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

David Obendorf

Misrepresentation, lies, deception and fraud …

*Pic: David Obendorf’s pic of a display in the Fullers Bookshop window …

First published November 16

How could a Government-funded program persist in chasing a myth for over 15 years? And why would people misrepresent events and even produce false evidence?

In Richard Flanagan’s recent book – First Person – he describes a storyteller’s journey into the workings of an experienced con-man.

‘Less experienced liars would have sought consistency in their untruths. But life is never consistent … he had realised that the vast ineptitude of his illusions was by some alchemy their most convincing proof. My problem was how to impose order on these unorderable recollections’
[Richard Flanagan (2017) – First Person (page 185)]

‘He contradicted his own lies with fresh lies, and then he contradicted his contradictions. It was as if he could not exist except in the tumult of self-denial. As an instinctive ruse it was more than effective. For the challenge to reconcile such outrageous lies lay not with him, but with you, the listener.’
[Richard Flanagan (2017) – First Person (page 122)]

‘Some people tell stories lightly, a trotter with a light sulky racing along behind. Others are like an elephant slowly dragging a train, but slowly the train moves, And then there are the truly great storytellers … they ride you, and you gallop faster and faster, thinking only ever that is what you want and you are never aware – until it is too late, far too late – that on your back is a rider, that you are being ridden to your death, and that there is now no way of stopping the story becoming you.’
[Richard Flanagan (2017) – First Person (page 186)]

But what motivates experienced tricksters to misrepresent or indeed lie?

First Person is based on Richard Flanagan’s 1991 commission as the ghostwriter for a conman’s autobiography. Back then Richard tried to get into the head of a man who admitted that he’d used misrepresentation to create a business based on deceiving banks into giving his organisation access to hundreds of millions of dollars. His name was John Friedrich; his organisation was the National Safety Council, Victorian Division and the 1991 book is titled Codename Iago.

No-one, least of all the ghost-writer, can attest that these were Friedrich’s actual words (they may appear in court transcripts or sworn testimony) but here is how John Friedrich’s autobiography justified his actions.

‘The lawyers, the judges, the media, the publishers – they all want reasons why I did what I did. I can give you motives if you want them, but in reality I have always done what seems like a good idea at the time. I have never operated with a strategy in mind. If something looked like it would be worthwhile I did it or arranged to have it done. That’s all.’
[Codename Iago (1991) (page 234)]

‘I didn’t act because, like most illegal things – say, speeding – this sort of thing is not a problem until the moment you get caught. And up until that moment everybody was happy with National Safety Council Victorian Division – the Board, the various government Departments, the banks, the clients and the people who got rescued and had their lives saved. … … When the Council collapsed it could have continued for some time yet. We had $40 million of undrawn borrowings but I accept that the situation couldn’t have continued indefinitely. … We could have continued for a while longer, if I had not turned my back on the whole thing and walked out. What I am saying is a big admission. This whole book is a big admission.’
[Codename Iago (1991) (Chapter 16)]

Perhaps Richard Flanagan’s novel analysis could equally be applied to the ‘unsubstantiated’ 2001 claim of live foxes in Tasmania; a narrative that seemed just too devastating to ignore.

But what has Flanagan’s conman autobiography got to do with a story about foxes in Tasmania?

In this first place the sources of finance for the fox hunt were Government Treasuries, not banks. And the key to the Treasury was a need to convince Governments that Tasmania in mid-2001 faced an existential threat to its biodiversity – the threat that foxes would establish in Tasmania.

That conviction was re-enforced in just a few media soundbites:

‘The information that authorities have received leaves no doubt that foxes were deliberately brought into Tasmania.’
[Nature Volume 416 28 March 2002 – Nick Mooney]

‘You have to say the releasing of foxes in Tasmania is worse than sabotage, it’s ecoterrorism. … The very best result with this whole situation would be if someone could show us that this is a giant hoax. It’s the best result because it would mean that there’s no foxes.’
[ABC George Negus Tonight 12 June 2003 – Nick Mooney]

And this:

‘Do you believe that that actually happened? That cubs were brought in …?’

Nick Mooney: ‘I don’t know. To me, it’s … it’s a story. It might be a very credible story when told by some people, but I don’t have a strong view of it … because I’ve seen no evidence.’
[ABC Background Briefing – The Great Tasmanian fox hunt 2 May 2013]

Indeed the Tasmanian and Australian Governments – through the Tasmanian Department of Primary Industry – financed a prolonged war on foxes. It employed a small army to locate and eradicate foxes; taxpayers at the State and federal level paid for it.

Despite the expense neither the Department nor their collaborators – the Invasive Animals CRC – were able to confirm the existence of any live foxes in Tasmania.

Beginning in 2014 independent peer-reviewed research demonstrated that the physical evidence gathered in Tasmania was unsound and to date neither organisation has chosen to vouch for their data or justify the expenditure of tens of millions of taxpayer dollars trying to eradicate an animal they could not locate.

Science and reason tries to protect us from sensational misperceptions. In the end it may be the only way to disinfect and indeed protect citizens from unsupported misrepresentations. Perhaps this explains why some ‘public science’ is now viewed in the same light as politics: self-interested and lacking in transparency.

It is particularly troubling when public servants with science training appear afraid to re-examine and learn from the presented evidence of misrepresentation and fabrication of physical evidence.

Are we living in a time when securing a well-paid public service job comes with an implied caveat: “must be a weak individual with no willingness to stand up for higher values or defend reason” and “a proven capacity to bend your knee and look the other away”?

Institutions go rotten when rank-and-file staff silently follow persons in authority over a cliff. In the John Friedrich case his army of employees were lost souls. They needed moral leadership and it was replaced by lies and fraudulent behaviour.

So, do such Iago-type personalities thrive on weak people who blindly accept irrational and untested stories? And how often do the weak and the powerful become co-dependent players in these dances of deception?

But please remember the creation of fake media is nothing new to Tasmania.

Before the March 1993 general election the Tasmanian Greens preselected paediatrician Dr Judy Henderson to be their Tasmanian Senate candidate.

Two days before the vote, a railway employee found an apparent bomb on a railway bridge adjacent to a log-loading yard at Black River in NW Tasmania. Drivers of two passing cars reported a nearby sign “Earth First” to Tasmania Police and to TasRail.

That evening in State Parliament then Premier Ray Groom without any evidence said: “It is most regrettable that some more extreme elements of the conservation movement may be willing to use the threat of violence to pursue their cause.”

On the Friday, the day before the election The Advocate newspaper ran a front-page story headed – Railway Bomb: Environment Group Linked. The paper identified ‘an international eco-terrorist group Earth First’. That evening all the TV news bulletins in Tasmania showed police scouring the area for further evidence which might demonstrate that was a deliberate act of ecoterrorism.

Judy Henderson narrowly missed out on a Senate seat. The ‘bomb’ was found to contain ammonium nitrate and a second device located nearby had wires and batteries but was deemed incapable of being used for detonation.

Police documents dated July 1993 obtained after a Freedom of Information request revealed; ‘the device is considered [by Tasmania Police] to be an elaborate hoax and they are not ruling out the possibility that it may have been placed there by loggers in an attempt to discredit the Green movement.’

No-one has been held to account for placing a hoax bomb on the Black River railway bridge. [Reference: An Activist Life – Christine Milne 2017] ( HERE )

Democracy is in crisis. Public institutions that project spin over substance undermine their own credibility. Projecting a perception of foxes – foxes that weren’t there – is a fitting metaphor for how far our Tasmanian politics has gone off the rails. Increasingly people aren’t going to tolerate such baseless and self-serving dishonesty.

When Jim Bacon became Tasmania’s Premier in 1998 he understood how important the government propaganda was to staying in power. His Government Media Liaison Unit produced prodigious amounts of set-piece media to dress up and leverage government programs. Premier Bacon literally head-hunted journalists he wanted from the local newspapers, commercial TV and the ABC and paid them far more than they could ever earn in the private sector. In this way local media was tamed to play along with Government policy. Twenty years on and arguably there are more journalists now employed inside government to fend off the public interest than exist outside to defend it.

Moulding public perception is now a bog-standard skill of government with little regard for truth. In the process admissions of uncertainty, doubt and a capacity to correct the record has been outlawed. Pretending has become all important. And it is a slippery slide from pretence to fabrication and from fabrication to fraudulent behaviour.

In the post-truth world we are seeing what happens when self-interest is enabled by deliberate deception.

Well, enough is enough. The processes of government that have pretended to serve us for so long have gone well beyond their use-by date. Integrity must return to public processes.

*David Obendorf is a retired veterinary pathologist who has had a particular interest in Tasmania’s biosecurity & biodiversity. He is a co-author of several science papers which researched the physical evidence relied on by the Tasmania’s fox program ( available at www.tasmanianfox.com ) and has authored many articles on this topic here on the Tasmanian Times website ( HERE ). David prepared case reports for each incident where physical evidence was collected; his reports were included in a formal complaint of the fox program MLC Ivan Dean presented to Tasmania Police in February last year. After the Tasmania Police investigation report was completed, Mr Dean’s complaint was then referred on to DPIPWE and the Tasmanian Integrity Commission.

• Jack Jolly in Comments: … Deception is the way this is done. That’s how High Rise Harry gets to turn Sydney and Melbourne into Hong Kong. He’s given a licence by the state government to do so, and to hell with what the people who live there want. Did anyone ask the people of Sydney and Melbourne? Nope. Oddly, governing the state would be a hell of a lot easier if it was done on the basis of finding out what the public wanted done and what public values require … If you can chase something that does not exist for 15 years and spend $50 million on it, then claim that it has been an outstanding success, then there are no limits to the bullshit you will project. Anything is possible. Isn’t that the lesson of the fox fiasco – that government has no shame and no fear of the public whatsoever? They can look us in the eye and lie time and time again. There are no consequences …

• David Obendorf in Comments: … Perhaps it is a bitter pill. That this expensive eradication program was based on some unconscionable lying and the use of imported hoaxed evidence calculated to deceive. The presentation of false, unsubstantiated allegations to Tasmania Police was bad enough, but lying to a fox ecologist compounds the offence. To falsify physical evidence using dead fox exhibits adds to the gravity …

• Jack in Comments: Of course, the government in the lower house can always cancel parliament when things get too hot as Do-Nothing Malcolm (Member for Goldman Sachs) has just done: HERE

• Lyndall Rowley in Comments: … David – the above questions are rhetorical only. You need to rest and save yourself for the Royal Commission. In the end – after the clean-up – Mr Ian Rist and you David, as well as other courageous and persistent fighters for integrity in government as well as in science, deserve a public apology from government for how you’ve been treated and should instead be given our sincere thanks.

• David Obendorf in Comments: … Are any of these resignations, investigations of nepotism, white-collar fraud and cronyism linked to a systemic and unaddressed malaise in the Tasmanian Public Sector? You can literally exhaust yourself trying to shine a light on those in the leadership positions who leave these expensive and sickening trails of chaos. And I haven’t even mentioned the extensive investigations into staff misconduct, nepotism and misuse of funds in RSPCA (Tasmania) only a few years ago.

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366 Comments

366 Comments

  1. Editor

    December 13, 2017 at 6:31 pm

    Comments are now closed on this thread because of the increasingly nasty nature of comments …

  2. Simon Warriner

    December 12, 2017 at 9:03 pm

    Garry, re Maureen. You need to think about “it”?

    really?

    Maureen is right, it is about way more than foxes and has been all the way through. The fox thing is only one of many tumors. Conflicted interest is the carcinogen that causes them. Fix that and the tumors will be easily cured.

    I believe I wrote something about that a few years ago.

  3. Ian Rist

    December 12, 2017 at 8:49 pm

    Give up Garry, you are just flogging the same old dead horse.
    Your attempts to muddy the waters will not magically produce foxes in the Tasmanian landscape.

    Why can’t you admit you and your Greenie mates backed the wrong horse and got it all wrong from day one?
    You never mention the Native wildlife and pets the stupid and idiotic 1080 meat based campaign poisoned, all you sympathizers should be ashamed and hang theirs head in shame; not constantly advertising the fact you have blood on your hands.

    I suggest you wait until the Integrity Commission report comes out and then we will see how much ‘yaffle’ you have.

    PS your attempts to score points over the Whippet, Jack Russell comment show how childish and petty your attempts really are.

  4. garrystannus@hotmail.com

    December 12, 2017 at 8:18 pm

    In his post #359, David raises again the validity of the scat evidence, challenging Ramsay 2017 and pointing out in his view, that 61 known scat samples do not represent reliable evidence of fox presence in Tasmania. This, IMO, is what you sometimes get with a broad brush approach. All 61 fox positive samples are now tarred with the ‘possibly imported scat’ brush.

    We’ve seen some miracles recently, where an identified fox print is (by hearsay) said to be proven to be that of a whippet and now has recently morphed into a Jack Russell … and then in frustration for being held to account, now any one (or more) of ‘Mr Heinz’s 47 Varieties’.

    Now 1 thing these purveyors of broad brushes haven’t supplied (so far as I’m aware) is any backup for their claims [Elsewhere at #91] and above at #362 … claims (in these two comments) that tell us that scats were imported “before 2005” / and suspected in “2003-2004”.

    I have documentary evidence to show the importation of scats began in October 2007. I asked the Editor to publish that evidence; however he, at Ian Rist’s request, declined to do so. Let me state here that I do not understand why the Editor was willing to publish ‘off the back of a truck’ the unredacted ‘Fearn Report’ – which named two men as suspected of falsifying the evidence – yet why the Editor was not willing to publish other materials, gathered under FOI/RTI which simply were the extensive records of DPIPWE relating to the importation of scats and which were supplied to the Editor by me.

    Ian denies that importation of scats began in Oct 2007. As indicated above, he claims it began before 2005, i.e. between 2003-2004. He claimed in #94 of that link that I supplied above, that he was

    “sure that in the event of a Police investigation documented evidence could be subpoenaed. Virgin Air Freight documentation exists that would show Eskies addressed to the FFTF in Launceston, certainly predating 2007.”

    That’s a pretty lame assurance, in my book.

    Ian, in that thread you replied to my request for you to publish any scat import docs and also the large DPIPWE FOI doc (#100 of that thread) by responding “Number 100 No and No. ” I’d call that ‘transparency plus’. In my view, you are often happy to opine about factual matters without being actually able to back them up: Hic Rhodus, hic saltus!

    Oh, and finally, in anticipation of the Great Christmas Cut-Off, I point out to the Editor and to fellow readers that I had written to Ian in my #86 of the above-mentioned thread that

    […] DPIPWE’S Fox Evidence List 1998 to Present (Updated 13 March 2012) and if you also refer to the DPI FOX SCAT RECORD FOI which you kindly sent to me a few years ago, you will see that a number of scats (in the ‘Evidence List’) were as a result of ‘investigation’ which I suggest were in response to sightings reports and, importantly at least 9 of those scats were discovered before the commencement of the scat imports from the mainland.  According to that FOI material, the importation of scats began in October 2007.

    I can publish the DPIPWE material to support my claim, but Lindsay/Ian have opposed my doing so. Transparency Plus? In my book, Ian could easily publish the “ Virgin Air Freight documentation” that he claims exists that “would show Eskies addressed to the FFTF in Launceston, certainly predating 2007”. [I am willing to forward aforementioned FOI/RTI docs (but not the Virgin Air Freight docs … ‘cos I don’t have them … and suspect none exist that would support Ian’s claims) to anyone who contacts me on my email address below and who establishes their ‘bona fides’ etc … in the interests of transparency!]

    And – good agnostic that I am – I challenge sceptics to explain how it is that rigorous science demands pretty much a live fox which Ian himself has trapped – before being able to acknowledge that there have been instances of foxes at loose (or even living in the wild) on this island. If such ‘rigour’ is the skeptic’s criterion for belief, then tell me that you likewise do not believe that Ian’s ‘Virgin’s Air Freight’ documentation should be accepted simply on his word, sincere as it may be. We’ve been through a litany of pious ‘science demands real verifiable evidence’ … well, why don’t the sceptics and their lackeys demand the same of Ian?

    There are 9 identified scats on the record, found before importation apparently began. If importation began before Oct 2007, then let us see the evidence … not the assurance! If that evidence is not forthcoming, then surely reasonable men and women would settle for the 2007 date … and … would accept those earlier scats as credible evidence of a fox presence (be it individual or otherwise) in Tasmania.

  5. Ian Rist

    December 12, 2017 at 10:56 am

    Re # 359.
    Tony Peacock stuffed up badly at the 2009 PAC ‘fox’ Inquiry when he suggested I (Ian Rist) “must be smoking something to even suggest anyone could be bringing in fox scats into Tasmania”.

    Big mistake ‘Porkie’ I had documented evidence including copies of the advertisements placed in NSW papers for fox scats removed from freshly killed foxes by hunters as early as April 2008.
    The documented evidence was supplied by a member of the NSW Parliament and the NSW Game Council.
    It is with some satisfaction to myself that the members (including the Chair) of the 2009 PAC Fox Inquiry now realise and admit they were duped.

    I was suspicious much earlier than that (2003-2004) that Eski loads of fox scats were coming into Launceston and Hobart airports and being picked up by Fox Task Force employees.

    In 2010 140 pages of totally unredacted FOI obtained through Jeremy Rockliff MHA confirmed that fox scats had been coming in for quiet some time with emails from FFTF employees and their Mainland suppliers.
    So let us not pretend that senior bureaucrats and various politicians didn’t know what was going on.
    Especially let us all not pretend a couple of ‘fox dog handlers and fox scat collectors were the only ones that knew exactly what was going on.

    We all await the ‘Integrity’ Commissions report.

  6. spikey

    December 12, 2017 at 10:28 am

    it was certainly all about the 10yo unsubstantiated sightings a few comments back, at least it was for some

    maureens question is fair enough, personally i’d say it was about foxes, though the same levels of corruption, nepotism and blatant disregard for the environment and public clearly drowns our government and public services

    the case against the farce
    is fairly watertight
    for most
    the rest of the shenanigans
    the realms of conspiracy theorists
    and wacky weed smokers
    because clearly those levels of wrongdoing
    could never occur
    just like nobody could ever falsify fox shit

  7. garrystannus@hotmail.com

    December 12, 2017 at 9:40 am

    I ‘ran into’ Maureen (#73) the other day … we were formally celebrating the end of the pulp mill or the fact that it has never been built … take your pick. We discussed this thread and she put to me that ‘it’ was no longer about ‘the fox’, but that it was about governmental political and public service dishonesty. I can’t remember Maureen’s exact words, but I told her I’d take her comment ‘on-board’, meaning I’d think about it, truly.

    I didn’t get to say that I’ve been reading (albeit slowly) Kevin Moylan’s “One Flew over the Kookaburra’s Nest”. I’m just up to the part where in 1995 he’s written to Minister Roger Groom detailing problems at the Spencer Clinic, North West Regional Hospital, Burnie. I can tell where things went from there: downhill for Kevin. It brought to mind the chicanery of the pulp mill, and earlier the $80m via Landcare that one Premier made use of, from the sale of Telstra. And then again, there’s the EPA and its failure to prosecute those behind the big burn offs; there’s the TAFE scandal and the Parks and Wildlife matter of the ferry tender, the Neill-Fraser case which involves police, govt, DPP and Justice depts … and obviously there’s the matter of the fox…

    As Lyndall (#291) puts it:“The common denominator is the Tasmanian Government (s) and its various departmental bureaucracies and authorities.”.

    Just to return to Kevin Moylan’s book for a moment: Having taken some days to read through Chapter 9 (‘Move to Burnie General Hospital: Things couldn’t get worse. But they did.’), I was astounded to find that it closed with the following:

    “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

    We are perhaps all familiar with that quotation, sitting as it has for some years now, up there in the TT masthead. Indeed, I’d been ‘inspired’ to refer to it in my #319, for reasons somewhat reflective…

    So, Maureen’s question still remains: is it ‘not about the fox’ any longer, but about the integrity of the govt, the public service, their officers etc? Or is it about both?

  8. David Obendorf

    December 12, 2017 at 2:29 am

    In February 2009, the then CEO of the Invasive Animals CRC, [b]Tony Peacock[/b] commented on Tasmanian Times about Ian Rist’s claim tht the DNA fox positive scats might be the result of imported fox scats from the Australian mainland.

    He wrote:'[i]In dismissing the [scat] evidence as “planted”, you are saying that someone is gathering fox scats on the mainland, shipping them to Tasmania and scattering them in the hope that a DPIW person will find them.[/i]

    Come on. It’s easy to knock a difficult program but you are actually saying that [b]someone is scattering fox poo[/b] around Tasmania like a evil modern-day Johnny Appleseed!'[/i]
    [Reference: TT Comment #69 to [i]Foxes: It’s simple[/i] by [b]Nick Mooney[/b]]

    In his attempt to dismiss Mr Rist’s claim, Dr Peacock didn’t consider a far easier means of ensuring DNA-fox positive scats would be found in Tasmania and then sent on to Dr Sarre’s lab for DNA-fox testing in Canberra. Dr Peacock seemed to be blind to the proposition that a DPIPWE dog handler and a field investigator who had access to any number of imported fox scats and who were asked to search for fox faeces after an animal sighting report might be a very plausible means of falsifying physical evidence without the need for a defaecating Tasmanian fox.

    In the latest contribution to the literature on this controversial program [b]David Ramsay[/b] and his colleagues talk of 61 DNA-fox positive scats found from a sampling of ~13,000 carnivore scats tested from Tasmania. The provenance of those test positive scats has been robustly challenged. Even a scientist employed in the Fox Program itself had alerted FEP managers that the scat evidence gathering was seriously corrupted by fabrication and DNA-contamination of non-fox samples collected in Tasmania.

    It is very regrettable that there are those who continue to propose that these 61 scat samples represent reliable evidence of fox presence in Tasmania. They do not!

  9. Simon Warriner

    December 11, 2017 at 9:12 pm

    #352 … Thanks, Peter.

  10. Ian Rist

    December 11, 2017 at 4:59 pm

    They only play with us, we are of no use other than to mark voting ballot slips.

    Once that is done we the people are of no value.

    We will see how much value we are come the March election.

  11. William Boeder

    December 11, 2017 at 1:00 pm

    #349 through to 353. Given the volume of this present in leadership State Liberal party shortcomings, one must add to the list their many failings then the ministerial ineptitudes as well as their desire for secrecy in all of this States government financial undertakings, so how about the lingering absence 2 fundamental appointments that are an essential feature in Tasmania’s system of government.

    The role of the now unfortunate Attorney General Ms Vanessa Goodwin who has had to relinquish her role as Tasmania’s State Attorney General due to the serious threat to her ongoing health concerns, then the role of Tasmania’s Secretary to the Department of Justice, Simon Overland, and for whatever reasons, has seen his much desired departure from Tasmanian officialdom.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/state-politics/simon-overland-returns-to-take-plum-victorian-local-government-role/news-story/c8414c4bbf1e190f57a277d044e37531

    Former Dep of Justice Secretary Mr Simon Overland, as Dr David Obendorf has advised in the above, I would like to add to these above facts in my claiming that the Justice Secretary has since been alleged to be “instrumental” in the destroying of the career prospects of the well-credentialed and well-respected late Mr Barry Greenberry, then that this was to finally led to the ultimate sacrifice of this accomplished man’s life.

    There now lingers the implication of an extreme bias having soon been created to dismiss the Barry Greenberry investigation and his accurate report toward the harsh and corrupt Tasmanian prison System.

    As this sad and unfortunate realization had impacted upon so many in this State, one wonders if both this State’s impotent Integrity Commission and the difficulties allegedly set in place by Tasmania’s Secretary to the Justice Department Simon Overland, was so done to prevent Mr Greenberry from continuing in his State government sought-after and purposefully appointed speciality role.
    Accordingly one is able to conclude that an alleged conspiracy had arisen among the higher echelon that was to severely impact the futures of the one person that could remedy the failures of this State’s then rife management system.

    Mr Overland now moves on to become the Chief Executive Officer of the Whittlesea council once considered to be the most opulent council chambers in the State of Victoria.

    https://www.whittlesea.vic.gov.au/about-us/council/ceo-and-executive-leadership-team/

    I would like to close this comment with an acute observation whereby I allege the past and present Tasmania State government are proving themselves to be the most insidious of all Australia’s State governments.
    The title of this discussion article could not be more appropriate.

  12. David Obendorf

    December 11, 2017 at 10:42 am

    As the saying goes: evil prospers when good people do nothing.

    In 2014 Peter Bright and I made contact with Barry Greenberry. We also acquired Barry’s formal complaint to the Integrity Commission. His disclosure was not a frivolous or vexatious matter, far from it! Mr Greenberry’s complaint detailed a well entrenched culture within the correctional services – exemplified by workplace bullying, misconduct and financial mismanagement. Public awareness of the operational and cultural concerns Mr Greenberry detailed were never made public. What made the news was Mr Greenberry’s sudden dismissal five months into his 5-year contract.

    Like so many embarrassing revelations on the workings of the Tasmanian public sector – in this case by a professional outsider who became a knowledgable insider – the immediate vicinity response was to discredit the messenger and make life so intolerable that they leave Tasmania.

    That in a nutshell is what happened to a highly credentialed correctional service professional. Mr Greenberry obtained his employment contract under a Greens Minister. His complaint to the IC was not progressed, and counter accusations were allowed to proceed against Mr Greenberry through Mr Overland’s disciplinary powers as the Secretary of the Department of Justice.

    Barry Greenberry’s failed complaint to the IC should be re-examined because, in my opinion, it highlights defects in the transparency, the powers and the remit of the IC Act. Thank you.

  13. Ian Rist

    December 11, 2017 at 10:17 am

    On August 17th 2017 I sent a message to Will Hodgman’s personal web site message service: I asked why the DPIPWE and Minister Rockliff were refusing to cooperate with the British Ecological Society re the outcome of Police Investigations and DPIPWE Investigations into ‘evidence’ collected concerning the validity of a paper ‘foxes are now widespread in Tasmania’ by Sarre et al.
    I received the usual blah blah acknowledgement letter “the Premier thanks you” blah blah. The letter was written by one ‘Christine’ in Will’s Office of The Premier.
    The letter had a case file number of M17/27954.
    I even quoted what the Secretary of the DPIPWE John Whittington promised in Budget Estimates June 2017.

    Nothing happened

    On the 7th of December I ‘phoned ‘Christine’ at Will’s office, identified myself and received a “is this about foxes?” (I didn’t like the tone).
    Christine noted my ‘phone number again and I still haven’t heard anything …

  14. Lyndall Rowley

    December 11, 2017 at 9:13 am

    Neither Lab nor Lib would realise the magnificence of this pitiful beast, its body hobbled, nobbled, and left with no teeth.

    If only governments in Tassie would learn the truth that others already see that to have a real democracy Integrity must fly, soar and always be free.

  15. Peter Bright

    December 11, 2017 at 7:45 am

    Simon, In Tasmania this matter was kept quiet, partly at the request of Barry’s long-term UK partner but also for local reasons which I suspect are rooted in many homegrown Tasmanians’ primitive reasoning processes which I collectively call “The Tasmanian Condition” that’s blighting this state appallingly until, as you say, we get rid of them.

    At http://kingsolomonstemple.homestead.com/Memorials/BGreenberry.html

    there’s this …

    [i]” … Barry spread his wings and flew to Tasmania to take up a post as Director of their Prison Service. It was quickly clear that Tasmania didn’t suit Barry and the Tasmanians apparently didn’t warm to Barry’s thorough style.

    “This is well documented on the internet and it is plain that the problem was a Tasmanian one and not in any way of Barry’s doing.

    “It is evident that when employing Barry the Tasmanian Government were seeking a servant who lacked moral fibre, principles and an unswerving determination to bring about improvements to their service.

    “Barry was exactly the opposite of who they sought because he had all those qualities in abundance.”[/i]

  16. Simon Warriner

    December 11, 2017 at 6:39 am

    re #350 … Wow, I did not know he had committed suicide. Did I miss it in the media, or was it just never reported?

    Like I keep saying, until we change the people making the rules the game will remain the same.

  17. David Obendorf

    December 10, 2017 at 11:58 pm

    If you examine the Integrity Commission Act you will see that there are very significant punitive sanctions for anyone who becomes a witness to an IC investigation … but the Act has no effective enforcement powers and politicians are off limits entirely.

    As Jack Jolly explained, the Commission operates at the whim of Government and only has an advisory and educative role to improve ‘integrity’ within the Tasmanian public sector.

    Even after all the recent revelations I doubt any of the major political parties will do much to reform the defects in the Act. Why would they?

    Misconduct, maladministration, mismanagement and corruption firstly need to be explored and exposed, and that requires someone ‘in the know’ to come forward with foundational information that the IC can assess and determine whether to investigate.

    The late [b]Barry Greenberry[/b], Tasmania’s Director of Prisons, used this Act by submitting a complaint of allegations of serious misconduct in the Correctional Services of Tasmania. The then CEO of the IC would not accept his complaint. [b]Will Hodgman[/b], the then Opposition leader took the unique step of tabling Mr Greenberry’s complaint in the House of Assembly. At the time Mr [b]Nick McKim[/b] was Corrections Minister and he took advice from the Secretary of the Department of Justice [b]Simon Overland[/b]. Mr Greenberry made persistent attempts to get this peak body to investigate his complaint after he was stood down from his position. Placed in limbo, Barry finally no alternative but to sign a deed of release, resign and take a payout on his terminated 5-year contract while less than 5 months into his appointment. He returned to the UK and sadly took his life in late 2015.

    Because of the political sensitivity of his complaint, it is my sincere concern that Mr Greenberry became the necessary sacrifice to a tight system that does not accept investigation into public sector misconduct.

    How outrageous!

  18. spikey

    December 10, 2017 at 8:13 pm

    Now we all know exactly how far removed

    Tas IC
    is
    from
    Tas Inc

    zero degrees of freedom
    backpatters n spindoctors
    as transparent
    as the river
    in Queenstown

    the result of many Royal commissions into
    ‘how can we not get caught next time’
    and
    ‘lets vilify a member of public because we can get away with it’

    what a joke

  19. garrystannus@hotmail.com

    December 10, 2017 at 8:05 pm

    Hi Richard (#326) … Thanks for pointing out that you “did respond to [me] at the time”. I had no memory of your having responded to my question about the perceived discrepancy relating to your map link, which seemingly was going to show fox scats at Friendly Beaches, while when I checked it, that map actually showed East Coast scats only on the Tasman Peninsula and at Seymour … both a ‘long way’ from Friendly Beaches … i.e. not at Friendly Beaches. [See on that thread your #36 (the scat map), then my #55 (map doesn’t show scats at Friendly Beaches and your #63: two trips to friendly Beaches): Here]

    In my #55 comment, I had put to you / asked you:
    1 “…why in that thread did you refer us to the [scat] map?”
    2 about the seeming discrepancy of your #11 (in that thread) ‘saw a fox c. 5 years ago [i.e. in 2010]’ and … your ‘told the ranger’s office 14Nov2013’ (in that thread, at #44)
    3 about your #29 in that thread: “Subsequently dozens of fox scats were identified in the area that I saw the fox”.

    Concerning 1: In that #36 [Richard Kopf] you told us … “Scats at the Friendly Beaches? Take a glance at http://dpipwe.tas.gov.au/Documents/Fox-Activity-Map_13MAR12.pdf ” In my view Richard, you have not responded to my question (1) “…why in that thread did you refer us to the [scat] map?” The only occasion that I have noticed in which you did reply to me was in your #63 in that thread – in that comment you did not refer to my claiming a discrepancy involving the map.

    Concerning 2: Following my #55, Jack Jolly referred (there at #60) to the ‘discrepancy’ suggested in the two dates concerning the sighting and the report. You replied there (at #63) that you had made two trips to Friendly Beaches, one in 2010 and the other in 2013. You wrote “I checked the dates on my photographs of the trip, and confirmed it was the later visit.” But it is not at all clear to me what you meant by ‘it was the later visit‘.

    Concerning 3: (the ‘dozens of scats were subsequently identified’ statement of yours … I contradicted you and I am unaware of you having made any attempt to back up that statement with any corroborating material.
    /…
    …/
    Perhaps there’s a measure of internal bias in me, because I have accepted prima facie the truth of your claimed fox sighting, while being conscious that you actually have not answered my questions in a way that satisfies me. It’s a tough life for an agnostic, much easier I suppose to be a sceptic, but that’s not (in philosophy or in other areas of human intercourse) a position from which a person should [in my view] contemplate the day before them.

    PS: Oh, yep, you did also tell me that you were not a troll Richard, and once again, I’m happy to take that on face value while pointing out that ‘not being a troll’ does not canvass the question of whether you post under your real name. I feel that you post under your real name, though you might care to reassure me. I do not need ‘proof’, just your word here in the comment thread that you are actually Richard Kopf.

  20. Lyndall Rowley

    December 10, 2017 at 7:30 pm

    David (# 343). I totally agree with you that this is – or at least should be – a watershed moment for the Tasmanian government. I also totally agree that this is so serious that it should be a major issue brought to the state election early in 2018.

    Integrity in government and its institutions is critical to a well-functioning democracy and flows through to good social order, just to name a few of the benefits. So the release of the IC’s latest report should trigger an immediate and decisive response from the Hodgman-led government to do all that the IC has recommended, advised and much more.

    As Simon said in (#344), soft codes and guidelines are not enough. If the government is serious about ensuring proper conduct within its public sector system from now on, these suggested improvements for ‘misconduct risk management’ need to be enshrined as law. In addition, there needs to be a public sector-wide review of systems and processes to ensure risk management for corruption is uniformly embedded and practiced in each and every organisation to ensure they are no longer open to the possibility of any corrupt behaviour.

    For the sake of rabbiting on and repeating myself (but mostly from another thread “Just how removed is the IC…”), I again refer to the UN Convention against Corruption and strongly suggest that the Tasmanian Government avail itself of all of the technical information and even support that is freely available.

    I’ll also repeat that the federal Senate Committee looking into any necessity for a National Integrity Commission found some notable inadequacies in Tasmania’s Integrity Commission in terms of appointment processes and the direct connections to government, amongst other things.

    https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/National_Integrity_Commission/IntegrityCommissionSen/Report/c03

    I encourage others who haven’t already to read the Senate’s Tasmanian Integrity Commission section in full. You’ll find several references to where the IC itself has identified quite a number of weaknesses in its own legislative regime and inadequacies in its powers, and so on. Apparently the Tasmanian Government made some legislative changes to the IC Act (Tas) in May 2017, but I’m not sure if all of the IC’s self-identified weaknesses were rectified.

    Regardless of how people view the Integrity Commission in general, I think we can at least acknowledge that it has done the state and its people a great service in that it has serendipitously uncovered something very alarming that seems to be endemic in Tasmania’s public sector organisations. The commission was not able to do its intended job of investigating for any misconduct within these public institutions because very little of substance could be found recorded or filed in these mostly ineptly kept and shameful Dad’s army-like systems. That is REALLY significant.

    The Tasmanian Government should be coming out on its front foot to do all it can to restore public trust in its institutions. But is it? I searched Premier Will Hodgman’s website for his reaction and to learn what the government intends to do:

    “6 December 2017

    Will Hodgman, Premier

    Guide to Managing Misconduct in the State Public Sector

    My Government is committed to a public sector with the highest levels of probity and integrity, and I welcome the release by the Integrity Commission of their Guide to managing misconduct in the Tasmanian public sector.

    I note that senior officers in the public sector have worked cooperatively with the Integrity Commission in the development of the Guide.

    My Government will now closely consider the recommendations and good practice suggestions.

    I can however say at this stage that the Government is strongly supportive of the intent of recommendation one, relating to the ability to make disciplinary findings after someone has left the state service.

    As the Integrity Commission has highlighted, it has become apparent that there is a loophole which effectively allows people to avoid investigation by resigning, and this matter does need to be addressed.”

    http://www.premier.tas.gov.au/releases/guide_to_managing_misconduct_in_the_state_public_sector

    … So this will be a key issue for the incumbent Liberal Party for the next state election, do you reckon? Well, obviously not. Going by the underwhelming (yawn) response above, including the pathetic “I note that senior officers in the public sector have worked cooperatively…”, I think there’ll be very little substantive change apart from just one recommendation of the three.

    I doubt the Premier has even read the IC’s misconduct report let alone thought through its very serious implications … . Asleep at the wheel; Groundhog day continues.

  21. Jack Jolly

    December 10, 2017 at 6:05 pm

    #344 Simon … When you read the terms of reference for the Tas IC it is only to advise and educate. You’re right, without a government that shows the will to reform and act its advice can be comprehensively ignored.

    Giving the Tas IC some balls should be THE election issue. Any party that avoids the need to give it some real powers and makes a commitment to that end should be avoided like the black death.

  22. William Boeder

    December 10, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    #340 … I have become a true believer in the complex task you have set for yourself Lyndall, you are given my highest respect in this of your undertaking.

    Here below is a copy of my email letter since transmitted to the Commissioners of the TIC.

    to integritycommi., Lindsay

    Dear Sir/Mesdames,

    Given the number of matters that have been referred to the TIC, the greater volume of these referrals appear to vanish into the mists of “let’s not go there.”

    One must sit back and ponder upon the exactitude that Tasmania has no ultimate Regulatory Agency, this is despite the TIC claiming its superior powers to investigate all the serious matters referred to their Commissioners.

    Therefore I hold the belief that the foundation underlying this “acclaimed Tasmanian Integrity Commission” is yet another veil of protection accorded to the lies deceptions and maladministrations foisted upon the people of Tasmania by this State’s evolving elected or awarded political leadership parties.

    I often find the need for myself to be positioned to challenge the use of the”Commercial in Confidence” status, as is so often claimed toward mysterious State government endorsed financial undertakings, then the Professional Privilege entitlements and the realm of Judicial Discretion exclusively allowed to the pomposity of certain positions of special appointment.
    Ses below an example of the meaning of pomposity and or exclusivity:
    1.
    affectedly grand, solemn, or self-important.
    “a pompous ass who pretends he knows everything”
    synonyms: self-important, imperious, overbearing, domineering, magisterial, pontifical, sententious, grandiose, affected, stiff, pretentious, puffed up, arrogant, vain, haughty, proud, conceited, egotistic, supercilious, condescending, patronizing;

    I now ask if you could please provide me with a written list of the highest standard of your qualifiers that the TIC claims it is therefore ennobled to assume, then as pertains to its establishment and function, to provide the State of Tasmania and its citizen’s with the often mystery of its overall benefit to our Tasmanian society?

    Thank you………etc.

  23. Simon Warriner

    December 10, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    re #343, isn’t the report and its recommendations rendered entirely moot by the fact that complying with any recommendations the IC makes is entirely at the discretion of the individual government departments and GBE’s.

    Until we see a government prepared to legislate compulsion in this area this report is little more than kindling or toilet paper, and it will do neither well.

    Anyone giving odds on either the libs or labor doing that?

  24. David Obendorf

    December 10, 2017 at 1:37 pm

    What Lyndall Rowley is discussing in #340 is [b]Report No. 3 of 2017 Management of misconduct in the Tasmanian public sector[/b]

    http://www.integrity.tas.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0011/398864/Report-3-of-2017-Management-of-misconduct-in-the-Tasmanian-public-sect….pdf

    The numbers in square brackets in Lyndall’s comment refer to numbered paragraphs within this IC report. This report comes at a time of unprecedented public exposure to the consequences and costs involved in allowing serious misconduct in the Public Sector to go uninvestigated and unsanctioned.

    In my opinion, this is a watershed issue before the March 2018 State election.

    It may well be that this Integrity Commission report No 3 of 2017 is the prelude to its Fox Program investigation which, in my opinion, is effectively a test-case in efforts to investigate serious and prolonged misconduct in a Tasmanian Government agency.

    Picking up on another two paragraphs in this IC report which may be directly relevant to their Fox Program investigation …

    [270] [i]Misconduct allegations can come down to one person’s version of events against another’s version, and so it can be difficult to establish whether the alleged conduct occurred. Especially in the case of alleged serious misconduct it is preferable that records of even unsubstantiated allegations be kept for a sufficient period of time. As discussed above, one reason for this is so that the organisation can see if, over time, a pattern of allegations emerges.[/i]

    [271] [i][b]Finally, the Commission does not consider that organisations should immediately destroy records of allegedly vexatious complaints, especially those that relate to
    serious misconduct[/b]. If the complaint is truly vexatious, keeping the record can assist in dealing with the complainant if they make more complaints. In any event, [b]vexatious complaints are rare[/b]. Leaving the retention of complaint records at the discretion of the organisation can reduce future opportunities for organisational and personal improvement and internal and external accountability.[/i]

    I trust that the Integrity Commission investigators have been able to discover the timelines and the documents held by DPIPWE and other organisations linked to the Fox Program . I trust they have talked to relevant witnesses to understand the importance of [i]independent[/i] validation of critical physical evidence relied upon to action such an expensive public policy, and I trust that their report will ensure that this type of public sector misconduct never occurs again.

  25. David Obendorf

    December 10, 2017 at 11:26 am

    On Sunday 10 December, the Mercury newspaper published an article claiming the Integrity Commission was in the ‘final stages’ of an investigation alleging misconduct within Tasmania’s Fox Eradication Program. The newspaper stated that the IC’s referral was to examine whether ‘fabricated evidence of foxes in Tasmania (was used) to secure funding’.

    DPIPWE’s own investigation under the [i]State Service Act[/i] into alleged misconduct by an employee of the Fox Eradication Program terminated on 2 August [2017] when the DPIPWE employee who was the respondent in the DPIPWE investigation promptly resigned. With the State Service Act applying [i][b]only to State Service employees[/b][/i] his resignation was sufficient to effectively give that particular individual immunity from further prosecution.

    In another recently released report the Integrity Commission recommended that statute law be changed to prevent investigations of public service misconduct being abandoned just because and employee subject to the allegation quits.

  26. David Obendorf

    December 10, 2017 at 12:41 am

    Lyndall at #340 … attempts at explanations to understand complexity don’t resolve what is effectively a failure of any overarching body in Tasmania to examine misconduct and corruption within a government department.

    It is relevant that the two key DPIPWE employees directly implicated in using imported fox faeces to fabricate physical evidence were the subject of an earlier internal DPIPWE investigation on precisely this alleged misconduct well before their respective resignations in 2014 and 2017.

    It will be interesting to know whether the 2017 Integrity Commission investigators obtained any documentation from DPIPWE relating to this much earlier examination into their conduct. It would be most concerning if this represents a further case where [i]”key evidence, correspondence and documents – such as the respondent’s evidence and the investigation report – were not in the supplied file”.[/i]

  27. Lyndall Rowley

    December 9, 2017 at 5:52 pm

    Ian #331, Simon #332 and Jack #338 … I would welcome being proven completely wrong – please – when the IC faux fox report eventuates. However, I think the chances are pretty slim for unequivocal findings of misconduct within the FEP and bringing a satisfactory conclusion to the many instances of alleged misconduct the programme ran on.

    I’m saying this going by the overwhelming evidence of appalling record-keeping by all TWELVE unnamed public sector organisations investigated for any misconduct. Effectively the IC couldn’t really find any – misconduct, that is – because it couldn’t really find any sound evidence of misconduct. This is because, across the board of all 12 organisations used as representative of Tassie’s public sector organisations, the records were so few, and those that did exist were so scant and crappily handled such that the IC couldn’t pursue any instances.

    I find this astounding. If the UN and its people charged with the development of technical guidelines for the Convention against Corruption (CaC – to which Australia is a signatory) saw this latest Tasmanian Integrity Commission report, I bet my boots they would be alarmed. The IC’s findings show that Tasmania’s public sector organisations are so slack or even cavalier about their risk management that they are effectively leaving themselves wide open to the possibility of corrupt activities. They presumably have no standard systems and processes in place to record, monitor and evaluate their programmes and operations rigorously, and by these findings they certainly have nothing in place to ensure the proper handling of claims of misconduct.

    Like I indicated before, the UN CaC people would be shaking their heads in disbelief.

    But the Tasmanian IC is being very diplomatic and uses language that is euphemistic for what I see as alarmingly poor government practices that leave our public service organisations vulnerable.

    I think it’s worth repeating some of the IC’s findings here in full:

    [256] The overwhelming finding of this investigation is that there is much room for improvement in record keeping about allegations of, and investigations into, misconduct among Tasmanian public sector organisations.

    [257] Of the 120 files supplied, the record keeping was overall found to be inadequate in 99.

    [258] In some files, there were so few records it was not possible to answer many of the survey questions. The allegations and who had made them were hard to discern in some matters. In others, presumably due to lack of records, it was not possible to tell why the organisation had handled two ostensibly similar matters differently.

    [259] Common issues included missing records about what decisions were made and why (and by whom), and missing final signed versions of important correspondence. In some investigated matters, key evidence, correspondence and documents – such as the respondent’s evidence and the investigation report – were not in the supplied file.

    [260] It was impossible for the Commission to be assured that matters had been handled adequately in a number of instances. It is quite possible that some, or many, of the matters were handled better than it would appear on the basis of the records. However, without records, there is no proof that this was the case.

    http://www.integrity.tas.gov.au/news_and_updates/news

    The above indicates to me that the IC’s report on any misconduct turned out to be, in fact, not an investigation about misconduct itself at all.

    The paperwork was missing, never done, or woefully scant and inadequate. Consequently, misconduct couldn’t be proven. Therefore, any guilty people who were allegedly involved in misconduct will get away with it.

    We can only hope that the paperwork for FEP complaints is a bit more comprehensive and well documented. But the pattern so far shows it’s not likely so I’m not holding my breath.

  28. Ian Rist

    December 9, 2017 at 3:47 pm

    William, he is but a coward hiding in a coward’s castle. Credibility zero, too ashamed to put his real name out there.

    I have seen them come and go on the fox pages, many of them now too ashamed to even put any name, and especially their real name, up front.

    None of them however, have had the courage to say it to my face.

  29. Jack

    December 9, 2017 at 3:36 pm

    #337 #335 … Yep, ‘Will-o-the-Wisp’ indeed.

    In summary: an anonymous person saw an unconfirmed fox on an unspecified date and time and reported it to an unidentified ranger at an unknown location quite a few years back.

    That’s pretty convincing, Dicky. Thanks for bringing that to our attention. No doubt someone at the Institute of Applied Ecology in Canberra will contact you soon and use that “data” to produce a statistical model of fox distribution.

    #336 … Correction – Bet you’re looking forward to the Integrity Commission’s report next week, Dicky!

  30. William Boeder

    December 9, 2017 at 2:39 pm

    #333. In which neck of the woods of or in whichever State of the Commonwealth would one encounter the person known to be and in the very flesh and blood of, yourself as the person of Richard Kopf?

    Were there to verily be some identifiable measure of your substance and your present situation in both your personal being and your comments, as currently, you provide little other than you are a mere “Will-o’-the-Wisp.”

  31. Jack Jolly

    December 9, 2017 at 2:22 pm

    #333 Dicky.

    Now you’re just being hurtful after building my expectations so high.

    But it is amusing to see a desperation to be believed not matched with a willingness to present anything to justify any faith.

    And what might Dicky’s motivations be in keeping the carcass of the fox program on troll life-support I wonder? A freight car of self-interest and a container load of distractions perhaps?

    Bet your looking forward to the Integrity Commission’s report next week Dicky! I wonder if you’ll get a mention?

  32. Ian Rist

    December 9, 2017 at 1:28 pm

    Like a rat in a trap, cornered, confused and its last defense, grinding its teeth.
    No credibility -nada, zilch, sweet bugger all. LOL LOL.

  33. Richard Kopf

    December 9, 2017 at 1:20 pm

    327 … Jolly Jack, why do I owe you anything? I owe you nothing – nada zilch sfa.

  34. William Boeder

    December 9, 2017 at 11:12 am

    #332. Hello Simon, this is another instance of the bias handed down from the upper echelons, we the people of Tasmania no longer have a voice when it concerns the provenance of our group discussions.

    It is no exclusive secret exclusive to the cretin members of Tas Inc that this present government does not care a hoot about the people who gave their votes that allowed the pretend State Liberals to ooze their way into the State’s leadership position.

    Come to the next State election Ii will be quite in order for this ratbaggery of nil-respected benders of the truth, to retire and (in the manner of a Michael Aird) grab their entitlements in the form of one huge cheque and immediately cut their ties to any resulting mischiefs cast by same upon the people of Tasmania.

  35. Simon Warriner

    December 9, 2017 at 10:19 am

    #331 …Not unprecedented, Ian. Unacceptable though.

    I wonder if the person in charge of a 6 month long assessment of a bullying case at Worksafe got seconded to the IC? That assessment managed to avoid talking to anyone named in the complaint who might have supported the victim’s version of events and then ruled the complaint invalid. The person in charge left Worksafe for another part of the Justice Department the day we found out that the complaint had been rejected entirely.

    That complaint went to conduct over many years of the very top leadership of the TFS. There has since been another victim.

  36. Ian Rist

    December 8, 2017 at 11:49 pm

    Comment # 329 … I contributed to the IC Fox Inquiry and was led to believe that it had concluded before June 30th 2017.

