Farmers maintain rage on land use

THE NSW Farmers’ Association is planning another protest on the steps of Parliament House in Canberra early next month.

It hopes to continue the pressure on the Federal Government generated by Southern NSW grazier Peter Spencer’s recent hunger strike over State rural land use restrictions.

The rally will take place on February 2 and has been scheduled to coincide with the first sitting of Federal Parliament for 2010.

The land use restrictions in question have enabled an estimated $100 billion worth of carbon emissionreductions to be included in Australia’s international greenhouse commitments at Kyoto and Copenhagen.

The association has organised a network of buses to depart from towns across NSW for Canberra next week, allowing country people to protest against what they believe to be a serious erosion of their property rights.

The association’s North Coastregional membership co-ordinator, Michael Burt, was still finalising booking but said there had been a lot ofinterest from the Northern Rivers.

A meeting at the Lismore Workers Club in support of Peter Spencer last week attracted almost 450 farmers

“The rally is open to all concerned Australians and the buses are free to any association members interested in attending,” Mr Burt said.

“The buses are being organised by the NSW Farmers’ Association so all people against the Government’s grab for property rights can make a stand in Canberra.”

NSW Farmers’ Association president Charles Armstrong is urging people around New South Wales to get to Canberra and have their voices heard.

“The momentum and support built up in both rural and metropolitan NSW for the issues which were raised by hunger strike farmer Peter Spencer has grown,” Mr Armstrong said.

“Whether it be issues of nativevegetation, water, mining, locking up timber resources, planning controls and general property rights, we keep hearing stories of interference from people who are fed up with the NSW and Federal governments dictating what they can and cannot do.

“People are frustrated with governments taking away their right to run their businesses and feed their families – and Australia.

“It is farmers who feed and clothe people in the cities and the country. Mounting regulations are bankrupting farmers and reducing their productivity.”

Mr Armstrong said the NSW Farmers’ Association had fought against the erosion of property rights for more than a decade and the rallyrepresented a continuation of the campaign.

“It’s time for governments to either get out of the way of landholders, or to compensate them for lost opportunity and land stewardship,” he said.

Mr Armstrong advised regionalpeople to check with their local NSW Farmers’ Association officials for transport arrangements, times and meeting places.

For more information about transport arrangements contact the NSW Farmers’ Association’s North Coast office on 6564 2355, or visit the website.

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