political this is, who should turn up at the last two hearings between a bank a business? None other than Paul Byrnes from the DEC. Why are taxpayer dollars being used to “watch” legal proceedings between two private groups? DEC are spooked, and so they ought to be. Their lack of professionalism, tyrannical power, and misuse of taxpayer funds is being exposed.

Guest post from Janet Thompson

We are still on our property, living behind locked gates, not ever leaving our property unattended, for fear that the receivers will move in, take equipment and change the locks while we are gone.

No feed, no cows. This is the DEC “business” way. 

On 17 September, the National Australia Bank (NAB) gave us 4 days to pay them back. Before the 4 days were up, NAB appointed Ferrier Hodgson as receivers and managers (R&M) of our company, Narrogin Beef Producers (NBP). NBP is wholly owned by us…it’s part of our family trust.

We do not deny the fact that we owe the bank money, nor do we deny that we have defaulted under our loan agreement. But the R&M have claimed ownership of our case against the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC). We believe that in order to fully realize the value of our property, and to pay back ALL creditors…not just NAB…we need to pursue this case against DEC with all our might. Therefore, we are asking that the R&M join with us in our case, as opposed to quickly liquidating assets so as to only partially repay the NAB (and collecting their own substantial fees).

Because we were willing to go public with our story, and because of the amazing amount of support we received when Joanne Nova, Anthony Watts, and many other good people put our story up, we have received: donations of money to our children, to help put a roof over our heads when we are forced to leave our property; donations of time from lawyers and consultants; moral support in the form of phone calls, emails and faxes; offers of sheds and empty houses for a place to live; and the list goes on.

All of these are invaluable to us, and we cannot thank you all enough.

The R&M gave us to October 15 to vacate the premises. Because of pro-bono legal advice, we have so far blocked the attempts to take equipment and property, and have remained on site. On 20 October, we filed suit against DEC in the Federal Court of Australia. We are hopeful that we can make a difference.

Abbey 

At this point in time, all money donated for the children through PayPal is still in Jo Nova’s account. In the mean time, we are living on my part-time wage. Matt and I are working many hours a day on our case (doing our own legal work, with excellent pro-bono support from a number of people, including Barrister Peter King of Sydney), maintaining the property, caring for our children and home, working my job, and attempting to keep people updated online.

(We are also not giving up on core projects that are important to us, like fighting climate change alarmism in its many forms and incarnations. We believe it is that speaking out that brought our family business to such demise, and we do not want to win a personal battle, only to find that a larger and more important battle is lost in the mean time. Here in Australia, the coalition between Labor and the Greens is threatening much of our progress.)

At the moment, at least here in Western Australia: the environmental and animal rights extremists have been so organized, so vocal, and so well-funded for the last 30 years or so, and we producers have been so busy producing, and so trusting of people’s goodness, that politicians are only catering to one end of the spectrum – the extreme left. In order to make the most of our horrendous story, we must carry out a multi-pronged approach:

  1. We must push for the courts to rule on the constitutionality of legislation that gives a government department like DEC such untempered and absolute power as they have. (This is part of our application in Federal Court.)
  2. We must let our “conservative” politicians know that we are going to be more angry if they do not act on shoring up property rights, than the other side will be if they do.
  3. And to support both of these agendas, we MUST, somehow, get publicity and public support. Last Monday’s demonstration was a classy and respectful way of doing this, and it was wildly successful, judging by the mainstream media coverage we received. Why must we carry out stunts to get attention? I do not know, but I know that the dark greens are only too willing to do so, and they control our legislative process at the moment.

(It’s a shoe-string operation: I spent $84 on supplies for the Funeral for Property Rights on the steps of Parliament House last Monday, and I gave our friend, the bagpipe player, some money for petrol, as he drove up and back (4 ½ hours total) pro-bono because he believed in our cause — but he could not really afford it on his pension. We will eat Ramen noodles for a week to offset these costs, and it is well worth it.)

