IS VINDICATED THREE TIMES BY AUSTRALIAN COURTS
SEE MEDIA RELEASES BELOW
NOTE - IT IS HIGHLY LIKELY
THAT THERE WILL BE ATTEMPTS MADE TO DELETE AND/OR WIPE THIS SITE AND IT'S
CONTENTS. THEREFORE IT IS SUGGESTED THAT IT'S CONTENTS BE DOWNLOADED IN
THEIR ENTIRETY AND REPOSTED AS WIDELY AS POSSIBLE.
MEDIA RELEASE DATED LATE
NOVEMBER 1996 ILLEGAL INTERNET CENSORSHIP/BAN: AN AUSTRALIAN FIRST (SEE
BELOW). SMUGGLING BOOK BACK ON MARKET - CALL FOR ROYAL COMMISSION.
On Wednesday, 20th November 1996, Vacik Distributors and Vic Bates served
a summons on Author Raymond Hoser alleging he had made false and defamatory
statements against them and the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service
(NPWS) in his recently released book "Smuggled-2:
Wildlife Trafficking, Crime and Corruption in Australia". The
book details the involvement of senior wildlife officials in New South
Wales (NPWS) and other states in the illegal trade in Australia's wildlife,
as well as other criminal activities such as the drug trade, arms dealings,
and so on. The book further documents NPWS involvement in murders, bashings
and other means to silence whistleblowers, including those within their
own departments. Phone tapping, burglaries, armed raids and other strong-arm
tactics are so common as to be effectively routine.
On Friday 22nd November at the Supreme Court of New South Wales, Justice
Levine rejected the application by the NPWS side. Their lawyers had sought
an immediate court order banning any further sales, distribution and advertising
of the book, including via the internet, payment of punitive compensation
to the NPWS side by Hoser (damages) and a media blackout/ban on any reporting
of the case and the bans sought. Levine rejected the application by the
NPWS side and further awarded all costs to be paid by the NPWS side, including
for the lawyers used by Hoser in his defence.
In his Judgement, Levine failed to identify a single false or defamatory
statement in the book "Smuggled-2" or it's predecessor, "Smuggled
- The Underground Trade in Australia's Wildlife", which also carried
similar serious allegations against Vacik and NPWS and were also a part
of this court case. Levine allowed sales of the book to proceed and ruled
against any further attempts to ban the books or their promotion. In his
verbal and written judgements he specifically referred to the internet
(initially raised by the NPWS side) allowing promotion of "Smuggled-2"
to continue. The decision was made at 10.30 AM.
Since Friday's failed attempt to ban the controversial book "Smuggled-2
Wildlife Trafficking Crime and Corruption in Australia", Kotabi Publishing
has been inundated with orders for thousands of copies of the book as well
as it's predecessor, "Smuggled", first published in 1993.
Hoser described the above case as "a victory for free speech and
those who wish to expose crime and corruption in government".
Kotabi Publishing did in the following week announce that a further
2,000 copies will be released to Sydney's bookshops within a week in order
to satisfy the massive public demand for the book. Reprints of both "Smuggled-2"
and "Smuggled" (a book that was illegally banned by NPWS for
a month after publication), have also been announced, including a specific
USA print run for both titles.
Following confirmation that the material highly adverse to NPWS in "Smuggled-2"
is not defamatory, several recently retired employees of NPWS have joined
the call for a full Royal Commission into their department. Clive Bennett
who worked for NPWS for many years in the very sections named by Hoser
as corrupt says "Hoser's account of corruption within NPWS is accurate.
He has uncovered far more corruption in that department with his very limited
financial resources, than the very expensive tax-payer funded ICAC which
could not find corruption here or in the Police. Now is the time for a
Royal Commission to sort out the mess in this department once and for all".
Bennett himself and about a dozen other NPWS employees unsuccessfully attempted
to get ICAC to investigate NPWS, even though they provided several feet
of documents which they said proved corruption was a serious problem in
the department. He said "I got nowhere with ICAC so instead myself
and others went to Raymond Hoser with our evidence and he put it in "Smuggled-2"
so that at least this way the public could find out what was really going
In spite of a Supreme Court ruling on Friday November 22nd, 1996 banning
any censorship of "Smuggled-2",
there have been a number of (illegal) attempts to further ban the book
"Smuggled-2" and prevent it's distribution.
ILLEGAL INTERNET BAN ENFORCED
A Victorian MP, Victor Perton shown to have lied in a previous book
by Hoser ("The Hoser Files - The Fight Against
Entrenched Official Corruption") has actively phoned the media,
made false and defamatory statements about and against Hoser and used his
position of influence to direct them against publishing any material that
may publicise Hoser, any of his books or the material in them. Perton,
who is currently also subject to a defamation claim by Hoser was unable
to sue Hoser for what he printed as Hoser was able to back what he printed
with documentation from the MP himself as well as legally obtained covertly
At about noon Friday, 22nd November, Perton illegally forced Hoser's
internet provider, Starway corporation to wipe Hoser's various internet
sites (the vast bulk of which are devoted to the publication of previously
published scientific papers on reptiles, herpetological (reptile) societies
and so on (35 out of 46 files were papers, while some of the others related
to herp' society matters only)) and cut off all access to him in what is
perhaps Australia's first ever case of internet censorship. It is also
noteworthy that this MP, himself a qualified lawyer, appears to have committed
a contempt of the Supreme Court decision made just hours earlier. Perton
simply phoned the internet provider and made threats to them, thereby intimidating
them to wipe Hoser's sites and access, even though such an action was in
violation of the commercial agreement between Hoser and the server. When
Starway unilaterally wiped Hoser's sites and access, they did not even
afford him the courtesy of telling him what was going on and it was only
by accident that he found out what had happened the day after, when in
Sydney after a number of people claimed they couldn't access his sites.
It is also notable that Hoser could easily have been contacted by phone,
fax or mobile and evidently none of these were attempted by either Perton
or the server franchisee (as conceded by the server, Jim Haralambidis,
who later commented "It was all done by head office").
Perton appears to have developed somewhat obsessive behaviour against
Hoser since publication of material adverse to him in a book about Police
Corruption "The Hoser Files", published over a year ago. Besides
defaming Hoser in calls to third parties, Perton most recently took it
upon himself to harass Hoser's lawyers in Sydney by making repeated nuisance
calls and abusing their staff, hardly the conduct expected by a member
of parliament. Interestingly enough, Perton maintains a large website himself,
which appears to be mainly devoted to self promotion.
