Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Clive Marks

Foxes: A letter to Dr Vanessa Goodwin

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Dr Vanessa Goodwin MLC
Attorney General and Minister for Justice
Department of Justice
Trafalgar Building
Level 14, 110 Collins St
Hobart Tasmania 7000
3rd December 2016

Dear Dr Goodwin,

LAWS, PENALTIES AND ENFORCEMENT ARRANGEMENTS TO PROHIBIT THE IMPORT AND DISTRIBUTION OF FOX PRODUCTS IN TASMANIA

We seek to clarify aspects of Tasmanian law in respect of importing and distributing fox carcasses, scats and tissues in the environment.

Subsequent to the recent Frankford Rd fox incident, the ABC 7.30 Report program (29th November 2016) revealed that an internal DPIPWE report in 2011 had concluded that ‘hoax’ fox scats may have been submitted by an employee.

In March 2015 we reported on our separate analysis of scat data kindly provided to us by the Minister responsible for Biosecurity Tasmania (BT), Mr Jeremy Rockliff. Our report was sent to the general manager of BT, Dr Llloyd Klumpp. Our independent findings were consistent with those reported in DPIPWE internal reports authored in 2009 and 2011.

Clarifying what laws and penalties exist to deter such behavior has obvious relevance to biosecurity and invasive species management in Tasmania.

We are advised by Tasmania Police (1st December 2016) that they do not enforce laws under the Tasmanian Animal Health Act nor the State Services Act. Consequently it does not appear that Tasmania Police presently have any powers whatsoever to unilaterally investigate or charge persons under the Tasmanian Criminal Code or any statute enforced by the police, even if they have been involved in the type of wrongdoing mentioned above. The exception appears to be when they are directed to do so under the provisions of the Integrity Commission Act 2009.

• Is this correct? What body does have the responsibility and capacity to enforce laws under the Animal Health Act and State Services Act?

Apparently no law specifically prohibited the import of dead foxes to Tasmania until passed into law by parliament in November 2009 (under the Animal Health Act 1995). As we understand it, bringing freshly dead foxes to Tasmania from the mainland prior to late 2009 and placing them in the environment was not an offense under any Tasmanian law.

• We would greatly appreciate it if you could clarify this matter of law.

If a DPIPWE staff member did indeed (actually or hypothetically) fabricate evidence we assume that such wrongdoing under the State Services Act would not necessarily be regarded as a criminal offense, nor would it ordinarily involve the police in any investigation.

• If our interpretation was incorrect we would be grateful if you would correct the record.

Similarly, as far as we are aware, there was no specific statute in the Tasmanian Criminal Code prior to 2009 that made the intentional import and distribution of fox scats in the Tasmanian environment an offence that would be tantamount to ‘fraud’.

• Was this the case? Does this remain the case?

More generally, there does not appear to be a specific head of law that considers misconduct or intentional interference in the gathering of animal survey data to be a form of fraud and a criminal offence in Tasmania even if these data are relied upon to form policy and allocate significant public resources.

• Is this correct?

It would be greatly appreciated if these points could be clarified. In doing so we feel that this would assist us, the media and the Tasmanian public to better understand the law and enforcement arrangements that currently exist.

We’d hope that this analysis might prompt a positive discussion and consideration that the criminalization of the above-mentioned wrongdoing may be necessary along with the provision of appropriate penalties in order to enhance Tasmania’s biosecurity arrangements.

Accordingly, we intend to make this information freely available and have alerted several journalists with the hope that they may explain these matters to the wider community.

Yours sincerely,
Dr Clive A Marks
Dr David Obendorf, for …

INDEPENDENT REVIEW OF THE TASMANIAN FOX ERADICATION PROGRAM

www.tasmanianfox.com

cc …

Assistant Commissioner Glenn Frame
Hon Jeremy Rockliff MLA
Hon Ivan Dean MLC
Hon Andrew Wilkie MP
Tasmania Law Reform Institute

• Ian Rist in Comments: I don’t think they will ever admit to the damage this badly thought out and executed 1080 meat baiting campaign is responsible for ….Quolls definitely have worn the brunt of it, Devils copped it as well. One small population of five Devils that I was on a first name basis with completely disappeared after 1080 meat fox baiting occurred in their home range area.
I have been contacted by owners that have lost domestic and working dogs, a dreadful tragedy that simply should never have been allowed to happen…especially when it was all based on a “bright shining lie” …

• Ian Rist in Comments: … In excess of 350,000 1080 fox baits have been put out in the Tasmanian Landscape since 2002.

• John Hayward in Comments: It is well-established that sub-lethal doses of 1080 have been found to cause residual damage to organs such as the brain, heart, and reproductive system. What I have never encountered, despite repeated queries, is a Tas Government response to this issue. In light of this, the Tas Govt’s refusal to countenance the re-introduction of disease-free devils to the mainland, which is strongly urged by the scientific community, needs to revisited by credible authorities.

Mercury: Man to appear in Launceston court over fox find by Frankford Highway

Dr DAVID OBENDORF and IAN RIST warned years ago of the consequences of putting devils on Maria Island …

ABC: Tasmanian devil road toll tops 600 as population makes a meal of Maria Island birdlife

• David Obendorf in Comments: … Dr Sarre and his co-authors that included a FEP staff member and scientific members of the Technical Advisory Committee to the fox program will need to be asked whether they aware of the contents of Simon Fearn’s 2011 report? As we highlighted at the time of its publication, it was extraordinary that such a prestigious journal would not have requested the authors to at the very least publish a listing of the FEP identified scats that they claimed were DNA-fox positive and formed the basis of their claim that “foxes were now widespread in Tasmania”.

• Jack J in Comments: Has anyone got back to Prof Sarre to ask him if foxes are still widespread in Tasmania? Or do we have the odd situation where the ‘on the record’ $50 million work’ claims that they do, while the (I assume) more modestly funded ‘secret’ DPIPWE report claims that the fox sh*t is actually bullsh*t? When you publish a report that says in the title that “foxes are now widespread in Tasmania” the reader kind of expects that to be the case. I suppose it would not worry Donald Trump, nor it seems the Tasmanian government and several members of the scientific community. Getting with the times, truth and report titles are just SO overrated …

• David Obendorf in Comments: Were it not for the coverage on Tasmanian Times this issue would have gone un-examined. I took part in two fox program reviews (2005 and 2009) and wrote and met with several State and Commonwealth politicians (including Ministers responsible). I also initiated a fox reward ($5000) supported by Tasmanian Times which was available for nearly 5 years. As a veterinary pathologist I systematically challenged the authenticity of a dead fox found on Glen Esk Road on 1 August 2006. In my opinion this single incident was highly questionable and should have been more critically assessed by the scientific community and reported on by the local media who were all too willing to accept changeable story-lines driven solely by the Department. DPIPWE’s own internal investigations (which we now know were kept hidden since 2009) deemed the faecal (scat) evidence (aka the Great Poo Hunt) was likely to be based on hoaxed and DNA-contaminated samples AND that the Department was aware that Fearn’s reports pointed the finger of suspicion at employees of the fox program. Recently described as a ‘stuff up’, in my opinion, this was a form of functional stupidity embedded into the governance of the program; an inability to objectively, independently and without ideology examine the credibility of the program’s foundation and performance. The personal ridicule and bullying meted out to anyone who, to their cost, critiqued and analysed the program’s own information was most regrettable.

Author Credits: [show_post_categories parent="no" parentcategory="writers" show = "category" hyperlink="yes"]
64 Comments

64 Comments

  1. Ian Rist

    January 16, 2017 at 2:43 pm

    I refer to # 62.
    “Only the very naive would not accept this.”

  2. garrystannus@hotmail.com

    January 16, 2017 at 12:52 pm

    ‘O’Brien’: your #61 suggestion ( “Some may even consider it a public duty to put their observations and experience of DPIPWE integrity directly to the journal… http://www.journalofappliedecology.org/view/0/contactUs.html ”) has merit. I hadn’t thought of this course of action, but I will give your suggestion some thought and most probably will contact the Journal when I get back to Tas (I’m on the run at the moment, one of millions it seems who take to the teeming mainland roads to spend dollar after dollar for the pleasure of driving countless kilometres, being burnt on the beaches and ‘tuckered out’ out by walking endless bush paths or by climbing vertiginous peaks).

