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« Oxburgh transcript | Main | George Monbiot: scrubbing the record clean »
Saturday
Sep182010

Read...

...this.

This is a family with four young children, who ran a profitable business; they filled in every form and ticked every box. They have broken no laws, and there are no outstanding environmental notices, but yet, they came to Western Australia with their life savings and they are losing everything.

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Reader Comments (85)

A.T.

I understand. I'm from Victoria and I know people who lost everything in the Kinglake fires.
And you are correct, it was environmental policy that literally added fuel to the fire.

But my point is that bureaucracy is bureaucracy. I'd like to see some balance between green zealotry and unsustainable capitalism which in its current form, has absolutely no limits on consumption.
And with all due respect, a large proportion of people who live in the bush are clueless.
There are many angles on this issue.

Sep 20, 2010 at 12:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterSamG

Atomic Hairdryer

Assuming the land isn't managed correctly, then yes, repeat wildfires are inevitable.

The DEC is Western Australia is one of - if not the most - aggressive agencies in fire reduction policies.

They even have low grade undergrowth burns in January and February - despite the high temperatures.

My current line of work is strongly related to fire management and as a scientist I'm more than happy with the current policies regarding fire management.

The other policies under the DEC umbrella are more dubious as they include my old adversary of the EPA. There we part company.

Sep 20, 2010 at 12:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterJerry

I meant A.H. ;-)

Sep 20, 2010 at 12:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterSamG

Re Wayne

Timelines seem important here, and I haven't been able to figure them out.

The basic question, it seems to me, is who got to the area first? Did the feedlot (and the piggery) set up shop in relatively wide open spaces at the time? Did residential settlement expand towards them after that fact? If so, caveat emptor must apply. If you're dumb enough to move in close to a piggery and/or a feedlot, don't complain about them; complain instead about the gene pool you sprang from.

As I understand it, the piggery was there first. Comment from the Gow's compaint in the Narrogin library link says 'when we purchased land- a 'lifestyle block' in 1995'. So the pig farm was already in operation, and the Gows complained about that. One of the other main complainants, Yorke may have been more local, or may have been an incomer. She chairs the local action group shutting the feedlot down though because it's interfering with the 'spiritual retreats' she used to offer. She can apparently 'smell the difference', even if official, trained noses may disagree-

http://narroginstorytime.files.wordpress.com/2009/05/department-of-ag-and-food-odour-monitoring.pdf

and also says:

Note: The data can not be considered as being exclusively the result of Narrogin Beef as it is possible that there are other odour sources contributing

Some of the other reports on the library site mention other sources, like the large abbatoir to the north of the town. Or perhaps septic tank emptying, cleaning and maintenance? Or lack of maintenance if the town's attracting incomers unused to living off-main drainage. Or could it be other hobby farms around the area? Many possible sources for odours that don't really seem to have been fully investigated, and may explain why there's a divergence between complaints and cattle count at the feedlot. Problem is still a small group of people seem determined to close the business down, regardless of consequences and impact on their town economy.

Sep 20, 2010 at 12:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterAtomic Hairdryer

Re Jerry

The other policies under the DEC umbrella are more dubious as they include my old adversary of the EPA. There we part company.

Core problem seems to be the very loosely worded legislation that allows advocacy groups to exploit legislation and close down businesses they're opposed to. First they come for the livestock farmers on odour issues, who's next? People BBQ'ng? Given the Australian lifestyle, I can see that one attracting more opposition, but some countries have done this already.

Sep 20, 2010 at 12:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterAtomic Hairdryer

AH
You are mosty likely right

Problem is still a small group of people seem determined to close the business down, regardless of consequences and impact on their town economy.

The drive is basically parochial. The existing residents near the feedlot see their current businesses affected and the future resale also affected.

I also get a sense that the feedlot is pushing a few boundaries.

This fight is very local and also hasn't moved to the typical secondary and tertiary phases. i.e.

- Recruit animal activists against feedlots.

- Recruit (at great expense) local Aborigines to declare sacred sites.

Sep 20, 2010 at 12:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterJerry

Brush fires:

In France the priority is on preventing fires from getting out of control. In areas where there is a high risk of fire, property owners are OBLIGED by law to clear away undergrowth within 50 metres of any building, including that on land belonging to their neighbours.

http://pcf.sudardeche.over-blog.fr/article-34555330.html

Sep 20, 2010 at 1:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterDreadnought

Re Jerry

I also get a sense that the feedlot is pushing a few boundaries.

