Barnaby has made what is a rare excursion for a politician into a full-throated defence of individual property rights. This includes his acceptance that any such seizures, partial or otherwise, is government theft. Let’s hope this catches on.
He also, correctly, recognises that lower levels of productivity growth in Australian agriculture is due to the malevoent influence of green tape
Joyce condemns rural green tape
Senator Barnaby Joyce will condemn the rising amount of green tape that is holding back our farmers in an address to the Rural Press Club of Victoria in a speech today.
“Our side of politics believes that property rights actually mean something. If someone wants an asset I own they can offer me a price. If they can’t afford it then they should not be allowed to just steal it.
“The community may see it as their right to restrict the removal of trees but the community has not been prepared to pay for that right. If I were to steal property that I wanted but could not afford I would go to jail. I might have a very righteous reason to steal a car, perhaps I wanted to take elderly people to bingo night but I would still go to jail.
“Apparently governments can steal. And this can be done through a straight transfer of that asset to the government or via regulation that effectively divests you of that asset. “
Senator Joyce claimed that regional Australia would never warm to the Greens because they have been the key drivers of a revolution in regulation via environmental laws over the past two decades.
“It used to be that while the environment was important, it had to be traded off against economic and social factors. There was a triple-bottom line.
“Now the term environment has transformed into something that invokes omnipotence, which you must not question.
“That’s seen in so many ludicrous examples of green tape now; farmers not being able to farm their own freehold land, the ownership of trees has been taken off them without compensation and absurd requirements for vicarious environmental issues such as when the constructor of a dam had to fund $1.5 million in shark research to get their project approved.
“It feels like you are living in a Kafka novel.”
Senator Joyce noted that the productivity growth in agriculture had reversed over the past decade from being one of the strongest performing sectors to one of the poorest.
“A large part of that must be due to the encroachment of green tape which stops farmers from innovating to grow more at a cheaper cost.
“Other countries have a choice. They probably view it as one between Joseph Conrad’s Africa and Franz Kafka’s Australia.
“If we keep on the path we are going we will lose the opportunity to be Asia’s foodbowl.”