    My message to the Journal would be along the lines that there are valid concerns about the provenance of the scats which apparently weren’t addressed by the Sarre team. One of the co-authors of that Sarre 2012 paper was – in my reading of the docs – personally responsible for apparent breaches of the guidelines/protocols relevant to the use-in-the-field of the scats which DPIPWE had received from the mainland. This observation is based on my examination of the unpublished FOI documents which I presume form part of the unsuccessful ‘Ivan Dean’ dossier of complaint to TasPol.

    There is a related issue which also should get a mention: that is the issue of possible prior contamination of carnivore and other scats which were received by the Canberra lab. for DNA testing. I haven’t got my head properly around this issue (it’s been mentioned in one way or another many times since the 2012 paper, most recently in the discussion accompanying the release under RTI of Simon Fearn’s 2009 Draft etc.). Perhaps someone else might be willing to bring up the contamination issue with the Journal – I don’t know enough about it to enable me to be of much help on that issue.

    Finally, natural interest leads me to ask you, ‘O’Brien’: What are you telling us by the first two words of your #61 comment “Word is…”? What ‘word’/gossip(?) are you referring to? From whom did it come? In the interests of transparency, perhaps you could disclose the source for, and/or documented contents of your claim that the Journal is “waiting for an internal DPIPWE inquiry report prior to deciding on a course of action.”

  3. Ian Rist

    January 15, 2017 at 10:58 am

    Waiting for an internal inquiry…that is so ridiculous it is laughable, talk about asking Dracula for advice on the blood bank ?
    Here we have a rogue agency, have been for some time, always looking for ways to dud the Feds.
    Staff members have admitted as much to me.

    We should have all realized by now that the rumored fox cub importation and release, the imported fox scats and fox products were all about building the ‘evidence case’ for a raid on the NHT funding (now Caring for our Country) after the opportunity provided by the Federal E.P.B.C. Act.
    Only the very naive would not accept this.

    Sure some of the perpetrators have moved on, others moved into the relative protection of other Government Departments, State Growth, DPAC etc.

    Over the years there has been Parliamentary inquiries recommendations and reports ignored, scientific reports and the public ignored, highly sanitized Police reports (yes Minister)……

    But the evidence trail is still there…I for one will be putting in a full report in chronological order to: http://www.journalofappliedecology.org/view/0/contactUs.html#sthash.EaKzJAwT.dpuf

  4. O'Brien

    January 15, 2017 at 2:06 am

    Word is the British Journal of Applied Ecology having published the paper “Foxes are now widespread in Tasmania: DNA detection defines the distribution of this rare but invasive carnivore” in 2013 are waiting for an internal DPIPWE inquiry report prior to deciding on a course of action.

    This approach assumes DPIPWE is an organization beyond compromise, an organization to be trusted. Some have first hand experience of just how utterly bereft of any ethical standards the department is may well differ. Some may even consider it a public duty to put their observations and experience of DPIPWE integrity directly to the journal.

    http://www.journalofappliedecology.org/view/0/contactUs.html

  5. Dr Peter Lozo

    January 5, 2017 at 8:59 pm

    Hi all,

    Although this isn’t the appropriate TT blog for my brief post I thought that the most efficient way I could reach a large portion of the Tasmanian community is to post on a few non-related blogs. So, if you are at all interested in a scientist’s perspective on a case that most Tasmania’s are aware off (the disappearance of Mr Robert (Bob) Adrian Chappell from his yacht Four Winds on the Australia Day 2009) then please read my shared facebook post on the case:

    https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=559237520946318&id=100005802249120

    If any of you wish to discuss this case with me then please do so via the formal TT commentary in the relevant TT blogs referred to in my mentioned facebook post.

    Regards,
    Peter

    Peter Lozo, BSc, PhD
    Applied Physicist/Perceptual Scientist
    Adelaide, SA

    Ps: my biography is at

    https://blogs.adelaide.edu.au/eleceng-announcements/2014/06/26/research-seminar-17th-july-dr-p-lozo-adaptive-resonance-theory-art-and-lamina/

  6. Ian Rist

    January 4, 2017 at 10:49 am

    Well said William I agree to the letter.

    But don’t worry this has a way to go yet…. this is bigger than Ben Hur and when ALL the truth comes out it will shake many people to their very core.

    They can dodge, weave, stall, hide and say nothing but that just won’t work … to quote Arnie “judgement day is coming”.

  7. William Boeder

    January 3, 2017 at 8:50 pm

    #57. Yes Ian it is without the faintest doubt that both yourself and Dr David Obendorf were the premier sources of fact regarding the ongoing fallacious claims by the particular ministers that were going flat knacker installing the Fox myth into Tasmanian folklore.
    It had been publicly claimed by a now deceased former State governor that there was no corruption in this State of Tasmania, when the other 499,990 citizens of Tasmania knew this not to be true.
    However this did not mean a dicky bird to the local Tasmanian newspaper and online news platforms (excluding the truth as was forever being published by the ragged local rags, more especially so when it was generally fabricated nonsense.
    If the entire of the American government administration could ignore the truth of all the reality surrounding themselves, is it any wonder at the notion that a mere small State of Australia could so easily emulate that model of propaganda rationale that verily hummed and humped along so nicely in that far away country for the many years it had so done.
    (My belief is that President elect Trump will set the Foxhounds upon the political Foxes in that same country.)
    So with these words I dare say that this non-corrupted State will continue its blind notice to the facts and realities so preferably ignored in our State of Tasmania, for there is no inclination among our feckless State Lib/Labs that they dare to choose the blatancy of honest truth.
    Foxes? No, it were an in-house contrived Tasmanian government pecuniary fiddle, is all that it was.

  8. Ian Rist

    January 1, 2017 at 11:54 am

    The article I wrote for TT in 2012 is worth another visit.
    http://www.oldtt.pixelkey.biz.au/index.php/article/more-porkies-linzo

    The Glen Esk Road ‘fox incident’ in August 2006 was the catalyst for David Llewellyn’s and Nick Mooney’s ten year fifty six million dollar funding announcement which they jointly announced in the media some weeks later.

    The Glen Esk road fox which it is now known by many (Tasmania Police included) to be a fabrication.

    I would be interested in the views now of some of the comment and apologist providers.

  9. Ian Rist

    December 23, 2016 at 11:50 am

    Re # 33

    Sarre, Peacock and all the other members of the CRC Invasive Animals are hunkered down, along with the cabal here (including various politicians) hoping it will all simply go away.

    It won’t… but will end up in one of the biggest cases of scientific fraud Australia has seen.

    Millions and millions of taxpayer dollars has been fraudulently obtained and what is most disgusting it was allowed to happen for well over a decade.

    The ramifications of this are far reaching, the credibility and integrity of many are on the line here and every effort is being made to hide this as long as possible.

    Stuff the taxpayers and the voters, they are only useful at certain times.

    # 33
    Has anyone got back to Prof Sarre to ask him if foxes are still widespread in Tasmania? Or do we have the odd situation where the ‘on the record’ $50 million work’ claims that they do, while the (I assume) more modestly funded ‘secret’ DPIPWE report claims that the fox sh*t is actually bullsh*t?

  10. O'Brien

    December 19, 2016 at 3:59 pm

    Should the full extent of the capacity for (the Public Service) to pervert science for it’s own pecuniary ends become open knowledge via the fox swindle then who knows where it may end? If the department … felt confident enough to peddle these blatant falsehoods, what else were they prepared to falsify? Rumours abounded at the time, staff were coerced to drop the identification of threatened species at the Meander dam site, or else. …
    (edited)

  11. Ian Rist

    December 19, 2016 at 3:58 pm

    Re # 51 In case anyone didn’t join the dots that is X-Treasurer Michael Aird now Chairman of the Save the Devil Appeal and partner Jane McGee X Fox Free Task Force.
    No wonder Mr Dean agitated him so much……….

