Spencer climbs down — word is out, help at hand

Peter Spencer

I missed the announcement in the Herald yesterday, but it’s just as welcome for hearing it late: after 52 long days on a hunger strike, Peter Spencer, farmer, has given in to “the concerns of family and friends” and been winched back down to earth.

According to Greg Ansley, Peter was “taken to hospital in the nearby alpine town of Cooma to help recover from the ordeal and a diet of lemon juice, vitamins and water.”

Congratulations to a determined champion of justice. We hope he can keep the farm he’s worked so valiantly to save.

He has not achieved the demands he made of the authorities, like a royal commission and a face-to-face meeting with Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, but he seems to have made a strong point around the country which will now be followed up by supporters and sympathetic politicians.

Australian Opposition National Senator Barnaby Joyce will take Spencer to Canberra next month to continue his “courageous” fight. Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said Spencer had made an important point.

Spencer, who faces the sale of his property and is deeply in debt, said yesterday he intended to continue his fight against laws that prevented him from clearing trees from his property.

From The Canberra Times:

The hunger strike was the latest in a long line of measures Mr Spencer took to draw attention to his plight and those of many other farmers and graziers in NSW and Queensland.

Mr Spencer said he plans to continue to lobby the Federal Government for a Royal Commission into legislation that bans farmers from clearing native vegetation on their properties.

So the crisis is over and Spencer is safe; I wonder how the real battle will end? This dispute is not just about global warming, it’s about private property, land rights and the rightful powers of the state.

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