In relation to the illegal wiping of Hoser's sites from the internet,
there has been strong interest from various quarters, including others
involved in the internet. Regarding the illegal activities by NPWS and
their failed attempt to ban the book "Smuggled-2", Whistleblowers
Australia, a Member of Parliament in NSW, Mr. Richard Jones and the Avicultural
Community (AAPA) have this week put out media releases stating the need
for an independent Royal Commission into the NPWS. All have been unanimous
in declaring ICAC and it's head Barry O'Keefe as not being fit and proper
to conduct any inquiry into the department.
In summary Hoser said "I join the call by Whistleblowers Australia,
various MP's, and the various NPWS officials themselves for a full Royal
Commission into the department, noting that ICAC are not competent of such
inquiry. Myself and my publishers will continue to attempt to satisfy public
demand and the right to know by supplying books, regardless of illegal
activities and censorship by dishonest MP's and/or those who aid the dishonest,
NPWS themselves and any other supporters of the corrupt."
UPDATE FOR LAST WEEK OF NOVEMBER 1996.
Following the unsuccessful defamation action against Hoser, Victor Bates
of Vacik telephoned a number of former NPWS officials who provided material
to Hoser for "Smuggled-2" in an
attempt to get them to change their evidence in the event that he later
pursues a further defamation action against Hoser. These calls were made
in the last week of November 1996. Whilst Hoser objects to this overt intimidation
of potential court witnesses, it would probably not assist the Bates/Vacik/NPWS
cause as verbal evidence from the officials was taped in it's entirety
and as such would be tendered in court if necessary.
Hoser was able to successfully action for a defamation previously on
the basis of a tape recorded interview (tape of Peter Jones used to action
We hope that it is made as widely known as possible that Victor Perton
(a member of Parliament here in Australia) has been guilty of perhaps the
first case of overt internet censorship and a contempt of the Supreme Court.
We ask that as many messages of protest to various places be made so as
to prevent a repeat of this action in future. It also appears that Perton
himself can also claim credit for knobbling sections of the media here
in Australia for not reporting on the series of events reported above.
He has also made false and defamatory statements about Hoser to the ABC
during a radio broadcast on 17th January 1996. Victor Perton can be e-mailed
at the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
It may also interest Australian readers to know that Perton is MP for one
of the safest Liberal seats in Australia and therefore doesn't need to
canvass for votes and/or look after local constituents. Instead he seems
to spend most of his spare time wasting taxpayer's money and surfing the
internet, arranging for the illegal wiping of sites he finds to his displeasure.
Some of these statements have since been referred to by Federal MP,
Graeme Campbell in a speech to Federal Parliament, commencing 7.51 PM on
4th December 1996, when he noted that he'd been told by allies of the corrupt
"do not touch him" (Hoser).
Campbell gave a long speech which backed Hoser's book, noting his own
experiences which corroborated the contents of "Smuggled-2".
He summed up stating to others in Parliament "If we do not investigate
this book, it would be an indictment of all of us." (Hansard pp. 7490-7491).
On 27th November 1996 at 8 PM a female rang Raymond Hoser on his mobile
phone and stated "I have read your book, I did not like it, you are
going to die soon". The person then hung up.
MEDIA RELEASE DATED 1ST DECEMBER 1996 PAM ALLEN
CONDEMNED OVER FALSE AND MISLEADING MEDIA RELEASE - ACCUSED OF HIDING CORRUPTION
- RENEWED CALL FOR ROYAL COMMISSION INTO NPWS.
NSW Environment Minister Ms. Pam Allen has come under fire after putting
out a media release referring evidence of corruption in the New South Wales
National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) to the Independent Commission
Against Corruption (ICAC). This media release followed an unsuccessful
attempt to ban a book "Smuggled-2 - Wildlife Trafficking, Crime and
Corruption in Australia", by Raymond Hoser, which summarised massive
entrenched corruption in NPWS which had been aided and abetted by State
Ministers including NSW Premier Bob Carr.
In her statement Ms. Allen said "Allegations in his last book Smuggled
- all of which were investigated by the ICAC and were found to be without
substance". That statement was a complete lie. Letters from the ICAC
"Operational Review Committee" dated May 28, 1993, June 8, 1993,
August 19, 1993 and September 21, 1993 all confirm that ICAC never investigated
the evidence of corruption documented in Hoser's book Smuggled. Author
Raymond Hoser states "That a Minister of the Crown can so blatantly
lie and defame me is outrageous. That she can so actively aid and abet
ongoing corruption in one of her departments is a scandal. I call on her
Hoser is joined in his call for Pam Allen's resignation by a number
of former employees of NPWS who as recently as yesterday told the Sydney
media of ongoing corruption in NPWS. It appears that Pam Allen's attempts
to sabotage any proper inquiry into NPWS stem in part from a desire to
keep Premier Bob Carr out of the mess. In April 1986 Bob Carr as Minister
in charge of NPWS made a number of false statements in relation to evidence
of corruption in NPWS. For example he told Parliament that NPWS officer
Clive Bennett could not substantiate a single allegation of corruption
in NPWS. That statement was a lie.
Bennett's evidence of corruption in the period when Carr was in charge
of NPWS is summarised on pages 39-68 of "Smuggled-2".
His documentary evidence is listed on pages 231-259.
In relation to "Smuggled-2" Clive Bennett who worked for NPWS
for many years in the very sections shown by Hoser as corrupt says "Hoser's
account of corruption within NPWS is accurate. He has uncovered far more
corruption in that department with his very limited financial resources,
than the very expensive tax-payer funded ICAC which could not find corruption
here or in the Police. Now is the time for a Royal Commission to sort out
the mess in this department once and for all". Bennett himself and
about a dozen other NPWS employees unsuccessfully attempted to get ICAC
to investigate NPWS, even though they provided several feet of documents
which they said proved corruption was a serious problem in the department.
He said "I got nowhere with ICAC so instead myself and others went
to Raymond Hoser with our evidence and he put it in "Smuggled-2"
so that at least this way the public could find out what was really going
Yesterday another NPWS employee, John Gallard told the media of major
organised crime interests working with corrupt officials in NPWS, confirming
his input into "Smuggled-2" as being true and correct. Whistleblowers
Australia, NSW Branch also support Bennett, Gallard and other internal
whistleblowers within NPWS and their call for a Royal Commission. Whistleblowers
Australia have previously stated that ICAC is nothing more than a shield
behind which the corrupt can hide and continue their activities. Today
Raymond Hoser stated "ICAC couldn't find corruption in the Police,
don't want to find corruption in NPWS. I doubt they'd have the ability
to even investigate a chook raffle!"
