Update on the Thompsons and "smellgate"

Jo Nova has an update on this story that we have covered in detail here. Follow the link for the story:

Breaking: Thompsons lose right to sue DEC; but Spencer gets a green light

From Matt and Janet Thompson, a Federal Court judge has just ruled that they can’t sue the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) of Western Australia on behalf of their family-owned company, Narrogin Beef Producers.

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John Marshall
June 7, 2011 4:22 am

So now a government department is hiding behind a bad decision by a judge. If they come up with some ruling then they must justify it. They do get taxpayer’s money to function.
It does seem to be a minor complaint by some Nimbys. If country smells are not liked move back to the city.

June 7, 2011 4:28 am

Thank you WUWT, for covering this maddening story. I have donated.

kadaka (KD Knoebel)
June 7, 2011 4:49 am

From Matt Thompson: In making his ruling Justice Barker referred to a decision in the Federal Court in Spencer v. Commonwealth in which the lower court ruled that Peter had no arguable case. This is remarkable because it ignores the fact that the High Court later overturned this ruling.
The judge based his ruling on an overturned ruling? “Rule of law” has become an interesting theoretical concept, often reduced to simply “ruled by those who control the law.”
This smells worse than muck scraped off the bottom of a lake. Bass turds.

June 7, 2011 5:43 am

So, the Thompsons have no recourse?

June 7, 2011 6:45 am

The article on JoNova indicates they can appeal this decision.
Seems wrong on some level that they could not sue a government entity for not following their own rules, and behaving arbitrarily in license requirements.

Ben of Houston
June 7, 2011 7:20 am

Sheesh. In the past at least they found an “endangered” critter in the field before depriving you of its use without compensation. Now, the agencies seem to just take without bothering to justify it.

June 7, 2011 7:27 am

In general you can’t sue an agency for failing to regulate, just as you can’t sue the police for failing to get there in time. There’s a good reason for this prohibition; front-line personnel have finite time and resources, and often need to make a decision that pleases some people and displeases or harms others.
Conundrums like this one were meant to be resolved by the legislature changing the law. Unfortunately in modern times legislatures have stopped functioning. They are paralyzed with “arguments” over utterly pointless trivia, and they are incapable of revising or repealing bad laws.

June 7, 2011 7:59 am

“front-line personnel have finite time and resources, and often need to make a decision that pleases some people and displeases or harms others.”
These aren’t front line personnel. These are bureaucrats and this is a product of a bloated fascist government entity… making up and changing rules as it pleases in order to get it’s way.
Even at that, “front line personnel” should have not greater rights than the citizenry that they are charged to support. Law Enforcement, Fire Dept personnel, Emergency Medical Services, though they are important… are not special. They are citizens just like the rest of us. A citizens death or injury should be treated with just as much urgency and similar penalties as the same injury would be treated for one of these people.
Likewise, if one of these “public servants” causes death or injury to a bystander, they and the entity that they work for should be brought up on charges and treated just as if they were any other company or organization.
No man is above the law.

June 7, 2011 8:00 am

Anthony, thanks again, to you for posting this and to your readers for caring.
We are appealing. We’ve decided that to stop now would only allow the bullies to win. We knew going in that it wouldn’t be easy, but we were still shocked with the ruling. After a weekend of pain, we discussed everything in full with our legal team on Monday, and we feel good about our decision. There were many mistakes of fact in the judge’s verdict, and we cannot let it stand.
Btw, on the personal front, we are still on-site (thanks in large part to all of you), and Matt and I are both working jobs while also working on the legal stuff. The kids are happy, we’re all together and healthy. We have friends in the world who care about truth. We’re very rich.
In the mean time, we are extremely concerned about the impending carbon (sic) tax that our Government is hell-bent upon imposing. The entire world has got serious problems. The challenge for all of us is to carefully choose our battles without going insane.
Because Matt and I got into the situation we’re in because of publicly fighting the great global warming swindle, we won’t give up on that topic. What good would it do us to win our own battle only to lose this mammoth, global war of right versus might?
In this vein, another huge thanks to Anthony, Jo and all the contributors and tireless campaigners for bringing Truth to the masses.
Mega Cheers…

June 7, 2011 10:49 am

What an awful travesty of justice. I once wanted to move to Australia from the USA. No more….

Harry Bergeron
June 7, 2011 2:03 pm

To base a legal decision on an overturned decision would get a judge laughed out of the Bar hereabouts.
I reckon there was some aspect of that case that was NOT overturned, common where there are multiple issues.

June 7, 2011 3:17 pm

Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add “within the limits of the law” because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.
Thomas Jefferson

June 7, 2011 7:51 pm

Thanks for the update, and best wishes for your success in appealing, Janet and all the Thompsons! Please let us know what we can do.

William Gordon
June 9, 2011 7:42 pm

You do realise that the only ones who benefit out of the court system are the lawyers?
Unless people are getting their legal costs pro bono then their lawyers are doing very well and of course lawyers will encourage people who are feeling sore and sorry for themselves to proceed with appeals. Again they win. You will probably lose.
I hope you know what you are doing because if you fail then the costs, not just financially but socially and mentally will be hard.
It could be a better thing to bow out gracefully now.
Who is paying your legal costs? Are you getting your costs probono? Just asking and Im sure if people are donating to you then they may want to know too.
Good luck, you are really going to need it.

June 10, 2011 1:03 am

Thanks again for all the comments and support.
William Gordon, fair comments and questions. Just to be clear: the lawyers are working pro-bono (with uptake agreements; out-of-pocket expenses paid by us). The majority of the first lot of donations to our children are still in a separate account that we have nothing to do with, but the caretakers of that account have used some for the children’s living expenses. We’ve been doing a lot of the leg work ourselves and therefore have only been working part-time to earn money.
The battle we face is, no doubt, large and extremely challenging. But Matt and I are strong and well-balanced (most of the time! haha), and we feel like if we do not take up this fight, who will? While we pursue through the courts as we must, much is happening with people coming together in a grassroots movement to bring common sense back to the legislative branch of government, and to hopefully bring the bureaucracy back into line. The bureaucracies have grown unchecked for far too long. (I believe, btw, that this is the situation in the US and other first-world countries as well as Australia.) Now that we have nothing left to lose, the responsibility to fight back is resting on our shoulders.
Together, we can do this. With support of good people who understand what is at stake, we can do this. With limited funds but committed people, we can do this.
We have a strong case that we intend to take to the High Court of Australia if necessary. That is, indeed, our ultimate goal. We have always known that our path would not be easy. But we are healthy, we’re together, and we are blessed with four beautiful, healthy children who are worth fighting for. We also feel a strong moral obligation to continue to fight for the unsecured creditors to whom we owe money.
We have a very strong case against this Government Department. We have done nothing wrong. And there are many people (whom we’ve met because of our story) who are in very similary situations. People have things happen in their lives all the time that were never in “the business plan.” Tragedies strike in a variety of forms every day. We are lucky in the cup we’ve been given. We will stay on this horse for as long as it stands. If it falls, we will calmly step off. But unless and until that happens, we will keep riding hell for leather. We have no acceptable alternative.
We cannot shirk the duty that has fallen to us. We will not.

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