  12. O'Brien

    December 19, 2016 at 3:41 pm

  13. David Obendorf

    December 19, 2016 at 1:44 pm

    Hi Spikey … hop, hop

    A suggestion: perhaps ask the thylacine expert who lives near Richmond. 😉

  14. Ian Rist

    December 19, 2016 at 11:44 am

    Asking the DPIPWE to report on the ‘Police report’
    with absolute accuracy is exactly like expecting to get the truth out of a small child caught with his hand in the lolly jar.
    Why would they report accurately on this fox fable anyway ?
    They never have done since day one.
    It was always about ‘show me the money’. They were told in 2002 that if the ‘foxes’ were not eradicated in three years it was all over, the foxes would be established in Tasmania.
    ‘Show me the money’ should have been painfully obvious in 2006 when David Llewellyn and Nick Mooney went on TV to announce the ‘Ten year fox eradication program’.
    Anyone would know if you were still talking about ‘eradicating foxes’ in ten years time it was far too late…. foxes would have been firmly established.
    This announcement came immediately after the now totally discredited Glen Esk Road fox.
    An event that I think has a way to run yet……
    The problems now I believe is the Liberals know it is a crock of scat…but they just don’t know how to handle it, they now realize that they have inherited this crock of scat and many of the individuals associated with it.
    Are they afraid of the backlash from the CSPSU?
    I remember Tom Lynch chastising the ‘non-believers’ in the early days (especially Ivan Dean).
    Ivan Dean copped more than his share of abuse from treasurer Michael Aird at the time also.

    Isn’t it just wonderful the two of them have been touring France on the Save the Tasmanian Devil program.

    https://ingridandtony.com/2013/06/29/destination-paris/

    https://ingridandtony.com/2013/06/29/chasing-the-peking-to-paris-rally-cars/

    “But it was a good day, meeting up with Tassie friends, Michael Aird (who is chairman of the Save Tasmanian Devil Appeal) and Jane McGee, and Paul and Margaret Lennon, who have just completed a cruise and are heading to Scotland. Michael and Jane, like us, will be going to the UK to cheer on the Australian Test cricket side for The Ashes, the latter needing as much support as it can get”.

    Hindsight is a wonderful thing………..

  15. Spikey

    December 18, 2016 at 4:37 pm

    Is this a Tasmanian Tiger?

    looks like a fox to me
    quick out with the 1080 then
    interesting accusations in the audio …

    http://www.tasmaniatalks.com.au/the-show/411-is-this-a-tasmanian-tiger

  16. Ian Rist

    December 18, 2016 at 3:51 pm

    comment # 45 and 46.
    Of Course Peacock was going to protect his Invasive Animals CRC member the Institute of Applied Ecology run by Sarre, it was big money. In fact according to Hansard $520,000 one year alone for testing scats from Tasmania.
    What disturbs me the most is this is the man (under oath) that claimed that he had no influence over Sarre or the Institute of Applied Ecology.
    I am pleased I kept the photo of Peacock and Sarre taken together in the Institute of Applied ecology’s laboratory.
    TT management has been sent a copy of this ‘photo.
    http://www.invasiveanimals.com/about-us/participants/

  17. David Obendorf

    December 18, 2016 at 2:14 pm

    And here is a novel suggestion Dr [b]Chris Johnson[/b] (UTAS Zoology Dept and once a member of the Technical Advisory Committee to the Tasmanian Fox Program) made in 2009 on how to understand the behaviour of low-density foxes in Tasmania:

    http://feral.typepad.com/feral_thoughts/2009/06/dogs-work-better-than-cameras-or-hair-snares-for-low-level-detection-finding-the-fox-needle-in-the-t.html

    [i]’Tony [Peacock], I think your comment about us not understanding how foxes behave when they are at very low density is very interesting.

    It made me wonder if anyone has thought of releasing a few de-sexed foxes wearing GPS collars to get a clearer idea of how they use the Tasmanian environment, and help interpret the patterns of detection that you are getting?

    I assume they would have to be fitted with reflective eartags or something to identify them clearly as ‘Government foxes.'[/i]

    Dr Peacock never replied … at least on his blog site, [b]Feral Thoughts[/b].

  18. David Obendorf

    December 18, 2016 at 1:35 pm

    In replying to comments on this February 2009 [b]Feral Thoughts[/b] blog Dr Peacock (in part) wrote this:

    [i]’The suggestion that someone is planting poo really is laughable, though.

    The idea that someone [Ian Rist] who cares about the environment actually has some proof of poo planting but is holding it back for a committee hearing [Public Accounts Committee into the Fox Program] is even more laughable.

    He’s being taking free kicks at public servants trying to do their jobs for years. A tiny poke back won’t hurt.[/i]

    David Obendorf replied:

    [i]’Dr Peacock when you write: “A tiny poke back won’t hurt”. That statement suggests – to me at least – that Mr Rist’s accusations have been hurtful to public servants [and perhaps to you also].

    As a Tasmanian-based veterinarian & pathologist I provided oral and written testimony to the 2006 Foxes in Tasmania Review and to the Tasmanian Government in relation to the Glen Esk Road fox incident. I expressed serious concerns regarding the conclusions drawn from the physical forensic evidence and the overall handling of these high-profile incidents.

    Let us see what Mr Rist and perhaps others will produce through a public accounts committee hearing process where individuals have both the freedom & the protection of Parliamentary privilege. Public servants closely associated with this program have the same courtesy offered to them.'[/i]

    Dr Peacock replied promptly to my comment:

    [i]Input like yours to that review were very helpful and have influenced the way the program operates.

    As a member of the Steering Committee, I know training in collection techniques was conducted and is ongoing. In fact, I saw a demonstration only a month or two ago of how a found fox carcass is to be handled. Each of the vehicles has a complete set of material for better handling; including thermometers for getting a core body temperature etc. We’ve even measured the decrease in body temperature of NSW shot foxes to get a better idea of how long it takes for foxes bodies to lose heat.

    That sort of input is useful and is incorporated into the program.

    It’s the mindless accusations of graft and/or incompetence that I’m sick of (I know you don’t make these). I can speak out due to my role, but it certainly affects the morale of the team of people working every day on the problem. Gee, they’ve taken Ian Rist’s abuse for years. Whereas I push back with one blog post and a letter to an Editor and he is screaming blue murder.'[/i]

    ENDS

    As fox file readers on Tasmanian Times and in recent media on ABC, the Mercury, the Advocate and the Examiner would now know is that DPIPWE reports and audits in 2009 and again in 2011 had indeed demonstrated that staff members had both the means and the opportunity (and perhaps also the motive) to falsify physical evidence that the Fox Program relied on.

    Note that 3 of the four dead foxes recovered in Tasmania from 2003 to 2006 were officially accepted as ‘road killed’ foxes. This physical evidence statistic inferred that it was far more likely for a fox to die and be found in Tasmania by the side of a road as be classed as ‘road killed’ than it was to trap, photograph, poison or shoot the species in the designated ‘core fox habitat’.

    Thank you.

  19. David Obendorf

    December 18, 2016 at 11:23 am

    Continued …

    From [b]Feral Thoughts[/b] authored by Dr Tony Peacock, CEO of the Invasive Animals-CRC dated 25 February 2009

    [i]’I should stop here because surely no one needs an explanation of how silly this conspiracy theory is? But let’s point out some of the weaknesses in the theory:

    Firstly, it’s surprisingly hard to find a fox scat in the wild. You have to be motivated. So if you are gathering fox poos for export to Tasmania, you’d need a bit of time and energy. Maybe the Dodgy Dumpster has trained a dog to help, or found a fox marking site.

    Secondly, it’s a weird thing to do. I reckon if I took up Shit Shifting my wife would stop me. She might even have me see someone about my affliction.

    Thirdly, the Faecal Faker doesn’t know where DPIW staff are going to look. So they’ve got to shift a lot of shit. They’ve got to become a bit of a “Johnny Scatseed” and sprinkle it all over the State. Gives a new meaning to the Apple Isle.

    When I put the silliness of his position to him, the crap conspirator stuck to his guns “the detection of fox-DNA positive scat in Tasmania in the absence of any other crroborating (sic) evidence does not and cannot preclude the liklihood (sic) that fox scats were planted at the sites where they were found.” Mind you, if sightings, tracks and carcasses are not corroborating, what would be?

    So he really believes someone is planting poo? I’m not sure why this guy is so angry all the time at the staff of DPIW trying their best to face up to a really serious and worrying conservation issue. Why wouldn’t he direct his angst to the Poo Planter?

    In other web posts, Mr Rist hints that he will reveal all at an upcoming Public Accounts Committee Inquiry by the Parliament of Tasmania. I personally couldn’t wait if I knew. Or maybe these claims are just full of crap?

    The evidence points to a small population of foxes resident in Tasmania. The Tasmanian and Federal Governments deserve praise for trying to protect what mainland Australia has already lost.'[/i]

    ENDS

    [To be continued …]

  20. David Obendorf

    December 18, 2016 at 11:15 am

    Follow on from my comment #42

    In February 2009, the then CEO of the Invasive Animals-CRC launched a very public attack on Mr Ian Rist; Ian had written to the [i]Advocate[/i] newspaper suggesting that it was worthwhile considering whether there was any likelihood that fox faeces from the Australian mainland might have corrupted the physical evidence collected in Tasmania. This was back in 2009!