Non-Australian readers may not be aware that ICAC failed to find any
corruption in the NSW Police and a Royal Commission (still ongoing) headed
by Justice Wood has exposed massive corruption in that department from
top to bottom including allegations of routine court fixing, peadophilia
rings, protection of a paedophile Judge, drug trafficking, etc. The former
Police Commissioner, Tony Lauer, who had repeatedly asserted that his force
was "clean" was forced to retire prematurely as a result of the
Wood Royal Commission. Another Police Commissioner, Sir Terrence Lewis
was jailed over corruption and stripped of his knighthood which he'd apparently
bought. ICAC itself is currently subject of a NSW Parliamentary inquiry.
NEWS UPDATE - 25TH DECEMBER 1996.
Yesterday, Vacik/NPWS failed in two new attempts to ban "Smuggled-2",
making it three times unlucky for them.
Following the failed writ that was heard in front of Judge Levine in
November 1996, Vacik distributors and their lawyer's Clayton Utz, went
on what was best described as a cynical Judge shopping spree in the NSW
Supreme Court. A second defamation writ was issued against Raymond Hoser's
lawyers on 2nd December 1996 which was heard on 17th and 19th December
1996 in front of Judge John Dowd, (himself former NSW Liberal Leader).
Dowd handed down his ruling on Christmas eve which confirmed Levine's
original findings. Dowd did not identify a single piece of "Smuggled-2"
which was either false or defamatory and therefore ruled that no ban on
the book should be allowed. He further stated the book was "subject
of much international controversy and enormous public interest". Vacik's
barrister, a QC, asked for a two and a half hour ban on the book at 12
noon, in order to allow him to apply to the NSW Supreme Court of appeal
to ban the book fully. Without opposition from Hoser's side, the ban was
allowed in order to bring the matter to a head, noting that Hoser was in
Sydney and not in a position to sell books in the time frame specified.
Although the matter was supposed to be heard at 2.30 PM the same day.
Vacik's lawyers did without telling Hoser's side, rush to the Court at
about 12.30 and had the matter heard ex-parte. This means in the absence
of one side (namely the publisher's side). This was apparently in a bid
to deny Hoser's side natural justice and increase the chances of a ban
being ordered by the appeal court judge. This application was refused just
before 1 PM on Christmas eve. Costs in all three court matters were awarded
in favour of the defendants, namely Raymond Hoser and Kotabi publishing,
although the losses sustained as a result of these legal actions has been
Raymond Hoser noted that with sales and demand for his book about Police
Corruption, "The Hoser Files" running at an all time high, his
being tied up with the "Smuggled-2" legal battles has cost him
several thousand dollars worth of potentially lost sales. Added to this
is the fact that booksellers have been repeatedly intimidated into not
selling the book ("Smuggled-2") in spite of massive public demand.
The court win was reported the following day on page 16 of the "Daily
Telegraph", the only Sydney Newspaper published on Christmas day,
as well as on the ABC. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), have
also been threatened by the NPWS side (by phone and letter) after making
a number of TV and radio reports on the failed attempts to ban the book.
This appears to have silenced them and other mainstream media, who are
now not reporting on the book.
On 28th December 1996, Raymond Hoser got back onto the internet with
another ISP, "Lexicon" with all former websites fully restored
and operational by the end of the following day. The corruption related
sites will also be established on non-Australian servers to minimise potential
damage in the event of them being illegally wiped. Hoser has directed his
Sydney lawyer to take action against Victor Perton (MP) the man responsible
for wiping his sites (46 in total) as well as the ISP, Starway Corporation.
A hearing against Starway Corporation has been scheduled for early 1997
It has also been revealed that prior to the case heard on 17th and 19th
December 1996, the NPWS side issued subpoenas (witness summonses) to NPWS
officials Clive Bennett, Ken Blade and Les McQueen. It is understood that
it transpired that lawyers for the NPWS side later decided that evidence
they may give would damage their case (i.e. confirm the contents of the
book "Smuggled-2"), so at the last minute none were called.
Further Inquiries (Australian Phone Numbers):-
KOTABI PUBLISHING - (03) 9812 33 22 or RAYMOND HOSER - 0412 777 211 CLIVE
BENNETT (EX-NPWS) (065) 631-103 RICHARD JONES (MP) (02) 230-2858, DAVID
HARRISON, AUSTRALIAN AVICULTURE PROTECTION ASSOCIATION (AAPA). 066-493-433
GRAEME CAMPBELL (MP) (06) 277 4295
"Smuggled-2" costs $30 including
postage within Australia. "Smuggled" and "The
Hoser Files" both cost $25 including postage within Australia.
Overseas orders add $5 to cover postage. Australian and USA currency accepted.
For online orders click here.
Following is a chapter from the book Smuggled-2
Wildlife Trafficking Crime and Corruption in Australia, by Raymond
This chapter, namely chapter 8 was the subject of three failed defamation
cases against Raymond Hoser in the Supreme Court of NSW late last month.
It is asked that any person/s who have received this material by e-mail
or other means please circulate it as widely as possible. Those who see
this material posted on a site on the internet are asked to download it
and post it as widely as possible. This is being done in the public interest.
Before this chapter are copies of some recent media releases, some of
which have been previously published. Please also circulate these as widely
as possible. In advance, apologies are made for the length of this material,
but it is hoped that the recipients of this appreciate the importance of
the issues raised. As there are ongoing attempts to stop the Australian
public from buying "Smuggled-2" (in violation of three separate
court orders) it is hoped that non-Australian people can circulate this
material as widely as possible. (More material
on internet censorship in Australia by Victor Perton and others can be
found by clicking here).
8 - KANGAROO CONNECTION.
Few industries have had so much corruption alleged and yet managed to
avoid the scrutiny of a major investigation. The kangaroo industry has
been called the most regulated, yet lawless industry in Australia. By many
accounts, it is run by precious few large operators, who share huge profits
with corrupt government officials. The officials, allegedly within the
N.P.W.S. of New South Wales and elsewhere are an essential component in
that they allow illegal activity to continue unimpeded. No fewer than 31
other Australian government departments also have a role in administering
the Kangaroo industry and corruption in many has been previously documented.
These include state and federal wildlife authorities, Customs and the Australian
Quarantine service. Officials and operators appear to be able to maintain
a closed shop, using what were described by Aboriginal Commissioner Steve
Gordon as 'standover tactics' to suppress opponents and those who may choose
to expose the rackets. Legal and illegal means are used.
The names of the officials in N.P.W.S. who allegedly facilitated Kangaroo
rackets include those named by Clive Bennett as corrupt in the previous
chapter. These of course corroborate with those named by Steve Gordon who
was familiar with the Kangaroo industry from a different perspective. Neither
man ever met, making the corroboration of their evidence even more significant.