In which way? The previous head of the ag college seemed supportive given the boundaries were best practices in sustainability and animal husbandry. Perhaps the new head smells a bargain. A feedlot with no permit is worthless to a farmer, but could be handy for an agricultural college. If it goes into administration, someone's likely to end up with a well developed farm for a fraction of the development cost.

This fight is very local and also hasn't moved to the typical secondary and tertiary phases. i.e.

- Recruit animal activists against feedlots.

Arguably this may have happened with the EDO/NEAT relationship, and whether the Thompsons are being punished for being critical of global warming and DEC policy. If that's proveable, I don't see how that's supportable from a libertarian viewpoint. Problem is still the way rights are being removed by bureaucrats who can grow their empires by managing permit systems to give back rights people had before. More non-productive non-jobs increasing the burden on the more economically active.

Also curious about sandalwood. Like sheep farming, that's a traditionally part of Narrogin's history and whether that would work for odour control. Plus it's a pretty valuable crop in it's own right, assuming nobody objects to it's smell and allows them to be grown commercially. Trees seem to have more rights than people sometimes.

Sep 20, 2010 at 2:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterAtomic Hairdryer

SamG - "people ultimately have the choice whether or not to live in the bush"

No, not at all. My lot came to South Australia in 1839 and lived in the bush from that time hence. I was brought up there, as was my father, grandfather and great-grandfather that I know of. I, and they, had no option and no real choice. Folks that move from the city to the bush, cashed up, for their own little bit of acreage are a different matter. And if something (gasp) rural infringes on their green uptopia they tend to get frightfully annoyed about it. Believe me, I was a local government councillor in my district and some of their complaints were almost stupifying. They clearly had no concept of hypocracy. Yes, I live in the city now, having retired from my scientific occupation, but that's my choice and I don't complain about it. If I had problems with the city I would piss off and go somewhere else.

However, I'm not entirely convinced about this story and would need to look into it further. Which I have to say I won't, so I'll leave it there. Nevertheless, environmentalists complaining about something that involves the slaughter of livestock always raises a flag to me. Especially when none of the complaints involve the slaughter of livestock. And Mr Peter Gow being a notary at the neighbouring golf club is probably a complete furphy. I wonder if it is the same person who worked in Perth for the WA Department of Housing and Works. Probably not.

Sep 20, 2010 at 3:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterGrantB

I find it hard to believe all the stick that Jerry has taken over this issue. I have never seen an inappropriate post from Jerry or one in which he had "an agenda" . In the one personal contact I had with Jerry he was totally honourable.

Sep 20, 2010 at 3:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterDung

SamG @ Sep 20, 2010 at 12:05 PM

You said - "And with all due respect, a large proportion of people who live in the bush are clueless." - with the caveat - "I'm from Victoria........"

The caveat is important because presumably you did here of the Victorian farmer who got prosecuted and fined for clearing timber for a firebreak around his property prior to the devastating Victorian fires, and that his was only one of a handful of properties that survived relatively unscathed through the firestorm.

So why did the Victorian farmer get prosecuted and fined; was it because he was (1) - “Clueless” or (2) – “From Victoria” or (3) – Both ??

I have lived in NSW on the land all my life, as is my father, as did his father and as did his father yet you maintain that............... “a large proportion of people who live in the bush are clueless.". The opposite of “Clueless” is “Sharp” therefore, as a sharp Victorian presumably you have a mountain of experience and advice on how the “........large proportion of people who live in the bush” can dig their way out of “cluelessness” without breaching the many and varied environmental statutory instruments placed over them, their land and their lives ??

Assuming that “..........a large proportion of people who live in the bush are clueless.” is based on the balance of probabilities, what is the chance that, and based on the same balance of probabilities, that a large proportion of people who are “urban environmentalists” are also clueless in relation to (a) large proportion of people who own land, farm and live in the bush ??

I’m inclined to adjunct your caveat to take in the word “Stupidity” as a caveat upon your caveat.

