Noel Pearson opposes Wild Rivers Act

3rd August 2009


“The erosion of private property rights is the single biggest issue

facing the rural community. It creates uncertainty, stifles investment,

job creation and threatens incomes and service delivery.”

Members’ Newsletter

3rd August 2009

Dear Members

There have never been so many angry people about. From one end of the state to the other:

  • A desalination plant built on sand with rusty stainless steel from China
  • Dams mooted in inappropriate places
  • Hardwood and pine forestry areas worked for years being turned into national parks
  • Mining threatening prime agricultural land
  • Regrowth control in the Brigalow area under threat
  • A moratorium on all overland flow take in the Fitzroy basin
  • Riparian issues for reef runoff for canegrowers and other landowners
  • A ban on all fishing in the Coral Sea
  • State-wide depredation of mining
  • The highly contentious Wild Rivers legislation closing the peninsular, gulf and channel country rivers
  • Angry unionists
  • An extremely angry Tony Fitzgerald

Anna Bligh and Andrew Fraser are so embattled that any sign of weakness or capitulation in any area will bring the whole

edifice of government down. The Office of Cabinet, with 530 spin doctors throughout the bureaucracy has, up til now been

able to keep the lid on. The culture of lying, legitimised by the Nuttall case, has spread throughout all government activity.

Embedded in government departments, the extreme green movements have been able to restrict and in some cases close

down or thwart development of natural resources. In the countdown to the introduction of the bill to restrict regrowth

control the picture is extremely gloomy. If all the above is not enough, hanging over all of this, the elephant in the room is

the Emissions Trading Scheme.

We have been in touch almost daily with Noel Pearson’s support group. Noel has put in place a campaign titled, “Give Us a

Go: Let Us Grow” with an arms length entity to gather funds. At a board meeting last week we decided to make a financial

contribution and also pass on any contributions members wish to make. In the last two weeks, Noel has appeared on ABC

Lateline, The Alan Jones show on 2GB and The ABC Insiders program on Sunday with hard-hitting performances on Wild

Rivers each time.

Tania Major, an aboriginal recently awarded Young Australian of the Year, appeared on QandA (ABC TV) with Anna Bligh, and

spoke on Wild Rivers and at a subsequent news conference on the allocation of mining leases to a Chinese company on

aboriginal land.

She, and a number of aboriginal children, gatecrashed a fundraising dinner for the Wilderness Society in Sydney, hiring the

same koala suits that the society uses standing on street corners to raise funds. They all arrived in a stretch limo, mimicking

the opulence of the society. Tania, in a koala suit, led children chained together in koala suits into the venue. Once inside,

they uncovered their heads and Tania explained that the policies of closing the riparian land to entrepreneurial activity

condemned future generations to a life of misery on welfare.

The ambition as stated quite openly in a 167page treatise called, “Conservation of Australia’s Outback Wilderness,” prepared

for Wild Australia Program by Dr Carol Booth and Dr Barry Trail, is to establish wilderness areas across north Australia, the

largest remaining wilderness area on earth.

If the Pearson group continues as they started, they deserve our enthusiastic support. The object is to keep Noel in a plane

seat or in front of a microphone. His message is quite devastating and Anna Bligh’s desperate riposte was that we don’t want

to turn northern rivers into Murray Darlings, a transparently ridiculous proposition.

Ernie Camp,” Floraville,” Normanton is our seventh board member. He is deputy Shire Chairman of the Normanton Shire

Council, a director of Australian Beef Association and our representative in the Wild River debate. He has made, in my

opinion, the very telling point, that in wet seasons the only firm ground is next to a river, now a no go area to be fenced off.

The guidelines for meeting notices on the ABC have arrived. You can state the organisation, the date, time, venue, subject,

and visiting speakers – absolutely no comment allowed. We still have to test it.

The Four Corners episode on coal mining on or near the Liverpool Plains, arguably the best arable land in Australia has caused

a huge furore. Bloggers have generally agreed mining should not take place.

Minister Robertson, with an entourage of minders and advisers, insisted on absolute secrecy for his visit with Agforce to see

regrowth and mining in the Emerald, Springsure, and Capella districts. Considering the anger generated by this issue, a

remark by Qlander (a blogger on Farmonline) is spot on. “Yes- it’s never a good idea to give advance notice of your presence

in occupied territory. You can never be sure what the response of the local insurgents would be if they knew you were going

to be there.”

I think all we can do is hope for the best but prepare for the worst. It has all the hallmarks of what have become token

consultations so that it can be said “all submissions were taken into account.” It is all part of the greens’ policy of keeping

industry reps busy and distracted. In a paper published in 2005, titled, “Rethinking Deliberative Governance: Dissecting the

Queensland Land clearing Campaign”, by Dr John Welan and Dr Kirsten Lyons, both of Griffith University, the four green

movements involved indulge in a bit of hubris at their success in completely stopping land clearing. Imogen Zetoven said she

and Nicky Hungerford cooperated: “Nicky’s role was to be the peacemaker, and to calm them down during the break. Then

I’d go in during the meeting and be really hard core……It was good cop, bad cop, really. She would make them laugh and get

them relaxed. Disarm them and make them more vulnerable.” Conservationists stated the importance of building alliances

with the rural sector to temper future backlash triggered by the adoption and implementation of effective controls on land


The full 14 page document is available at

There is a Latin proverb that translates “Even the ass doesn’t fall over the same stone twice.” We were done like a dinner last

time and the greens have had four extra years to perfect their strategies.

The Property Rights Australia website has to be rebuilt and we are working on it.

In the next few days we will forward a letter from Pearson’s Give Us a Go Let Us Grow campaign and details of their

registered company and a letter outlining our interest in the success of this campaign.


Ron Bahnisch


Property Rights Australia Inc

Phone: 07 49213430

Fax: 07 49213870