    Dr Peacock took the unusual step to reply to the newspaper ridiculing Mr Rist;s preposterous suggestion. Here I want to quote directly from Dr Peacock’s own on-line blog ([b]Feral Thoughts[/b]) on this topic:

    [i]’If you found a fox poo in a paddock in Tasmania, would you think there was a fox in the vicinity somewhere? Not if you were [b]Ian Rist[/b]. Mr. Rist is the most vocal of a small band of conspiracy theorists that seem to believe a faecal fooler is at work. He is an ardent critic of the people charged with ridding Tasmania of foxes: the Fox Eradication Branch of the Department of Primary Industries and Water. For years, Mr. Rist has written to newspapers throughout the island State dismissing fox sightings and fox carcasses and calling for disbanding the effort. Constantly calling for evidence of foxes in the state, he is the first to dismiss it when it doesn’t agree with him.

    His claims are looking more desperate as he struggles to dismiss the findings of foxes scats, confirmed by DNA testing at the University of Canberra. It’s pretty easy to dismiss sightings, even if there have been hundreds of them. It’s harder to dismiss carcasses but Mr Rist can do that – “planted” he usually screams. (And I do mean screams: on one site he generally gives about one third of the posts, roundly abusing anyone that disagrees with him, and exhausting other commentators by almost always having the last post on the topic).

    But how do you dismiss fox scats? Well, you need to dismiss the obvious: that a Tasmanian fox scat came from a Tasmanian fox bum. You also need an alternate explanation so hatch a conspiracy. A Faecal Fooler. Maybe several Scat Scammers. Heaven help us if there is a plethora of Poo Plagiarists out there!'[/i]

    There’s more.

    [To be continued…]

  21. Ian Rist

    December 16, 2016 at 10:35 am

    I too find it necessary to cross post this comment.
    “The irony is that Tasmania Police have now handed their assessment report to DPIPWE – the agency with responsibility for these Acts.”
    “By some inane process DPIPWE, the Department that suppressed the Fearn reports and taken no action, is somehow in the position to determine whether they have a case to answer”

    If ever there was a case of Dracula in charge of the blood bank this it it !

    It is time Minister Rockliff and Minister Hidding acted…because as sure as God made little green apples, they too will be drawn into this vortex.

    – See more at: http://oldtt.pixelkey.biz/index.php?/comments/45662/#sthash.Iejz9sZ8.dpuf

  22. O'Brien

    December 15, 2016 at 2:25 pm

    If the Minister(s) & departmental secretaries responsible are prepared to facilitate this kind of conduct through inaction. What other scams and swindles are they prepared to facilitate by looking the other way? Specifically with regard to grants, licences & property acquisitions within our National Parks and protected areas. What relationships exist between DPIPWE staff and protected area property developments like east coast marinas? How does State Development factor in? Who’s family companies profit directly? Why is there no remedy in Tasmanian law for such blatant corruption? Why do our elected representatives deny responsibility? Ministerial responsibility is a cornerstone of Westminster parliamentary democracy. By denying responsibility the Minister has failed in his duty under sworn oath.

  23. David Obendorf

    December 15, 2016 at 12:53 pm

    Ian, re: transcipts of evidence given to the 2009 Parliamentary Account Committee inquiry into the fox program.

    Government documents show the Insitute of Applied Ecology as an affliate of the [i]Invasive Animals CRC[/i] under CEO Dr Tony Peacock was a direct beneficiary of funding which flowed from their participation in the Fox Eradication Program. For Dr Peacock to state in a Parliamentary hearing that the University of Canberra-based [i]Institute of Applied Ecology[/i] was somehow separate from the IA-CRC collective in relation to this funding is just nonsense. The Institute of Applied Ecology was an integral part of the IA-CRC and as such had a direct funding agreements with DPIPWE as the contractor for the genetic testing of scats that were sent to Canberra from Tasmania’s “Great Poo Hunts” (2008-2011).

    Dr Peacock was also one of the scientists co-opted onto the Technical Advisory Committee that met regularly as part of the scientific oversight governance to the Fox Eradication Program.

    [to be continued …. ]

  24. Ian Rist

    December 14, 2016 at 7:18 pm

    From the 2009 PAC Inquiry.

    Mrs TRIGGS – I have been doing work for the fox eradication people for quite a while now
    and they seem to be efficient and doing a fairly comprehensive job of trying to track
    down these foxes. I have absolutely no doubt that there are foxes in Tasmania. I think
    there are some people who think that it is a possibility that it is all a conspiracy theory,
    but I think that is rubbish.
    CHAIR – You say that you have absolutely no doubt there are foxes in Tasmania. What do
    you base that statement on?
    Mrs TRIGGS – I base it on the fact that something like 33 scats have been found that have
    been positively tested for DNA to show that they came from a fox and I can’t see how
    anybody could possibly transport fox scats from the mainland, if that is what the theory
    is, and spread them around so that somebody happened to find them. It just doesn’t
    work, it just couldn’t happen.

    Mr HIDDING – I have asked two people who are on the inside and some of these people
    would say that you’re part of this elaborate sting that is maintaining this story that the
    foxes are here. For the record, can we explore that you two, and everyone else over there
    – Barbara Triggs and all the people in the department – and the people working on the
    Fox Task Force are all able to get jobs at similar salaries elsewhere and you are not on
    some gravy train that requires this elaborate story to be maintained.
    Prof. PEACOCK – I will address that first. I know evidence has been given to you that our
    CRC has built commercial offshoots, one of which is the Institute of Applied Ecology – I
    am reading it from the transcript. That is simply not true. The Institute of Applied
    Ecology is an independent part of the University of Canberra. It has millions and
    millions of dollars through it and the idea that I could influence what academics in that
    department are doing through a single project worth tens of thousands of dollars is
    absolutely ridiculous and deserves to be treated as a ridiculous claim.
    Still from the transcript, the other offshoot company is Pestat – that is an offshoot of the
    previous CRC. This CRC owns no shares in Pestat. It says ‘it supplies all the
    pheromones, the bait attractants’. Perhaps those pheromones account for $1 000 worth of
    sales, and that would be the absolute most. So that is extremely offensive to a small
    company based in Canberra.
    The other commercial offshoot is Animal Control Technologies and again that is
    completely wrong. Animal Control Technologies is a company in Melbourne owned by
    Dr Linton Staples and his family. They are an important member of this CRC but I have
    no ownership, nor does the CRC. We have a single licence with them on a product called
    PIGOUT. If you were baiting for pigs in Tasmania, I would get a very small royalty to
    this CRC that I then pass on to the owners of the previous CRC. Last year I wrote a
    cheque for $6 for the University of Adelaide.
    Ms FORREST – They would have welcomed that

  25. Ian Rist

    December 14, 2016 at 6:18 pm

    I would like to quote from ‘The Mercury’ December 21st 2009

    PAC Inquiry 2009 Foxes are here and that’s a fact: report.
    Michael Stedman. (Michael Stedman now works for the Office of the Leader of the State Labor Opposition

    Committee Chairman Jim Wilkinson would not divulge report details but rejected suggestions of bias
    “There were a number of witnesses that came forward and all the evidence was taken into account.”
    Mr Wilkinson said
    ‘Everyone was able to get their view across and to say it was slanted is just mischievous.”

    Committee member and Primary Industries spokesman Rene Hidding put a rocket up the sceptics who believed fox scats had been planted.
    “There are a small number of people who believe it is all rubbish, that the fox threat is a highly organised, concocted and fabricated myth and that a whole bunch of people including high- placed scientists are participating in a big swindle to maintain high salaries.”
    Mr Hidding said.
    “Their logic of their thinking would put Osama bin Laden to shame.”

    What say ye now gentlemen ?

  26. Ian Rist

    December 14, 2016 at 12:04 pm

    It is time Ministers Rockliff (DPIPWE) and Minister Hidding (Police) acted on this long running saga.

    It should be obvious to both of them that it isn’t going to go away until it is resolved to the satisfaction of the public and the taxpayer.

    Too many people now are asking too many questions.

    The recent excuse that the Police do not act on the animal Health Act is a cop-out.