    During the course of the IC Inquiry I was told that my original Police statement given to Sgt Mikulski and NPWS’s Glen Atkinson concerning the Bosworth ‘fox shooting’ was first ‘lost’ then had been ‘destroyed’ but another electronic version had been constructed from ‘memory’ and would I mind agreeing to it. Simply ‘no way’. As I said earlier on this thread ” I have a bad feeling about this one”.

    It was also my belief that the findings would be made available on June 30th 2017. Then I was told it would be October 2017.

    It is now December 2017 and still nothing … the degree of silence currently on such matters that have political ramifications is unprecedented.

  37. Lyndall Rowley

    December 8, 2017 at 10:56 pm

    O’Brien #329 … Gee thanks, I didn’t realise a Tas IC was in play re the FEP. I thought the recent own motion report into management of misconduct in State and local government was effectively it.

    I looked on the IC website, but of course there was nothing about any “final stages” and impending release of findings. The usual cone of silence applies officially. (Who’s the inside leaker to the Mercury I wonder?).

    Anyway, I’m going to scale down any initial feelings of excited anticipation for the faux fox report. After the last fizzer I’d only be setting myself up for another massive disappointment.

    But then again – Richard Bingham, CEO and Greg Melick, Chief Commissioner – go ahead and surprise me, please!

  38. O'Brien

    December 8, 2017 at 9:41 pm

    At about six o’clock on Saturday night the Mercury publishes this;

    “Inquiry into faux fox claims nears tail end
    200-page report an investigation into alleged misconduct within Tasmania’s $40 million fox eradication program is in its “final stages”, the Integrity Commission says.”

    Is this a smokescreen to get Government and DPIPWE through to the silly season?

  39. Simon Warriner

    December 8, 2017 at 9:19 pm

    re 326 … still no date and time so your story can be independently verified. Why is that?

  40. Jack Jolly

    December 8, 2017 at 2:59 pm

    #326 Dicky … So, we need the date and time and the ranger’s name or some details of where his/her office was.

  41. Richard Kopf

    December 8, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    #319 Garry … I did respond to you at the time.

    Whether it was my sighting or another sighting, I don’t know. But the map was marked. As I recall the sighting was not listed in the text accompanying the map.
    I made the mistake in notifying the ranger at Coles Bay, and not the FTF, because that seemed the appropriate course of action at the time.

  42. David Obendorf

    December 8, 2017 at 2:09 am

    More grist for the fox mill … thank you Tassie FoxWatcher at #312

    The mindset of this group of ‘modellers’ is difficult to fathom; it’s a rarified territory of assumptions and non-validated data that creates these presentations.

    They keep playing with theoretical models that in one paper that proclaims that ‘foxes are all over the place’ then another to say ‘foxes can’t be detected’ and still another to say ‘foxes are now extinct’ [Dr Peter Caley’s contribution to this modelling mayhem].

    Take your pick.What would you like to believe in this year?

    But the question remains: Is any of fox data collected by DPIPWE staff in Tasmania [i]valid[/i]?

    David Ramsay and his co-authors again skip that axiomatic fundamental and proceed to making an artifice/model out of poor quality data. Is this how science is applied at the Institute of Applied Ecology in Canberra?

    After all that has been demonstrated, I can only conclude that these authors are driven by the fear of [i]reputational damage[/i], ego-protection and perhaps something that I can’t understand.

    Why would they rely on data that cannot be validated and propose models that cannot be tested?

    A nonsense and a waste of space in a journal in my opinion.

    The problem is that the field of [i]Ecology[/i] is full of such waffle and very few people with field experience in fox tracking and sign recognition are used and acknowledged. Individuals like John Robinson (Victoria) and Eddie Juras (Western Australia) who use their skill and senses to actually find empirical evidence of fox presence don’t feature at all.

    Let’s face it the quality of the data collected in Tasmania’s fox hunts was very low and therefore any modelling inferences made are worthless.

    Real physical evidence, properly collected is ultimately what everyone wants, isn’t it?

  43. spikey

    December 8, 2017 at 12:41 am

    yawn, i wish you’d make your meticulous mind up about your mate kopf

    “And I’d like to state that I have respect for the offerings of Richard Kopf, Kelvin Jones, of his friend Louis, and I would like to state that I am somewhat ashamed to be on such a thread when Kelvin is challenged over his identity and when Richard is regularly abused”.

    I think the honourable Mr Rist put it quite well:

    “Only because it suits your beliefs and your ‘flogging of a dead horse’.”

    I’d go so far as to say you tried quite hard to cast doubt over pretty much everything but the farce itself, with several ‘questionable leading interpretations’ and many attempts to convince peeps of no wrongdoing and we should just let it go.

    yet eager as a beaver to jump in and support recent (10yo) unsubstantiated claims, and more dross from kopf, like you expect him to be a trustworthy contributer, despite his choice of moniker

    meticulously one-eyed and nitpicking

    why is it so?

  44. Ian Rist

    December 8, 2017 at 12:29 am

    Re # 320
    Nit picking again?

    “the ‘fox print’ had been proven to be that of a whippet. That (in my view) was quite wrong, yet now he appears to claim that it’s a Jack Russell”

    Whippet, Jack Russell, Heinz 57 varieties, small dog, who cares. The print was collected in front of a dear friend of mine who complained about the Whippet, Jack Russell, Heinz 57 varieties, small dog leaving the same muddy footprint on the bonnet of his vehicle.

    “why attempt to discredit the identification of a Tasmanian endemic species which was found in one of those fox carcasses”

    Please explain why the resident pathologist at Mt Pleasant Phillip Ladds didn’t/couldn’t find the Tasmanian endemic species which allegedly was found in the Bosworth fox carcass, a carcass discarded by Phillip Ladds because in his opinion as a pathologist it was “too putrid and too far gone”.

    Instead it was ‘recovered’ by two Fox Task Force employees, one whom had a ‘girlfriend’ doing a Uni study for the Hydro on the Long-tailed mouse and the New Holland mouse.

  45. Ian Rist

    December 8, 2017 at 12:02 am

    Poor old Garry you almost have to feel sorry for him … But no, how could you? His peremptory and self righteous attitudes exempt him from any pity.

    But despite all his essays and his attempted rewrites of the Magna Carta he still hasn’t been able to produce any evidence of a Tasmanian fox, not drugged or mugged. Yada Yada Yada.

    (edited)

  46. Simon Warriner

    December 7, 2017 at 11:41 pm

    @ 314, and yet your government saw no need to fence the ports. Go figure.

    Still waiting for the date and time so we can verify your fox sighting claim.

    A bit like waiting for integrity in our party political ranks, isn’t it.

  47. garrystannus@hotmail.com

    December 7, 2017 at 10:49 pm

    …/
    Anyway, since then, David and Ian haven’t been too happy with me, and I haven’t always been happy with them. I’ve made a point of acknowledging their deeper and wider knowledge, their obviously correct points and so on … and I have also asked questions. David, in my view, ignores my questions while appearing to give answers which don’t actually engage with what I’ve asked him. Ian, in my view, is more forthright: he often uses ridicule and when scratching for an answer, resorts to his tried and (in his view) true mantra … no photos … no trapped … no shot … and so forth. Well that’s true, as long as you exclude Erick Bosworth from the equation, and by way of definition also exclude the carcasses from consideration. All you have to do apparently, is call Bosworth a ‘known poacher’, suggest he was after the reward, call the carcasses ‘hoaxes’ and your mantra remains true. But why offer a reward, if the one bloke who might qualify for it is said to be only after the money? Why attempt to discredit the identification of a Tasmanian endemic species which was found in one of those fox carcasses?

    But, I digress. I think, Spikey, you might have accepted that I was not necessarily nit-picking when I asked Richard Kopf about the discrepancy between his sighting location and his claim that it was shown on a DPIPWE map. But would you now say that I’m nit-picking when I point out that in #204, Ian now claims that the footprint cast, taken at Woodstock Lagoon and identified as being from a fox, is actually that of a ‘Jack Russell’? Ian adds that a Jack Russell was a resident of Woodstock Lagoon. In my view, that is wrong. I knew both families that owned and lived on both sides of the lagoon. There was to my knowledge no Jack Russell on either property. Of course, Jamie’s family had dogs – they loved their whippets! Ian quite some time ago wrote erroneously on one of the threads that the ‘fox print’ had been proven to be that of a whippet. That (in my view) was quite wrong, yet now he appears to claim that it’s a Jack Russell!

    In any case, the footprints of dogs and foxes differ. They can be distinguished. Ian’s ‘proven to be a whippett’, which has now morphed in a ‘Jack Russell’, would be laughed at, had it come from me. But my guess is that my pointing this out will be read and acknowledged with indifference, evasion, the usual ridicule, loaded-questions and so forth. That’s how the irony makes its entrance … when reading Mr Nietzsche’s remarks about the treatment the individual receives at the hands of the tribe. ‘Yeh, but which tribe?’ one asks. Patently, in my view, Kelvin’s information should make any reasonable person review their own take on ‘the fox’. Similarly, Jim Nelson’s 2010 sighting should concern us all, for it was not (on the timeline) connected with the Burnie fox, not connected with the ‘importation’ dates and was some nine years past the 2001 Spencer sighting. Sure, retreat to the high ground and chant: ‘No photos, none trapped, none shot’, safe in the polemic that because Bosworth was a known poacher he was not to be believed … blah, blah, blah.

    I don’t know the answer to the riddle of sightings, the bona fide and faux scats and the lack of photos. Yes, I accept that some FEP staff might have cheated with the scats. Yes, I’ve stated my support for a Commission of Inquiry/Royal Commission. I understand that some believe David Llewellyn supported the Taskforce/FEP after the first Police Inquiry failed to substantiate the importation claims. If this is the Iago Moment in the whole saga, then I’d say that it’s likewise built on shallow sand. If there is/was institutional malpractice, corruption, cynical misuse of Commonwealth funding, I would like to see it documented here – not in those ‘broad brush’ terms lacking supporting material that we so often see here on TT, but with the detail appropriate to substantiate such claims.

    For example, I have asked David a number of times to explain his #16’s: “… Preparing an allegation of smuggled live foxes” but, alas, he ignores my request. I’ve also asked him about his further allegation “But to misrepresent test results…”. Alas, no reply…

    Yes, I support a tightening of the laws relating to the actions of public servants. Yes, I would like a full and open inquiry and I support David and Ian and anyone else who calls for it. I’m sorry that I’ve not been able to offer much on the subject of governmental/public service corruption. I am simply not across that particular subject – that’s why I asked my questions.

  48. garrystannus@hotmail.com

    December 7, 2017 at 10:47 pm

    Goodness gracious, Spikey (#308) … I’d be mortified to be some sort of … how did you phrase it? “nitpicking sand in the swimming costumes of the honorable Dr O and Ian Rist”! Good Lord! The mind boggles at the image you’ve created. Perhaps, some years ago, you might have read Pamela Allen’s “Mr McGee and the biting flea? Now that is funny! But yours? … it works, but …

    On a more serious note, I’d like to point out that one man’s nit-picking is another man’s ‘attention to detail’. For example, I hope you might recall how quite some time ago I asked Richard Kopf to explain a discrepancy in his account. You might remember how he had once posted a link to a DPIPWE map of fox sightings, claiming that the map showed that a fox had been reported at the same place as where he had seen one. But I’d checked the map and there was no mark on the map where Richard’s sighting had occurred. I asked him about it, but, alas, he did not respond. Where I can, I check on the factual claims that people make in public. I call it ‘attention to detail’.

    There are those who use ‘broad brush-strokes’ across a canvass, achieving energy and drama in their work. Sometimes with deft hands, this approach works and a realist approximation results. So too, ‘in my view’ can detail (more reliable in the aggregation) be marshalled together to present a whole truth.

    It is a matter of disappointment to me that my interest in ‘the fox’, which expanded when Professor Sarre published his ‘Foxes are widespread in Tas…’ paper in 2012, brought me to this situation where I’m treated as if I’m some sort of truth denier, and where cheap (in my view) ‘pro-fox’ labels are applied to me as if that says it all.

    Sarre’s paper was (in my view) built on a foundation of sand, because the provenance of the scats that he tested was – even then – manifestly lacking. And that was years before Simon Fearn’s draft report got FOI/RTI-ed into the light of day and rightly so did we learn of it. This being Tasmania, you wouldn’t be surprised that I also knew P. H. ‘back in the day’. He was one of the two that Simon’s report ‘pointed the finger at’. Concerning the other, my namesake, I am surprised to find myself concluding that I don’t think I’ve ever met him.

    After Sarre’s inglorious paper, David and Ian helped me, and supplied me with quite an amount of information. They understood that I did not accept Sarre’s ‘Widespread Foxes’ conclusion and they welcomed me on-board. I discovered some anomalies with some of the imported scats and reported this back to David. I even told him how one of Sarre’s own team (one of Sarre’s co-authors) had, in my opinion, been in clear breach of the guidelines regarding the conditions relating to staff use of the scats in the field.

    Then I continued on independently with my layman’s investigation of the Science behind Sarre. After quite some time, of research and of ongoing discussions with my good friend Nick B. (who is qualified and works in the chemistry field), I posted in my ‘Both Sides Stumped’ TT article, an attempt to present to the reader the elements of the science behind that extraordinary exchange of letters by Sarre and Gonçalves published in the Journal of Applied Ecology. But what was I to do, when, having found the obvious (provenance) weakness in Sarre’s work, I also found weakness in the Gonçalves position. I published it on TT and straight off was assailed by Ian, David, and one or both of the Jacks and so forth. It was suggested that I was working for the Greens, that someone else was actually ghost writing what I put up (shades of Flanagan’s Iago character that has inspired David to pen this article), that I had some unwholesome motive in publishing what I’d done, that I had tickets on myself, that I wasn’t a scientist. Worse still, David grilled me in a very lengthy phone conversation, and then wrote online – on Tas Times – that I couldn’t understand his scientific explanation, à la ‘poor Garry, he’s not a scientist, I explained it to him, but he doesn’t understand…’

    Many times I’ve seen the TT masthead slogan: 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 and reflected on it, not without a sense of irony. I didn’t like it from the start, for reasons unrelated to the fox matter.
    /…

  49. Ian Rist

    December 7, 2017 at 4:24 pm

    Re # 314.
    You need to get up with the times Dick Kopf.
    Massive 1080 baiting programs have reduced the Port Melbourne fox population to basically zero, ongoing trapping and monitoring assures us of that.
    You are trying to give us ‘1998 news’……….
    Please move with the times Dick instead of trolling the internet looking for old news.

    By the way Dick who are you trolling for?

  50. Jack Jolly

    December 7, 2017 at 4:02 pm

    #314 Dicky …

    What on earth does it matter if people see no foxes and can’t detect them at the docks in Melbourne at night? Aren’t we were dealing with scientific methods of detecting them? I suggest you find out just how it was known that 20 foxes per sq km live at Port Melbourne. I’m sure the local security guard did not count all the fox legs and divide by 4.

    Anyway, do you lurk about the docks in the dead of night here in Tassie? Or do you expect foxes to be walking about during the day with zinc cream on their noses and a deck chair tucked under their arm?

    Then you begin to rattle off this sophistic analysis that builds one assumption upon another assumption until you have a leaning tower of assumptions.

    I don’t think you studied any science, did you Dick?

    The primary initial assumption is that there were never any foxes in Tasmania to detect! You have not even got to base one in that respect.

    Oh, I forgot, you saw a fox and reported it to an unknown ranger at an unknown time and you refuse to give us the details irrespective of a total lack of validation and physical evidence. You had a nice day at the beach, saw a fox and went home and said nothing to anyone for years.

    In other words – you have nothing.

    Your reasoning is totally bizarre. So is your continuing vendetta against Dr O and Mr Rist. Whatever happened to you, Dicky? Get it off your chest mate, you’ll feel better about it. Tell us.

  51. Jack

    December 7, 2017 at 3:19 pm

    From the people who brought you the paper that said:

    ‘foxes are all over the place! Panic!’

    Then another that said:

    ‘Anyone who does not believe us has a psychological problem..’

    Then yet another that said:

    ‘Nah, we got them all, relax!’

    Comes the new view of the world where:

    ‘we can’t actually detect foxes using scats … isn’t this fun!’

    All people on TT have ever been interested in is ‘are these data valid?’ These people skip that part and sideline their role in trafficking nonsense and go on with:

    ‘Look, we can make a paper hat out of these numbers! Aren’t we clever?!’

    Well no. Playing with theoretical notions based upon a flawed assumption that came from fraudulent data is like a kid with a packet of matches playing at a petrol station.

  52. Ivo Edwards

    December 7, 2017 at 3:10 pm

    Thank you TassieFoxWatcher (#312) for that recent reference. Thanks to the article authors for publishing in an open access journal, and thanks Garry Stannus (#313) for your perceptive comments with which I am in total agreement.

    Now we are finally, after about 16 years of spin and nonsense, getting some serious analysis of at least how to detect foxes in Tasmania from scat analysis. Next, we just need a way to eradicate them reliably when they inevitably really do appear, and to ensure that scats and carcasses and are not planted in the State again to fool us all. We also need to foresee the real chance of dogs disguised as foxes by pranksters fooling the public into believing they have seen a living fox. This can be easily achieved, I have learned, with selected breeds by dyeing their hair and adding some bushiness and stiffness to their tail and minimal body disguise additives. It seems that humans are just so easily fooled into being convinced that they have seen something real, whether ghost, fox, or UFO.

    The abstract of this article really says all we need to know about the detection from scats point of view “Results suggest that a fox population, if present in Tasmania, could remain undetected by a large-scale, structured scat monitoring program.”

    The next sentence of the abstract is also an amazingly frank admission that the FEP was barking up the wrong tree in its eradication attempts – “Therefore, it is likely that other forms of surveillance, in conjunction with scat monitoring, will be necessary to demonstrate that foxes are absent from Tasmania with high confidence.”

  53. Richard Kopf

    December 7, 2017 at 2:54 pm

    #300 “Around the wharves and wastelands of Port Melbourne, the vulpine population is at its peak: as many as 20 foxes prowl every square kilometre.” Source courtesy of The Age.
    Now let us assume that 1% of Tasmanian fox sightings were genuine. Thus this would suggest that, forgetting that the same fox was seen multiple times, a population of around 50 foxes are present in Tasmania.
    The area of Tasmania is 65,000 square kilometres. Let us assume that half of the State is suitable for foxes to live. So:
    Port Melbourne 20 foxes per square kilometre.
    Tasmania with 50 foxes, each have 812 square kilometres to hide or each have an area to live in that is 10 times that of Greater Hobart.
    So despite having a much greater density of foxes more than my hypothetical 50 foxes in Tasmania, I have never seen a fox at Port Melbourne, despite having made dozens of trips through and around there. And I will wager nor have any of the “fox experts” on these pages, have seen foxes around Melbourne’s ports either.
    Three points:
    • Foxes abound around the Port of Melbourne and they manage, not to be easily seen.
    • Being opportunists, they could easily board a vessel bound for Tasmania.
    • Once arrived in Tasmania, they have a huge area to disperse and multiply in relative isolation. Finding a needle in a haystack would be easier.
    Forget ersatz science David, and conspiracy theories Ian, use probability theory and apply simple logic.
    So by perpetrating their vendettas against the Government, all that this anti-fox brigade has achieved is to cast doubt on the Fox Eradication Program, further widening the fox entrance to Tasmania and ensuring that in due course, our descendants will suffer the same fox scourge as their Mainland cousins. Thank you.

  54. garrystannus@hotmail.com

    December 7, 2017 at 1:54 pm

    Aw cripes, TassieFoxWatcher (#312): this document, at first glance, is seriously concerning. I would expect that any paper (i.e: 5Dec2017) dealing with the reliability of finding fox scats in the field, would at least have dealt with the ‘notion’ of what I shall call ‘operator deceit’. That is, surely in this last month of the year, when we have been told that the ICT will have reported on the various matters over the 2001-2017 fox period, we might have reasonably expected that ‘Ramsey 2017’ would have dealt with that question of ‘operator deceit’. That is, surely they might have mentioned that the truth of earlier fox scats recorded as ‘found in the field’ is under strong challenge. I find it hard to accept this Ramsey paper as contributing anything of any significance, except perhaps that of ‘academic wilfulness’. Okay, I’ll cool down and go back and re-read it line by line, as I have done with previous papers. I’ll present my views when done, and some will perhaps congratulate ‘born again Garry’ or perhaps will continue with the ‘nitpicking’ slurs. Anyway, TasssieFoxWatcher, thanks for posting this link. The above is my first reaction. I’ve been preparing a comment for ‘Spikey’ (#308), but thought your ‘incoming’ warranted an immediate response…

  55. TassieFoxWatcher

    December 7, 2017 at 11:38 am

    More grist for the mill is available at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ece3.3694/abstract

  56. David Obendorf

    December 6, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    “Shoot the messenger” has been the Tasmanian way since 1803, Mr Boeder.

    Statute [i]Law[/i] is preferentially applied to underlings and subservients [b]not[/b] to senior public servants and politicians. They just resign with a golden hand-shake.

    T’was ever thus!

  57. William Boeder

    December 6, 2017 at 12:04 pm

    #308.By Crikey spikey, I believe you have identified an industry in its most applicable guise or identity.
    The elements of a crime gang were present right beneath our noses though many people could not comprehend this could be possible.

    At around 1-30 AM a glaring reality popped into my brainbox and this is quite a perplexing matter.
    During the 16 years of the phantom Fox fraud each of the State’s Treasurers throughout that era would be the recipient office for the Federal funding grants specific to the Fox invasion into Tasmania, had been directed to Tasmania via the CRC, so the monies the Treasurers were then receiving throughout that era, were what could arguably be described as “the proceeds of a criminal action” (fraud) well now, that shines a far different light on the false Fox pursuits that had continued for all those 16 years.

    Now back to my realization, if one reflects back upon all the State ministerial sudden resignations and retirements, that action could be interpreted as the chosen route for escape EG; from a looming charge of gross misconduct in office, or the sudden departure was based on serious allegations of one kind or another.

    Given that this depiction is hypothetical for the purpose of this discussion, then take a close look at the departures of persons of high Public Service rank, as well as departed State government ministers, then this departure matter becomes a far more stark and revealing fact.
    I suggest this scenario could have some valid on the basis, as being specific to the carriage of some misdemeanour or even to escape from one’s participation in actions illegal.

    I recall the sudden swift departure of the male person that had held the position of the head banana of the State’s RBF, no sooner had the shonky Hobart Airport sale been concluded when this senior ranked individual was smiling like a crocodile when last seen fleeing from the State.

    Could someone please correct me if I have provided incorrect or baseless fact.
    Now onto a separate theme, which is quite an alarming reality.
    Based on the latest issued report from CEO of this State’s integrity Commission,Richard Bingham, his report speaks directly on this matter of sudden departures from public office.

    http://www.themercury.com.au/news/politics/tasmanian-integrity-commission-warns-on-public-servant-exits/news-story/00946929fe70c2ca0f12b1cd3b070c70

    Given the content of this linked above report from the TIC CEO Richard Bingham, there now seem to be a correlation that fits neatly into my above hypothetical depiction as I had demonstrated, now, when why and how can the relevant investigation that had been commenced suddenly cease to be a matter of serious concern.
    This situation in its naked state smacks of negligence and an avoidance to fulfil the role of the authorities that had been tasked to conduct such investigations or be it an announced special parliamentary inquiry.
    In summary, this comment tends to illustrate that there are serious threats to the integrity of that that dwell in this State’s upper echelons.
    I invite comment from the attendees to this forum that can clearly see the impropriety of an immediate suspension of inquiries and or a ceased Police Investigation.
    So sparkey, there was indeed a goodly amount of substance held within your #308.

  58. spikey

    December 6, 2017 at 12:59 am

    nice cred’s garry,

    Now will you please explain why you have been nothing but nitpicking sand in the swimming costumes of the honourable Dr O and Mr Rist?

    Getting you to admit to potential wrongdoing in the farce has been like getting fitch or poynter to admit world’s best practice is just organised crime.

    Why is it so?

  59. garrystannus@hotmail.com

    December 5, 2017 at 10:46 pm

    The ‘Farewell to the Mill’ party is this weekend, in the Greater Launceston’ area, Steve. Details: … my email is below – Garry.

    [PS: it will be a large event, so you would be able to sneak in … ‘incognito’. If I don’t get to see you Steve, it doesn’t matter … you were a part of the almost ‘involuntary’ resistance to that stupid idea of a mill in the Tamar Valley … which is still at sea level, still having a couple of big enough tides a day, still in that horse-shoe estuary, still with the pollution-trapping inversion layer. I’ll remember, then I’ll ‘shuffle off’ … we each ‘played our parts’, small players on life’s stage, but we were there…]

  60. Simon Warriner

    December 5, 2017 at 10:13 pm

    Garry, abuse? Not at all, just very healthy skepticism and a low tolerance for people whose comprehension skills could do with a great deal of work. Their posts are what really counts, not who they post as, except when dual identities are used by the same person in the same debate. That is naughty-corner stuff.

    I wish you and your fellow pulp mill campaigners a great night and a hearty breakfast the following morning. It was well deserved. I do find the thought that one motivated and intelligent individual could have sent the built mill broke in a month with a tube of silicon sealant, a battery drill and an old fashioned camera, a few postage stamps and an understanding of how to press a paper mill’s fear and greed buttons somewhat amusing though. I reckon your efforts saved Gay and the Gunns bankers considerable embarrassment. Perhaps Gay should be shouting your grog on that score.

    Imagine that, a nice shiny new mill and not a paper mill in the world that would touch its product. I smile every time I think of it. Asymmetric warfare can be a real bitch.

  61. Steve

    December 5, 2017 at 9:59 pm

    #303 … Garry; thanks for the bouquet.

    I’m probably not really a deserving recipient these days as I’m now posting anonymously as a matter of principle. Mind you, I can still be nostalgic about the heady days of TT debates with a variety of anonymous contributors who mysteriously clocked in at 9am Monday morning and, whilst having a remarkable variety of names, shared a very limited range of grammatical habits.

    I often wonder where they are now. By some strange coincidence, their numbers diminished at the same rate as Gunn’s fortunes … I’m almost certain I figured a couple but never found the opportunity to ask. How do you phrase it; “Hi I’m Steve on TT. Are you —– or —-? I’ve been giving you shit over your log truck movement figures”?
    I’ll drop you a PM.

    I am somewhat time challenged at the moment. Commenting on TT has become a luxury item but if I can manage it, a burying the pulp mill party is something I’d like to attend. If someone’s got a stake, I can contribute a 14 lb sledge hammer. A Gunn’s hard hat may be required as I believe that it is traditional when staking a suicide, to hang a hat on the stake. That particular vampire did enough damage whilst alive. We don’t want it back!

  62. Ian Rist

    December 5, 2017 at 9:11 pm

    “And I’d like to state that I have respect for the offerings of Richard Kopf, Kelvin Jones, of his friend Louis, and I would like to state that I am somewhat ashamed to be on such a thread when Kelvin is challenged over his identity and when Richard is regularly abused”.

    Only because it suits your beliefs and your ‘flogging of a dead horse’.

    If you don’t want to keep tormenting yourself I would abstain from ‘flogging your already dead horse’

  63. garrystannus@hotmail.com

    December 5, 2017 at 7:21 pm

    Readers might have a second look at #271’s ‘Steve’ comment.

    He helped me out in a time of need, at the pulp mill site, where though many had promised to oppose it on site, only a few turned up with practical help. My comrades in Code Green, SWST, Huon Valley EC, WAM, Friends of the Tamar Valley and so on were there. I will meet them next weekend when we celebrate the final end of the Gunns ‘proposed’ pulp mill.

    Over the ensuing years, since ‘Steve’ gave me on-the-spot-help to get my reports through, almost live to Tas Times, I have watched his comments on TT, and though both he and readers might think that my own recommendation is less than helpful, I insist I’ve appreciated his comments wherever I have seen them, which has been mostly on the Susan Neill-Fraser threads.

    Readers, Steve posts anonymously. He told me, out there at Gunns’ gate, why he had to do so. I can tell you, his reasons were convincing. I can’t give you details, but this bloke is the ‘real McCoy’.

    I’m ‘lucky’ that I feel able to post under my own name. Most of us who do so have nothing particularly to lose (fingers crossed) by posting publicly. But some have strong reasons to post without disclosing their own actual identity. Others, regrettably, use artificial personae to abuse our (TT) resource.

    And I’d like to state that I have respect for the offerings of Richard Kopf, Kelvin Jones, of his friend Louis, and I would like to state that I am somewhat ashamed to be on such a thread when Kelvin is challenged over his identity and when Richard is regularly abused. How low can some of the sceptics sink?

    [Steve: if you’d like to rock up to our ‘the Pulp Mill is Finally Over’ party, then please let me know, via my email address. I would love to meet you again, and again tell you how much I appreciated your help in those difficult days.

    Lindsay: why don’t you turn up too? You did such a lot to aid the cause. If interested, please email me for details… (the location is quite convenient, but just in case of ‘literal pro-mill gate-crashers) it is being kept ‘undisclosed. It will be a large, well organised event in a happy reunion of the many who fought against the mill … and beat it. ‘We slayed the dragon!’]

  64. O'Brien

    December 5, 2017 at 7:21 pm

    Here’s the Mercury link for Peter Mooney’s “retirement”…

    http://www.themercury.com.au/news/tasmania/longserving-parks-and-wildlife-boss-peter-mooney-retiring-after-40year-career-in-conservation/news-story/d6ebdcc15ecb97e471f0ea93186c877c

    There is no mention or hint of the Maria island facts dribbling out now. The release paints a glowing and revering picture of a hero. Surely this would have required the attendance and knowledge of the facts by senior DPIPWE staff including Kim Evans & Michelle Moseley? Is this not a clear cut case of intent to deceive? Was this an isolated case? Who were the senior DPIPWE staff involved? Was it disclosed to the Minister?

  65. William Boeder

    December 5, 2017 at 6:59 pm

    #294. Hello again Slick Tricky, I see that you persist with the hypotheticals as were common to the mind induced drones that were employed in both named Fox pursuing entities.

    https://www.pestsmart.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/FXFS7_FoxTAS.pdf

    A few of this States most skilled and renowned hunters were excluded from the list of applicants because of their sharp minds that would have rapidly seen through the fallacy of fact relative to Tasmania.
    These acknowledged quite intelligent expert bushmen with their superior hunting skills hunters, and also would have quickly seen through the determined intent by this then State government, to deceive both the people of Tasmania and to provide false information to the super-receptive persons within the CRC.

    The persons as were employed by the Federal government were certainly complicit with the minister(s) in this State during the 16 years of Tasmania’s State government Fox frolics and follies.
    Now then Slick Richard can you advise the TT forum attendees to the whereabouts of the storage compound where all the expensively purchased equipment is currently held in a secure storage facility?

    Or whether this expensive equipment including the weapons, the vehicles purchased, the multitude of cameras and other equipment of technical capacity having been purchased to commence the hunt for Whisp of the Willow Foxes (claimed to be rampant across this State) has since been rorted by the heads of the “Bananas in charge of the Fox pursuit squad) consisting of mesmerised lunatic Fox believers?

    Given your being continually outfoxed by the 2 exceedingly well-informed persons you continue to denigrate, how is it that you had open access to the finest details known to each of these 2 persons?
    I expect some truthful answers here from you Slick Richard.
    As a similar situation to your presented 1% scenario, let’s even say that we just request 1% of the successes that had been achieved by the laconic Fox squad thereby this may have held some 1% basis of fact.

  66. David Obendorf

    December 5, 2017 at 5:48 pm

    Richard, a suggestion – maybe you could improve your street-cred with readers if your “I saw a fox” story wasn’t attached to an anonymous pseudonym. A similar lack of credibility of sources for the dead fox evidence since 2001 has landed the program in so much controversy.

    Apologies Richard Kopf, but a bloke (you may be a lass but I doubt it) who claims seeing an animal he thought was a fox in the daylight at Friendly Beaches in 2013 and claims he reported it to a Coles Bay PWS ranger who wasn’t interested, leaves me confused.

    Since you’re so persistent at suggesting Ian Rist and I are your target for discreditation, could I humbly suggest that if you were so adamant about what you saw, how is it that the rangers didn’t take you seriously? The Fox Program could have done some easy follow up surveillance at the site and put in those sniffer dogs. You’re saying they did nothing … zip! Now that’s weird, mate.

    Please forgive me Richard, but why couldn’t you convince them in 2013? Is there a need to tell us on Tasmanian Times about your sighting now?

    What’s the go Richard …. Kopf? Thank you.

  67. Lyndall Rowley

    December 5, 2017 at 4:51 pm

    Hi John #293 … I can only speak from my experiences here in Victoria re back in the 90s. Gold mining in particular was having a third wave boom a couple of decades ago. Open cut, underground and surface mining were happening all over the place. Mining tenements were being staked like a blanket over the state, and numerous exploration licenses were in play.

    Reserve status did not seem to veto this mining activity; it only seemed to trigger the requirement for an Environmental Impacts Statement and strict conditions.

    BUT now that you have questioned this John, I recall that in two instances in Bendigo, strictly speaking the mines did not go ahead technically in National Park or Regional Park for two main reasons: 1. There were existing mining tenements in place, and 2. Because the areas needed for mining were temporarily set aside from the park reserve under mining lease.

    By far the worst was the underground mine in a section of central Bendigo’s Greater National Park. The 40 ha mining site was set aside to accommodate not only the mine itself, but also the huge amount of tailings generated. The site is already located on a hillside around Diamond Hill; but for years now a growing pile of rubble has become visible in the skyline above the forested ridge.

    The Regional Park mine did not eventuate as fully as planned for commercial reasons. But when conditions are right again, there is nothing to stop it from being further developed.

    I had a quick search around for actual details, but only came across these extracts from the Victorian Environmental Assessment Council (VEAC) report for Box-Ironbark Forests Investigations in 2001. All recommendations were accepted by government:

    National, State and National Heritage Parks
    “… national and state parks are exempt from exploration and mining under the Mineral Resources Development Act 1990. “

    Greater Bendigo National Park

    “Mining
    There are two small mining licences current within the recommended park … . Three current exploration licences cover most of the recommended park, other than existing reference areas and state parks. The highly prospective Bendigo goldfield is between the two sections of the recommended national park, and is mostly in the recommended Bendigo Regional Park (see C1), where mining would generally be allowed, with approval.

    The mining licence and the existing exploration licences covering the park would be renewable subject to Government approval, but no new exploration licences would be issued over the recommended park. Any future mining arising from the existing licences would be subject to Government decision and in accordance with existing provisions in the National Parks Act 1975.

    … The area … contains the new Bendigo Mining NL underground venture which has the potential to become the largest modern gold mine in Victoria. The existing reference area and state parks will continue to be reserved in accordance with conventional practice, but the other areas recommended as Greater Bendigo National Park (notably One Tree Hill, Mandurang South, Crusoe-Big Hill, Sandhurst forest and the link between the existing Whipstick and Kamarooka State Parks) are recommended to be reserved to a depth of 100 metres to allow for approved underground mining beyond this depth. While new exploration and mining would not be allowed in the park, mining under the recommended park may require some infrastructure (notably air shafts and vents) within the park. Such infrastructure should be kept to a minimum, but not unreasonably excluded.” (VEAC 2001, Chapter 15).

    Bendigo Regional Park:
    “In relation to mining, these parks are recommended to be ‘restricted Crown land’ under the
    Mineral Resources Development Act 1990. The parks may be used for mineral exploration and mining, subject to the approval of the Minister for Environment and Conservation. Major mining proposals may require an environment effects statement and compliance
    with obligations under native title legislation.”

    “Underground mining requires surface infrastructure. Sites for substantial infrastructure may be required for the production stage of mining. This would require separate approval from the government. “

    “Extractive industries
    There are two extractive industry work authorities within the recommended park. The existing work authorities would continue and new extractive industries may be permitted, subject to the approval of the Minister for Environment and Conservation … “. (VEAC 2001, Chapter 7, Regional Parks).

    OK, not clear cut. Given the above, the questions in relation to quarrying of pink granite at Coles Bay are:
    1. What status is the land at Coles Bay; and does Tasmanian law allow for the extraction of minerals under the legislation that applies to the reserve status at Coles Bay?
    2. Was there an existing extractives licence? Does this ‘existing use’ create an exemption despite the land status?

  68. spikey

    December 5, 2017 at 4:26 pm

    I believe the good readers of TT
    have every right to presume
    kopf is a tasinc stooge
    possibly for the liblabs
    possibly for the fascists that string them along

    about as credible in the belief stakes
    as Heavens Gate cultists
    or those plonkers in power

    sorry mate, if you saw a fox, good on you
    nobody cares because of your squarking

    you may be familiar with the boy who cried wolf

  69. Jack Jolly

    December 5, 2017 at 4:09 pm

    #294 Dicky, we know all that. You’ve told us before about your daylight fox sighting. The only new bit was:

    “The fox was as surprised as I was and emitted its characteristic smell from its anal glands as it fled.”

    But what I don’t understand was that if you were running the show why was it so hard to follow up?

    And please, park all the conspiracy stuff for a while and look at it from another perspective.

    For a long time you’d been hard pressed to get evidence of foxes. Now here you are on a beach, meaning that there must have been hundreds of fox tracks in the sand! You’d seen it in daylight – bold as brass. It even emitted a smell from its anal glands in fright (like a skunk!) as it saw you (I must say that’s an interesting biological tidbit that I wasn’t aware of – it’s amazing what you learn from Yea/Gipplsand/Dandenong pioneering types!).

    But I digress. Anyway, so, here is Dicky on a beach, a highly trained fox expert of massive experience who finds reynard in the light of day making prints in sand…and you don’t have a camera for the tracks. No one else can see or smell it either. The Ranger just says, “Oh foxes, I’m sick of ’em. So common in these parts that I’ve given up.”

    But most interesting to me is this … Dicky now has absolute proof of a fox. I mean you’re totally convinced! You’re panicking at the prospect of what these anal-gland squirting, daylight parading, sand stomping predators will do to your beloved Tasmania.

    But so concerned are you that you bugger off and don’t repeat the story for another 10 years until the fox program has been shown to be a load of old codswallop. Then you start attacking Dr O and making up stories about how 2 people are the enemy of the state. It is only then that you write to The Mercury…just when the funding was about to be pulled and the gravy train ran out of puff.

    You see, this is why I think people are unconvinced, although I don’t want to put clonal words in clonal mouths, but I’m pretty sure this is how most of us also see it.

    Had it been any of us we would have moved heaven and earth to find and kill that fox. I’d have covered as many of the tracks as possible and got one of those fox detecting dogs from the Fantastic Fox Force up there asap. I’d have cleared the diary for a few weeks and stayed there until the task was done.

    But not Dicky. Instead Dicky had a nice day at the beach, saw a fox, packed up his bucket and spade and went home.

  70. Simon Warriner

    December 5, 2017 at 3:58 pm

    re 294 … Date and time please, so we can do an FOI to track down the ranger and verify your version of events.

    Absent that why should we trust your story.

  71. Ian Rist

    December 5, 2017 at 3:44 pm

    I think this guy is a couple of foxes short in the top paddock, in fact I am certain.

    “Obendorf and Rist and clones wish to embarrass the Government and attempt to prove that foxes don’t exist in Tasmania (I believe). They cannot”.

    Well Dick Kopf, you and your cronies have done an absolute piss weak zero job of proving foxes do exist in Tasmania.

    You call yourself a fox shooter with hunting experience … naaah, I think you are making it up.

    You would not be prattling this nonsense if you even had a clue what you are talking about.
    None of my shooting farming connections here or on the mainland friends have ever heard of you.
    You are not on the electoral roll at Yea, or in Tasmania or anywhere else.

    I think you are a phony.

  72. Richard Kopf

    December 5, 2017 at 1:34 pm

    #288 … Let me recap.

    While standing near the rubbish pile at the Friendly Beaches and deciding not to camp there, a fox appeared, presumably to gorge itself on the waste from the previous campers. The fox was as surprised as I was and emitted its characteristic smell from its anal glands as it fled.

    I rang the ranger at Coles Bay suggesting that here was an opportunity to try and track the fox. He was not interested saying that foxes don’t come out in daytime, which is of course, rubbish. Dogs could have easily tracked the fox. I am familiar with the appearance of foxes and the smell of them.

    My Fox CV. Foxes frequently invaded my property in the Dandenong ranges. No shooting allowed. But I frequently hunted foxes with a cousin on his farm. Foxes prefer to hunt at night and are vulnerable to hunters with fox whistles and spotlights. They are easily seen because like cats, foxes have a layer of tissue at the back of their eyes called the tapetum lucidum which reflects light. (Different colour though, Ian!) We would see them, lure them to within a few metres and shoot them with a shotgun at close range.

    Obendorf and Rist and clones wish to embarrass the Government and attempt to prove that foxes don’t exist in Tasmania (I believe). They cannot.

    Stories of scat scattering, and so on may or may not be true. I can understand that the politicians look for confirmation that the funding is appropriately used and some deceit may have existed to calm their nerves. However foxes were confirmed as being sighted in Tasmania and I know what I saw. Name calling and ersatz science cannot change my view or the facts.

    On the basis of probability, with the wharves and wastelands of Port Melbourne hosting as many as 20 foxes prowling every square kilometre,(source RSPCA)some will, and have, jumped ship. Couple that with the ease that Rist et al imported dead foxes, importing live foxes with a little help from a professionally administered anesthetic would be a no brainer.

    4000+ sightings and many more not reported. Say just 1% was for real, a disaster waiting to happen. The Government was right to take the threat seriously (I believe).

    (edited)

  73. John Wade

    December 5, 2017 at 12:36 pm

    “I learned many years ago that the minerals belong to the Crown.”

    Not if it is in a National Park, then it belongs to the protection order and the people of Tasmania, otherwise, why have laws governing the protection of NPs and all that resides within?

  74. Ian Rist

    December 5, 2017 at 10:28 am

    Re # 290 … Bryan Green was aware that the DPIPWE chalice was indeed poisoned. Bryan rang me immediately after the 2010 election when it looked like Labor was going to jump into bed with The Greens. Days before the final decision was made Bryan informed me if so he would likely be DPIPWE Minister.
    He wanted to talk about the fox situation specifically. I laughed and said “Well Bryan, you will be the new Minister for foxes”. “No way. won’t touch foxes with a barge pole” he said “we will be splitting portfolios and we will give foxes to the ‘new boy’ David O’Byrne. He is still wet behind the ears and doesn’t know what is going on.”

    During campaigning for the 2014 election I had a long discussion with Michelle O’Byrne about the matter.
    The rest is History………………

  75. Lyndall Rowley

    December 5, 2017 at 10:16 am

    O’Brien #290 … Please believe me when I say I am 100% behind you and others in this forum who are trying to get this mire of maladministration, misconduct, unethical behaviour and mismanagement all brought into the light and dealt with appropriately by the law. William referred it as Tas Inc which I think nicely encapsulates the stinky vibe of this whole set-up that has long operated uninterrupted throughout successive Lib or Lab governments.

    BUT, to be fair, I might have to actually defend Peter Mooney somewhat in the case of the quarry going ahead at Coles Bay. From my bitter experience in Victoria, I learned many years ago that the minerals belong to the Crown. My belief is that this same dictum would apply in other state and territory laws as well. I’m assuming the beautiful pink granite you refer to falls into this category. Therefore the landowner – in this case DPIPWE? – has no power of veto in law over the mineral’s removal under licence. Perhaps the only way to save this granite is to have it declared of some significance under some national or international category or other, but that still might not be enough.

    Sorry to find myself contradicting you. I enjoy your comments and I think they are most informative.

    Regardless of the particular instance of the quarry, I think there are more than enough stories told here in TT about timber harvesting and many other state issues to demonstrate people’s discontent with the way Tasmania has been wastefully and unsustainably exploited for many years. The common denominator is the Tasmanian Government (s) and its various departmental bureaucracies and authorities. It’s time to change the system and clean out the rot. There’s an election early next year, so it’d be a good opportunity to start at the top and elect an entirely new government.

  76. O'Brien

    December 5, 2017 at 2:31 am

    “These men (politicians), in point of fact, are seldom if ever moved by anything rationally described as public spirit; there is actually no more public spirit among them than among so many burglars or prostitutes. Their purpose, first, last and all the time, is to promote their private advantage, and to that end, and that end alone, they exercise all the vast powers that are in their hands…” (H.L. Mencken)

    Only a fool would expect anything resembling action on the almost limitless alleged DPIPWE-linked scams, thefts and frauds many of which were allegedly conducted under the reign of Secretary Kim Evans and Peter Mooney, allegedly, in my opinion.

    Allegedly Minister Jeremy Rockliff was approached by DPIPWE staff (in writing) shortly after assuming the Ministry in 2014 regarding corrupt conduct. His alleged response was to suggest taking any complaint to the same department(s). Other than that he washed his hands on the grounds it was outside his Ministerial responsibility, which is true. DPIPWE is one department, however Labour/labor found a clever ruse in splitting Ministerial responsibility between two or more ministers to avoid accountability. Liberals/liberals inherited the structure and recognised it’s utility. Just try and nail down who in Hodgman’s failing administration is willing to accept responsibility for NPWS and Peter Mooney’s many and varied alleged activities. Minister Groom did have apparent responsibility for NPWS and Peter Mooney … jumped ship a few months ago. It seems timing is everything, just ask Simon Overland. Many other politicians and public servants were allegedly approached for assistance including … Scott Bacon who denies any memory of being approached and now responds in the media with outrage at the Mooney story. (He) is just another waste of space, in my view.

    Peter Mooney whilst NPWS General Manager/Secretary was approached by NPWS staff regarding threats, intimidation and allegedly corrupt conduct within his agency. He (apparently) refused to take any action ….

    Ref: # 285 makes reference to the apparent theft of invaluable otherwise unobtainable Coles Bay pink granite. The quarry the stone was allegedly stolen from by NPWS contractors and Federal Hotels didn’t come under the control of DPIPWE at all. it was part of the then Mines portfolio. DPIPWE simply knew most people would assume it was upon their tenure. It was allegedly taken without permit under the Evans/Mooney regime. Yet another alleged scam (in my view) swept under the carpet.

    At the end of the day the crux here is that many of us have unrealistic expectations of our elected representatives and public service. Their only motivation is greed as championed by DPIPWE and successive Ministers just like Jeremy Rockcliff. The nut here is that the most damaging scams in tassie, allegedly forestry/wood-chipping and salmon amongst others require DPIPWE sanction which is cheaply bought with a whisper in the right ear.

  77. Lyndall Rowley

    December 4, 2017 at 9:58 pm

    O’Brien (#277), Jack (#279), Ivo (#281), David (#283) and Ian (#285):

    Gee, I’ve been tardy, haven’t I? This FEP caper is turning out have a cast of thousands, so to speak. It looks like I need to do yet another addendum to my list of persons (or authorities) of some interest or other to possibly appear at the future Royal Commission to face some questions? (See my #243).

    Please add:
    • Ex-first manager of Tas. Fox Free Taskforce and former head of Tasmanian Parks & Wildlife Service &/or DPIPWE Chief Mr Peter Mooney. (Regarding his early work on fox eradication as well as his tireless enthusiasm for a top-notch Maria Island Ferry service …

    • Former Minister for Police and Primary Industries David Llewellyn. (Regarding his roles in reconciling information from PWS and police investigations and his changing attitudes in accepting or rejecting that information. Ultimately, his decision to reject Tasmania Police findings and to go ahead and initiate the fox taskforce must be explored).

    • Tasmania Police. (Regarding their analysis of investigations, incl. unreliability of witness, lack of confirmation of accounts and subsequent conclusion of “highly suspect” evidence).

    • Senator Shayne Murphy and Secretary of DPIPWE Kim Evans. (Regarding their communications and efforts made necessary to ensure that senior DPIPWE staff did eventually co-operate with police trying to conduct investigations).

    (edited)

  78. William Boeder

    December 4, 2017 at 8:50 pm

    Ian, David, Jack Jolly, Simon, Ivo, Jack, O’Brien, Lola, Spikey, Lyndall along with myself, appear to be the persons referred to by Dicky who had gone quiet for a while.
    I believe this gave the elusive Dick the necessary time to charge his brain with a whole new strategy, as his former Bull-scat platform had collapsed owing to the volume of imported Fox-scat that had been pseudo-illegally imported ever so quietly into Tasmania.
    A chastened Richard Kopf reappears at #270 (perhaps a better pseudonym for RK would be Slick Tricky Dicky)
    Quite soon a further valid comment will appear naming 4 persons not yet “openly featured” in the expanding masquerade of fact by those higher echelon Dandies rallying against the truth.
    Notably, these 4 persons now with a lifetime membership to Tas Inc recently awarded to these 4, thanks must go to the obsequious “reeking of ordure” buccaneers representing those on the lower decks of the Pirate ship Tasmania Incorporated that had awarded the life memberships to the 4 former high office influentials.
    Stay tuned for even more squalid revelations.