Sep 20, 2010 at 4:26 PM | Unregistered Commenterhide the decline

@ Atomic Hairdryer Sep 20, 2010 at 12:35 PM |

Just to add some info to your post. There is a complain from Mrs Gow ( did not see it in the thread or I've missed it)
see here:
http://narroginlibrary.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/presentation-ph-ke-gow-lccc-meeting-21-05-09.pdf

last paragraph on the first page looks interesting

----------we have worked extremely hard building a beautiful home and over time very impressive equestrian fascility ................--------------- Hmmmm . Horse sh$$t smells lovely, cattle sh$$t not so

Out of curiosity. Can the agri .. college smell the difference ? ;-)

Sep 20, 2010 at 7:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterML

My dispute with Jerry is not that he is a bad guy. It is the assumption of the bureaucratic imperative.
Think of it as the banality of bureaucracy.
When I drive through the dairy country of my state, guess what I smell?
If I drive by a pig operation, guess what I smell?
If I move in next to one, guess what I had best get used to?
That ministers of a state are even involved in this is the problem.
The proper response to the neighbors who don't like agrarian smells is 'tough sh$t'.

Sep 20, 2010 at 7:30 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

Hunter

What I assume is that since I find Jerry to be a decent honest and intelligent soul and since he lives in Australia, I am willing to listen with more than an open mind to what he says.
No offense is meant to you or anyone else by my comments mate.

Sep 20, 2010 at 7:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterDung

@ hunter
---------------- 'tough sh$t'.

---------------------------------------------------
You put a smile on my face :-). The boss of the one of companies I've worked for ( very successful) usually asked following question:
Which of these two words do you not understand?

Sep 20, 2010 at 7:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterML

AH

Also curious about sandalwood.

From what I can make out there are sandalwood plantations starting but these are mostly to create tax losses. There is sandalwood at Dryandra - where I've spent a lot of time in the bush. The Dryandra woylies are recovering in numbers so the sandalwood is starting to recover there as well.

Sheoke does well in the region and grows very fast with minimal water and on poor soil. There is research going on to produce commercial species.

Sep 20, 2010 at 11:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterJerry

Thanks Dung

By the way, you've got a good handle for this topic :-)

Sep 21, 2010 at 12:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterJerry

The stink from Narrogin, WA is getting very thick, but it is not from Thomson's feedlot property

http://joannenova.com.au/2010/09/a-waterway-no-fish-will-swim-in/

Sep 21, 2010 at 12:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterML

htd

This is getting off topic do I'll be brief.

Due to the nanny state we live under, The failed response of emergency/communication services and the fight or flight policy, was virtually like leading lambs to the slaughter (while Christine Nixon was off dining and getting her hair done)
But that does not exonerate common sense. I know plenty of people who would have left days in advance in those sort of weather extremes. You can't discount naivety. I wouldn't move to the bush without thinking of the fire potential, especially after Ash Wednesday.
The example you give of the guy who was fined for clearing, is totally irrelevant. In most localities, it was raining fireballs and the flame front was like a tidal wave; yet people were standing on their roofs with hoses.

Sep 21, 2010 at 12:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterSamG

An update from Jo Nova -

http://joannenova.com.au/2010/09/a-waterway-no-fish-will-swim-in/#more-10364

Put simply, the Department of Environment (DEC) play kingmaker by defining the rules any way they like.

Sep 21, 2010 at 2:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterIren

The Boring Redux

The final Appeals Convener's report is at https://secure.dec.wa.gov.au/appeals/documents/024-10_AC_report_final.pdf

It appears to me to be a fair discussion of the issues and a good decision.

The highlights are :

- The greenie submisison (NEAT) was rejected out of hand
- The feedlot was shut down a year ago. This bit is just the shouting.
- The odour only really affected the Ag college, and then on still nights / inversions
- The feedlot was ran nearly 14000 head at one time, well in excess of its licence and infrastructure
- The waste water management system is sized at 6000 cattle and is badly designed - contributing to odour

From my technical point of view the only issue is future objective measuring of offensive odours and their effects on people. There are some obvious scientific ways to do this but these don't seem to have been sufficiently considered.

Sep 21, 2010 at 3:16 AM | Unregistered CommenterJerry

@Jerry

Where does it state nearly 14,000 head in the report?

The NEAT submission was not rejected out of hand, It was considered together with the Dept. of Educations submission, as they were almost identical, and the response was to both submissions.

Just the shouting? The feedlot has been up for sale during the last year but will never have any value while such vague regulation hangs over it. Maybe with a more clear-cut indication of DEC policy the Thompsons might be able to cut their losses. When was the appeal made BTW?

