CORRUPTION IN AUSTRALIA.
TAXI INDUSTRY CORRUPTION
- MURDER - WHO IS GUILTY?
THIS SITE MAY BE ILLEGALLY WIPED BY CORRUPT
OFFICIALS WITHIN THE AUSTRALIAN/VICTORIAN GOVERNMENT. ASSOCIATED SITES
HAVE ALREADY BEEN ILLEGALLY WIPED (ON 22ND NOVEMBER 1996 BY VICTORIAN MEMBER
OF PARLIAMENT MR. VICTOR PERTON, WHO HAS A WEEL DOCUMENTED TRACK RECORD
OF AIDING AND ABETTING CORRUPT GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS). IT IS THEREFORE ADVISED
THAT READERS OF THIS MATERIAL DOWNLOAD IT AND REPOST IT AS WIDELY AS POSSIBLE.
MEDIA RELEASE - NOVEMBER
3RD 1996 - TAXI DRIVER'S LEAGUE, VICTORIA - AUSTRALIA.
GOVERNMENT BANS TAXI
This month's issue of the main Victorian Taxi Industry magazine, Taxi
Call, has been withdrawn from the streets following disapproval by
the Kennett State government.
The Magazine, which has now been published for some time has never previously
aroused the ire of the State government. The 2,500 copy print run was released
about a week ago through major taxi depots and other industry related places.
Within days, the Victorian Taxi Directorate (VTD) arranged for remaining
copies to be seized and/or taken out of circulation. However there have
been no legal actions of injunctions.
The articles that caused the government concern was one which was highly
critical of the Kennett government's running of the Victorian taxi industry,
in particular safety related matters. The major article, by Taxi Driver's
League president, Raymond Hoser pointed out that less than a month prior
to the slaying of driver Peter Coe, himself and other drivers had unsuccessfully
attempted to meet with Kennett and Taxi Directorate bosses to discuss safety
matters. They were told that neither were concerned about these things.
A series of letters simultaneously published in papers and taxi industry
magazines, less than a month prior to Coe's death, also failed to entice
Kennett or Taxi Directorate officers to meet drivers to discuss safety
This month's Taxi Call magazine noted that in spite of a string
of media stunts by Kennett and Taxi Directorate officials, the reality
is that based on their actions, neither are genuinely concerned about taxi
driver's safety and related matters. The article itself, which was based
entirely on material already on the public record further noted how the
Kennett/VTD media machine attempted to hide taxi driver's concerns after
the brutal killing of Peter Coe.
A further letter published in the magazine and signed by over 200 rank
and file taxi drivers noted how four resolutions passed unanimously by
a mass meeting of several hundred taxi drivers was effectively blocked
from being reported in the media. The article also referred to the State
Government's failure to implement recommendations of it's own Crime Prevention
Committee Report into the taxi industry, particularly with regards to earlier
PROVEN corruption among officials in Vicroads who had been in charge of
the taxi industry and those who remain in control.
The Taxi Driver's League regards the effective banning of their industry
magazine as a direct attack on their freedom of speech and the public right
to know about corruption. This action (banning the magazine) is also believed
to be illegal. Equally disturbing is how the large numbers of advertisers,
(garages, taxi companies, equipment sellers and others), many of whom are
struggling small businesses, have been effectively robbed of their opportunity
to sell products. As a result of the "banning" of Taxi Call
some of these businesses may in fact go out of business. The Taxi Driver's
League (representing hundreds of taxi drivers) notes that this latest action
goes against all Kennett's public pronouncements about his concern for
small business. The publisher of the Magazine, the Magazine Publishing
Company (based in Queensland), has been publishing for the Victorian Taxi
Industry for some years. There is now a possibility that their assistance's
to the Victorian taxi industry may cease due the ongoing risk of further
"politically incorrect' publications being banned. The Taxi Driver's
League regards this censorship as unacceptable and hope that it is reported
as widely as possible.
FURTHER INFORMATION PHONE: +61 3 9812 3322
FOLLOWING IS THE UNEDITED
TEXT OF THE ARTICLE PUBLISHED ON PAGES 10-11 OF THE OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 1996
ISSUE OF TAXI CALL
WHO REALLY IS TO BLAME
FOR PETER COE'S DEATH?
by RAYMOND HOSER, President, Taxi Driver's League (Victoria - Australia).
On 4th February 1995 Taxi driver Peter Coe was brutally slain by two
youths. Since that tragic death, there has been much in the media about
how and why this man died. Unfortunately many of the true facts have been
kept out of the papers and denied to the public. Most taxi drivers are
aware of the circumstances pre-empting the attack on Coe and are disgusted
with efforts by the Taxi Directorate, Victorian Government and others to
whitewash the real reasons behind the increase in violence against taxi
drivers which perhaps culminated in Coe's death A summary of some of the
media manipulation, lies and deception is given here.