  79. Jack Jolly

    December 4, 2017 at 8:09 pm

    #282 Dicky … An easy way to show that your fox detecting nose is equally as good at finding clones is to simply ask the editor of TT if these replies originate via a massive conspiracy.

    Go on, ask.

    I see that Dr O has given you his email and offered to share his information. Please take up the offer. Give him a good basting man to man and set him straight about his evil ways and employment history. What’s stopping you? It seems to bother you a lot. Get it off your chest man, you’ll feel better for it if you do.

    So, go ahead, make your own day Dicky! You can expose the Tasmanian Times contributor mill as just one disaffected person sitting in their underwear with a burning vendetta against DPIPWE that you trace to the 80s or 90s. It’s a great story. Vindication is within your reach.

    Alternatively, if you are unwilling to go that extra mile and squib it, well, it might just be that there are in reality a ton of people who’ve had enough of self-interested astroturfers and patronising nincompoops in the state services. Impossible?

  80. Simon Warriner

    December 4, 2017 at 6:53 pm

    re 282, what theory, Dick? Do tell.

  81. Ian Rist

    December 4, 2017 at 4:07 pm

    The chickens are coming home to roost.

    Dig deeper, have a look at Peter Mooney’s Federal Hotels National Park mined sandstone etc for the Federal East coast resort. Mined without a permit I believe, Police also investigated but as usual “no criminal activity was found ” LOL

    Peter Mooney was the first ‘manager’ of the Tasmanian Fox Free Task Force.
    http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/earthbeat/out-smarting-tasmanias-foxes-can-it-be-done/3643598
    click on transcript or view full episode.

  82. Jack Jolly

    December 4, 2017 at 3:50 pm

    #280 Ivo

    You’d better not let Richard Kopf know that you are dissatisfied with the quality of public administration in Tasmania. He’ll put you on the list of psycho haters of government with an axe to grind as he attempted to do with Dr Obendorf on this thread by a quick and nasty revision of history. It makes interesting reading.

    Remember, even when the EPA works with a council that issues baseless eviction notices to remove you from your own home you must conclude that they are acting in the ‘public interest’ by creating ‘jobs’. Jobs for the boys.

    Your problem is that you don’t have a relative working for the right agency.

    Of course, assisting the Journal of Applied Ecology is clearly not in the public interest as truth is overrated and there are no ‘jobs’ in it. We know that to be the case because DPIPWE has decided not to assist them and shut down its own investigation once the key DPIPWE ‘Scatmaster’ fled the coop.

    According to Dicky Kopf there are only two people in Tasmania making all the trouble. Everyone else is highly satisfied with the probity and management of the Tasmanian state services. So, please don’t get on his bad side, or he’ll add you to the list and that’ll make 3 psycho haters that the astroturfers on public salaries will have to go after. That’ll be too much for them as bullies don’t like to pick on more than one person at a time.

  83. David Obendorf

    December 4, 2017 at 2:26 pm

    [b]ARE THEY OR AREN”T THEY?[/b] – ABC TV – STATELINE (8 October 2010)

    Introduction: Tasmania was considered to be fox-free until the late 1990s . That was until a story began circulating about three hunters who had apparently brought three litters of fox cubs into the State in the boot of a car on board the Spirit of Tasmania. [b]David Llewellyn[/b], the then Police and Primary Industries Minister was so concerned he ordered a formal police inquiry into the allegation.

    David Llewellyn (2010): [i]“National Parks & Wildlife advised me that they were [b]absolutely certain[/b] that the information that they had was accurate. That some hunters had been to Victoria, or on the mainland, hunting deer and they brought three litters of fox cubs back to Tasmania and then released them when they were juveniles, ahh one lot in and around Longford, another lot south of Oatlands and another lot on the East Coast.”
    He questions the thoroughness of the Police investigation.[/i]

    David Llewellyn (2010): [i]“Well there was a whole lot of ahh, scepticism in the community about foxes and a lot of joking going on and …. ahh … and people were treating it very, very … well not very seriously at all. And ahhm … ahh … (pause). You know, I , I think the Police could have done a better job frankly.”[/i]
    … …

    The Police Taskforce was reliant on information sourced and prepared by PWS staff. The Police FOI papers released to [b]Senator Shayne Murphy[/b] in mid-2003 indicate that senior DPIPWE staff were not co-operating with the police investigation and formal direction was sent to Secretary of DPIPWE [b]Kim Evans[/b] from Tasmania Police urging that PWS staff cooperate fully with the investigation. These FOI documents show that once police were able to ascertain the linkages of communication that led o the creation of the “Confidential Briefing Note” prepared by PWS that Police were able to summarily dismiss the whole referral:

    [i]’The original ‘brief’ provided us [Tas Police], contained information that there was a real likelihood of foxes having been brought into the State. However, on investigation, it became abundantly clear that the original informant (spoke to by police) had only passed on part of that information [contained in the PWS brief], most of which was hearsay and gossip. The remaining information seems to have come from PW&S personnel who have relied on rumour and probably guesswork. None of the information was confirmed and some was found to be highly suspect.”[/i]

    [Reference: Tas Police FOI document date 17 July 2001 – Corr. No A-3752/01]

    In July 2001, Minister for Police and PWS David Llewellyn did not accept the findings of Tasmania Police investigation based on the foundational claim put up by PWS and Tasmania’s 16-year fox-less fox hunt commenced.

  84. Richard Kopf

    December 4, 2017 at 1:40 pm

    #272 … Confirms my theory. Answer one “person” and the clones all reply.

  85. Ivo Edwards

    December 4, 2017 at 10:53 am

    Hi Jack (#278) … Regarding ex DPIPWE chief Peter Mooney supposedly giving tips to a potential Maria Island ferry operator, it seems DPIPWE and its division, the Environmental Protection Authority are particularly helpful these days to everyone apart from the Journal of Applied Ecology.

    The EPA didn’t just give tips to the proponents of the Maydena Limestone Quarry proponents. They actively assisted in helping the proponents in their application, so I guess that is why the applicants managed to get away with so many outrageous lies and misleading information in their report.

    Not that even the RMPAT appeal tribunal appeared to care less about this terrible ethical breach. I wasn’t even allowed to use it as a ground for appeal against the granting of the quarry permit.

  86. Simon Warriner

    December 4, 2017 at 6:48 am

    re 278 … They were not foxes you smelled, Mr Jolly. They were rats. Similar, but with a far closer relationship to sewers. Opportunistic little creatures, cunning as hell, but they find it difficult to survive in a tidy environment. They have a habit of creating lots of mess to hide behind.

    Especially hard to get rid of once they get into parliament though.

    Perhaps that is why the Integrity Commission has no teeth.

  87. Jack Jolly

    December 4, 2017 at 2:05 am

    #272 Richard … Well, just between you and I Dicky, I do tend to leave such basic abilities to highly trained and expensive scat/fox detection dogs. Kind of a shame then that not one of the canine hooters employed in Tasmania turned up a live fox, unless you count the scats turned up by the recently resigned Faecal Fooler who got his fox pooh delivered via Australia Post from Victoria?

    And I bet your nose was twitching away when that faecal fooler passed by your office door Dicky! I bet you were jumping up and scratching at the door, remenicing about days of Yea glory when your fox detecting abilities were honed.

    Most odd wasn’t it that when they they took the scat detection dogs to Victoria they found fox crap all over the place. Those dogs almost had a heart attack. Did that report ever come across your desk Dicky? Or was it your long stick that was used to shove it under the carpet my old faux Yea mate?

    Kind of odd too that a good old farm boy of pioneering stock could smell foxes all over the place in Tassie when a trained dog had real trouble. But you can’t keep some people away from crap can you Dick? I mean some have a real flair for finding it.

    But to tell you the honest truth, I did once think I smelled a couple of foxes in Tasmania. Once I caught the scent wafting down a corridor only to be told that it was a ‘political fox’. Then on another occasion I was visiting a place in Launceston. I caught the same whiff. I think it was Fitzgerald Inquiry in Queensland when I’d last smelled it so strongly. But you’re quite right, it could well have been a skunk. Skunks are all over Tasmania.

    Speaking of which, there was an interesting story on the ABC tonight,, Dick. Can you recognise the smell of fear as well?

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-04/questions-over-pws-ex-chief-involvement-in-maria-island-ferry/9223824

    An outrage though, as you have already told us. These people are obviously attacking DPIPWE because they are deranged sickos with a vendetta and axe to grind (one for each hand). Make it stop Dicky.

    Do write another letter to The Mercury and chastise Dr Obendorf some more. I mean, it’s really getting out of hand isn’t it? Whatever next? It will ruin it for everybody.

  88. Jack

    December 4, 2017 at 1:15 am

    #270 … Come now Dicky, your public sector accountancy skills are failing you. That’s only external money from the feds. The state recurrent funding spent on Tasmanian staff running around like headless chooks chasing phantoms cost a lot more in real terms. There is that little nasty called ‘opportunity cost’ that you may know about? That’s a measure of all the real things that could have been done with the loot. That one cost the Tasmanian public big time. Yep, 60 staff in Tasmanians hospitals might have done a lot of good. Or even 60 staff doing real conservation work. Imagine that!

    But who cares on what the loot is spent on hey Dick? After all, they are all just ‘jobs’.

  89. O'Brien

    December 3, 2017 at 11:10 pm

    DPIPWE managers Kim Evans, Michelle Moseley and Peter Mooney (I believe) refused to act upon DPIPWE staff allegations put directly to them. In 2013 staff met with ALP Minister Brian Wightman; present was Michelle Moseley. Details of allegations were provided to Brian Wightman and Michelle Moseley. No action, (I believe) was taken, DPIPWE and Minister Wightman refused any further communication with staff threatening unspecified action if further communication was attempted. Whilst it is no surprise (I believe) DPIPWE or ALP took no action. What is surprising is details of the meeting were supplied to IC (Integrity Commission) in 2017 yet IC doesn’t (appear) to include details in the yet to be released FFTF report. Why do IC and TAS-POL (appear to be) protecting DPIPWE & ALP ministers from scrutiny?

    Senator Lisa Singh’s office was approached for assistance, her office (appeared, to me, to conspire) with DPIPWE & Tasmania Police to (apparently) verbal and (apparently) manufacture evidence in an attempt to silence and (and allegedly) intimidate DPIPWE staff. (I believe) details of threats upon staff and family of staff were reported to Tas-Pol and IC, These allegations have not been (apparently) included in final FFTF reports. (I would ask) why?

    It seems Minister Rockliff and his Liberal party have forfeited the next election to Rebecca White/ALP. Minister Rockliff has sat on his hands thus far, most likely intending to make it through to the next election where responsibility can be passed to whatever hapless ALP dupe in dumb enough to take on DPIPWE Ministry.

    (edited)

  90. Ian Rist

    December 3, 2017 at 10:30 pm

    272
    “Have you ever seen or smelled a fox, Jack”?

    Laughable actually

    (edited)

  91. Lyndall Rowley

    December 3, 2017 at 10:26 pm

    Thanks O’Brien (#252) and William (#253).
    It appears I need another addendum to my growing list of people who may be of interest to the future Royal Commission on this entire matter (see my #243).

    Please add:

    Departmental Secretary Kim Evans and his deputy Michelle Moseley.

    The mysterious ex-police persons from Queensland – mentioned by O’Brien and would seem of great interest in regard to the collection and recording of evidence.

    Mr John Whittington, Secretary of DPIPWE – may also be of assistance to the Royal Commission and give the commission his valuable insights about the FEP in his former role.

  92. Ian Rist

    December 3, 2017 at 9:09 pm

    Re # 270 … Very, very expensive for not a single fox though, Dick. Also expensive barbecues, indoor cricket matches and a bored Fox Task Force Manager sacked for watching X-Rated movies at work.

    I wonder how long this junket would have lasted if it was private or shareholders money, but I suppose as one x Minister said to me “let it go Ian, it’s only taxpayers’ money”.

  93. David Obendorf

    December 3, 2017 at 9:04 pm

    Welcome again Richard Kopf … Please contact me with an email and I’ll send you the FEP staff lists by year. I can also send you a FEP group photo, too.

    That $50 million sum – is that your figure? Do you know what the actual expenditure was?

    dobendor@iinet.net.au

    Thanks

  94. Richard Kopf

    December 3, 2017 at 8:27 pm

    #225 … Jack, or whoever you are. “That’s funny. Last time you said that your family were from South Gippsland. That’s where you used to see foxes remember?”

    Jack, I am delighted that you read my posts and remember them. I also have family in Tasmania!

    My grandfather was a pioneer in Yea. Many of my family still live there. I must ask them if they know of Ian Rist who says he has a farm in Yea.

    I used to shoot foxes on my cousins’ dairy farm in South Gippsland, Toora to be exact. That is why I know what a fox, dead or alive, looks like, and smells like.
    A fox gives the skunk a run for its money on the stink scale. Anybody who’s spent a little time with a fox can attest to this. Have you ever seen or smelled a fox, Jack?

  95. Steve

    December 3, 2017 at 8:22 pm

    #262 … At the risk of being off topic, there’s a lot of validity in your viewpoint, David.

    I post anonymously on TT because I initially started this way due to the Pulp Mill problem. Apart from my regrets at choosing a common name to post under, I’m happy to remain anonymous. I have formed the conclusion that anonymous posting is the only honest way to discuss topics. As soon as genuine identities are revealed, egos become involved and intelligent dialogue goes out the window.

    Combined with this is the difficulty of truly authenticating contributors. If I called myself “Dr Steve Smith, retired philosopher from Melbourne” would that really have any more credibility than “Steve, occasional TT contributor from Tasmania”? To some people it would and yet I could fake any identity I wanted, providing I kept it vague enough.

    I do feel however that contributors should be known to the editor. A basic check is registration via a genuine email address. Obviously it is still possible to run multiple personas by the use of multiple email addresses, but it does make it harder, especially if the occasional follow up email is sent. IP address checks are of limited use against someone setting out to deceive.

    With regard to the person under question, the multiple identities are so clumsy that it’d almost be a disappointment if they stopped. I’m thinking that Jack’s description of the editor as a merciful fisherman is extremely apt!

  96. Richard Kopf

    December 3, 2017 at 7:46 pm

    #240
    “The full contingent of staff employed to hunt foxes across Tasmania reached over 60 in 2009 and stayed at that level for about 3 years”

    Whoa David. 180 man years for $50m? Cheap wages or bad maths mate!

  97. Jack Jolly

    December 3, 2017 at 4:52 pm

    #262 Dr Obendorf

    Yes, much generosity has been afforded to the Dr from Adelaide by the editor of TT. Few people are big enough of heart to throw a carp back into the dam. Most leave then gasping on the bank.

  98. Ian Rist

    December 3, 2017 at 4:33 pm

    # 263
    “If Louis and mine observation is taken as positive for practical investigation purposes”. (???)

    For goodness sake Kelvin you just don’t get it do you?
    It was ten years ago for goodness sake, there wasn’t any sighting report or evidence collected.
    For some reason you are taking this personally, why?

    Do you want to offer something constructive about my questions to you in comment # 258.

  99. lola moth

    December 3, 2017 at 4:00 pm

    Kelvin, I am not as good at explaining my thoughts as others on this thread are and I am not exactly sure of what you are asking me regarding the implications for the yes/no fox parties.

    Jack at comment #260 suggests Bertrand Russell’s Teapot as a good way of explaining the need of evidence over belief, and I can’t think of a better source.

    The best way I have of putting it is that what if instead of the word “fox” we substituted “ghost” or “alien”? Thousands of people claim to have seen and spoken to ghosts and aliens in the company of other rational human beings, but we don’t assume they exist on this evidence alone.

    If I told you I saw and spoke to the ghost of my dead mother last night and my partner said he saw it too, would you believe me? No rational person would believe me unless I had other evidence to show. They would realise I was sincere in my belief but that is all.

    You say that only one party can be right but that is not the case. Opinions are not truth versus lies with only one winner. Opinions are multi-faceted. You saw a fox. I saw a ghost. Both are opinions not backed by evidence, so equally nearly worthless when it comes to proving our case.

    Perhaps someone else can explain better than I can.

  100. Jack

    December 3, 2017 at 3:34 pm

    #263 Kelvin

    “Only one party can be right. If Louis and mine observation is taken as positive for practical investigation purposes.”

    No Kelvin. You simply don’t get it do you? That’s how this entire business started.

    If I tell you that I was abducted by an alien 10 years ago, should we start by accepting my precept and build from there and begin to discuss the relative risks of the aliens abducting people?

    When the untested anecdotal claims of a few were accepted in the place of real evidence so began the disaster of the Tasmanian fox fiasco.

    So, 15 years later you are serving up the same argument, “begin with the assumption that I am right”. No. Never. Go away and find some evidence for your claim. The obligation is yours to do so. No one has the obligation to ‘disprove’ you because we can’t. Please don’t play games of sophistry and preciousness where we have to handle you with kid gloves because you are special. Why should we?

    It’s nonsense to begin your argument with a request not to hold you to the same standard as 4,000 others.

    Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence – from those making the claim. I’m not making any claim at all. It was you and Louis who had an obligation 10 years back to collect some evidence. Why on earth you feel the need to bang on about it and act hurt and offended that you are not believed is beyond comprehension.

    Come on mate, get real. Kelvin, you’ve got nothing.

  101. Simon Warriner

    December 3, 2017 at 3:20 pm

    re 263 … Let me put it another way for you Kelvin. How much money do you think the taxpayers should be imposed upon to provide based on your unreported sighting at this present time, for which no physical, forensically reliable evidence is available?

    Please humour us by actually nominating a dollar value, and then tell us whether that money should be spent before the ports are fenced, or after.

    Sorry to be a pedant about this, but your position excuses all manner of wrongs, and many of them are occurring in this state on a daily basis. I doubt you intend, or support, that result.

    re 264 … clearly we need a renegade independent member in the lower house prepared to give privilege a bloody good workout.

  102. Ian Rist

    December 3, 2017 at 2:52 pm

    David # 257
    David I would like to name here on TT whom I would list on the culpability guilt list.
    He would be number one closely advised by his biologist friend.

    However the Editor would not and cannot allow it.

  103. Kelvin Jones

    December 3, 2017 at 2:26 pm

    #256.. Lola .. Your last good reasoning comment goes directly to the question “why?” such a paranoid polarisation of view. This then leads to the question for each of the opposing views “in whose interest?” does each of the two parties have in adopting it’s single view.

    Only one party can be right.

    If Louis and mine observation is taken as positive for practical investigation purposes.

    1. Then what are the implications for the no fox party?

    2. Then what are the implications for the yes fox party?

  104. David Obendorf

    December 3, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    According to comment #232 (A Further and Final Statement), the Adelaide-based doctor offers the likelihood that the real Doctor Lozo was potentially impersonated on this thread by someone else and therefore he couldn’t be the two-headed duopoly banging out TT comments from [i]the same computer using his IP address[/i].

    I simply asked at comment #242 which was challenged and deleted: who was the beneficiary when an anonymous commenter named ‘A Victorian’ starts congratulating ‘Dr Lozo (Adelaide)’?

    Now that behaviour seems a rather weird form of online cyber-attack on Dr Lozo. The real Dr Lozo who titles himself ‘physicist/perception scientist’ was being directly replied to by ‘A Victorian’ who claims he has a PhD in chemistry and perhaps mathematics (forgive me I can’t keep up with all his talents) and who congratulates Dr Lozo (Adelaide) and then … … Dr Lozo goes on to thank ‘A Victorian’. Not what I would consider an attacking exchange.

    Other Tasmanian Times readers please help me here. Am I missing something? Is this a mutual appreciation diad?

    Is [i]plausible deniability[/i] being appealed to; where verifiable evidence has not been sought or tested? In an attempt to counter accusations that two TT commenters where originating from Dr Lozo (Adelaide)? Dr Lozo offers an explanation that previously Dr Lozo had his Twitter account hacked by a group in Tasmania over Dr Lozo’s involvement in the Sue Neill-Fraser articles.

    This is an important matter to me and I believe also to “Jack Jolly” and “Jack”.

    If necessary I will finance the necessary forensic review of what is a useful case study highlighting the vulnerability of all social media to fakers, jokers and dissemblers on this particular article that I wrote. In my view Tasmania Times owes it to all its readers that persons posting under pseudomys are known and their probity is vouched for by the editor and that situations where individuals can masquerade behind pseudonyms cease.

    Perhaps this is vital role for lifting editorial standards at Tasmanian Times. Thank you.

  105. Jack

    December 3, 2017 at 2:09 pm

    #256 Lola

    Except that the default position of science is that the person who makes the claim that something exists is the one who must prove it with evidence.

    Science cannot work the other way around because you cannot disprove the existence of something that does not exist. You cannot obtain ‘evidence’ of absence.

    So it always comes back to the burden of proof resting with the person who makes the claim. But what such people tend to do is to say “well, you prove that I didn’t see a

    You can’t.

  106. Jack

    December 3, 2017 at 2:02 pm

    #254 “The fact that there is no supporting evidence does not mean the observed does not exist. Even when the likelihood is low or believed to be zero.”

    Kelvin. This is a classic. These matters have been debated endlessly on this site and by philosophers and scientists for decades. Look up ‘Russell’s Teapot” on the net. Please do.

    A lack of evidence is just that. There is a lack of evidence about fairies, unicorns and goblins. That people claim to see them adds nothing to the debate about whether they exist. There is as much evidence for the existence of foxes in Tasmania as these other myths.

    There is no reasoned debate without actual evidence, ok? We can only debate endlessly about opinion. The only thing that can be examined scientifically requires evidence, not a lack of it. This is a very basic point that people seem to have big troubles with. If you want to go to your grave claiming to have seen a fox, good for you. Others will do the same after seeing thylacine or fairies. Each will have equal validity, because without evidence you cannot put any probability on one being more likely than another.

    Please read about this matter. There are many books and papers on this central tenant of logic and science. This is not going to change because you claim to have seen a fox. Nor is it going to differ if you employ insults or suggestions that some vast conspiracy or epidemic of paranoia exists to deny your sighting. There isn’t. You are just 1 of 4000 claims with no evidence. There is nothing special about your claim and nothing you can prove. If that upsets you it really isn’t my problem.

    How many times will you look under your bed for a monster before you are convinced that it is not there – 4000, 10,000, 100,000? Then will you then say ‘the fact that it is not there now does not mean that monsters don’t exist’?

  107. David Obendorf

    December 3, 2017 at 1:24 pm

    Kelvin, in an earlier post and after I chatted with you in person, I did request that, in your own words, you write on this thread the detailed information you told me of your sighting with Louis on 26 December 2007. I took a few notes while we talked but I don’t want to verbal your description of this event. In my view it needs to come from you.

    I ask this because there are fox ecologists and persons very familiar with the behaviours of free-ranging foxes who may be in a far better position to evaluate your animal sighting report.

    Thank you.

  108. Ian Rist

    December 3, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    Comment # 246
    Kelvin possibly you did see a fox, possibly you didn’t.
    You are entitled to your opinion and belief.
    Whether you did or didn’t is totally irrelevant in the cause Dr Obendorf, myself and others have diligently pursued.
    What Dr Obendorf, myself and others have continually questioned is the ‘fox evidence’ which has been used to justify the spending of millions and millions of taxpayer dollars on a senseless, badly advised and futile ‘fox’ hunt that has not yielded one single Tasmanian fox.

    Kelvin would you care to give your version of why no Tasmanian fox has been produced by any means since the ‘fox eradication program commenced’?.
    Also how do you feel about the Native wildlife, farm and working dogs and peoples pets that have been needlessly 1080 poisoned by this ill-advised 1080 baiting campaign?
    If your ‘fox sighting’ makes your feel good then so be it, as far as I am concerned it just becomes one more of the 4,000 unsubstantiated ‘fox sightings’ that amounted to nothing at all.
    Based on the odds of the 16 years and no hard evidence in the form of a Tasmanian fox shot,trapped, poisoned or even photographed the odds do not weigh in favor of the ‘foxes are here,I saw a fox’ devotees.
    Time has produced the truth.

    Posted by Ian Rist on 04/12/17 at 10:47 AM

  109. David Obendorf

    December 3, 2017 at 1:07 pm

    This is retiring MP for Lyons [b]David Llewellyn[/b]’s only reference to the f-word in his 16-minute valedictory speech to the Parliament on Thursday 30 Nov 2017; it occurs in this sentence:

    [i]‘One could talk about a whole range of issues and advancements, and in one way or another I had a significant part in which to play – Youth Justice, Young Peoples & their Families Act, State-wide planning scheme, Taswater, Devil Facial Tumour, issues with respect to cat legislation – we need to move along on that one (he chuckles) and, ahh … [b]foxes[/b] (coughs).'[/i]

  110. lola moth

    December 3, 2017 at 12:56 pm

    Kelvin, I have never doubted your belief that you saw a fox. I only said that you will have a hard time convincing other people without any other evidence.

    Your thoughts about “it could be possible how ever low” apply to everything in life. Many people don’t believe in a god even though others are adamant one exists, because no evidence is provided except for the believer’s personal observations and convictions.

    You are convinced that you saw a fox in Tasmania. That’s great. Good for you. Others think it is highly unlikely that is was a fox. Without any other evidence for or against, both sides will continue to believe themselves correct.

  111. abs

    December 3, 2017 at 11:33 am

    David, #240 …

    ‘Kopf’ is german for ‘head’

    the nickname for ‘Richard’ is ‘dick’

    ‘dick head’ ?? just a funny pseudonym, i’d say.

  112. Kelvin Jones

    December 3, 2017 at 11:00 am

    #216…..and others….. There seems some confusion sometimes projecting into denial on a visual observation.

    The fact that there is no supporting evidence does not mean the observed does not exist. Even when the likely hood is low or believed to be zero.

    The latter point should be qualified by ….”it could be possible how ever low” there is always a first time.

    In this case the ever present possibility, by whatever circumstances, of a fox coming from the mainland or even internationally to Tasmania.

    You can grade observations, by the quality of observation and the quality of any supporting evidence. However that observation must remain positive unless there is direct evidence to eliminate it.

    In an earlier post I mentioned Louis had subsequent fox encounters in UK. In particular an encounter on the A27 where on a roundabout he had to brake to avoid a fox wondering around (incidentally I did not need to brake). He was with his wife.

    Now that was a very similar co observation of a fox to that Louis and experienced in Tasmania. There is no external evidence to the story. So is Louis and his wife wrong on that fox identification or several other motorists who independently who went home and witnessed the event and related their experience to others?

    Since Louis and my experience 10 years ago, Lewis’s further encounters with foxes has not made him doubt his Tasmanian encounter as he has so clearly emphasised in his comment #104.

    It frightens me that some commentators are almost paranoid that we did not see a fox.

    In all the words written in this thread NONE have been able make me have any doubt we both saw a fox that Boxing day morning in 2007.

  113. William Boeder

    December 3, 2017 at 10:55 am

    Based on the number of comments flowing in relating to the status, the validity of the claims, while also taking into account the superior attitude held by Dr Peter Lozo,
    It is pleasing to observe that since my prior “edited” comments relating to the bona fides of Dr Peter Lozo are now being questioned by a number of forum attendees as per the latest round of comments.
    Jack Jolly in his submitted comments appears to share the same mind as my own, as to the motives of Dr Peter Lozo, given that person’s sudden arrival to the Tas Times forum and his scientific based, or so claimed, from the distant South Australian horizon and had inserted himself into the SNF case matter to immediately commence his presumptive style of pseudo interdiction by introducing a great many of his personal biased conjectures.

    Quite soon thereafter he seemed to have promoted himself to the role of a non-warranted arbitrator on all comments submitted by forum attendees regarding the SNF case.

    I now notice that the superior attitudinal Dr from Adelaide has suddenly gone silent since the recent revelations about a claimed form of dual identity.

    Moving directly back to the article matter I have listed this rather interesting URL pertaining (as of July 2017) to the previously mentioned FEP employee Mr John Whittington.

    http://dpipwe.tas.gov.au/Documents/DPIPWE Organisational Chart.pdf

    Given the past liaisons (as has been noted in a prior forum comment relating to the period when multiple sightings of Foxes were flowing in thick and fast to the FEP (his including a Fox sighting he himself had introduced to the FEP) that since the occasion of the then liaison between Mr John Whittington a now former Labor minister, I now read of his rapid ascendancy to the role of Secretary of the DPIPWE.Tasmania.

    It is my opinion that this former “Foxes in Tasmania” advocate has been given the singular special privilege of an arm-chair advancement to rise to the highest position in the structure of Tasmania’s DPIPWE. Albeit in a somewhat inordinate fast-tracked manner.

    This single matter in itself now carries doubt about the in-house DPIPWE promotional processes with all its protocols, as to how this former liaisoning mate of the above-referred minister, seems to have contributed to his rocketed rising up through the ranks to become secretary to the DPIPWE.
    This comment is in style and substance not dissimilar to that of other comments I have submitted, I am hopeful that this comment will not suffer the same editing fate as have a number of my recent comments.

  114. O'Brien

    December 3, 2017 at 2:12 am

    There have been all manner of distractions on this thread lately, branching off into odd tangents. Perhaps the half dozen or so public servants and politicians who bear responsibility for this nonsense should be kept at the forefront. First among the public servants should be the departmental secretary for the program Kim Evans. Kim Evans was approached by serving FFTF staff with serious allegations and did worse than nothing. Between himself and his deputy Michelle Moseley they did just about everything possible to silence and intimidate. Then there’s the cabal of ex-cops who came to DPIPWE via questionable credentials from Campbell Newman’s Queensland. The same ex-cops who have no problem verballing and manufacturing evidence. Let’s face it folks the whole thing stinks of serious corruption. All we know about the IC FFTF report is it’s about 280 pages in length, had about 60 contributors and is in the final stages before submission, however we’ve heard all that before, haven’t we.

  115. David Obendorf

    December 3, 2017 at 2:01 am

    At #240 I explained that a faecal fooler (an employee of the Fox Eradication Program) was able to simply resign and the Secretary of the Department not provide to the Journal of Applied Ecology any information on DPIPWE’s internal investigation related to misconduct by his employees that permitted imported fox scats to be part of the scat data set used by Dr Stephen Sarre et al (2012) to publish a scientific paper that claimed that “foxes are now widespread in Tasmania”.

    There is a now a growing list of resigning public servants in Tasmania who have been the subject of Integrity Commission inquiries, and after resigning have faced no recrimination whatsoever, indeed some have had the rest of their contracts paid out!

    1. TasTAFE, Stephen Conway and Lori Hocking resigned in the wake of an Integrity Commission report (May 2017) which detailed claims of nepotism and misuse of government credit cards -,$232,000 spent by seven TasTAFE executives over two years. It later was revealed that Mr Conway was paid out of his employment contract cost the taxpayer another $188,000 … and the cost of the TasTAFE audit by the firm WLF Accounting & Advisory estimated to have cost taxpayers another $450,000..

    2. Former Tasmanian Health Organisation southern chief Jane Holden was sacked in 2014 soon after the release of an Integrity Commission report into the health system. Ms Holden rejected claims of nepotism, conflict of interest and improper process in awarding of contracts to associates and to her husband.

    3. Last week an Auditor-General’s report revealed further cases of nepotism within the Tasmanian Public service involving appointments in four state government departments and identified eight PS appointments. A DPaC senior male staff member was forced to take leave whilst the recruitment and promotion of a woman allegedly in a romantic relation with him were investigated. Within days the Secretary of the DPaC resigned.

    Go back a further year or so and examine the IC investigations into over spends in the Tasmanian Prisons Service and the payout given to former Prisons Director Barry Greenberry who came to Tasmania to improve a dysfunctional and expensive prisons culture in Tasmania. (Tragically Barry became a real casualty in Tasmania’s power wars.)

    Are any of these resignations, investigations of nepotism, white-collar fraud and cronyism linked to a systemic and unaddressed malaise in the Tasmanian Public Sector?

    You can literally exhaust yourself trying to shine a light on those in the leadership positions who leave these expensive and sickening trails of chaos.

    And I haven’t even mentioned the extensive investigations into staff misconduct, nepotism and misuse of funds in RSPCA (Tasmania) only a few years ago.

  116. Jack

    December 2, 2017 at 11:47 pm

    #186 and #243 Lyndall …

    As was characteristic of your bushfire articles and comments you are once again positive and forward looking in your approach.

    As you suggest, it’s absolutely the case that without government recognising such systemic failure and actually doing something to change the culture of the public sector and party duopoly of ‘same, same’ we are doomed to exist in a perpetual groundhog day.

    We’ve got to the point where the earth can no longer sustain the tripe mongers who stand in the way of reform. These are people who think nothing of inventing self-serving personas and ‘facts’ and running the state based upon story telling and astroturfing. In the process they expose themselves as the benefactors of an obsolete system that tolerates such behaviour. They have no shame and no ethics.

    None of the political parties in Tas can be treated seriously until they put up a comprehensive plan to address reform. I doubt that few members of the main parties even understand the problem because they are part of it. They see no advantage to be had by changing anything. That’s why it will take genuine leadership from independents to bring voters around to realising that they are being duped.

    Currently, it’s not representation and democracy but a game of mates at a party and state executive level.

    It’s always good to see you engage in these issues Lyndall, and I hope you can find the energy to follow this fox matter. I’m sure that you as a fresh voice of reason could achieve much.

  117. spikey

    December 2, 2017 at 11:24 pm

    #248 … they were probably hoping another liblab majority government could whitewash the whole thing with further distractions from their loot and plunder of the environment, the economy, democracy and humanity

    and declare it worlds best practice fox erradication

    foxes
    squark squark
    illegal boat people
    squark squark
    community consultation
    squark squark
    trickle down effect
    squark squark
    clean coal
    squark squark

    this damn pesky internet never annoyed the 3rd reich, i wonder why our government provide the shittest internet

  118. Ian Rist

    December 2, 2017 at 10:15 pm

    Thanks Lyndall
    As I gave evidence to the IC I am somewhat amazed as to what is actually going on ??????
    First we were told the IC report would be released on the 30th June 2017 as it was completed in June 2017.
    Then we were told it would be released in October 2017, it is now December 2017 and still not released. Isn’t it suitable for public scrutiny???
    I have a bad feeling about this one, especially as they lost my original Tasmania Police witness statement re the alleged Bosworth fox shooting at Symonns Plains.
    Apparently the lost? Police statement was electronically reproduced (from memory) and then I was asked to OK a Police statement I hadn’t even seen.

  119. Lyndall Rowley

    December 2, 2017 at 9:10 pm

    Oh dear, Ian (#241). An addendum for my #243 please:

    Deputy Premier and Minister for Primary Industries and Water the Hon. Jeremy Rockliff MP and Minister for Police and Emergency Management the Hon. Rene Hidding MP to join the list of those to possibly face some questioning at the Royal Commission?

    I can understand why no-one contacted (incl. above-named) by the British Ecological Society’s Journals’ Managing Editor Erika Newton is replying, I think. The cone of silence the Tasmanian Integrity Commission operates with whilst an inquiry is still in play is possibly the explanation. We’ll all just have to wait until the commission’s findings are published.

  120. Jack

    December 2, 2017 at 5:18 pm

    #240 Indeed, now back to Richard Kopf.

    Dr O writes:

    “The fact remains (that) dead fox material could be lawfully brought to Tasmania for the whole period that the Fox Taskforce was trying to find physical evidence of fox presence in Tasmania. How can this be explained?”

    This nonsense is straight from the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. Lewis Carroll would have loved it. How could it go unnoticed the very ‘evidence’ the program used to justify itself had been brought to Tassie almost since time immemorial? I’ve seen several foxes in taxidermy shops and many fox heads upon walls in Tassie. I know at least a dozen shooters in Tas who hunt foxes in Victoria. How does any sensible person think they got here?

    Rather than thank Mr Rist for making that point, Richard seems pretty upset with him doesn’t he?

    But why?

    Well, the wizard was pretty pissed off at first when the curtain was pulled back in L. Frank Baum’s other fantasy. That’s pretty much what Mr Rist did as the tin man and cowardly lion stood close by and gawked.

    Once upon a time, here on Tasmanian Times, Richard Kopf defended the fox eradication program as a state-sponsored employment scheme. He went as far as providing the sort of calculations for salary, tax, cost and benefit reminiscent of someone who did that sort of thing for a living. Interesting. Very interesting.

    Because to Richard baiting the entire island with a poison for no reason was a very trivial matter, as was the collateral damage – wildlife. That didn’t matter. What did matter was that some Tasmanians had jobs. That they were jobs doing something pointless, socially divisive and environmentally irresponsible didn’t matter. They were jobs.

    Interesting attitude isn’t it? It’s the same attitude that leads to unsustainable and pointless industries that destroy our island for the purpose of creating “jobs”.

    So, if it has not already dawned on people, Richard Kopf is the wizard of Tas. He’s the bloke bellowing into the microphone and astroturfing his legacy. He’s a wizard that we’ve long known about. We prodded and goaded him for some time, for wizards behind curtains quickly become drunk with their assumed power.

    To be clear, it is not the man behind “Richard Kopf” that I dislike, but the ideology he stands for.

    Ladies and gentlemen, I suspect that we are off to see the wizard, the wonderful wizard of fox.

  121. William Boeder

    December 2, 2017 at 3:41 pm

    #249. As the people in Tasmania are most aware that the onus of proof (specific to Foxes being resident in Tasmania) continues to this very day remain the role and duty of the DPIPWE which had had a State government minister appointed and thereby must be held accountable for all that this department has and had engaged in.
    I have included a link reference that provides an additional consequence of this State’s Lib/Lab government Tasmanian Fox debacle.
    http://www.tasmanianfox.com/Tasmanian_Fox/Media_files/Shane Barker murder link to fox carcass | Tasmanian Times.pdf

    The people of Tasmania have not had this onus of proof provided to them under the auspices of the DPIPWE or any of its co-opted agencies.
    The fact that this agency was permitted by this department of government to lay 1080 poison baits in many areas of Tasmania is “another blatant act of a crime permitted by this State’s DPIPWE” thus applicable to the State government of the day during the entirety of the 1080 poison bait-laying program.
    Another major offence committed is that both Dr David Obendorf and Mr Ian Rist have been publicly vilified slandered and improperly defamed by ministers et al, in both Tasmania’s government and persons employed in the Federal government.
    Given all the facts toward the falsity and deceptive acts engaged in, a legal claim if brought against the individuals under the umbrella of the State government during this period, that this case has every prospect of being decided in favour of the 2 referred to persons.
    I do not believe that this State’s Supreme Court could compromise itself to destroy the carriage of true and fair justice in this Fox-less matter.
    A case of this kind will require a vast amount of State documented evidence to be tabled to attempt to avoid liability and the intent to engage in the claims as identified in the above.
    Compensatory damages should accordingly be very high in its monetary amount, especially with the clear intent to commit a long-term period of defamatory and or slanderous claims, as having been substantially evidenced.

    (edited)

  122. Ian Rist

    December 2, 2017 at 3:20 pm

    Re # 241
    Simon any prosecutions would have opened a giant can of worms that would have gone right to the top.
    This is why the whole fox fraud has been managed and manipulated from the very top practically from day one..
    The latest installment is the refusal by the DPIPWE the Minister Jeremy Rockliff and involvement from Police Minister Rene Hidding in not releasing the findings of the DPIPWE’s internal report,the Tasmania Police report and Simon Fearn’s report to the British Ecological Societies Journals Managing Editor Erika Newton.
    The British Ecological Societies Erika Newton has also written to the DPIPWE and the TASMANIAN INTEGRITY COMMISSION and the Ministers involved and cannot even get a reply.
    Federal Senators, Andrew Wilkie MP, leader of the Tasmanian Labor Party’s Rebecca White have all written to Minister Rockliff.
    On the 28th September 2017 Rebecca White MHA wrote to Minister Rockliff and still cannot get an answer as to why they will not cooperate with the British Ecological Society.
    The reason is simple, IF the British Ecological Society’s Journal remove the paper “Foxes are now widespread in Tasmania” written by Sarre et al which was based on fabricated evidence the game is up.
    This paper was used to endorse requests for Federal funding and various other misdemeanors.

    Standard procedure by this current Government is to ‘say nothing’ which will all come back to bite them in the lead up to the March election.

  123. Lyndall Rowley

    December 2, 2017 at 12:09 pm

    David (#240). Wow, being from Victoria (not A Victorian) and only a casual observer, I had no idea these details were known. Thank you for providing them David. Most enlightening.

    According to the DPIPWE website the Fox Eradication Program started in 2006 and was “completed” in 2014.

    David, this is the rough chronology of mal administration as I see it from your #240:
    – In (date? Or 2009?) Minister for Primary Industries Brian Green points out to his department the flaws and biosecurity risk of the then legal importation of dead fox material to Tasmania. This was effectively a giant red flag given by the minister himself to his department staff (who specifically?) running the FEP. (Is that right? Or did Minister Green only talk to biosecurity staff that may be separate to FEP management?).

    – In 2009 Invasive Animals CRC CEO Dr Tony Peacock publicly ridicules Mr Ian Rist for his claims about imported fox material to Tasmania. Yet Minister Green had used this same information provided by Mr Rist to highlight the real biosecurity risks to his department and thought it such a serious risk as to implement a necessary change in the relevant Tasmanian legislation to ban such importation.

    – Six years passed before the law was changed to ban dead fox material importation to Tasmania. The FEP was operational for this entire six year period. (Dates? How long after the law was changed before the FEP was shut down?).

    – In 2017, a known (proven?) and worst offender – aka the faecal fooler – was about to be questioned in the DPIPWE investigation, but resigned in time to avoid questioning. Full stop. No further action. (But perhaps will be picked up in the current Integrity Commission inquiry? Or does the resignation of the subject officer mean that they are now beyond reach of the Integrity Commission’s powers?).

    This information only goes to solidify my opinion that a Tasmanian Royal Commission is necessary. Serious questions have to be asked:
    • Why was Minister Green’s approach to his department warning of the possibility of legally imported fox material coming into Tasmania seemingly ignored by the FEP? Who did Minister Green actually talk to about the risk of imported dead fox material coming to Tasmania legally at the time? Was this information disseminated to all relevant departmental staff and management? What, if any, actions did departmental officers take at that time to apply this critical information to their Fox Eradication Programme and ensure that a fraud wasn’t taking place and couldn’t be possible?
    • Why did Dr Tony Peacock publicly ridicule Mr Ian Rist based on the same information Minister Green had accepted and taken to his own department for intel and actioning? Did he know about Minister Green’s actions? Were either of the bodies charged with the oversight of CRCs aware of controversy surrounding the provenance of fox material and the integrity of the FEP? If not, why not; if so, what did they do about it to ensure scientific rigour was being applied accordingly in its CRC fox DNA research ?
    • Why did it take 6 years for the importation of dead fox material to be banned? What held up this process and who was involved directly or indirectly in that process? What did Minister Green do about the legislative hold-ups knowing the ongoing risks of it possibly affecting the integrity of the FEP and department under his portfolio?
    • What oversight did Minister Green conduct to ensure that these risks to the integrity of his department’s programme were being heeded and preventively managed?
    • Why didn’t the federal government, in their annual programme funding oversight role, question the FEP’s continuing conduct over the years in light of: the programme & management actions based on only putative evidence; the publicly known doubt surrounding putative evidence; and the lack of unequivocal evidence? What responsibility does it take for the proper accounting and delivery of this programme for$50M or so of tax-payers’ dollars? Probity upheld? Effective and good value for money?
    • Why did it take until 2017 until the department started an internal inquiry into the FEP and to question officers like the notorious faecal fooler? What does this say about the integrity of the systems and processes of the department itself? Why doesn’t the department think it needs a serious review itself even though one of their officers resigned to escape questioning? This goes much deeper and broader than just one potentially rogue officer.

    David – the above questions are rhetorical only. You need to rest and save yourself for the Royal Commission…

    In the end – after the clean-up – Mr Ian Rist and you David, as well as other courageous and persistent fighters for integrity in government as well as in science, deserve a public apology from government for how you’ve been treated and should instead be given our sincere thanks.

  124. David Obendorf

    December 2, 2017 at 11:07 am

    (comment challenged and deleted)

    Who will do the necessary forensic review of what is a useful case study highlighting the vulnerability of all social media to fakers, jokers and dissemblers?

    Perhaps there’s a role for lifting editorial standards. Thank you.

  125. Simon Warriner

    December 2, 2017 at 10:04 am

    re 240, what David Obendorf omits to say at the end of his post is that

    NO CHARGES WERE LAID.

    That is correct folks. The decision was made made that because the faecal fooler resigned his position when confronted with the evidence of his fraud against the state and commonwealth. In a functional public service the matter would have been handed to the DPP and the case against the shit shifter prosecuted, to the fullest extent of the law.

    Any accomplices would have been hounded out and prosecuted as well and the public good would have been served by demonstrating that crime does not pay, and that when caught the guilty will get punished.

    We have seen the response to the documented wrong doing by the faecal fooler. Absolutely nothing. He was allowed to resign, that is it. Those wondering what it is about this matter that generates such a vehement response from myself and others to doubting thomas types and those that talk about “insurance” need to understand that those same failures of governance present in this matter saw a sociopath remain in her workplace free to injure people for at least 8 years and my partner is one of those injured, and I deal with the expression of the injuries every single day. Those in a position to act were warned in a complaint that another person would be injured unless action was taken, and that person was injured before action was taken. Action that had no obviously punitive component. Unless, and until we get a government prepared to hold errant public servants to account this sort of crap will continue to exist. It needs to be ended because failure to do so will ultimately remove any legitimacy the public service has claim to. Down that road lies something very nasty, sad and expensive for all of us.

  126. David Obendorf

    December 2, 2017 at 1:43 am

    Now back to [b]Richard Kopf[/b]:

    Richard Kopf is no Dr Lozo. Richard claims to be Tasmanian and says he saw and reported a fox at Friendly Beaches (East Coast) in 2013. He mustn’t be an Australian citizen because he’s not on any electoral roll in Tasmania [Kopfs are a rarity in Tasmania] but he sure thinks he knows the fox issue inside out and the political justifications for the expenditure of tens of millions of taxpayer dollars.

    At comment #176 he describes the fox program as:

    [i]”an insurance policy, that employed 23 or so, out of work, Tasmanians”[/i].

    The full contingent of staff employed to hunt foxes across Tasmania reached [b]over 60[/b] in 2009 and stayed at that level for about 3 years.

    Richard has thrown a few political stones at the fox sceptics and attempted to pedal falsehoods about Mr Rist’s demonstration that importing freshly killed foxes into Tasmania was not only easy to do but that such importations were not unlawful. By this one courageous act Mr Rist demonstrated to the then Minister for Primary Industries Bryan Green the flaws in the fox program. Any embarrassment to the Department was caused by Minister Green himself who personally used this incident to demonstrate the ineffectiveness of quarantine protocols to his department staff. Inexplicably, despite this defect in the law relating to fox carcass importations, the law was not altered for another 6 years. The most regrettable part to this demonstration was that Mr Rist subsequently became a soft target for some unconscionable bullying that lasted until well after 2010.

    The fact remains dead fox material could be lawfully brought to Tasmania for the whole period that the Fox Taskforce was trying to find physical evidence of fox presence in Tasmania. How can this be explained?

    In 2009 attempts by CEO of the Invasive Animals CRC Dr [b]Tony Peacock[/b] to publicly ridicule Mr Rist were simply deplorable. As time has gone on Mr Rist’s 2009 claims that imported fox scats were used to deliberately falsify field collected evidence by FEP staff are now fully supported. The worst offender (faecal fooler) only resigned from DPIPWE in May 2017 after a dossier of evidence was presented to him through the office of the Secretary of the Department of Justice, [b]Simon Overland[/b].

  127. William Boeder

    December 2, 2017 at 12:46 am

    #237. Yes Jack, the metadata relative to the (pseudo “A Victorian”) being from the single self-same computer as has been suggested, will provide the confirmation of who owns the computer that sent off the emails submitted by either or both as may be, from Dr Peter Lozo then the “A Victorian.”
    This same will be found in the received metadata relative to each of the submitted comments from the supposed 2 different persons.
    #233. spikey, can we have some more of your poetic styled stanza-like writings if you please?
    Squark’ Squark’ said the Squarkx.

  128. William Boeder

    December 2, 2017 at 12:10 am

    #180. Dr Peter Lozo, an action deplorable by you in your comment as noted and published on this forum in where you have my name included in that sentence that implies a justification for assessing myself to be of similar unwarranted notoriety as that …
    Your desire in having your flippant unwarranted characterization of myself depicted in such manner is something I will not condone.
    Therefore if you could please correct this erroneous association that has you place my name oh so close to a person that I least respect, then that I find this reflective of your many other guesstimations held toward a goodly number of other attendees to this forum.
    Furthermore, there is the fact that I submit my comments based on my own perceptions and researched facts (in regard to both the SNF case and the subject matter concerning the Fox follies) than by being mesmerised by the nonsense and deceptions knowingly engaged in by this Lib/Lab State government.
    This being the basis chosen by me to submit my comments, seem to appear to you in a manner you find contrary to your frequent use of “the power of suggestion” antics.

