Native Vegetation Laws, Greenhouse Gas Abatement, and Climate Change Measures

10th May 2010Property Rights Australia welcomes the report of The Senate Finance and Public Administration References Committee into Native Vegetation Laws, Greenhouse Gas Abatement, and Climate Change Measures.
They have recognised, at last, that a small group of Australians, namely landholders and rural communities have borne the brunt of community environmental objectives.
Significant recognition of many of the concerns of landholders has been made with the commission detailing:
·          the opportunity cost of land lost to production (both previously uncleared and/or unutilised or that which has previously been cleared and/or utilised):
·         the loss of real or potential property value due to the introduction of these restrictions on land use;
·         restrictions that effectively remove the right to utilise land in a manner in which it has previously been used;
·           the lack of compensation for these ‘losses’;
·         enforcement and compliance mechanisms utilised by State Governments under these regimes and opportunities for review of determinations;
·         the application of these laws to individual properties, including restrictions on what appear to be quite minor changes to vegetation, including with respect to very small patches of vegetation or even single trees;
·         the long-term environmental impact of these laws, specifically whether they will achieve their stated objectives of improving native vegetation cover and environmental outcomes; and
·         the ongoing liability for land which they own but over which they do not have effective control, including the payment of rates and management of noxious plants and feral animals
The Committee noted that in its 2004 report The Productivity Commission addressed the issue of compensation and agreed that its recommendations for compensation were fair.
 Further it recommended that:
Where the cost of compensation for past legislative and regulatory actions is prohibitive, consideration should be given to reducing the current impediments upon landholders as a remedy.
The necessity for secure property rights was also recognised.
Property Rights Australia endorses all of these recommendations and would particularly like to thank every one of the 400 people who made submissions.
We have to thank Peter Spencer, Agmates, NSW Farmers Association, and particularly Barnaby Joyce who attended the rallies at Saarahnlee and Parliament House and pushed the proposal for a Senate Enquiry through the Party Room. 
The 400 submissions will be a valuable resource for future reference and demonstrated how serious the problem of Property Rights is in the three states. 
Congratulations to all concerned.
Ron Bahnisch
Ron Bahnisch, Chairman
Property Rights Australia Inc
Phone:  07 49213430
Fax:       07 49213870