DOING FINE: A patriot's vision saved his house despite persecution from enviro-bureaucrats

patriotwithaxe Liam Sheahan is almost certainly a boofhead. But he’s a patriot too. A very large Aussie flag flies patriotically from his property in Reedy Creek. He cracks a smile when he sees a chainsaw.

Years ago, he decided to clear by subtle means of bulldozer a whole bunch of trees surrounding his home on top of a hill which is no doubt also his castle.

The local council – Mitchell Shire – cracked the sads at his unilateral approach to fire safety, persecuting and prosecuting him, securing a $50000 fine and costing the axe-wielding patriot another fifty thousand in legals. He was ably represented in the hearing by barrister and former Melbourne Deputy Lord Mayor Clem Newton-Browne.

As noted by a commenter below who helpfully put up this link, the bloke’s cause was probably not helped when the council pursued him over the removal of the trees, according to the Herald Sun he responded [pdf] patriotically but perhaps unwisely:

the Sheahans told the complaining residents and the council to ‘‘get stuffed’’ when asked to explain the clearing. ‘‘We could not care any less than we do now what any self-righteous self ap-pointed ‘green police’ person thinks about what we are doing,’’ they wrote. ‘‘It is our place, not theirs. We have owned it since 1982. We paid for it, not them, and they can go and get stuffed.’

Ultimately his decision to remove 250 trees saved his family and his home during the weekend’s bushfires.

He told The Age’s sceptical scribes:

“The house is safe because we did all that,” he said as he pointed out his kitchen window to the clear ground where tall gum trees once cast a shadow on his house.

“We have got proof right here. We are the only house standing in a two-kilometre area.”

He condemned the pinkos among Mitchell Shire officers and clowncillors:

“The council stood up in court and made us to look like the worst, wanton environmental vandals on the earth. We’ve got thousands of trees on our property. We cleared about 247,” he said.

Why does policy lunacy get a a patriot who wants to build a small fire break fined tens of thousands of dollars. Liam Sheahan has all the answers:

“Both the major parties are pandering to the Greens for preferences and that is what is causing the problem. Common sense isn’t that common these days,” Mr Sheahan said.

The man clearly – and urgently – belongs in Parliament.

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35 Comments

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35 responses to “DOING FINE: A patriot's vision saved his house despite persecution from enviro-bureaucrats

  1. Anonymous

    I’m votin for ya Liam. I hunt, shoot and love me four-wheel drivin too and by gods we need you in Parliament.

  2. Stop the green menace

    It’s high time the media was belted into reality and that the true story of the disgusting greens was made a number one priority. Their policies are pitiful and downright antisocial and they have an unhealthy and unrepresentative power in parliament.

    Both major parties should hold the greens up and publically flail them. Cut them out of the process just like they did with One Notion (now there’s a juxtaposition worth exploring!)

    Deal out Bob Brown and his band of forest fairies. The only reason they manage in Tasmania is because of the no longer needed equal senators per state requirement in the constituion.

  3. Anonymous

    The Mitchell Shire officers who issued the infringment notice SHOULD BE IN JAIL.

  4. Anonymous

    The Greens should be publicly flogged.

    Having said that, the Nationals are meant to be the “voice” of the bush but they are a disgrace and have been the biatch of the Liberals for the past 30 years.

  5. Anonymous

    maybe liam should tell the whole story

  6. Anonymous

    The report on Today Tonight clearly shows he built a menage, so obviously the clearing was for a bit more than just fire protection, he probably wanted a place for his horse to graze too. He would have been able to get a permit to clear in accordance with CFA guidelines with a lot less effort than it cost him in the end. Don’t jump to conclusions. He shouldn’t have bought a bush block if he didn’t want to live ‘in the sticks’.

  7. Anonymous

    what was the original fine before it went to court
    dig deeper on this one

  8. Anonymous

    Liam is a patriot of the highest order. The major parties should heed to his advice. Greenies beware. We are coming to get you. And we won’t be showing you mercy!

  9. ahem

    he was prosecuted under a new native vegetation policy introduced by the bracks government since 1999

  10. Jokers

    To those wanting to defend the council or other councils’ planning restrictions and penalties – tell that to King Lake residents. Their council would not let them cut down trees which in the end, in some way, did contribute to the horror. Well done you tree hugging greenies. Idiots!

