Australia: Alan Jones pleads for end to Spencer’s hunger strike

10 Dec, 2009

SYDNEY broadcaster Alan Jones has pleaded with defiant Monaro district grazier, Peter Spencer, that he end his hunger strike, while bringing national attention to the cause.


Mr Spencer was in the 16th day of a hunger strike over government failure to compensate him and other farmers for the cost of land clearing restrictions when he spoke to Mr Jones via mobile phone.

Mr Spencer, “Saarahnlee”, Shannons Flat, has already fought unsuccessful court battles to win billions of dollars in “just terms” compensation for the 87.5 million tonnes of carbon emissions he says were saved through land clearing restrictions.

He said he had been unable to use a large section of his property effectively because of government land clearing restrictions.

He began the hunger strike at his farmhouse on November 23 and last week chained himself to a 90 metre wind monitoring mast on his property, where he is drinking, but not eating.

He has vowed not to end the hunger strike until the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, meets the terms of his submission demanding compensation for himself and all other farmers affected by land clearing restrictions.

The lawyer representing Mr Spencer, Peter King, said he had urged Mr Spencer to come down from the tower “for the sake of his health, friends and family.”

It is not clear at what point or if his supporters will intervene if he is close to death.

Cobar district grazier, Alastair McRobert, who is watching over Mr Spencer at “Saarahnlee” said if Mr Rudd did not meet Mr Spencer’s demands there would be “blood on the wattle”.

Former federal treasurer, Peter Costello, conceded in 2007 that Australia had put a stop to large scale land clearing so it could meet its Kyoto Protocol carbon emission targets.

While Mr Spencer may have a moral case, he had been unable to establish a legal case despite many attempts in court.

He said he had made about 200 court appearances in his bid to achieve the goal of compensation but governments usually get his case struck out before it is heard.

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