    Given that I abhor any notion of “apprehended bias” that has from time to time appeared in your comments submitted to each of the aforementioned subject case matters, I contend that my views are far superior to those that you proffer that remain skewed in their bias and as such are quite void of proper legal interpretation.

    (edited)

  129. Jack

    December 1, 2017 at 11:35 pm

    #232 Lozo continues:

    “A further thought: I was impersonated on Twitter about 3 months ago by someone from Tasmania. The Editor of TT became aware of this because a group of friends from Hobart got pissed off at me in relation to a matter concerning another subject (SNF case) and there was a open animosity on a TT blog that lasted for a week or so.

    How would I know that some twitt(s) from Tasmania or elsewhere isn’t/aren’t still messing around with me on TT by copying my writing style, etc. ”

    The short answer to that Lozo is that should ‘A Victorian’ and ‘Dr Lozo’ have used the same computer to send their messages it is quite a simple matter to prove with electronic fingerprints. Let’s call it empirical evidence shall we? That’s the sort of evidence that all manner of verbiage and squirming will not be able to change. It’s also the sort of evidence needed to test the existence of foxes in Tasmania.

    So how very poetic that you are about to be condemned by empirical evidence when you have done your level best to condemn others who have demanded it for so many other matters.

  130. Jack

    December 1, 2017 at 11:19 pm

    #228 Lozo says:

    “And no, I am not A Victorian (I got the gist of what you were implying in #138).”

    Now, get of my case!

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo (Adelaide) on 02/12/17 at 04:53 PM

    That’s right, you are not ‘a Victorian’ – you posted as ‘A Victorian’ as a pseudonym. …

    In fact I feel confident that the Editor of this site is considering the matter. I shall wait with interest as he and his associate look at the evidence. I’m happy to leave the matter in their hands as they are indeed people of integrity.

    (edited)

  131. Dr Peter Lozo

    December 1, 2017 at 9:46 pm

    Simon,

    Thank you.

    The right is yours to keep. I won’t take that from you.

    Regards,
    Peter

  132. Simon Warriner

    December 1, 2017 at 9:25 pm

    Dr Lozo, I copied and pasted what was there, at the time. I accept your correction of your error and withdraw my response to your mistaken posting and that which flows from it specifically. It is only fair that I do so.

    However.

    My comments regarding diminishing my right to voice an opinion based on my lack of a tertiary education are going to stand.

    As do all my other comments.

  133. spikey

    December 1, 2017 at 9:16 pm

    #230

    fair call
    i hope kopf cops it

    personally i’m feeling pretty damn disaffected about DPIPWE, and i’ve never worked there

    its more about the bullying, and the lying, and the cover ups and the laying of poison to kill ‘threats to wildlife’, and the gaslighting and defamatory insinuations that disaffects me

    and i’m not of the ‘innocent mistake, just a money maker for the crew, harmless prank’ type point of view

    i take this very very seriously
    they poisoned threatened wildlife
    to protect threatened wildlife
    from smoke and mirrors and salaries

    can I volunteer to do their jailtime as a protest?

  134. Dr Peter Lozo (Adelaide)

    December 1, 2017 at 9:04 pm

    A Further and Final Statement

    This was part of my private email to Dr Obendorf a short time ago:

    David,

    A further thought: I was impersonated on Twitter about 3 months ago by someone from Tasmania. The Editor of TT became aware of this because a group of friends from Hobart got pissed off at me in relation to a matter concerning another subject (SNF case) and there was a open animosity on a TT blog that lasted for a week or so.

    How would I know that some twitt(s) from Tasmania or elsewhere isn’t/aren’t  still messing around with me on TT by copying my writing style, etc. 

    I prefer to stick to the topic unless my reputation and personal safety is threatened. 

    Cheers,
    Peter

  135. Ian Rist

    December 1, 2017 at 8:47 pm

    Re # 217 You claim

    “The incident was reported in The Advocate, the Examiner and boasted about by you in TT”

    The ‘incident’ was never reported in The Advocate or The Examiner…so wrong again.
    It was recorded in the Hansard of the Parliament but never received any newspaper print until one Matt Marrison (Fox Eradication Media man) stuffed up by raising the issue in The Mercury Public Opinion column claiming an event that happened in 2003 happened at Christmas 2009.
    Bryan Green really gave him a hiding over that little fuck up.

    Actually Dick Kopf t was to prove to my ‘mate’ Bryan Green (then Minister for DPIPWE) who visited my property just how easy it was to bring in ‘fox evidence’.

    There is a pattern here, it is always the Greenie type Gnome polishers that want to promote their belief to others that ‘foxes are here’.
    Why is that so Julius Sumner Miller ? Could it be that it helped keep their Greenie mates in jobs?
    I always wondered about some of the types the FEP/FFTF employed, I knew some of them from their shooting /hunting background… they were bloody hopeless.
    Wouldn’t hit a barn if they were standing in it and couldn’t track an elephant in snow.

  136. David Obendorf

    December 1, 2017 at 8:23 pm

    [b]Richard Kopf[/b] made this statement at #176 – [i]’There are only two writers perpetuating the case against DPIPWE most of the others are written by either of these two or under their guidance. … Dr Obendorf is one of the two and the history of his disaffection with DPIPWE can easily be found by searching the web. No secret there.'[/i]

    [b]I have not written any comments on Tasmanian Times fox articles under any other name than in my own. Nor have I asked others to write ‘under my guidance’.[/b] I consider Mr Kopf’s comment a malicious slur.

    I left DPIPWE in 1997 and in 2003 I was commissioned by the same Department to prepare a report for the Chief Veterinary Officer on Tasmania’s preparedness and response capability to an animal disease emergency; the report made 37 recommendations, they were all accepted. That report is available online. Hardly an indication of any ‘disaffection with DPIPWE.’

  137. spikey

    December 1, 2017 at 8:15 pm

    squark squark

    did the fox/dinghy look different colours under google earths twee light mode

    here’s more facts than you need that are of questionable relevence

    what was the point again?

    yeah mate, foxes come out in different lighting conditions

    but nobodies found any
    and there’s a heap of names
    look real bad about now
    despite their pretense at appearances

    if this is the farces last stand
    its as much of a joke as the rest

    so lets fill the thread with long repetitive water muddying claims that unsubstantiated 10 year old sightings are suddenly ‘critical new information’ and those hooch smoking non scientific skeptics are just trying to be trouble makers ignorant of new information

    squark squark

  138. Dr Peter Lozo (Adelaide)

    December 1, 2017 at 6:53 pm

    NOTE: my statement at the bottom of #142

    “And no, I am not A Victorian (I got the gist of what you were implying in #138).”

    Now, get of my case!

  139. garrystannus@hotmail.com

    December 1, 2017 at 5:35 pm

    BUT DON’T BE SILLY…
    Simon W. at #193 wrote that my use of a definition of civil twilight was “silly”: No, in my view, it’s not silly. The definition of twilight which I quoted and for which I provided a link accords with AA’s (USNO) definition [Here]:

    Civil twilight is defined to begin in the morning, and to end in the evening when the center of the Sun is geometrically 6 degrees below the horizon. This is the limit at which twilight illumination is sufficient, under good weather conditions, for terrestrial objects to be clearly distinguished; at the beginning of morning civil twilight, or end of evening civil twilight, the horizon is clearly defined and the brightest stars are visible under good atmospheric conditions in the absence of moonlight or other illumination. In the morning before the beginning of civil twilight and in the evening after the end of civil twilight, artificial illumination is normally required to carry on ordinary outdoor activities.

    But Simon, just in case you were mistaking the reason for my having posted that information back in my #188, I point out that it was to assist with assessing Jack’s (#135) claim that “at 5.20 pm it would have been dark”. I admit to having been slightly uncomfortable with this ‘would have been’ statement of Jack’s, so I checked it. I didn’t bother checking his ‘willyweather’ resource, as I have found that the ‘weatherunderground’ site provides a range of detailed observations ’round the clock’ at half-hourly intervals. I recommend it to anyone who wants to search the weather behind a particular event.

    [For example, I have just viewed the following information for Hobart Airport, midnight Jan 4-5, 2013: The temperature was 29C; dew point 9C; humidity 18%; barometric pressure: 1000 hPa; visibility: 20 km; wind direction: North; wind speed: 27.8 km/h; conditions: smoke. The day before, at 3:00 p.m., we see the temp at 39C and the wind, having peaked after 1:30 p.m. at 46.3 km/h, lessened to 37 km/m by the time of that temperature reading. There is also at 3:00 p.m. the first mention of smoke, on that day. More than 60 properties were destroyed at Dunalley that day. For access to such records, go to ‘ https://www.wunderground.com/ ‘ and then to the ‘More’ drop-down tab and from that choose ‘Historical Weather’: the rest (i.e. the location and date, is up to you, the reader… (smile!)]

    But the point, Simon, in case it gets missed, is that what Jack was apparently disputing was whether foxes appear in daylight. He told ‘A Victorian’ that the ‘Victorian’s example of a daylight fox was actually at a time of day when according to Jack, “…it would have been dark”. That in my view, is not quite the case, Simon. According to the science, it would not have been ‘dark’. I had also checked the google pixs for the terrain surrounding the highway … is is flat. The question in my mind was whether nocturnal creatures are out and about so soon after sunset (16 min.), i.e., was ‘A Victorian’s’ example successful in establishing whether foxes are sometimes out and about in daylight, or whether it failed because by that time, in Jack’s view “it would have been dark”. And where (I was asking myself) did ’16 min. after sunset’ fit into the equation? I had formed no view on that, though in retrospect I realise Jim Nelson’s account as being an instance of one fox – albeit a stealthy fox – being seen in daylight … in Tasmania.

  140. garrystannus@hotmail.com

    December 1, 2017 at 5:31 pm

    Readers and Editor: I’m getting a wee bit confused. I don’t know who the ‘#211 Simon’ is that Jack (#219) refers to, but I’m Garry and #211 is my comment … I haven’t got a clue what Jack is talking about. As a matter of fact, he did the same at #89, referring to my own #85 linking it to the name Kelvin and suggesting that Richard Kopf and Kelvin were one and the same. Is he now saying that ‘A Victorian’ is also posting under another name on this thread? By the way, I think that the remainder of Jack’s quite disparaging #219 comment lies quite ‘beyond the Pale’.

  141. Jack

    December 1, 2017 at 5:29 pm

    #218 … “I often travel to Victoria. My family comes from Yea!”

    That’s funny. Last time you said that your family were from South Gippsland. That’s where you used to see foxes remember? I’d hate you to deviate from your story line. That’s how you knew that your sighting of a fox in broad daylight at Friendly Beaches was genuine. Remember, the one that was never officially reported? That’s why you wrote to The Mercury under your pseudonym promoting the Fox Eradication Program. Interesting that. Because if it turned out that you have been doing all this while not disclosing your official association with the fox program, isn’t that deception? Or is it fraud? You may like to re-read the article this thread is attached to.

  142. Ian Rist

    December 1, 2017 at 4:55 pm

    Re # 216 …
    Re #183 … “The incident was reported in The Advocate, the Examiner and boasted about by you in TT”
    Wrong again. The incident was NEVER reported in The Advocate or The Examiner newspapers.
    Prove it.

  143. David Obendorf

    December 1, 2017 at 4:53 pm

    [b]Richard Kopf[/b] made this statement at #176: [i]’There are only two writers perpetuating the case against DPIPWE most of the others are written by either of these two or under their guidance … Dr Obendorf is one of the two and the history of his disaffection with DPIPWE can easily be found by searching the web. No secret there.'[/i]

    In my view this was a malicious and unfounded slur to me.

    [b]I have not written any comments on Tasmanian Times fox articles under any other name than in my own, nor have I asked others to write ‘under my guidance’.[/b]

    I left DPIPWE in 1997 and in 2003 I was commissioned by the same Department to prepare a report to the Chief Veterinary Officer on Tasmania’s preparedness and response capability to an animal disease emergency; I made some 37 recommendations. The Government accepted all those recommendations and that report is available online. That commission hardly accords with Mr Kopf’s claim of my ‘disaffection with DPIPWE’.

  144. Ian Rist

    December 1, 2017 at 4:36 pm

    What really amuses me is in sixteen years of ‘fox sightings’ not one person with firearm or a camera has produced the incontrovertible fox evidence?
    Or is it simply the people that have ‘shot a fox’ discover close up it was a ginger bushy tailed feral cat?
    This experience actually happened many times with Fox Task Force employees, sometimes believe it or not the incident has been reported on several occasions.
    A previous fox task force senior employee Ken Wright went on the record in Margaret Mittlebach’s book ‘Carnivorous Nights’ and said “we get all these ‘fox sighting’ reports, we go and investigate and shoot a ginger cat and all that ‘white noise’ stops”.

    Ken continued. “What’s happening down here is that we’re getting sightings of things that aren’t foxes coming in as foxes. We’ll go out and spotlight and see a big ginger cat running around. We shoot that cat and the sightings stop. So, it gets rid of the background noise—the sightings that are just nonsense basically”.

  145. David Obendorf

    December 1, 2017 at 4:06 pm

    Dear readers forgive me … I am rather tired.

    Dr Lozo rang me this morning [Saturday 2 Dec] after he read the unedited version of #206. In that comment I had included personal contact details which I invited him to confirm. They were sourced from an open access online search for an address and phone number to a name [b]P. Lozo[/b] residing in Adelaide.

    Readers will know that “Dr Peter Lozo (Adelaide)” has been posting on TT on the Sue Neill-Fraser and the fox articles.

    I do accept the editor’s decision to remove from my comment #106 Dr Lozo’s contact details. The Dr Lozo that spoke to me today confirmed that he was the TT commenter and I thank him for that.

    Determining the identity of Dr Lozo is no small matter because another poster on this thread “Jack” at #192 has alleged that Dr Lozo was also posting as “A Victorian” at #111,112,125,127, 130,132,137,142 & 147.

    If this on-line duopoly was restricted to just banter over the fox debate it might be overlooked, but another poster “Jack Jolly” went further at #178:

    But to hell with foxes. I don’t really care in this case as this foolishness is very easy to expose. Any informed person can do so. It’s pointless to deny that you need evidence to back claims. [b]No, something else concerns me much more.[/b]

    If someone is sitting in jail and about to appeal their case it is simply natural justice to ensure that we don’t have self-promoting and self-proclaimed experts offering to dissect the ‘physics’ of their case and claiming that they are guilty. I find it quite troubling that someone like Dr Lozo has interposed himself in a legal case with SNF [Sue Neill-Fraser]. If SNF is in the process of an appeal it is repugnant to me that a person displaying duplicity and false testimony of their own expert status is given a platform for debating the guilt or innocence of someone who has been convicted of murder! I have no view of what that [SNF] appeal outcome might or should be. I am only concerned about justice being done and the integrity of information in public debates.

    So, I would like to put this to the Tasmanian Times Editor. Could you please assess whether my conclusions about Dr Lozo have merit? Do we indeed have a case here where someone has written their own supporting testimonial via a pseudonym? If this is the case, does Tasmanian Times recognise a public duty in respect of protecting the integrity of the SNF appeal to ensure that persons who demonstrate equivocal integrity are not given a platform to comment upon a legal matter that will determine the fate of a person whose guilt or innocence must be determined by men and women of the highest integrity?’ [/i]

    In my opinion this is the more serious matter.

    I never wanted to see Tasmanian Times become a place where multi-headed cyber-beings could exist.

    There is long list of pseudonyms used by commenters on Tasmanian Times on fox articles published over the last decade or so. Tasmanian Times has allowed anonymity for commenters and I have always objected to this permissive practice as it does create unnecessary animosity and confusion … and, in my view, does harm the readership. Thank you.

    (edited)

  146. Jack

    December 1, 2017 at 4:00 pm

    #211 Simon … I like your approach. Let the madness stand on the record.

    (anonymous comment edited)

  147. Jack

    December 1, 2017 at 3:28 pm

    Dr Lozo …

    (edited)

  148. Richard Kopf

    December 1, 2017 at 3:19 pm

    Re #183 … The incident was reported in The Advocate, the Examiner and boasted about by you in TT. Your agro with the Government spread far and wide.
    Yes I was wrong to state two foxes, it was three you said at the time.

    Smuggle? convey (someone or something) somewhere secretly and illicitly eg “He smuggled out a message”

    I will stick to the dictionary definition of smuggle. Were they not covered when you left Victoria? Did you declare them at Station Pier?
    I often travel to Victoria. My family comes from Yea! I never pack dead foxes in my luggage though.

    If the whole charade was not to embarrass the Government, what then?

  149. Dr Peter Lozo (Adelaide)

    December 1, 2017 at 3:17 pm

    Hi Kelvin,

    Since I am not from Tasmania it would help if you were to say a few words about the location of the sun with respect to the direction you were looking at when driving. 

    Things such as whether both of you were wearing sunglasses.

    Approximate speed you were travelling at, approximate time period that the animal was in your sight.

    When the animal hesitated how long was it still.

    Was it cloudy?

    Was it dusty, etc.

    I know that this was 10 years ago and that your memory would have faded. It might help if Louse writes an independent summary and then the two of you can submit a joint summary.

    Cheers,

    Peter

    Ps: given that this was a daylight sighting I place much more emphasis on it then I do on Judith’s evening sighting much further north.

  150. lola moth

    December 1, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    Kelvin, it doesn’t matter whether you can pinpoint the exact place you saw the fox or not. Whether you saw it in the most inaccessible area of forest or if it was sitting on a café terrace in Devonport sipping a latte, it makes no difference if there is no evidence other than your sincere belief in what you saw. If there was one hair or scat from the forest, or some DNA from the coffee cup it would help prove that what you saw was a fox, but without any evidence your observation is only one of many that can’t be verified.

    There is such a large chasm between what we believe and what we can show to be true that it is a waste of time trying to convince others that our beliefs are fact.

  151. Dr Peter Lozo (Adelaide)

    December 1, 2017 at 3:10 pm

    Simon,

    If you haven’t noticed I self corrected with a brief follow-up post at #191 as soon as I realised the error and well before your posted a comment on that paragraph of mine an hour or so later.

    If you combine my original para with the follow-up correction then you would have realised that the paragraph should have been

    Unless someone can prove that the skull (and the scats from the nearby geographical region) were ‘planted’ then I would say that the Tasmanian Government had a valid reason to believe that they had to act and spend $ Millions on the eradication program. That is just my opinion based on the data currently available to me..

    People make errors. I made an error. I self corrected that error after I noticed it.

    You made an error too by jumping in even though my correction would have been visible to you before you posted your comment last night.

    Am too busy to address nonsensical comments because people hadn’t read what else I posted.

  152. garrystannus@hotmail.com

    December 1, 2017 at 2:43 pm

    ARE THERE … WERE THERE … FOXES IN TASMANIA?
    In my view: Over the years, there have been a number of live foxes in Tasmania. I don’t know whether there has been more than one live fox in the state at any one time and I don’t know if there are any foxes on the island now. The two attempts to release a number of foxes into the wild may have occurred and the formation of the Fox Task Force was a natural response to that possibility. The police investigation (under then Commander Dean) could not substantiate the importation claims because one of their sources of information declined to be further involved in the investigation for fear of physical violence from one of the persons under scrutiny. A number of sightings of foxes (e.g. Spencer, Nelson & King) can be accepted as valid. These sightings do not assist in determining whether some of the individual foxes seen were part of those alleged importations, and/or part of a ‘breeding’ population or just single individuals which had escaped from a ship or shipping container. Though it is often claimed that no foxes have been trapped, shot or photographed, the account of Erick Bosworth, if it is true, can be seen perhaps as the exception ‘proving’ the rule. The ‘de Little’ interview of Bosworth seemed to show a man speaking truthfully and I’m inclined to accept his account as true.

    There needs to be an Inquiry into the DPIPWE and its handling of the fox question. That should also include, in my view, the role of politicians, police and members of the public in regard to this fox issue and the (outstanding at this stage) matters to be contained in the ICT Report. The ICT Report was reportedly promised to us ‘later in the year’… there’s 29 days to go and they’ll have to get a move on! An Inquiry should also in my view include the outcome of the Expression of Concern regarding Sarre’s 2012 ‘Foxes are now widespread…’ And on the need for “fox-proof enclosures around the RORO ports” etc., I totally agree with Simon W…

  153. Kelvin Jones

    December 1, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    To Fox doubters … I have been looking on Google earth to try to help with a more precise location. Sorry I cannot be precise because it would not good evidence. Both Louis and I are very sincere with this fox observation.

    Believe me when I say it, but I did not believe how much extreme controversy it has generated. It is obviously not in the “interest”of some, if not all, belligerent entities in this thread.

    Back to location, we were on a long dead straight stretch (fact both rear view and forward). Looking at maps, we must have been well out of Oatlands as there are no straights of sufficient length before Oatlands.

    Going by the surrounding terrain the straight between Ross and Campbell Town seems the most likely area.

    Please remember we were on holiday on easily an navigated journey. Time and locations were not being noted with any detail.

    I have now come to the point where I am taking Simon Warrener’s advice and have stocked up on popcorn.

  154. Simon Warriner

    December 1, 2017 at 1:26 pm

    Dr Lozo, It is notable that you chose to ignore my response to your comment and focus of Stanuss’s. I suggest you go back and re-read the comment of yours that I was taking the piss out of, and address its rather laughable shortcoming. Seriously.

    One of my less credentialed mates has a phrase for those with lots of credentials and bugger all common sense: “educated beyond their natural ability”. There is another observation that also applies to those using the “I have a degree/doctorate/title argument to diminish the position of others, those above look down and see only shit, those below look up and see only arseholes.

    As for Stannus’s quoted defense of a sighting by someone else in a circumstance where he was not present, and your attack against me for pointing out it’s dubious quality, I would point out that both your arguments have one glaring and very pertinent problem, namely that you were not there either and so, by your own reasoning your arguments for are about as valuable as my arguments, against, based on personal observation in similar circumstances.

    And thus we are back to the nub of this whole matter: the quality of the actual evidence which is entirely distinct from whatever else is brought to the discussion.

    More popcorn, and perhaps some beer later in the day.

    Oh, and Ian, re #195 … I say let it stand, that way my response has context. I have spent a lot of my working life dealing with complex problems in conjunction with tertiary educated professionals, and whenever I have seen that sort of response it has been followed up some time later by an embarrassing revelation and then a retraction, and not by the person at whom it was aimed, but by the person making it.

  155. garrystannus@hotmail.com

    December 1, 2017 at 1:12 pm

    JIM AND THE FOX
    Jim [Here @ #…] told us

    “Unfortunately, those who don’t believe foxes are here are wrong. I have recently seen one myself, and I have received several reliable sightings from people whose observations I trust completely going back to the 1990s.
    I do however agree that the Fox Taskforce is a farce. I know several people who have been involved with it, and they report how hopelessly it is going about this extremely important task of trying to eliminate foxes in Tasmania. Using the baits not only potentially puts native animals at risk, but there is little evidence that the baits are of much interest to foxes or are actually being taken by them. The question that has to be asked is why foxes would be interested in these baits when there is a smorgasbord of tasty, live prey there for the taking. Put a fox together with a bait and a bandicoot, and see which one appeals!

    Given that there is a chance we might soon have a new Minister with a brain cell or two, perhaps we can get a real taskforce together that isn’t concentrating on the incredibly easy but surely futile option of laying these unproved and potentially harmful baits.

    jim nelson
    Posted by Jim Nelson  on  05/04/10  at  04:18 PM”

    and then with more detail, Jim posted:

    The sighting was at Epping Forest in the Tom Gibson reserve. It was a field naturalists outing looking at the orchids and other features in the reserve.
    The fox was moving in a typical crouching manner trying to use as much cover as possible. At first I couldn’t figure out what it was, but then I had a full on side view for a couple of seconds and the last thing I saw was the unmistakable fox’s tail.
    Another field naturalist saw the same fox independently from me as it moved away through the bush towards him. As I looked around for scats, prints or a kill, he came upon me looking shocked and said “I have just seen a fox!”
    We reported it immediately to the fox task force by mobile phone. Then we looked around for scats but didn’t find anything but wallaby scats. I believe the task force went out the next day with a dog, but didn’t find anything.
    Nearby at Nile, a friend of mine also saw a fox while we were counting Forester Kangaroos a few years ago. He watched it through binoculars for a few minutes. He is a former Park Ranger, and a totally reliable observer. He took the Task Force to the area and a den was found. I think they laid some baits.
    I tried shooting foxes as a young lad in the U.S. while hunting rabbits. I never actually killed one, and I rarely even managed a shot at one, such is their incredible guile and cryptic nature.
    I realise that we now have a “belief system” that there are no foxes in Tasmania. Look guys, they are actually here, and it is imperative that we do something REAL about it. Let’s force a REAL review of the Task Force from the new government!
    Jim Nelson
    President, Central North Field Naturalists Inc.
    Posted by Jim Nelson  on  06/04/10  at  08:53 AM

    I’m reminded of Ionesco’s Rhinocéros in which the logiciens (philosophers) argue about whether sightings in the streets are real or not. Meanwhile Nazism became more and more fashionable, and spread until it was too late. That’s one of my responses to O’Brien’s (#98) and David’s (#100) Scientism. The ordinary man and woman counts. We must assess everything based on its individual merits. For those who would trust accounts from people such as Jim (and I certainly do) I would say that the important thing about Jim’s account is that in April 2010 Jim Nelson told Tas Times readers that he had recently seen a fox in that Reserve at Epping. This is quite important, in my view, since it comes not at the time of the alleged importations, not at the time of Chris Spencer’s sighting (2001?), but quite some years later, and it is made in the company of other field naturalists, one of whom, not in the same location as Jim in the Reserve, also saw the fox. These sightings cannot be dismissed as ginger cats and that sort of blarney, in my view. A reasonable person is entitled to conclude that as late as 2010, there was at least one fox in the Epping Forest region. The Tom Gibson Reserve is some 20 km SE of Longford, in a region associated with the fox: i.e. the import claims, Chris Spencer’s sighting (2001), 3 scats found 2008 and then Jim Nelson’s sighting in 2010…

  156. Ian Rist

    December 1, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    Re # 207 … Thanks Lyndal for some some very sensible observations. I do agree that only a Royal Commission will reveal the whole truth about this terrible stain which sadly is tainting all Tasmanians.

    The Integrity Commission (in my opinion) was just a ‘let us all feel good’ smokescreen put up by a previous Government that was morally and ethically bankrupt.

    Whilst ever there is Tasmanian Government and Tasmanian bureaucratic influence it might as well be Dracula in charge of the blood bank.

    There simply are too many in too deep and too many with too much to lose and hence that is why it is so tightly controlled.

  157. spikey

    December 1, 2017 at 12:39 pm

    garry stannus is the long term fox supporter i referred to earlier

    whilst everyone is welcome to their opinions, sorry garry, my opinion is that you have been deliberately obstructive, obtuse, nitpicking, one-eyed and otherwise acting in a highly suspicious manner

    i do wonder if you’re mates with that guy who did the cough cough ‘impartial’ investigative video, with it’s somewhat suggestive questionable conclusions

    or indeed if he was mates with any of the peeps involved

    anyway you must be happy to finally have some support, shame it’s from such credible sources as the curious dr lozo and honorable richard kopf

    kopf stepping it up a notch in attempting to divert the entire fox fiasco into a ‘disgruntled ex employee’ scenario (see shill 102)

    WHY have the shills stepped it up a notch?

    perhaps they have nothing to lose
    now their credibility
    is completely
    shot to pieces

    perhaps they’ve an inkling
    time has come

  158. garrystannus@hotmail.com

    December 1, 2017 at 12:34 pm

    JUSTIN AND THE SNAKE
    I was driving home into the Liffey once, and coming just to where Jordan’s dairy was and where the road twists and dips, I saw a snake on the left half of the road, above the dip. Just as I was getting close to it, it began to move slowly towards the centre of the road and so I went to drive around it, while straddling the centre. It’s not a real good place to ‘cut the corner’, because of the dip in the bend and the hawthorn hedge potentially obscuring an oncoming car coming up from the dip. So I tried to get past quickly while keeping my eye out for any oncoming. But that bloody snake got a wriggle on! I had to steer even wider, still looking for oncoming. As I passed around or over it, I looked back … and there I saw young Justin Brxxxndale, just emerged from the hawthorn hedge, laughing his head off and reeling-in his snake-on-a-string.

    In the interests of science, knowing anachronistically that 25 years later no reader of Tasmanian Times, nor of the Journal of Applied Ecology would ever believe me unless I’d had my experience acknowledged by peer review of one form or another, I halted my car immediately. I had the intention of finding out how long was the piece of string, what were the dimensions and distinguishing characteristics of the serpent itself, and why the bloody hell – fine joke and all – he might not have chosen a better spot (read: ‘safer section of road’) to play his Grade Four Prank…

    It was a source of some disappointment to me, that, as I got out of the car, young Justin, who must have just remembered a pressing engagement, found a hole in the hedge and took off over the back, across the wide paddock which led over to the (Liffey) River. In what I hope were kindly tones, I called on him to just wait, and to let me have ‘just a few words’ with him. Poor boy… he must have had some sort of hearing problem, for my scientific entreaties had not the slightest effect on him – if anything … he seemed to run faster towards the river!

    I turned my frustrated steps back to the Kingswood. That faithful car, bought for $250 when we were in a real jam, served us well and truly, doing/attempting all that was required of it … until its heart broke while overtaking on the straight into Epping Forest. Perhaps it had seen the fox that Jim N. and his field naturalist mate saw (separately) down that way.

    Ah, those were the days! I guess I should mention that Simon F. (author of that DPIPWE report) who was a neighbour in those days) was kind enough to attend one day when Marie spotted a serpent too near the house and called for help – as you do when you’re alone in the bush with six offspring. (I was at work, at the mill.) Simon quickly attended (probably with Chris S. who in those days lived/worked on the same property as Simon, and who is also known-of by some of TT”s correspondents on this fox topic.) Marie recalls that Simon had come, had removed the snake and had expressed an interest in collecting the venom from it. Of course, we can all relax and think to ourselves … ‘ah, there goes Garry, whacked out as usual up there on the mountain’ and so forth. Did Simon collect a serpent? Did Jim see a fox? …

  159. Lyndall Rowley

    December 1, 2017 at 12:20 pm

    Thanks Ian #190 …

    Curious, I went searching online for info on the current Integrity Commission inquiry. But even ‘curiouser’ was to discover the Integrity Commission’s website with no information at all on any current investigations. The commission explains up-front that it won’t reveal what it was currently investigating and it would release findings when it thought it appropriate to do so … a dead end.

    Righto, I then click on another browsing hit and find myself in TT and facing an article by Nugget Toombs .. hmmm, this gets curiouser and curiouser … it seems to be written by an insider, a public servant, who is possibly in breach somewhat of their service agreement by giving details of a presentation that casts the Integrity Commission in a very poor light.

    This is indeed a very disturbing account of the role, priorities, attitudes (culture?) and position of the Integrity Commission as presented by its own representative from the Prevention, Education and Research branch. I encourage others interested in integrity in government to read it in full if they haven’t already.

    http://oldtt.pixelkey.biz/index.php?/weblog/article/I-didnt-know-we-had-an-Integrity-Commission/

    As such, I am very sad to say, I now have no confidence whatsoever in Tasmania’s Integrity Commission to get to the heart of some of your concerns, Ian. I strongly doubt the commission will find any misconduct or impropriety or other code breach within the FEP or with any others in connection with this matter. Well, that’s just my ‘perception’ as formed after reading the TT article and comments therein and elsewhere.

    And perceptions DO matter. As to how much, just ask people from the Prevention, Education and Research branch of the commission who are working diligently to improve public perceptions of poor standards within State Government and the public sector.

    Way back in my comment in #41 I reiterated a list provided by David O. (#37) identifying those involved in the fox hunt saga, some of whom may still need to answer questions and be held to account – for some, at the very least in a moral responsibility sense. I then suggested calling upon (petitioning?) the Governor of Tasmania to order a Tasmanian Royal Commission under the Commissions of Inquiry Act 1995.

    http://www8.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdb/au/legis/tas/consol_act/coia1995283/

    After knowing what I do now about the Integrity Commission, as well as knowing that the Governor is completely separate to Government (i.e. as regards to the separation of powers in the Australian Constitution), I am now more convinced than ever that only a Tasmanian Royal Commission can reveal a whole account and the full truth in this matter.
    Otherwise it’s just Groundhog Day and this sorry tale will never come to a satisfactory end…

  160. David Obendorf

    December 1, 2017 at 11:33 am

    I phoned [b]Kelvin Jones[/b] yesterday and had a very civil conversation with the gentleman who claimed he and his companion Louis saw a fox somewhere along the Midlands Highway on 26 December 2007 about mid-morning.

    I would be grateful to Kelvin if he might write in his own words (as he told me) the description of the animal, the appearance features and behaviours of the animal in that moment when it came into their line of sight and crossed the highway such that both he and Louis concluded it was a fox. I ask this because there are persons who have studied foxes extensively in rural and peri-urban environments of Australia and these individuals are better able to comment on the Kelvin & Louis animal sighting.

    Based on nothing but this single sighting many tens of comments have been generated on this thread. I note that the last fox program manager (Craig Elliott) publicly conceded that many reported sightings made to the program’s hotline “FOXOUT” were indeed [b]misidentifications of other animals[/b]. He made this statement at a meeting of the Australia & New Zealand Forensic Science Society in Hobart on 13 October 2011 where Mr Elliott was a guest speaker. He referred to the ‘ginger cat problem’ and the questionable credibility of many animal sighting reports.

    His comments concur with the inability of fox program staff to find any corroborating evidence from any of the over 4000 reported animal sightings in Tasmania since about 2001.

    Of course an animal sighting near Longford was described as the “triggering event” that started the 15-year fox hunt. Mr Nick Mooney was the recipient of that report from a Mr Chris Spencer in May 2001. It must also be said that Mr Mooney has always referred to animal sighting reports as “soft evidence”. I have a personal list of individuals who contacted me about their animal sightings, several with a staunchly-held belief that they saw a fox in Tasmania during this period (2002 onward). But, I say again, there is no verification of fox presence that was produced by follow up investigations from any of them.

    I note that Dr Lozo (#105) has asked what [b]Dr Bob Brown[/b] might have to say on this matter. I presume Dr Lozo is referring to the well-known Tasmanian who has lived in Tasmania since the early 1970s. Bob had many interests and occupations such as medical practitioner in northern Tasmania, part-time thyalcine searcher, full-time State politician, then Greens Senator and leader of the Australian Greens Party in Canberra]. Dr Lozo might enjoy reading: [i]”The Report of the Search for the Thylacine that was prepared by Jeremey Griffiths, James Malley and Robert Brown”[/i] (dated 17 December 1972).

    I discovered one ‘Lozo’ phone listing in the Adelaide area, … There is a Dr Peter Lozo, Applied Physicist/Perceptual Scientist and Consulting Scientist (Perceptual Neural Dynamics). I discover Dr Lozo had written a paper with a University of Adelaide academic on [i]”A robust approach for detecting the edges of outdoor wire fences”[/i] and Dr Lozo has affiliation with the Defence Science & Technology Organisation in South Australia. Is this you, Dr Peter Lozo?

    I offer my contact details if he wishes to contact me: 03 62345561 or dobendor@iinet.net.au. Thank you.

    (edited)

  161. Ian Rist

    December 1, 2017 at 11:16 am

    In my opinion stupidity is an age old illness, too …

  162. Ian Rist

    December 1, 2017 at 11:11 am

    FOX ERADICATION PROGRAM REVIEW PANEL
    REPORT
    5 March 2013
    “The Panel has seen no evidence that either hoaxing or faulty science are involved and, in the absence of any such evidence, it is essential that a precautionary
    approach be adopted and for fox eradication efforts to proceed. To do otherwise would be irresponsible given the catastrophic implications of foxes becoming established in the State”.

    Well they were easily fooled is about all this deserves.
    The ‘fox evidence’they relied on has now been deemed fabricated, hoaxed or tampered with.
    Imported and recycled fox scats, imported fox carcasses, a single skull recovered from an office drawer in NW Tasmania originally found on top of a stump at Interlaken with no other supporting evidence such as skin or bones, chicken blood contaminated with fox urine and the footprints of the resident Jack Russell terrier at ‘Woodstock Lagoon’. I spoke to the person (… …) who was there when the footprints were ‘collected’.
    He even had some of the muddy ‘fox footprints’ on the bonnet of his car.

    Give up fellas, you are just embarrassing yourselves more and more by the day.

    (edited)

  163. Ian Rist

    December 1, 2017 at 10:40 am

    Re # 199
    Great stuff spikey, about as close as it gets.

    the louder they squark
    and self congratulate
    shitgibbon bullshit
    the deeper they sink

    All the recent blow ins are really making it hard on themselves, they would be better of and it would be far less embarrassing for them if they stick with subjects they know something about whatever that may be.

    Re # 195 The personal attack on Simon Warriner is dirty and lowlife,if I were Simon I would ask for it to be removed.

    Not all, but some of the dumbest people I have known have Dr in front of their name, some actually are quiet eccentric.

    … they think they are suddenly experts on everything.

    (edited)

  164. garrystannus@hotmail.com

    December 1, 2017 at 9:44 am

    SCIENTISM
    O’Brien had (#98) given a link to a blog by a person called Sharon Hill. Her article surprises, however. On my reading, Hill rejects the reactions (by at least some of the sceptics) who tell people such as Kelvin (various comments in this thread) that what they saw was a ruminant, or reject out-of-hand their account or patronise from the pulpit of ridicule. You will see (in my view), a rejection of the shallow calls to science that Tas Times has been beset with for the last #years. Hill tells us that

    “intelligent science-oriented audiences fall into the habit of scientism. They think science is the best thing ever and can solve all the world’s problems and if we just use science on it, we can fix it. That’s not a viable position. The world doesn’t work that way. But such sentiments reflect our priorities, values, and our position in life.

    Follow her blog to ‘intelligent science oriented audiences fall into the habit of scientism’ [Here] and consider the following

    It’s one of my pet peeves that intelligent, science-oriented audiences fall into the habit of scientism. They think science is the best thing ever and can solve all the world’s problems. And if we just use science on it, we can fix it. That’s not a viable position. The world doesn’t work that way. But such sentiments reflect our priorities, values, and our position in life. Many who support science and critical thinking efforts are well-educated and intelligent and have lived a privileged life compared to the average world citizen. Science has benefited them directly. But they lack perspective. They simply can’t imagine how people could not see the world as they do. It goes the other way, too. Flat-earthers can hardly imagine why they ever believed those pointy-headed scientists and government officials who tell us about space and the universe. Science arguments about flat-earth are almost besides the point. Flat earth belief is something way beyond a simple disagreement about the shape of earth.

    Some people belong to communities because it makes them feel accepted, special, powerful, or smart. Groups can exist just to be in contrast to other groups. I don’t feel good about science- and skeptical-spokespersons and proponents who think it’s OK to act smug, superior, and make fun of others.

    And at the start of that blog, she tells us …

    there is more to thinking and knowing than the scientific method. People who advocate fanatical reliance on science—where all competing methods of gaining knowledge are illegitimate—are practising scientism..

    So we see, time and again, honest humble-contributors, give their ‘incidental fox experience’, only to be derided, or met with outright rejection, as in Ian’s #105 “Because personally I don’t believe you.”, as with David’s ‘cloven-hoof’ riposte or Jack’s special brand of ridicule.

    In my view, such sceptics have a disease: they are not open to fresh, incoming data which is in contradiction to their own ‘fox conspiracy’ narrative. Call it ‘skepticosis’, if you like. In my view, (but please spare me the task of submitting a paper to Lancet on this new take on an age-old illness)) … the pathology of skepticosis includes an interpretive form of ‘confirmation bias’ where fresh data which ostensibly contradicts an already-formed view, is then used – particularly in the case where a conspiracy is alleged — to reinforce the skepticant’s views!

    I warned Kelvin (in my #68) to prepare for all manner of ‘incoming’. Since when are we not allowed to form our own judgments, based on our own life experiences, our knowledge of people, an appreciation that anecdotal evidence has a role to play in developing our beliefs. A scientist’s job, it seems to me, should include assisting in assessing claims such as having seen a putative fox, having discovered a carnivore scat and so on. Members of my family tell me when and where they have seen snakes in the garden, and I believe them naturally, and continue to do so unless new information subsequently surfaces …

  165. Dr Peter Lozo (Adelaide)

    December 1, 2017 at 7:50 am

    The following two paragraphs are from a document on the website provided by Dr Obendorf (I was searching for the word “skull”):

    FOX ERADICATION PROGRAM REVIEW PANEL
    REPORT
    5 March 2013

    Prepared by,
    Max Kitchell
    Mike Braysher
    Andrew Woolnough
    Elissa Cameron

    This skepticism, in the face of considerable physical evidence of fox presence (scats, carcasses, blood, skull, footprints) along with thousands of sightings, seems to be based on either a belief that the scientific analysis is somehow defective and/or that a comprehensive hoax is being perpetrated. Of course, either is theoretically possible, however, both are highly improbable.

    The Panel has seen no evidence that either hoaxing or faulty science are involved and, in the absence of any such evidence, it is essential that a precautionary
    approach be adopted and for fox eradication efforts to proceed. To do otherwise would be irresponsible given the catastrophic implications of foxes becoming established in the State.

    I would kindly appreciate if Dr Obendorf were to point me to the relevant file that addresses my question concerning the fox skull.

  166. Dr Peter Lozo (Adelaide)

    December 1, 2017 at 7:25 am

    ..

    If Dr Obendorf is at all interested in an efficient expedience of our exchange then he would either provide a brief answer to my direct question to him or he would give me the name of the document in that link to which he keeps pointing. He writes a lot on the fox issue but he can’t address a simple question so that we all can see his reasoning on the matter.

  167. spikey

    December 1, 2017 at 1:58 am

    the louder they squark
    and self congratulate
    shitgibbon bullshit
    the deeper they sink

    pieces of eight

  168. David Obendorf

    December 1, 2017 at 1:28 am

    If Dr Lozo has the time to do the necessary research at the website http://www.tasmanianfox.com he might find what he is asking for on the fox skull found near Interlaken. Go nuts, Peter.

    Thank you.

  169. Dr Peter Lozo (Adelaide)

    December 1, 2017 at 12:14 am

    #193

    Have you gone online to check in what direction that car was travelling, where the sun was and whether it was cloudy or did you outdoor training and experience forget to remind you that geometry and the viewing perspective as well as the location of the sun (even 15 minutes after the sunset) are all relevant factors as well as whether the driver was wearing sunglasses, etc? I spend a lot of of time outdoors too but I have a very good scientific understanding of the eye optics, the retina, the lateral geniculate nucleus and the visual cortex as well as how visual perception and object recognition is influenced by environmental conditions, the viewing geometry, etc. I suggest that you do not address me or my comments with your nonsense.

  170. Jack

    December 1, 2017 at 12:01 am

    #176

    This is wonderful. Anonymous Richard Kopf who trolled TT some time back with yet another fox sighting, that was never officially reported of course, claims that he knows that foxes are here. How? Because he says he saw one and would like everyone to take his anonymous word for it.

    Then he skips over the massive amount of evidence and reports written by the fox program’s own scientists and released under an RTI that show it up to be complete bunk. That’s ignored. That’s amazing in itself. Your fox program’s own scientists. Worth keeping that in mind Richard.

    Then Richard Kopf postulates that two people (Mr Rist and Dr Obendorf) are so powerful that they influenced many others in their evil ways. The other dozen or so scientists with the names on papers that are peer reviewed are controlled by them. So is the entire scientific establishment in Tasmania, perhaps the world. Even the CSIRO scientists who have recently concluded that there are no foxes in Tasmania have had their will stolen from them.

    Of course don’t mention that Tasmania Police who debunked the original claims in their own reports that everyone has seen. They were under the hex that Rist and Obendorf brewed up as well.

    Wow, they must be amazing in order to get the ABC to do two National programs demonstrating what a crock of scat the fox program was. Dr Obendorf and Mr Rist are so unbelievably powerful that they have the media stitched up. Incredible!

    Even the science journal that published a paper containing the fox program’s main evidence is under an ‘expression of concern’ and must have fallen under their spell. I don’t know how many people work for a journal, quite a few I would think.

    And of course the Tasmanian Integrity Commission must just do their bidding and whatever these two say, so powerful are they. Ivan Dean is apparently under their control as well, so too is Andew Wilkie and several other politicians and all their staff. They are just zombies remotely controlled by Rist and Obendorf.

    So, how many is that, hundreds of people in positions of influence? Thousands of Tasmanians? Some 85% in the last online survey said that their were no foxes in Tasmania. That’s some serious energy hey?!

    So Richard Kopf has outlined a monstrous conspiracy run by two people as a payback.Two blokes with an axe to grind. It’s all about DPIPWE-hating apparently.

    Now that might tell you something about Richard Kopf’s background hey?

    ALTERNATIVELY could it be that there is not one shred of evidence for the existence of foxes in Tasmania?

    Might an alternative explanation be that Richard Kopf is a person who has a deep vested interest in pretending otherwise and inventing massive conspiracies to cover up something? I wonder what that might be? Mmmm. Let me ask a fake retired maths teacher from Victoria.

    But I do feel sorry for you Richard. It must be bloody hard to have ruined your career chasing a myth. Getting up in public and trotting out nonsense year in year out and now having the world laughing at you. Because it is the world isn’t it Dick? You made The Times in London and your real name is well known.

    Make no mistake Richard Kopf the only thing that might once have saved you was honesty and integrity, but you decided against that some years back didn’t you? You know that too Richard, it’s on the record in black and white. That must be why you are in faux denial and spreading conspiracy theories, attacking honest and hard working Tasmanians who will fight people like you to their last breath.

    Apparently only two Tasmanians were enough to kill off this rubbish. Imagine if a few more of us got together and followed their example! Apparently entire government departments are so weak that they implode when two people demand evidence.

  171. Dr Peter Lozo (Adelaide)

    November 30, 2017 at 11:46 pm

    #192 & #193 posts are in my opinion examples of non-tertiary educated nonsensical crap that is irrelevant, is off-topic and provides evidence to me why some of you are and have been irresponsible irritants to the government department whose responsibility was to act for the benefit of the whole country and not just the state of Tasmania. I like to hear what Dr Bob Brown had to say on this subject. Now go away and search for scats, Jack and co!

  172. Ian Rist

    November 30, 2017 at 11:18 pm

    Re # 176 as usual Dick Kopf you are wrong on many counts
    (a) It wasn’t the Examiner.
    (b) I was regularly travelling up to our other farm at Yea NE Victoria.
    (c) “kill two foxes” ? Wrong again.
    (d) “smuggle them back” wrong again as they were laying in full view in the back of the Land cruiser, besides I had permission and the contact number of the head of the appropriate Department
    Dick Kopf you are good at getting it wrong, but now you have a bit more time on your hands you may try just a little harder.
    Either that or tone down the seriously inflated opinion you have of yourself.

    Comment # 177
    Whether or not you believe you may have seen a fox, I have already explained it is the ‘fox evidence’ produced to try and convince funding providers to fund their misguided and foolish jollies.
    All of which has now been disproved, the imported and recycled fox scats, the imported carcasses, blood,urine, skins and bones and skull.

    Anyone that believes after sixteen years of no Tasmanian foxes shot, no Tasmanian foxes trapped, no Tasmanian foxes recovered from 1080 baiting or
    no Tasmanian foxes photographed by any individual or by over 240 remote cameras put at every “fox hot spot” in my opinion is a fool.

  173. Simon Warriner

    November 30, 2017 at 11:04 pm

    So, having read a report that says that a fox skull found at Interlaken was actually a fox skull, a self declared expert decides that “If someone can prove that the skull (and the scats from the nearby geographical region) were ‘planted’ then I would say that the Tasmanian Government had a valid reason to believe that they had to act and spend $ Millions on the eradication program. That is just my opinion based on the data currently available to me.”

    That is about the dumbest thing I have ever heard, and I worked as a barman for several years.

    And Garry, your #188 is equally silly. As someone who regularly works outside at both ends of the day (like 5 days a week at least, starting before sunrise) I can inform the readers of this Pythonesque exchange that in the real world I work in that colour and shadow are rapidly variable and extremely deceptive during this period. By rapidly I mean within less than a minute obvious changes take place. Whoever wrote that bit needs a recto-cranial inversion, glasses and a bloody good slap around the ears to reset their visual computation device.

    Far from shutting this thread down David, I reckon it should be kept going as long as possible and listed under the comedy tag. The nonsense being pedaled is absolute comedy gold. I am looking forward to the next installment. Stock up on popcorn and join in the fun.

  174. Jack

    November 30, 2017 at 10:55 pm

    You cannot reconcile being a scientist and expert with the provision of false information. We are negligent if we ignore this. Dr Lozo, by pretending to be ‘A Victorian’ and spruiking his own worth and the validity of his own arguments, has blown his credibility away in a very public way. All the other waffle makes no difference.