Fare evasion and attacks against taxi drivers often go hand in hand.
Someone decides not to pay the fare and when the taxi driver attempts to
get payment, the evader gets violent. Associated with this are those who
pull knives on drivers, rob them and related criminal acts. The two attacks
on taxi drivers by the youths that killed Coe were not the first. Violence
against taxi drivers in Melbourne has been going on for years and the incidence
of it has been increasing steadily. For years myself and other drivers
haven't been saying 'what if a taxi driver gets killed' but rather 'when'.
If you ask any experienced full-time taxi driver what is the reason
for this steady increase in attacks on taxi drivers almost all will tell
you the same thing. That is that Police and Vicroads (AKA Taxi Directorate)
not only refuse to take action against those who bash and rob taxi drivers,
thereby giving these criminals further encouragement, but they even side
with them when taxi drivers themselves attempt to take action against these
Over the years I've become aware of several cases in Melbourne whereby
taxi drivers have been charged with assault for either attempting to apprehend
fare evaders (jumpers) or defend themselves against attacks. In a number
of court cases I've attended, (including as defendant), I've seen Police
and Vicroads (AKA Taxi Directorate) officials entice fare evaders to perjure
themselves in court in order to convict innocent taxi drivers who have
done no more than assert their rights. (In my own case, the current chief
Solicitor of the VTD David Robbie, enticed a pair of fare evaders to perjure
themselves in a failed attempt to convict me of assault). That perjury
has since been openly admitted by one of them on publicly available, official
In order to combat the rise in violence against taxi drivers, myself
and several other drivers have attempted to meet the powers that be (namely
Vicroads/VTD and politicians) for several years (since 1986) to discuss
these issues. Without fail, these groups have refused to discuss the issues.
A senior bureaucrat with Vicroads is on the record stating that taxi drivers
must 'expect' to be attacked and that attacks and thefts are 'an occupational
hazard'. Try telling that to a Police officer. I for one don't expect Police
to be robbed or bashed. Nor do I expect the same of taxi drivers.
Since Jeff Kennett's election as Victorian Premier, myself and
others in the Taxi Driver's League (a lobby group of over 200 professional
drivers) has attempted to meet with him to discuss taxi industry problems,
including violence against taxi drivers. While Kennett hasn't hesitated
to pull various media stunts to profess his alleged concern for the taxi
industry, his rhetoric hasn't matched his actions. He has point blank refused
to meet myself or any other concerned drivers who wanted to raise the violence
issue. Peter Toner, a taxi driver who was repeatedly refused an appointment
to see Kennett, lived in his electorate, within walking distance of his
Ashburton office and was even a paid up member of the Liberal Party. Roads
and Ports Minister Bill Baxter and VTD officials also refused to discuss
the issue of attacks on drivers, thefts, etc., with VTD staff on the record
as stating that all attacks on drivers were provoked by the drivers themselves.
While I'd be the first to agree that not all taxi drivers are saints, the
philosophy emanating from VTD offices is beneath contempt.
In order to combat the violence against taxi drivers, myself and others
wrote a number of letters to the papers seeking some form of action to
combat the problem. Although most letters were screened out of the papers,
some were printed (albeit heavily edited).
In response to my campaign for tougher action against the criminals
who bash and rob taxi drivers, the current hierarchy at the Taxi Directorate
attempted to drive me out of the industry (with periodic successes). At
the time of his appointment as head of the renamed Taxi Directorate, Terry
O'Keefe made much mileage out of a campaign to dob in a taxi driver for
any alleged indiscretion, while choosing to ignore safety and other concerns
At the end of 1994 and in January 1995, what may have been a record
number of taxi drivers were bashed and robbed by passengers. Some were
even locked in the boots of their cabs. Myself and two other taxi drivers
in January wrote a number of letters seeking appointments with then Roads
Minister Bill Baxter, Premier Kennett and the VTD to discuss their inaction
over safety matters, including non-prosecution of those who bash and rob
drivers. I personally have a massive number of files of cases where Police
and VTD have refused to charge offenders, even when evidence against them
is overwhelming and in many cases not even disputed!
I had a number of letters published in January 1995, just one month
before Coe's death calling for a change in attitude by the above authorities.
A letter to this effect was printed on page 14 of the Herald-Sun on
January 13, 1995, just a month before Coe's death.
Instead of getting support from the authorities, Kennett and Baxter
still refused to meet us, while the VTD people simply made a series of
threatening/nuisance phone calls telling me to get off their case. (They
were also unsuccessfully attempting to stop publication of a book detailing
corruption in their department).
