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)

‘Ms. Tree’?

The tree was absent from a ‘cultural heritage management plan’ completed in 2013 but in January 2017, ‘Ms.Tree’ was ‘identified’ as a ‘birthing tree’ by Indigenous woman Carmel Thannhauser who ‘saw the tree for the first time’ that month.

“Last-minute bid to save significant tree in path of Western Highway” – The Age

Feb 2017: The area in which it stands was assessed as part of a cultural heritage management plan completed in 2013, by Martang Inc., the Registered Aboriginal Party representing Djab Wurrung traditional owners.

‘The tree was not identified as being culturally significant’, the spokesperson said.

Indigenous woman Carmel Thannhauser [who] saw the tree for the first time this month, and was one of the three women who later lodged an application with the Ballarat office of the Aboriginal Heritage Register. Ms Thannhauser said it was clear that the hollow had been crafted by human hands.

I have no expertise, apart from feeling and understanding, however I just know that this tree is a birthing tree’, she said.

Ted Lovett, an Aboriginal elder who lives in Ballarat, has backed the women’s claim and said the tree must be saved.
‘It shouldn’t be touched, it’s a sacred site, it’s as simple as that’, Mr Lovett said.

Birthing trees dot the Victorian landscape and are places of ‘women’s business’ to be avoided by men, Mr Lovett said.

Source: The Age

So Lovett has either never seen the tree or he has violated a ‘sacred site’.

In June 2018:


VicRoads has announced imminent plans to remove trees on the Western Highway despite a strong protest from Aboriginal elders.

The trees have been flagged for removal as part of upgrades to the highway at Buangor, between Ballarat and Stawell.

The plans were announced more than a year ago but VicRoads only now has full approval to forge ahead.

VicRoads received permission, through Aboriginal Victoria, from traditional Djab Wurrung owners who said the trees were not culturally significant.

But other elders have been fighting to protect the trees.

‘They’re very sacred to me’, Djab Wurrung elder Ted Lovett OAM said.

‘It’s birthing trees and scarred trees and also there’s a canoe tree that’s fallen in one of the paddocks’.

Source: ABC Wimmera

“This is a scared(sic) birthing tree. It’s 800 years old. 1000s of people were born here. It’s a cultural cathedral of the Djab Wurrung people in Victoria, Australia. This and 3000 others will be destroyed to make a highway. We understand your pain France; we morn(sic) with you.” #NotreDame


The Origin of the Name Thannhauser

The name Thannhauser means ‘from Thannhausen’ in German. Thannhausen means ‘House in the Trees’. Thannhausen is a town in Swabia (now Bavaria), Germany. The Jewish community was expelled from Thannhausen, Swabia in about 1717/18. When last names were required of the Jews in about 1813, the descendants of this community took the name Thannhauser (meaning ‘from Thannhausen’).

Source: Kitty Munson Cooper’s Family History and Genealogy Site

Dare we suggest that Carmel might be dreaming about trees in the Black Forest?

A carved tree in the Black Forest

The 66 faces of the German forest.

In July 2018, the protest and sit-in began:

Key Victorian highway project held up as protesters dig in over ‘sacred’ trees

The on-ground protest began before the trees were scheduled to be removed on the Western Highway on Monday, June 18.

A protest group calling itself the Djab Wurrung Heritage Protection Embassy said it had not been given “adequate opportunity for the protection of … sacred sites” by Aboriginal Victoria.

Source: ABC News

Where the hell is Buangor?

The Western Highway project

Now, in August 2019, The Age reports:

Traditional owners forming the ‘Djab Wurrung Embassy’ now argue that an extensive report was overlooked in the decision to approve the road project [on an Environmental basis].

The report … explains the significance of ‘sacred’ trees set for removal, including two centuries-old river red gums that the Djab Wurrung call ‘grandfather trees’, another old eucalypt known as the ‘directions tree’ and a dead, fallen tree called the ‘canoe tree’, where Djab Wurrung have removed the bark to use as a canoe.

The report argues that the ‘cultural sensitivity’ of Aboriginal sites at risk of destruction were excluded from the project’s risk ratings and its impact assessment methodology. When Aboriginal objects in archaeological sites were assessed, this was according to their ‘scientific value’ rather than the role they play in Aboriginal culture.