  175. Dr Peter Lozo (Adelaide)

    November 30, 2017 at 10:27 pm

    Correction to my Fox Skull Part III:

    In my last sentence of that post I wrote:

    If someone can prove that the skull (and the scats from …”

    It should be

    Unless someone …”

  176. Ian Rist

    November 30, 2017 at 9:25 pm

    Well said Lyndall # 182.
    I raised concerns as early as 2002, speaking with many politicians including the then leader of the Tasmanian Opposition Rene Hidding.
    I was in his office with and at the request of Jeremy Rockliff MHA who was quite genuine in my opinion.
    In 2010 Jeremy Rockliff enabled me to obtain 130 pages of VERY REVEALING unredacted FOI.
    Emails by Fox Eradication Program managers requesting fox scats,fox products and even LIVE FOXES for Tasmania from the mainland.
    The FOI Officer released all unredacted FOI after the frustration of being persecuted by FEP staff and Jeremy Rockliff constantly rejecting offers by the FEP to drop the FOI requests and instead take ‘briefings’ from the FEP.

    Goodness I have even been asked to agree to a altered Tasmania Police witness statement I signed
    in 2003 ???
    What is going on here?

    Garry # 181
    “Are we supposed to believe that the conversation outside Hobart Allgoods was the opening gambit? Where is the evidence”? Ian supports the Grand Conspiracy also. Witness his

    (#124) …it was scheme to dud the Feds after an opportunity was presented by the partial sale of Telstra thus enabling the National Heritage Trust and the EPBCE legislation to be formed.

    Yes Garry the evidence re Allgoods stands, I have spoken to the people concerned including the ‘accused’.
    I believe the three named ‘fox cub importers’ should have sued their pants off…and they still might!
    An explanation from Federal Senators certainly convinced me what the Tasmanian fox conspiracy was all about.

  177. Dr Peter Lozo

    November 30, 2017 at 9:03 pm

    Garry

    After reading the fox blog for about a year I decided it was about time I get into the nitty gritty of the matter. I was inspired by Kelvin’s and Louis’ posts and hence why the last few days I chose to focus on the geographical area where they saw the ‘K-L fox’.

    An hour ago I reached my conclusion (as stated at the bottom of my most recent post).

    So, I like to say that I agree with you on the fox issue. This ought to neutralise our previous lengthy debates (on the SNF case). On that basis I am offering to meet you for a drink during my visit to Hobart in March. My shout!

    Peter

    Ps: I just love your writing style.

  178. garrystannus@hotmail.com

    November 30, 2017 at 8:46 pm

    INCIDENTALLY:
    Jack’s #135: sunset at Albury on 19June2017 was 5:04 p.m. ‘Civil twilight’ continued till 5:33 p.m. AEST. Civil twilight is defined as “The time period when the sun is no more than 6 degrees below the horizon at either sunrise or sunset. The horizon should be clearly defined and the brightest stars should be visible under good atmospheric conditions (i.e. no moonlight, or other lights). One should still be able to carry on ordinary outdoor activities”. [ https://www.wunderground.com/ ]

  179. Dr Peter Lozo (Adelaide)

    November 30, 2017 at 8:28 pm

    Fox skull

    Part III: relevant media articles

    1.
    http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2016-10-11/a-fox-skull-that-was-found-near-interlaken-in/7923262

    2.
    http://www.themercury.com.au/national/museum-confirms-skull-found-in-tasmanian-highlands-belongs-to-fox/news-story/bbee1043099f9db80c9d53505a91810b

    Dr Obendorf: now I ask you whether you consider this skull as a significant and sufficient piece of physical evidence to conclude that it substantiates at least some the reported ‘credible sightings’ and the reported fox positive scats in the region of Tasmania where Kelvin and Louise claim to have seen a live fox run in front of their car?

    Mind you, as a physicist, I am aware of the problem associated with making a sound scientific decision on the basis of very scarce physical data. But if by some natural process a few foxes did find their way into Tasmania between 1998 – 2011 one cannot expect to have much physical data to work with. I never accepted the claim by Sarre of there being a widespread fox population but the data I am currently aware off does suggest to me that there is a good probability that there was at least one fox in the region I am focussing on.

    I think that I am about done with my research on the Tasmanian fox issue. If someone can prove that the skull (and the scats from the nearby geographical region) were ‘planted’ then I would say that the Tasmanian Government had a valid reason to believe that they had to act and spend $ Millions on the eradication program. That is just my opinion based on the data currently available to me..

  180. Lyndall Rowley

    November 30, 2017 at 8:23 pm

    Yes Ian #175 … the fact that the fire ants actually did exist, unequivocally, at the outset of the eradication programme was a pretty good reason to start, and is the main difference between the two eradication programmes. But even so, after commencement some similarities become apparent when one reads the news item – and that’s why I posted it here.

    My point is about the very poor management and poor (or absence of) oversight of these programmes, and how lack of proper processes of regular monitoring, evaluation, review, and reporting with oversight (state & fed) can see millions of dollars spent over a number of years without getting results. The FEP should have been properly and fully held to account years earlier than its eventual ignominious demise.

    Even worse in this fox saga case is that people (like you) were flagging concerns that were all falling on deaf ears. And peer reviewed & published papers were still not good enough …? !

    I realise, David O, that you and others want to see justice done in this matter – and rightfully so; we all do. In addition however, there needs to be acknowledgement from government and its agency that there was a total system failure riddled with ineptitude. If they can’t be honest, transparent and willing to critically evaluate their own systems and processes to make the necessary improvements then there’s nothing to stop this kind of thing happening again, is there?

  181. garrystannus@hotmail.com

    November 30, 2017 at 7:53 pm

    COOL, DISPASSIONATE SCIENCE…
    Nice little dig, David (#100) … that ‘contrarian’ bit. And your “Perhaps it’s time for TT editor to close this thread. ” was ‘vintage’! (see your original ‘contrarian’ jibe at #8 on another thread: [Here]) and your attempt to close down the ‘…Both sides stumped?’ thread at #162 in that thread: [Here]

    And there you go again, at #126, with your foot-in-mouth put-down of Kelvin’s observation that foxes can carry a number of diseases, including foot and mouth:

    David: Foxes can be wildlife carrier of several diseases including Rabies and Hydatids but not Foot & Mouth Disease, or did you perhaps see a cloven-hoofed animal cross the Midlands Highway?

    This jibe from David seems to be at odds with the (UK) Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Fact Sheet 2: Biosecurity – Preventing the introduction and the spread of foot and mouth disease:

    Contamination from other animals such as dogs, cats, poultry and foxes, which can carry infected material on their feet or coats, but do not become infected themselves.

    The fox sceptics (I class myself as a ‘fox agnostic’) appear to believe that right from the very outset, someone determined that the fox (?) could be used to milk money from the government. David seems to support this ‘ab initio’ conspiracy with his suggestions of a Tasmanian Iago, telling us that Treasury had money and that…

    […] David: “And the key to the Treasury was a need to convince Governments that Tasmania in mid-2001 faced an existential threat to its biodiversity – the threat that foxes would establish in Tasmania”.

    … So someone – hypothetically – in this Obendorfian scenario – was trying to get their hands on the Treasury money. Are we supposed to believe that the conversation outside Hobart Allgoods was the opening gambit? Where is the evidence? Ian supports the Grand Conspiracy also. Witness his

    (#124) …it was scheme to dud the Feds after an opportunity was presented by the partial sale of Telstra thus enabling the National Heritage Trust and the EPBCE legislation to be formed.

    David’s already ignored my questions, put to him on this matter at #42 and #60.

  182. Dr Peter Lozo (Adelaide)

    November 30, 2017 at 7:40 pm

    The fox skull

    Part II: DNA analysis proves it is a fox skull

    I haven’t been able to find anything on the fox skull that was found at Interlaken other than the following extract from:

    Fox Evidence 2001 – 2011

    http://dpipwe.tas.gov.au/invasive-species/programs-and-alerts/fox-eradication-program/fox-evidence-update/fox-evidence-2001-2011

    [the emphasis below in bold is mine]

    “February 2010: Skull collected near Interlaken identified as fox skull through DNA testing Results received on Friday 05 February 2010 from the Australian Museum in Sydney report that a skull collected in Tasmania has been identified as a fox skull through DNA analysis.

    The skull was collected by a member of the public and submitted to a Fox Eradication Program (FEP) Field Officer in July 2009. No lower jaw was collected. The person who collected the skull indicated that it was found in the Interlaken area some time between December 2008 and March 2009. A subsequent search by FEP Investigators, Scat Dog Teams and Field Staff (in October 2009) of the general area in which the skull was found did not locate any additional evidence of fox activity.

    DNA analysis was undertaken after physical examination by several experts was unable to differentiate if the skull came from a fox or dog. . Fox skulls are very similar in appearance to some dog skulls, as the species are both members of the canid family. The variety of sizes and shapes of the domestic dog skull means that there is no simple measurement or feature to separate them from fox skulls; definitive identification can only be made through DNA analysis.

    Imagery of fox skulls can be found on the Digimorph website, a dynamic archive of information on digital morphology and high-resolution X-ray computed tomography of biological specimens. Visitwww.digimorph.org

    The confirmation of the skull being from a fox follows the collection of a fox positive scat (1) in the Interlaken area on 05 May 2009. No DNA genotype has yet been obtained for this scat or any other fox positive scats collected in the region: Tunbridge (2 scats), Oatlands (2 scats) and Conara (1 scat).

    The Interlaken area was the focus of monitoring operations during 2009 as a result of physical evidence of fox activity and credible public sighting reports being received from the region. A fox baiting program (covering 255 sq km) was completed in the Tunbridge-Interlaken area in April-May 2009.

    Interlaken is located between Lake Sorell and Lake Crescent and is approximately 100 km north of Hobart. The nearest major town is Oatlands, which is approximately 25 km southeast of Interlaken.”

  183. Ian Rist

    November 30, 2017 at 7:27 pm

    Re # 176 as usual Dick Kopf you are wrong on many counts
    (a) It wasn’t the Examiner.
    (b) I was regularly travelling up to our other farm at Yea NE Victoria.
    (c) “kill two foxes” ? Wrong again.
    (d) “smuggle them back” wrong again they were laying in full view in the back of the Land cruiser, besides I had permission and the contact number of the head of the appropriate Department
    Dick Kopf you are good at getting it wrong but now you have a bit more time on your hands you may try just a little harder.
    Either that or tone down the seriously inflated opinion you have of yourself.

    Comment # 177
    Whether or not you believe you may have seen a fox, I have already explained it is the ‘fox evidence’ produced to try and convince funding providers to fund their misguided and foolish jollies.
    All of which has now been disproved, the imported and recycled fox scats, the imported carcasses, blood,urine, skins and bones and skull.

    Anyone that believes we had a fox population after sixteen years of no Tasmanian foxes shot, no Tasmanian foxes trapped, no Tasmanian foxes recovered from 1080 baiting or
    no Tasmanian foxes photographed by any individual or by any of 240 plus remote cameras put at every “fox hot spot” is in my opinion a fool.

  184. Dr Peter Lozo (Adelaide)

    November 30, 2017 at 7:11 pm

    The fox skull

    Thanks David.

    Why don’t we focus on the fox skull that was found?

    Where can I find technical/scientific analysis on this skull?

    Where can I find a report on whether the skull was brought into Tasmania and planted at the location where it was found?

    Peter

  185. spikey

    November 30, 2017 at 7:02 pm

    distracting attention away from critical issues
    by means of focus on trivial posh

    i think that’s taught in shill 102

    pretty easy to tell who’s who
    and that someone
    finds it important enough
    to employ their services
    and has something to hide

    whilst specifics
    may elude us mere tasmanians
    the tasincians
    will try to keep tight lips
    despite sinking ships
    and many, many rats

  186. Dr Peter Lozo (Adelaide)

    November 30, 2017 at 7:02 pm

    To Jack and his mates,

    Like many other contributors on TT who have or still are commenting on the SNF case (such as Garry Stannus – my main challenger who challenged me on my interpretation of the evidence in the case such as whether a white dinghy can be perceived to be grey under the relevant viewing conditions and geometry; whether MV’s DNA on the starboard walkway of  Four Winds yacht is primary or secondary transfer, etc) I am free to write on the TT SNF blogs as much as Garrry or anyone else.

    Perhaps the fact that I post with my ‘Dr’ title  might mean that the former senior police officer who was in charge of the investigation (Mr Peter Powell) as well as the former DPP (Mr Tim Ellis SC) who prosecuted the case are paying more attention to my posts than that of Garry Stannus, William Boeder, etc. In fact, several months ago, I offered via TT a $10K bet that MV was never on the Four Winds yacht and that her DNA was secondary transfer, but the fact is that I have never claimed to have expertise in any field other than visual perception and pattern/object recognition nor have I ever stated that I was ‘an expert witness’. 

    And for the final time: I am not an academic nor have ever been, although I did for a few years (via an invitation from Uni of SA) supervise postgraduate research students and was offered an adjunct appointment which I took after first obtaining a permission from my then employer, (DSTO).

    Defence science, engineering and technology has been my career for 3 decades.

  187. David Obendorf

    November 30, 2017 at 6:18 pm

    Please forgive my skepticism but I becoming very concerned at the way this particular thread of comments is proceeding.

    The matters under discussion are not frivolous, and with respect to the contribution from [b]Kelvin Jones, Louis Murray, Peter Lozo and A Victorian[/b] I would recommend that these gentlemen take the time to do the necessary background reading and research on this topic.

    These commenters on the fox debate might wish to familiarise themselves with foundational documents including the Tasmania Police FOI documents (from the 2001 taskforce investigation) and the peer-reviewed literature published on this topic. These are available at http://www.tasmanianfox.com

    If Dr Lozo takes the time to do the necessary research at the website http://www.tasmanianfox.com he will find what he is asking for.

    In my opinion, too much emphasis is now focused on these individuals having created an online discussion over what two blokes (Kelvin Jones & Louis Murray) in a vehicle driving in daylight hours on the Midlands Highway saw crossing the road ten years ago. Thank you.

  188. Jack Jolly

    November 30, 2017 at 5:34 pm

    This is becoming totally insane and quite troubling.

    Let me explain.

    With #164 we have a detailed case study of how and why people make mistakes in identifying “foxes” by a person who made a mistake – first hand. Lots of people have admitted to similar encounters. Logically it is consistent. It is backed by the lack of any foxes recovered after 4000 other sightings. It is supported by several studies, masses of press and the fox program’s own reports by its own scientist that were released by a Right to Information request. At least one of the reports was linked to a past TT article. All those different people provide the same consistent conclusion based upon reason and analysis with access to original data. There is no evidence of foxes in Tasmania. Importantly #164 makes no claim that something out of the ordinary exists. We do not need to suspend our disbelief or chase the wind to believe this account. I say again, he is not claiming that something extraordinary exists.

    But to hell with foxes. I don’t really care in this case as this foolishness is very easy to expose. Any informed person can do so. It’s pointless to deny that you need evidence to back claims.

    No, something else concerns me much more.

    So, I would like to put this to the Tasmanian Times Editor.

    (anonymous comment edited)

  189. Kelvin Jones

    November 30, 2017 at 4:23 pm

    #172 Ian Rist … I am not rabbiting about fox releases.

    I am relating a co first hand observation of a live fox crossing the Midland Hwy on boxing day 2007 at around 9.30 am about one hour fifteen minutes out of Kingston…ONLY.

    My name and address is in the Hobart phone book.

    I appreciate your occupational view and acknowledge the personal point you are making.

  190. Richard Kopf

    November 30, 2017 at 4:15 pm

    #165 Kelvin
    I suspect that by now you have realised that these posts are not about foxes but antagonism toward the Government and in particular DPIPWE, There are only two writers perpetuating the case against DPIPWE most of the others are written by either of these two or under their guidance. You will notice the same grammatical errors and punctuation mistakes in most of them.
    Dr Obendorf is one of the two and the history of his disaffection with DPIPWE can easily be found by searching the web. No secret there.
    Ian Rist makes a good point in #177 why would he encourage this vermin into Tasmania?
    The answer can be found in his numerous posts. For example in one post he admits to (legally of course)importing fox carcasses into Tasmania to embarrass the Government.
    Rist in the Examiner “I showed Minister Green how easy it was (to import dead foxes) in 2003 when I produced three prepared for taxidermy fox carcasses I had brought over on the Spirit. Too easy.”
    Ask yourself Kelvin, why he would go to so much trouble and cost. Travel to Victoria, kill two foxes, smuggle them back into Tasmania. Why?
    Don’t look for foxes, look for reasons why these two so deride a program, funded by the Commonwealth, an insurance policy, that employed 23 or so, out of work, Tasmanians. Why do they attack people like yourself and myself … ?
    Because we know that these vermin exist in Tasmania and the eradication program was justified.
    (edited)

  191. Ian Rist

    November 30, 2017 at 3:53 pm

    Re # 172.
    At least there are Fire Ants, tangible, visible evidence.

  192. Ian Rist

    November 30, 2017 at 3:47 pm

    Really I think all this to-ng and fro-ing tit for tat and hypotheticals isn’t achieving anything at all.
    David and I and others have been through it all for some sixteen years.
    The fact remains whether or not the claim that a single fox ran across a road in Tasmania was genuine or mistaken identification is irrelevant.
    What David and I and others have disputed is ‘the fox evidence’ that has been used to fraudulently claim that a fox population exists (existed)in Tasmania.
    That is the crux of the matter, I have never disputed that there has been single fox incursions in Tasmania,I believe that 1998 (proven)and possibly as a single incursion in May 2001 (not proven) were two possibilities ? ?
    However that said both alleged incursions were in May so it was biologically impossible that even if Vixens the could not have been pregnant in May.
    The rest is nonsense, fabricated and hoaxed to suit agendas.
    Anyone with a good knowledge of the Tasmanian outdoors and the Tasmanian bush know it is not possible to have all that fox shit and no foxes shot, trapped,poisoned or photographed in Tasmania.

    God knows myself and other tried hard enough,most of us experts in their fields,
    So please don’t insult us with ‘maybes’,’ what ifs’ and ‘hypotheticals’.

  193. Tony Stone

    November 30, 2017 at 3:27 pm

    Kelvin Jones, there have been many times when many people I know think they have seen a fox, including myself.

    There have also been a number of occasions where I thought we had seen a thylacine, because of the impression we got from the headlights of the car and when trapping feral cats, the bush background.

    Years ago we hunted for weeks what we thought was a thylacine, the markings were specific, size right and the way it moved through the bush had us almost convinced. When finally cornered, it turned out to be a really big tabby feral cat and died quickly.

    They are all optical illusions, created by light, background and the minds eye. There are lots of feral cats, they come in many shapes and sizes and we are constantly trap and shoot them. Some could well give you the impression they are a fox from a distance, but they are not.

    Your claims would be acceptable any where else, but in Tas. But, there are a couple of blatant facts, supporters of foxes in Tas always fail to take into account.

    Where did this solo fox come from, where are it’s parents and where did they come from and why haven’t the parents been noticed. Where is the rest of the litter, (4-13 off spring, yearly) if this fox derives from Tas and as they mostly are in pairs, where is its partner and many litters by now.

    There has never been a sighting of a fox in tas, until some people sat down, saw and opportunity to make a lot of money, so decided they had seen one and demanded a task force to flush them out.

    Yet over all those years, not one fox report has been verified, captured or photographed, not one. All the other evidence has be debunked, no farms claiming something is taking their chickens or anything else. No sightings in towns, or anywhere else, other than from the task force members and their cronies.

    You claim it was in the middle of the day when you spotted this fox, on the busiest highway in Tas. Yet no one has come forward to verify your claim.
    No reports from travelers, truck drivers, road patrols.

    No local farmers have lost animals, seen foxes, found scats or seen the result of a fox attack and there have been no other follow up reports anywhere. Funny, now the fox task force has been abandoned, no one else has come froward with a fox report, it;s just been total silence.

    As for doctor Lozo, no experience or knowledge whatsoever on the subject and in Adelaide. Find those who put their supposed education qualification on their posts, are just over educated, egocentric elitists.

    They think if they fluff their feathers and claim superiority, because they have spent their lives in a school room, their delusions will be accepted. You can’t get any more hilarious that that, especially when you look at the facts.

    It’s not elitist academics who have knowledge, but those on the ground, who actually work with and experience nature, real people, not clones.

  194. Lyndall Rowley

    November 30, 2017 at 3:06 pm

    Just to give some people a break and change the subject slightly… check this story out about (mis)management of a fire ant eradication programme in Qld.

    Is the $400 million programme being well managed (i.e. being monitored, evaluated, reviewed) & spent effectively & efficiently by the programme’s government experts you reckon?

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-01/queensland-fire-ant-extermination-undermined-by-rainfall-manure/9211660

  195. Ian Rist

    November 30, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    Re # 166
    Nice try Kelvin, I will give you this thought to ponder over….being responsible for several million dollars invested in a Game Farm with Pheasants, Partridge and Quail I would be the last person that would want to see foxes ever become established in Tasmania…THINK about it.
    Feral cats are a big enough pain in the arse.

    Now Kelvin the ‘fox release’ you keep rabbiting on about did not happen, proven by six Tasmania Police Detectives who concluded the claim was based on rumour,gossip, innuendo and false information..

    If you would like to give me your correct full name and an address I will send you all the relevant information.

  196. Dr Peter Lozo (Adelaide)

    November 30, 2017 at 1:56 pm

    #165 Kelvin,

    “Noise..

    My summation is the four wheel drive masked the approach of my vehicle.”

    Excellent point Kelvin!

    That is exactly what I was thinking. The receding sound of the noisy vehicle masked the quieter sound of your approaching vehicle.

    I read a lot of psychological literature on masking (in the auditory and the visual domain). I can thus say that your assessment is scientifically plausible.

    Cheers,
    Peter

  197. Ian Rist

    November 30, 2017 at 1:53 pm

    Re # 164 … Ian Rist posted this comment # 164, Phillip Stevens was the spot light vehicle driver and witness.

    Just a personal observation and and opinion but I think the Institute of Applied Ecology in Canberra has a lot of incognito contributors to this site. They were the main benefactors of the Tasmanian fox shit program and were aware through their industry colleagues that Tasmania was importing thousands of mainland fox scats.

    Maybe in damage control before the IC and the British Ecological Society drop the atom bombs?

    I suggest all the ‘foxes-are-here wishers’ wait for the outcome of the two reports … obviously the Tasmanian Government is using delaying tactics but they can’t hide forever.

    Hiding reports of all kinds seems to be the Hallmark of this current Tasmanian Government.
    It will catch up with you come ‘the Ides of March’.

  198. Dr Peter Lozo (Adelaide)

    November 30, 2017 at 1:35 pm

    Hi Phillip,

    I (who has during early 1990s researched the field of visual perception and object recognition for my PhD and for a few years after that) understand quite well the difference between human visual perception capability at daytime with natural light versus human visual perception at night-time under artificial light. I am not surprised at the high error rate of identification (i.e. miss-identification) during the latter period. I assume that most of the reported sightings David mentioned (4000) were night-time sightings (and thus wouldn’t be reliable). But with the Kelvin and Louise scenario (as they described it) for the morning of the Boxing Day 2007 (around 9:30 am) we have an excellent example of what I would class as being ideal for a very high probability of correct identification.

    If I were to get access to a file containing people’s descriptions I would sort the file into two: 1. daytime; 2. night-time. I would then focus on the daytime data and would look at the distances, the duration of time the animal was seen, the view that was presented to the viewer, etc.

    Anyway, my primary focus from now on is on the fox skull that was found and the fox positive scats from the small region I defined earlier today.

    Thanks for your input.

    Cheers,
    Peter

  199. Kelvin Jones

    November 30, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    #166 cont…..

    Perhaps we should go back to the original title of this article “Misrepresentation, lies, deception and fraud.”

    Perhaps the Tasmanian Government in this case is being vilified for upsetting the “sport of a few”.

  200. Kelvin Jones

    November 30, 2017 at 1:05 pm

    Not an unreasonable government decision, however they do qualify their statement by saying detecting foxes when in low numbers are very difficult to detect and all members of the Tasmanian community should remain vigilant, with millions of foxes on our doorstep on the mainland, foxes continue to be a real and serious threat to the Tasmanian environment etc.

    In my opinion a very rational statement compare to those made by the “VHSC Hobart branch”. I would say Tasmania got off cheap with a $50 million bill, a break out of fox population would have cost more like $5 billion. Bio security re mediation is extremely expensive when the pest population is out of control. Look at Queensland with the cane toad and fire ants.

    However the most poignant comment I find is #143 spikey. His observation on “VHSC Hobart branch” comments on the writers and not the fox. This same observation has not gone unnoticed by Louis (private email on the subject) or myself. This style of reply, using overwhelming waffling techniques with half truths and inconsistent rational statements is not exclusive to the fox debate on TT. It appears when any group or organisation is threaten by an article or commentators on the article. It does not have to be direct either.

    My area of expertise is technical electrical, electronic engineering. I do have university units in molecular biology (read DNA) as part of a technology studies major. Hunting in science terms is a technology especially hunting with weapons whether it be a flint tipped spear or a laser sighted high power rifle. In cases like this one has to ask not only the question “why” but also “in whose interest” as weapon technology has an economic industrial base that includes all the paraphernalia of hunting.

    Proverbially “attack is the best form of defence”, Louis and I have received the most vitriolic attack on our simple statements of first hand observation (it is not anecdotal when you are the originator). Something evidently happens to anyone who dares to publish they have seen a fox. Attacks which also extend to those who have provided well founded information that supports those observations.

    It has been noted that at least one critic had extensive hunting experience, how many foxes did you kill on the mainland and in Europe Ian Rist #105? I just wonder how many of the VHSC are hunters or have an interest, most likely pecuniary, in hunting. Thousands of killed foxes multiplied by thousands of hunters adds up to a lot of weapons and ammunition and hunting paraphernalia

    I have no qualms about hunting for a living or for personal table or declared vermin.

    Man is by nature a hunter and I know many hunters have great passion in pitting themselves against the most elusive quarry. Also many will only too willing to supply such hunters with all the bells and whistles and telescopic sights needed to increase the hunters chances. The numbers seem to add up to big dollars. Hunting has a big following in Tasmania and the mainland and I guess it crosses into many sectors of society.

    The fox is an extremely efficient and cunning hunter and so are humans. However it the relationship between the fox the hunted and man the hunter that interests me. Foxes are difficult catch and as far as I know there is no value in fox carcass or fur (please hunters I am open to correction on the latter).

    However, I suspect the taking of a fox, as a sport, is a holy grail, especially in an area with a very low fox density, where the fox is the master of the terrain.

    Therefore perhaps it is in the interests of some to have a few elusive foxes in Tasmania, for the thrill of the chase and the betterment of related business. However nobody outside the selected few must know!

    Such a scenario would account for the constant belligerence against government eradication programs trying to say it is the a waste of public money.

    It would account for “heaven forbid” the vitriolic attacks of a hapless person who sees a fox in the course of their daily business and makes public that encounter. That would really put the fox in the chicken coupe.

    It would account for such small amounts of fox bio debris, the hunters ensure any they come across is removed.

    Why should the mainland hunters have all the fun?

    As far as bio security is concerned such a scenario can be liken to that of the CFA fire fighter who joins and then lights fires for the excitement of putting them out. Many well documented cases some with tragic consequences.

    Perhaps we should go back to the original title of this article “Misrepresentation, lies, deception and fraud ….

  201. Kelvin Jones

    November 30, 2017 at 1:03 pm

    The fox doubters …

    It will be interesting to see your reactions in future road-sighted fox encounters that are caught on dash cams vehicle owners a now being fitting. Perhaps such pictures will howled down as “Photo Shopped”.

    However, to the present and pick up on a few points. Firstly I have posted my fox sighting on that Boxing day 2007 in another comments thread on TT. Although I have only been on TT for around two years I had gathered that foxes were a hotly contested topic. I did not respond to any backlash as I was already involved with a comments thread on energy related to the Adelaide power disaster of 2016. It was just side reading as this monumental saga started out.

    I do seem to have some very strong and logical support from commentators that reinforces Louis and my observations, thank you.

    Some excellent comments by A Australian and Dr. Peter Lozo reinforcing each other.

    However I would spotlight:

    Noise #142 cont ….

    As I noted when the fox first appeared it seemed startled by my vehicles approach. So I had a full view of the head looking directly at my vehicle. As I previously noted, a noisy four wheel drive had passed a few seconds earlier at high speed, there were no other vehicles in sight front or rear. My vehicle was a Nissan Skyline 3lire inline six noted for its low engine noise. My summation is the four wheel drive masked the approach of my vehicle. However, the whole event certainly gave us an extraordinary good view of the fox. When the fox had come into full view and was about 4 meters into the road both Louis and I simultaneously exclaimed fox. It was the the whole package, nose, tail, feet and movement that characterises an adult fox. The tail and nose being so uniquely fox.

    Secondly despite all the rantings and ravings of the “Vulpine hysterics and sceptics club (Hobart branch)… love that one Louis. Thanks to research by Dr Lozo it does appear that fox scats and remains have been found in the area in question. As Louis noted the countryside around our sighting are not dissimilar to that found in UK fox territory. Scats have also been found throughout Tasmania in areas that would be considered fox habitat country by the DPIPEWE task force.

    Reading the DPIPWE site on “Physical Evidence of Foxes in Tasmanian” posted by Dr. Lozo would indicate at that time it was not impossible a fox could have ran in front of my car on Boxing day 2007, indeed quite possible on a low statistical basis of probability. The DPIPWE goes on to acknowledge that termination of the eradication program was because no further physical evidence has been found since July 201l.

    cont …

  202. Phillip Stevens

    November 30, 2017 at 12:42 pm

    ‘Fox sightings’… unsubstantiated ‘sightings’ count for sweet f**k all.

    Actually I thought I had shot a fox in central Tasmania one night, carefully viewed through a specialist Nightforce 6.5X to 22X ‘scope mounted on a very,very accurateheavy barrelled Sako .22/250.
    The’ fox’ was first spotted moving quickly across marshland at about 250 metres, I asked my driver to switch of the engine to avoid any vibration and I suggested he try and stop the ‘fox’ with several calls on the predator whistle.
    The ‘fox’ obliged and I took a carefully calculated shot and heard the projectile ” thump” sound come back in the clear night air.
    Problem was retrieving the ‘fox’ as there were several deep irrigation ditched separating us.
    We were both convinced I had shot a ‘fox’ and Phil quipped “well mate you are going to have to eat humble pie now”.
    We sent Phill’s excellent German Pointer retriever to bring back the ‘fox’ and looking at the retrieve we could see a red body hanging down complete with black legs and bushy tail.
    Right up to a distance of about fifteen metres we were both convinced it was a fox ! !

    However after Phil’s German Pointer had retrieved said ‘fox’ it turned out to be a large ginger feral cat…complete with bushy brush and black legs from walking in the mud!

    Even professionals that at the time were out every night and had shot on one occasion 25 red foxes in one night ( Seymour, Yea, North East VIctoria ) can make identification mistakes.

    PS For the record feral cats develop ‘bushy tails after generations in the wild, it helps keep them warm the same as the foxes brush.

    PPS If verification/ corroboration required Phillip Turner, Orthodontist, Launceston, Tasmania.

  203. Dr Peter Lozo (Adelaide)

    November 30, 2017 at 11:06 am

    ….

    Correction to my last post:

    The fox sighting data I saw for the year 2008 is from this ABC map:

    http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2016-10-11/fox-sightings-in-tasmania-2008.jpg/7923290

    If you can’t open the above link then simply google ” Fox sightings in Tasmania 2008″

    The map clearly shows that there was a number of ‘credible sightings’ for the region where K & L saw their fox.

  204. spikey

    November 30, 2017 at 10:41 am

    the very busy dr lozo

    your arguments and deductions regarding the SNF had more holes in them than gouda shot with a shotgun, indeed more holes than the original case

    your conclusions and dismissal of others concerns and interpretations were suss as, my ‘shill radar’ beeps very loudly at your every post

    I’m sorry to break it to you buddy, but i really think you should stick to optical fizzicks and i don’t think that dinghy colour is going to see sue released or foxes found.

    How bout you just fess up to being an intentional spanner, we can have a laugh about it in march, over lemonade

  205. Dr Peter Lozo (Adelaide)

    November 30, 2017 at 10:25 am

    Dr Obendorf,

    I perfectly understand what you are saying.

    Now, I would like to focus on a small part of Tasmania around Oatlands (Oatlands,Turnbridge,Interlaken and Campbell Town). The dates are: between 26 July 2007 and 05 May 2009. In particular I like to focus on the fox skull that was found at Interlaken and the fox positive scats that were found in the above listed areas. If you wish to help me in this regard then please direct me to the relevant written technical/scientific work related to this skull and the scats from the above listed areas.

    Peter

    ps: the Map I saw in “Physical Evidence of Fox Activity in Tasmania”.

    http://dpipwe.tas.gov.au/invasive-species/programs-and-alerts/fox-eradication-program/fox-evidence-update

    shows that there were a number of credible sightings in the above listed areas. If you have access to information on those sightings then I would like to read that too.

  206. Dr Peter Lozo (Adelaide)

    November 30, 2017 at 12:59 am

    I already have a dinner date lined up for my evening there in March. Don’t drink beer but am happy to meet with various people for a drink if time permits.

    BTW, my “curious obsession with the case” (the Neill-Fraser case) is more of a vision to complete and publish a book on the 4 cases I researched part time over the last past 5 years or so. See #479

    http://oldtt.pixelkey.biz/index.php/article/sue-neill-fraser-two-views-of-her-guilt

    Thus, I have had a long term vision of what I wanted to achieve. As for Neill-Fraser case: I also wrote a lot about DNA (check out my Chewing Gum Hypothesis of Secondary Transfer of DNA); about the winching problem; about human memory; about the viewing geometry, etc. The forthcoming March day will be my first ever court attendance for this case. I am very keen to hear what the defence biological forensic scientist from WA (Dr Reynolds) will say about the winching problem.  The defence claim is that Susan could not have winched a body from below the deck and into the dinghy as was claimed by the police and the prosecution. Thus, my interest is purely of technical nature.

    I consider the Tasmanian fox issue to be an interesting issue that I am prepared to invest a bit of time on to see where it would lead. I seem to have narrowed on an approach that I wish to pursue further.

  207. David Obendorf

    November 29, 2017 at 11:10 pm

    Dr Lozo … a question or two you: why are [b]you[/b] so hung up on an animal sighting by two blokes in a car going along the Midlands Highway in the morning of Boxing Day 10 years ago?

    How did a physicist conclude: ‘I am more certain that Kelvin and Louis [not Louise] did see a fox than I am about the reliability of physical evidence .. ‘. That’s a wee bit crazy, dude! What we’re banging on about is validation of a visual observation with corroborating physical evidence. What the data over 15 years show is that over 4,000 sightings are uncorroborated with credible physical evidence.

    Understand, Peter?

  208. Jack

    November 29, 2017 at 10:23 pm

    #155 Spikey … you’ll be able to meet with the retired Victorian maths teacher as well if you take up the offer to meet. He’s probably a sock puppet.

  209. spikey

    November 29, 2017 at 10:10 pm

    Lozo … your expectations are as imaginative as your take on reality

    i live in hobart
    tasmania
    and have more of an interest in foxes
    than your curious obsession with the case
    if you’d like to meet me to discuss stuff
    knock yourself out
    i’m not hard to find
    and brew a very nice pepperberry stout

  210. Dr Peter Lozo (Adelaide)

    November 29, 2017 at 8:07 pm

    #155 Hey spikey, I expect to be in Hobart in March for Neill-Fraser’s last day of her appeal. You can meet me then and tell me your funny story. Now, go away and search for a fox scat in the previously mentioned K & L fox region!

  211. spikey

    November 29, 2017 at 7:50 pm

    I’m starting to suspect the esteemed dr lozo isn’t actually that busy at all

    he may know fizzicks, but wouldn’t be my first pick in logic or critical analysis

    he does love to post a lot

    btw does anyone on the planet apart from dr lozo think the lighting and perceived colour of a dinghy was amongst the most crucial aspects of the case to be banged on about with the scientific vigour of an attention seeking enthusiastic first year?

    or does he appear to try and ignore vast amounts of questionable evidence to back whatever titbit of questionable evidence can be flogged for a bit longer to distract from the blatantly obvious?

    reminds me of another fox champion contributer

  212. Dr Peter Lozo (Adelaide)

    November 29, 2017 at 7:20 pm

    #145 David,

    If most of the physical evidence I listed in para 8 of my last post is a proven hoax then I will admit that I am barking up the wrong tree. I am more certain that Kelvin and Louise did see a fox than I am about the reliability of the physical evidence that is associated with the approximate geographical location and time period of the ‘K & L fox’. Thus, I rather focus on the mentioned physical evidence than on K & L. This is where I believe you can help me given your vastly superior understanding of the issues concerning the physical evidence.

    If you are OK with my suggestion then the first thing I like to have is a link to the relevant written material about the skull and the fox positive DNA scats from the relevant K & L fox region.

    Cheers,
    Peter

  213. David Obendorf

    November 29, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    Today [b] David Llewellyn[/b] gives his farewell address to the Parliament. He is retiring from State politics after 30 years in the job. Those Interested might wish to listen his retirement speech this afternoon by tuning into Tasmanian Parliament – the House of Assembly webcast or audio.

    His was a long political career going back to young Labour in the 1970s; he entered Parliament in the early 1980s – he was a former Telecom technician and hailed from the St Mary’s district.

    Today he might talk about his legacy of political achievements – one of them was as the Minister for Foxes. He was the minister who chose to disregard a Tasmania Police investigation report that could not substantiate the allegations from Parks & Wildlife staff that named three Tasmanians that PWS claimed had covertly plotted to import and release many live foxes into Tasmania. And so a fox-less fox hunt began back in 2001.

    It takes a certain type of politician to create a $50 million fox eradication program relying on considerable Australian Government funding that keeps chasing imaginary foxes for 15 years.

    In 2001 St Helens David Llewellyn’s home town was the site of an acknowledged fox hoax. I might add that at the time Minister Lewellyn told newspapers he thought the St Helens fox story was credible. In June 2002 he told Parluament that St Helens was one of the locations where PWS staff had told him live foxes were released there.

    Vale David Llewellyn MHA for Lyons aka “Minister for Everything”. He might be recalling how many times he comprehensively hood-winked the Greens In Parliament.

  214. Jack

    November 29, 2017 at 1:54 pm

    An anonymous troll writes: “It looks looks la physicist from Adelaide is doing a great job at dissecting everyone’s comment and has integrated it with some physical data to offer us something useful to think about.

    Like it or not, physicists in general do have a tendency to go to considerable depth of analysis to put the puzzle together. I almost became one myself had it not been for a chemistry set I got for my 17th birthday. It has been my pleasure in interacting with you and learning something from each one of you.”

    Wow, as transparent as glass. It reminds me of my daughter’s imaginary friend.

    No doubt it is quite a blow to be intellectually destroyed by Dr O who has quite a few peer reviewed conference publications to his name about foxes, diseases, biosecurity issues and other matters.

    https://www.researchgate.net/profile/David_Obendorf

    Perhaps the “retired anonymous maths teacher from Victoria” and Dr Lozo can meet to critique each other’s work? It would be a cheap way to go. After all, they’d only ever have to buy one coffee between them.

    Now, I’m going fishing for real.

  215. Jack

    November 29, 2017 at 1:12 pm

    #148 Yep, I hear that they’re biting as well as the trolls on TT today.

  216. John Wade

    November 29, 2017 at 1:06 pm

    “Foxes “can carry infected material on their feet or coats, but do not become infected themselves.” Therefore, a fox is not a carrier, but can carry.

    A car, pair of gumboots, or any other thing that can not be infected does not become a carrier, but becomes a thing that can carry or harbour a disease.

  217. Jack

    November 29, 2017 at 1:01 pm

    #139

    “But I remain interested in the strong and repugnant inference by critics that Kelvin was making the whole thing up. He was not! He had no motive to do so. \”

    Kelvin, what is it that you don’t get about the inadequacy of anecdotal evidence? You ignore all the other compelling analysis and lack of ANYTHING supporting the proposition and still keep coming back to the idea that sans evidence you should be believed. But you never will be without evidence. It does not matter how many times you repeat your story, it remains a story. That’s all it will ever be.

  218. William Boeder

    November 29, 2017 at 11:32 am

    How’s the weather over your way Jack, maybe a spot of fishing will help to rid one’s mind of the futile inanities currently being tossed about.

  219. A Victorian

    November 29, 2017 at 11:05 am

    I sure got a laugh out of a few idiosyncratic responses to my posts, but I do appreciate the wide spectrum of people’s opinions, knowledge and reasoning ability.

    That is about all this professor of Chemistry has to say on foxes and other wild life forms besides the little known secret that I spent first 10 years of my life in Hobart and never saw a fox there except in primary school books.

    It looks looks la physicist from Adelaide is doing a great job at dissecting everyone’s comment and has integrated it with some physical data to offer us something useful to think about.

    Like it or not, physicists in general do have a tendency to go to considerable depth of analysis to put the puzzle together. I almost became one myself had it not been for a chemistry set I got for my 17th birthday. It has been my pleasure in interacting with you and learning something from each one of you.

  220. Ian Rist

    November 29, 2017 at 10:56 am

    My message to you is you can wish for Tasmanian foxes in one hand and crap in the other, I know which hand will fill the quickest. LOL LOL

    The bottom line is at least fifty million dollars was wasted on this foolish fox folly (I am reliably told that it was much more than fifty million)…and not one Tasmanian fox was recovered in Tasmania by the people involved in this disgraceful abuse of taxpayers’ money.

    I will back the farmers, game shooters, permit holders and some 35,000 licensed shooters that go afield in Tasmania that didn’t shoot a fox during this sad and sorry saga.

    This terrible fraudulent blight on Tasmania only survived because it received the backing of successive Tasmanian Governments that didn’t have the balls to stand up to the involved Departments and Unions that were protecting the receivers of this taxpayer supplied largesse.

    The lack of balls by the current Ministers in DPIPWE and Police has been nothing less than disgraceful and will be noted come next election when you are removed and replaced by elected members that can do the job we elect them to do. We will see that happens.

    (edited)

  221. David Obendorf

    November 29, 2017 at 10:18 am

    Dr Peter Lozo places considerable weight on one first person observation broadcast 10 years after it allegedly occurred. A not insignificant matter is that after 15 years of operating a taxpayer-funded fox program, none of the 4,000 animal sightings recorded by the fox program – 271 in the last four years – have resulted in the detection of any credible physical evidence of fox presence in Tasmania. A similar phenomenon of thylacine-spotting has subjectively generated many thousands of reports which again remain unverified.

    Local and mainland cryptobiologists can continue prospecting for Tasmanian snarks or quarks or cryptic barks, but these endeavours have failed critical verification standards.

    All the public promoters of ‘wake up! foxes are here’ within the government program and in the community have been mute for several years now. And the scientists who claimed ‘foxes are now widespread in Tasmania’ in 2012 have refused to defend their own data, and the Department which began the fox hunt in 2001 has yet to vouch for the authenticity of the ‘hard evidence’ collected by its own staff.

    No one appreciates being comprehensively duped by misrepresentation, lies, fabrication and fraud, but sadly that is what occurred.

  222. lola moth

    November 29, 2017 at 10:10 am

    Let’s imagine my partner had been by himself when he saw the dead “fox” at Christmas Hills. He would have gone back to NSW telling people he saw a fox in Tasmania and if challenged, I am sure he would say “I know what a fox looks like and that was a fox.” He lives in the Tasmanian bush now, so he is familiar with red possums and would not make the same mistake again, but he understands how he got it wrong.

    The wasp was less than two feet from him and landed on his can a couple of times so he got to see it clearly. He still said it was a bee. I had to show him a bee close to a European wasp for him to see the difference. Now he would not make that mistake as he is used to seeing both regularly.

    When people claim to have seen a fox in Tasmania I do not think they are making it up. I think they saw an animal they believe is a fox – but I don’t think it was a fox they saw. I don’t think they are liars, just mistaken.

    Many fox sightings have been made by tourists who are not familiar with Tasmanian wildlife. They seem to just stumble across animals that a dedicated task force has been unable to find.

    I think that if there were foxes or tigers in Tasmania we would have found reliable evidence by now. It is the lack of credible evidence that makes personal anecdotes seem iffy.

  223. spikey

    November 29, 2017 at 9:41 am

    I’d say there was a difference between your classic stooge troll (hows it going TGC?) and those that use deliberate psychological ploys to try and influence opinion.

    RCH, Lumber et al use deliberate strategic wording and tactics, but their hands and pseudonyms are well soiled

    Victorian Opossum spotters seem more of the TGC calibre.

    Doctors of fizzicks and I’d add assertively hyphened homophobes certainly use the spin-doctors’ favourite trick of waffling on longer than the average attention span.

    WHY?

    Because their fascist masters encourage them, usually financially, to muddy the waters of truth.

    The louder they squark, the bigger the problem the fascists are hiding.

    For what it’s worth, I don’t share Dr O’s pessimism on all things Thylacine. I do think the recent shenanigans have been a deliberately encouraged distraction.

    Then again, apparently so were the foxes

  224. Dr Peter Lozo (Adelaide)

    November 29, 2017 at 8:32 am

    Cont…

     

    6. It seems to me that the objection by Jack to Kelvin and Louise is based on his belief that a fox would definitely not cross a road in the middle of the day. That might be true if a very noisy vehicle is travelling along a road but would that be true for a less noisier vehicle and if the fox was caught off-guard?

     

    7.  Ian’s objection is that foxes just do not go around during the middle of the day. Was Ian correct about this? A Victorian provided a link to a photograph that showed two foxes in the middle of the day crossing someone’s roof in a Melbourne suburb. It is about time that Ian acknowledges that he isn’t an expert on foxes. I also saw online photos and a video of foxes seen in Adelaide suburbs during daytime. I will post the links in the near future.

     

    8. It would be interesting to compare K & L’s fox sighting with physical data (fox positive scats) from the same approximate geographical area (around Oatlands). Based on my very quick research, I learned that there were a number of fox positive scats picked up from a geographical area in and around Oatlands (Oatlands,Turnbridge,Interlaken and Campbell Town) between 26 July 2007 and 05 May 2009. These locations and dates are on either side of where and when K & L saw their fox. A fox skull was found at Interlaken between December 2008 and March 2009. The information I listed is from “Physical Evidence of Fox Activity in Tasmania”.

     

    http://dpipwe.tas.gov.au/invasive-species/programs-and-alerts/fox-eradication-program/fox-evidence-update

     

     

    9. When I looked at the last two links provided by our fellow Aussie in Victoria (A Victorian) of a possum crossing a road I found it funny, particularly when I compared that to the salmon who were quite happily propelling themselves in a perfect straight line across a road that had only a few centimetres of water depth. But Jack took this very seriously and went off on a different tangent and questioned why A Victorian chose the wild life from North America! Lighten up Jack! And no, I am not A Victorian (I got the gist of what you were implying in #138). A Victorian must be laughing too (I see from his last post that he has a PhD in Chemistry).

     

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

     

  225. Dr Peter Lozo (Adelaide)

    November 29, 2017 at 8:19 am

    Given the nature of some recent comments I thought to return, just like Arnie did, but I never said “ I ‘ll be back” – I don’t terminate my opponents (at least not physically!). I was compiling some information and was about to post my comment a short while ago when I saw the last few posts that were submitted after 10pm last night. So, I am including a reference to one or two of them as well.

     

     

    1. #139 Well said Dr Murray! The people you listed didn’t know your full background and yet they went on a ‘Brit attack’. Why they keep doubting what Kelvin had described (and to do it in such a offensive way) is beyond me.

     

    2. Kelvin: thank you for the very useful information about the fox you and Louise saw. I have used that info last few hours to do a quick and rough analysis (discussed below).

     

     

    3. Jack and his mates at the “Vulpine Hysterics and Sceptics Club (Hobart Branch)” haven’t yet provided us with a link to an internet photograph or a video of a Tasmanian native animal whose profile, legs and tail they think could be mistaken for a profile, legs and a tail of a fox. Instead, Jack and his mates are inventing a story of an orange possum or a ginger cat or dog whose genetic defect makes it look like a fox to people who know what a fox looks like!

     

    4. Kelvin’s description was of a profile and a tail of what they definitely believed to be a fox. Our fellow Aussie from Victoria (A Victorian) found a video of a fox crossing a road from about the same distance in front of the camera as what Kelvin and Louis would have seen in real life. It is irrelevant that the video is from North America. It gives us some idea of what a fox dashing across the road looks like from a distance of about 20 metres although it would have been more effective to see this in real life so that one can get a better 3D perspective of the animal. The animal that was seen by K & L didn’t just suddenly bolt in front of them. Kelvin said at #118 that

     

     

    ”It seemed the fox was surprised by us as much as we were by it, as it hesitated before making a very quick trot almost squarely across the road. We were almost in line with the fox as it’s tail disappeared into shrubbery on the other side of the road.”

     

     

    Therefore, the fox hesitated before running across the road! This would have given Kelvin (presumably the driver) and Louis (the passenger) time to see the fox stationary before it started running across the road. The last thing they saw was the tail.