Following Coe's tragic death on February 4, there was a mass meeting
of taxi drivers at TWU house in South Melbourne, where five resolutions
were made and passed unanimously. These were
1/ The immediate reversal of current Police
practice of not taking action against those who rob and bash taxi drivers.
2/ Immediate introduction of a policy that
Police must prosecute anyone who avoids paying taxi fares, assaults or
robs a taxi driver, or who in any other way harasses a taxi driver.
3/ The IMMEDIATE DISMISSAL of Terry O'Keefe
(Head of Victorian Taxi Directorate) and all others in the Victorian Taxi
Directorate who were formerly employed by Vicroads.
4/ A 150 per cent tax write-off for all monies
spent by taxi owners on taxi safety equipment such as barriers, alarms
and so on.
5/ Immediate introduction of some sort of
shields to protect taxi drivers who want shields.
Instead of adopting these resolutions, the State Government, in co-operation
with the VTD went on a cynical damage control exercise which not only failed
to address the key concerns of taxi drivers, but kept out of public sight
the real concerns of Melbourne's taxi drivers.
On the opposite side of town, Minister Bill Baxter called a press conference
to announce his 'new' safety measures for taxi drivers. This was done in
an attempt to negate the anger of taxi drivers and in the eyes of the media
neutralise their protests. This tactic worked as Baxter managed to entice
most media away from the TWU house meeting and get a clear run of the evening
news Bulletins. His departmental media unit also made sure that the only
material in the next days' papers was what he and his minders wanted. No
paper ran stories covering the five resolutions made by the taxi drivers.
This was obviously not a chance happening. Incidentally, when Baxter's
so-called safety measures were read out to the TWU House meeting of drivers,
it was greeting by loud booing.
In the March 1995 issue of Taxi Talk, the TWU printed a piece
detailing 'resolutions' made at the conference. Not only were the alleged
resolutions lies, but so too was most of the article. When I raised this
matter with publisher of Taxi Talk Stan White, he said he'd been
advised by Frank Hart (of Martin Meters) that the TWU piece was untrue,
but that he'd printed it as they were paying him for advertising. Hart
had attended the TWU house meeting, while White hadn't. Both men are close
friends and Hart had apparently given White an accurate account of what
A letter written by myself and signed by over 200 other drivers, detailing
the exact resolutions passed at the TWU house meeting was sent to all major
papers, Taxi Talk and others. An edited version of the letter was
printed in the Age on 10th February 1995. The text of the (unedited)
letter appears at the end of this article. While the letter was written
more than a year ago, all the key points in the letter remain true today.
Notably Stan White failed to print the letter in his magazine, even though
he admitted in several conversations, he knew it's contents were accurate.
Since Coe's death, violence against taxi drivers continues. Baxter's
duress alarms have proved of little benefit to taxi drivers, while GPS,
as good as it is, really only assists in finding a driver's body after
the attack, not in stopping the attacks. Police and VTD officials continue
on the whole treat taxi drivers as 'the enemy' and soft targets to fine
for the most menial of alleged indiscretions. Fare evaders and those who
rob and bash drivers continue to get the green light to do as they please
from Police and VTD officials.
Meanwhile, while taxi driver's are constantly getting booked and harassed
by Police for even the most minor of offences, many loosing their licences
as a result, Premier Kennett is let off for doing over 140 kph on a main
highway - an offence that would have cost me my licence, if not my liberty.
In other words, double standards in the taxi industry remain the norm and
while this goes on the risk of more attacks and untimely deaths of taxi
drivers will remain unacceptably high.
Perhaps it's also worth asking, what would have happened to Coe if he'd
managed to defend himself against his attackers or even escape them. I
have no doubt at all that he'd have been charged at least with assault.
I know of several other drivers similarly charged. This surely is an indictment
of those in charge of the VTD and that substantial number of Police who
adopt similar policies towards taxi drivers.
(UNEDITED) TEXT OF LETTER PUBLISHED
IN THE AGE NEWSPAPER ON 10TH FEB. 1995.
LETTER TO THE EDITOR .
We refer to the recent brutal slaying of taxi driver Peter Coe and the
flurry of media activity since. Since the murder, it appears that State
Transport Minister, Bill Baxter's media office has been working in overdrive
in a bid to cover-up for his inaction over taxi violence for some time.
It is also notable that he refused to attend the meeting of over 300 rank
and file taxi drivers on Monday February 6th which was specifically convened
to discuss the violence against taxi drivers in Victoria.
Bill Baxter's announcement that he will make duress alarms and boot
releases mandatory falls far short of taxi driver's demands and is best
described as a political stunt for damage control.
