Members’ Newsletter Thursday 26th November 2015

Members’ Newsletter

Thursday 26th November 2015


PRA ensures its ability to represent the interests of our members without compromise by not accepting any government funding.  As PRA is funded on membership fees alone, for administration PRA employs one person (Fiona) part time.  Many volunteer hours are conducted by board members.  Importantly when someone approaches PRA for assistance, we don’t offer that advice outside board members expertise.  In this situation, board members direct questions to experts in their given fields of expertise.  To meet this need the board develops networks.

The board seeks to develop a broad network of professional expertise across broad geographic locations.  While PRA is improving contacts in far north Qld an opportunity has arisen to introduce you to a contact who works not only in Qld but across the northern regions of NSW.

Steve Cupitt of Crossroads Consultancy – Rural & Environment

Steve Cupitt has a background of environmental assessment and knowledge of the complexities of environmental regulation in Qld & NSW.  The entanglement of multilayered environmental legislation is such that a landowner can breach them unintentionally.  Government can issue notices, which if left unchallenged, may progress to prosecution or economic hardship with evidence often based on desk top studies or poor quality mapping.

Following many years assisting landholders via a not-for-profit organisation and 6 years consulting for the resource industry, this year Steve started his own consultancy business.  I have known Steve for over 17 years and I have always found Steve to be honest in his work with a high standard of business ethics.  When conducting any on ground assessment Steve will tell it as it is; it may not always be what the landowner will want to hear but it will also be uncompromising in the face of any overstated claims of environmental damage from government agency staff.

Steve, as a significant component of his consultancy business, is offering a service of due diligence investigations for clients buying a new property or considering development of an existing property.  Although comprehensive rural risk analysis has not been the standard in property inspections in the past, the more you think of it, the more apparent it is that it could avoid many costly mistakes.  Please refer to the attached Fact Sheet from Crossroads Consultancy.  This Fact Sheet is written to cover both Qld & NSW, however it is important to recognise that some of the references don’t apply in both States.

This Fact sheet is worth a read because it not only highlights the complexity of different environmental legislation across the different State departments but also the cross layers from Local and the Commonwealth Governments.

Productivity Commission inquiry into Regulation of Agriculture

Speaking of complexity of environmental requirements made by government on landowners, just what is the cost?  The Productivity Commission is inquiring into this question and to make recommendation of how the regulatory burden can be reduced for farmers. 

More information including a link to how to make a submission is available at this link:-

The right to say no

This issue has been placed on the agenda of the COAG Energy Council in early December.  PRA is sending a letter to all Energy Ministers.  The board has developed a policy document and have had letters and an opinion article published on this issue.

The core point PRA is making to achieve a ‘right to say no’ is to remove the compulsory or mandatory requirement of landowners to negotiate.  In a true commercial negotiation if one side finds that the current terms would disadvantage their business they have the freedom to say – “No, I cannot sign this.  We can start negotiations when you have a better offer.”

Qld Water Bill

An opportunity not taken by the Qld government to restore balance for farmers and other intensive water users who are under allocations for water but mining and CSG will retain unlimited take of underground water.  Minister Lynham introduced a new Bill in response to previous Newman government WROLA water legislation.  Submissions close on December 18.

Rural Debt Taskforce

Have you say about rural debt at the various hearings or by submission –

There will be more in January but the December hearings dates are – 9th Normanton; 10th Hughenden; 11th Winton; 15th Barcaldine; 16th Charleville; 17th St. George

PRA column in Rural Weekly

Look out every fortnight for the PRA column in the Rural Weekly’s northern NSW, all Qld and the NT editions.  Since beginning in the first week of October, five columns have been published.  They aren’t all posted online –


Dale Stiller

Dale Stiller, Chairman

Property Rights Australia

Phone:  07 49 214 000
Fax:       07 49271 888