    A few days later when under extreme pressure they have the Exeter road fox carcass importer charged.

    If I were either Minister I would be more interested in saving my butt than the butt of a few long serving public servants past and present.

  27. David Obendorf

    December 14, 2016 at 10:44 am

    Were it not for the coverage on Tasmanian Times this issue would have gone un-examined. I took part in two fox program reviews (2005 and 2009) and wrote and met with several State and Commonwealth politicians (including Ministers responsible). I also initiated a fox reward ($5000) supported by Tasmanian Times which was available for nearly 5 years.

    As a veterinary pathologist I systematically challenged the authenticity of a dead fox found on Glen Esk Road on 1 August 2006. In my opinion this single incident was highly questionable and should have been more critically assessed by the scientific community and reported on by the local media who were all too willing to accept changeable story-lines driven solely by the Department.

    DPIPWE’s own internal investigations (which we now know were kept hidden since 2009) deemed the faecal (scat) evidence (aka the Great Poo Hunt) was likely to be based on hoaxed and DNA-contaminated samples AND that the Department was aware that Fearn’s reports pointed the finger of suspicion at employees of the fox program.

    Recently described as a ‘stuff up’, in my opinion, this was a form of functional stupidity embedded into the governance of the program; an inability to objectively, independently and without ideology examine the credibility of the program’s foundation and performance.

    The personal ridicule and bullying meted out to anyone who, to their cost, critiqued and analysed the program’s own information was most regrettable.

  28. Jack J

    December 13, 2016 at 10:14 pm

    I hope the editor does not mind if I cross post this comment as I feel that the key issue escapes us still……whatever side of this long running debate you have been on, the matter of transparency and integrity of information should concern us all. Nothing can be truly democratic unless we can trust our democratic institutions to deliver unbiased information. Only thereafter is it worth having a debate.

    CROSS POSTED

    “I’d still suggest that the main question remains unanswered. For who decided that the Tasmanian community was far better off not knowing about the reports produced by Simon Fearn when he was part of the fox program?

    Apparently the same person thought that the scientist at the University of Canberra analysing the “fox scats” was also better off not knowing that their results were, er, crap.

    I wonder if the same person also thought that the commonwealth was better off not knowing this as well…as they submitted yet another application for federal money perhaps?

    Did the same person also think it was best not telling the many journalists about the dissenting series of reports? I wonder if our Tasmanian journalists are relaxed and comfortable about this decision? They must have been. There is no outcry that I can hear.

    Of course, one is forced to accept that this person most definitely thought that the Tasmanian parliament was better off not knowing. Because what on earth would our elected representatives want to know about such stuff?!

    So who is this very important person who decides what the Tasmanian and Australian public may or may not see and know? Who has this great power and by what statute did they receive such authority over knowledge and information?

    Is he Tasmania’s answer to Don Equis, ‘the most interesting man in the world’? Or the most secretive, like a new Garbo from the Apple Isle?

    Isn’t it about time that they introduced themselves to us, their humble dominion, burden and huddled masses, and offered an explanation of such wisdom and insight?

    Or are they to remain hidden behind the curtain, the place where Tasmanian “stuff ups” are designed in private?

    So, let’s put a name and a face to such omnipotent power and authority shall we? Let us all have the capacity to gaze upon He or She and reward such noble works, done to the people from behind without the benefit of lubrication.

    Unless, that is, they have already decided that it is not in our best interests to know that either? In which case, the parliament of Tasmania, the media and the public at large will tug upon their forelocks and retreat to their crude hovels to work upon their faith based beliefs in democratic institutions.”

  29. PHilip Lowe

    December 13, 2016 at 9:35 pm

    D’ya ken John Peel with his coat so red,
    And the sound of his hounds that he oft time led?
    And so on.
    what a crock of bullshit the fox fiasco has become.

  30. David Obendorf

    December 13, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    Today’s Mercury states:’Prof Sarre, of the University of Canberra, said he had not seen Mr Fearn’s report.

    [i]I have not seen the ‘leaked internal report’ and as this is a Tasmanian Government issue, I will not be making any comments on it or any other related matter,[/i] he said.

    [i]I am currently involved in a research project aimed at an analysis of fox-positive scats and will report on that when it is appropriate to do so.[/i]’

    It is scientific convention that the senior author is absolutely responsible for the data they use and the conclusions drawn from them. Sarre et al (2012) previously claimed (to an international journal and publicly) that the scat data were competently generated and valid. Dr Sarre even went to the extraordinary lengths of co-authoring another paper to criticise those that ‘doubted’ his conclusions generally. It is worth taking a look at this paper in particular:

    https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2241882

    That paper cites another paper by the authors of the third review in FEP (Landcare Research New Zealand, 2009).

    [i]“We suspect a fair part of the effort of the team has gone into the debate with sceptics who doubt the existence of foxes in Tasmania – now surely resolved by the ongoing DNA evidence for all but the most ardent conspiracy theorists.”[/i]

    [i]”The result is that it becomes possible for members of the community to consistently resist adapting their mental models to incorporate an acceptance of the existence of foxes in Tasmania and the need for an eradication program. The importance of this is in considering how to change this behaviour and reduce the levels of doubt developing.”[/i]

    Are they saying: anyone who doubt us and our conclusions (Sarre et al. 2012) have resistant mindsets based on conspiracy theory and we need to change such mentality?

    If they are, this is quite worrying in its intention and quite dangerous. It also explains how this program became fixated on feeding the public an ‘after the event’ version of a malleable story-line and then have their ‘science’ confirm the latest narrative.

    In fact, in the age of ‘fake news’ – empirical truth and basic fact-checking is dying because of the primacy of opinion and spin.

  31. David Obendorf

    December 13, 2016 at 1:11 pm

    [i]For the record[/i]: Former PWS Director [b]Max Kitchell[/b] chaired yet another review of the Fox Eradication Program (FEP) that was published in March 2013. His review panel interviewed 4 of the five authors of the Sarre et al 2013 paper:

    [b]Candida Barclay[/b] – FEP, Program Leadership Group
    [b]Stephen Sarre[/b] – IA-CRC & member of the Technical Advisory Panel to the fox program
    [b]Glen Saunders[/b] – IA-CRC & member of the Technical Advisory Panel to the fox program
    [b]Dave Ramsay[/b] – IA-CRC & member of the Technical Advisory Panel to the fox program

    Mr Kitchell’s panel also interviewed:

    [b]Craig Elliott[/b], the FEP (renamed Invasive Species Branch) Manager
    and
    [b]Simon Fearn[/b], FEP Senior Field Officer.

    Notably none of the program’s critics or sceptical independent scientists were contacted or interviewed.

  32. Jack J

    December 13, 2016 at 12:16 pm

    Has anyone got back to Prof Sarre to ask him if foxes are still widespread in Tasmania? Or do we have the odd situation where the ‘on the record’ $50 million work’ claims that they do, while the (I assume) more modestly funded ‘secret’ DPIPWE report claims that the fox sh*t is actually bullsh*t?

    When you publish a report that says in the title that “foxes are now widespread in Tasmania” the reader kind of expects that to be the case.

    I suppose it would not worry Donald Trump, nor it seems the Tasmanian government and several members of the scientific community.

    Getting with the times, truth and report titles are just SO overrated …

  33. David Obendorf

    December 13, 2016 at 10:29 am

    The [b]Mercury [/b] today is reporting that Dr Sarre knew nothing of the content of Simon Fearn’s 2011 report. This is puzling as at least two of the authors of the controversial paper were members of the [i]Technical Advisory Committee[/i] to the fox program which had ongoing responsibility for the science applied to the scat monitoring project (2005 to 2012). Thank you.

  34. David Obendorf

    December 12, 2016 at 5:56 pm

    Dr Edwards, it is important that you re-posted your correspondence with the [b]British Ecological Society[/b] dated December 2012.

    Their reply states: [i]”We raised the concern regarding false positives with the authors and we were satisfied with the answers we received…'[/i].

    Dr Sarre and his co-authors that included a FEP staff member and scientific members of the Technical Advisory Committee to the fox program will need to be asked whether they aware of the contents of Simon Fearn’s 2011 report?

    As we highlighted at the time of its publication, it was extraordinary that such a prestigious journal would not have requested the authors to at the very least publish a listing of the FEP identified scats that they claimed were DNA-fox positive and formed the basis of their claim that “foxes were now widespread in Tasmania”.

