UPDATE, Spencer v. Commonwealth, Sunday 14 December

Now that the court hearings are over, I will not be making regular UPDATE “news” posts as over the last few weeks. I will however make posts whenever there is something significant to report.

I want to express my thanks to everyone who has followed and commented, and especially to those who donated to the PayPal account set up to fund the court case. You have all been part of an incredible piece of history, Peter Spencer has actually taken the Commonwealth and NSW State Governments to court, put them on trial and in the witness box. Almost unbelievable, and it is on-going – Peter and his team have to prepare and submit his final written submission by the 2nd February, 2015.

This is an on-going saga of epic proportions – you can bet that John Howard and Bob Carr did NOT see Peter Spencer coming while they were busy “cooking up” the 2003 NSW Native Vegetation Act. They simply would not have dreamt that this man (some kind of collateral damage to them), would take on their respective governments and their successors and persist and persist and persist. It would also not have been possible without the incredible support of a small group of dedicated supporters, especially the whole Kennedy family, Alastair McRobert, and Peter’s own family who have also paid a huge price. I apologise to anyone else I should have mentioned.

Getting the word out “there”, asking for and generating support has also been very important. In this regard I want to thank Dale Stiller and his Evacuation Grounds blog http://evacuationgrounds.blogspot.com.au/, Jo Nova http://joannenova.com.au/, SOS News http://www.sosnews.org/, and Bob Katter and Katter’s Australian Party http://www.kattersaustralianparty.com.au/

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UPDATE Spencer v. Commonwealth of Australia, Friday 12 December

Please see Jessie Davies report on Peter’s final oral submission yesterday in The Land online….

http://www.theland.com.au/news/agriculture/general/news/spencer-slams-governments-tactics/2719533.aspx

There is also extraordinary irony in the front page article in today’s Sydney Morning Herald by Marcus Priest (from Lima) with the heading “Bishop seeks special deal on emissions”. The article deals with the negotiations now under way in climate change conference in Lima, Peru.

The article explains that Australia is pushing to have “land clearing changes”, that is another “Australia Clause” included in the Kyoto 2 (2013-2020) agreement.

Otherwise “Australia is threatening that it will not ratify Kyoto 2 if it does not get its way on targets.”

This is a carbon copy of the tactics adopted by the then Howard Government in the lead up to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol agreement. Australia’s “success” in getting the “Australia Clause” in the Kyoto Protocol led directly to the Howard Government “engineering” the much more restrictive 2003 NSW Native Vegetation Legislation and similar legislation in Queensland.

It is this legislation and the resulting theft of the stored carbon in the resulting trees by the Commonwealth (enabling Australia to meet its Kyoto commitments) that is at the root of Peter Spencer’s case against the Commonwealth and NSW.

UPDATE, Spencer v. Commonwealth, Thursday 11 December

Spencer v. Commonwealth was reported in “The Land” newspaper today. Reporter Jessie Davies reported generally on the case and in particular concentrated on the final oral submissions by Senior Counsel for the Commonwealth, Lancaster and Senior Counsel for NSW, Kirk.

The same article also appeared in The Land online, see: http://www.theland.com.au/news/agriculture/general/news/spencer-land-clearing-case-continues/2719317.aspx

Peter completed his final oral submission today. We understand that there will be a report on this in The Land online tomorrow.

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Spencer team and supporters outside the Federal Court today – Angela Muller, Peter, Jeannie Hughes, Alastair McRobert, Dan Hughes and James Sternhell.

Spencer v. Commonwealth UPDATE, Wednesday 10 December

Both the Commonwealth and the State made their final oral submissions on Monday 8 December.

Both barristers returned to similar themes to their opening statements, attempting to steer the court away from the substantive matter which is the theft of the carbon stored in the trees on Peter Spencer’s property to assist in in meeting Australia’s Kyoto Protocol commitment.

Today, Peter and the team have been working on Peter’s final oral submission, which he is to present to the Court tomorrow morning commencing at 10:15AM.

Tomorrow is the final day of the trial courtroom process.

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Outside the Federal Court building Monday 8 December – Dan Hughes, Alastair McRobert, Peter Spencer, Rhonda and Wally Mitchell

 

FINAL DAY OF EVIDENCE IN TRIAL COMPLETED THURSDAY 4 DECEMBER

Bob Katter endorses Spencer in media  conference

Mr Katter said “Today the question is: who owns the land, the crown or the people?”