     

    5. I would like my fellow Ausssies from across the sea to explain to us simple folk how and why two people who are familiar with what a fox looks like could have been mistaken about recognising the animal as being a fox rather than it being a ginger brushtail possum or a ginger cat or a dog. I am aware that each of the listed three animals has some physical features similar to that of a fox but which native Tasmanian animal has enough physical features in common with a fox (size, color, movement, head and nose shape, tail size and shape, leg structure) to for it to be mistaken for a fox by two people who would have seen a lot of foxes in WA and elsewhere?

     

    Now, I have some knowledge about the brain’s mechanism of pattern/object recognition and visual perception (my 1997 PhD was on a neural model of selective visual attention and object recognition; it is available online from Adelaide Uni). I can therefore say that I am sufficiently knowledgeable about the relevant object recognition problem to be able to make an intelligent comment about it. I agree with most of lola moth’s statement in #117 about the brain. But, an error in the visual recognition and discrimination usually arises if animals are close in profile and movement or if the view presented by the animal isn’t sufficiently clear or if the view was very brief or if the view was brief and the animal moved rather quickly. But this did not occur in K & L’s case! If K & L were looking at an animal that wasn’t a fox then one or the other or both of them would have thought that it was an unusual looking fox given that both appear to be very familiar with what a fox looks like. For example, a ginger dog of some breed might look close to that of a fox but does a dog have a Basil brush tail (as described above by Kelvin)?

    Cont …

  226. David Obendorf

    November 29, 2017 at 1:39 am

    [b]Richard Flanagan[/b] discussing his book, [i][b]First Person[/i][/b] with Richard Fidler:

    [i]’Truths come under attack. People have always lied in public life, but now the lies have a new purpose. And the purpose is to deny the very concept of the truth; the idea of objective truth being daily corroded. And if in the end there is no objective truth and there’s only ‘opinion’ then the most powerful will tell us what the world is and we’ll have to agree with it. Because we’ll no longer have the power to say what it really is.'[/i]

    [i]’I was quite haunted by John Friedrich but in his dark visions … in his narcissism, in his capacity to deny truth with ever grander lies and in the way that the more implausible the lie he created the more people wished to believe it, he seemed to anticipate the whole strangeness of the next few decades. And it took a long time for me to understand what had happened to me … I couldn’t make sense of it, for many, many years.'[/i]

    The Tasmanian fox program seemed to attract a certain personality-type almost to the exception of all others. Theory, abstract concepts and deductive discussions were not their approach. They are dynamic spirits who keep their conversations light and chatty. They prefer to talk about what is, and better still, just go out there and do it! They leap before they look, fixing any mistakes as they go, and they revel in high drama, passion … and sheer pleasure.

    Their enthusiasm and energy can be infectious but it can all be ill-conceived. They are a force to be reckoned with, but if they aren’t careful they may get caught in the excitement of their own creation. Taking things too far, losing touch with new realities can make them into chaos-makers.

    Richard Flanagan’s revealing analysis of such a person in [b][i]Codename Iago[/i][/b] and [b][i]First Person[/b][/i] provides an insight into the consequential damage that such individuals leave in their wake.

    Tasmanian Foxes? Tasmanian Tigers? …. “Explore the Opportunities” Tasmania has to offer. Go nuts!

  227. Louis Murray

    November 29, 2017 at 12:55 am

    To David Obendorf, “Jack” – whoever you are – and one Ian Rist in particular – I offer the following for your fevered contemplation and further low-rent psychologising. I merely entered this ridiculous diatribe to demonstrate that : (a) I do physically exist; (b) that I really was in that car with Kelvin Jones on Boxing Day 2007; (c) and that I saw what Kelvin saw.

    I have no interest in the questions … Are there foxes in Tasmania? Were there once foxes in Tasmania? But I remain interested in the strong and repugnant inference by critics that Kelvin was making the whole thing up.He was not! He had no motive to do so. His geographical placement and timing is about right.His account is accurate. The incident happened. Get over it!

    Louis Murray

    [i]That xenophobic Brit with a pre-programmed “foreign” brain preset to see foxes everywhere, especially whilst on holiday in countries he “doesn’t understand” and despite a hard-nosed 15 year teaching and research career at four Australian universities (UWA; John Curtain; Univ.of Queensland; USQ).[/i]

    .

  228. Jack Jolly

    November 29, 2017 at 12:45 am

    #134 William …

    I’d put good money on our “Victorian” being a troll who does not even live in Victoria and has never been to Tassie. We have the all time clanger of the opossum, then we have someone who thinks that it is a sunny day in Holbrook around 5.20 pm in June. One thing we do know is that they know nothing about Tasmania wildlife.

    My guess is that he’s another well known contributor using a new pseudonym who often employs ‘cut, paste, speculate, bait, switch then whine’ as their MO. In fact, I think he has just given himself away. I offer some observations within this thread.

    1. One contributor in particular likes to cut and paste speculation based upon Googled links that are nonsense just to keep the focus on themselves;

    2. The same contributor uses inductive reasoning and begins with the conclusion they like and tries to support them with trivia and faux statistical reasoning;

    3. The same contributor keeps promising to go away, having become frustrated with the silliness, but seems compelled to return (for reasons only known to him) and each time he does it he blows his credibility as a busy man further.

    4. But most interesting is that both ‘A Victorian’ and the other contributor put an awful lot of their comments in italic. This is not that common on Tasmanian Times. You can see the same pattern.

    I submit to you a new game – troll bingo.

    I’m wasting my time replying to these people but I am absolutely fascinated by what motivates them! Truthfully, I don’t get it. You are totally right, Dr O and his collaborators have taken these people to the cleaners so many times that you’d think they’d get it by now. But it’s not about the truth, logic, reason or analysis. Clearly it’s about something else – but what? That’s what has me stumped. They have nothing but speculation and random Google links yet they keep going – why?

  229. A Victorian

    November 29, 2017 at 12:44 am

    #134 …

    “In all levels of academic achievement, Dr David would blow “A Victorian” out of the ballpark.”

    How do you know that? I didn’t even list my qualification nor did I list what I did after I retired from a career as a high school science and maths teacher. But that is all irrelevant because the real question is whether Kelvin at #123 was justified by stating that –

    “In UK foxes can carry disease, particularly foot and mouth”

    According to the UK authorities who are very experienced with FMD, foxes and other animals can carry infected material on their feet or on their coats although they do not become infected themselves.

    William, what has the validity or invalidity of the above statement issued by a UK authority got to do with Dr David O’s academic achievement versus my academic achievement (BSc (Hons), PhD (Chemistry)). A petty remark by you. If David can find literature that disagrees with the above then he is free to provide the link.

  230. Simon Warriner

    November 28, 2017 at 10:01 pm

    It has been fascinating watching “Victorian” and Kelvin entirely miss the point, and in so doing brutally reinforce the point Dr. O has been making, which is that the absence of physical evidence of forensically reliable provenance renders the whole sorry saga a rort of quite stunning proportions … some 50 million of them to give it a measure.

    What happens elsewhere is entirely and absolutely irrelevant without some form of physical proof placing similar behavior in the State of Tasmania.

    As I have repeatedly pointed out until and unless there are fox proof enclosures around the RORO ports, and established protocols to prevent that proven method of incursion, those responsible for managing the matter cannot possibly be taken seriously. Nothing Dr. O has detailed mitigates that failure, in fact most of it exacerbates it.

    The refusal of those we have elected to oversee those responsible over a long period of time has given rise to a degree of very understandable frustration on the part of those pointing out the flawed “attempts” at managing the “problem” and it is imho quite understandable that those attempting to muddy the waters without actually presenting credible evidence are being subject to a degree of derision.

  231. Jack

    November 28, 2017 at 9:19 pm

    #132 … Errrghhhhh. Dear Mr retired and anonymous Maths teacher (Dip Ed). Had you bothered to look at obvious you could have saved yourself the humiliation and me the 5 seconds it took to look up the sunset time for Holbrook in June.

    https://sunrisesunset.willyweather.com.au/nsw/riverina–murray/holbrook.html

    Here it gives a general time of 5.05 pm for June (probably a mean). So just in case you need some help with the maths, at 5.20 pm it would have been dark. In fact on the 19th of June, and close to the shortest day, sunset probably would have been earlier, before 5.00 pm even. Now, nocturnal animals come out in the dark – you do get that concept don’t you? That’s when they get hit by cars in Victoria. I’m not referring to North American opossums or foxes in the Arctic mind you – just to be clear. Nor any of the Nordic countries.

    If you are having trouble with this concept please don’t hesitate to cut and paste more random stuff you Google that demonstrates your lack of attention to detail. I get the feeling that you are just having a laugh and enjoying playing dumb, because I really do hope you are lying about being a maths/science teacher. The Victorian education system is in more strife than than Flash Gordon if you are being serious.

    This is like a car crash that I can’t look away from.

  232. William Boeder

    November 28, 2017 at 8:52 pm

    #133 … Yes Jack, the “A Victorian” could only be another certain … troll.

    In all levels of academic achievement, Dr David would blow “A Victorian” out of the ballpark.

    This line of attack by the above person is a classic illustration of the type of lunacy thinking that had begun with the very first claim about a Tasmanian Fox presence in this State had arisen. Any further attempt to provide a sensible response to this troll-like person is a waste of one’s energy.

    I am now convinced that a certain Victorian person has great difficulty in being able to comprehend the written and published fact.

    (edited)

  233. Jack

    November 28, 2017 at 7:20 pm

    #130 … I’d advise Dr Obendorf to give up. An anonymous and retired maths teacher clearly has a lot of time on his/her hands and an ability to cut and paste North American wildlife footage and then argue with a veterinary pathologist about diseases. I’d take up observing paint dry as a far more satisfying use of my time, Dr Obendorf.

    This isn’t rocket science mate. It’s simple maths. 0+0+0+0…nth = 0. If n = 4,000 zeros and someone tells me that they saw a 1 in the equation within the 4,000 zeros it still equals zero. If you tell me that a 1 could have been put in the equation it still equals zero. It equals zero until there is an actual “1” in the equation that you can point to.

    Or is there a knew field of “imaginary numbers” taught in Victorian schools as part of a post-modernism agenda these days? We’d hate to hurt anyone’s feelings if they wanted 0+0 to equal something different whilst in their safe space. Reason triggers people. We can’t have that now, can we? Having to come up with proof should be banned as racist or sexist or something.

  234. A Victorian

    November 28, 2017 at 7:07 pm

    ”Single vehicle crash on the Hume Hwy just south of Holbrook at 5:20pm on Monday 19 June, 2017. The driver claimed to have swerved to avoid a fox (a declared pest) on the road, and in doing so lost control of the vehicle, leaving the road and rolling a number of times in the median.

    The driver returned a negative reading when tested for alcohol, but a positive indication to cannabis when submitted to a road side drug test. When asked about his drug consumption the driver admitted to having 4 joints of cannabis in the previous 24 hours, and also to previously that day having a passenger in the vehicle that was smoking cannabis.

    Police are awaiting the results of further drug testing before possibly charging the driver with driving with an illicit substance present.

    Unfortunately despite the driver’s efforts, the fox was hit by the vehicle and did not survive the collision.”

    https://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjrkfikjuPXAhWJzbwKHdIFAbYQFggpMAA&url=https://www.facebook.com/TrafficServicesNSWPF/posts/1504540262944282:0&usg=AOvVaw0SXPorcEi3OHesp8L1LMaT

  235. Jack

    November 28, 2017 at 5:54 pm

    #125 and #127 … Are you serious? I mean really, you’re having a laugh, right?

    You attach a video of an opossum (a Didelphis virginiana) from the Americas. I mean the foolishness of using a diurnal species from North America that is not even a ‘possum’ is stunning! The fact that you think an opossum is a possum means that I hope that you were better at maths than biology. Then you ignore that the red-looking possum here is called ‘vulpecula’ meaning ‘little fox’ – and it bloody well does look like a little fox.

    Then we have another North American bit of footage in the snow. In sub-zero temperatures, and in places that are snow bound, foxes hunt during the day.

    Although it must have slipped your mind, we are talking about Australia where it is a little bit warmer. Yet if you go to the Alpine regions of Victoria and NSW you can find foxes in the snow during winter as well. Also during the day – and they do cross roads. But we aren’t talking about Alpine regions in snow bound habitat are we? We are not referring to environments where nocturnal animals switch to being diurnal during winters such as during northern hemisphere winters. We’ve not even talking about Arctic foxes, polar bears and penguins.

    I mean, this might be fun for you Victorian, but it is depressing when people claim to have ‘knowledge’ then begin to shoot their own toes off one by one.

    You’ve got a few million hours of Go Pro footage shot during the day in Victoria so it should be easy to find all those foxes running across roads in the broad daylight, even in Tasmania. Hell, quite a lot of Go Pro cameras here too. So, would you mind sticking to this hemisphere and possibly even this continent, if it is not too much trouble?

    I mean, I give up. Arguments with furnisher are rarely productive but discussions with fox true believers are a true waste of time.

  236. A Victorian

    November 28, 2017 at 5:31 pm

    #126 … “Foxes can be wildlife carrier of several diseases including Rabies and Hydatids but not Foot & Mouth Disease, or did you perhaps see a cloven-hoofed animal cross the Midlands Highway?”

    The above isn’t strictly true Dr O!

    Foxes “can carry infected material on their feet or coats, but do not become infected themselves.”

    The above sentence is from

    https://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=http://www.defra.gov.uk/publications/files/pb9868b-factsheet2-070807.pdf&ved=0ahUKEwjj5Oyc9uLXAhXGfbwKHQDxAVcQFghXMA8&usg=AOvVaw2YMrVMEFNyzoGXR6ePatGY


    • The following list shows some of the routes by which FMD
    can be spread, but where good biosecurity measures can
    help to reduce the risk.

    – Contaminated footwear, clothes or hands of people who
    have close contact with infected animals, e.g. when
    feeding or examining them.

    – Equipment that becomes contaminated through use on
    or near infected animals.

    – Any vehicle that enters or leaves premises especially those
    areas where animals have been.

    – Contamination from the carcass of an infected animal.

    – Contamination from any place where an infected animal
    has been; from pastures, loading ramps, markets, roads, etc.

    – Contamination from other animals such as dogs, cats, poultry
    and foxes, which can carry infected material on their feet or
    coats, but do not become infected themselves.

    – Contamination through contact with infected animals
    from neighbouring farms where adequate separation
    distances are not in place.

    – Animals eating infected animal products.”

  237. Ian Rist

    November 28, 2017 at 5:25 pm

    Re the trolls (that never use their real names because it would give the game away)… I say to you all ‘talk is cheap’ but holding up a genuine Tasmanian fox has proven to be very expensive.
    I don’t waste my time on ‘smokies’.

  238. Jack

    November 28, 2017 at 5:16 pm

    #123 … Kelvin, there was not just 1 fox. If we believe you we should believe 4,000 others.

    I’m not sure if you have read all of the scientific output that’s online like a lot of us have (www.tasmanianfox.com) or even in the media that has covered this scam there has been a fair bit.

    Even the original story for how foxes got here has turned out to be exposed as rubbish by Tasmania Police no less! The claim that foxes were all over the shop is being reviewed by the journal that published it. Other scientists have accounted for patterns in fox sightings in another piece of work that has only recently been released. Even the blinking Integrity Commission is looking at claims of faked evidence that a scientist within the fox program itself pointed to.

    Need I say not 1 bit of evidence of a live fox was found over 15 years. Nothing.

    All that is on the record to read and digest, but to you the “sighting” of a “fox” by two Brits who’d only been in the state for a few days over ten years go is supposed to mean something?

    I’m in awe of your brass. Even those people who collected the “scientific evidence” of fox scats, sightings and tall tales are not defending this any more.

    I mean, you are entitled to claim what you wish. Believe in the Beast of Bournemouth too, if you like. Joke all you like about the vulpine hysterics and sceptics clubs, but all these people have ever asked for is convincing evidence. None has come forward, yet still people persist with the “believe me” claims without a scrap of physical evidence to back it up. Not a scrap.

    What is it about the need for evidence that troubles you? I think it might be time to ponder who is actually being hysterical, because when you grow up and still believe in Santa, the Tooth Fairy and Ghosts, and claim to see them, there is ultimately a price that has to be paid for making such claims.

  239. A Victorian

    November 28, 2017 at 4:32 pm

    What about this silly possum trying to cross a road?

    https://youtu.be/QNiCl46vWBE

    By the way, have you ever seen a salmon crossing a road? It does a better job than the possum!I I dug up a video for you to look at ..

    https://youtu.be/wZt4jJEkhWM

    I am not a hunter but simply a retired high school teacher in Melbourne who taught maths and science.

  240. David Obendorf

    November 28, 2017 at 4:28 pm

    Foxes can be wildlife carrier of several diseases including Rabies and Hydatids but not Foot & Mouth Disease, or did you perhaps see a cloven-hoofed animal cross the Midlands Highway?

    As other commenters have explained very diligently your observation is neither here nor there Kelvin, and stands on your recognisance and that of Louis Murray. You might wish to also research the number of times rural dogs have been mistaken for foxes in Tasmania.

    For your information there was an animal sighting report made by Chris Spencer in May 2001. Nick Mooney maintains that report was the triggering incident that kicked off the 16 year fox-less fox hunt. It was also unsupported by follow-up detection of irrefutable field evidence. That has been the pattern for 16 years – no irrefutable evidence of fox presence in Tasmania.

  241. A Victorian

    November 28, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    Well Ian, this is what you said at #75 …

    “Foxes out in the middle of the day?

    “Never in all my vast experience on the Australian mainland and Europe have I seen foxes out in daylight unless called out with fox decoy whistle, then they do everything possible to stay concealed and approach the whistle in decreasing circles.

    “So ladies and gentleman you are entitled to live in your self claimed knowledgeable Worlds and maybe your excusable mis-identification beliefs but I am not buying it and haven’t done for a long, long time.”

    Since in your vast and long experience on the Australian mainland and in Europe you never saw a fox in the middle of the day does that mean that foxes do not sometimes, even if very rarely, go out in the middle of the day and do something that one wouldn’t normally expect based on the known fox habits?

    Since I posted the two links at #111 & #112 two days ago you haven’t acknowledged the deficiency in your knowledge about the foxes in Australia and elsewhere but are carrying on as if you haven’t learnt anything new, nor are you showing a sign of being willing to learn anything new.

    You say in #124 “they didn’t get a single Tasmanian fox, not drugged, mugged, shot, trapped, photographed or recovered from a stupid and badly thought out 1080 poison baiting program which did unprecedented damage to our native species, farm dogs and peoples pets”.

    Does your statement mean that there definitely wasn’t at least one live fox roaming the Tasmanian midlands where Kelvin and Louise were driving on the morning of the boxing day 2007? Since there are a lot of foxes hanging around Port Melbourne area there is a possibility, a very small possibility, that more than one fox boarded a vessel and landed on your soil. I am aware of only one fox (the 1998 Burnie fox) that did that but that fox was spotted as it got off the container ship. My understanding is that “rangers and experienced fox hunters used fox whistles, spotlighting and traps in an attempt to capture this fox. No trace of it has since been found except for footprints on a nearby beach, proving how elusive the species can be”. What about the very remote possibility of other foxes doing the same thing without being spotted on the cargo ship or getting off?

    Here is a fox that was filmed crossing a road during daytime in America. As in the fox that was seen by Kelvin and Louise the fox crossed the road at right angles and its complete profile is visible. How can anyone think that the animal is a ginger cat or a brushtail possum?

    Fox crossing a road during daytime in America

    https://youtu.be/PH0iVqZKV1c

    I am not an expert on fox recognition but I just can’t see how a profile of a fox can be confused with a profile of a possum or a ginger cat or another animal in Tasmania. Kelvin and Louise saw a profile of the animal and believed it to be a fox. Kelvin gave a brief description (distance of 20 meters, cute nose, leg structure different to that of a ginger cat, Basil brush tail). Two people in the same car saw the animal as it crossed in front of them from left to right – very similar to the above fox.

    Have a look at this smart fox. It is diving headfirst into snow to catch a prey. Some scientists think that the fox is aligning itself with the Earth’s magnetic north.

    https://youtu.be/D2SoGHFM18I

  242. Ian Rist

    November 28, 2017 at 1:26 pm

    Well’ Kelvin’ they didn’t get a single Tasmanian fox, not drugged, mugged, shot, trapped, photographed or recovered from a stupid and badly thought out 1080 poison baiting program which did unprecedented damage to our native species, farm dogs and peoples pets.

    Now even a simple analysis must come to the conclusion that it could only come down to two simple answers…either there were no foxes here or the people entrusted with the ‘eradication ‘ process were painfully incompetent.

    All the apologists, ifs, buts and perhaps cannot change that fact.

    Why any of us cannot admit it was scheme to dud the Feds after a opportunity was presented by the partial sale of Telstra thus enabling the National Heritage Trust and the EPBCE legislation to be formed.

    A good Senator friend of mine explained it was one of many scams to provide votes in ‘sheltered workshop’ areas.

    He should have known because he was in on the original Telstra legislation.

  243. Kelvin Jones

    November 28, 2017 at 11:05 am

    #120… We were in open country. Fields to the left gave way to low hills with the central highlands in rising in the distance, To right flatish farm fields.

    Why bring it up ten years later, well on this site people keep saying there are no foxes in Tasmania. There may none now but 10 years ago there was at least one.

    Foxes are a species of fauna that Tasmania is better off without. In UK foxes can carry disease, particularly foot and mouth.

    The federal and state governments were correct in my opinion to be concerned. The only question I see was the money spent on the fox program functionally well spent.

  244. Ian Rist

    November 28, 2017 at 9:17 am

    Re # 121 Lazarus has risen yet again and like “Arnie’ he’s back.
    For someone who has voluntarily left this fox thread three times before he appears to have be a serial commentator that just cannot resist.
    Waste of time debating with this bloke, in my opinion just a scat stirrer with nothing constructive to add.

  245. Dr Peter Lozo (Adelaide)

    November 28, 2017 at 12:44 am

  246. David Obendorf

    November 27, 2017 at 8:25 pm

    The contributions from Kelvin Jones and Louis Murray are welcome but they only add another report to the over 4,000 since the fox program began collecting this statistic.

    Both gentlemen have given separate versions of their sighting of an animal from the Midlands Highway on Boxing Day 26 Dec 2007. According to Kelvin it was 9.30 am EDST in the morning. According to Louis the animal they saw crossed the highway and both thought it was a fox. I understand it wasn’t reported at the time to the fox hotline. No location is given other than ‘an hour and fifteen minutes’ out of Kingston. That puts them somewhere around Oatlands, is that correct, gentlemen?

    Louis Murray I understand was visiting from UK (Portsmouth area) and Louis has given his version of events. Forgive me but I don’t understand why you chaps thought is necessary to comment on your particular animal sighting ten years later.

    I’m also in the Hobart telephone directory as well – 03 62 345561 – and my email is dobendor@iinet.net.au. Thank you.

  247. Jack

    November 27, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    #116 Hallelujah!

    Our “little red fox” is not seen on the mainland…or in the UK. It’s perfectly understandable that people confuse it with a real fox. It is sometimes even seen during the day over here.

    You are spot on; we are hard wired to make this sort of mistake and very bad critics of our own perception. Even in the face of evidence (or a great lack of it) once we have told all and sundry that we have seen something we begin to convince ourselves. Some will not back down. And when you have a government program telling everyone that they are right and the “doubters” wrong mass hysteria results.

  248. Kelvin Jones

    November 27, 2017 at 1:22 pm

    To the members of the vulpine hysterics and sceptics clubs Hobart Branch (Tasmanian fox doubters).

    I repeat, it was boxing day 2007 around 9.30am on the Midland Hwy and I will add, about one hour and fifteen minutes out of Kingston.

    I had only driven this part part of the Midland Hwy once before in the opposite direction when I first arrived in Tasmania driving from Davenport to Snug.

    The road was remarkably empty. A very noisy and fast four wheel drive had passed us going in the opposite direction and was about hundred meters behind us when the fox appeared from the left shrubbery growth. No other vehicles in sight front or rear. It seemed the fox was surprised by us as much as we were by it, as it hesitated before making a very quick trot almost squarely across the road. We were almost in line with the fox as it’s tail disappeared into shrubbery on the other side of the road.

    My name is in the Hobart telephone book so you cannot claim internet anonymity. The people we were meeting in Launceston were my friend Lewis old work colleagues from Curtain University WA now working at UTAS. The incident was related to them. They remarked it was a reportable incident but Christmas holiday agenda’s and subsequent chains of events the incident was forgotten until months after Louis returned to UK.

    Incidentally foxes are increasing in the outer suburbs of Perth WA. They were endemic in the late 1970’s where I lived in the hills as my neighbour found out when he setup a chuck pen for the kids.

    I am afraid my car was the one that came with me from WA and was not fitted with a “fox dna forensic kit” unlike it seems Tasmanian supplied cars are????

    Louis also sent me a private email at the same time his comment was published in TT. Describing more very interesting encounters with foxes in UK. They have parallels with the A Victorian comments #111 & 112. Except they occurred on a roundabout on the A27 and at Portsmouth University all during daylight.

    No commentator has given me any reason to doubt observing on boxing day 2007 a fox live in Tasmania. On the contrary commentators have reinforced my confidence in the observation.

    Whether there are any foxes now is open to question ecause of the eradication program

  249. lola moth

    November 27, 2017 at 10:24 am

    Here is my two cents worth …

    I had been living on the mainland for decades and finally talked my partner into visiting my family in Tasmania with me one Christmas. We spent a lot of time driving around the countryside and noted all the road kill. When we got back to my folks’ place we mentioned all the different species of dead animals we had encountered that day. We mentioned wallabies, echidnas, wombats, devils, possums, foxes, quolls and bandicoots. My father said “Eh? There are no foxes in Tasmania.”

    We were sure we had seen a dead fox near Christmas Hills. Where we were living in NSW there were dead foxes everywhere so we had really just assumed it was a fox because that was what we were used to calling an upside-down, red, furry creature of that size with a bushy tail, lying dead on the side of the road. Once I had taken the idea of a fox out of my head, I realised the animal was a red possum.

    The next day a similar thing happened. I told my partner to be careful of the wasp hanging around his beer. He said it was a bee. We argued over it’s identity until my father declared it was a European wasp. My partner had never seen that type of wasp before, and as they do look like bees he automatically misidentified it as the only thing he knew that looked similar.

    Foreigners to Tasmania are the worst people to trust with identifying animals in this state. Unless you are familiar with what is here, your brain will automatically identify an animal as something it is familiar with. It is like when you go overseas and think you see familiar faces in the crowds of strangers.

    Human brains are wired to look for familiar patterns in faces and shapes. That is how we so easily misidentify things we are unfamiliar with.

  250. William Boeder

    November 26, 2017 at 9:54 pm

    #112 … Victorian, I have just had another chat with a visitor in Rosebery who I again met today and he claims he and his wife had gone on a nature walk down in the Zeehan area and had found what they believe to be a fox’s nest located up in the first layer of branches of a mid-growth Pinus-Radiata tree.
    As for evidence, he said the nest had a few old chicken-like feathers that had been stamped into the now dried out fox poo.
    Are you aware of similar discoveries over in your State?

  251. John Hawkins

    November 26, 2017 at 9:47 pm

    Hodgman states that his senior public servant tendered his resignation and he accepted it.

    This is a classic example of the matter here under discussion because it is misrepresentation, it is a lie, it is deceitful and it is fraudulent.

    The most senior public servant in Tasmania resigned.

    He did not consult you Hodgman, nor did he offer his resignation – this is pure spin to improve your image.

    Hodgman – it confirms you to be a liar and a fraud.

    But then you are a Pollie – and he forced you to correct the spin.

    Enough said.

  252. Jack

    November 26, 2017 at 8:49 pm

    #111 and #112 Dear Victorian

    Perhaps you better have a read of what is being said about the behaviour of foxes during daylight. No one is saying in this thread that they don’t sun themselves near shelter and especially in cities. Try and find footage of one bolting over a country highway in front of a car or being hit by a car during the middle of the day (as is claimed in Tasmania). I’m happy to be proven wrong but you will need evidence of what we are actually debating. There are millions of hours of Go Pro footage of cars travelling country roads. No daylight bolting foxes as far as I know – but educate me.

    The reason these foxes are sunning themselves on the roof is that they have a den or shelter in or close to the property. They have not run across highways to get there. Nor taken a tram.

    Anyway Victorian funny how you can take a photo of a fox over there. It’s impossible to do that in Tasmania.

  253. Ian Rist

    November 26, 2017 at 7:26 pm

    Goodness the trollers are coming out under all sorts of trolling names…is it a futile last ditch attempt to avoid the gallows ?

  254. A Victorian

    November 26, 2017 at 7:15 pm

    “a Mt Waverley woman snapped two foxes frolicking across her neighbour’s roof in the middle of the day.”

    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/leader/east/melbourne-goes-fox-crazy-after-furry-pair-take-casual-midday-walk-across-roof-in-mt-waverley/news-story/62368df53dce604d9e6758bb70e732be

  255. A Victorian

    November 26, 2017 at 6:51 pm

    A little bit of help for my neighbors on the other side of Bass Strait who do not seem to know about the behavior of foxes in Australia:

    “Radio listener Dillis saw this fox in Williamstown in the middle of the day.”

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-27/why-are-there-so-many-foxes-in-melbourne/8654868

  256. Jack

    November 26, 2017 at 6:28 pm

    #108 You’ll note that I have never claimed that you can’t see foxes during the day in urban UK or cities with lots of foxes especially. You can even see them during the day in rural areas where they stay close to shelter or dens. My comments are about foxes hit by cars or bolting across roads, especially in rural areas, as have been claimed.

    There is an easy way to test this. There are loads of Go Pros on trucks and cars on the mainland that record constantly. In other words, if foxes do bolt across roads and get hit by cars on the mainland on country roads during the day it should now have been captured on video many times. I’m happy to be proved wrong. All I require is evidence.

  257. William Boeder

    November 26, 2017 at 5:57 pm

    #108 … Stu, here you go – a YouTube video on the existence of the Tasmanian Fox.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOhJ04PZtsQI note you haven’t specified Tasmania.
    Do please bear in mind that there has not been any scientific fact or recorded data found or discovered to prove beyond all personal doubt, that foxes were or are present in Tasmania.
    Persons who incline themselves to believe that foxes were or are present and that these same foxes were able to become the breeding stock for further foxes to be present in our State are suggested to become members of the Flat-Earth Society.
    The narrative as given in this video link is very well presented and must be carefully listened to.

  258. Stu

    November 26, 2017 at 5:00 pm

    Not passing comment on what people have or haven’t seen, but there are plenty of youtube videos of foxes in broad daylight.

  259. Jack

    November 26, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    #104 … “I had only been in Tasmania for a few days and knew nothing of the fox debate..”

    Oh, when I was in the UK I saw a wombat. I knew it was a wombat because I come from a place where I see wombats all the time. It was at night and on a paddock. It was definitely a wombat. I knew what I saw. So what is the UK government doing about the wombat problem? What about a wombat eradication program? Don’t tell me that it was a badger, because I know what a wombat looks like.

    Oh, jolly good then.

    I’m sorry, but being a Brit does not qualify you as an expert in foxes nor Tasmanian wildlife. Your anecdote constitute no proof beyond the other 4,000 foxless fox “sightings”.

    I will not take your word or anyone’s word for it. Certainly not someone associated with ‘Richard Kopf’ – a well known troll who reports seeing foxes that are likewise unreported and mysterious.

    That’s right, in London you can see, photograph and find evidence of foxes as a prosaic event. But in Tasmania 4,000 can be ‘seen’ but not one can be found. And we do not have foxes running about during the day across highways in Australia. It doesn’t happen. If you spent a few days in Tasmania and saw a fox in broad daylight bolting over a road – well done you! Others have spent decades driving through habitat with millions of foxes in it on the mainland and have never seen this once – who would you put your money on?

    And one thing you don’t have in the UK is Tasmanian wildlife unless you visit the zoo.

    If you look at one of the papers the ‘fox skeptics’ published on their website they point out that a Tasmanian critter has a latin name that means “little fox”. It’s a marsupial and is not found running about in the UK. Even several mainlanders whilst in Tasmania have hit ‘a fox’ in their car and called the ‘fox squad’ only to be sadly disappointed. You see Tasmania is famous for having a very red coloured ‘little fox’ that we don’t have on the mainland. Sometimes it moves during the day. Apart from ginger cats there are a few other species very easily confused with foxes.

    And do you have tiger quolls in the UK as well? These are not our “little fox” but most mainlanders would easily think that they were a fox because they will live an entire life and never see one on the big Island.

    It might interest you to know that other “fox experts” (i.e. Brits on holidays for a few days in about 1991) actually heard a fox – at night too. Wow! They were from the UK and knew what foxes sounded like. Hence, instant self proclaimed experts. But what they didn’t have back home was a boobook owl or a barking owl. Presumably being British didn’t qualify them automatically in those species. Nope, it was a fox. They were British. All Brits are born with a Zoology degree from Oxford University.

    So, thanks awfully for all your help, British fox experts/tourists. It reminds me that I’d better get trolling away on my wombat sightings in the Cotswolds. With any luck I can remotely assist the UK government to allocate millions to a wasteful program by pretending to know what I am talking about. All I’ve got to do is to work up enough shameless brass to convince myself that I’m contributing something useful. I’m sure that after 15 years of not finding any wombats that the locals won’t get pissed off at the lunacy of it all.

  260. William Boeder

    November 26, 2017 at 12:44 pm

    Given the few in the number of persons who seek a level of political correctness and the desire to see comments wrapped in politically acceptive officialese, this will not have me capitulate or destroy my factual evidence of this State’s history of cover-ups, lies and deceptions.

    Nor will I relinquish my accumulated insider provided facts, nor the factual information gained through my research facility which often happens to be the Internet.
    Another example of a valuable item of reference is the book containing the verifiable facts of events in Tasmania, as are published in the book written by the well respected Quentin Beresford, The Rise and Fall of Gunns Ltd.
    The vital point I wish to deliver on this popular forum is that no amount of wrongs, (be they redecorated or even cosmetically complemented with a new coat of concealing paint) will ever constitute a right.

    I understand there are protocols such as the correctitudes preferred by governments and their ministerial hoodwinkers and or employed personnel, (we only consider accepting polite and well-written letters that do not consist of allegations, specifically directed to or indeed containing allegations of the names of prominent persons, or that such correspondences may otherwise announce) their complaints dissatisfactions or even suspicious opinions as noted in such unwelcome correspondences, will be accepted.
    In other words, such undesirable correspondences that do not allow any wriggle room or opportunity for a safe exit presumably by the addressed recipient of such unbecoming and or deeply revealing concerns held in such untoward manner of correspondence will be disregarded.

    I now refer to the many “Commercial in Confidence” labeled State government undertakings, eg the sale of the Hobart Airport, the sale of the old New Norfolk hospital and its extensive grounds, no doubt there are many other suspicious undertakings such as the entry of Ta Ann’s timber veneer peeling operations into Tasmania.
    The roiling black smoke of officialdom that remains a constant between the public advised understandings of so many controversial incidents and or dealings in this State (including the strongly biased decisions handed down resulting from Tasmania’s Supreme Court conducted trials and hearings, being many in their number of this State’s government undertakings which must include their GBE’s.

    None of the above can be dismissed or cloaked over by use of State government inspired deceptions.

  261. Ian Rist

    November 26, 2017 at 11:08 am

    ‘Louis’ and ‘Kelvin’ nice try. We need more detail. You see the Vulpine Hysterics and Skeptics Club (Hobart Branch) are highly into working on facts and actual events.

    Actually most likely I have seen and shot more foxes on mainland Australia and in Europe than 90% of the commentators on this thread and what you are claiming does not ring true….more detail please ?
    Because personally I don’t believe you.

  262. Louis Murray

    November 26, 2017 at 1:36 am

    Like the Fox it is time for me to break cover – so to speak! I am the bloke who was with my old mate Kelvin on that Boxing Day drive to Launceston nearly ten years ago.

    What did we jointly see? A fox – running across the road. Period! Not a ginger cat. Not a hobbit in fancy dress. Not a hallucination of ferality. Not a cross-dressing domestic dog with a personality disorder. Not a wishful-thinking, dream induced mirage. Simply and plainly it was … old Reynard.

    Neither Kelvin nor I had – nor have – any agendas about Tassie foxes.We were enjoying the Xmas holiday for goodness sake. I had only been in Tasmania for a few days and knew nothing of the fox debate or “reporting protocols”. As for getting out of the car and collecting hairs and tracing spoors … Pleeze …

    For the paid-up members of the Vulpine Hysterics and Sceptics Club (Hobart Branch) here are some UK facts about foxes for you to mull over …

    (a) They are in large numbers all over the country. (b) They are frequently seen in broad daylight.(c) They are highly active in urban areas as well as in the countryside. (d) They have dens in railway embankments not a mile from Charing Cross mainline railway station in the heart of central London, a city of eight million people.(e) They visit my garden in a seaside town in the greater Portsmouth area.( f) They are often seen crossing motorways motorways in rush hours.

    A warranted conclusion = an adaptable species.

    And one of my favourite movies is? After The Fox (1965)! Peter Sellers was hard to pin-down in that too – so the Hollies had to sing about his presence and absence. They should have shot the movie in Tasmania.

  263. Simon Warriner

    November 26, 2017 at 12:52 am

    r# 101 … I agree entirely Jack, but the confusion is understandable (tho unforgivable imo) given the solutions to so many of our every day problems offered up by our party political elected representatives and their “advisors” are far more faith based than rooted in any transparent, provable and repeatable process. Perhaps we need to focus on remedying that matter in order to get anything looking like improvement.

  264. Alison Bleaney

    November 25, 2017 at 11:19 pm

    #101 … Exactly … well put, and about time it was said.

  265. Jack Jolly

    November 25, 2017 at 7:30 pm

    #98 … This article is fair enough in its criticism on many levels, but what it leaves out discussing is the need to separate the right of people to enjoy their private beliefs versus the need to have evidence-based and public governance following agreed principles and open review.

    The politics of science versus religion only becomes apparent when one intrudes on the turf on another. When belief and anecdotes pretend to replace reason then there will be conflict. I for one think this is very much in the public interest. In my opinion we all need to accept that arguments about fundamental systems of thought are going to be passionate.

    The fox fiasco is a good case in point. Should our society spend up big on what people ‘believe’ is the truth and their claims? Or should the allocation of public resources be made on the basis of evidence that can be tested? It is a matter that bedevils the medical profession too. Sure, you have a right to use crystals and magic spells to cure your own cancer, but you don’t have a right to push nonsense without being challenged. Do you have a right to reject evidence and not vaccinate your kids? Even conservative public policy now seems to say no. Few are going to agree to use public funds to subsidise quackery.

    So where does this go is we don’t have people defending public values based upon evidence? Do we put people in jail based on unproven anecdotes or on the say so of people in power who have strong beliefs? Must we respect those elected to public office who hear voices and use crystal balls to form public policy?

    Hence, how do you reconcile those who wish to use belief, myth and anecdotes to allocated resources and inform public policy versus those who wish public money to be allocated based upon evidence subject to transparent analysis?

    You can’t. It’s one or the other.

    When self interest is coupled with a refusal to empirically test the quality of evidence a decision must be made about the relative value of ‘belief’ versus ‘reason’. Or we keep revisiting fox fiascos in other guises.

    But then we get to a much nastier aspect of what is going on here that Dr O touches on. What do you call it when certain people misrepresent, deceive and astroturf by manipulating the belief of others? What do you call it when people who are paid by public money or have positions of public trust attempt to persuade people of their unproven view by deception so as to justify their claims and self interest?

    Because that’s what’s going on here.

    Kelvin/Richard I’m still awaiting the details of your latest fox sighting, like I waited on the Friendly Beaches sighting that was never recorded. I’ll radio you at the depot on the repeater and ask if you leave me hanging for too long.

  266. David Obendorf

    November 25, 2017 at 6:29 pm

    It seems that no matter what’s presented, raking over the old coals hasn’t dissuaded individuals from their worldview. This particular thread probably exemplifies what [b]Sharon A. Hill[/b] – see O’Brien’s comment at #98 – is trying to convey. Here’s a selection of her comments:

    [i]’There are those who just want to be contrarians.’

    ‘The belief is real for a minority of people … ‘

    ‘Many who support science and critical thinking efforts … .’

    ‘Science-oriented audiences fall into the habit of scientism. They think science is the best thing ever and can solve all the world’s problems.'[/i]

    Clearly, there are ‘foxes are here’ believers who are confidently persuaded by oral testimony from individuals who say they’ve seen a fox in Tasmania, but there are those who are not persuaded by such belief without irrefutable and provable physical evidence being provided; evidence that can be independently examined and tested.

    Perhaps it’s time for TT editor to close this thread.

  267. William Boeder

    November 25, 2017 at 2:09 pm

    #98. an interesting link provided by yourself O’Brien I have determined its relevance to this
    article matter and believe it may apply to certain individuals, maybe even in its being directed toward myself.

    My response to your link is that I try to act for the people that in all likelihood are equally appalled as I myself, by the current actions and or functions in this State via its present ministerial incumbents with their failings and false promise that had indeed created the very need for this subject matter now up for forum discussion.

    Given that many of the other contributor comments posted on this subject matter also carry the same questions relative to the ethics and principles that are of such an absurdity and also match my very same opinions and views in this matter.
    I now refer to the rest of your provided link and its relevance; can you yourself offer an alternate means of conveying one’s express views relative to this State government across the whole spectrum of their failed and deceptive leadership government?

    A great many others also choose to lampoon or write quite fiercely of how inadequate are those elected persons in this present time of this State’s Liberal party incumbents (which by rights this reference must also be applicable to the former alternative State Labor leadership government) as to be the obliged democratic system and method of this State’s governance, then whatever might be referred to as the prospering management of our hopefully growing Tasmanian economy.

    I now refer to the overall management of this State with the State ministers displaying their complete disregard toward this State’s “lesser exalted citizens” concerns (which by simple observation) this party of ministers invariably restrict themselves to only paying attention to those of their own higher academic standing and elitist circles with their superior-like ideologies) that actually fail to provide a satisfactory demonstration of anything other than a strong bias against this State’s citizens.

    Given as far as I am aware of, the only innovations or new means of building the State economy that have been pursued to aid to the economic returns of Tasmania over the past say 15 or more years, has been to continue to engage in deceptions (eg; the Fox hoax fiasco) the continued begging from the Federal government, then of the ramped up continuation of clear-felling Tasmania’s Crown Land Forests, which arguably remains a nil-sustainable short-term future.
    (One must not overlook the incoming vast amount of funding intended to relocate the Hobart Hospital, as was enabled by Mr. Andrew Wilkie Independent member for Denison, I dare say a large amount of this Federal government granted funding will have been siphoned off and thereby wasted of its intended purpose.)
    I now return this discussion back to your good self O’Brien for you to offer your studied views relative to the inclusion of your included link perspectives.

  268. William Boeder

    November 24, 2017 at 10:09 pm

    #91 Garry Stannus … I well remember the olden times when it was your good self that had created the Court of Public Opinion.

    There was a timely need for said Court Trial to identify and make public the role of a former Labor portfolio minister, it was alleged she being found delinquent in her alleged abundant failures to aid the common good of the people and to better the State of Tasmania.

    There became the need for a Court of Public Opinion even though this quasi-legal undertaking was held on the Tasmania Times forum, this publicly accessible Court had enabled the decision found handed down in the favour of the non-fooled good citizens rallying against the former State government minister.

    As for the delusional State government minister who had colluded and went on to contrive the Phantom Fox Fables in Tasmania, he of the sobriquet of “Richard Kopf” will most likely desist from further revealing his original architected ingenuity to fabricate his desired perplexion.
    (Origin
    Middle English: from Old French perplexite or late Latin perplexitas, from Latin perplexus ‘entangled, confused’ (see perplex).)

    As for the identity of a “Richard Kopf” there are only a small few fellows familiar with the forensics that have identified this false and felonious Fox farrago philistine.

  269. Jack Jolly

    November 24, 2017 at 6:37 pm

    Medical authorities warn that Tasmanian Times can be hazardous to the health of people who don’t like having their authority challenged or their dogmas discombobulated. For those susceptible to dizziness caused by an over inflated sense of worth they should consider limiting their contributions and taking frequent breaks. A Bex and a good lie down might help some feeling stressed when their anecdotes are not accepted as facts.

    Ask your doctor for advice. Sucking on a lozenge might relieve tension, and if you are a couple of lozenges short of a full pack then a brisk walk in the fresh air might help. Always remember to be fully clothed when you leave the house to walk in a public place.

    Contributors to Tasmanian Times take no responsibility for trolls caught wandering the streets in their underwear.

  270. Jack

    November 24, 2017 at 5:38 pm

    Kelvin, I repeat:

    “Might we have the date, location and names of the people who reported this fox that you saw? I might as well write to DPIPWE and see what they made of it all … Funny about the Richard Kopf fox sighting – there was no record of it at Friendly Beaches. I’ll wager that your “sighting” is equally as mysterious.”

    How about the details so I can cross check? Let’s see what the fox force made of your sighting, because even you would have to admit that if you didn’t report it we can all just simply dismiss it as Richard Kopf like trolling.

  271. Ian Rist

    November 24, 2017 at 3:30 pm

    One thing that really, really amazes me is the so-called conservationists and ‘nature lovers’ on this blog site that are so keen to wish foxes to be here in Tassie…it must be some kind of sickness !

  272. Dr Peter Lozo (Adelaide)

    November 24, 2017 at 2:36 pm

    “I note that the Tassie Times considers itself a “cheeky, irreverent” alternative to mainstream media. It certainly appears to be that. Reading it as an outsider the impression created is of an island populated by seething malcontents, venal local councillors, devious soothsayers, single-agenda activists, and anti-government anarchists for whom any form of “rule” is the stuff of nightmares. Makes for a fun read though”

    See 

    http://oldtt.pixelkey.biz/index.php/article/is-a-door-flying-open-on-

    I fell over with laughter when I read the above, particularly the bit:

    “island populated by seething malcontents, venal local councillors, devious soothsayers, single-agenda activists, and anti-government anarchists for whom any form of “rule” is the stuff of nightmares.”

    I formed almost the same opinion  within the first year of reading TT. Tassie’s (on TT) seem to distrust their police force, their judicial system, their various government departments, etc.

    On that note, I am exiting the TT fox debate for in my opinion it isn’t a healthy debate.

  273. Ian Rist

    November 24, 2017 at 10:50 am

    # 75
    So I must refer again to comment # 75

    Sixteen years on 4,000 ‘fox sightings’ and much easily transported and hoaxes ‘fox evidence’ but not one, not one live fox trapped or shot, not even a photograph from all those remote cameras installed at every ‘fox hot spot’. Not to mention that just about everyone cameras a camera of mobile ‘pone variety or just one for happy snaps or serious nature and bird watching records.
    What about all the farmers and forestry people with ‘crop control permits’ (anywhere between 10,000 to 14,000 permits in force at any given time in Tasmania. That permit allows the holder to go afield with the aid of a firearm, vehicle and spotlight.
    The Tasmanian Fallow Deer season with some 4,500 licensed hunters and many more unlicensed ‘hunters’…armed I might add with long range precision ‘scope sighted center fire rifles, If anyone was going to shoot a fox in Tasmania my money would have been on one of the ‘Deer Hunters’.
    Also many thousands more armed wallaby and other small Game hunters, many with dogs.

  274. garrystannus@hotmail.com

    November 24, 2017 at 10:18 am

    It must be contagious, this lack of confidence in the truth of people’s online identities … but relax Rattlespeare (#84), indeed it is I who – those years ago – fought alongside you on the bench, in the ‘Court of Public Opinion’. Ah … those were the days. But to get back to this identity thingo… really, are we getting anywhere when like some cryptic crossie we render a person’s name, put it through some High German hoops and get ‘dickhead’ out of the mincer. Oops, I think I only achieved (at best) some 3 mixed metaphors in that last sentence (smile!) Incidentally, I like the alliterations with which you closed your #84.

    … ah yes! Contagion. Surely Jack also has caught identiphobia, with his (#89) “#85 Kelvin…” For those who care to check, they will notice that the person behind the pen in #85, was I, O Rattlespeare, and not Kelvin Jones. Perhaps we can put that down to some simian, aka Felonius Monkus, assiduously sitting at a typewriter and leaving one small typo behind. Still the Bard-on-Avon gave us one Midsummer … the glorious “His discretion, I am sure, cannot carry his valor, for the goose carries not the foks.” Then again, perhaps Jack’s linking Kelvin’s name to the #85 of your own dear friend (‘moi’) is an example of a ‘Freudian Slip’, or if you prefer … the technical ‘parapraxis’ over the vernacular. Let him stew justly, in his own juices.