  11. Anonymous

    the policy and legislation for vegetation protection have been essentially the same since 1987, but with ongoing improvements to wildfire protection provisions.
    here’s a link to an article in 2004 about the clearing http://www.manwhatafuss.com/media/pdf/fev-herald-sun.pdf
    i don’t think telling people to ‘go and get stuffed’ helped the situation

  12. Anonymous

    check out page 65 of this document, provides a run down on what happened. http://www.mitchellshire.vic.gov.au/Files/12_Sept_05_Minutes.pdf

  13. anon

    Liam Sheahan is no community hero, he is a ‘Uncle Chester’ is you know what I mean.

  14. ahem

    ah. so he wasn’t ‘prosecuted’ by the council, but was in fact found guilty in the magistrates court under state law. andy, why don’t you suggest to your good friends in state government that they change the law? after all they’ve been there for ten years. do you think they’ll get around to it soon?

  15. Ann Potter

    I’m all for a bit of shaving of the bush

  16. Nicked

    Ooops! Another stolen image on this blog.

    Oh dear! Sooner or later you’re going to be in the poop Landy!

  17. hopeless

    In 1986 the DSE powelltown office[Department of Scorched Earth} wanted to back burn around the town eastern end of the town. They opened up the old fire lines with bulldozers. When time came to light up they had to get permission from Melbourne. The weather conditions in Powelltown were perfect but in Melbourne were not suitable so no permission was given.
    It still has not been cleared. The undergrowth in the forest increases by 2tonnes per hectare per year.

    The beauracrats in Spring street have a lot to answer for.

    We also wanted the local mill to be able to reduce the large trees arond the town. But the tourism people did not want that as it reduces the visible feeling when driving through. That is why all clear felling does not clear all the way to the major highways.

    When a fire comes these highways beome fire traps.

  18. hopeless

    If anyone should be prosecuted for removing the trees in a forest is is the DSE in Powelltown.

    They cleared land by bulldozer to make a storage depot. Removed many good trees and also the last remnat of the railway siding of the Powellton Yarra junction railway.
    They also were digging a big hole to bury their rubbish. Locals cpmplained but to no avail. Did the rubbish get taken to the tip or buried under ground.

    Go to eucalyprus drive and look at the destruction of forest. Where are the planning controlls.
    Are these government department above the law. Surely the should have applied to Yarra ranges council for a planning permit.

  19. ANON

    Get real. This fire was a freak event. Yes, this guy’s selfish tree clearance most likely saved his property. But so would cutting down every tree and covering the entire place with concrete. He is no patriot. I know people who have lost lives and property in this fire. The last thing they would want is anti-environment development at-all-cost zealots using their name in vain. They went to the Bush to enjoy its beauty – not destroy it. Let’s keep some perspective.

  20. mick

    There is a difference between cutting down 250 trees and levelling the entire state forest you twat

  21. jeff

    liam sounds like an arrogant loud mouthed pig. he deserves to have the book thrown at him

  22. Annon Annonski

    The whole point is that the fire was NOT a freak event! Fires of this severity may happen infrequently but they do happen consistently in Australia!
    So maybe not many bloggers were around in the 1930’s for Black Friday, but plenty were around in the 1980’s for Ash Wednesday and can remember similar patterns.
    Surely the beauty of the bush can be appreciated without actually living in it.

  23. Ann

    How about some give and take. Council has no problem sub dividing land and earning rates.
    Those that love the bush and want to live in it should still be able to have a choice of whether they want to and can cut down enough growth from the immediate vicinity of their homes in proportion to the overall amount of trees on that property. Currently we do not have a choice. Had we been allowed to do this in the first place we may not have lost all that we have in this last week. Hopefully we have learnt and those that can change these policies pursue this and not just sweep it under the carpet and hope everyone forgets.

  24. mike

    To jeff
    I have known Liam for over 25 years .
    and your comment of him being a loud mouthed pig couldn’t be further from the truth.Liam is a very gentle man
    until people like you state such crap.I would love to watch the councilling process by which Liam would use to prevent you from writing the absolute crap you have written.
    mike
    I would be happy to meet you too idiot.

  25. Tel

    I’m a big supporter of Green issues and I like trees. However, I’m NOT a supporter of government interference in private affairs because government invariably screw it up and make the worst possible decisions.

