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An open letter from Tom Stockwell to the PM

Tom Stockwell, 17/06/2020

Former Northern Territory Cattlemen’s Association president Tom Stockwell.

An open letter to the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Primary Industry

You should be supporting the northern cattle industry, not threatening them.

The principles and persistence of northern cattle industry people have provided our democracy and parliament with a benchmark for Ministerial performance.

A reckless, destructive, knee-jerk Ministerial decision has been proven just that, after nine long years of expensive lawfare.

Despite the long record of vociferous criticism of the decision while in opposition and subsequently in office, the LNP government through the Attorney’s General department, afforded every assistance to the Minister in question to mount a defence of his actions.

To be clear, from the outset you and everyone else knew this was as bad a decision as a government could make.

Now, after a tortuous protracted process, the law agrees.

I am astounded that you are considering an appeal to protect the ability of Ministers to “make decisions”, while simultaneously saying you might pay compensation and court costs which seems to me to be “Guilty as charged your honour. I’ll give the money back but please don’t record a conviction.”

Just how bad does a decision need to be before it goes on the record?

You should be hailing this decision as a “Principle of Good Governance” to guide future Ministers, rather than running a protection racket for the under-performers of the political class at further expense to the people.


Tom Stockwell M.Agr.Sc.

Family man

Live Export Producer

NTCA President 2015-2018


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  1. Jane Eastburn, 19/06/2020

    As my late dad always said you’re a hell of a wordsmith Professer 👍💫🤩 nailed it again 🤗

  2. Geoffrey Beere, 19/06/2020

    Thanks Tom! Were in it for the long Run!

  3. Paul Smith, 18/06/2020

    But the tax payer should not be paying the bill – the PM and Ministers involved at the time should pay and if they can’t strip them of all their benefits and put them in jail.

  4. John Armstrong, 18/06/2020

    Excellent comments Tom. It would have to be seen as pointless political suicide to attempt to defray this correct judgement.

  5. Rod Barrett, 18/06/2020

    The last sentence says it all. An”under-performer of the political class”. On the money Tom!

  6. Grant Piper, 17/06/2020

    Great to hear simple plain speaking rather than endless spin. Bravo.

  7. Wallace Gunthorpe, 17/06/2020

    PM Morrison is doing a great job! Hope he does not get this one wrong?
    Well said Tom!

  8. Jo Bloomfield, 17/06/2020

    Well said Tom.

  9. Dr Sandra Jephcott, 17/06/2020

    Well written – concise and too the point

  10. David Warriner, 17/06/2020

    Well done Tom. Nailed it!

  11. Mike Teelow, 17/06/2020

    Well said Tom
    When someone is guilty as charged Take it on the chin and get on with life

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