  35. Ivo Edwards

    December 12, 2016 at 11:12 am

    Good to read the press release that Dr Marks and Mr Wilkie are to attempt to have the infamous “Foxes are widespread” paper withdrawn.

    Hope they have better luck than I had back in 2012: –

    Dear Professor Milner-Gulland,

    Regarding the recent Priority Contribution paper published in J. Applied Ecology
    ‘Foxes are now widespread in Tasmania: DNA detection defines the distribution of this rare but invasive carnivore”
    Stephen D. Sarre, Anna J. MacDonald, Candida Barclay, Glen R. Saunders and David S. L. Ramsey
    Please note that I am outraged that this paper was published as a peer reviewed objective scientific research paper when it has so many flaws and even the title is an unsubstantiated assertion. I have therefore written the attached peer review for your consideration. This paper has severly tarnished the reputation of the J. Applied Ecology as an impartial, objective and evidence based science reporting medium.
    Yours faithfully,
    Dr. Ivo Edwards.
    Attachment: http://oldtt.pixelkey.biz/index.php?/article/letter-to-the-journal-of-applied-ecology/
    —– Original Message —–
    From: mejapplied
    To: Ivo Edwards
    Cc: e.j.milner-gulland@imperial.ac.uk
    Sent: Monday, February 11, 2013 9:50 PM
    Subject: RE: Recent Sarre et al J Applied Ecology Priority Paper

    Dear Dr Edwards,

    In response to the letter we received from you on 14 December 2012 regarding the paper by Sarre et al. “Foxes are now widespread in Tasmania: DNA detection defines the distribution of this rare but invasive carnivore” in Journal of Applied Ecology, the Journal has undertaken an internal review of the peer review process.

    The reviewers did not have concerns over the data presented in the final version of the paper and we are confident that the editorial processes carried out were sound.
    We raised the concern regarding false positives with the authors and we were satisfied with the answers we received and concluded that no correction of the paper is required. The issues you raise regarding the sighting of foxes and the timing of publication fall beyond remit of the science presented in this paper.

    We thus consider the matter as closed.

    With kind regards,
    Managing Editor
    British Ecological Society
    Charles Darwin House
    12 Roger Street
    London WC1N 2JU, UK
    Tel: +44 (0)207 685 2514 | Fax: +44 (0)207 685 2501

  36. Ian Rist

    December 11, 2016 at 9:01 pm

    Police Report.
    The Examiner.

    http://www.examiner.com.au/story/4350753/police-report-gives-fox-inquiry-insight/?cs=5312

    There is some major arse covering up going on here.
    But by whom?
    Firstly Ivan Dean instigated the call for a Police Inquiry, it was his evidence that was to be examined and he should have been given a full report and NOT have been supplied with a heavily redacted report.
    It would appear though just about everyone in the DPIPWE, the Government and Tasmania Police have the un-redacted report- but not Mr Dean.
    Even parts of the heavily redacted report were not accurate.
    I am told the report stated that David Llewellyn was not a Minister when he made the statement to ABC Background briefing in 2014. Correct…Llewellyn was not a Minister when he stated this to the ABC Background Briefing in 2014.
    Well excuse me… but he was a Minister when Hansard recorded this statement on the 15th June 2006 in the Parliament.
    House of Assembly Hansard.
    Thursday 15 June 2006 – Part 1 – Pages 1 – 26
    Mr Llewellyn
    “We took action in 2002 when three litters of fox cubs were brought back to the State by people who were identified, but were not able to be charged. Certainly the police followed these issues up. I am convinced that those litters were distributed; one in the Longford area, one down the east coast and one south of Oatlands. It was on that basis we established the effort to try to rid the State of foxes. The sightings have declined but there are still excellent sightings and I think we are on top of the issue. We need to monitor and keep on top of the issue. I think in one case a fox that was seen in and around the Burnie area was very clearly a fox that came from Webb Dock or wherever on the mainland, and that was a separate incident from the other that I mentioned. We need to be vigilant on this matter at all levels if we possibly can, so to that extent I agree with the member and I certainly will make any information available as it comes to hand”.

    This is what was said in the ‘Background Briefing’ radio interview in 2014 between Ian Townsend from the ABC and David Llewellyn.
    Ian Townsend
    “Despite that, Tasmanian’s have been told over the years that that event did happen. It was
    the basis for a massive baiting program that covered more than a million hectares of the
    state.”
    David Llewellyn
    “We took action in 2002 when three litters of fox cubs were brought back to the state by
    people who were identified, but were not able to be charged,” former Police Minister
    David Llewellyn told the Tasmanian Parliament in 2006.
    “Certainly the police followed these issues up. I am convinced that those litters were
    distributed; one in the Longford area, one down the east coast and one south of
    Oatlands.”
    “It was on that basis we established the effort to try to rid the state of foxes.”
    Mr Llewellyn, now an Opposition MP, said despite the original police report, he is still
    convinced it happened.
    “There were senior people within the Department of Parks and Wildlife who gave me
    that advice and they were absolutely certain of the fact,” he said.
    “I initiated a police investigation, which I’m not sure how thoroughly it was done.”
    Latest The Examiner story.
    http://www.examiner.com.au/story/4351662/fox-report-has-no-merit/?cs=5312

  37. Ian Rist

    December 11, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-12-11/tasmanian-devil-road-toll-stands-at-600/8110388

    Can this mob ever get anything right ? They were warned about putting Devils on Maria Island because of all the ground nesting shore birds. But as usual they are always right and will never admit they f****d up big time yet again. How could you ever trust these imbeciles with anything relating to wildlife? Their agenda seems to be ‘create a problem and then spend the next ten years trying to fix it, as long as funding pays’.
    There track record is abysmal, foxes, feral cats, Devils, OB Parrots, seal relocation, Bettongs (poisoning of with fox baits), Mynahs,etc etc.
    By the way this is the same people that started the fox debacle.

  38. john hayward

    December 11, 2016 at 11:09 am

    The ABC article referenced in the heading above claims that healthy devils have been reintroduced on the mainland.

    Where? DPIPWE’s refusal to even consider the proposition was in the news recently. At least the devil’s value as an advertising logo is appreciated.

    John Hayward

  39. Ivo Edwards

    December 8, 2016 at 6:26 pm

    Hello Garry – sorry about the mix up between the 2 parts of a fox related article comment being on different threads. It was a force majeure event, an inadvertent stuff up (as DPIPWE might describe it!) I promise that it won’t happen again (but hey! who believes anything that is claimed to be promises and truth these days as Tony Abbott and Donald Trump are portrayed as our champions of truth and honesty? )

    Get back to me with any further questions?

  40. garrystannus@hotmail.com

    December 8, 2016 at 4:20 pm

    Hi, Ivo:

    your #20 and #21 seem to be misplaced. Perhaps they were intended for the [Foxes… thread: Here]. You had already posted there your #40 (1-3) and now I see your #20 and #21 (4) here on this thread. That’s not the greatest of probs., but what is of greater concern to me is that you might not end up by explaining to me how you might have by-passed my objection to your “Marks, C.A., Obendorf, D., Pereira, F., Edwards, I. & Hall, G.P. (2014) Opportunistically acquired evidence is unsuitable data to model fox (Vulpes vulpes) distribution in Tasmania. Wildlife Society Bulletin. ”- there on that (above) thread. Could you please place your comments back onto that thread? I would rather keep our discussion comments on the ‘same page’.

    By the way, I’ve looked at some of your (past) TT articles and I have to say that I like your amenable style. I’ve also like your humanity, in the way that you have espoused humane methods of trapping and euthanising (any possible) foxes on our island, as opposed to 1080 poisoning. I did not want to come onto this thread, but you seemingly devoted two comments (#20 & #21) to me, which (in my opinion) would have been better placed on that other ‘Foxes…’ (op linked) thread.

    – Garry.

  41. David Obendorf

    December 8, 2016 at 3:44 pm

    From ABC News:

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-12-08/man-charged-over-tasmanian-fox-carcass/8104838

    [i]In 2016, Mr Dean lodged an official complaint to police and the Integrity Commission alleging evidence used to support the program may have been fake, including the planting of fox scats.

    He said he was pleased the Environment Department investigated the carcass.

    “We’ve had a number of other physical evidence produced in this state and there’s been no inquiry or investigation into that at all,” he said.

    “While I’m surprised, I’m delighted that they’ve decided to follow it up and to follow it up in a proper and effective way, so that is very pleasing.”