Source: The Age

Dopey Dan risks Victorian lives with Multilingual roadsign strategy

MPs push for airport licence testing in a bid to stop dangerous international drivers

Premier Daniel Andrews has turned down a suggestion to test international drivers at the airport suggested by Bev McArthur, Western Victoria MP. Approximately 20 per cent of accidents an ambulance is called to on the scenic road involve an international driver. ‘If you talk to bus drivers who have to use the road on a daily basis, they say there are nearly four misses in any trip’.

Richard Riordan, MP for Polwarth in Victoria’s south-west, agrees more needs to be done to stop incompetent overseas drivers from taking to Victorian roads. ‘VicRoads have, for years, identified 27 countries that they say they believe have licences valid and equivalent to ours’, ‘If you’re not one of the 27 countries … if you come to live here you’ve got to re-do your licence’.

‘But you can come here as a tourist from one of the non-27 countries and drive all over the road, wherever you like’.

‘It doesn’t make sense!’

Mr Riordan said a five minute written test at the airport would solve the problem.


Meanwhile in New Zealand:

97% of international drivers who sat New Zealand driving theory quiz failed

Source: RNZ

Clearly, there is a problem.

Liberal backbencher Sarah Henderson wants a more stringent approach to international driver’s licences and has called for a review.

She suggested consideration of options such as compulsory safety videos for all international tourists hiring cars, and asking car hire companies to impose stricter standards before renting out vehicles.

‘It is a real danger that these international tourists are coming across from other parts of the world, getting into a hire car … and they really are a moving time bomb’, she said.

‘I just don’t think it’s good enough that there’s no verification of someone’s driving experience when they arrive in Australia’.

Source: ABC

An RACV study revealed the following:

Drivers from overseas were more likely to be involved in fatigue-related crashes, failure to keep left, failure to wear seatbelts, incidents
associated with disorientation and rollover crashes. International visitors from right-hand drive countries were also particularly at risk as pedestrians.

Source: RACV

But Dopey Dan has disregarded the experts. He has a left-field solution:

Multilingual Signs Improve Safety On Great Ocean Road

New multilingual signs are being rolled out along the Great Ocean Road to help international tourists safely navigate one of Victoria’s most popular tourist routes.

In an Australian-first, trucks undertaking road works on the Great Ocean Road are now displaying messages in Mandarin and English, to alert international drivers to changed traffic conditions.

Source: The Premier of Victoria

It wasn’t even his idea:

Great Ocean Bay region residents erect Chinese signs for drivers

Source: Great Ocean Bay region residents erect Chinese signs for drivers

Joan Kirner

Kirner went into 1992 knowing she faced a statutory general election, which opinion polls gave her virtually no chance of winning. She waited as long as she could, finally calling an election for October. It was obvious as soon as the writs were dropped that Labor would not win a fourth term. Although she remained personally more popular than the Liberal Opposition Leader, Jeff Kennett, it was not nearly enough to overcome Victorians’ growing anger at Labor. The Coalition’s ‘Guilty Party’ campaign did much to stoke this anger, targeting many Ministers in the Kirner Government and providing examples of concerns in their portfolios.

The campaign attracted controversy with ALP ads stating that if the Liberals won the election it would institute the same policies that were implemented in New Zealand by the then Fourth National Government. New Zealand Prime Minister Jim Bolger responded in reference to the campaign, ‘You know, they say that the show’s never over until the fat lady sings. Well, I think it was her we heard warming up in the wings this week’.

The ‘fat lady’ was in reference to Kirner being overweight. Bolger refused to apologized for this remark citing that he himself was overweight and did not want to make ‘an international incident’ out of it.

The Coalition won the election in a landslide, scoring a 19-seat swing—the second-worst defeat that a sitting government has ever suffered in Victoria.

