MP calls on NSW to back farmer
THE concerns raised by Saarahnlee property owner Peter Spencer, who has vowed not to end his hunger strike until Prime Minister Kevin Rudd agrees to compensate farmers, have been shared by Member for Clarence Steve Cansdell.
Mr Cansdell is on board and calling for people across NSW to support Mr Spencer as he enters day 48 of his hunger strike for compensation of farmers for land-clearing restrictions.
“This is a desperate measure from a desperate man and highlights the frustration of many people on the land across NSW,” Mr Cansdell said.
“While I don’t necessarily support Mr Spencer’s tactics, it is time for the NSW Government to show some compassion and do something to break the deadlock before a tragedy occurs.”
Mr Spencer, who is reported to not have long to live, is arguing that State native vegetation laws have been used by the Federal Government to lock-up land to meet carbon pollution reduction targets.
After hearing Mr Spencer’s story on the radio, Grafton woman Lorraine Bekkers felt compelled to make the trip to Cooma to protest for the farmer’s rights.
“I met all Mr Spencer’s family and his very good friend Alister who is holding the fort with him,” she said.
“It’s gone on so many tangents and now they are trying to discredit him as a man to divert the attention. If the man’s prepared to die over this, he should be granted his small request.”
Lorraine, who also marched at Parliament House in Canberra to support Mr Spencer, said it was the first time that she had done anything like this but after hearing him speak, meeting his family and parliamentary representatives, she felt proud and privileged to be able to represent a cause that mattered to most Australians.
Reports in the media yesterday suggest that the NSW farmer has an interesting past, including an armed robbery stand-off with police 40 years ago.