    He said it meant the Tasmanian Government should investigate all other evidence of foxes in the state.

    “They should be looking at all the other physical evidence. There should be an investigation into it, because it’s very clear that that is also a set-up,” he said.

    Mr Dean said he had been carrying out his own investigations into previous evidence.

    [b]”I’m now in a position to be able to identify that a very important piece of physical evidence relied on by the Fox Taskforce was brought in from Victoria,”[/b] he said.

    “I’ve produced that information to the integrity commission.”[/i]

  42. Ian Rist

    December 8, 2016 at 3:16 pm

    Re # 22
    “and the cultivation of public doubt by a small number of individuals about the evidence of fox presence and eradication activities”

    Try about 95% of the Tasmanian population that have serious doubts about the fox program !

  43. David Obendorf

    December 8, 2016 at 2:28 pm

    Thank you most sincerely Ivo for explaining the reputational damage to conservation science that has gone on in Tasmania in relation to the fox program and its use of 1080 meat baits.

    I thought readers might like to see another example of this deception and misinformation even with the knowledge of an internal DPIPWE report questioning the authenticity of the scat evidence [authored by Simon Fearn 2011] that was commissioned and received by the FEP manager, Craig Elliott. [Note the date, February 2014; by March 2014 the FEP was disbanded by the incoming government.]

    Excerpt from the [b]Island Arks Symposium III – Hobart, 11-13 February 2014[/b]
    [Sponsored by Reef Catchments, Island Arks, Tasmanian Land Conservancy, Wildcare Inc.]

    Presentation Title: [i]That’s not an island, this is an island! Managing a large scale island eradication[/i]
    Craig Elliott, Stephen Harris & Matthew Marrison (Fox Eradication Program, DPIPWE)

    [b]In 2001 an ambitious effort to prevent the European Red Fox from establishing in Tasmania was commenced after increased levels of evidence of fox presence indicated the emerging threat of a dispersed fox population[/b]. This eradication program is a significant conservation effort and is unique in attempting eradication of foxes before recognised establishment has occurred and for the size of the operational area being targeted given Tasmania is an island of over 68 000 km2.

    As a consequence of the size and complexity of the eradication, a number of significant operational challenges have been faced that necessitated an adaptive management approach. Equally challenging has been maintaining community support for eradication of a threat that is largely unseen, both in terms of the animal itself and its impact, concern about the use of 1080 baits as the primary eradication tool, and the cultivation of public doubt by a small number of individuals about the evidence of fox presence and eradication activities.

    With a window of more than two years since new evidence of foxes has been detected, the program is extremely optimistic that success can be achieved, but its experiences present a number of key lessons for eradication projects on inhabited islands or involving large-scale long-term operations. [ENDS]

  44. Ivo Edwards

    December 8, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    For example …

    http://oldtt.pixelkey.biz/index.php?/article/some-rare-night-time-images-of-tasmanias-amazing-eastern-quoll/ details how we have been misled about the risk of fox poisoning to eastern quolls.

    I consider this gem one of the most outrageous of the lies. It is a small part of the FEP Facebook response to the arrival of Tasmanianfox,com. (which only lasted a few hours before being taken down)

    “- The FEP is in its third stage with a decrease in evidence indicating that eradication has, or has nearly, been achieved. This is in the face of a 13 year campaign by some individuals who oppose the eradication and its approach. This eradication is at an unprecedented scale. There is no hard and fast guidebook on how to complete an eradication at this scale but over the past few years we’ve continually reviewed and enhanced our planning and execution of the eradication and achieved massive budget savings that enabled us to expand our work to cover other invasive animals and weeds as well. We appreciate the messages of support and will continue to aim to complete monitoring effort to validate the eradication by 2017.”

    The essential point is Garry that we have misled by DPIPWE from the very beginning. Misled in the form of some outright lies, some half truths, some (many) instances of failing to inform us about important relevant internal data and reports, and a lot of spin about how great the eradication team was and how bitchy and unreasonable the “conspiracy theorist” sceptics were. I am sure I, and many other TT readers can locate more instances of “lying through the teeth” if you really want more examples.

    Thank you for taking the trouble to read, consider and comment on various aspects in the various Tasmanianfox,com official publications.

    Your thoughts are very much appreciated.

  45. Ivo Edwards

    December 8, 2016 at 1:35 pm

    4. Re my claim that the Fox Eradication Program lied through the teeth

    You won’t read those words in any of the Tasmanianfox.com peer-reviewed scientific research publications, naturally. The Tasmanianfox.com team though has many other individually published less formal articles, especially in Tasmanian Times.

    Some of these detail various instances where the DPIPWE has been caught out lying.

    cont …

  46. spikey

    December 8, 2016 at 9:42 am

    certainly makes me
    feel mildly uncomfortable
    like buttgrapes

    the people tasked
    with protecting our endangered wildlife
    from the threat of foxes

    from what i can gather
    between the truth and questionable statements
    poisoned our endangered wildlife
    misled the public on toxicity
    misled the public on veracity
    and continued to poison our wildlife
    when perhaps they knew
    no evidence of threat existed

    the usual money rorting is officially blase’
    world’s best practice in tasincmania
    was quite a lot of money though
    not to build a fence

    around the alleged main point of entry
    when early foxy tales had been dismissed
    through thorough police investigation
    August 2001

    shame shame shame

  47. Ian Rist

    December 7, 2016 at 8:07 pm

    This comment is now relevant on this thread.
    The Police and DPIPWE were very quick on this Frankford fox carcass import and plant, well done…BUT what about all the other fox carcasses, fox scats and fox material they know about?
    Highly likely all those, especially the Glen Esk Road, Burnie Port main road , Lillico and Symmons Plains didn’t suit the ‘at the time’ political agenda.
    Especially the Symmons Plains (sorry the Geelong, Victoria foxes import) that started it all, how would they explain the endemic Long-tailed Tasmanian mouse allegedly recovered by two FFTF non-pathologists from in its stomach.

  48. Ian Rist

    December 7, 2016 at 11:15 am

    The sad state of affairs is simply this…there is no political, police or judicial will to be involved and especially not to enforce or uncover any of the above.

    Not a good look Tasmania, it will all come back to bite you on the butt …

  49. john hayward

    December 6, 2016 at 9:37 pm

    It is well-established that sub-lethal doses of 1080 have been found to cause residual damage to organs such as the brain, heart, and reproductive system.

    What I have never encountered, despite repeated queries, is a Tas Government response to this issue.

    In light of this, the Tas Govt’s refusal to countenance the re-introduction of disease-free devils to the mainland, which is strongly urged by the scientific community, needs to re revisited by credible authorities.

    John Hayward

  50. David Obendorf

    December 6, 2016 at 4:29 pm

    One of the secret locations where DPIPWE biologists trialed the use of 1080 meat baits was within the [b]Buckland Military Training area[/b].

  51. Ian Rist

    December 6, 2016 at 1:45 pm

    Fox baits a threat to Native Marsupials

    cont.

    The statement in this article is bizarre to say the least and extremely misleading…
    http://oldtt.pixelkey.biz/images/uploads/2009_03_07_References_Bettong-FoxOff-1080_Baiting.pdf

    “It would take 15 (fifteen) 1080 fox baits to kill a Tasmanian Devil”.

    So it would take 45 m/g of 1080 to kill one Devil? 15 baits x 3mg = 45mg.
    This one of many incorrect and extremely misleading statements put out in the early days of this tragedy.
    Tasmanian fox baits are 3 m/g of 1080 per bait.
    Young Devils are out foraging at 700-800 grams in weight. The Lethal Dose 50 OF 1080 for Devils is only 4.34 m/g per kilo of body weight.
    Do the maths.
    In excess of 350,000 1080 fox baits were put out in the Tasmanian Landscape since 2002.

  52. Ian Rist

    December 6, 2016 at 1:18 pm

    (CONT.)