    The green advocates have to learn that they do no favours for themselves (nor for anyone else) when they push stupid regulations through the power of central authority. Only by careful use of our brains will we advance the environmental cause, not by bandwagons, not by crystal gazing, nor any of the other whacked out goings on that have become the new normal.

    Do some research on DDT that supposedly caused thin eggshells and threatened the eagles (except that all evidence suggests that hunting was what really threatened the eagles). As a result of the anti-DDT bandwagon more people died of malaria (arguable exactly how many more, but certainly not a trivial number) and now the WHO is back to recommending DDT as one of several anti-malaria surface sprays.

    Check out the RoHS pushing lead-free solder in Europe (and by extension, the rest of the world) which is supposed to save people from the bit of lead that can get into their water at the soldered joints between pipes (such a small contamination that it has no effect whatsoever). Now the entire electronic industry is under mandate to abolish lead and you or me or our children could be flying on an aircraft that uses lead-free electronics and is subject to random failure caused by tin whiskers. You can thank the European RoHS when it happens.

    Then I could go into the Greens trying to ban plastic bags and the pointless waste of time that is.

    Now in Australia we have laws where if you plant a row of ten trees, then many years later decide that one of those trees didn’t turn out the way you wanted, you can be a criminal for cutting down one of the trees that you actually planted on your own land. This merely teaches people that they must never plant trees! This sort of idiot legislation is not helping the environment.

  26. frank

    congratulations liam
    for standing up to a crazy blind political correctens of people who make living of scapegoating.
    good on you –

  27. kate

    I agree with the need to clear trees from around houses esp in heavy timber country. Reduce junk and fuel sorces Open your eyes people (greens) you are the ones that have causes this Vic problem and the potentual problems that the south west of WA face if something is not done to clean up fuel around peoples houses

  28. Gary

    So what appears to be the answer to Victoria’s ‘forest fire’ problem is simple…we should all buy a ‘forested’ block of land like Liam Sheahan and then set about denuding it of trees. Soon we will have removed all the native Eucalyptus forest and no Eucalyptus Forest fires will ever again rage across Victoria….
    Yes we should all act like “Smart” Liam Sheahan ….

  29. haha

    Excellent thinking Gary.

  30. foul

    I can hardly see how clearing a few (295) trees makes an ounce of difference. There are 1 to 2 million hectares of deforestation in the Amazon each year and, even though there is much talk, nothing is done about it. Only a quarter of that size is the Vic bushfires, most of which will regenerate fairly quickly.
    295 trees for 1 human life is worth doing I say.

  31. oh look at the picture

    looks like he is planting some new trees to replace the ones he chopped down. so what’s wrong?

  32. jeff

    hey mike –
    next time you open your mouth and start threatening free speech, perhaps you could mention how good ol liam actually signed an agreement with the council to do a bit a revegetation and pay councils costs of 2.5K. Liam dishonoured his agreement – thats why he ended up with so much legal hassle. This bloke caused his own misfortune. Why can’t he just tell the truth and say he wanted to knock down the bush for his pony farm. He caused his own misfortune – so we should we give a stuff about a loudmouth like Liam?

  33. jeff 2

    hey mike –
    next time you open your mouth and start threatening free speech, perhaps you could mention how good ol liam actually signed an agreement with the council to do a bit a revegetation and pay councils costs of 2.5K. Liam dishonoured his agreement – thats why he ended up with so much legal hassle. This bloke caused his own misfortune. Why can’t he just tell the truth and say he wanted to knock down the bush for his pony farm. He caused his own misfortune – so we should we give a stuff about a loudmouth like Liam?

  34. Andrew

    Irregardless of the left wing greenie minorities out there, Liam did the right thing. He provided his property with an asset protection zone and still enjoys the thousands of trees that are now scorched on his property. Asset protection zones or fuel free zones should be a serious consideration of this upcoming royal commission for all of us that live in the bush. My home like Liams still stands because we prepared our home from the onslaught of fire that came from unmanaged lands under the jurisdiction of the state government. Better 100 thousand dollars now than the inconvenience of not having a home or the cost of rebuilding or burying your loved ones. Those that don’t understand what fire can do should not comment. Good on you Liam, its your castle.

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