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Thread: Fined for illegal clearing, family now feel vindicated

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    Fined for illegal clearing, family now feel vindicated

    I think the title of the article should read "Fined for exercising common sense, family now feel vindicated". If only California exercised some common sense instead of blaming it the fires on the man made global warming fair tale.

    Fined for illegal clearing, family now feel vindicated | smh.com.au

    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.

    The Sheahans' 2004 court battle with the Mitchell Shire Council for illegally clearing trees to guard against fire, as well as their decision to stay at home and battle the weekend blaze, encapsulate two of the biggest issues arising from the bushfire tragedy.

    Do Victoria's native vegetation management policies need a major overhaul? And should families risk injury or death by staying home to fight the fire rather than fleeing?

    Anger at government policies stopping residents from cutting down trees and clearing scrub to protect their properties is already apparent. "We've lost two people in my family because you dickheads won't cut trees down," Warwick Spooner told Nillumbik Mayor Bo Bendtsen at a meeting on Tuesday night.

    Although Liam Sheahan's 2002 decision to disregard planning laws and bulldoze 250 trees on his hilltop property hurt his family financially and emotionally, he believes it helped save them and their home on the weekend.

    "The house is safe because we did all that," he said as he pointed out his kitchen window to the clear ground where tall gum trees once cast a shadow on his house.

    "We have got proof right here. We are the only house standing in a two-kilometre area."
    "A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murder is less to fear"

    Cicero Marcus Tullius

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    Re: Fined for illegal clearing, family now feel vindicated

    Fire Breaks are a reality. If anyone should prosecuted, it is those that allowed private housing to go there.

    No, that is not to say people shouldn't be allowed to be there, but when people build, they should be allowed to protect their homes.

    If people don't want people to make a fire break, then they shouldn't have sold. And if people that don't want people to build a fire break that didn't sold the land, they can take a nice 64oz. glass of STFU each day to ease their troubles.

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    Re: Fined for illegal clearing, family now feel vindicated

    Forest fires have not "increased" in recent years but human contact with them has, due to housing developments that now enter danger zones. If the CA government wants to permit housing developments in fire prone areas, then safety legislation must also now come into play. The homes being built in those areas also required the clearing of trees, but that was okay because private interests were being served, and the governments taxed those developments. But because the people who bought the homes are not paying additional fees for permits to clear land, they are fined.

    It's all about money and the greed never ends. Either the people can protect themselves, or houses should not be built there at all. In my view the latter is more correct, since the government does not have the ability to control nature. The same problem is happening in British Columbia, Canada. Developers are being allowed to build in fire areas and now more people are suffering. These developments are not necessary and better choices exist, but the raw wilderness is cheaper because there isn't surrounding city to contend with. The developers *do not care* of the dangers. Once they've sold their homes their job is done. Corporate morality at its finest.
    Last edited by Orion; 02-13-09 at 12:24 AM.

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    Re: Fined for illegal clearing, family now feel vindicated

    I think the story is from Victoria not California.

    I heard it on TV yesterday. I doubt the family will get their fine refunded.
    "It is written in the eternal constitution that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters." - Edmund Burke

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    Re: Fined for illegal clearing, family now feel vindicated

    Quote Originally Posted by Wessexman View Post
    I think the story is from Victoria not California.

    I heard it on TV yesterday. I doubt the family will get their fine refunded.
    Yes the article does say the story is from Victoria. I was using the story to point out that if California should follow this family's example in order to deal with its fire problems.
    "A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murder is less to fear"

    Cicero Marcus Tullius

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