The late Dr. Peter Rawlinson, a zoologist who campaigned against corruption
in the Kangaroo industry, told journalist Greg Roberts of the same corruption,
involving the same officials some years earlier.
In 1992 journalist Fia Cumming investigated the allegations of Steve
Gordon. That in itself wasn't too hard, as he'd been very specific in his
information and the details were fairly easy to check. However as she investigated
the corruption involved in the Kangaroo industry and N.P.W.S., she found
not just one relatively unexposed area of crime and corruption, but rather
a whole series of inter-connected webs, spanning Australia and even overseas.
The rackets uncovered had managed to operate almost without hiccup from
the 1960's to the present. Cumming interviewed major players in the Kangaroo
industry, former and serving N.P.W.S. officials and other interested parties
gathering a huge amount of evidence of corruption. This evidence was subsequently
backed up with a vast number of official and other documents. The information
she gathered not only related to the Kangaroo industry, including meat
substitutions, but major drug distribution networks through the meat industry,
money laundering, asset stripping, protection rackets, multiple murders,
court fixing, arson, stealing operations and more. In summary, so much
information, that it would fill more than one book. Therefore a detailed
account of Cumming's findings are beyond the scope of this book. In terms
of the Kangaroo industry, what follows derives from a mere fraction of
the material she gathered.
Fia Cumming was not the first to allege corruption in the Kangaroo industry.
Many have done so before her. Invariably most who have spoken out have
either not got any positive response from those in positions of power,
or have been silenced before they got too far.
WHEN IT STARTED.
Since human settlement, Kangaroos have been hunted and their products
used. Since European settlement, most states considered Kangaroos as vermin
and they were shot as pests. In the mid 1950's Theo Livanes and a friend
Mr. Dalgleish sent a trial shipment of Kangaroo meat to the UK. Harvesting
Kangaroos on rural properties by shooters for meat and skins became a more
widespread activity during the 1960's. The Fauna Protection Panel of N.S.W.
welcomed the growth of the Kangaroo meat trade as an effective means of
controlling Kangaroo numbers. In 1967 responsibility for administering
Kangaroo shooting laws was transferred to the newly formed National Parks
and Wildlife Service (N.P.W.S.) and the Fauna Protection Panel was abolished.
Local health laws prevented the widespread use of Kangaroo meat for human
consumption. However they were still shot for pet meat and hides.
The N.P.W.S., not only had to address the concerns of shooters, but
also those of conservationists who were worried about over-shooting and
possible extinction's. In a bid to stop overkilling, N.P.W.S. divided N.S.W.
into zones, and issued licenses to various chiller operators to process
meat from within these zones. How N.P.W.S. officials decided who to issue
licenses to within a given zone became a contentious issue due to the potential
profits to be made. Within a given zone, a single operator usually had
a monopoly. Local shooters usually had to sell all carcasses to one operator.
Although other states had different zoning and licensing systems, local
monopolies still developed.
By the early 1970's the major operators had managed to increase their
profits by being able to dictate to shooters the amount they paid for Kangaroo
carcasses. By virtue of the distances to other potential buyers and that
all operators allegedly operated as a cartel, prices paid for carcasses
consistently dropped relative to expenses. This left the average professional
shooter earning about half the national average weekly wage for a week's
full-time shooting. Many shooters within the industry now claim to be there
only because they know no other way to make money. The industry is notorious
for it's itinerant workforce.
Over the last 20 years, Australia has averaged about 2,000 licensed
Kangaroo shooters, many of whom do this as their full-time operation. The
Kangaroos are found at night by driving along in trucks with spotlights.
Shooters are only paid a few dollars a carcass and usually shoot between
20 and 40 roos a night to earn a living. Many actually lose money after
paying their expenses. People may shoot at a loss for either the thrill
of the kill or a perceived need to reduce numbers in their area.
With operators being able to increase profits, so too did the competition
by these operators for licenses. With N.P.W.S./N.S.W. and their Queensland
counterparts issuing these licenses, it was almost inevitable that attempts
to corrupt these officials would be made. Furthermore, in hindsight it
was probably also inevitable that some officials would also succumb to
the temptation to get some easy money. For example when operator, Theo
Livanes first met N.P.W.S./N.S.W. official Jack Giles, Giles told Livanes
'he had just endured another in a series of divorces and that as a result
he was absolutely broke. The point was elaborated upon at some length.'
Mr. Livanes didn't offer Giles a bribe.
Livanes stated he complained at the time to Giles' superiors but they
were also in his words 'crook'. He later lodged a complaint to the Minister
at the time Bill Crabtree. The letter he sent was answered by the very
person he complained about. Another person in the Kangaroo industry at
the time, Steve Gordon, said 'Giles would do anything, just give him a
few thousand'. When Giles was forced to leave N.P.W.S. in the late 1980's,
his next door neighbor, Michael Dodds noted how 'wealthy' Giles had become.
It was at about the same time he bought an expensive property at Northbridge,
on Sydney's north shore, moving there from near Campbelltown in Sydney's
According to Livanes, who's evidence was presented to the Federal Senate,
things started to go wrong in about 1968, when 'it was the first time governments
interfered in the business of who does business where'. As a result operators
had to pay set fees to wildlife departments for operating licenses in given
areas. It was about this time that a number of operators were forced to
restrict activities within one state only. However in reality there was
little to stop shooters killing roos in one state and then having them
processed interstate. This was particularly in border areas of western
N.S.W. and Queensland. This later led to fierce rivalries between processors
and the famed 'Kangaroo war' that was reported in the media throughout
the 1970's and early 1980's.
During the term of the Whitlam government, Lionel Murphy became the
minister for customs and excise and banned the export of all kangaroo products.
This added a new twist to the whole Kangaroo thing. According to Livanes,
although the legal export was banned, the illegal export flourished. He
claimed a major rival of his Vacik, illegally exported during this time,
while he didn't. The ban lasted three years. According to Livanes, he went
broke during this period, while others including Vacik made substantial
profits. Vacik and associated companies now dominate Australia's Kangaroo
Following this, some of Livane's rivals got involved in what he described
as 'the roo in the stew thing' (beef substitution). Livanes claimed he
wasn't substituting meat himself, but that he knew what was going on 'because
I was out there operating in the market right until it hit the press, we
had people trying to outcompete us for the raw material (roos) and suddenly
they were gone'. One of these people was Andrew Komanarki.