This is not just about Matt and Janet Thompson or our four young children. This is about fundamental human rights and the defence of those rights. Core to those rights is secure tenure of property.

because tyrants cannot take from us more than they already have, we are liberated. We can now speak freely

We are down, but not out. In fact, because tyrants cannot take from us more than they already have, we are liberated. We can now speak freely. We can now be the face and the voice for the thousands of people who have been adversely affected, but still have too much to lose to speak out publicly.

If anyone is concerned about this direction, please just let us know. But if you support us, please continue to support sites like WUWT, Joanne Nova, and the host of other truth-seeking, independent-minded individuals who are not willing to cower under threats from tyrants.

Janet 

Luke 

Will 

Matt and Kate 

The one page describing The Thompsons long saga includes maps, links to many of my posts on the topic and a place to make donations for their children.

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44 thoughts on “An update from the Thompsons down under

  1. This is in part what the tea party in the US is all about. Freedom. There needs to be a revolution in the political movement in Australia that put People First. Every political party today apart from the tea party is destroying the human spirit one lawa and regulation at a time. We applaud the Thompsons.

  2. Replace ‘Global Warmist Government’ with ‘Communist Government’ in this story, and you get the same iron curtain stories, personal stories, we used to have before the fall of the Berlin wall. Commy governments destroying all those who openly disagree with it.

    The more I read about it, the more I believe that the left, having lost its direction after 1989/Gorbaciov/Berlin wall.. have hijacked environmentalism in their drive to wrest power again from the people.

  3. I’m just guessing here, but I’d bet that EPA is watching this with an eye towards doing the same thing in the US at some point in the future. Obama’s comment in his presser yesterday about “more than one way to skin that cat”, comes to mind. That, plus the rulings in the past couple years regarding eminent domain sends up a huge red flag for me.

  4. I wondered about this and clicked on Joanne’s site. It was updated and now here today. This is a bad case and the gubment knows it. I am sure it will get resolved. If resolved favorably, it will take a long time.

  5. I still cannot imagine the vast change in the thinking and character of Australians that has allowed this situation to even exist. My dad, Austrlaian to the core, raised me on tales of the toughness, generosity and honesty of the ‘dinkum Aussie’. The influx of politically ambitious Green and Marxist migrants from Europe must have had a huge and negative effect on the national psyche.
    Sad.

  6. Pretty simple issue.

    an incompetent green lesbian MINISTER on a mission.

    The Premier of WA is a Poofter or a Coward.

    Simple land right issue

  7. Anthony, thank you for posting this, and thanks to all your readers who have supported us. It’s been a wild ride, and we’re in for more.

    But we’ve been reassured: Most of the people in this world are just good, honest people. Only when we lose our voice do the scoundrels advance. All it takes for us to stop them is to stand up together and calmly say, “No.”

    Thanks for being the type of people you are. Remember that eternal vigilance — even with honest, new politicians just elected — is the price we pay for freedom. We must constantly hold our representatives to account. (Or conversely, we must constantly and actively support them when they work hard in taking on establishments like EPA in the US. They’re going to need HUGE support. Getting elected is only the beginning.)

    Best regards to you all. Thanks again for your support.

    (Anthony and Jo, without you two, we would be goners by now. Kudos.)

    :-) Janet

  8. Dear Thompson Family,
    Well done so far.
    Your courage and tenacity is inspirational.
    I’ll continue to annoy my Antipodean cousins with links to your site[s].
    Hopefully, soon you’ll see the tide turn in your favour.
    with best wishes,
    Dave

  9. Alexander K says:
    “I still cannot imagine the vast change in the thinking and character of Australians that has allowed this situation to even exist.”
    As Janet Thompson put it, Australians in agriculture were working too damned hard to pay much attention to what bureaucrats were up to. They relied and trusted their elected representatives to do the right thing.
    We know now, not just in Australia, but throughout the western world that non-elected bureaucrats of all shades of green are beginning to dominate certain areas of government, and they will not relinquish their powers without a fight. The UN, EU, WWF, Greenpeace, Budenburg Group et al will all continue to support AGW, in whatever guise they choose to call it. They are all on the most colossal gravy train that the world has ever known, and with the immense financial resources finding their way into their coffers, ever more power is being wielded.
    “Blue Planet with Green Shackles” (Vaclav Klaus, president Czech Republic).