The DEC are demanding that a waste management system originally designed for 15,000 be implemented even though they give no indication that this number of cattle will ever be allowed and for the most part have restricted the head count to 6,000. That makes no sense at all.

I agree that the current system seems inadequate but when you look at all the goalpost moving that's been going on do you actually believe that any change to it would make a difference to the feedlot's licensing? To comply would be simply throwing away good money after bad.

You cannot run a business with such vague statements as this hanging over you:

"The Licensee shall ensure that odour emitted from the premises does not unreasonably interfere with the health, welfare, convenience, comfort or amenity of any person who is not on the premises."

In addition, the definition of watercourses in this instance is highly contentious as is the DEC's definition of the boundaries of the property in use for the feedlot This impacts the entire licensing of the property (whether the operation even needs to have one) and should be reviewed.

Sep 21, 2010 at 7:30 AM | Unregistered CommenterBillyquiz

Billyquiz

Nearly 14,000 is shown on the excel graph around Autumn 2007. The business appears seasonal and numbers peak in autumn.

The peak in 2007 well exceeded the installed waste water treatment capacity of under 6000 head. Increasing that is basically more earthworks; and to make it safe in 20 year floods some runoff management is needed. This is typical farming practice.

The vague description on odour effects is very poor - the report notes that. However it has an analogue in noise pollution which is often a subjective thing. A certain dB level at 2am in residential area is likely to be offensive while the same noise at an airport is not.

The scientific way to quantify the odour is to set standards similary to LD50 testing. i.e. you measure in blind tests how many people are affected - or can even detect an odour at a particular level. You then look via computer modelling how often a particular level is reached over a year in the geographical region based on historical wind and temperature records, then multiply it by the population density to come up with a figure where X numbers of people will be affected at Y level and for Z hours. Typically you'd come up with a design metric that said no more than 5% (say) of people were affected on 10 (say) days per year - and that would become the design standard.

That sets an objective standard to meet. You then follow up with monitoring by human sniffers as well as recording chemical tracers - e.g. NH4, H2S, certain mercaptans etc.

The report is thoroughly predictable in identifying low wind-speed nights with inversions as the major problem. That combined with waste water management practices that result in the evil brew bubbling in the night may well have been the clincher.

My comments about the Green submission was not strictly correct but had the same effect. Their proposal to get the lot owners to pay for all the measurement and modelling was dropped cold.

Watercourses are pretty irrelevant here. What is of much more interest is the ability to process the waste water and not have the dam walls breach in a storm. There were a lot of 'technicality' arguments that although they sounded good, in totality they didn't have legs.

Over bar the shouting? The plant was voluntarily shut down a year ago. The appeal was heard 9 months later in June/July. You be the judge.

Sep 21, 2010 at 8:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterJerry

Jerry

If we are looking at the same graph (and I believe we are), how do you explain your figure of 14,000 head in February 2007 with the observable amount of 12,500 (which was the highest amount ever held on site)?

In addition, what do you make of the pattern between complaints to the DEC and the number of substantiated complaints?

If we take March 2007 as the start point for complaints (there were very few before this point despite the average 5000 head on site) which seems to be the point at which complaints began to be directed at DEC rather than the Shire, there have been almost 430 complaints in the following 2.5 years with only 21 substantiated. Bear in mind that almost half of the substantiated claims were in the 3 month period after the head count was 12,500.

Since the head count returned to 10,000 or less, there have been 11 substantiated complaints in 27 months. This does not appear to indicate an odour issue. In fact, with only 11 substantiated complaints out of around 400 complaints made since May 2007, I would suggest that this is more of a vendetta by a small number of locals rather than a real issue.

Sep 21, 2010 at 9:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterBillyquiz

Billyquiz

14,000 vs 12,500 ? probably bad eyesight - I was reading off the graph.

Vendetta? You're quite probably right but it's not really relevant. The report appears to discount or ignore complaints from the town and the very interested neighbours (see Gow) and instead focused on the effect on the Ag college.

Now for my judgemental bit. My opinion - no-one elses and this may well be a million miles from the truth.

I think the project was undercapitalised from the start and certainly expected a high cash flow to fund further capital works. Perhaps global cricises were involved or fluctuations in beef prices? The operator installed a very minimal water treatment system at the start and ramped up throughput to double the installed capacity - presumably to get the cash flow. It seems to me the DEC made progressively more stringent conditions when things didn't settle down in a reasonable time - we're talking a few years here. I believe the DEC intent was basically to limit the cattle numbers to the capacity of the water handling system and to more effectively manage the manure / odour.

