Labor threatens renewed land expropriation to meet greenhouse emission reductions

Among the egregious instances of government property theft, planning regulations contain some of the greatest calumnies. And, within planning regulations, a stand out is the conspiracy of state and federal governments of allegedly different political stripe to seize rural property values without compensation as a means of meeting emission reductions of greenhouse gases.

I covered the matter in Quadrant last year.

To summarise: in order to meet the Kyoto commitments, the Howard Government under Environment Minister David Kemp pressured the ALP governments of NSW (Carr) and Queensland (Beattie) to prevent land clearing. Both Premiers readily acquiesced in the process though, at least in the case of NSW, the planning authorities had to be cajoled and threatened by Canberra.

The seizure of private property allowed a “saving” in greenhouse gas emissions of 87 million tonnes a year – about 15 per cent of the nation’s emissions and sufficient to allow Australia to claim that it had met its Kyoto commitment.

No compensation was paid to the landowners, who were estimated to have seen $ 200 billion of worth stripped from them. At one later hearing on the issue, David Kemp claimed he never intended at the time he was Minister (2008) to have the properties’ value taken without compensation but there is no record of him seeking such justice for the expropriated landowners. And as for the legal fraternity, as I said in may Quadrant article:

The courts have shamelessly allowed such transgressions to take place.  In doing so, they have sheltered behind a concocted fiction of precedents.  These have gradually chipped away at the notion of property rights protected from arbitrary taking by the government.  The courts cavalierly dismiss any “just terms” requirements under state law because they are not mentioned in state constitutions.  And they reinterpret the federal Constitutional provision to make it easier governments to override.

When the Newman Government came to power in Queensland it started to dismantle the prohibitions against land clearing, partly because emerging markets were bringing a renewed increase in demand for agricultural produce. The results can be seen below

The present ALP Queensland Government has sought to restore the previous provisions but has been thwarted by the Opposition.

The latest increase in clearings has resulted in an hysterical press release during which Deputy Premier, Jackie Trad, said, “this rate of excessive land clearing was driving native wildlife to extinction, risking the tens of thousands of jobs reliant on the Great Barrier Reef, and driving up Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions.”

The usual claims were made about species becoming threatened, the Great Barrier Reef under siege and that, “Malcolm Turnbull better tell his Queensland colleagues to pull their heads in because without the return of sensible tree clearing laws he won’t meet the emissions targets he signed up to in Paris”

Ms Trad said Labor is to take the issue to the next election but don’t imagine for one minute that the resulting defeat will cause her to recognise a mandate for the contrary case once the ALP is defeated.


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32 Responses to Labor threatens renewed land expropriation to meet greenhouse emission reductions

  1. stackja

    Where’s the Professor of dinosaurs? He started all this.

  2. Entropy

    In the detail of the report it points out a lot of that clearing in the millennium drought and the current one is mulga pushing to feed droughted livestock. The mulga, of course, just comes back thicker than ever

  3. Ƶĩppʯ (ȊꞪꞨV)

    ALP is the home of treasonous fabian marxist filth.

  4. Baldrick

    To summarise: in order to meet the Kyoto commitments, the Howard Government under Environment Minister David Kemp pressured the ALP governments of NSW (Carr) and Queensland (Beattie) to prevent land clearing.

    The rot infecting the Stupid.Fucking.Liberal.Party was well and truly evident under Howard.

  5. RobK

    Thanks Alan.
    It’s been a well orchestrated onslaught on private property as you describe. Much social fabric in rural areas has been destroyed by this and the various Landcare type support which has many strings attached supported by state legislature. Much land will remain under developed and station country is reverted to “management” by the Crown as remote stock water systems are bulldozed in an effort to recreate ecosystems past. Slowly agricultural controls and regulation puts farmers in the frame as serfs. Large corporations handle the regulations a bit better.

  6. Cementafriend

    The legsl profession (?) has no ethics and is to a large extent incompetent.

  7. cohenite

    The Peter Spencer case is known to readers here. The Scriven case also deserves attention:

  8. OneWorldGovernment

    I am so fed up with The Great Barrier Reef.

    I want it and those useless Chinese Bears and the White Bears up North bombed out of existence.

  9. Bruce of Newcastle

    So let me get this straight.

    Labor wants to expropriate rural property to theoretically reduce net CO2 emissions, thereby preventing them from producing?

    But Labor in Victoria especially is unwilling to require rural landholders to allow gas production from underneath their property. Something which does not actually expropriate any of their ability to produce.


  10. Herodotus

    Extinction of wildlife? But it has all of those gargantuan national parks to live in. Plus numerous green belts and well-forested but unsuitable-for-agriculture land. Wildlife is threatened by huge, wasteful windmills.
    Great Barrier Reef Threatened? It’s about as threatened as Peppa Pig, who will go on and on until thrown off a tall building by our new islamic overlords.

  11. David Brewer

    Among the more absurd contradictions in the greenhouse faith is that clearing wood is bad because GHG emissions, but burning wood in a power station, thus releasing all its potential emissions immediately, is also good because wood is a “renewable” source of electricity.