Livanes claimed he knew who the buyer of the substituted meat was. It
was a man in Hamburg, Germany, whom he described as having 'integrity beyond
question'. The meat substitution racket when it was revealed, nearly cost
Australia its billion dollar a year meat export trade.
N.P.W.S. officer, Ken Blade allegedly discovered a kangaroo meat substitution
racket in New South Wales involving Vic Bates and Vacik some time before
the meat substitution racket emerged in Victoria in July/August 1981. Blade
intercepted a letter from Bates to Bill Steele of N.P.W.S. asking him to
cancel the permit of his main rival. That was Livanes. He still has a copy
of that letter. According to Blade and Bennett, Bates was consistently
allowed by Steele and others in N.P.W.S. to shoot more kangaroos than his
quota. Blade said he was even called into Steele's office where in front
of Bates he was offered a flat rate per pound of illegal meat that he ignored.
Because Blade posed a threat to the whole operation, he was removed
from N.P.W.S. by corrupt officials. After 2 years and three thousand dollars
in legal costs, he managed to get back in. Since returning to N.P.W.S.,
Blade has been forced to keep a low profile.
As for Livanes, N.P.W.S. officials stopped him from operating in N.S.W.'s
zone 3 for ten years. During the same period, Vacik was allegedly able
to breach laws with impunity in the same zone. Furthermore N.P.W.S. enacted
laws which effectively created a monopoly for Vacik in the New South Wales
pet meat market. Queensland sellers were not allowed to sell meat to New
South Wales unless they had the relevant N.P.W.S./N.S.W. fauna dealers
permits. Of course N.P.W.S. officials were very particular as to who got
these permits. Vacik had them, Livanes was refused.
PROTECTING THE REALM.
By 1980, the Kangaroo industry had according to insiders become totally
corrupt with shooters, processors and officials fiercely guarding their
empires. Even American Mafia interests had expressed interests in the profits
to be made. Chicago's Joe Testa and fellow Chicagoan Nick Giordano, went
on a Kangaroo expedition with well-known Sydney crime boss Lennie McPherson
to key places in western New South Wales. Another American Mafia identity
Vincent Theresa, was recorded making a deal on meat asking 'did it moo
or did it hop.' The admitted size of the industry was by 1980 at least
$70 Million annually.
Steve Gordon, who at the time of writing was an Aboriginal Commissioner,
with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (A.T.S.I.C.),
was in 1980 working with aboriginals in Western New South Wales, including
as a legal advisor. At about that time he tried to get involved in the
Kangaroo industry. He claimed that it was being run by ruthless operators,
naming Vacik as the main offender, N.P.W.S. officials, including Bill Steele,
Terry Hill, Jack Giles and Don Johnstone, other influential identities
including former Magistrate Murray Farquhar and businessman Abraham Saffron,
along with the support of certain (named) politicians.
He described the role of N.P.W.S. officials Giles and Johnstone as one
of collecting bribes, deliberately overlooking breaches and protecting
operators, as well as keeping potential competitors out of the industry.
It was in these alleged circumstances that Gordon attempted to get into
the industry, Gordon gathered a number people to set up an operation, including
aboriginal activists, communists and other radicals who offered support.
He claimed the N.P.W.S. officials 'wanted us to have the cash in the hand',
before giving his group the necessary license. He said, N.P.W.S. officials
were demanding bribes of 20 and 30 thousand dollars. This was he said,
because they realized the licenses were the gateway to 'a multi million
When he didn't get the license, he took N.P.W.S. to court over the matter
claiming it was discrimination against blacks and so on. The day of the
hearing, he claims he was met by Abe Saffron outside the court who told
him to loose the case. Gordon claimed that at this stage 'I was shitting
myself', so he deliberately lost the case.
Also around 1980, Gordon went on the A.B.C. radio and said of N.P.W.S.
officials that 'I believe they were connected with a lot of murders throughout
the Kangaroo Industry'. As a result himself and the A.B.C. were sued for
a million dollars by one of those he named. Although nothing eventually
came of that case, partly because Gordon had no financial resources at
the time, he was effectively silenced and his allegations went no further.
Two wealthy New South Wales grazier brothers, Eric and Harry Judd, both
in their late forties, left home to do some grocery shopping on the afternoon
of December 7, 1979. After they left Cobar to go straight home, they apparently
The alarm was raised by their bank manager in Bourke, Vic Goodwin some
two months later, on February 22. The brothers had negotiated to buy a
property adjoining their own 'Curraweena', for about $100,000. They failed
to show up as arranged to finalize the deal. The delay in raising the alarm
was because it was over Christmas time and the brothers often went out
of area to visit friends and relatives at that time of year. Inspection
of the homestead revealed their pet silky terrier had been locked in the
fly-screened back verandah, which was common practice when the brothers
left the house for short periods only. It had starved to death. A nationwide
police search failed to find the brothers or their car.
Two years later the brother's Green LTD and their decomposed bodies
were found at the bottom of a dam on the property. Mr. Cliff Paget found
the car when dredging mud. Dental records were used to establish the identity
of the remains. Paget who managed the 22,000 ha. property told the media
that they could have been the victims of a trespasser shooting on the property.
Had the brothers seen something suspicious when driving in, they would
have investigated, and that was probably when they were killed. The car's
headlights had been switched on when the car was recovered.
Paget said 'They knew their way around the property like the back of
their hands and could never have driven into the dam by mistake'. When
the car was recovered, the windows were open and doors unlocked, further
indicating death through foul play.
Brother-in-law Monty Brown also had a property in the area and told
the media he thought the two men had been murdered shortly after the announcement
of their disappearance in 1980. One man asked him 'leading questions' about
the disappearance before it had been reported or anyone had known about
it. In 1980, Brown told the media 'He shouldn't have known they were missing
at that stage, and that's why I fear for them both'.
According to Brown, there had been a 'territorial war' going on between
shooters on the Judds property prior to the disappearance and the Judds
were in 'the middle'. According to Brown, the Judds came unstuck because
'they handle matters themselves rather than directing it to authorities'.
Brown noted he was once shooting near the Judd's property when he spotted
a trespasser. 'He started shooting at me'. Brown went to ground and wasn't
hurt, but the shooter emptied 20 rounds of ammunition on him before he
could return fire. The man ran off. He cited the case to show how dangerous
things had become. Brown said the shooters war stemmed from shooters wanting
to enter properties already allocated by N.P.W.S. to others. Brown noted
another case where 'a bloke tried to poach on a designated area and opposition
shooters blew his headlights out as he was driving up the road'.
The coroner, Peter Miltenyi failed to identify the cause of Death. In
1992, Steve Gordon who had known the Judds, claimed to have known the killers
of the Judds and another man, Andrew Komanarki, when the murders occurred.
