Why was PRA set up?
PRA is a non-profit organisation whose membership consists of landholders and businessmen with their supporters who joined this voluntary group to defend and re-establish the recognised and defined property rights of landholders.
Queensland Government legislation, largely driven by the Conservation Lobby, has impacted on landholders' long-held rights in land and water matters, and in doing so has created real problems and diminished viability for many.
Legislation brought down by the Beattie Government firstly strips civil liberties from landholders, yet these civil liberties remain available to other sectors of the community. Secondly, an armoury of penalties and fines that far exceed community standard are in place to prosecute and penalise rural people.
A well-resourced group of compliance officers uses satellite images and land patrols seeking out those who may have infringed the Vegetation Management Act 2004 or the Water Act of 2000. Reportedly, in excess of 4,000 Queensland landholders are now on a list for consideration for prosecution. Reportedly, some 281 people have been charged and penalised for infringements of the VMA. All but a few of these pleaded guilty to the charge irrespective of their belief that they were in fact innocent. This brought about by the fear of excessive legal penalties and costs.
There is a tendency for the urban population to believe the lies of Conservation Lobby and the Queensland Government which have branded landholders as ‘environmental vandals'. As in most instances, public perception is influenced by a bombardment of untrue propaganda pedalled by these people.
It can be said that public perception can become a public belief of many people in all walks of life. One could imagine that some within the legal profession could be influenced in this way.
To this point in time landholders have failed to correct these inaccurate perceptions. This is a task that PRA must undertake. This is a mammoth task as these beliefs begin in the classroom when children are at a vulnerable age.
PRA is about both defending the rights of landholders and restoring those rights that have been taken from us in a most questionable manner. This is the motivation for PRA's announced challenge in the High Court of Australia against some aspects of both the Vegetation Management Act of 2004 and the Water Act of 2000.
PRA is about justice, respect and equality for the decent rural and semi-rural people who labour long and hard under difficult conditions to achieve those goals that are so dear to Australian's hearts and ambitions.
Property Rights Australia calls on fair-minded people to join our ranks, to fight for equality, to eliminate discrimination and to restore dignity to those who have been so unfairly treated by this unjust and damaging legislation.