    I predicted (#68) the assaults on Kelvin’s Castle, and Burnem-Down Woods duly arrived at Dunsinane. The Laird stoutly resisted, though in keeping with the established laws of thermodynamics, the temperature went up. I realise, Dear Rattlespeare, that your reproche must have been penned at the same time as I was journeying back into my Trades Hall past in response to Maureen. For you, dear comrade, and for Maureen, I hope that you both might find some answer to your present doubts in my #86. Call them my ’17 Theses’ if you like, and consider them nailed to the door of the Kirk of Fox Agnostix.

    [For those with little interest in such ramblings of this monkey on the keyboard (moi) I recommend a quick peek at one article published just a few years ago – was it? – [Read Kelvin’s interesting piece (and his bio) Here on Tasmanian Times.]]

  275. Kelvin Jones

    November 24, 2017 at 9:36 am

    To the fox doubters … There have been some well reasoned statistical analysis in the above comments.

    Statistically it seems feasible to have randomly seen a fox even though the chances may be similar odds as to winning first prize on the lottery.

    Please believe me when I say that would have rather won the lottery than seen a fox !

  276. Jack

    November 24, 2017 at 5:36 am

    #85 Kelvin

    “To the doubters… no one had presented an argument that has made me change my mind.”

    Well, that’s always the way with belief isn’t it? Who expects that reason means anything to the faithful? Not I. Nor does a lack evidence mean anything to you. Your eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the fox. Bless you Kelvin/Richard or is that Richard/Kelvin? Glory days.

    Accepting something without evidence is faith. To you that’s a virtue to others it’s pure ignorance. But cynicism is something else. So, bless you for that too Kelvin/Richard, if in fact you are not the same person trolling away with your meaningless anecdotes once more with the hope that your past public contribution does not seem too pointless and futile. Protecting your fox legacy. Hoping to draw in the weak minded, sowing doubt and fear like all the other astroturfers before you. Because I just noticed something rather odd….

    Oh, BTW, might we have the date, location and names of the people who reported this fox that you saw Kelvin? I might as well write to DPIPWE and see what they made of it all. There’s a good chap. Funny about the Richard Kopf fox sighting, there was no record of it at Friendly Beaches. I’ll wager that your “sighting” is equally as mysterious.

    Electronics your bag too Kelvin?

  277. Kelvin Jones

    November 24, 2017 at 1:14 am

    To the doubters… no one had presented an argument that has made me change my mind. In fact some of the doubters actually reinforce my observation. Some arguments are so full of double negatives they become a positive. Many are just plain silly and irrationally misleading.

    It begs the question “in whose interest” are these type of comments being written both for and against argument ?

    My analysis indicates there is a body of people determined to keep the debate hanging. “Are there foxes or not”.

  278. garrystannus@hotmail.com

    November 24, 2017 at 12:22 am

    …/
    Thanks again for your question, Maureen. It’s lovely to hear from you, and if I can finish by way of returning to that ‘Workers Comp’ anecdote and to Ken Stone’s easy (flippant?) put-down of my question … I was sitting with John Halfpenny (then a Communist, who later renounced his membership of the CPA and subsequently gained the Secretaryship after Stone vacated) and Alf (?) Zeeno, a then Past President of the VTHC. They didn’t think much of Ken Stone’s put down, and agreed that my question made sense. We three voted against accepting the Government’s offer … every other delegate ‘toed the line’.

  279. garrystannus@hotmail.com

    November 24, 2017 at 12:18 am

    …/
    So that, Maureen, is how Ken Stone answered me then. You asked what would he say to me now, for, as you put it, for my “…efforts akin to Devils Advocate or defending the indefensible”. In this thread I’ve twice asked David two simple questions (both in my #42 and again at #60). In my view, he has not explained what he meant by his #16’s “… Preparing an allegation of smuggled live foxes” and further “But to misrepresent test results…”.

    In my view, just as I believed some 45 years ago that my question to Ken Stone was valid/fair/reasonable/honest (take your pick) so too do I believe that my questions to David are similarly valid, fair etc. In my view, it’s best not to try and use labels when in discussion with others. Surely we can provide answers in a public forum when someone questions/challenges something we’ve written?

    Just for the record, and for the benefit of those who regularly suggest I’m a stooge for unnamed ‘bad, bad people’, that I’m in denial and am some sort ‘fox flat-earther’, let me make the following points:
    – no one (to my knowledge) … no one disputes that there have been live foxes in Tasmania.
    – I don’t know if there are any live foxes in the state at this point in time.
    – I don’t know that it’s correct to claim that police disproved the ‘fox importation’ claims.
    – I believe that the fox importation claim could actually be true.
    – I also believe that it could be false.
    – I believe that there have been individual foxes on the island.
    – I don’t know if there ever has been a breeding population on the island.
    – I don’t know if there’s even a single fox on the island now, as I write.
    – I am confident that a number of sightings of foxes were real.
    [Maureen, two of the island’s leading field naturalists (I knew them both ‘back in the day’, separately reported sighting a fox. So too do I know Judith who is mentioned in David’s #70. I’ve spoken to her, I’ve been to her home, she has shown me where the sighting was, where the urine was. I can also add that from memory, some tradesmen featured in the Examiner once, being photographed and – as I recall – telling how they themselves saw a fox there, at her property. ]
    – these (and a fourth sighting that was mentioned to me in the 90s) suggest:
    1 individual escapes from shipping or containers
    2 an established population on the island
    or…
    3 deliberate importation.
    Obviously the 1st option has occurred (e.g. the Burnie wharf). The second and third scenarios are unproven and largely – though not in my view completely – discredited.
    – to the best of my knowledge, I have never seen a fox, not here in Tas, nor in Victoria.
    – I think I know what they look like (the red fox, that is)
    – I accept that it is possible that one or more members of the Fox Task Force, later ‘rebadged’ (?) as the ‘Fox Eradication Program’ may have claimed to have found fox scats in the field, thus – if such a thing did occur – deceitfully using scats that had been imported from the mainland.
    – I am waiting for the Integrity Commission of Tasmania to report on its own investigation into this alleged deceitful use of the imported scats.
    I cannot see any good reason why Ivan Dean should not be able to view an unredacted copy of the [hope I get this right] Police Report now in the hands of DPIPWE. Ivan Dean is the MLC for Windemere) and long associated with the ‘sceptics’ side of the fox equation, and whose fox-dossier seems to have been handballed firstly in the Tas Police waste paper bin, then dragged out, then examined and then passed to the ICT.
    – I agree with the ‘sceptics’ / independent scientists group that Professor Stephen Sarre’s Dec 2012 ‘Foxes are now Widespread in Tasmania…’ deserves the current challenge that is before the Journal of Applied Ecology.
    – I believe that while many of the criticisms (of the Govt, the DPIPWE and of the FEP) that I see on the TasTimes threads regarding ‘the Fox’ are pertinent and ‘fair comment’, there is also quite a deal of ‘over the top’ ‘X-files’ type commentary.
    – I also have the view, or rather the expectation, that those who lead campaigns such as this one should work hard to avoid the looseness often found – in my view – amongst the idle commentariat and to endeavour to answer the questions put to them publicly in forums such as this.
    /…

  280. garrystannus@hotmail.com

    November 24, 2017 at 12:17 am

    How lovely to hear from you, Maureen (#73). Gee, it’s close to forty five years since I was a rank and file delegate to the Victorian Trades Hall Council! Ah, those were the days! The workers’ Parliament and Ken Stone as its Secretary. In those days, the unions were fighting against moves by the Liberal Hamer govt to ‘reform’ workers compensation legislation – it was quite a lengthy, co-ordinated campaign, in which each union played a part, in turn … stop works, actions, protests.

    Came the day when we read in the paper how we’d won, how an agreement had been reached between the government and the unions and how that was expected to be ratified when the Trades Hall Council met later that day (evening) and when Council delegates would hear the recommendation put to the Council by the Secretary.

    A big sticking point throughout the campaign had been the government’s desire to amend the definition of a compensable injury from something like ‘an injury/illness caused by/at one’s work/place, to it being needing to be substantially caused through your work…

    I don’t remember the exact working now, but when the recommendation was introduced to the meeting by Secretary Stone I was astounded to learn that the victory consisted in the Govt agreeing to remove the word ‘substantially’ and replace it with the word ‘materially’. When Stone’s report was finished it was our turn, and I rose to my feet to ask him how it was that much earlier in the campaign he had told us that VTHC’S legal advice had been to the effect that any word (adjective) linked to that word ’caused’, would act as a qualifier, that its scope would be necessarily diminished. ‘Were we not’, I asked, ‘swapping one problematic word for another which on the face of it, would similarly qualify and lessen the then scope of compensable injuries as defined?

    There was a quietness in the Council Chamber … the sheep hadn’t thought of that. They’d come in for the weekly meeting having learnt that we had won, that we had beaten the government and that all that was further needed was for them to vote ‘yes’ to whatever Ken Stone put to the meeting. Stone himself, always well suited, articulate and urbane, dismissed my question with the following: ‘With all respect to the members of the blind workers union, let those who have eyes see, and who have ears, hear…’ [In other words, shut up, Comrade Stannus]
    /…

  281. William Boeder

    November 23, 2017 at 11:44 pm

    #68 … This cannot be the same Gary Stannus that I have held a great respect for over the past 10 or more years.
    I am unable to ascertain why intelligent persons enter into an issue that has been done and dusted with every possible form of investigatory means.
    I can assure you, Garry, that a certain former DPIPWE minister can provide you with the truth but would prefer you to run with your unwarranted theorems and conjectures.
    In my comment at #63, there is only one former ministerial person in this State that would launch into a comment so personally conspicuous as well as his silent continuum of his former orchestrations.
    I would like to think one day soon you will find out all about the dishonesty and the deceptions perpetrated by this particular person that had initiated the ridiculous plot of Tasmania’s felonious fifteen years of Fox Fantasy.

  282. Dr Peter Lozo (Adelaide)

    November 23, 2017 at 10:23 pm

    #81 Jack

    A very quick and a lengthy nonsensical & irrelevant response in my view. Please do the homework that was set for you or you will get detention!

  283. Dr Peter Lozo (Adelaide)

    November 23, 2017 at 10:18 pm

    #80

    Is your name Jack (the author of post #74)?

    I haven’t addressed you in #79 Sir Rist!

    BTW, was it you who shot a feral ginger cat thinking it was a fox? What distance was it at and what was the time of day – was it dark or light? Did you see the profile of the animal or what?

    What do you think of the following article?

    https://theconversation.com/tasmanias-fox-hunt-was-worth-it-even-if-there-were-no-foxes-34045

    Based on what I read about your many comments my opinion is that you are more concerned with who is right and who is wrong rather than on how you treat your fellow human beings whose opinion differs to yours.

    Now, what was this about?

    “Small band of conspiracy theorists, don’t think so Mr Peacock. In TASMANIA 98% of people know this is crap, the only people that push the fox issue is people like you that are on the gravy train. I have been watching you and your mates since about 2001 and know a great deal about you.

    Sleep well, you can always get a job as the new Benny Hill.”

    Was that how a rational and a well meaning person would react? How do you know it was 98%? Who are the 98%? I read comments by two people who come across as genuine. Are you saying that like you, Kelvin mistook a feral ginger cat for a fox?

  284. Jack Jolly

    November 23, 2017 at 9:43 pm

    Dr Lozo – I thought you were much too busy …

    “And, hypothetically speaking, if at least 1% of the reported fox sightings in Tasmania were valid then the important question to the Tasmanian community is this: was $50M well spent?”

    Well I suggest that you show that even 1 of the sightings was an actual fox, then you might have something! Until then your comparison is as meaningless as “if 1% of UFO sightings were aliens then we are not alone”. Anyone with a gram of common sense can see that you start your proposition with a thundering assumption that is yours to prove. It is the entire point. YOU, not I, must prove that assumption to be correct.

    How unscientific to take an example of how sightings are used on the mainland (were people see actual foxes all the time, because they actually exist!) and then apply it to a place where there are none. It’s so bleeding obvious that your logic is dead wrong that I’d hope any high school student can spot it.

    Let me see. Now if I decided to do a survey of yeti in NSW, if only 1% of the sightings were actual yeti….

    Anyway, here you go Dr Lozo. I promise it will the last time that I respond to you about anything.

    1. Well, one is a fox and the other is a feral ginger cat. That’s the difference. But what you perceive I cannot know, nor test. Neither can you prove it when you report it without physical evidence. However, if you went for actual empirical evidence of what you found you could have it confirmed and tested and not bother people with trying to use sophistry to mask an unprovable and unsubstantiated anecdote that you saw one but not the other.

    2. “Let us assume that there is a population of 10 foxes in Tasmania.” No, let’s not. Because anyone trained as a high school scientist will start by attempting to reject the null hypothesis. You skipped that stage and went right on to an assumption that is not supported like a religious fanatic will do. I’m guessing that you must be an engineer pretending to be a scientist to make that fundamental error. It is as silly as starting with:

    ‘Let’s assume that the moon is made from Green Cheese …’

    ‘Let’s assume that there is only one family of Bigfoot living in North America …’

    “Let’s assume that if we take out these bolts in the West Gate Bridge the stress will be evenly distributed …”

    I mean, don’t argue with me – I’m someone not trained in science. Argue with a statistician. You’re wrong. You can’t prove anything exists with this logic. Unless you prove at least one fox exists you cannot assume them into being.

    “Let’s assume that God created everything …”

    Maybe I am not trained in science, but I’m bloody good at spotting a fraud. Here’s my challenge to you. Why don’t you publish your stunning revelations about foxes in a scientific journal and have them peer reviewed? Dr Obendorf and others have done just that. I gather that you too pressed for time, your time being in so much demand by the scientific community and all. I suppose you won’t have the time to put your ideas to your peers for review – especially the fox sightings analysis and the lectures about logic.

    But what on earth is the relevance of this:

    “It’s interesting to have people ridicule what you know you saw! If I had seen a piece of fruit riddled with fruit fly there would be an immediate positive response from the public to rid ourselves of this pest.

    We did the responsible thing and reported the fox immediately and have received a lot of negative comments as a result. It would be reprehensible to not report it and to allow foxes to establish here.”

    Eh? Sure, show me a piece of fruit on a Tasmanian tree/truck/cold store with fruit fly in it and I’m going to believe you. But make a claim that you saw fruit fly with no physical evidence (and an actual fruit fly) and it has no weight. It is not evidence. There is no reason to feel offended that people decide not to believe you.

    Nullius in verba

    Look, I don’t mean to be rude, but I don’t really care if you were not impressed by A, B or C and who was rude to who. I certainly have no reason to believe people who have no evidence of their claims and then bitch about it. Why on earth would I? What has that got to do with what is true and proven? And if you want to spend your time being offended on behalf of others who do not have their anecdotes believed, good for you. Enjoy your windmills. Start your church with the other true believers. Jump up and down and complain that your visions are not taken seriously. Nobody else outside your church will care.

    Nullius in verba

  285. Ian Rist

    November 23, 2017 at 9:04 pm

    Re # 79

    LOL I wonder how ‘Porkie Peacock’ feels nowadays?
    That is his nick-name in the ‘industry’.
    He has a piece of paper that says he has written some paper on Pig Husbandry…He is not a Professor, it’s merely a name given to him by the media.
    He is no more a Professor than some people claiming to be Doctors……

    http://feral.typepad.com/feral_thoughts/2009/02/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.html
    What a complete idiot he must feel. LOL.
    Proven wrong on all fronts …
    Actually there is someone trying really hard to replace him in the idiot stakes on the fox topic.
    Never mind ‘Pete’ you are good for a laugh.

    (edited)

  286. Dr Peter Lozo (Adelaide)

    November 23, 2017 at 7:57 pm

    Continuation to my post of earlier today:

    And, hypothetically speaking, if at least 1% of the reported fox sightings in Tasmania were valid then the important question to Tasmanian community is this: was $50M well spent?

    I must say that I am not impressed at how Judith King was treated when she wrote in about her sighting of a fox (she was basically ignored and/or ridiculed by some people on TT). I can see that Kelvin is now facing the same treatment. What if Judith and Kelvin did see a fox?

    Here are the Jan 2009 TT comments where Judith submitted several comments. Part of her last comment (on 15th Jan 2009) was:

    “It’s interesting to have people ridicule what you know you saw! If I had seen a piece of fruit riddled with fruit fly there would be an immediate positive response from the public to rid ourselves of this pest.

    We did the responsible thing and reported the fox immediately and have received a lot of negative comments as a result. It would be reprehensible to not report it and to allow foxes to establish here.”

    For more details see:

    http://oldtt.pixelkey.biz/index.php?/weblog/comments/risty1/

    Now compare the treatment that Judith got 8 years ago with  the treatment that Kelvin is getting now from some people. 

    A homework for Jack:


    1. can you please describe for us the diference between a fox and a feral ginger cat.  

    2. Let us assume that there is a population of 10 foxes in Tasmania. What is the probability that a fox will be sighted by a human? What is the probability that a fox will be captured on the motion sensitive cameras that were installed in the ‘hot spots’? What is the probability that a fox would be run over by a car?

    I ask myself why some people on TT who comment on the fox issue are so defensive about the issue and/or are on a mission of ridiculing anyone who even remotely considers that some of the fox sightings in Tasmania may have validity. In my search for some answers I found out that one of the biggest critics of the government’s program to eradicate foxes was himself ridiculed on-line in early 2009. See for example  

    http://feral.typepad.com/feral_thoughts/2009/02/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.html


    [I am just an external observer (from Adelaide) who has followed the TT fox comments for about 12 months when I decided to find out something about what some of  my main opponents on another subject (the Susan Neill-Fraser case) were commenting about]

  287. O'Brien

    November 23, 2017 at 7:07 pm

    “No one ever heard of the truth being enforced by law. When the secular is called in to sustain an idea, whether new or old, it is always a bad idea,
    and not infrequently it is downright idiotic.”
    (H. L. Mencken 1880-1956)

    At the end of the day all the efforts to sustain accountability in Science, academia, public service & government have come to nothing. Let’s face it we are an odd curious assortment who cling to illusions of honesty, accountability, truth & rigour. We live in an utterly corrupt place and time.

  288. Dr Peter Lozo (Adelaide)

    November 23, 2017 at 6:19 pm

    Anyone who compares fox sightings to UFO sightings most probably hasn’t been educated and trained in critical analysis.

    May I suggest to the author of post #74 to do a statistical comparison of fox sightings in a mainland region versus fox sightings in Tasmania (as a function of human population density per square kilometre versus the number of fox sightings for the same area). There is no doubt that there are foxes on mainland Australia, including in Sydney. One such region is the southern Sydney region. I suggest that the author of #74 looks at the statistics reported for the southern Sydney region and compares that to Tasmania.

    To assist the author of #74, below I provide a link to the relevant Sydney data.

    http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-09/sydney-urban-fox-numbers-reduced/7704634

    Here are some relevant numbers:

    “It is estimated there are 7,000 foxes in the southern Sydney region, which equates to 10 foxes per square kilometre.

    In the past year, the councils have recorded 362 sightings of foxes — an increase from previous data that recorded 100 sightings in three years.”

    The author of #74 can go on-line and find out that the human population density for the above region is around 500 people per square kilometre.

    The author of #74 can now look at the human population density of Tasmania and use the numbers above to predict the hypothetical density of fox population in Tasmania based on the reported sightings.

    Either the people living in Tasmania have a very little visual knowledge of what a fox looks compared to the people in mainland Australia and are consistently mistaking another creature, such as a feral ginger cat, for a fox or some of the sightings (say at least 1%) are valid.

  289. Jack Jolly

    November 23, 2017 at 6:02 pm

    BTW … “how many angles can fit upon the head of a pin” might also be “how many angels can fit upon the head of a pin”

    Pedants gather. How many did I catch?

  290. Ian Rist

    November 23, 2017 at 5:03 pm

    Sixteen years on 4,000 ‘fox sightings’ and much easily transported and hoaxes ‘fox evidence’ but not one, not one live fox trapped or shot, not even a photograph from all those remote cameras installed at every ‘fox hot spot’. Not to mention that just about everyone cameras a camera of mobile ‘pone variety or just one for happy snaps or serious nature and bird watching records.
    What about all the farmers and forestry people with ‘crop control permits’ (anywhere between 10,000 to 14,000 permits in force at any given time in Tasmania. That permit allows the holder to go afield with the aid of a firearm, vehicle and spotlight.
    The Tasmanian Fallow Deer season with some 4,500 licensed hunters and many more unlicensed ‘hunters’…armed I might add with long range precision ‘scope sighted center fire rifles, If anyone was going to shoot a fox in Tasmania my money would have been on one of the ‘Deer Hunters’.
    Also many thousands more armed wallaby and other small Game hunters, many with dogs.

    So I treat many of the claims with suspicion and disbelief, in some cases,almost with contempt.
    Basically a lot of the people making fox claims illustrate complete lack of knowledge of foxes and the Tasmanian outdoors.
    Foxes out in the middle of the day?
    Never in all my vast experience on the Australian mainland and Europe have I seen foxes out in daylight unless called out with fox decoy whistle, then they do everything possible to stay concealed and approach the whistle in decreasing circles.

    So ladies and gentleman you are entitled to live in your self claimed knowledgeable Worlds and maybe your excusable mis-identification beliefs but I am not buying it and haven’t done for a long, long time.

  291. Jack Jolly

    November 23, 2017 at 2:19 pm

    The motto of the British Royal Society is “Nullius in verba”and is Latin for “Take nobody’s word for it”. That’s how science works and it’s the only way that it can work.

    No offence intended Kelvin, but I’m not taking your word for it either.

    The true foolishness of the fox program was exposed as a chain of anecdotes that a government held up as evidence. That’s how it all started. When that happens we end up with people slugging it out over belief and arguing along the same lines as “how many angles can fit upon the head of a pin”. It doesn’t matter how many foxes Kelvin or Richard Kopf say they see in broad daylight, unless they come with physical evidence they come with nothing at all. Nada. Zip. Zero.

    And like the millions of UFO true believers it seems that society is full of those who are prepared to defend the irrational and baseless to the last cent of someone else’s money, testing the very edge of reason and patience with the illogical construct that ‘something must be there because people say they saw it.’

    And they know what they saw.

    Think about that last bit. It’s saying that I claim to have seen something and because I also claim to be the judge of my own precision I can attest to the validity of my own claim. It’s embarrassing cyclic illogic.

    4,000 fox sightings and never a case over 17 years (?) when anyone from this $50 million program turned up to find physical evidence, or even a live fox. All of the so-called “hard evidence” has been discredited, but still people see foxes.

    Let them. I’ll go with “nullius in verba” and suggest that it is the only way that a society can advance. ‘My belief against yours’ is truly pointless stuff only enjoyed by people who assign nobility to belief and sophistry itself.

    You can recognise such people by the holy trinity of pedantry, rigidity and verbosity.

    Knock yourself out Richard, Kelvin, Dr Lozo and others. Book a venue and get a room. Start a church and pass a tin around. I think you have the makings of a fine sect that can give your lives meaning.

    As for the rest of us: “Nullius in verba” … Show us the evidence or jog on.

  292. Maureen Austin

    November 23, 2017 at 11:13 am

    Re # 68 Garry … A timely reminder is in order here. What would our friend the Secretary THC say about your efforts akin – to Devils Advocate or defending the indefensible – How many foxes have you seen in your Tasmanian residency, and like Kelvin would you be familiar with them??

  293. Ian Rist

    November 23, 2017 at 10:27 am

    Amazing really, 3998 ‘fox sightings’ in Tasmania since the money flowed but not one being held up with the blood still dripping out of it !
    Not good odds.
    Still 4000 plus Thylacine’ ‘sightings’ since they were declared extinct in 1986 and not one Thylacine either.
    Amazing similarities, similar Ringmaster.

  294. Kelvin Jones

    November 22, 2017 at 11:21 pm

    To the doubters … I was new to living in Tas and not fully up to speed with all the procedures you are supposed to do if one spots a fox. As both of the car occupants were well aware of fox habits we were taken completely by surprise. Hence our instant exclamation.

    I am of UK origin and my grandmother had a fox fur in the early fifties.

    As for ginger cats, they don’t have cute noses nor the same leg structure nor a Basil brush tail. We had perfect profile.

    Perhaps I should get my friend to comment from the UK.

    Seems from the response that spotting a fox brings about responses that are from opposite polarities with a high voltage in between. Rationality goes out the window.

  295. David Obendorf

    November 22, 2017 at 10:19 pm

    DPIPWE advised Ivan Dean on Tuesday this week that “there were [b]271 reported fox sightings[/b] to the Invasive Species hotline over four years.”

    The DPIPWE response neglected to advise Mr Dean how many of these reports required field investigations looking for confirmatory physical evidence and the number of reports that required 1080 fox-baits to be laid from 2014 to 2017.

    Excerpt from a comment posted by [b]Judith King[/b] on 12/01/09 at 03:11 PM

    My husband and I were returning home along our driveway Sunday 07/12/08 11.50pm when a fox ran 10m directly in front of our car with high beam lights on. It was clearly visible. … I reported the incident ten minutes after the siting to the 24hr Fox Taskforce hotline to hear a message that the line was unmanned. They called back 0730 Monday to say someone would be here by 0900. No-one attended or called. I phoned several times to be told they would attend. After 2 days had elapsed I phoned again to enquire what was going on and whether they were going to attend our property or not. …. There was a pool of urine on the verandah, not sprayed like a cat or dog. … The biggest criticism we have regarding the Task Force is that 3 days elapsed prior to them visiting us and the fox could be anywhere in the State. … No urine specimen was collected from the verandah of our home. … Also the Fox Task Force needs to respond immediately to a siting. It needs to improve its response rate and its communication with the public. There should be written follow-up advice for anyone seeing a fox in their community and an agreed way to alert the community to a fox presence.

  296. Russell

    November 22, 2017 at 7:19 pm

    Re #16
    The same confessional that George Pell oversees?

    Re #65
    A feral ginger cat. I’ve seen them and had to double-take. Get rid of the feral cat population and you won’t hear another squeak about foxes.

    Let’s face it Kelvin, there is not ONE single shred of evidence that a fox is alive in Tasmania despite them miraculously spreading out right across Tasmania and even swimming off to some of the lesser islands within months of arriving.

    You do realise that foxes stay put unless the tucker runs out, and in Tasmania that’s highly unlikely with all the lambs and chickens, etc where the first one was supposed to arrive.

    Funny how so many can breed up from one animal, isn’t it. It must have been the Messiah, the ‘virgin’ Mary, or part rabbit/part rat/part bloody Houdini!

  297. garrystannus@hotmail.com

    November 22, 2017 at 7:18 pm

    INCOMING!
    Lookout Kelvin … they’ll be ringing you to see if you really are the person who made this #65 comment. Then they’ll misrepresent what you tell them on the phone (it happened to me … ‘in my opinion’.) There is nothing like an >1-2 hours-long ‘pep talk’ where you try and explain only to find they’ve gone online and said ‘Garry said to me…’ and that sort of stuff.

    So – instantly – they are gunning for you. If they can’t prove that you are a fake, ‘Kelvin Jones’, they’ll question you… Did you report it? … give us further details … What is the name of the person you were travelling with? … Which FEP/DPIPWE person took your call… Do you have links with members of the Government, of the previous Government, of the DPIPWE and (dare I say it) of the FEP.

    … and so on.

    If they don’t get anywhere with that, they will resort to Plan B. I don’t know what their Plan B will be in your case. Ridicule is the usual stop-gap. But I advise you to be aware that there will be a Plan B and you should prepare for it.

    Why not ask Richard Kopf (e.g. #45) for some advice. He came onto one of the fox-threads some time ago, telling us he’d seen a fox on the East Coast, and they ‘gave him the works’!

    They are still doing it. Look at William’s #63, which finds a way of calling Kopf a ‘dickhead’ … transmuting ‘Richard’ into ‘Dick’ and ‘Kopf’ (German) into ‘head’. They’ve done that on more than a few occasions, here and elsewhere. Please learn one thing, Kelvin: while they will call for transparency, they themselves will only respond to ‘Dorothy Dixers’, and – in my expectation – will then sidestep your own questions with obfuscation and hearsay. Of course, all this is simply my opinion, and this is not a snake-pit that you’ve just entered. Actually, that wasn’t a fox that you saw, it was a ginger cat and I reckon that all those supposed sightings are just a few DPIPWE blokes (and blokettes) keeping themselves in the pay-queue, and we thank you for your comment but the truth has already been established to our mutual back-slapping satisfaction.

    [PS: Plan C is to ask the Powers-that-be … to close the thread to further comment. It’s has been requested in the past, on one of the fox threads … ]

  298. Dr Peter Lozo

    November 22, 2017 at 7:15 pm

    Comment challenged and deleted

  299. Jack Jolly

    November 22, 2017 at 6:50 pm

    #65 Great Kelvin. So given your expertise you would have found the fox prints, hairs, scats in the area when you stopped and marked the location I guess? Because that’s what you’d need to do so that you are not like the other 4000 fox sightings that have never resulted in a single live fox. Or how about an actual live fox? Otherwise you’d be just like hundreds of others who claimed to know what foxes looked like while doing 100 kph (usually at night) as an animal flashed across the road. And that’s all we have – your claim that you know what you saw.

    One of the very odd aspects of Tasmanian foxes is that they run about during the day. I lived most of my life on the mainland in fox central and have asked dozens of fox shooters and even some researchers about behaviour I have noted myself. You almost NEVER see a fox run across the road during the day in front of a car. I say ‘almost’ because you can see foxes sunning themselves close to shelter sometimes. But foxes rarely move far away from shelter during the day, except in Tasmania where people claim to run the over in the mid-morning, which no one I know of has ever done before on the mainland either. They simply don’t run about during the day. How on earth can you not see this on the mainland on a regular basis when there are millions of foxes, yet people see foxes running about over roads on a regular basis in Tassie?

    You can only conclude that things are different in Tasmania.

    But believe what you want Kelvin. I’ll look at the physical evidence before I believe in anything.

  300. Kelvin Jones

    November 22, 2017 at 3:07 pm

    To all the Fox doubters.. On boxing day 2007 around 9.30am a friend and I about halfway up the Midland Highway travelling to Launceston had a fox cross the road about 20 meters in front of my car. My friend on holiday from UK and myself instantly exclaimed “fox” together.

    Nobody wants to believe this story, however both of us are very familiar with fox profile, gait and colour. Further, nobody has since named an animal which could resemble a fox from the view we had.

  301. William Boeder

    November 22, 2017 at 2:46 pm

    Looking at prior cases that have seen action against the various State’s of Australia, suggest to me that this type of case would be held under the Federal Court jurisdiction.
    This factor is most important as this court is independent of Tasmania’s Court system, the benefit beings a far lesser prospect of State political intervention.
    A rather serious misrepresentation of fact is that Guy Barnett is, in my opinion, still spruiking his lies regarding the sustainability of his newly established yet false named “Sustainable Tasmanian Timbers.”
    Many commenters are just as aware as I am to the obviousness of his disregarding the true facts relating to the decline in the volume of Tasmania’s Crown Land forests.
    While at the same time very little of substance to the reafforestation of the huge volume of clear-felled native forests.
    Persons that act against the best interests of our State along with their counterparts should be ejected along with their counterparts from Tasmania’s Parliament, which by all present indications will soon need a name change to the house of Liars.
    A recent phone call from a person engaged as a consultant with a company based in India who had questions all about Taswater and his questions were based around a proposed major financial undertaking being planned by a financial entity outside of Australia.
    Once again we must conclude that the sale of Taswater appears to still be high on the to-do-list of Peter Gutwein, I am unable to ascertain why this idiot intention is still proceeding, that will see this Liberal mob still keen to sell off a major Tasmanian owned resource to the disadvantage of Tasmania’s citizens.
    Bear in mind that the proceeds of this sale (if it is pushed ahead) will not benefit the State’s citizens in any way at all, therefore the proceeds will be directed to some unknown calamity or maybe a financial tottering GBE.

    So much for according any further trust in this State’s Liberal party government with their rodent ministers.

  302. William Boeder

    November 21, 2017 at 10:16 pm

    #53. John Hawkins, I am of the same opinion as yourself, more especially when the Ta Ann timber entity is brought under the public spotlight.

    #54. One must be prudent in expecting certain very high-level appointees to act in the interests of Tasmania’s citizens…. as all the hierarchial appointees in this State are actually birds of the same feather.

    #55. The interpretation of the German originating word “Kopf” is a specific reference to a person’s head, then the abbreviation of the name “Richard” is generally referred to as Dick.
    So just for a moment, I return back to the German word for head, so Mr. Richard Kopf in your choosing this pseudo sobriquet, you have effectively revealed who you truly are Mr. Sinister Minister.
    Do please recall that we had engaged each other in private correspondence but only for a short period of time some many years ago.
    Your comment at #55, will, by natural course, add further to the fact evidence that is stacking up against your personal self.

    #56. In reply Lyndal, the reference to the Solicitor General was to point out his role and of those noted as will become “the seconded legal Bulldog others” that would immediately be called together to challenge any action that might be set in motion by the citizens of Tasmania.

  303. Ian Rist

    November 21, 2017 at 9:41 pm

    Garry it both amazes me and also amuses me why you keep flogging your ‘dead horse’ …you just cannot admit you got it wrong in the early days, can you? (in my view)

    Garry all your obfuscation, attempting to muddy the waters (in my view) and sow seeds of doubt will not change the situation that some of your ‘friends’ and colleagues led you to believe and in my opinion asked you to pursue.

    Give Dr Obendorf a rest, your pursuit of him on all fronts is verging on obsessive (in my view).

  304. Jack

    November 21, 2017 at 9:31 pm

    #55

    “…or aren’t ‘potential’ fox infestations worth worrying about?”

    Nope.

    Unlike proven ones they are right down the bottom of the list along with “potential” fairy infestations and “possible” vampire sightings. Or have you sighted any of those down in the gorge or on the golf course of late Richard? Like the “potential” fox you sighted at Friendly Beaches?

    Just what does a “potential fox” look like Dick? Can it be eradicated by a “potential eradication program” using “potential evidence” and “potential $s?”

    I mean, potentially of course?

  305. garrystannus@hotmail.com

    November 21, 2017 at 7:26 pm

    In my view David (#47), you haven’t answered my two questions. Instead, in my view, your reply is an obfuscation. It, in my view, is legitimate to question you about your statement (#16) that persons – unnamed by you – kicked the whole $50M scam off by “… Preparing an allegation of smuggled live foxes”. It is also legitimate to question you about your statement that test results had been misrepresented (i.e., “But to misrepresent test results…”)

    Instead you seem to beat around the bush, while patronisingly (in my view) suggesting I read the extensive archival material on the Tasmanianfox? website. By the way, I’m sure I’ve it mentioned before but a further compliment is appropriate: Your website is one that I would recommend others to visit. Certainly, you have provided the public with much valuable information on that site, myself included. I refer to it from time to time, though I’ve compiled my own hopefully balanced collection of scholarly articles for my own reference library.

    I’m not confident that I understood you remarks about the ‘Confidential Briefing Note properly:
    Q Are you suggesting that PWS officers deliberately drafted up that briefing note, while believing that its contents were false?
    A (…………)

    And yes, thanks for suggesting that I read Kinnear. Boy! I’ve read it a number of times over the years. Again I don’t understand what I am expected to gain from it. Your comment “ask yourself why his incisive report wasn’t released until years later!  ” leaves me shrugging. Yes, I guess that I am obtuse. I don’t seem to joins the dots in the expected way. So, instead of your rhetorical ‘ask yourself why’, why not just say what you believe to be the case, and then why not provide a link/reference so that your claim (whatever it is) can be checked?

    I sometimes imagine that those here on TT who are ‘fox regulars’, don’t actually check on the matters that I bring to their attention, that they don’t open the links that I provide, but assess what I contribute on the basis of their already (in my opinion) … possibly jaundiced views. So prove me wrong and have a read of Kinnear (2003). David enjoined me “ask yourself why his incisive report wasn’t released until years later!”

    You be the judge …. and after reading [Eradicating the Fox in Tasmania – Here], please tell me why – as David claims – a report that is quite strongly supportive of the FEP etc, please tell my why, any of the bureaucrats would have delayed its publication.

  306. Ian Rist

    November 21, 2017 at 7:18 pm

    Re # 55 The man from the eastern grape growers is back……..
    Too hot out there in the sun ?

  307. David Obendorf

    November 21, 2017 at 7:07 pm

    [b]Stop Press[/b]: an elusive Tasmanian fox has been detected on Tasmanian Times. [b]Richard Kopf[/b] welcome back!

    Please by all means enlighten readers about what you know of my “well publicised departure from that organisation [DPIPWE].”

    Go nuts, Richard.

  308. David Obendorf

    November 21, 2017 at 6:14 pm

    No scientist worth their degree wants to feel that they’ve been conned. Dr [b]Stephen Sarre[/b] was present in November 2005 at a IA-CRC Fox Review Panel hearing at which I quoted from documents about a police taskforce investigation instigated by Minister David Llewellyn that declared there was nothing to support the PWS claim that there had been deliberate introduction of foxes by named individuals. When I read out excerpts of the Police investigation report, the chair of the Review Panel was understandably astonished. The Review Panel hadn’t had access to these police documents, so it was rather extraordinary that the Review Panel secretary [Chris Lane] had to write to me and ask for copies of these documents because DPIPWE had omitted to give them to the panelists!

    In 2007 Dr Sarre et al wrote this …

    [i]”In September 2001 a fox was shot in northern Tasmania and there were reports of a second shot in the midlands, near Conara. In 2003, the fresh remains of a fox were found near Burnie on Tasmania’s northern coast and two more carcasses (one at Lillico Beach near Devonport in December 2005 and a second at Cleveland/Conara in the midlands in August 2006) have been found. These foxes are believed to have been part of, or the progeny of, a deliberate introduction of an unknown number of foxes to the island around 1999/2000 (Saunders et al. 2006). The risk that this introduction poses to Tasmania’s wildlife (Saunders et al 2006), and its tourism and pastoral industries led to the establishment of a taskforce by the Tasmanian and Australian federal governments to define and manage the threat.”[/i]

    [Reference: Stephen Sarre, Rachel Walsh, Niccy Aitken Alison Foster and Nick Mooney (2007)- [i]DNA Detection of foxes to prevent establishment in Tasmania[/i]]

    Accepting pub talk about smuggling multiple live foxes as proven ‘evidence’ is one thing. For a formal review panel not to be given access to police files on their investigation dismissing the original PWS allegation can only be described as either an unfortunate omission or a deliberate cover up. A subsequent omission from 2006 Fox Review report is their failure to even cite the definite findings contained in the Police Taskforce documentation which the Review Panel received from me.

    The Fox Review Panel report includes this paragraph …

    [i]’Dr Obendorf claimed that in relation to tree critical incidents, Symmons Plains (‘Bosworth’ fox)[Sept 2001], Longford [July 2001] and Burnie [Oct 2003], the fox taskforce did not assess evidence with sufficient rigour to confirm or deny that foxes and/or their remains could have been the result of [b]hoaxing, falsification and fabrication. Dr Obendorf’s arguments to support his assumptions seemed to be well reasoned and provided the review panel with a quandary in addressing all the available evidence.'[/b][/i]

    [Reference: IA-CRC Foxes in Tasmania Review Panel Report June 2006]

    By 2007 Dr Sarre accepted a collection of stories, errors & frauds and established them as scientific fact[see above], even though he and his IA-CRC colleagues were presented with clear evidence to the contrary in November 2005.

  309. Lyndall Rowley

    November 21, 2017 at 5:20 pm

    William #45 … Sorry for the delay. I’ve only just now had a chance to follow your links to info on the Solicitor-General … as it turns out, there’s very little to read! Anyway, my reading of this information is that the position and role of Solicitor-General is not separate to government. Of particular note as follows:

    “… the relevant Government agency provides the Solicitor-General with instructions setting out what action it wishes the Solicitor-General to take on its behalf.”

    Hmmmm. Sorry, but in this instance, for the sake of having a truly independent inquiry, I would much rather choose a commission called by the Governor of Tasmania. Thanks anyway, William!

  310. Richard Kopf

    November 21, 2017 at 4:55 pm

    #41 … David, be frank and open. Why do you seem to hate DPIPWE so much? Has it to do with your well publicised departure from that organisation – or aren’t potential fox infestations worth worrying about?

  311. Jack

    November 21, 2017 at 4:34 pm

    #48 Lyndall …

    I just looked at this page about the Governor’s powers.

    “The office of the Governor is apolitical and is quite distinct from that of the head of the elected Government (the Premier).”

    That sounds good, but then it delivers the kicker:

    “…the Governor exercises executive power, but, (except in very unusual cases – see reserve powers below) only on the advice of Ministers who are responsible to the Parliament. That advice is generally conveyed through the Executive Council (comprising the Premier and Ministers).”

    So, it seems, that unless the government of the day decides that a royal commission is in order it is not going to happen.

    However, it seems that the governor can independently raise issues:

    “The Governor usually holds regular meetings with the Premier to discuss matters of State business and although he or she must remain aloof from party politics. The view expressed by the Victorian economist and writer, Walter Bagehot (1826-77) remains valid that a Governor has “the right to be consulted, the right to encourage, the right to warn”.

    So, perhaps the Governor’s office might convey concerns and could even seek to be briefed by concerned citizens. The issue can be tabled and discussed by cabinet where the governor may seek to ‘warn’ the cabinet that the conduct of the Tasmanian State Services needs to be examined. This might be in respect of its duty to adequately inform and not mislead the parliament by omission and uphold its responsibilities and duties to The Crown as they are currently stated. The key issue with the fox caper may be whether the current laws have been upheld and if adequate protections against fraud, misrepresentation, misconduct and incompetence exist in the current State Services legislation.

    A minuted warning by the Governor in Council to the effect that The Crown is concerned about the adequacy and conduct of public institutions would be no small matter.

    Of course this all gets back to the all-embracing issue that Tasmania has inadequate Integrity Commission legislation. That’s the fox in the living room and everyone knows it. The fox fiasco is just one of many examples of where an IC with balls and bite is needed. That’s why it would, in my opinion, be worthwhile seeking to get the Gov involved in this issue of probity, law and Crown responsibility.

  312. John Hawkins

    November 21, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    Turnbull and his team cannot bring themselves to say it, but they are derelict in their duty to the Australian public and must, and will be, sacked.

    The Liberals are financed and as a result controlled by the banks and the oil, gas and coal industries.

    He who pays the piper calls the tune.

    We no longer have a petroleum refining industry in Australia and as a result nearly all of our petrol and diesel is imported.

    If war breaks out in the Far East Australia will grind to a halt within a week.

    To allow the oil companies to close their refineries is a criminal act of political negligence by corrupted sycophantic pollies.

    We export our natural gas under contracts which have to be met, and as a result we now buy back at a profit taken in a tax haven from the exporters.

    Ask the Tasmanian Government about the costs of running a gas fired power station.

    We are going to fund a railway line to bring coal to the coast for an upfront Federal loan by the Libs of a billion dollars to an Indian company.

    We are about to close our parliament to protect the Australian banks from a Royal Commission.

    In a smaller way in Tasmania we sell our peeler billets at a loss to Ta Ann under a corrupt deal whereby we have paid the company $50 million and bankrupted Forestry Tasmania.

    Where to now Mr Prime Minister? spin yourself out of that one.

    Lies, Deception, and Fraud ……………….

  313. max

    November 21, 2017 at 2:22 pm

    The fox task force is the perfect example of what is wrong with the whole shebang. Give a group good pay and condition with little or no accountability an they will lie, steal or anything else to keep their job or position. An honest man will be run over or trod on and outed or never given the Job by the others unless he toes the line.

    An independent broad based anti-corruption commission is needed, but how do we prevent them from toeing the line or stop the selectors of the commission selecting their mates?

    We are facing a catch 22 situation and under the present party system it will continue. Even revolutions fail as the scum always rises to the top. Election are a popularity contest, no qualifications needed. An elected minister of police once said it was OK for log trucks to cross double white lines if they need to.

    Perhaps we should elect one person to run the public services on a yearly basis like any well run business, because a well run country is a business for the people.

  314. William Boeder

    November 21, 2017 at 2:02 pm

    continued…….

    Craig v South Australia (1995) 184 CLR 163

    The above case illustrates an action by one individual ultimately against the State of Australia. (Crown of South Australia.)
    This case became a case precedent relied upon for citation in many subsequent cases, arising from the above case decision.

    (A reading exercise not for the faint-hearted.)

    For better understanding, one must be familiar with or seek the interpretation of Latin legal quotations that prevail over common English legal terminology.)

  315. William Boeder

    November 21, 2017 at 1:44 pm

    Lyndal, Chapter V item 106 of the Australian Constitution applies to the State’s of Australia (therein applicable to Tasmania) are answerable to the Australian Commonwealth Constitution Act 1900…..(also to include any revisions since enacted) will at all times remain subject to the Commonwealth Australian Constitution Act 1900 claimed in the above.
    http://australianpolitics.com/constitution/text/complete#ch5
    The 2nd link below provides an insight into the matter of the costs involved in a litigation process, EG: Federal Court-High Court jurisdiction see below review.http://www.fedcourt.gov.au/digital-law-library/judges-speeches/justice-rares/rares-j-20150626
    to be continued……

  316. David Obendorf

    November 21, 2017 at 10:59 am

    Perhaps this thread is now moving into thinking about ‘solutions’ to these organisational and systemic issues. Fair enough. Maybe, Lyndall you can write a discussion article for Tasmanian Times on that topic, I’m sure Lindsay Tuffin would welcome it.

    I love, live and work in Tasmania and do want to bring an end to these dystopic behaviours that bedevil Tasmania’s bureaucracies and governance.

    In my opinion, the Tasmanian fox hunt is one of the better researched examples of this dysfunctionality.

    I really appreciate the inputs here because Tasmanian-based politicians and their staff do take an interest in this particular topic and they want to understand both its complexity and its under-laying motivation.

    As you might appreciate this is very sensitive as it has the potential to have a reputational impact … but Tasmania and its governance processes do need to learn something from this. Thank you.

  317. Lyndall Rowley

    November 21, 2017 at 8:57 am

    William #45 … Thanks for responding so quickly with your information. I will give you my feedback about your suggested alternative path to obtain justice once I have taken care to be reasonably thorough, rather than a quick reaction from a glance.

    The reason I liked the Governor-ordered commission pathway was because it is stemming from someone separate to government, and in theory therefore not as potentially conflicted in comparison to other types by and within government. It would appear that a classic example of the latter is the recent DPIPWE’s own now-defunct investigation. The department itself oversaw and ran the entire FEP but its internal processes and procedures failed to detect problems and to fully question its own management and operations. I suspect the presence of a poor culture, with a closed-shop mentality, poor management, and poor or even lack of procedures for employees to feel safe to openly speak out or officially complain. You’d also reckon the work by David O and colleagues, plus doubts expressed by others and in the media, would give the department reason for pause to re-evaluate. But it didn’t. So expecting this very same department to conduct a rigorous self-investigation was probably always doomed to fail one way or another. That’s just my guess, anyway.

  318. David Obendorf

    November 21, 2017 at 1:46 am

    Garry – you might like to go through the extensive archival material at http://www.tasmanianfox.com

    Like this:

    http://www.tasmanianfox.com/Tasmanian_Fox/Resources_files/Tasmanian Greens media release (Peg Putt MHA) 18 April 2002.pdf

    Even [b]Peg Putt[/b] of [i]The Greens[/i] was aghast at the lack of professionalism right at the start. Who was it that pushed this fantasy, Garry? Please don’t try to deny this history Garry, as it is documented.

    Take a look at the “Confidential Briefing Note” which is also there..

    Who do you think prepared that? [b]David Llewellyn[/b] is on the record stating that PWS officers informed him of this alleged fox cub smuggling conspiracy. That briefing note was prepared from within PWS and was the basis of the referral to Tasmania Police. No one questions that Garry, except you.

    Why do you resist the idea of getting public servants to take responsibility for all this?

    If the prodigious amounts of well reasoned evidence and a meticulously detailed culture of utter failure is not enough for you, what is?

    Try reading Dr [b]Jack Kinnear[/b] 2003 Review of the Fox Program and ask yourself why his incisive report wasn’t released until years later!

    Garry, why do you apologise for those who have failed the Tasmanian community, and in doing so have failed themselves?

    Are you happy with mediocrity and systemic failure that delivers injustice and deception in Tasmania? Or is this just another jolly Tasmanian stuff up? $50 million and a little fraud, who cares?

    Just another day in Tasmania!

    Are you frightened by the idea of expecting better from people in public institutions?

  319. David Obendorf

    November 20, 2017 at 11:49 pm

    Lyndall #41 … Upper House politician Ivan Dean’s formal complaint to Police about the FEP was referred to DPIPWE and the Integrity Commission based on concerns about misconduct under the State Services Act.

    I became concerned about this program’s credibility about 12 years ago. Since Dr Marks coordinated the independent analysis of the program – see http://www.tasmanianfox.com – a reverse onus of proof has been operating. The independent scientist critics have had to prove the DPIPWE dataset does not support the claim of a small, widespread population of live foxes in Tasmania.

