Proprietors’ rights are under sustained attack
THE article in last week’s edition headlined “Tree group focuses on canopies” rightly acknowledges that tree control on private property encroaches on “the last bastion” of a property proprietor’s rights.
It took two years of community revolt, plus a prosecution and change of council, to remove the City of Nedlands tree law that was buried in the town planning scheme.
This odious law required a visit and written approval from the “tree inspector” before pruning any “tree” over 2m or branch of about 5cm diameter.
Proprietors’ rights have been under sustained attack from local authorities for a long time.
Loss of rights for heritage purposes, management of trees and landscaping on private property,
imposition of “green” lifestyle-controlling policies concerning vehicle spaces, use of and access to renewable energy, and over-stringent design guidelines that restrict proprietors’ choices for an approved use are weapons used in the front line of this war.
Local authorities often expropriate these rights unbeknown to ratepayers, who become aware of the loss only when they are personally affected; non-mandatory voting in local government allows apathy to flourish.
Local government seems to assume the end justifies the means.
Those with no respect for property rights should be aware of the Faustian bargain they embrace.
When proprietors’ title rights become too devalued, governments, including local governments, will have greater opportunity to taking them away altogether. Australians will then join the list of socialistic nations where property rights are ephemeral and political unrest and corruption rule the day.
If property owners do not defend their rights, they will lose them – and not get them back any time soon.