  10. Capn Jack Walker says:
    November 4, 2010 at 7:46 am

    Moderat0rs, Capn Jack really is getting offensive and the comment really doesn’t belong on this or any other WUWT thread.

    [Reply] You’re right, and I’ve removed it. RT-mod

  11. I am shocked, but not surprised, that such tyranny can thrive in an advanced liberal democracy like Australia. The best thing to do is expose this Department of Environment and Conservation for the thugs they are, and de-legitimize and demoralize everyone in the department.

  12. Dear Janet, Matt and Family,
    I commented earlier today on the bravery of another fine lady, Dr, Judith Curry.
    For different reasons, I must also add you to my very short list of courageous ladies.
    Your indefatigable determination that these overbearing bureaucrats shall not have their way should be a shining beacon to us all. Too often, we sit back, write an outrageous comment on a blog perhaps, and retire to bed, me included.
    I salute you.
    Chris

  13. What a horrible and intolerable situation to find oneself in – and for what?

    I think the worst I have heard is that the receivers are trying to take over the case against the DEC. If that happens, the Thompsons are history. There’ll be a deal done between NAB and DEC, which will allow NAB to sell the property from under the Thompsons with no recourse. No wonder the DEC fellow turned up at the hearings.

    They need to go to the other people they owe money to and point out to them that if this is allowed to proceed, by the time the receivers and the NAB get their money, there’ll be nothing left for them.

    I wonder do the Australian government realise the damage this is doing them internationally.

  14. In the state of Oregon in the US they are creating the same controls. The greens can create defacto state preserves by allowing individuals to purchase property, but then preventing them from doing anything with that land. It’s quite a sweet deal, as they do not have to use lottery funds to create virtual wildlife refuges that the government neither has to purchase nor maintain. Want to open a bed and breakfast on your 40-acre farm? No. Want to develop your 10 acres next to suburban neighborhoods into retail? No. Want to cut your timber to sell for money? No. Our Great Leap Forward is taking a long time, but seems inevitable.

  15. Anthony, I applaud you and Jo for making this terrible case so visible worldwide. I think it is an important issue that needs to be seen.

    I make a request however regarding moderation of the comments. Capn Jack Walker has made several comments here using the term [snip – for equal treatment of previous snips] men and women in a derogatory and negative manner.

    I doubt that you are in favour of this type of negativity and lack of respect on your site, and I definitely feel that it hurts as opposed to helps ANY cause.

    I respectfully request that these comments be snipped. There is simply no need for this type of negative behaviour.

    If I am misunderstanding the meaning of the comments, as they are using slang with which I am unfamiliar, I apologize.

    REPLY: I’ve been away from moderation for a few hours, the problem is being addressed. – Anthony

  16. There may be offensive comments, but so are so many on other threads. Better to ignore the nonsense and put your money where your heart is and donate again to the children. [done]

    REPLY: Well said Leif, thanks – Anthony

  17. Moderators, I’m in favor of scientific inquiry of all kinds, debating and opining on the science and the politics behind it at WUWT but defamatory remarks about the sexual orientation of Australian officials ([snip] being the term), whether baseless or not, are seriously off topic and take the discussion into the gutter at a great disservice to the Thompsons and this site. Capn Jack clarifies that [snip] is a derogatory term for homosexuals. By his own definition, it is a form of street profanity. Please consider drawing a line on the basis of profanity and taking such comments down. Thanks.