He claimed the killers were with N.P.W.S., but wouldn't name them so as
not to open up old wounds. According to Steve Gordon, if he'd spoken out
at the time of the murders, 'I'd have been gone'. Gordon allegedly knew
the Judds bodies were at the bottom of the dam, long before Paget found
Just one month after the Judds were last seen alive, another person
involved in the Kangaroo industry also vanished. One of the wealthiest
people in south-west Queensland, Andrew Komanarki operated the St. George
kangaroo works. He had business interests spanning all three eastern states.
On Friday January 11, he withdrew $35,000 in cash from his local bank.
That wasn't unusual. Komanarki had a reputation for carrying large wads
of cash to pay his shooters. In fact Komanarki had a reputation for only
paying in cash and because he always paid top dollar, shooters came from
as far afield as Bourke in New South Wales with roo carcasses. In fact
the convergence of dozens of Kangaroo shooters at St. George, most weekends
had become well-known to locals.
Komanarki's activities on the Saturday evening fitted his normal pattern.
After watching the TV news at home he drove down to his stores. He made
the trip every night to check security. He was never seen alive again.
Within hours of his failure to return home, the alarm was raised. The next
morning his abandoned four-wheel drive was found by the Balonne River,
immediately adjacent to the meatworks. No body was ever recovered.
Over forty witnesses were called to the inquest. It heard that Komanarki
possessed a seven shot 32 caliber Browning automatic pistol, which he always
carried. This was due to his well-known fears for his life. Who had threatened
him wasn't known, but as his main income came from the sale of Kangaroo
products it was believed to have been a business rival.
Although it was obvious Komanarki had been murdered, most clues and
theories put foreword as explanations were dismissed. The most likely clue
was an incident two days prior to the disappearance. A man in bib overalls
was seen lurking near the factory. He ran off when two people collecting
bottles approached. The man had been seen in a crouching position as if
carrying a gun.
Coroner Raymond Massingham found that Komanarki had been murdered and
his body disposed of in a place unknown. In 1981, the executive of the
Australian Cattleman's Union, Rick Farley, said his life had been threatened
because of his investigations into meat frauds. He stated he believed there
had been a link between Kangaroo meat in export beef packages and Komanarki's
disappearance. Farley said he believed Komanarki had either uncovered or
was involved in fraud in the Kangaroo meat industry prior to his disappearance.
Farley noted a Queensland company had sent about 20 tonnes of petfood a
week to a single Melbourne company, some of which was finding it's way
into the fast food market, including Dim Sims. Other meat had been illegally
Livanes alleged that most of Komanarki's meat was sold to Vacik and
associated companies, including Wattle Glen. He said he'd only once done
business with Komanarki before Komanarki went back to selling all his production
to Vacik. He also noted Komanarki's ability to get roos from shooters even
when others couldn't, due to the higher prices he paid. Livanes also believed
that Komanarki's meatworks must have been a money laundering operation
as the prices he paid for carcasses was unrealistic.
In 1986, it was reported in the Sydney Morning Herald that Komanarki
was on the verge of gaining a valuable new skins market. An insider in
the industry had said 'there is no doubt he was bumped off because he was
proving too successful and treading on two many toes. With him out of the
way you had a huge slice of the Queensland trade up for grabs'.
Three months prior to his disappearance, Komanarki had rang investigative
journalist Bob Bottom from a flat in Bondi, Sydney where he told Bottom
he was 'in real trouble' and feared for his life. It was also reported
in The Sydney Morning Herald that Komanarki's death had been linked to
police records of meetings between a major Kangaroo figure and one of the
'Mr. Bigs' of Sydney's underworld. Two days before his disappearance, Komanarki
had been visited by a man with close business connections with 'Mr. Big'.
Following Komanarki's death, his former business partner, Steve Margaritis,
avoided talking to the media. He said 'If I talk to you, I won't be able
to sell any of my products'.
In 1992, Steve Gordon stated that the deaths of the Judds and Komanarki
were connected and by the same people. Gordon claimed that Komanarki had
in fact been put through the pet-food mincer at his meatworks. Police have
since rejected this explanation. According to Gordon he was shown human
remains of Komanarki and his boots, and told that the body had been mixed
up with other meat. Gordon said, 'I got real sick you know, I stopped dead
in my tracks'. He was too scared to go to the police as he'd been told
that he was next in line to be murdered. He said 'Police never got none
of this yet, you know, I was gone'. In 1992, Gordon named particular N.P.W.S.
officials as being behind the murders, but when subsequently approached
by investigators, refused to provide details due to fears for his life.
Others have said that Komanarki is still alive and in hiding, stating that
he disappeared before he could be killed.
CONTROLLING AN INDUSTRY.
The 'Kangaroo war', although in full-swing in the early 1980's, didn't
seem to have let up by 1985, when the ABC's Four Corners ran an expose'
dealing with the industry. The show attacked N.P.W.S./N.S.W. with over
six N.P.W.S. rangers alleging corruption within their department. Senior
management in the department, at that time under the control of Director
John Whitehouse and his immediate subordinate Jack Giles, were accused
of creating a climate of support for the big operators. No rangers wanted
to be shown on the show, because they said they'd be sacked if they did
When interviewed, Giles refused to comment on an internal N.P.W.S. memo
shown on Four Corners threatening officers who dared speak out against
corruption. The most common complaint by N.P.W.S. rangers was that they
would breach major operators, including Vacik and then the matters would
be deliberately dropped by senior N.P.W.S. management. On one occasion
ranger Clive Bennett seized a huge quantity of unaccounted skins from Vacik.
The charge wasn't proceeded with and business continued unaffected.
Zoologist Peter Rawlinson, who'd studied the Kangaroo industry nation-wide
noted that New South Wales was a particular problem and that those critical
of N.P.W.S. suffered reprisals. Four Corners detailed the 'unhealthy closeness'
between the operators and N.P.W.S.. The manager of one operation allegedly
routinely bought illegal carcasses because he'd been guaranteed immunity
from N.P.W.S. prosecution. On the rare occasions that N.P.W.S. officials
were sent out to inspect Kangaroo shooting and processing operations, senior
management tipped of people about a week to ten days in advance so that
'the whole scene is cleaned up for them'.
Shooters interviewed, including Banjo Hunt and Jimmy Flood described
violent and life threatening attacks on themselves by others involved in
the industry who were attempting to force them to sell their carcasses
to a given supplier, demanding lower prices and so on. This they alleged
was standard practice throughout much of the industry.
Vic Bates of Vacik was named as one of the biggest names in the Industry.