“If Mr Spencer loses his case then we have decided the Crown, and not the Australian people, own their land,”

“We will have set the history of our rights, privileges and freedoms in this country back to the date before the Magna Carta was signed. That’s how serious the case is.”

The major events at the Federal Court, Sydney on Thursday 4 December, 2014 were:

  •  A visit of solidarity for Spencer’s case and media conference by Federal MP Bob Katter, Federal MP for Kennedy.
  • Completion of the evidence by valuer Mr Colin Davies
  • Testimony and cross examination of Dr David Kemp, former Minister for Environment & Heritage in the Howard Government at the time of the proclamation of the 2003 Native Vegetation Act.
  • Testimony of expert witness Dr Alan Moran, former Director of the Institute of Public Affairs

Dr Kemp was professional in his responses.  Nevertheless his evidence was consistent with the existence of the formal arrangement between the Commonwealth and NSW, that NSW would implement the 2003 Native Vegetation Act based on Federal Government funding for its implementation; and consistent with the Commonwealth’s plan to meet its Kyoto commitments through the stored carbon in the resulting vegetation.

Justice Mortimer announced her decisions about which of the trial documents submitted were admissible.  Peter Spencer is now going through the list.

The evidence phase of the trial is now complete.

Spencer and the team are working on his final oral and written submissions.  The presentation of the final oral submissions by the respondents will commence with that of the AGS on Tuesday morning.  Mr Spencer will make his final oral submission on Thursday morning.

Photographs:  Peter Spencer – tired out after another exhausting day in court, Bob Katter in full flight outside Federal Court (courtesy AAP)

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SHORT UPDATE, Day 9 of the trial, Thursday 4 December

The major events at the Federal Court Court, Sydney today were:

• A visit to express solidarity for Spencer’s case and media conference by Federal MP for Kennedy, Mr Bob Katter
• Completion of the evidence by valuer Mr Colin Davies
• Testimony and cross examination of Dr David Kemp, former Minister for Environment & Heritage in the Howard Government at the time of the proclamation of the 2003 Native Vegetation Act.

Justice Mortimer announced her decisions about which of the trial documents submitted were admissible. Peter Spencer.is now going through the list.

The evidence phase of the trial is now complete. Spencer and the team are now working on his final oral and written submissions.

The presentation of the final oral submissions by the respondents will commence with that of the AGS (for the Commonwealth) on Tuesday morning, to be followed by the NSW Crown Solicitor and then Peter Spencer.

BOB KATTER WILL BE AT THE COURT TOMORROW MORNING, SHOWING SUPPORT FOR PETER SPENCER

UPDATE PM Wednesday 3 December

Tomorrow morning at 9:30AM, Federal MP Mr Bob Katter will hold a press conference in support of Peter Spencer at the entrance to the Federal Court building in Queens Square, Sydney.

SUMMARYOF TODAY’S HEARINGS

Today’s hearings included the witness statements and cross-examination of Brian Plummer, a Tottenham farmer, two former Presidents of the NSW Farmers Association – Mr Charles Armstrong and Mr Mal Peters; and three valuers – Mr Colin Davies for Spencer, Mr Bernie Sullivan and Mr Robert Connolly for the respondents.

The morning testimonies by Mr Plummer, and the two past presidents of the NSW Farmers Association combined to describe a clear picture of the effect of the Native Vegetation Legislation on NSW farmers.

There was some confusion with the documents filed about the valuation of Spencer’s property Saarahnlee, because unfortunately Peter Spencer was not aware of a new valuation being filed. The evidence of Mr Davies will continue on Thursday morning.

THURSDAY’S TESTIMONIES:
The valuer for Peter Spencer, Mr Colin Davies, will complete his evidence.
He will be followed into the witness box by Dr David Kemp, who was the Minister for Environment & Heritage in the Howard Government at the time of the proclamation of the 2003 Native Vegetation Act.
Dr Kemp will be followed by Dr Alan Moran, former Director of the Institute of Public Affairs as an expert witness for Peter Spencer.

PROGRAM FOR FRIDAY 5 DECEMBER
It is anticipated that Justice Mortimer will announce her decision about the admissibility of the trial documents of evidence submitted by Mr Spencer.