Grazier Peter Spencer ends hunger strike after 52 days

Peter Spencer ... determined. Photo: Glen McCurtayne
Peter Spencer ... determined. Photo: Glen McCurtayne

NSW grazier Peter Spencer will today be admitted to hospital, ending a 52-day hunger strike over land-clearing laws he says made his property unviable.

The 61-year-old has been fasting in a tent, 10 metres up a wind-monitoring mast on his 5600-hectare property in the high country near Cooma, since November.

But after growing concerns for Mr Spencer’s failing health, his doctor and family organised a bed at a nearby hospital.

He told radio station 2GB his sons would be helping him down from the wind mast today.

‘‘I’ve had to give it a lot of thought,’’ Mr Spencer said.

‘‘The most difficult thing has been, even though many have said ‘Peter you’ve got to come down’, my concerns were that the moment I did, those immoral leaders in our parliament houses that have taken away a lot of our rights ... they’d just put their heads back in the sand.

‘‘I thought about it and ... I spoke to my family and I decided I would come down today so my sons are going to lift me down ... and take me to hospital.

‘‘So it’s over from that perspective but I’m not going to stop ... I’m determined, determined to make these politicians answer to the people.’’

The hunger strike was the latest in a long line of measures Mr Spencer took to draw attention to his plight and those of many other farmers and graziers in NSW and Queensland.

He is campaigning for a royal commission into legislation that bans farmers from clearing native vegetation on their properties.

Mr Spencer says the laws caused his business to fail and is the main reason he now faces the forced sale of his property.

‘‘As much as the nation is concerned about me, my concerns are directed at the families of the hundreds of farmers who have suicided and the politicians who have failed to show any concern,’’ he said in a statement.

Mr Spencer said he planned to continue to lobby the Federal Government for a royal commission.