Sorting fact from fiction
The hunger strike by Cooma farmer Peter Spencer may have ended, but his 52 days without food up a wind monitoring tower has drawn national attention to the state’s land clearing laws.
In an attempt to sort some facts from fiction, Goonellabah resident Marshall Fittler has organised an information evening at the Lismore Workers Club next Monday, January 18, from 7pm.
Mr Fittler said the Native Vegetation Act has been of concern to farmers for some time and he has invited a range of people to discuss the issues including Lismore MP Thomas George and a representative from the Environmental Defender’s Office, as well as Kevin Thompson, who has extensive knowledge of the Australian Constitution. Local supporters of Peter Spencer, who travelled down to Cooma by bus from the North Coast, will also be in attendance.
Mr Fittler believes common ground must be reached between conservationists and farmers and said now is the time to get that ball rolling.
“The non-farming community must get closer and become more supportive of our farmers and do so for the good of the non farming community themselves, for the good of their families and for the good of the Australian farmer and more importantly, for the good of Australia itself,” he said. “A loss of Australian farmers means a decrease in exports and an increase in imports; that is no good for this country. Farmers need us and we need them.”
He said while Peter Spencer has decided to end his hunger strike on the advice of his doctor, many other farmers have taken their own lives because they could not make ends meet.
Mr Fitler can be contacted on 0411 840 797 or email marshall_fittler