Besides operations in New South Wales, Bates also had links with Wattle
Glen in Queensland and links with a processing operation in Victoria. He
was also a key player in the Canberra-based Kangaroo Advisory Committee,
being the industry representative. Bates had been in the industry for over
Much of the Four Corners report documented alleged close links between
N.P.W.S. officials and Vacik, claiming the environment of corruption was
not only causing hardship for Vacik's competitors, but was further linked
to murder, death threats, standover tactics and other illegal activities.
The murder of Andrew Komanarki was cited as an example of this activity.
Interviewer David DeVos and Bates had the following conversation:-
DeVos: Shooters we've spoken to say they've been threatened if
they don't toe the line. Bates: By whom?
DeVos: By big operators.
Bates: I would doubt that statement.
DeVos: You've never heard anything like that coming from New South
Wales or from Queensland?
Bates: No not at all.
DeVos: Is it possible that there is that element of violence within
the industry that you can't answer for?
Bates: I would think that it'd be just a fabrication to be quite
These 1985 comments by Bates should be taken in the context that according
to Livanes, Vacik had previously bought most of Komanarki's meat and that
Steve Gordon claimed the 1979 disappearance of the Judds and subsequent
inquest was in an area that Vacik had an interest in.
The Four Corners report also documented a case involving a small operation
based at Broken Hill. The Saltier brothers sold roo meat for pet food,
but because they were in the Vacik zone, they had to sell the skins, by
far the most valuable part to Vacik. The Slitters applied for a wholesale
license and they were notified in writing that it had been approved. Vacik
allegedly vetoed the application. No license came through. Bob Saltier,
a shooter, described this as N.P.W.S. officials only looking after the
'big boys'. Four Corners went on to allege favors being returned by the
big kangaroo operators to N.P.W.S..
ROO IN THE STEW.
If one believes the allegations of Livanes, Bennett and Blade, the kangaroo
meat substitution racket was operating in New South Wales for some time
before it was exposed in Victoria in 1981. The Royal Commission that resulted
from the 1981 exposure, also found that the practice had been going on
for some time previously.
Evidence of widespread corruption in the form of bribes, free meat and
other benefits was produced at the Royal Commission. In spite of three
levels of inspection, mislabeled meat was still sent to the USA.
Although the meat substitution Royal Commission may not have completely
eradicated the practice, it did certainly make it harder for some time
after. As a result of this, Kangaroo processors stepped up their campaign
for the export of roo meat for human consumption overseas. This campaign
concentrated on the United States, who had closed their lucrative market
to roo meat some years earlier.
Roo meat processors enlisted the help of their friends in N.P.W.S..
In 1983, Jack Giles and fellow government Minister Barry Coven went on
what was described by critics as a 'selling trip' to the United States.
The officials mislead the Americans, claiming that they had the support
of most Australian conservation organizations, when in fact they didn't.
The United States government was on the verge of lifting the ban when in
late 1986, early 1987, Peter Rawlinson mobilized the support of Australia's
six largest animal conservation organizations who approached the U.S. House
of Representatives directly to lobby them not to lift the ban. The rearguard
campaign succeeded. Rawlinson is now dead. His death was allegedly by accident.
In 1984, ten thousand kilos of Kangaroo was found by German officials
masquerading as beef. The legal skin export trade also came under fire
in 1985. It was revealed by cross-checking data that a million more roo
skins had been sent to Italy, than official export license figures showed.
A deceased estate near Sydney offered 600,000 roo skins for sale. The origins
of the skins wasn't known, but the number exceeded that year's legal kill
figure for the state of 577,000. Four million allegedly legal Queensland
skins were offered for sale though a single German exporter within a four
month period, in consignments of 1 million a time. The Costigan Royal Commission
reported that waterfront security was fragmented and inefficient and a
haven for criminals. Several reports on Customs have revealed inefficiencies
and corruption in that department. A 1994 report into Customs, called for
department 'inward looking and unaccountable'. It called for the sacking
of 1,400 staff, one third of all employees, including all senior management
positions. In response to the report, Customs staff called a strike.
In 1987, officials from the 'Fund For Animals' produced more evidence
of illegal activity in the Kangaroo industry, including substitution. What
was described in the media as 'clear evidence' was documented to the Senate
Select Committee For Animal Welfare (S.S.C.A.W.). Also documented was the
operation of illegal Kangaroo operations in Victoria. This resulted in
Victorian authorities forcing the operations to either close or move interstate.
The 'Fund for Animals' was threatened with legal action in a bid to silence
them. The media then dropped the story.
On June 5, 1992, The Age reported on a front page 'exclusive' that 'the
National Crime Authority believes that domestic meat substitution has re-emerged
across the eastern states. The N.C.A. has been investigating allegations
that local and overseas consumers of Australian meat have been systematically
defrauded. So far it has uncovered evidence of meat substitution in Victoria,
New South Wales and Queensland'. The story by Paul Robinson was based on
a leaked N.C.A. report, "Operation Jodhpur". It reported criminal
activity in the meat industry and recent consignments sent overseas being
refused and sent back to Australia.
On July 24th, it was reported by David Wilson in The Age that a new
report compiled by the Australian bureau of Criminal Intelligence had found
new meat rackets. The rackets alleged included substitution (again), money
laundering, drug trafficking and arms dealing. These were linked with official
corruption. Reports of similar allegations based on more recent evidence
have appeared in the media since then, as recently as mid 1993.
According to a number of players in the Kangaroo industry, the illegal
operators and those who have been allowed to break laws without reprisals
have prospered to such an extent that they have now become too large and
powerful to control. It is claimed that they now have the financial and
other resources to counter any new attack on their interests and as a result
will continue to dominate the industry for the foreseeable future.
Perhaps I should mention at this point that all allegations in this
book relating to Vacik and associates were denied by them in writing on
July 22, 1993. This was done through their lawyers, Arnold Bloch Leibler.
The N.P.W.S. officials adversely named did through N.P.W.S. provide a blanket
denial of any wrongdoing, but failed to produce any documentary evidence
to refute the allegations when repeatedly asked to do so.
The material printed in this book is based on material in front of me.
Regardless of what is said in this book, it is beyond dispute that a number
of adverse allegations have been made against Vacik and associates by many
people since at least 1985. I have never had any dealings in any way with
Vacik or associates so cannot be accused of having vested interests. From
the point of view of conservation and long-term commercial well-being of
all involved I believe that a full and open inquiry should be held so that
those who have nothing to hide can clear their names once and for all and
any villains, whoever they are, can be properly exposed and punished. Punishment
should include seizure of assets derived wholly or in part from illegal
THE TWO TAG SYSTEM
Evidence of discrepancies between legal and actual kills for Kangaroos
in New South Wales for most years between 1981-92 is well-known and admitted
by N.P.W.S.. Other states have similar problems. The use of the federally
agreed two-tag system for accounting for roo kills in summary is a sham.