    The Fox Eradication Program doesn’t exist anymore; it stopped officially in March 2014, but DPIPWE still spent nearly $3 million of taxpayer funds from 2014 to 2017 doing activities that satisfied their funding agreement with the Commonwealth Government for Stage 3 of the Fox Plan.

    Currently DPIPWE executive and the Minister seem to be “taking the 5th Amendment” and Tasmanians must wait for the release of an investigation report from the Integrity Commission.

    Fox Program leader Peter Mooney put it eloquently back in July 2001 – [i]”The story seems to be getting more doubtful by the hour … the only way we can prove it is a hoax is if they admit it is a hoax.”[/i]

    In my opinion a defense of [i]plausible deniability[/i] is no longer tenable.

    Lyndall, you ask for “an indication of the main areas of offenders” …

    How field collected samples (sometimes faeces sometimes not even faeces) became officially accepted by Dr Sarre and the FEP as DNA-fox positive samples and then inferred as provenanced to Tasmania has been covered in part by the investigative research done by Examiner reporter, Chris Clarke. Also in March 2015 Dr Marks presented a detailed analysis report to DPIPWE managers based on their fox scat data. The irony was Biosecurity Tasmania managers wouldn’t even engage with us about our findings.

    In published papers the independent scientist group outlined in some detail how false-positives could eventuate using the mitochondrial DNA test which was claimed to be ‘species-specific’ and these are all available on the http://www.tasmanianfox.com website.

    We asked Dr Sarre and DPIPWE for metadata of the scats which they used to conclude ‘foxes are now widespread in Tasmania’ but neither organisation would provide it.

    In 2016 DPIPWE’s RTI processes allowed the release of sensitive fox scat collection data which identified the collectors of many scat collectors. This was most unusual indeed, as names are usually redacted in such publicly released RTI documents.

    A series of DPIPWE commissioned scientific reports related to the DNA-fox positive scats indicated that FEP managers were made aware of concerns that imported fox scats held by the FEP had been used as field collected samples that were sent to Dr Sarre’s lab in Canberra. Some of this was covered in the ABC links to 7.30 Report and TV News stories from February to April 2016.

    In summary, my personal assessment is that there are several instances of “acts of commission” – namely the falsification of physical evidence. There are also potential “acts of omission” along the evidence chain and its analysis by DPIPWE managers and members of the Technical Advisory Committee to the FEP.

  320. William Boeder

    November 20, 2017 at 11:23 pm

    #41. Hello Lyndal, first up is this relevant link……… to ascertain the most appropriate action to follow by the State’s citizens “or their chosen and appointed (out of State) legal representative to initiate a litigation.”

    http://www.crownlaw.tas.gov.au/solicitorgeneral

    There is a side-bar advice on this page that offers out guidelines of some direct order, in our case (the citizens) action there is one item I would consider as specific to a litigation against this State government.
    No. 13 at the base of that guidelines page.

    This next link provides the role of Tasmania’s Solicitor General in a litigation context.

    http://www.crownlaw.tas.gov.au/solicitorgeneral/about_us

    Any other discussion that further identifies or expresses in any form of detail and our intended pending action in this case matter, must be kept private and in confidence between the citizen’s group and their legal representative.

  321. Jack

    November 20, 2017 at 8:45 pm

    #43 … You took the words right out of my own mouth, Simon.

    How on earth will things improve unless people take responsibility? What possible justification can there be taking another approach? To do so just condemns us all to the same. How depressing that the shrinking violets and snowflakes can’t call a spade a spade (that’s probably because ‘spade’ is a racist term and will soon be banned).

  322. Simon Warriner

    November 20, 2017 at 7:33 pm

    Re #42, Nit picking and obtuse.

    Those identified as being central to this rort are either knaves or fools, Garry, and Mr O has presented more than enough evidence and quotations to make the point. That you fail to see that speaks volumes.

    Is it a friendly relationship with some of those involved that is driving your refusal to recognise a rort when one is laid out in front of you? Or do you have a politically correct attitude to calling people out for their cock-ups when said cock-ups are made with our money?

    Those responsible, guilty or stupid, need to be identified and be made to suffer the consequences of their actions. That is how their peers get educated. Failure to do so is irresponsible governance, just as failure to discipline kids is irresponsible parenting. It engenders failure, usually far worse than the original mistake/crime.

  323. garrystannus@hotmail.com

    November 20, 2017 at 6:14 pm

    David #16 … I am concerned that a wide range of individual circumstances have (in my view) been progressively conflated such that we have now reached a point where it seems that you are now saying that even the report of smuggled live foxes was a part of a grand conspiracy, by unnamed persons, who [you seem to allege] kicked the whole $50M scam off by “… Preparing an allegation of smuggled live foxes”.

    – I recall seeing no evidence to substantiate that claim, though perhaps I’ve misunderstood what you meant by “preparing an allegation.”

    You also stated that test results had been misrepresented (“But to misrepresent test results…”) … that is interesting. I’m wondering what results might have been misrepresented.

    I’m waiting ’till the end of the year’ when by then it was promised (I believe it so) that there’d be some resolution or response from our Integrity Commission. That’s now about 6 weeks away. Should the ICT not deliver on time I would regard that as a serious failure … especially because (Ombudsman , the Media and MPs aside) this ICT is the body that is/was … supposedly conceived to respond to claims of corruption … initially those claims surrounding Gunns, the Lennon Government and the then proposed Pulp Mill.

    So, just to close, David :

    Q In what way was an allegation of smuggled live foxes prepared?
    and
    Q In what way were test results misrepresented?

  324. Lyndall Rowley

    November 20, 2017 at 5:37 pm

    David # 37 – Feeling like “I’ve run backwards through a maze” is my reaction to trying to find a way forward for the inter-related subjects being discussed here in the Great Fox-less Hunt thread. And I get the feeling that you’re continuously reeling with all of this as well. I can empathise, but I’m sure I don’t have any real idea of what you’ve been going through.

    I’m not across the detail of the ‘who’ and ‘what’ of the entire saga, so I was going to ask you for an indication of the main areas of offenders. But, by coincidence you’ve beat me to it somewhat by providing a list of players with varying roles:
    DPIPWE?
    The Invasive Animal CRC?
    Tasmania Police?
    The Integrity Commission?
    The Journal of Applied Ecology?
    The Tasmanian Government?

    I’m not asking you to name names because I suspect we’d be entering legal territory. However, without knowing where the major wrongs occurred, it is difficult to identify how best to pursue truth, justice and a satisfactory closure. But obviously there is no magic bullet either. The list also presents complexity because of the various types and levels of institutions (plus one publisher), so more than one avenue will need identifying. To break this down, I’ll look at Tasmanian entities for a start…

    My next question is to William #23 and anyone else who might have an idea:
    Could the Governor of Tasmania be petitioned by concerned citizens to call for a type of Royal Commission to look into the fox hunt programme?

    Here is the Tasmanian legislation I believe would be relevant for these purposes:
    “Commissions of Inquiry Act 1995
    4. Establishment of Commissions
    (1) The Governor may, by order, if satisfied that it is in the public interest and expedient to do so –
    (a) direct that an inquiry be made into a matter; and
    (b) establish a Commission to conduct and report on that inquiry; and
    (c) appoint one or more persons as members of that Commission; and
    (d) fix a date for the delivery of the Commission’s report; and
    (e) provide for any other matter in relation to the inquiry, the Commission or the Commission’s report as the Governor thinks fit.
    (2) The Governor may appoint a member of a Commission as its president.” https://www.legislation.tas.gov.au/view/html/inforce/current/act-1995-070#GS4@EN

    However, note that any findings from a commission under the above Act will not bring any legal consequences:
    “19. Commission findings
    (1) Subject to section 18 (6) , in its report a Commission may make a finding of fact on or in respect of any matter into which the Governor has directed it to inquire.
    (2) In its report a Commission must not express a conclusion of law in respect of the legal liability of a person.
    (3) The report of a Commission is not admissible in legal proceedings to prove a fact found by the Commission.”

    Regarding who needs further investigation under Tasmanian jurisdiction… the DPIPWE; and if appropriate and even possible, the Integrity Commission; and perhaps even the Tasmania Police? (I’m just going by David’s list).

    Just to save any confusion here, the above Act and commission is separate to that of the Integrity Commission which comes under the Integrity Commission Act 2009 (the Act). http://www.integrity.tas.gov.au/about_the_commission

    That’ll do for now… I look forward to some feedback of ideas to help progress David’s work further.

  325. Jack

    November 20, 2017 at 5:13 pm

    #38 Should the University of Canberra be added to this list?

    What I’d like to know is whether Australian universities have any mechanism to sort our scandals they have helped to create? Or has research integrity been abandoned to the point where this is no longer a big issue?

    One imagines that students at this university are taught all about the noble history of science. Then how is that reconciled when their own staff use fraudulent data to make fallacious claims that result in the Tasmania-wide dissemination of poisons and the chasing of a myth that cost the taxpayer $50 million?

    Has honestly gone out of style in university research? Is silence the best approach when snake oil brings in millions?

    Or do you chalk it up to academic freedom? If so, whatever next? Will spoon bending be offered as Masters degree based upon a syllabus provided by Professor Uri Geller at the Doris Stokes Institute? I mean, so long as it passes the ‘pub test’ after everyone is totally pissed it would be a-ok by the current government of young earth creationists and born again loons.

  326. David Obendorf

    November 20, 2017 at 4:52 pm

    From Parliamentary Hansard, Estimates Committee B – 26 June 2006 …

    [b]Mr John Whittington*[/b]: ‘Specifically in the [i]Old Beach[/i] case, we were informed by a landowner that his chooks had been eaten by something. It looked to be a fox … We [DPIPWE] placed some barbed wire around the entrance to the pen and, on returning, we found some blood that had dripped obviously from a cut from the animal on some wood next to that spot. That blood sample was then packaged off to the University of Canberra, which has the DNA technology to identify it, and it came back as positive for fox.’

    [b]Mr Ivan Dean[/b]: ‘Was anything else found other than the blood at the scene? Was fur, hair or something found on the barbed wire that supposedly caused the injury?’

    [b]Mr David Llewellyn, Minister[/b]: ‘Apparently not.’

    [b]Mr John Whittington[/b]: ‘I understand there was no other evidence.’

    [b]Mr Ivan Dean[/b]: ‘No other evidence at all? Most unusual.’

    *- In 2006 Mr Whittington was the General Manager for Conservation & Natural Resource Management in DPIPWE – his division had responsibility for the Fox Program. Mr Whittington is currently the Secretary of DPIPWE.

    [To be continued …]

  327. Ian Rist

    November 20, 2017 at 1:40 pm

    Re # 37

    All of the above.
    What amazes me is how long all of the above entities THINK they will get away with it ?

  328. David Obendorf

    November 20, 2017 at 10:59 am

    I always feel I’ve run backward through a maze when I try to understand all the information contained in a William Boeder comment. I do agree with William that the media did not cover itself in glory during this fox hunt saga which quickly turned into an orchestrated propaganda campaign.

    The majority of Tasmanian fox news originated from within DPIPWE itself. Close contacts between the Department media liaison staff and mainstream media outlets was the conduit for a banquet of sensational fox stories announced to an addicted general public. Little different to feeding the chooks or a Pavlov-dog experiment … and it worked. But why did it continue to work, I ask?

    In my view it was cleverly modeled on a well-tried and sensational back story Tasmania uniquely can call its own – [b]Thylacine spotting[/b].

    Two essentials for a journalist are – ‘a pitch’ and ‘talent’. The sweet spot is: a mersmerising narrative, a credible story-teller and heaps of willing devotees.

    [i]Who done it stories[/i] make terrific copy. What gets lost between humorous pub talk and the back laboratory is just … just pffffttt! Who cares about the details; move along, move along.

    But here’s the rub. As ‘the talent’ you might believe something to be correct and tell a great story. The painstaking part is proving it. And if you can’t, your obligation is to correct the falsity in the public record.

    Enter the trained journalist/reporter – their job is to assess a story, scrutinise the information, fact-check it and get someone to vouch for its accuracy, or at least record who makes a statement which may or may not stand the test of time.

    Getting an ‘exclusive scoop’ must be one of the incentives that get journos out of bed each day. It’s usually the ‘blow-ins’ who do the chin-rubbing and ask the tough questions … they also do their own research. [b]Patrick Carlyon[/b] of [i]The Bulletin[/i] was such a reporter on our fox hunt in the early years.

    And then there were the journos who copped the flack from departmental bullies who didn’t like the way their media releases had been reported. Into this category are resilient types – [b]Helen Kempton, Bruce Mounster, Chris Clarke and Patrick Billings[/b]. And there were also journalists who went from being spectators and race-callers to op-ed scribes and finally becoming fully paid up members of the fox cheer-squad.

    [i]Fox-tel[/i] sold newspapers in Tasmania there is no doubt.

    One of the more incredible incidents occurred on a bush property on Kathleen Drive, Old Beach in May 2006 – a chook kill attributed to a fox received daily coverage for a week in the Mercury. This was one of the three incidents in 2006 that helped [b]David Llewellyn[/b] and [b]Nick Mooney[/b] to jointly launch the $56 million decade-long war of foxes in November 2006.

    The Old Beach incident was a manufactured construct embellished by weak and irrational statements from DPIPWE operatives. Nothing made sense from the history taking, the evidence gathering, the diagnostic & forensic sample testing or the analysis. It was an outrageous beat up. And I keep asking myself who … who was asleep at the wheel?

    The obvious irony of promoting a false war we had to have on foxes portrayed as the end-the-life-as-we-know-it was that if all these sensational incidents amounted to nought but a hill of beans … it didn’t really matter.

    How good is that? Crazy logic [b]and[/b] congratulations to ‘fox-free’ Tasmania.

    [i]Noblesse oblige[/i]!- what is the moral obligation of those of high birth, powerful social position and celebrity when they tell ordinary plebs the sky is falling?

    [i][b]Who[/i][/b] has a ‘moral obligation’ to vouch for Tasmania’s 15 year war on foxes?

    DPIPWE?
    The Invasive Animal CRC?
    Tasmania Police?
    The Integrity Commission?
    The Journal of Applied Ecology?
    The Tasmanian Government?

    [i]Who?[/i]

    Thank you

  329. William Boeder

    November 20, 2017 at 1:07 am

    #34. Well stated Obrien, though one could find these same names were if one possessed of the time to scramble among and amidst a secondary source of a far lesser source of reliable and acceptable published information, let you not overlook the staunch heavily biased supporting Tasmanian mainstream media issued claptrap.

    This State’s mainstream media group are also guiltily responsible for the publication, presentation, also of the distribution of misleading, deceptive and obfuscated and also impure public announced (arguably non-newsworthy subject matters)that are plainly supportive of the inept Tasmanian State government of the day.

    One must then consider the non-announced or in an intent to become a non-published and or nil potentiality of a true news event, that should be morally and rightly intended for public awareness and or distribution, only to be a government-ordered demand to crush such information before it may become an obliged newsworthy responsible media distributed event or a compelling informative public notice.

    Consider the Murdoch stealth Media and Press group proclivity to limit or remove the vital element or the most revealing substance of a necessary notable or essentially informative event from its public presentation.

    Please give considerable thought to the “most worthy, as well as factual offered information available to the people in this Tasmanian State, by the courtesy of Mr. Lindsay Tuffin’s online available news and discussion forum, The Tasmanian Times.
    I do not know if there is this State’s specific equivalent to be found in any other Australian State.

  330. Lyndall Rowley

    November 19, 2017 at 10:00 pm

    Simon #29 … Oops, another miscommunication on my part. That’s what happens when I write about something and I’m only a lay person on the subject … but I’ll try to explain.

    I said “Getting enough numbers of Independents into the Lower House to achieve the same effect is almost impossible at this point in time”. That’s the bit you’ve reacted to, I think. I’ll break it down and try to clear up:

    Firstly, when talking about your plan, we are dealing with the Tasmanian Government which is bicameral. So, in that context, my intended emphasis was about the difficulty of getting elected at all into the Lower House – let alone in great numbers – compared to getting elected into the Upper House.

    I’ve always had the strong impression that if one wanted to become a politician, it is far easier to get elected into the Senate compared to the Lower House. I don’t know how everything works, but somehow relatively very few votes can get you elected to the Senate; and presumably candidates do this on comparatively little money, advertising/promotion and organisational support.

    When you first mentioned your ideas about putting a fresh bunch of good Independents into parliament, I don’t think you actually said which house, but I eventually gathered you meant to aim at the Senate for the above reasons i.e. bicameral in Tasmania; and Senate election easier to achieve.

    I hope I’ve now clarified my meaning as it was originally intended. But that leaves your latest query put to me left hanging, so I’ll try to answer: You ask me about the effectiveness of a critical mass of Independents within a unicameral government in terms of their ability to produce improvement in governance … Well, I don’t see why they wouldn’t be effective or couldn’t make improvements. The more of them, the more likely they have influence over setting priorities, formulating policies and even setting the tone to improve parliamentary conduct and create a positive, cooperative and therefore more productive working environment. It all depends upon the number of Independents compared to the overall size of the government – if a ‘critical mass’ of Independents were elected, then presumably many would hold portfolios and some would even be in Cabinet as Ministers. I don’t really know but wouldn’t that be the case?

    So yes, in this scenario I think they could improve the government of the day. And yes, I suspect that this bad behaviour we see in the current crop of politicians is due to a certain amount of arrogance that comes with the cloistered protection of the major parties. And, like you say, if things do start to go off the rails with some Independents then there is always the next election to change the mix. NB, they are humans after all, and the species is intrinsically flawed with a number of propensities, any of which can become manifest given a suitable set of circumstances for that individual at that time! In other words, I don’t think there are any guarantees when humans are involved.

    Regardless of the discussion above, I think we agree that the major parties have had a long enough run in successive governments to demonstrate their wares such as integrity, competence, capabilities, priorities, conduct etc and so on … but have failed the test miserably. They have also had plenty of time to see what’s coming and make the necessary changes to avoid, mitigate and adapt – eg in terms of climate change; over-population; ecosystems collapse; water management and future shortages; urgent transition to a new renewable energy system; AI and future jobs; value-adding our own precious resources and creating jobs at the same time; and resource, energy and food security in the National interest, just to name a few – but haven’t done so. Consequently, they have proven to us that they are virtually asleep at the wheel and not up to the task and so they no longer deserve their positions. Kick. Them. Out.

    PS – no, not grumpy, just challenging. You’re forcing me to think this through, too!

  331. O'Brien

    November 19, 2017 at 9:23 pm

    The infamous $50 000 000 tassie fox swindle is often attributed to “the government”, “public service”, “DPIPWE” etc..

    The swindle was perpetrated by a finite number of politicians, public servants & so-called scientists. Most have been named in the annals of Tasmanian Times. They are not difficult to find, most continue reaping large sums from the public purse, not one has been held accountable thus far.

  332. Simon Warriner

    November 19, 2017 at 6:58 pm

    Of course, John. If you have an absolutely fool proof and legal way of ensuring that incoming newbies are all scrupulously honest, diligent and competent you really should share it around. Hell, if I were you I would be off to the patent office, pdq. Especially if it is something that could be introduced without the cooperation of the snuffling corrupt bastards who have hogged the trough for far too long. Right there is the problem so many cannot seem to get their heads around. Change needs to be driven from within the legislature, not by simply wishing it would happen or demanding “they” do something. We get the government we deserve, and if we do not act to get better representation we deserve what we get. Pretty bloody simple from where I am sitting right now.

    I was just trying to be realistic. I can think of an illegal way of fixing the problem, but that is why I have bothered with this subject for so long. Left unfixed someone will eventually go there and we we will all pay a very high price. Much higher than the cost of getting off our arses and doing something collectively for the greater common good.

    Lyndall, I must thank you for helping me understand something. You said I had “distilled” my views on this subject. You are right, it has been very much like the distillation process, and what remains is a much clearer understanding of the issue. Thanks.

    Sorry if I come across a tad grumpy, it leaks from elsewhere.

  333. Jack

    November 19, 2017 at 6:46 pm

    Of course, the government in the lower house can always cancel parliament when things get too hot as Do-Nothing Malcolm (Member for Goldman Sachs) has just done:

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/nov/20/government-accused-avoiding-revolt-parliamentary-sitting-week-cancelled

    The Australian people are at war with the parties that pretend to provide representation beyond vested interests. Holding the big political parties in contempt is the only rational position that Australians can have. If the big parties don’t reform they should be destroyed as watermelon sized tumours upon democracy. What will emerge from the mess are newer and hopefully more diverse parties in the lower houses and a far more vigorous democracy that is unable to rubber stamp legislation to help out their mates at the expense of our communities.

    Punitive voting is the same trend that has spread across almost all western democracies. It’s desperate, but the party system will not reform itself and there is no sense in pretending otherwise. Even if you support the ‘ideology’ of the ALP or LNP you should vote against them. It’s the only way to ensure they return to some values that go beyond their own careers. Voting for them now is like giving alcohol to an alcoholic.

  334. John Wade

    November 19, 2017 at 6:03 pm

    But that is what the voters want weeded out Simon, “… that Independent representatives will automatically proceed to behave the way we are used to party politicians behaving. They might, but only for a single term”.
    No more corrupt behaviour after having been elected, not even for part of a single term.
    Make “the bastards honest” and get the noses out of the trough.
    Even Independents are corruptible, look at the current crop of pseudo-independents and what happens when they get a ring in the nose.

  335. David Obendorf

    November 19, 2017 at 4:42 pm

    [i]’Two hunters are playing cunning with a claim they shot a fox near Longford. They have anonymously sent a photograph and a handwritten letter to The Examiner to back their claim that they shot the fox near Longford on 7 July [2001].

    PWS fox taskforce leader Peter Mooney yesterday urged the the hunters in the photo to come forward with the evidence … “If these men have caught a fox we would like to do a scientific test on the skin for genetic purposes …”. Mr Mooney said he was initially reluctant to discuss the issue [in the media] as he saw it as similar to claims made by two St Helens landholders last week that they had shot a fox west of the town.'[/i] [Reference The Examiner 17 July 2001]

    Three years later [August 2004] Mr Mooney’s brother [b]Nick Mooney[/b] announced to the media the Longford dead fox held by two men incident was [i]”indeed likely to be an irresponsible hoax”[/i].

    But hang on … your brother [b]Peter Mooney[/b] had already gone on ABC national radio in late November 2001 telling Australians that DNA tests on the fox pelt he received by post from the hunters photographed in the Longford incident was a close genetic match to the DNA recovered by another dead fox allegedly shot by [b]Eric Bosworth[/b] at Symmons Plains in September 2001.

    Peter Mooney told the ABC audience: [i]’The main evidence is that we’ve had analysis done of a carcase that was handed in to us about a month ago and the gut samples have come up to be conclusively Tasmanian foods, in other words that’s Tasmanian native rats, Tasmanian skinks, endemic species that only exist in Tasmania, and also we’ve had other material handed to us from other foxes which have been allegedly shot in Tasmania, and the DNA sampling of those two different animals have come out to prove that they’re actually siblings. So that means we’ve had a litter.'[/i]

    As we now know, there was no genetic match made between the two samples taken from these two dead fox exhibits. But we are left with a large anomaly. [i]If[/i] brother Nick says the Longford dead fox photo incident and posted fox pelt was “indeed likely an irresponsible hoax” and brother Peter says the posted fox pelt was a full ‘sibling’ fox to the one Mr Bosworth allegedly shot at Symmons Plains [i]then[/i] what do we make of Mr Bosworth’s decomposing dead fox?

    Another golden egg laid by a Tasmanian fox? Or a maybe just another ‘hoax’?

    [To be continued]

  336. Simon Warriner

    November 19, 2017 at 4:07 pm

    I am curious Lyndall. Why wouldn’t a critical mass of Independent representatives in a unicameral system work to produce an improvement in governance?

    Please do not make the mistake of assuming, as so many do, that Independent representatives will automatically proceed to behave the way we are used to party politicians behaving. They might, but only for a single term.

  337. Lyndall Rowley

    November 19, 2017 at 12:39 pm

    Just to comment more generally about government and its workings …

    Thank goodness, I say, for the bicameral nature of most of our parliaments. Without two houses of parliament in Tasmania, Simon’s idea couldn’t work.

    Every so often I hear politicians raise the notion of abolishing the Upper House, and sometimes this prospect gets some real legs within public discourse. For instance, the closest call I can remember is during the shameful Liberal-labelled “House full of ferals” period. But I think any efforts by Libs/Labs to besmirch, belittle, delegitimise or, worse still, even eliminate the Senate, should raise a red flag in the minds of the public (i.e. propaganda alert: hidden agenda afoot; vested interests present).

    The Senate, despite its warts, is a critical part of our democracy, imo. It’s an essential part of the checks & balances needed within the democratic system to prevent absolute power and, to use Don Chipp’s famous declaration, “keep the bastards honest”. I think it provides (with varying success) integrity, rigour and genuinely attempted reform with its committees of inquiry and so on. It also provides an opportunity for a broader range of people to represent us which further prevents the limiting effects of major party politics running the agenda.

    For comparison, we should look to the north and observe the Queensland and Northern Territory governments because neither have an Upper House – they are Australia’s only unicameral governments. Spot any difference? My mum often says “they’re different up there in Queensland, aren’t they?” and I suspect I might know why. You’d have to ask whether Queensland could ever have suffered the long, terribly damaging and corrupt period of the Bjelke-Peterson government in the presence of a bicameral legislature? I doubt it.

    I agree with your references Jack J #8 that in NSW some dodgy bicameral governments have ruled with little regard for the people and the land. The period during Obeid’s toxic tenure, with a core group of like-minded greedy and corrupt MPs like MacDonald, and others either actively participating or enabling through silence, was akin to a fiefdom with some very generous supporters also benefiting. OK; so a major fail in the presence of an Upper House…

    Nevertheless, that’s where Simon’s idea to leverage power comes in. This plan is most easily executable by targeting the Upper House. That’s where a circuit-breaker and opportunity for change is most possible. Getting enough numbers of Independents into the Lower House to achieve the same effect is almost impossible at this point in time.

    Btw – William #23 – That’s interesting info in that link you provided. I wasn’t aware of these powers held by the Governor … makes one think about the possibilities. But also makes one realise how insipid governments are in practice for most of the time. Pity.

  338. David Obendorf

    November 19, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    The question has to be asked: Can a Tasmanian fox lay golden eggs?

    In July 2001 Tasmania’s fox hunt moved to St Helens.

    [i]’The East Coast town of St Helens is basking in its newfound notoriety as the home of a man who might be Tasmania’s most successful fox-hunter. The St Helens Hotel is now calling itself The Foxhunters Return, and revamped its drinks list in a very foxy way … “There’s a ‘fox-on-the-run, cocktail, the fox scat with sarsaparilla, Basil Brush benedictine, brushy tail Baileys and Riley’s rum”, said Mr Riley.

    Mr Riley, a retired farmer, said his reclusive shooting companion Wolfgang Bohm skinned the fox, kept the pelt and threw the carcass in a nearby lagoon. Mr Bohm refused to show the pelt to rangers. Mr [b]Peter Mooney[/b], head of the PWS new fox taskforce said “The story seems to be getting more doubtful by the hour … the only way we can prove it is a hoax is if they [Riley & Bohm] admit it is a hoax.'[/i] [Reference: Mercury 14 July 2001 – reporter [b]Georgia Warner[/b]]

    The ABC reported that PWS staff dragged the waterhole where the fox body was allegedly dumped. No fox body was found.

    [i]’Our guys are pulling out because there is no skin and no carcass. We cannot find any more scats and there are no prints anywhere. Basically it is a zero sighting. We have more important things to do’,[/i] Peter Mooney said.

    Three days later the infamous photograph of two men holding a dead fox near a Longford road-sign appeared in the Examiner newspaper and subsequently a putrid, rotting fox skin was posted to Mr Peter Mooney’s PWS office at Prospect.

    Was this another golden egg?

    [To be continued …]

  339. Simon Warriner

    November 19, 2017 at 10:32 am

    I was going to respond to Lyndall, but given Jack’s efforts at #24 I will go with that sentiment.

    I will say though, Leadership is where it starts and finishes. Without decent leadership any venture, big or small, will fail.

    The work that needs to be done to fix this is in the area of getting those passionately anti party representatives elected. Only with them in place can the rorting and gerrymandering of the rules be removed, will the lies and deceit end, and will the common good get a look in ahead of the endless shifting of public money into the pockets of a favored few.

  340. David Obendorf

    November 19, 2017 at 10:26 am

    The only way a fox-less fox hunt could be financed for 15 years was through wilful blindness and corrupted processes of investigation and analysis.

    The disgrace here is that a State Department has placed itself front and centre, not only in accepting irrational nonsense, but actually manufacturing disinformation.

    That is a very serious matter for politicians to grapple with. Organisational misconduct, corruption and fraudulent behaviour are alleged.

    DPIPWE is Tasmania’s bureaucracy with statutory responsibility for conserving this island’s biodiversity and safeguarding biosecurity quarantine and biosecurity. Failure to understand the seriousness of issues here by politicians – government, opposition, cross breaches – is bordering on an autistic disregard for upholding the central foundation of sound evidence-based processes supporting investment in public policy.

    The independent scientific review of Tasmania’s fox program – http://www.tasmanianfox.com – has undergone a thorough analysis. In my opinion it exposes systemic failures within a State government agency and the oversight expected by the Australian government.

  341. Jack

    November 19, 2017 at 3:52 am

    Lyndal #21 and #22 … You hit two nails on their respective heads with these observations:

    “Voting Independent can’t directly address a state department’s poor culture or sloppy management or inadequate management systems or poor leadership or poor supervision and staff recruitment.

    “Ultimately, the feds failed in their duty of oversight and to hold the state properly to account despite all of that money over all of those years without any actual foxes found running around in Tasmania.”

    In many dysfunctional relationships there is an ‘enabler’ and a ‘no hoper’ who is never going to reform while the enabler gives them enough cash to subsidise their habit. I’ll leave it to you to decide what role fits who; the Feds or the cabal of fox chasers, forest destroyers, salmon crappers, thylacine spotters, TAFE rorters, gambling profiteers etc

    True, independents in parliament can’t change everything overnight but they can force some change by exposing the decrepit nature of our democratic institutions.

    The upper houses in most of our state parliaments (if they still have them) are fully capable of reviewing a system that has gone bad. Much more can be done to expose the corruption in the system if the senate and upper houses are stacked with people willing to confront the party-owned and self-interested pretenders in the lower houses. In other words, if the upper houses are full of head kicking Independents prepared to work together some serious shit could go down. This would just be the start, but moving a road block into the path of self-interest is just sensible as the first move.

    The myth that “stable government” requires a majority in both houses is a piece of self interested fox scat cooked up by two large political pigs with their snouts super-glued to the trough. People have already woken up to the fact that Jack the Ripper would be a far better representative in the upper house than a tame weasel from either of the major parties.

    So, let’s put people in the senate and upper houses who have pathological aversion to the Lib/Labs. Help make our upper houses a place Guy Fawkes would love to call home. If candidates say they hate the Lib/Labs with a passion, fine, vote them in even if they’ve done 8-10 in Risdon and have a tattoo on their face.

    Because the major parties have turned the democratic system against the people it’s high time that we turned democracy against the Lib/Labs until they get the message. This is a fight to the death, it really is. Voting is a blunt instrument and the only thing we can do with it it to set up the confrontation that might foster reform by the bluntest of means.

    (Shame about The Greens. They’ll still be debating whether my remark about tattooed ex-cons from Risdon was somehow racist when Tasmania becomes a car park).

  342. William Boeder

    November 18, 2017 at 10:49 pm

    Excellent observations by a group of attendees that regularly participate in this Tasmanian Times forum….thank you for your comments Lyndal and the well-intentioned others.
    Yes David, as bad as things are in Tasmania under the Hodgman Liberals and the shifty conducts of a certain Liberal party Senator, then given the fact that currently this State is shy of a competent Attorney General and a Minister of Justice, also shy of a Secretary to the Department of Justice.

    Then one must consider the role being served by this State’s present Governor.
    An item of special interest to myself happened to appear before my eyes regarding the situation in this State, this very item had a rather important and quite distinct bearing toward the biased governance going on Tasmania that seems to have become the norm (as differs to how it is in the other State’s of Australia) and it is all to do with the role of the Governor in our Tasmanian State.
    Particularly so when one reads “the entirety of the content” in the link below.
    This link offers a paragraph that relates to the primary role of Tasmania’s State Governor, that claim (my words for brevity) being the Governor of this State is bound to “enforce the imprimatur” contained in the Australian Constitution that calls for the true democratic system of governance to be delivered by whichever political party is in the leadership role in the State of Tasmania.

    https://www.govhouse.tas.gov.au/the-governor/function-of-the-governor

    The State Governor quite often presides over the State’s Executive Council, so for whatever reasons this is deemed as necessary………It seems to me that the Governor may as well not be there in attendance, it is in my opinion, as though the Governor allows this State government to continue to run with their ongoing lies deceptions and fraudulent State government undertakings.
    There is no transparency whatsoever in this State government and their undertakings. The deceptions are rife about and within the former Forestry Tasmania (now known as Sustainable Timbers Tasmania) particularly in regard to the Ta the Ann presence in Tasmania.
    Then what is the real truth about the sustainability of the ever reducing volume of Tasmania’s Crown Land forests? Given the volume of native forest now remaining in this Stateso, “then let’s turn back the calendar say to 10 years ago, then where is the volume of native forest now visible as advanced regrowth that should be found in proliferation right across the State that should be comparable or match that of every Crown Land foresty coup that has been clear-felled in the past 10 years?
    How Guy Barnett thinks the people will fall for his (my own chosen words) nonsensical deception with its contemptuous intent is something he will in due time find out.
    This regrowth factor alone is an icon symbol of the lies deceptions and fraud perpetrations that are glaringly synonymous with the title of this article in itself.

  343. Lyndall Rowley

    November 18, 2017 at 10:05 pm

    … (2/2). Simon #15 & 16 …

    As you’ve acknowledged from reading my comments elsewhere, I’m certainly sick of the current political scene. Recent federal governments have been the last straw, in my book, with their warped priorities and neglect in addressing critically important issues, and the never-ending partisan politics and virtual election campaigning instead of actually governing the country; and so on… Change is necessary to stop any further damage & neglect (to the environment, society and the livable future for these things) and time for change is rapidly running out. But, as you say, organising for change wouldn’t be simple.

    The campaign ideas you offer are really good and well thought out. Quite clearly, you’ve been distilling this for some time. I appreciate the intent you express regarding leveraging power, ie not in its negative sense, but with a group of strong, ethical and altruistically-motivated Independents. I also agree with all you say about needing to genuinely engage with the voters as part of the entire campaign.

    Some people are afraid of change and the possibility of any viable alternatives. As for the need for some sort of administrative support-base, I note that David O in #17 has mentioned the “Green Independents” who were a loose affiliation of five who were successfully elected back in 1989. I wonder how this group organised themselves in terms of administrative matters, processes, support and so on. Don’t forget the need for nominees to be eligible under s.44 of the Constitution! Just as an after-thought, I wonder if someone like Bob Brown or Christine Milne (or others like Andrew Wilkie or Jacqui Lambie) would be willing to give some initial advice, or even be happy to mentor the key campaign organiser (you?) or core group.

    I’m sorry, but as I’ve said previously elsewhere in TT, I have no ideas to offer to fix all this mess, but if the Green Independents were able to create change with just five MPs (?) then I don’t see why your campaign strategy couldn’t repeat that success. The timing is right, I think. My reading of the mood out in voter-land, along with that of the media commentariat, is that everyone is sick to death of them all (even staunch Lib & Lab supporters, and somewhat Greens too. Although a Green just got elected in Vic in a bi-election).

    In my opinion, the public’s regard for politicians (as a class) and politics is at its lowest. People will be looking for just about any alternatives other than the major parties, or else hand in a donkey vote. I figure this reasoning has already occurred to people like Cory Bernardi & Pauline Hanson (even Clive Palmer previously) in order to seize the opportunity while the mood is for anything but Libs/Labs. Trump, I think, sailed in on similar circumstances. So, why not provide another alternative that provides even more choice? (Hopefully different to the others though, eg in terms of being secular; left-leaning; a voice for alternatives to neo-liberalism; advocates for genuine sustainability for the environment (species, habitat, water, forests & seas); equitable, cared-for society; sustainable population (numbers/cap); land-use planning & developments reform; tightening rules re political donations and reporting transparency; etc … the list goes on. (Oops, I just revealed myself, didn’t I?). Anyway, I’m sure you’ve already thought about the vision and platform of policies you’d like the movement to champion.

    … ooh, looks like Tony #19, Jack #20, Jack J #8 etc, John H #7 and William #3 might be interested in a role in your campaign. I wonder if a survey of TTers for starters might help to test the interest.

  344. Lyndall Rowley

    November 18, 2017 at 10:03 pm

    Oh Simon #15&16 … I apologise for the confusion. You’ve taken my use of “simply” in relation to voting Independent as though I was demeaning the potential political power and effectiveness of them. I did say “I think there’s far more to be rectified beyond simply voting Independent to fix the entire system”, and I meant to convey that there are many other things, eg apart from the political, that need to be addressed at many levels of ‘the system’. Government and politicians weren’t the only players in the Tasmanian Fox hunt saga. There were numerous others involved and in different roles as David O would know. But at every point of the entire programme the checks and balances completely failed.

    Voting Independent can’t directly address a state department’s poor culture or sloppy management or inadequate management systems or poor leadership or poor supervision and staff recruitment. In this case, even the bog-standard project reporting with the mandatory monitoring and evaluation completely failed – from both ends! Who authored the annual mandatory reporting to the federal government, I wonder? And, in those reports, how did they justify spending ongoing federal grants based on crappy evidence that was surrounded with doubt from the outset and even further seriously put in doubt (incl. peer reviewed and published works) by scientists like David O and Clive Marks? Ultimately, the feds failed in their duty of oversight and to hold the state properly to account despite all of that money over all of those years without any actual foxes found running around in Tasmania. In other words, at every level, passing through different hands, there was a failure within the system. So, that’s what I was meaning re ‘simply’. (Friends still?).

    Regarding the call for a National Integrity Commission – I said “probably”, but then used the advocacy of the High Court judges as the bone fides for the suggestion. Others, such as the Perth barrister that raised the Scott Ludlum dual citizenship issue, also advocate a national anti-corruption body. I’ve also read that Australia is lagging behind other countries by not having a national body to investigate corruption.

    Regarding the actual independence of such a commission … I’m confident that the separation of powers under our Constitution is still operating so I trust in these judges’ collective call for a commission to fight corruption. They’d know from experience if it couldn’t be done truly independently, or they wouldn’t suggest it.

    … to be continued…

  345. Jack

    November 18, 2017 at 7:57 pm

    #19 Tony … Indeed, The Greens are the saddest of the lot. When you ask them to reconcile the graphs at the bottom of the page (attached below) they can’t deal with it. It does not fit with their virtue signalling agenda. This stuff is racist apparently. They remain wilfully blind to population, development and consumption being the biggest threat we all face.

    Small target politics in the middle of a full blown global crisis is disgusting and useless. It’s like a fig leaf in a cyclone. Identity politics is not going to address the elephant in the living room. Issues of fairness, justice and gender are important but they are not the main deal if you seek sustainability. The Greens refuse to get real.

    In the main, a Green party without a population policy is like a castle built in the clouds. And the more they waffle on about environmental consequences without a means of addressing the root cause the more that thinking people will abandon them.

    To claim the moral high ground whilst wearing a blindfold just makes you look stupid.

    The tragedy is that The Greens are ‘well meaning’. But that isn’t enough.

    At least we all know that the Lib/Labs have no principles at all. People expect nothing from them unless you are a property developer or a banker. But The Greens do not have the courage of their convictions. If they avoid the population issue they deserve to be despised as pretenders.

    https://www.populationmatters.org/15000-scientists-warn-of-impending-environmental-crisis/

    https://www.populationmatters.org/documents/Anthropocene-2017/PM_Welcome_to_the_Anthropocene_briefing_2017web.pdf

  346. Tony Stone

    November 18, 2017 at 5:42 pm

    Been laughing myself silly over this thread, all these years of complete fraud, corruption and never ending lying from the political parties and those involved in this horrendously costly scam. Only the deeply ignorant, unintelligent and truly incompetent could possibly fall for this scam, and they did.

    Nothing will come from this; everyone has and will continue voting for the perpetrators of this fiasco, the lib/lab/green coalition of corruption and nepotism.

    Until we get rid of the incumbent system, things like this will continue to occur and get worse.

    Sadly I don’t see where those who can take us out of this mess will come from. I’ve sat down with many people who want change, but when you provide them with a way to make that positive change they instantly run back to the political status quo.

    Unless there are at least 25 people willing to run as independents and support other independent’s policies, as a mutual approach, nothing will change. It would take a bit of logistical planning, but feasible if you could find 25 evolving people with real knowledge and experience, not just clones.

    Under the current political scenarios and what they continue to advocate policy wise, we are already doomed.

    Within 5 years, if we survive that long, we will be surrounded by dead seas, courtesy of the Tasmanian salmon industry. Put that with dead land, courtesy of forestry Tas, high temperatures, constant devastating fire storms and political nepotism.

    Even the greens are too stupid, elitist, egotistically PC and useless as to be no different to the lib/labs. In fact they are worse; they claim the moral high ground, but dwell and operate on the same debauched cesspit as the others.

  347. Lynne Newington

    November 18, 2017 at 4:06 pm

    #16 … Indeed, where is Tasmania’s confessional?

    I only know of one you can absolutely rely on, and always open to converts if need be …

  348. David Obendorf

    November 18, 2017 at 4:00 pm

    I too, despair at politics Simon. Loss of trust in political processes means that voters forced to vote will look for candidates with integrity, and those less encumbered by party tribalism & ideology.

    In the 1989 State election a loose affiliation of [i]”Green Independents”[/i] won 5 seats and held the balance of power. Each of those MPs was answerable to their own electorates. In my view that model offered a better change agency than under the party set up of Tasmanian Greens. The support for the Independent MHA for Denison [b]Andrew Wilkie[/b] in one of the greenest electorates in Australia shows this to be self-evident.

    Even independent Senators like [b]Jacquie Lambie[/b] have high levels of support. The three parties – Liberal, Labor & Green – need to find out why that’s so.

  349. David Obendorf

    November 18, 2017 at 2:12 pm

    Indeed, where is Tasmania’s confessional?

    Long-suffering readers of this scandalous invention – Tasmania’s 15 year fox-less fox hunt – need to know something about considerable effort promotors of the ‘foxes are here’ group went to get outspoken critics to publicly accept an unsubstantiated and distorted rationale.

    Desperate to have critics [referred to as ‘super-sceptics’] sign up and get with their plan, a wondrous array of tactics were applied – bullying, ridicule, threats … even inducements and distractions. And when all else failed a band of anonymously named trolls and dissemblers serendipitously appeared on various Tasmanian Times fox stories.

    This long controversial program has been marked by attempts to goad dissenting scientists like myself to publicly capitulate and accept a ‘fear-of-foxes’ scenario based on uncorroborated and unsound information.

    Preparing an allegation of smuggled live foxes was sensational and shown to be baseless; but that was just the start. Then came fantastic stories of dead foxes recovered in Tasmania supported by ever-changing narratives that was hopelessly inept. But to misrepresent test results and falsifying physical evidence; that was inexcusable. And the use of a Government propaganda machine to indoctrinate Tasmanians based on such poor quality evidence was simply wrong. And finally ‘to go to ground’ like a wounded fox and fail to defend a 15 year publicly funded program costing tens of millions of dollars – that’s cowardice.

    The fox program had a revolving door of managers/leaders. So how does a project, said to be of great priority to Tasmania, get staffed and led so inadequately?

    Any ideas? Thank you.

  350. Simon Warriner

    November 18, 2017 at 1:32 pm

    re #9 continued …

    What I see at present is an opportunity to leverage the power of a small group of committed individuals by using the resonance that “change is needed” has right now and put in place a change that can see the gerrymandering by party politics undone. That will only happen when a critical mass of Independent politicians is involved in a rewriting of the rules. That rewriting can and should, imho, include a National Integrity Commission with wide ranging powers and a seriously punitive element to it’s remit. BUT that is up to the elected representatives acting for the greater common good to decide at some future point, and you and I are free to lobby those representatives as hard as we can once we get them elected.

    Without that critical mass of independent representatives to force it into existence, against the wishes of the party politicians who would be its targets, those wishing for changes are simply directing a stream of liquid under pressure into a very strong wind. Failure to understand that simple concept is simply hard to understand. Voting Independent is required to bring about the rectification you so desire.

    If you can see another route to that destination please enlighten us, because God knows I am at a loss to see one, and we need to get there or we and our kids are in a lot of trouble.

  351. Simon Warriner

    November 18, 2017 at 1:32 pm

    re #9 This … (btw – Simon, Jack et al. – I think there’s far more to be rectified beyond simply voting Independent to fix the entire system).

    Lyndall, you call for the implementation of a “National Integrity Commission”. What sort of remit do you think that future organ of government will be given by the current party political structures we have governing us, if they are even inclined to consider such a self defeating action?

    That, right there, is for that reason that I have been calling for “simply” voting Independent.

    Except that there is nothing simple about it. It is deeply rooted in the understanding that the nature of our political malaise is structural as much as it is anything else. That structure consists of two dominant parties who are well financed and run under hierarchical power structures in which the dominant players in the party hierarchy provide the paths through which the influence of those providing the finance gets channeled

    When this structure looks like it is weakening in either dominant party, the other party is given more support and thus wins power. When that party exhibits a desire to think for itself, outside of the bounds the financiers feel comfortable with, the money flows to the counter party. That has worked well for the financiers up until now. What is changing is the presence of the internet, which has allowed control of the narrative and thus knowledge of the mechanisms and players to be wrested from the mainstream media. That such control exists is beyond question and has been since the demise of Lord Northcliffe. Google it. His media organisation broke the rules and he paid a very high price.

    Another slow but inexorable change is the capacity for leadership that the party structure has been brought to the endeavor. As I have pointed out previously in my many posts on this subject the quality of party political representation must decline in quality because good leadership requires an understanding of the dangers of conflicting ones interests generally and especially when in positions of representation and leadership. Clearly those who stand as party political representatives of a diverse electorate are conflicting their interests, and clearly any political party who accepts financial aid from an outside source has conflicted its interests. The preparedness to do so renders such individuals incapable of sound decision making in pursuit of the greater common good, and it has led inexorably to the malaise so well described by David Obendorf. Your engagement suggests you understand this well enough.

    The solution I am proposing is not simple. It is direct. There is a vast difference. For it to happen the effort of a lot of people will be required. It will require a campaign to inform the voting public that they need to change their voting patterns, and why. That campaign will need to be very effective to counter the enormous resources that will be stacked against it by those who have a very great deal to lose. It will require a campaign to get responsible, competent individuals to stand for election as independent candidates and it will require a structure to support those people with knowledge of how to get elected and education about the rules, the responsibilities and the expectations of the voting public regarding the behavior of their representatives.

    I do not see that as a simple task, and without a small group of committed individuals at the core of that endeavor it will not happen. It is certainly small groups of committed individuals who have driven the evolution of party politics thus far. The difference is in motivation, and clearly self interest and greed have far more adherents that altruistic self sacrifice.

    What does make it possible, and easier to bring about the change, is the rapidly growing realisation among the voting public that Tweedle Dumb and Tweedle Dumber politics is not working for us. Change most often comes in the form of a “strong Leader” figure whose initially welcome leadership rapidly becomes toxic, dictatorial and fascistic as the backers (who are the same backers as backed the two party system) extract their desired reward for their support. A conflict ensues which sees the backers supporting both sides, and a winner emerging and a return to two party politics over time.

  352. Lynne Newington

    November 18, 2017 at 12:17 pm

    With all the questions I wonder if Richard knew what his religious affiliation was?
    We all know by now the benefits of the Confessional…….

  353. Ian Rist

    November 18, 2017 at 11:22 am

    Heads must roll, the fraudsters must be sacrificed.
    If only to make sure this never happens again.
    To all those that called myself and others ‘nutters’ and ‘conspiracy theorists’ who has had the last laugh?
    (edited)

  354. David Obendorf

    November 18, 2017 at 1:34 am

    Can Tasmanians now accept that Mr Mooney’s very best result has been proven? ‘Someone’ [i]has shown[/i] that this program is ‘a giant hoax’ – not ‘a stuff up’; a giant hoax. And if Mr Mooney’ and his former Department are now ready to accept Mr Mooney’s pronouncement of 2003, it means ‘there’s no foxes’.

    Perhaps it is a bitter pill. That this expensive eradication program was based on some unconscionable lying and the use of imported hoaxed evidence calculated to deceive.

    The presentation of false, unsubstantiated allegations to Tasmania Police was bad enough, but lying to a fox ecologist compounds the offence.

    To falsify physical evidence using dead fox exhibits adds to the gravity. And in the absence of [i]any[/i] irrefutable evidence of fox presence in Tasmania, to then allow DNA-contaminated field samples and mainland-derived fox scats to become official samples for Dr Sarre and his co-authors to claim ