Tag Archives: Dr David Kemp


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.


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.

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.

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



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photograph – Peter Spencer and Alastair McRobert on suburban train after yesterday’s hearings

UPDATE, Day 6 of the trial, Monday 1 December

This morning, Peter Spencer had an opportunity today to correct any inconsistencies that came up in his examination last week. Peter had been under oath since last Thursday morning through to this morning. He coped with the grilling from the respondents’ senior counsel barristers who were determined to try and upset him.

Proceedings continued with three witnesses called by the State being government department employees. The cross examination of these witnesses was completed before the lunch break and the issue about the issued subpoena for Dr David Kemp was discussed.

Justice Mortimer issued an Order that former Howard Government Minister, Dr David Kemp appear as a witness.

The order followed a series of events:
• A subpoena was issued to Dr David Kemp dated 21 Nov, 2014. The attempts to execute the subpoena at that time failed when Dr Kemp’s office in Old Parliament House was approached.
• Last week, Justice Mortimer expressed her concern to the Commonwealth’s barrister about their knowledge of the situation. At the time making it clear that Dr Kemp’s availability was no reflection on the Australian Government Solicitor (AGS).
• The AGS indicated that it had been in contact with Dr Kemp.
• On Friday an order was made that Dr Kemp contact Peter Spencer as soon as possible.
• This morning Mortimer J was informed by submissions that Dr Kemp had not made contact with the applicant and sworn affidavits containing a number of events showing the difficulties while trying to serve the subpoena were handed to the Judge.

After some deliberations with the parties Justice Mortimer adjourned the Court hearing for 1½ hours while she reviewed the reasons for Dr Kemp being called as a witness.

Justice Mortimer returned and made orders:
1. The subpoena issued to Dr David Kemp dated 21 November 2014 be set aside.
2. Dr David Kemp attend at the trial of this proceeding on Thursday 4 December 2014 at 10.15 am, at Court 22B in the Federal Court of Australia, Law Courts Building, Queens Square, Sydney 2000.


Peter Spencer had a good day in court today. Just as important, Peter is growing in confidence and really finding his feet as a self litigant.

The day started with the Judge expressing concern about the unavailability of former Howard Government Minister, Dr David Kemp when the Spencer team attempted to serve him with a subpoena last week.

The CGS and NSW Crown Solicitor then tried to “knock out” all of Spencer’s witnesses with case law. Justice Mortimer adjourned the hearing to consider these submissions. She returned after a short break to confirm that the evidence of the two expert witnesses on the UNFCCC National Carbon Accounting System, scheduled for today could go ahead. The examination of these two witnesses – Dr David Evans for Spencer and Mr Sturgess for the Commonwealth went well.

Justice Mortimer will announce her decisions about the remaining witnesses tomorrow morning.

A long way to go – but definitely as good day for Peter Spencer.