A farmer, a fence and a show cause no­tice

North East & Goulburn Murray Farmer - - NEWS -

A VI­O­LET Town farmer has been threat­ened with legal ac­tion by his lo­cal coun­cil after re­mov­ing trees along his fence line.

Farmer Ken Sloan, whose prop­erty is sur­rounded by six kilo­me­tres of roads, was re­plac­ing part of his fence line that had fallen into dis­re­pair when he cut back the trees on his prop­erty line.

Mr Sloan is now en­gaged in a legal bat­tle with Strath­bo­gie Shire which could end up in court.

The Vic­to­rian Farm­ers Fed­er­a­tion is now call­ing on gov- ern­ment to re­duce “green tape” and change the laws to make them more sen­si­ble for farm­ers and the en­vi­ron­ment.

ABC Ru­ral first re­ported the story last week.

Mr Sloan “spoke to the coun­cil about re­mov­ing the trees lean­ing across the fence and the tree limbs over­hang­ing the fence”, ac­cord­ing to the ABC’s re­port.

“Mr Sloan be­lieves he had ap­proval from coun­cil work­ers to do so, but now that ap­proval has been re­versed be­cause he has been told he has bro­ken en­vi­ron­men­tal laws by killing trees — a claim he has de­nied.”

“The coun­cil has is­sued Mr Sloan with a ‘show cause’ let­ter de­mand­ing he ex­plain why he should not be prose­cuted for dam­ag­ing na­tive veg­e­ta­tion.”

Mr Sloan told the ABC he was dev­as­tated at the po­ten­tial of lit­i­ga­tion.

“I don’t sleep; I can’t sleep,” he said.

“They can’t tell us what we’ve done wrong apart from we’re re­mov­ing trees.”

The saga could be a cau­tion­ary tale for those look­ing to clear away their fence line in Mans­field.

FENCE FURORE: An ag­grieved Vi­o­let Town beef and sheep farmer could face legal ac­tion from Strath­bo­gie Shire for re­mov­ing trees on his prop­erty line.

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