Friday, 13 February 2009

Good news from ignoring bad law [updated]

SMH-Bushfire SYDNEY MORNING HERALD: Fined for illegal clearing, family now feel vindicated
    "They were labelled law breakers, fined $50,000 and left emotionally and financially drained.
    But seven years after the Sheahans bulldozed trees to make a fire break — an act that got them dragged before a magistrate and penalised — they feel vindicated. Their house is one of the few in Reedy Creek, Victoria, still standing." [Hat tip Jeff Perren]

There are probably several good morals in that story that are so obvious I’ll allow you to draw them all yourself.

Would that the law-makers understood any of them.

UPDATE: Tim Blair posts the more tragic counter-example, by far more common:

Peter Mitchell applied for permission a couple of years ago to remove some trees close to his property. Permission denied. On Saturday, his house burned down. Mitchell plans to rebuild, and this time he won’t be bothering with any council permission nonsense: 

“I’m just going to cut down the trees and push the perimeter back a bit more. If I build on the same place, I have to feel I am going to be able to defend it and not play Russian roulette.” 


  1. Their fine and legal costs should be returned to them, along with a massive apology. Only at that point are they vindicated.

    Those responsible for that law should be up on murder charges. At the very least lose their jobs.

  2. The idea that property owners know what's best on and for their land is a radical concept for some law makers here too.

  3. Pretty damned sympathetic to Annie's take, except that the costs returned ought come from the estates of the bureaucrats who pursued the case.

  4. Crampton

    It would be nice if the bureaucrats, prosecutors and the judge (along with all those others who persecuted this guy) have been burned out of house and home. I hope they are left with nothing but third degree burns, physical pain and anguish. There is a better than even chance that at least a few are in this situation.



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