Farmer ends tower demo

By Greg Ansley

Fifty-two days after he climbed a 10m wind monitoring tower to starve in protest at land-clearing laws, New South Wales farmer Peter Spencer was yesterday winched back to earth.

Finally giving in to the concerns of family and friends, the 62-year-old was taken to hospital in the nearby alpine town of Cooma to help recover from the ordeal and a diet of lemon juice, vitamins and water.

While he may not have won any of his demands - including a royal commission and a face-to-face meeting with Prime Minister Kevin Rudd - Spencer had made his point, loud and clear.

Outspoken Nationals Senator and Opposition finance spokesman Barnaby Joyce intends to take Spencer to Canberra when Parliament resumes next month to continue his "courageous" fight.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said Spencer had made an important point.

Even the Government may lend an ear. Climate Change Minister Penny Wong said she was open to a meeting between Spencer and parliamentary secretary for water Mike Kelly.

Spencer, who faces the sale of his property and is deeply in debt, said yesterday he intended to continue his fight against laws that prevented him from clearing trees from his property.

- NZ Herald

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