Boundaries are no barrier to Big Brother | On the Wallaby

SPACE INVADERS: From satellites to drones, there are so many ways that the privacy of rural life can be disrupted. A recent case highlights that your land and what you do on it are now open to all types of interference.
SPACE INVADERS: From satellites to drones, there are so many ways that the privacy of rural life can be disrupted. A recent case highlights that your land and what you do on it are now open to all types of interference.

The intrusion into personal space and affairs is a growing community problem, and no more so in the farming community.

In the past, you could close the farm gate and be reasonably assured you could get on with living and farm production unhindered.

The events of the past month where a local farming family had their peace shattered by an intruder and the subsequent invasion of their privacy shows in fact how fragile existence can be.

The days of an unhindered rural lifestyle are over.

Satellites far off in the distance are measuring every square centimetre of farms.

At a click of a button bureaucrats can measure the size of your farm’s dams and tell what crops you grow. Activists can fly drones over your property to observe your farming practices.

Victorian councils often use Google Earth and Google Street View to identify illegal building works and breaches of local government laws. At least one shire has resorted to using drones to collect information for prosecuting offenders. Try building a dam. 

You cannot clear trees along a fence-line bordering government property to a reasonable distance. And try clearing unwanted trees and replacing them in a more suitable location.

Big Brother is watching your every action behind your boundary fences. And don’t forget the reams of paperwork required to sell livestock. Oh yes, and freehold title means diddly squat. Your property can be compulsorily acquired at any time. The extent of invasion of privacy is a joke.   

TRICKLE-DOWN POLITICS 

We are told our members of parliament are out of touch and lack relevance, and Euroa National party member and newly-appointed opposition spokesperson on water, Steph Ryan, last week went a fair way to ensuring this trending thought continues. 

After her appointment she is alleged to have said that given she grew up on an irrigation dairy farmer she had seen first-hand the challenges that faced irrigators. Ms Ryan, what a load of rot and piffle. 

It would follow that you probably played netball locally so that would make you a great shadow sports minister. Your press release stated that you were around when the Brumby government unbundled water allocations. 

She made the observation that precious water from the Murray Darling basin had been sent to Melbourne ... what, in a tanker? Not one drop has yet to be delivered by the north-south pipeline.

No one could deny the ability of Ms Ryan, but maybe she needs to think about a new staffer who could get the facts right.