There appears to have been a scarcity of reports in the media as to
what the taxi drivers themselves wanted to combat the growing problem of
violence against them. It is for this reason that we ask your paper to
balance it's reporting and publish this letter with the resolutions passed
by an overwhelming majority of drivers at Monday's meeting.
The resolutions passed were as follows:-
All but the fifth resolution were passed unanimously.
When the third resolution for Mr. O'Keefe's removal was put to the meeting
there was a standing ovation and cheering. Taxi drivers believe that their
industry should be run by someone with recent taxi driving experience and
not a career bureaucrat. Furthermore the appointment of Mr. O'Keefe as
former licensing manager at Vicroads went directly against the recommendations
of the all-party Crime Prevention Committee Report of 1993, which stated
that Vicroads people should not run the taxi industry as they were not
fit and proper to do so. The report documented corruption in the department
with relation to taxis.
We also refer to a petition by over 700 taxi drivers in 1991, which
called for similar measures to those above. Furthermore the introduction
of the above resolutions will not only cost the government nothing (in
the immediate term), but save money in the long term. The time to act is
now - not after the next murder.
RAYMOND HOSER and over 200 other taxi drivers (names, addresses and
PO BOX 599,
DONCASTER, VIC, 3108.
(RAYMOND HOSER HAS DRIVEN A TAXI IN MELBOURNE FULL-TIME FOR OVER TEN
YEARS. HE HAS ALSO WRITTEN A BOOK ABOUT CORRUPTION IN THE VICTORIAN TAXI
DIRECTORATE AND POLICE, WHICH HAS BEEN RAISED IN PARLIAMENT SEVERAL TIMES.
THAT BOOK IS CALLED THE HOSER FILES - THE FIGHT
AGAINST ENTRENCHED OFFICIAL CORRUPTION. HOSER HAS ALSO WRITTEN
SEVERAL OTHER BOOKS AND IS A WORLD RENOWNED ZOOLOGIST. HE WAS RECENTLY
(NOVEMBER 1996) SUED FOR DEFAMATION OVER HIS BOOK SMUGGLED-2:
WILDLIFE TRAFFICKING CRIME AND CORRUPTION IN AUSTRALIA. THE
DEFAMATION SUIT WAS DISMISSED AND ALL COSTS WERE AWARDED IN HOSER'S FAVOUR.
THAT NOBODY HAS SUCCESSFULLY SUED HOSER OVER WHAT HE PUTS IN HIS BOOKS,
SPEAKS VOLUMES IN TERMS OF THE ACCURACY OF WHAT HE WRITES).
(Editor's note - the above paragraph was true and correct at the time
of writing. Since then (November/December 1996, Raymond Hoser was sued
a further two times for defamation over his book Smuggled-2
Wildlife Trafficking Crime and Corruption in Australia, making
a total of three cases. However all three cases were dismissed in favour
of Raymond Hoser. In other words the contents of Raymond Hoser's books
were yet again vindicated as being true and correct. The writs had been
brought on behalf of the New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service
and corrupt employees of that departments, who were documented to have
been involved in and/or a party to massive corruption including wildlife
smuggling, drug trafficking, murder, arson, theft, court fixing, and other
serious crime. The writs were issued in November/December and in all three
cases settled within a month. One of the three failed cases cited was an
(2nd Editor's note: The head of the Victorian Taxi Directorate, Mr.
Terry O'Keefe - shown in the State Government's own crime prevention inquiry
to be corrupt and not suitable to be running the taxi industry, was repeatedly
invited (in writing) to provide any evidence to suggest a single statement
in the banned magazine article (printed above) was in any way false or
incorrect. He was unable to do so).
For further information about corruption in the Victorian Taxi Industry,
including involving Terry O'Keefe and others at the Taxi Directorate, Police
and Judiciary, it is recommended that you read
The Hoser Files - The Fight Against Entrenched Official Corruption. People
within the Kennett government, by illegal and/or improper means has effected
a media blackout on reporting on that book in Victoria and most other parts
of Australia, in yet another illegal act of censorship. Click
here for further information about the suppression of this book.
AUSTRALIANS AGAINST CORRUPTION.
OTHER SITES OF INTEREST FOR THOSE
WANTING TO KNOW ABOUT ORGANIZED CRIME IN AUSTRALIA AND ELSEWHERE.
Australian site for wildlife
crime and corruption
Wildlife Trafficking, Crime
and Corruption - A new book - Smuggled-2
Smuggled-2 beats three attempts
to have it banned in NSW courts - internet censorship and more.
Smuggled-2 - Reviews published
in Australian newspapers.
Bird Smuggling - was a man
set up by the US Fish and Wildlife Service???
Kennett - Premier of Victoria - A Catalogue of his corruption, dishonesty
and other criminal activities.