Mood: not sure
Peter Spencer is famously gathering momentum behind his aerial hunger strike against land clearing laws in New South Wales.
We notice Michael Duffy has rushed into print in the Sydney Morning Herald today too. We will have to read him closely to find fact from fiction.
But here are some preliminary questions worth pursuing by the Big Media during this rather shallow silly season period:
1. Is his land crown leasehold? If it is then like all leases there are terms and conditions. There is no general unfettered right to develop and/or clear crown leasehold land. If it is free hold that doesn't mean that is the case in much of the rest of NSW which has always had a long history of crown leasehold subject to many government obligations. Check the land tenure before generalising about rights to clear vegetation and sterilising private property.
2. If Senator Joyce is so sure a property right has been resumed and should be 'financially paid for or returned', does he apply the same standard to Govt benefits like drought assistance and flood emergency assistance? Or remote area taxation benefits? Should these payments be returned in times of profit down the track?
Joyce can't have it both ways - privatise the property rights but socialise the government subsidies in times of disaster.
3. Have the protesters in general with placards calling for freedom and liberty from government interventions on the environment willing to give up all the other social benefits of government support, when complaining about the costs?
If Mr Spencer, or Senator Joyce want to secede from the Australian Constitution which provides for the welfare, order and good government of the place with all the benefits and costs involved maybe they are living in the wrong country?