    1080 Threat to small marsupials Quolls, Bettongs etc

    Also Landcare research New Zealand did another report for the DPIPWE in 2009.

    http://dpipwe.tas.gov.au/Documents/Fox_2009-NZ-Review.pdfealand

  53. Ian Rist

    December 6, 2016 at 1:10 pm

    Spikey comment number 11

    As early as 2001 field tests were done with 1080 meat baits and FoxOff baits, the authorities stated “there will be some collateral damage but the alternative of foxes becoming established would be far worse”.
    FoxOff was particularly dangerous to Bettongs and Quolls and should be avoided being used in areas that contains these small marsupials.
    DPIW EFFECTS OF 1080 BAITING ON NON-TARGET SPECIES

    http://oldtt.pixelkey.biz/images/uploads/2009_03_07_References_Bettong-FoxOff-1080_Baiting.pdf

    The CRC Invasive Animals did extensive research but recommended 1080 baiting anyway.
    http://dpipwe.tas.gov.au/Documents/Fox-Review-Report-June-22-2006.pdf
    Note : 5.4.2 and 5.4.3
    LandcareN.Z. also did a report in 2009.

    (CONT.)

  54. spikey

    December 6, 2016 at 9:43 am

    #8 In my opinion, admissions can be subtle.

    We have to be aware however, that correlation does not equal causation.

    A warm wet event may or may not have been responsible for fewer quolls.

    (I’m unaware of any published or unpublished studies or hearsay showing them keeling over in the heat or wet, they live from mountaintop to shoreline all over tassie and recently the mainland, apart from a pretty graph the only explanation given was that they like it cool and dry)

    A surprisingly public release of quoll population studies finding relatively no impact from widespread 1080 poisoning by taskforce and Forestry activities, blaming global warming for decline, may or may not indicate an admission.

    It’s a bit like waiting for our Salmon industries to admit they’re damaging our environment, when they have a lot of industry funded science proving that it’s sustainable.

    Or a bit like waiting for our Forestry charity to admit that they have been acting completely unsustainably and uneconomically, when they have a lot of industry funded science proving its worlds best practice and necessary for our economy.

    Or a bit like waiting for AFMA to admit the supertrawler was killing way more protected wildlife than they admitted. Sure that Whaleshark hung by its caudal peduncle swam away…

  55. john hayward

    December 5, 2016 at 11:16 pm

    #6 Mick Kenny. Isn’t a multimillion dollar fraud a ” specific crime”? The response of the Tas regulatory authorities is about as relevant to that as the price of figs.

    John Hayward

  56. Simon Warriner

    December 5, 2016 at 6:52 pm

    re 7

    “Why does the Minister refuse to act as a man of integrity? Why is he more than satisfied to maintain faith in a department that has mis-led him in the past?”

    The Minister refuses to act with integrity because to do so would involve him conflicting at least one of the various interests he has to carry. The interest of the public good, versus the party’s interest, versus his personal interest. Throw party dictates into the mix, along with dirt held by high ranking public servants and opposition members and it must be very difficult for anyone who is stupid enough not to recognise the problems conflicted interest causes to sort out anything much of any value.

  57. Ian Rist

    December 5, 2016 at 2:20 pm

    Spikey number 4.
    I don’t think they will ever admit to the damage this badly thought out and executed 1080 meat baiting campaign is responsible for ….Quolls definitely have worn the brunt of it, Devils copped it as well. One small population of five Devils that I was on a first name basis with completely disappeared after 1080 meat fox baiting occurred in their home range area.
    I have been contacted by owners that have lost domestic and working dogs, a dreadful tragedy that simply should never have been allowed to happen…especially when it was all based on a “bright shining lie”.

    But they will not admit to anything, constant state of denial aided and abetted by their political masters….a dreadful sign of weakness on their part.
    From my Facebook page twelve months ago:
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-12-06/tasmania's-eastern-quoll-listed-as-endangered-by-federal-body/7005396?section=tas

    The statement in the article above “foxes drove Eastern Quolls to extinction on the mainland fifty years ago” should also include 1080 poison,various other rabbit poisons, land clearing, feral cats, dogs and humans.
    I find it condemning that 1080 poison has been used in Tasmania since 1952, huge amounts of it was used in forestry and agricultural applications. Quite ironic the last Thylacine sighting I can confirm was 1945 in an area massive amounts of 1080 was and still is being used.

  58. O'Brien

    December 5, 2016 at 2:09 pm

    “A company of wolves, is better than a company of wolves in sheep’s clothing.”
    ― Anthony Liccione

    Aside from the open officially sanctioned & crafted theft of millions of our dollars, the very real threat of total devastation of Tassie’s wildlife, setting up & demonising of those that ask valid questions, broken careers and people, countless native animals passing away in the most gruesome manner, complete indifference or active scheming by so-called public servants & elected officials, complete trashing of Tassie’s conservation science reputation & deconstruction of any perceived faith we may have had in public service & government.

    The culmination of deceit, lies & treachery. A complete betrayal of generations of the best of Tassie those who worked tirelessly facing real threats in order to conserve what remained of Tassie’s wildlife. The good people in uniform NPWS Field Officers, Rangers & Wildlife Rangers have been betrayed by a small cabal. This cabal is not hard to identify and locate, just ask… Any Minister worth his salt could wrap this matter up in less than a week. Why does the Minister refuse to act as a man of integrity? Why is he more than satisfied to maintain faith in a department that has mis-led him in the past?

    If we had any journalists worth their salt they may have noticed connections between Fox swindle and the Tree Capes Track. A simple search shows many of the main players now ‘work’ with Crown lands & State Development, specifically the transfer of public lands to private hands. And our commission for corruption is “considering” an investigation in 2016/17 when concerns were supplied to them in 2013.

    Let’s face it, the place is run by wolves in slick suits. Soon it will be Christmas, then their bush-fires begin and no criticism will be tolerated. Come January the US president will probably supply us all with more immediate concerns.

  59. Mick Kenny

    December 5, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    The bottom line seems to be that while mischief may have occurred, made more serious by the costly panic that ensued, no specific crime was committed, either by members of the public or Fox Taskforce employees, at least, not one reflecting the gravity of the situation. People can be interviewed, possibly reprimanded internally, but the DPP may not see any reasonable prospects for conviction under current legislation. This would weigh factors like evidence, admissions, deterrence and public interest, to name but a few. Such logic might reflect recent calls to legislate specifically against importing fox carcasses and associated products to Tasmania.

    Tasmania already has a range of introduced species threatening flora and fauna. There are already many challenges, feral and domestic cat management being an obvious one.

    Future risks from invasive species should be addressed so that the mechanisms and responses are appropriate to particular circumstances, avoiding costly, unproductive, secretive and highly politicised models. An open and evidence-based approach to current and future threats makes sense. This too is a challenge.

  60. Alison Bleaney

    December 5, 2016 at 10:40 am

    #4 Thanks for summing up; many Australians (mainlanders) and international citizens feel the same. Ethical decision making seemed to have been left somewhere else by those involved in this destructive and wasteful saga.

  61. spikey

    December 4, 2016 at 10:42 pm

    thank you Clive, David and Ian
    for trying to keep the foxes honest
    though i don’t know many honest tasmanian foxes
    they seem to crap on
    oblivious, untouchable and untouched
    by the reality
    the rest of the world sees
    very clearly

    Whatever faith I had in our government
    and many of their departments
    to deal openly and honestly with us people
    has been eradicated
    like the quolls they poisoned

    Those that survived the warm wet event that is.

    I’d have kinda hoped, that poisoning fully protected threatened/endangered species, for an alleged money grabbing hoax, was an actual criminal crime. But hey look at Worlds Best Conjob.

  62. mike seabrook

    December 4, 2016 at 11:27 am

    could have been simply done years ago – just follow those employees and contractors who followed the trail of that magnificent fox which swam to bruni, crapped once only and swam back again on which i presume was a glorious fishing weekend.

    the truth hurts

  63. Ian Rist

    December 4, 2016 at 10:42 am

    I was interviewed by Tasmania Police for five hours during the latest ‘fox investigation’ with several follow up emails and ‘phone calls.

    I am absolutely sure and without any doubt they (Tasmania Police and associated Politicians) are aware who was involved in fox scat importation and planting and also several who were involved in fox carcass importation.

    It is time this whole stinking sordid ‘stuff up’ was put to bed.

    Or will it be handled the same way as the twelve year old girl prostituted at the Mid City Hotel?

    Only one politician (that actually voted against the Pulp Mill) was charged and convicted despite a “diary full of client’s names”.

    Ian Rist

    The original doubter and ‘fox conspiracy theorist’.

  64. john hayward

    December 4, 2016 at 8:51 am

    Are we to believe that the Tas Animal Health Act was drafted and passed without any agency having any responsibility for enforcing it or notifying a responsible agency?

    This seems very unusual. Normally in Tas, a regulator deals with inconvenient legislation by simply ignoring their legal responsibility.

    John Hayward

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