Tags are attached to Kangaroos when killed. One tag is issued by N.P.W.S.
or the equivalent authority, while the other is issued by the farmer. By
law both tags must be fixed to the carcass. In theory this allows authorities
to control and account for the kangaroo kill. Unfortunately, fraudulent
obtaining and use of tags is said to be common practice. In some cases,
state wildlife departments actually issue substantially more tags than
their agreed annual quota, making a mockery of the whole system. In 1985,
the Queensland N.P.W.S. did according to the state Administrative Appeals
Tribunal, issue 'several hundred thousand tags' in excess of it's annual
quota. That wildlife departments don't insist on or get many or most tags
returned by the shooters and processors further compromises the integrity
of the system. This is particularly when carcasses are carted across state
borders. Shooters, including Banjo Hunt can and do buy and sell 'black-market'
tags. The practice is allegedly so widespread in the industry that it doesn't
raise eyebrows. On another occasion, Banjo Hunt sold 500 carcasses to a
dealer without tags. The dealer had used false permit/s to get the tags
and simply put their own tags on Hunt's untagged roos. Again such practice
is virtually routine in the industry.
Wildlife department's published estimates of Kangaroo populations appear
to have little semblance of plausibility, showing variance by a factor
of ten within 12 months. Critics of the so-called Kangaroo management program
have questioned the basis with which state quotas were issued when no one
even knew how many kangaroos there were! The legal kill, though varying
each year, averages about 2 million.
The experienced professional kangaroo shooter usually kills large males
as they are the most valuable. These are shot at night. The shooter will
use the best of guns and shoot the roo in the head. This enables the skin
to remain intact and thus sell for more. As there is more money in a good
shot, after a bit of practice, few miss. The death of the shot roo is nearly
instant, making death for a shot roo, not significantly crueler than that
of cattle at an abatoir.
The problems arise usually when non-professional and part-time shooters
enter the fold. Besides the higher rate of near misses and near hits, which
often result in a slow agonizing death for the roo, other cruel practices
Farmers bent on killing roos they allege eat all their feed have been
known to blast them with shotguns. The victims often hop off with pellets
through their bodies in excruciating pain.
Other farmers have been known to poison waterholes which just don't
kill the roos, but most other wildlife as well. Sometimes roo shooters
don't just shoot common species, but rare and endangered forms as well,
in some cases unable to tell the difference. A skin of a rare Queensland
species was recently exported to New Zealand to make a hat.
In 1969, Arthur Queripel operated a service station at Mildura on the
Victoria/New South Wales Border. A truck pulled in for petrol. It was full
of Kangaroos, many still alive and with their legs cut off so as not to
be a danger to handlers. The roos, illegally shot in Victoria, were destined
for an interstate pet food manufacturer and were being kept alive for freshness.
Queripel was so incensed with what he saw he complained to the R.S.P.C.A.,
police, and state wildlife departments. All divorced themselves from responsibility.
In dispair, he founded the Australian Wildlife Protection Council. Queripel
has been opposed to Kangaroo slaughter ever since. He's photographed joey's
skinned alive, seen roos left to die in traps and other acts of unimaginable
cruelty. He also quotes federal figures showing, actual kills three times
higher than issued quotas. When he took up the overkill with a Canberra-based
bureaucrat, he was told 'an alternate interpretation of the term quota
may be responsible for the figures showing an apparent over-harvest'. Needless
to say, no action was proposed. Queripel has produced figures put out by
farmers, processors and state wildlife authorities overstating kangaroo
populations so as to try to obtain larger kill quotas.
In spite of these 'fudgings' of figures, there are well-documented cases
where Kangaroos clearly are in large numbers and can without doubt support
an industry based on killing some. Shooting is probably at this stage the
best way to do this. The problem is obviously finding a solution that is
in the mutual interests of all. The solution must take into consideration
the long term preservation of species, cruelty to animals, human health
in terms of meat consumed, potential economic costs and benefits and the
minimization of the potential influence of crime and corruption.
For those who think that some of the problems referred to in the Kangaroo
industry may have been resolved in recent years, the fact is they haven't.
A letter to the Qld. Department of Environment and Heritage dated 21/2/94
from a Kangaroo processor in southern Queensland says 'The way in which
the law is enforced in both states (N.S.W./Qld) is also an important factor
in the operation of these markets. From time to time we have found that
both we and our customers have been subjected to harassment by law enforcement
people particularly, but not exclusively, in N.S.W. which we believe is
not inflicted on our competitors or their customers.'
At the moment the current system is being abused by wildlife bureaucrats
to dictate which Kangaroo businesses succeed or fail. This appears to result
as much from who is paying whom rather than anything to do with business
acumen. The fact that Kangaroos haven't been shot into extinction probably
has more to do with good luck rather than good management. That good luck
includes the biological habits of the Kangaroos themselves. For the industry
to operate on a fair footing, the Wildlife departments should set down
the ground rules and allow all players to compete on a fair footing, while
ensuring the rules allow for the long term preservation of the resource.
CAPTION FOR ARTICLE - WHO KILLED THE KANGAROO KING.
The article Who Killed The Kangaroo King was originally printed in the
Melbourne Newspaper The Sunday Herald-Sun. It was reproduced in full on
pages xii to xix of SMUGGLED-2. 'On 22/7/93, Vacik Distributors Pty. Ltd.,
Wattle Glen Pet Foods Pty. Ltd., Southern Game Meats Pty. Ltd., Victor
Walter Bates, William John Bates and Clifford Dee, issued a Writ and Statement
of Claim against The Herald and Weekly Times and Fia Cumming in the Supreme
Court of Victoria, claiming damages, interests and costs in relation to
the article reprinted here. The plaintiffs claimed the article was published
recklessly and without inquiry of the plaintiffs, that imputations (against
the plaintiffs) in the article were untrue, and that the plaintiffs had
neglected to publish a retraction or apology. At the time of writing the
matter was being defended by the respondents and was unresolved. Readers
of this article and related parts of this book ("Smuggled-2")
should bear these facts in mind before forming an opinion'.
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Raymond Hoser has
been an active herpetologist for about 30 years and published over 100
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works " Australian Reptiles and Frogs ",
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best seller "Smuggled
- The Underground Trade in Australia's Wildlife".
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