Saturday, February 4, 2012

Treading On Ted's Turf

THE WEATHER in Melbourne tonight has been so pleasant it would have been a crime to waste it inside a cinema, which was the original idea.  What had been planned as a short meal became a rather long and very relaxed one, which was quite OK and very responsible, right up to and including the sambuccas, because it is but a short stroll from table to Billabong and authorities have not yet found an excuse to impose Breathalyzers and fines on cheerful pedestrians. But give them time and those scolds will have their way, as they always do.

Mind you, it would not have been a good night for the enemies of pleasure to chance their arm, as the Professor’s companions, in addition to the Rufous Bird, were two learned friends, and while they make a charming couple there were several instances during the evening’s course when that wonderful legal instinct to make mischief and empty someone else’s pockets quite dominated conversation. If Foster's issued gift certificates for legal services with every slab, rather than bobble-headed plastic cricketers, its stock would be doing a whole lot better.

She has something to do with insolvency and said her business has been doing rather nicely,  which earned a toast of gratitude to our still-current Prime Minister and the March Hare who presents himself as a treasurer.  He specialises in some other expensive area of the law, but constitutional matters, not his own field, were what animated him most of all.

“You realise,” he said in a tone that dripped with doom, “that Gillard has just turned Commonwealth-state relations on their head. We might as well dissolve the State of Victoria and be done with it.”

This came as news to the Professor, who as a frequent visitor to the bush was rebuked for not keeping up with current events. It seems that a few cows released early last year into the Alpine National Park have cost our state its sovereignty. This became official a few days ago when Environment Minister Tony Burke overruled Victoria’s plan to let the cows loose again this year -- the basis for a study intended to determine if transhumant grazing reduces the risk of bush fires.

Apparently, up in the High Country there are several species of imperilled frogs which Burke has taken as his excuse for over-ruling Spring Street and banishing cattle. The creatures managed to co-exist for 150 years, but the experts, who are probably warmists as well, have concluded the frogs can no longer tolerate horned animals, not even for one more day. By Burke's reading of the law, that places under his control any spot where the frogs, or any other endangered species, are known or thought to be. In other words, the entire state.

Premier Ted Baillieu can appeal and is said to be considering such a move, which is itself unsettling. If Big Ted needs to ponder his duty to defend Victoria from federal encroachment, he cannot take that duty too seriously. Goodbye, cattle. Goodbye, state’s rights.

Ted should not need to think about fighting this incursion tooth and nail, not even for a split second.


  1. A simple solution, based on the modern, obligatory acceptance of people who have had “gender re-assignment” surgery and now demand to be regarded as having changed sex (or even of people who think that they are the other sex without benefit of surgery): rename the evil, introduced cattle.
    Whilst kine may irk the Hon. Tony Burke, he will surely warm to indigenous cloven ground-clearers or, perhaps, greater herbivorous bunyips.

  2. Professor, we lost our sovereignty years ago with the imposition of the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities.

    I honestly don't know why anyone would be surprised by news like this. I hadn't known about Burke overruling on a few cows loose in the top paddock, but it's par for the course for this mob.

  3. Swan = March Hare?

    Bear away professor. Even the dopiest MH knows not to sign every blank cheque put in front of him.

  4. Ballieu will have to check with Brumby first, he wouldn't iniate anything that would rock the Labor boat. He's just keeping the seat warm for the next Labor incumbent.

  5. There are now no indepenent scientists left working for the government or the CSIRO who would be prepared to speak out on these issues. To do so would be a severe CLM (Career Limiting Move). The first thing that needs to happen when the Coalition gets into government at Federal level is to shut down the whole scientific scam departments and to outsource to independent firms, not Universities as they are just as corrupted as the government science departments, for their science advise. Most private companies now do this and it seems to work well. With respect to the Universities, they should all be defunded and then they can sink or swim on their own merits.

  6. Sorry, but Victoria's sovereignty was lost -- as was that of every other state -- on 1 July 1983 when the High Court issued its judgement on the Franklin Dam case.

    Can you doubt that the subject frogs aren't brought under protection by some international treaty to which the Commonwealth is a party, and therefore their protection is granted the Commonwealth by s.51(xxix) of the Constitution?

  7. I mentioned the Franklin Dam to our dining companion, but he drew the distinction that it is a fixed location. As he explained the tyranny of the frog, Burke's edict advances his "right" to name any spot where a frog or endangered gazangelope might be found.

    But you are probably right about the UN. No doubt there is a Convention On Frogs, with many international diplomats' brothers-in-law beavering in New York or Geneva on a code of amphibian rights.

    1. No doubt the frogs are an extension, but the principle -- Commonwealth accreting new powers by means of an open-ended ability to enter into international treaties -- was established by Franklin. It was, of course, only the thin end of the wedge.

      As the years and decades progress, this wedge will be pounded much further.

  8. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.February 4, 2012 at 11:25 PM

    Frogs are over-rated, Bunyip. By the suspect sound of her croak, ribbit, ribbit, there's one in Canberra that's been kissed into a Ranga Princess, name of Duckbum, thus obviously still carrying traits of a previous amphibious incarnation. By all accounts, she's soon to receive the faery de-princessing kiss of death from Kev the Queensland Cane Toad.

    The frogs that ate Victoria? Go for them, Brumby.