Survived the drought, destroyed by Labor 

The Drought: “It’s crushing and it goes on and on and on” – Dan McDonald who survived the drought from 2012 but was ultimately crushed by Labor in 2017.

Queensland Grazier’s Fight For ‘Justice’ After Clearing Trees To Feed Cattle During Drought

A Queensland grazier was convicted for pushing over [native Mulga] trees on his property to feed starving cattle. Dan McDonald and his family of five run a cattle breeding operation on their 34,000-hectare property northwest of Charleville, which he says has been impacted by severe drought since 2012. In 2017, he was convicted of six counts of carrying out ‘development’ on his property without a permit when he pushed over 1,800 hectares of native mulga trees between 2013 and 2015.

He was ordered to pay $112,000 in fines and penalty costs — an amount he said is likely to force him off the land.

Two years later, … McDonald appeared at the Brisbane Court of Appeal to overturn his conviction and sentence. He told reporters he had travelled almost 1,000 kilometres to ‘seek justice’ from the ‘heavy hand of the law’.

‘I believe at all times, I had the right to do what I have done’, he said.

‘Consequently, relying on the integrity of the law has essentially led me to this situation where I am now being charged as a criminal and dealt with in a rather unjust manner’.

McDonald pushed over mulga trees on his land so that his cattle could reach the leaves. Graziers typically use the shrub-like vegetation to feed their stock during drought conditions. He said the so-called land clearing was more akin to ‘mowing your lawn’, where the cut-down vegetation soon regrows.

‘What I’ve done, what I’ve always done, is what we in the Mulga lands have done since European settlement. The physical title to the land has vested in us the right to use that vegetation to feed our animals’, he said.

Inside court, the self-represented grazier pleaded with a full bench of the Court Of Appeal not to underestimate the impact of severe drought.

‘Imagine living through a fire or a flood or cyclone that tears you apart and destroys you continuously for seven years’, he said in a tearful presentation to the three judges.

‘It’s crushing and it goes on and on and on’.

He said a 20-year order prohibiting further clearing and use of the feed had been placed on the land following his conviction.

The court also heard years of drought had depreciated the value of the grazier’s property and that his family were receiving Commonwealth benefits.

Court of Appeal President Walter Sofronott asked the department’s lawyer, Ben Power, how McDonald was expected to pay the fine and costs.

‘It’s Prima facie oppressive’

‘It’s prima facie oppressive’, Justice Peter Flanagan added.

The department’s lawyer, Ben Power acknowledged [that] mulga was an important resource for the state’s west, and that requirements were in place around how much could be cleared in a given time, how that was to be done, and what other habitat needed to be preserved.

‘The question is how best to ensure that resource is available in the future’, he said.

Source: 10 daily

Renewable resource

Any resource, such as wood or solar energy, that can or will be replenished naturally in the course of time.



the quality of not being harmful to the environment or depleting natural resources, and thereby supporting long-term ecological balance


Prior to the Federal election, the Federal ALP announced that the Queensland clearing laws would be adopted nationwide:

Land clearing laws to be bolstered if Labor wins government

If elected, Federal Labor has promised to improve the “robustness” of state governments’ native vegetation or land clearing laws to better match Queensland’s, in an effort to reduce carbon emissions.

Source: ABC News

Mulga trees are traditionally knocked over in western Queensland to feed cattle during dry times.

Federal opposition spokesman for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, and Rural and Regional Australia, Joel Fitzgibbon, said the strength of Queensland’s vegetation management laws was instrumental in Australia’s overall climate policy and has been crucial for Australia to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, an international treaty that committed countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“Fitzgibbon won’t hesitate to use the Commonwealth’s power to hold other states accountable for their native vegetation laws”.

Meanwhile, in NSW, the Department of Primary Industries issued this fact sheet:

Using mulga as a forage supplement for livestock in droughts

Mulga (usually Acacia aneura) covers large areas of the NSW rangelands. Livestock readily eat mulga, grazing leaves within their reach as well as recent leaf fall.

During drought, mulga provides a valuable feed source. Branches and selected trees are commonly lopped or pushed to allow stock
access to leaves above browse height.

Mulga can effectively supplement low quality pasture as the nutritive value of mulga leaf is largely retained through dry periods, whereas the energy and protein levels of grass declines quickly as they mature or die off.

Mulga also has longer growth periods as it gains moisture and nutrients from a greater depth and area of soil. As a drought progresses and grass
quality declines, livestock most likely will select mulga exclusively.

Feeding mulga at best maintains the live weight of dry stock. Pregnant and lactating animals fed mulga require supplementation with better quality
feeds to prevent considerable weight loss.

Source: DPI NSW

“Mulga is a valuable resource in our semi-arid environment”

Stories from Australian Cattle Stations: central Station

Acacia aneura or Mulga is part of the wattle family and grows rather well in our country. This tree is a life saver in dry times such as we are having and is known as a living haystack. Cattle do well on mulga as long as you use a mineral supplement to make up for any deficiencies in their diet. We push mulga with our dozers and also cut it with chainsaws, dozers are by far the most efficient means of knocking it over.

“hungry cattle waiting for scrub”

Source: Central Station

Last Tuesday, 27 August 2019, he was still fighting the appeal:

Dan McDonald and Bob Katter at the District Court in Brisbane (Fairfax/AAP)

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