    Does anyone know if this absurdity has ever been raised with the warmers?

  12. John Constantine

    Land is a fixed target for taxation of capital to progress society.

    The creation of an Inspector class, funded by taxes on capital, to enforce compliance with progressive values upon landowners is a foundation of the leftist mentality.

    Got a friend selling a few paddocks now. Years ago, his father accepted a government grant scheme that provided ‘free’ steel posts and fence wire to fence off a creek from livestock to prevent erosion.

    Ever since, the family has been paying rates on the ground that has been fenced off.

    Now the land is for sale, it is claimed that the State now controls the fenced off land, that the State aquired control of it in return for the landowner accepting the free fenceposts and wire. The system can still charge rates on the ‘owner’, the owner just can’t do anything with it.

  13. Boambee John

    Ƶĩppʯ (ȊꞪꞨV)
    #2516692, posted on October 6, 2017 at 10:21 pm
    ALP is the home of treasonous fabian marxist filth.

    Don’t hold back, tell us what you really think!

    Multiculturalism is cultural genocide.

  14. duncanm


    there is of course a common thread.

    Da glowball warmening monster.

  15. duncanm

    John – indeed.

    Same old with the roll out of ‘smart meters’ with solar installations.

    Its all rosy now, but wait till the rolling blackouts come and you’re the ones who are load-balanced off the grid!

  16. DD

    John Howard should wear this immoral, unconstitutional and evil act for the rest of his life and beyond to the grave. How he can enter a church or bow his head in praise is beyond me.
    This also applies to the state Premiers at the time.

  17. Helen


    Is there any progress with the Scrivens? The comments are dated 2013 and I would like to know if they battle on, still.

  18. Bruce of Newcastle

    there is of course a common thread.
    Da glowball warmening monster.

    Which isn’t happening:

    New Study: Global Warming Standstill Confirmed, Climate Models Wrong (Tuesday)

  19. Sparkle Motion

    Is this piece seriously doubting that land clearing increases extinction risk? That’s a ludicrous assertion.

  20. Bruce of Newcastle

    That’s a ludicrous assertion.

    So if land clearing is bad because of the risk of extinctions…are wind turbines also bad because of risk of extinctions?

  21. egg_

    The “Plantations for carbon credits” scam for Corporations is still alive and well, I take it?

  22. egg_

    It’s about as threatened as Peppa Pig, who will go on and on until thrown off a tall building by our new islamic overlords.

    Is SHY standing up for bush pigs?

  23. Howard Hill

    The ALP Australian Government is the home of treasonous fabian marxist filth.


  24. egg_
    #2516981, posted on October 7, 2017 at 11:41 am
    The “Plantations for carbon credits” scam for Corporations is still alive and well, I take it?

    It’s amazing how many of those plantations I now see bulldozed and burned (releasing all that CO2 again), and the land being used for stock grazing. So much for sequestering the CO2. Scam from start to finish. I always wonder if some poor schmuck is still paying for the “green offsets” involved.

  25. Pickles

    To get anywhere you need to overturn Bone v Mothershaw.

  26. James Morrend

    What the? It’s not up to unelected judges to call into question laws made by democratically elected parliaments. That would destroy Australia faster than even terrible land clearing laws.

    Win the war for the people’s hearts and minds, don’t rely on an unelected court to prevent the people from enacting their will. That must be the way forward.

  27. Gbees

    Talk to Americans who support the 2nd Ammendment. Besides other reaosns for fearing govt. this is is one which has been raised. It may be time for Australians to arm themselves. We can either let the fools running govt. continue on their merry ways or put a stop to it.

  28. Dr Fred Lenin

    The overseas rent seekers must be spread=ing the bribes about lavishly ,they have bought the gangrenes ,the “ socialist “union mafia <and now the failed lawyers of the “Australian “liars pardee,a branch of the u.n.communist mafia . Soros ,gore and the other crony capitalist filth ,don’t mind paying the bribes ,there are plenty more taxpayer dollars to steal , looting tax money a speciality of the corrupt law trade .

  29. cohenite


    #2517676, posted on October 8, 2017 at 11:54 am


    Scrivens’ existing use rights were also effectively destroyed by this terrible ruling.

  30. Pickles

    Just as an aside, the issue is not the expropriation of land, but property, being the trees.

    What is required is a landholder who converted the property from a lease to freehold and part of the price paid to the State for the conversion was the value of the timber on the leasehold land. That way, there can be no argument that the landholder does (or did) own the trees as they were valued by the State and paid for by the landholder.

    Then the compensation on just terms issue is enlivened as the acquisition was done by the State for a Commonwealth purpose. Having said all that, recent High Courts seem to be well awake to the consequences of finding that there has been an acquisition of property and the gargantuan compensation number.
    Finding the right landholder to run this has always been the problem. Someone who has the right circumstances, the ammo and the mental fortitude to run it through. Agforce and the NFF have not fought this from the outset and that is disappointing as I think the horse has bolted and been ridden into the ground by now. However, we live in hope that someone like Doug Shears (who does not shy away from a constitutional blue) will emerge, but I doubt it.

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