    REPLY: One of the downsides of running an internationally viewed blog is that I’m not familiar with the trash words of all countries. I thank readers who do know these things for bringing it to the attention of moderators and myself. The term has been added to the SPAM filter – Anthony

  18. Engchamp noted:
    “The UN, EU, WWF, Greenpeace, Budenburg Group et al will all continue to support AGW, in whatever guise they choose to call it.”

    This is all part of the socialist infestation of our societies based on the Agenda 21 programs of the UN. The best and most complete explanation is contained in Henry Lamb’s book The Rise of Global Governance.

    Henry has been fighting the leviathan on the Hudson for decades, and his site at Sovereignty International, Inc. has a wealth of info, papers, books, and videos detailing the unrelenting push of the greenazi socialists. The Thompsons are not the first to be targeted for annihilation by those who fancy themselves to be our rulers, nor will they be the last unless we all wake up and claim our rights to life, liberty, and freedom.

    “In a society that has abolished all adventure, the only adventure left is to abolish that society.”

  19. kenboldt says:
    November 4, 2010 at 9:01 am
    Anthony, I applaud you and Jo for making this terrible case so visible worldwide. I think it is an important issue that needs to be seen.

    I make a request however regarding moderation of the comments. Capn Jack Walker has made several comments here using the term “poofter” and appears to be posting about homosexual men and women in a derogatory and negative manner.

    I doubt that you are in favour of this type of negativity and lack of respect on your site, and I definitely feel that it hurts as opposed to helps ANY cause.

    I respectfully request that these comments be snipped. There is simply no need for this type of negative behaviour.

    If I am misunderstanding the meaning of the comments, as they are using slang with which I am unfamiliar, I apologize.

    I too am willfully offended, and choose to draw attention to a few ill-considered homophobic statements, rather than to simply ignore them and focus on what this whole post is really about: the plight of the Thompsons and the wider ramifications (loss of freedom and property rights). Oh yes, I’m soooo offended.

  20. This case incontrovertibly shows that climate change/global warming/climate disruption/biodiversity,etc. it is a very dangerous insanity, which by its highly polarizing quality may take the world to an, up to now, avoidable confrontation.
    Already fanatic believers and passionate followers of these violent and crazy GAIA creed have menaced unbelievers and skeptics with death trains and the like, remembering us of tragic days of the past. Thompson’s struggle for survival perfectly gives them the right to defend their property with all their might and with all those who could willingly help them in opposing this weird climate madness.

  21. Leif Svalgaard says:
    November 4, 2010 at 10:02 am
    … put your money where your heart is and donate again to the children. [done]
    REPLY: Well said Leif, thanks – Anthony

    Who would not like to follow this good advice! [done – again.] This is a good thing,
    followers wanted

    Rgds from Chile
    Matt

  22. To Mark, Janet & Family.

    You people on the front line of this fight against maliciously used beaurocracy need all the help and support that we can give. I have just donated what I can afford this month.

    My best wishes for you, and I hope the fight through the courts bears good fruit, and that you win against both sides. Your family is surely in the middle, and I doubt that the beaurocrats or bankers have an ethic beween them (never mind in plural).

    Go carefully,

    john r

  23. Usually I have a good stomach for things. I can basically watch any kind of gory movie you can put in front of me and not cringe. In fact I barely flinched for certain internet videos that will remain nameless here.

    But honestly, I just can’t watch this family fall on the sword here. It’s just too horrible to watch them blow up their future to make a political stand. It just really feels like it should be someone else, not some thin-margin farming family with multiple kids.

    I wish them the best, but I just can’t watch.

  24. One of the many things I appreciate about WUWT is the high intelligence of the posts. Most newspaper online replies are unreadable because of the inanity of the replies.

    We had one such person here who tried several times to post but apparently has nothing polite to say. Everything snipped.

    Thank you moderators. Thank you, thank you thank you.

    As for you vast majority of intelligent and hilarious posters–thank you, too. Very much!

