NOTICE: Application for Permits at LeanyerSewageFarm, NT

To: "'Birding-aus'" <>
Subject: NOTICE: Application for Permits at LeanyerSewageFarm, NT
From: "Reg" <>
Date: Sat, 24 Sep 2011 07:32:25 +1000
Isn't it amazing that people make a living restricting the freedom of others.

Once upon a time people took the reesponsibility for their own safety. Captain Cook and Mawson and my parents took risks without the benefit of the bureaucrats and others deciding what was safe. Accidents happen and we should certainly seek toprevent them but there is a point where the benefits of safety are less than the benefits of freedom. Otherwise we would never drive. This discussion shows illustrates that we have well and truly passed the point of benefit of more regulations.

If the best argument for rules is to prevent the legal system from employing itself harrassing us, we should protest and get the lawyers to move on to work with a public benefit. If the law is wrong we should change the law.

Those who benefit from our continuing acceptance of their right to rule our lives will not give up easily. The lawyers and OH& S officers make a nice living at this. We are presently giving evereythiong up as a "safety" issue and moving beyond the Americans in suiing each other.

Any landowner has the right to refuse access of course. If the public authorities wish to do this, they can. And we, as the owners, then lobby our representatives for the return of access. Perhaps some signs could solve problems? But let's not just give up for a vision of a risk free future and the domination of the lawyers and experts.

Reg Lawler

To: "Ross Macfarlane" <>
Cc: "'Birding-aus'" <>
Sent: Friday, September 23, 2011 11:59 AM
Subject: NOTICE: Application for Permits at LeanyerSewageFarm, NT


Glad to hear that NTP&W will wear the public liability for visitors at

I also heartily agree with your comments about people being smart
about safety. I have seen birders do some pretty dumb things, just so
they can get a good view of a bird. Fortunately, the worst accident I
have seen was $2000 odd of binoculars bouncing down a canyon when the
owner lost his grip while hanging over a guard rail, while trying to
get a better view of an American Dipper.


Carl Clifford

On 23/09/2011, at 11:40 AM, Ross Macfarlane wrote:


NTP&W not only has the right, they have the legal responsibility under
work health and safety laws to restrict access to their sites by
people who haven't been inducted and had the hazards at the site
explained to them. It's actually the other way around from what you
describe: they are legally responsible from a public liability
standpoint for visitors (unlike commercial contractors.) But you are
right that if as an inducted person you take an un-inducted person
into the WTP, you would have a responsibility to ensure they obey the
rules and don't get hurt.

I'm a health and safety consultant by profession, and I've also been
the volunteer safety officer for the Victorian Malleefowl Recovery
Group for over 10 years. We take a strenuously professional approach
to safety - all our volunteers have to be trained and all have to make
daily scheduled call-ins to safety officers when in the field,
otherwise we ask Parks Victoria rangers to go out and check they're
OK. Taking safety seriously has been really important in keeping
ongoing support (including financially) from PV for our work.

I really encourage all volunteer conservation groups to get smart
about safety. If you behave responsibly and professionally TPTB* will
support you. If not, they can make life hard, because you make their
life hard.

Ross Macfarlane

*-he -owers -hat -e

-----Original Message----- From: Carl Clifford
Sent: Friday, September 23, 2011 9:45 AM
To: Chris Sanderson
Cc: Peter Kyne ; 
Subject: NOTICE: Application for Permits at Leanyer
SewageFarm, NT

Hi Chris,

I was not arguing for any side. I was just pointing out the possible
legal implications for authorised key holders who allow non-inducted
people to accompany them or loan keys to (which I believe does happen)

NTP&W make the rules, as does any landholder, for access to their
property and we must follow them. If people do not follow NTP&W's
rules, we are likely to see birders locked out of Leanyer completely.


Carl Clifford

On 23/09/2011, at 8:41 AM, Chris Sanderson wrote:

Hi Carl,

You are spot on, but I think you are looking at this issue from the
wrong side - part of the reason for refusal to renew permits was that
NTP&W's concern that people were entering Leanyer without having done
an induction, illegally.  Some were sneaking in behind others with
keys, others were getting in having borrowed a key.  Essentially the
kind of behaviour you are arguing birders should be able to continue
almost spoiled it for everyone.  For a while it looked like birders
might not be allowed back in at all!  So to be honest, if organising
to do an induction is too much of a hassle for your holiday, then
maybe choose another site to bird at.

I briefly flagged these issues when the original closure happened back
in October last year:

No one has said key holders won't be able to take non-inductees with
them at this stage, so perhaps that will still be allowed?  Personally
I'm glad that locals in NT have been able to work with NTP&W to
arrange access again, it would have been sad if the closure had
remained permanently.


On Thu, Sep 22, 2011 at 7:15 PM, Carl Clifford
<> wrote:
Hi Simon,

Well, that opens a can of worms. NTP&W making an OH&S induction course
a condition for a permit places any permit holder who allows a person
who has not completed the induction to accompany them to Leanyer in an
invidious position. NTP&W has shifted the public risk liability onto
the permit holder who allows any non-inducted person to accompany
them. Permit holders who give their key to anyone who has not been
inducted, and allows that person to go into Leanyer by themselves, may
well find themselves even further in the legal deep end.

This policy may well result in hiring professional guides with public
liability insurance, the only way for visiting birders to visit Leanyer.

Carl Clifford

On 22/09/2011, at 4:31 PM, Simon Mustoe wrote:


Peter Kyne has requested that we kindly pass on information from NT
Power and Water, regarding access to Leanyer Sewage Farm. Note, the
application for a permit will only suit locals and the deadline is 30
September. Here is his message:

Dear NT Birders,
To assist Power and Water in arranging access to Leanyer Sewage
Ponds, they have asked to I co-ordinate a list of all of those people
interested in obtaining a permit to access the ponds. At this stage
please use me as a central contact point rather than individually
contacting Power and Water.
This is the first step for Power and Water to begin preparing
indemnities and keys, and in upgrading their database. Following this
will be an induction process,
with Power and Water looking at a group induction in the first
instance. Date and time to be advised in due course. So please, don’t
apply if you are not able to make yourself available for this induction,
thanks ; )
If you wish to obtain a permit, please advise me of the following
details by 12 noon FRIDAY 30 September:
1.       First name and surname
2.       Email address
3.       Residential address
4.       Phone number (home/mobile)
5.       If you are a member of the NTFNC
Permits will be issued for a 3 year period with a $50 key deposit.
Previous key deposits will be honoured.
Many thanks, Pete Kyne

Peter Kyne, PhD
Tropical Rivers and Coastal Knowledge
Charles Darwin University
Darwin 0909 NT, Australia
Ph: 08 8946 7616
Mob: 0435 139 322

For more information on Leanyer and birding in the Top End,




Simon Mustoe
Tel: +61 (0) 405220830 | Skype simonmustoe | Email

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