Members newsletter 6th August 2015


Members’ Newsletter

Thursday 6th August 2015



It’s time for those registrations to come in.  The PRA board tried to identify those issues that were going to affect landowners in the immediate future and cover as many we could in this year’s conference at Emerald on August 21 & 22.  A lot of work in organising and quite a few costs involved that require support for PRA to break even.  With the diverse relevant subject range and the calibre of the presenters it will be well worth your while being there.  Registrations will be accepted on the day as well.

Peter Spencer

On Friday July 24 judgement was handed down on with Peter Spencer loosing.  Spencer is reviewing the 225 page judgement.  I am unaware of any pivotal point of law in this judgement to which it could be said that Peter Spencer lost the case but in the November 25 2014 PRA newsletter I wrote

Spencer has to prove that the Commonwealth gained a benefit from and encouraged the States to impose vegetation management laws and therefore the Commonwealth has to pay compensation for a loss of a property right.  The biggest stumbling block will be the defence that the States were going to undertake this action anyway

Comment by Joanne Rea

Peter Spencer is arguably the greatest warrior for property rights in modern times.  He has dedicated his life to fighting the annexation of rights to manage or sell timber and any associated rights.

After being in court, spending 52 days up a windtower and more years on court during which he literally dedicated his life to the cause, the decision handed down was not in his favour.

The Judge, Justice Debra Mortimer, praised his thoroughness and professionalism.

You conducted yourself with dignity and thoroughness both in the courtroom and in your written submissions,” Justice Mortimer said.

This was a decision which rural communities Australia wide was waiting on to validate their position to validate their position that no-one including government should be able to impose community cost and expectations on an individual or community without just terms.

This will have implications for investment.  The concept of sovereign risk was a foreign one to Australians until recently and now we see that it has become an unwelcome normality of governance in this country.

We can only hope that our old ally Professor Suri Ratnapala’s appointment to the Australian Law Reform Commission with his knowledge of and interest in the violation of property rights may help redress the slippery slope we are on.

CONVERTING FROM LEASEHOLD TO FREEHOLD.  The ugly things that are now being uncovered.  By Ashley McKay


  1. There is one case where part of a G.H.P.L. was denied the right to convert simply because the Department, without notice to the lessee, declared the area a National Park.


  1. Forestry Consent Areas (FCA) within a new Freehold Tenure are a potential flashpoint.
    1. An FCA does more than cover just the Commercial Trees on a Lot.

One case in question is over 18,000 acres of which over half is cleared and has a PMAV registered.  However Forestry insists that the FCA should cover the whole area, PMAV included.

                  b.   In areas that are not subject to a PMAV and also do not contain any Commercial Timber at all, the new Freehold owner must obtain a Section 39 A (2) (c) Agreement, even for what used to be self assessable systems for thinning, encroachment, silver culture, fence lines etc.

                  c.   In effect the new Freehold rights to clear are inferior to what existed on the previous Leasehold land as there is no clear certainty that a desired 39 A(2) (c) Agreement will be approved promptly, with or without extra conditions, or even denied and if so denied, if the landowner has any right of appeal or redress.


At present a right royal mess that was either not legislated clearly by the previous Government or is being deliberately misinterpreted by the current Regime and Department.

* Please let us know if you have similar or additional problems to these that we know exist.


PRA attending Federal hearing, Register Environmental organisations   By Joanne Rea

The House of Representatives is presently conducting an Inquiry into, among other things, the tax deductibility status of environmental organisations.  Over 600 submissions were received.

Joanne Rea with the very committed former Senator Ron Boswell appeared before the committee in Brisbane.

There is no doubt that there a lot of small groups doing good work on the ground.  There are also some large multinational organisations with generous funding and running businesses to bolster that funding without paying tax and still receiving tax deductible donations.

What was pointed out by a lot of groups who feel aggrieved by environmental organisations including PRA is that many of us feel that they use their position to use science selectively or in some cases to make flagrant misrepresentations.

While happily accepting Tax Deductible Gift Recipient Status (DGR) they expect more business orientated organisations such as ours which does not have DGR to operate without it.  Some organisations such as WWF claimed that it would be “undemocratic” to remove their DGR status.  It should be noted that the governance of WWF is top down with no semblance of democracy and that they run profit making businesses around the globe.

It was also very obvious that little to no auditing takes place to ensure that they stay within the guidelines of eligibility for a DGR.  Overt political activity is one area which funds are not supposed to be expended on but it is clear that this has not been adhered to with Ron Boswell tabling some clear electioneering material from The Wilderness Society



Dale Stiller


Dale Stiller, Chairman
Property Rights Australia    STAND YOUR GROUND

Phone:  07 49213430
Fax:       07 49213870


Members newsletter 6th August 2015