  25. Just posted this on Jo Nova’s blog, but I don’t suppose a wider airing would hurt.

    “We will eat Ramen noodles for a week to offset these costs, and it is well worth it.”

    I’m sure I’m not alone amongst those who made a small donation in feeling that a small amount of the money given for the children’s sake should be used to feed their parents properly. No-one can take the best possible care of four children in the best of circumstances whilst living on ramen – let alone under the pressure and stress that the Thompsons are currently living with.
    I’m sure it’s in the children’s best interests for the Thompsons to get the best possible resolution to all this mess, and I’m equally sure that it’s necessary to eat properly to fight as effectively as possible.

    If the Thompson’s feel it would be wrong to use any of the money already donated in this way, I hope Joanne will open a second fund to which we can donate specifically to go towards this week’s groceries.

    The first time round, I donated out of sympathy, but if the Thompsons are willing to go hungry to fight for a cause I approve of, I can afford an extra few dollars to make sure they can fund the fight without having to miss any meals.

  26. Dear Matt and Janet,

    Keep it up!

    Entrepreneurs are the most valuable people any country can have, they have a value far beyond that of the non producers such as the government. I accept that some government is necessary but there is a real need to keep it minimal. Bad government actions can be immoral, and very easily lead to a strike of capital.

    Of course, immoral governments love the licensing sytems as they can snuff someone out very easily without reference to a court. The incumbency of the issue then lies with the person deprived of the license to prove that they were wrongly treated. This can be costly and difficult: Many just give up.

    A moral government would take a licensee to court to explain to a court of law, why a license should be revoked.

    Matt and Janet have a battle ahead they deserve all the support they can muster. The WA government needs to go- a new radical thought is needed.

  27. I dont see the greens being hugely popular in Western Australia and while there might be hoops to jump through for approvals from local and state government mostly the system functions OK but there are unfortunate exceptions. I feel sorry for the Thompsons as they are bearing the full force of this exception. Good luck to them.

    On Capn Jack – people should ignore idiots rather than make a big deal out of it. Moderators have done a good job but even un-moderated there is no issue, people should choose not to be offended as offence is a personal state of mind that you have complete control over. Being offended never helps anything, in fact its often what the idiots wanted in the first place. – to get you upset. I support people losing their privilages if they cant behave, but i choose to never be offended.

  28. Where is the sympathy for the environmentalists, here?
    Those said environmentalists have just lost their dust-dry Murray-Darling river system to flooding rains.
    They got reason to be mad and looking for payback…

  29. 30 yrs ago, here in Oregon, my family owned and ran a farm. At the time my dad told me we didn’t own any land but were paying the state for the privilege of maintaining the states land. Since then I’ve seen nothing in my home state to change the truth of that statement and it certainly has spread to other areas.

  30. You guys are shameless – the whole link of this issue with climate change is bogus and Wattsup and Nova know it.

    It’s not the Labor Party and Greens in the state government in Western Australia that have the DEC department – it’s the Liberal and National Party in charge (= conservatives in US parlance). Funny how you didn’t mention that to the readers ?

    Are you guys just users? Or perhaps it’s that conservatives are really anti-farmers. The National Party haven’t done anything for their rural constituency in decades. Are they the ones along for the ride.

    I’m not saying anything about the Thompsons case – but why don’t you confine your advocacy to the relevant issue.

  31. As a Tea Partier in the USA, I can relate to what you are up against. The Environmentalism is a radical, cruel, controlling religion. I will be praying for you to win this battle. All of us, in every country, have to fight this monster.