The final determination on the appeal made a requirement for an expert on feedlots to be engaged as a consultant. I think that's basically a kind way of saying that the owners needed help to manage the business.

Sep 21, 2010 at 9:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterJerry

SamG @ Sep 21, 2010 at 12:25 AM

Looks like your skills at contextual comprehension need to be brushed up too, or are you just attentive to misdirection ??

You claim that you are a “Libertarian” but you don’t know what that means (refer – Jo Nova), that the laws affecting the Thompson’s are “Natural laws” but you have no idea what natural laws are (refer – Jo Nova), you further claim that a large proportion of people that live in the bush are clueless but fail to recognise that Australia is a big place and that a lot of these people might just find your claim a tad unsubstantiated and offensive.

However the award winning claim is your claim (@ Sep 20, 2010 at 11:49 AM) - “I neither subscribe to the left or the right……….” - But you had just declared that – “I respect the plight of skepticism but conservatives left unchallenged are and have been a menace to just about anything that stood in the way of making a buck or preserving the status quo.” – You have to be kidding, right ?? You just contradicted your own claim by professing to bias. To the casual observer it look’s like a duck, quack’s like a duck and walk’s like a duck, so what is it ??

Sep 21, 2010 at 11:07 AM | Unregistered Commenterhide the decline

The neighbors don't look like Greenies and the smell really is more than they are prepared to put up with.

Sep 21, 2010 at 11:43 AM | Unregistered Commenterel gordo

Jerry:

Whilst the issue with the waste disposal remains, it would appear that the Thompsons might have been within their rights to stock more than 10,000 head of cattle in 2007.

It wasn't until NEAT complained to the Shire in May 2007 that the Shire then asked the DEC to impose a maximum head count of 10,000.

http://www.narroginshire.wa.gov.au/council_information/meetings/agendas/
(download the agenda for 14th Feb 2008)

Due to the amalgamation of the Departments of Environment and Conservation in 2006 to become the DEC it is almost impossible to find any details of head count restrictions prior to this point.

Also, whilst we both recognise that current waste management is lacking, we have no idea if any temporary measures were taken during times when head counts were over 6,000.

Sep 21, 2010 at 1:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterBillyquiz

el gordo

If the smell is so bad why have there only been 21 substantiated complaints in 5 years (10 of which were in Feb-april 2007 when head count went over 10,000 for a few months)?

Sep 21, 2010 at 1:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterBillyquiz

All i can say is as my name says "been there seen it" - State of the art facility, tremendous amount of support locally.
DEC needs to be accountable here for their actions - and the complainents are full of BS - the odor is not the feedlot - well was not -
It will be interesting as more facts evolve and come to the light of day -

Sep 21, 2010 at 2:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterBeen there seen it

Re Jerry.. The Catch-22 version :)

- The feedlot was ran nearly 14000 head at one time, well in excess of its licence and infrastructure
- The waste water management system is sized at 6000 cattle and is badly designed - contributing to odour

This bit seems to be the problem with the original permissions vs licence alterations. As I understand it, original works approvals were based on the stocking phases of 5,10 to 15K head. Licences were retrospectively 'granted' to reduce that to 6k head. The appeal doc seems to show the state insisting the waste management systems be built for more than double that number to comply with the 6K licence. That seems a rather unreasonable safety margin. Technically, rules is rules and if the works approval says X and they did Y, they'd be in breach of the rules. Common sense should apply though, but then this is bureaucracy inaction.

There seems to be objections to the waste management system based on two aspects, One the proximity to water courses, which look like old, dry water courses that haven't seen water in a considerable time. The other is the requirement to meet 'national' regulations rather than local conditions. The Thompsons say that the original design was based on a Queensland climate model, the Narrogin climate is different and the current design is working. There is a surveyor comment that the evaporation pond is too deep, which could lead to odour releases, but is there evidence that it did?

From my technical point of view the only issue is future objective measuring of offensive odours and their effects on people. There are some obvious scientific ways to do this but these don't seem to have been sufficiently considered.

Agreed, along with whether the legislation needs revising to include objective rather than subjective measurements. But then odours are often subjective and what one person finds offensive, another may not. I used to work next to a brewery that gave off a strong yeast smell when the Marmite wagon was visiting. Some found that offensive, I like Marmite. The odour issue though seems too late as the latest update from Jo's site says the adminstrators have been called in. It may resurface if the Thompsons can afford to litigate though for compensation and damages.