Life after Parliament

Kirner remained active in community affairs and politics, [with] a leading role in the Landcare movement [and] subsequently the Australian affiliate of EMILY’s List Australia, an organisation which promotes ‘pro-choice’ women’s careers in politics. Kirner was one of the leaders of the movement in the Labor Party to adopt a policy of setting targets for the number of women candidates in winnable electorates. She repeatedly publicly supported candidates identified with her Socialist Left faction

Source: Wikipedia

Pictures: The Age, Michael Smith News, Nicholson – The Age

Faced with a choice, Labor chooses China

China ‘deplores’ Liberal MP Andrew Hastie for Nazi Germany comparison

“Labor frontbencher Jim Chalmers said Mr Hastie’s intervention was extreme, overblown and unwelcome. He said both major parties had to navigate complex economic and national security issues when managing the relationship with China. ‘This kind of intervention makes that harder, not easier’, he told ABC Radio National. [Hastie] said Australia had ignored the role of ideology in communist China’s push for influence in the Indo-Pacific region. ‘We keep using our own categories to understand its actions, such as its motivations for building ports and roads, rather than those used by the Chinese Communist Party’, Hastie said.

Mr Hastie noted western commentators once believed Josef Stalin’s Soviet Russia was the ‘rational actions of a realist great power’.

‘We must be intellectually honest and take the Chinese leadership at its word’, he wrote of President Xi Jinping’s speeches referencing Marxist-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought.


Comment: Most illuminating is that instead of debating with Mr Hastie, Chalmers has decided to attack him. Publically. Thus his response is appeasement.

The correct response to China’s concerns are, ‘We are an open society, we are having a debate. Thanks for your opinion, BTW’.

Chalmers didn’t refute Hastie’s points. Does he agree with Hastie? If he disagreed it would be easier to refute Hastie’s argument. Publicly.

But Chalmers doesn’t. Doesn’t that confirm that Chalmers agrees with Hastie but regards it politically incorrect to say it openly?

Other points:

  • They objected to the Nazi Germany analogy but not the Stalin analogy.
  • Chalmers is Shadow Finance minister. What is he doing commenting on Defence and Foreign affairs?
  • Is this issue too complex for Marles(Defence), Wong(Foreign Affairs) or Keneally(Intelligence)?
  • Why didn’t Albanese, slap him down for making it harder to “navigate complex economic and national security issues”?

Shorten says loss was ‘disappointing for the nation’

“Shorten to soldier on after defeat”

Bill Shorten says Labor’s surprise election loss was ‘very disappointing for the nation’ but has vowed to remain in parliament, arguing it is time for the party to move on and challenge the government.

Source: The Australian

Shorten says Labor’s surprise election loss was “very disappointing for the nation”

Disappointed Australians:

Victoria voted for solar … but they got Daniel Andrews

Solar Homes Rolling Out To Even More Victorians

“Daniel Andrews today joined Minister for Solar Homes Lily D’Ambrosio to announce that the next phase of rebates for solar panels, batteries and hot water systems would kick off from 1 July 2019.

The Labor Government’s $1.3 billion Solar Homes program will see 770,000 Victorian households take advantage of solar power over the next decade, …”

November 2018: Victoria votes for solar, batteries and climate action, as Labor wins in a landslide

Victoria’s Labor Party has been returned to power, after a state poll that delivered a crushing defeat to the Liberal-National Coalition, and a clear endorsement of strong policies on climate change and renewable energy. The stunning victory is expected to give the Labor Andrews government about 55 seats – and possibly as many as 58 – in the state’s 88-seat Lower House, as electorates considered to be safely Liberal swung to Labor, and marginal seats morphed into Labor strongholds. Labor, led by Daniel An

Source: RenewEconomy

July 2019: “How to kill an industry”

“Solar Victoria [will] only approve a maximum of 3,333 rebates per month. By the 4th July, the rebate was fully subscribed….there are 10,000 quotes backed up in the system awaiting processing”.

Source: pv magazine

Cost: $1.3b
Homes: 770,000
Timeframe: 10 years (6,417 homes/month)

Homes capped at 3,300/month
Timeframe: 19.4 years (770,000/12/3300)
Cost: $Who know$?

Power to the Penguins(humans have to wait)

Solar Panels Powering Penguin Parade Visitor Centre

A new $58.2 million visitor centre on Victoria’s Phillip Island featuring a large-scale solar panel installation was officially opened last week by Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Environment, Energy and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio. The 200kW system was installed by Gippsland Solar, which says 666 Trina Solar panels (so 300 watts each) and Fronius solar inverters were used for the project.

A system of that size installed on Phillip Island should generate somewhere in the region of 272,500 kilowatt hours of ‘clean’ electricity a year.