  32. J Lavoisier, stop dissimulating. All this started under the ALP ( Australian Labor Party). The DEC was empowered by Labor. Labor in Australia is being eaten alive by the greens. It is because Labor only cares for power, not for voters or principles. In Australia, the communists hadand have a deliberate policy to take over the environmental movement.
    One of the first places they attack by stealth is property rights. They use all kinds of language but as soon as you see sustainable, you know it is the communist green using the environment for political purposes. Sustainable to them means taking away property rights from the owners and purchasers of the land and then handing those rights to a committee of their choosing. Usually a small committee within DEC.
    They say, falsely, that they represent the people therefore the people’s rights override the property owner’s individual rights.
    Firstly; they are unelected so they do not represent the people.
    Secondly; they are paid by the taxpayers, therefore they work for them.
    Thirdly; They have not bought and developed the property, so they have no rights to that property in its running, other than the laws that guide all property by the parliament.
    Fourthly; property rights are the basis of all freedom in democracy. Without them, corruption rules.

  33. On Capn Jack – people should ignore idiots rather than make a big deal out of it.

    Unfortunately, if his posts were left alone, others who don’t like WUWT would use it as an example of the “idiots who post here”. Such posts as his are rightly excised.

  34. The plight of the Thompsons makes me sad, as do the pictures of their farm above but not perhaps for the same reasons as many commenters here. To me that farm does not look like a farm, but like a desert. Not really cattle country. Cattle are naturally wandering, grazing animals. There is nothing there for them to graze.

    I hope, with compassion, that the Thompsons plight is resolved in such a way that they can start a new business and make their profitable way in the world while being compassionate towards animals and taking into full consideration their natural animal behaviour.

    I understand that the Thompsons have broken no laws and even bent over backwards to fulfill the requirements of the law. That is to their credit and I honour them for it but the fact that something is legal does not make it right. The converse — that something is not necessarily wrong just because it is illegal — is equally true but does not seem to apply to this story.

  35. PS I’m not an animal rights activist. Some of them are rightly jailed for their activities. But I do believe animals should be treated properly as well as humans.

  36. Huth, thank you for being so polite and respectful in your criticism of feedlotting. Were we operating, I would invite you to tour our facility…perhaps walk the pens with me, as we did each and every day we had cattle in the feedlot. If you know anything about cattle, you would see just how happy and content the cattle were.

    They had custom-made, freshly mixed feed delivered to them every day. Their water tanks were scrubbed and rinsed every other day, and so they always had fresh, clean water to drink. They were checked for illness or injury every day, and were treated to state-of-the-art health care if required.

    The entire feedlot was built based on Temple Grandin’s designs, intended to cater to natural animal behaviours. (Matt worked with Temple in the US.)

    We trained our employees on animal handling and animal behaviour in a number of ways. We would get outside consultants, including Dr. Kev Sullivan and Dr. Tom Noffsinger, to come in and work with our cattle and our employees.

    It was satisfying to work in this facility with my husband and his forward-thinking, exciting ideas. I grew up on a cattle ranch in Oklahoma, and have worked in many different cattle yards in my lifetime. Never have I seen cattle load a truck as easily as they do here, nor move through a facility as well. That’s not critical of other places…just highly complimentary of this one. It was just awesomely fun to work here!

    As I’ve said on WUWT before, when one of our enemies reported us to the RSPCA (that’s the Royal Society for the Protection and Care of Animals), I proudly gave the inspector a 1.5 hour tour of our place. She was highly complimentary, and said farmers should get their story out more, because ours was a very good story.

    I don’t believe anyone should make blanket statements about any type of production. Across the board in all industries, people are good and are continually trying to do things better. There is a tiny minority that might not do things right or well, but they will reap what they sow.

    As for me and my house, I’m extremely proud of our high-quality care for the environment, our excellent husbandry of animals, our treatment of employees as family, and our exciting interaction with our community.

    Thanks again for your obvious kindness, and for being willing to engage. That is fantastic.

    Kind Regards,
    Janet

  37. Janet,
    Thank you for the information and the invitation. I would gladly come and see if it were possible. It is wonderful that you are so passioinate about your work and I am sure the animals in your feedlot were treated well. I still don’t feel comfortable about feedlots but I will keep on reading. You have given me some leads. I wish you and your family well.
    Huth

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