Sep 21, 2010 at 3:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterAtomic Hairdryer

Billyquiz said:

'If the smell is so bad why have there only been 21 substantiated complaints in 5 years (10 of which were in Feb-april 2007 when head count went over 10,000 for a few months)?'

You may be correct, it smells a little fishy. We need more information on these characters.

Sep 22, 2010 at 10:58 AM | Unregistered Commenterel gordo

Latest update from Jo, situation seems to have got worse for the Thompsons with the bank taking rights to future legal compensation-

! UPDATE ! : Bad News just got worse.

The administrators have just written to give notice of eviction for October 15th. They also expect to hold the legal rights to the proposed litigation by Narrogin Beef Producers. In other words, they want to firesale the farm and clean up any proceeds of the wrongs done against Matt and Janet. The Thompsons would lose everything.

Sep 23, 2010 at 10:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterAtomic Hairdryer

AH

The bank is probably innocent in this case - asides from some future proof they loaned money knowing the debt and/or interest could not be repaid.

The operation shut down a year ago. There is no way possible to service the debt if they were not operating.

The bank has every right to recover the debt and take whatever action it is allowed to mitigate its losses.

The only saving grace in this episode is that emitting odour is not a criminal offence. If it was noise then the operators could well have ended up in jail (gaol). The EP act of 1986 treats noise and odour pretty much the same, but allows for criminal prosecution in the case of noise.

Western Australia is one of the most offensive Police States in Australia. It has a large number of laws that restrict citizen's rights and allow the Police unfettered control. Specifically they have rolled back a lot of common law rights and provided unprecidented protection for Police actions.

They have not - yet - given legislative power to Police to inspect premises for public health purposes. i.e. "'allo 'allo 'allo, I 'ave reason to suspect you have a cockroach on your premises. I demand immediate entry to inspect same" (n.b. Many of W.A. police are recent Pom immigrants)

Sep 23, 2010 at 12:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterJerry

I am pleased to have found this site and have diligently read all comments.

In particular, I refer to the detailed post by Jaymez.
I find no errors of fact or bias in his post. He has told it pretty much as it is, with the exception of things he could not reasonably be expected to know.

This has been a well blogged matter, but little interest has been shown by the main print media.

I list some of my concerns below. My attention was first drawn to this matter via a couple of YouTube clips produced by the Thompsons. As a Peter Spencer supporter. the matter attracted my interest and I have spent hundeds of hours digging.

A high profile lawyer named Schoombee had involvement. That encounter was mutually unsatisfactory.

Schoombee was/is still convenor of WA EDO. He has also served in the judiciary.

The feedlot development is what we in the Eastern States class as designated development. That simply means there is more than one authority with which to deal. In this case, Council, DEC and WA Water.

The Thompson's appear to have generally complied with all the demands placed upon them. There was no attempt to exploit the system in that regard. Several visitors to the feedlot were full of praise.

I will say the Thompsons made two errors of judgment. Firstly they attempted to put the suicidal death of a worker as an emotive factor. Secondly they did not disclose all of the information needed for a balanced appraisal of the matter. I refer to minutes of meetings with DEC. The DEC minutes can de viewed or downloaded from Jo Nova Blog, The Thompsons #10.
The net effect of these two oversights was only to the extent that they polarised readers' views.

The DEC minutes reveal that the Thompsons acount was principally correct and that the DEC was indeed grossly negligent in it's dealings with the Thompsons. As to that matter it is quite obvious that any recourse for the Thompsons lies in the legal system. Experience shows that large Government Departments will not negotiate. They need the incentive of legal intervention. It is not clear how or even when this can happen.

Currently there are a couple of self appointed mediators in the mix. It is unlikely that they will achieve anything useful at all. There are advicates calling to injunct the receivers. Again this is most unlikely as courts have a habit of requiring the applicant to prepay the other party's costs.

As to comments about Jo Nova, I cannot agree with any wholesale criticism of her or her methods. Sure. she uses a bit of spin, but ihat doesn't act to discredit her in any way.

So, in conclusion, somehow the Thompsons will have to find a really good lawyer who can guide them through the funding stage.

Afferbeck L

Oct 2, 2010 at 12:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterAfferbeck L

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