The solar power system didn’t rate a mention in the Victorian Government’s press release about the opening [despite] a system of this size on such a unique rooftop [being] newsworthy.

[But] at the same time Andrews and D’Ambrosio (who is also Minister for Solar Homes) were caught up in their own penguin-related parade, hundreds were rallying on the steps of State Parliament, protesting the impact of the botched Solar Homes solar power rebate…

Source: Solar Quotes Blog

Labor’s Horror Movie: “Singing” and “Dancing” on Whyalla’s grave

Emerson defends Whyalla wipeout stunt (July 2012)

During an interview with the ABC, Emerson started “dancing” and “singing” ‘No Whyalla wipe-out, there on my TV’ to the tune of Skyhooks’ 1970s hit Horror Movie. Dr Emerson was responding to Opposition Leader Tony Abbott’s previous comments that the South Australian city of Whyalla would be ‘wiped off the map’ because of the carbon tax. ‘Singing is not right up there with my other abilities, but I was trying to get a very important point through’, Emerson told Sky News.

Source: ABC News

Comment: What other abilities?

The comments Emerson was reacting to were originally from Wayne hanson, AWU state secretary:

Mr Abbott reiterated comments made last week by Australian Workers Union state secretary Wayne Hanson that a carbon tax would wipe Whyalla and Port Pirie off the map.

Source: The Advertiser

Tony Abbott: “As the Australian Workers Union rightly pointed out a week or so ago, Whyalla will be wiped off the map by Julia Gillard’s carbon tax”. “Whyalla risks becoming a ghost town, an economic wasteland if this carbon tax goes ahead and that’s true not just of Whyalla … there’s not a state, there’s hardly a region in this country that wouldn’t have major communities devastated by a carbon tax if this goes ahead”. “I challenge the other unions involved in manufacturing to speak up on behalf of their members, to stop making excuses for a bad government and to stand up for the jobs of their members”.

Source: The Australian

It seems the ALP has a problem listening to workers.

Simon Birmingham: Now, we’ve seen Greg Combet and Julia Gillard respond to Wayne Hanson’s attacks today and they’ve brushed them off. It seems that the Government has both a tin ear for criticism and a complete disregard for protecting Australian jobs in this matter. They should be heeding the criticisms of the union movement. Journalist: Don’t you think it’s quite extraordinary that you’ve got unions really lashing out at a Labor Government? Simon Birmingham: I think it shows the level of anger and public concern that exists around the carbon tax. These union leaders would not naturally criticise the Labor Government. Clearly, they’ve heard the concerns of their members and on hearing the concerns of their members they’re now acting. That’s what all union leaders should do – listen to their membership, hear the concerns of their members that jobs will be on the line and take a stand against this policy. This policy threatens the viability of jobs in Australia, threatens their union members. They should all be standing up, not just a couple of them.

Source: Simon Birmingham

In 2016, the ALP-sympathetic New Daily wrote:

“The future doesn’t look bright for the Whyalla blast furnace and its 1100 workers, as it is unlikely to find a way to compete with massive Chinese plants with their low labour costs and huge production volumes.

…and Australian coal.

Emerson has just been chosen to do a post-mortem on the 2019 ALP Election wipeout.


Horror Movie Lyrics (original) Watch a horror movie right there on my TV Horror movie right there on my TV Horror movie right there on my TV Shockin’ me right out of my brain Shockin’ me right out of my brain Watch horror movie right there on my TV Horror movie right there on my TV Horror movie right there on my TV Shockin’ me right out of my brain Shockin’ me right out of my brain …

Source: Flash Lyrics

Failure specialists to do Labor Wipeout post mortem

Craig Emerson joins Jay Weatherill for Labor’s poll post mortem

Former Gillard government cabinet minister Craig Emerson will join former South Australian premier Jay Weatherill in leading an internal inquiry into Labor’s disastrous loss in the May 18 federal election.

Source: The Australian

Emerson defends Whyalla wipeout stunt

His former rock star colleague, Peter Garrett, yesterday took to Twitter to politely suggest that Dr Emerson’s future career lay in politics, not singing.

‘I think Craig Emerson does a terrific job … as a Trade Minister’, Mr Garrett said.

Comment: He wasn’t much good at trade either. He didn’t do much for the steel trade, or agriculture, when the Italians dumped tomatoes in our market.

Source: ABC