Qld farmers confront the banks

Issue 

Qld farmers confront the banks

By Bill Mason

BRISBANE — Central Queensland farmers George and Stephanie Muirhead were released from jail on June 17 after receiving a six-month suspended sentence for contempt of court, after a battle with the Commonwealth Bank over loans on their property.

The Muirheads, calling themselves the "Duke and Duchess of Marlborough", had earlier evicted receivers from their farm and declared their secession from Australia.

After police arrested the couple and took them to prison in Brisbane, Muirhead said the banking industry and judicial system were "making him stew in jail" to cover up corruption.

"We want a trial by jury, a royal commission into the banking industry and judiciary because we've been given a raw deal", he said. The Muirheads gained widespread support from their neighbours and other farmers from across the state and nationally.

Supporters of the Muirheads picketed the Supreme Court in Brisbane on June 15 to demand an end to evictions.

Judge Thomas of the Supreme Court was worried: "If people like the Muirheads can flout court orders, why should anyone else obey the law?", he said.

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