Re: Queries on Riparian Zones

Subject: Re: Queries on Riparian Zones
Date: Fri, 24 Jul 1998 14:08:43 +1000
As an immigrant, I've found this thread - and the associated one on
access to pastoral/farm land private property - helpful.

But I'm puzzled on one point. In England land holders often put out
notices saying "Trespassers will be prosecuted" to deter access. However
the legal position there is that for there to be "trespass" there has to
be damage as well as access.

Do Australian land holders (owners and leasees), like those in England,
claim to have legal rights to exclude people which, in law, they do not
actually have ?

I must add that I am appalled by the Wik discussions in which things I
took for granted in England - like 1000-year-old rights of way over land
- have been discussed.  But I am still unclear whether the increased
"rights" of land holders actually permit exclusion.

In England some farmers/pastoralists (particularly where land is now run
by a land manager rather than a family) have been all too ready to try
to exclude people (eg. with dangerous bulls) and to plough up
archaeological sites (sacred sites).  But the law has not been on their

It's also interesting to note that the UK went through a phase of paying
farmers to protect Sites of Special Scientific Interest about 15 years
ago.  That was very cumbersome bureaucratically and expensive in
compensation.  It's been largely overtaken by payments for "set-aside":
taking land out of agriculture because of the recognition that with
intensive farming methods it is easy for Europe to have a vast surplus
of farm production.

What we may be seeing in the current national political debates is a
crisis which may lead to the recognition that marginal farming has
economic costs to the nation - as well as producing major environmental

Michael Norris
Hampton, Victoria, Australia 3188
roughly 37° 55' S  145° E

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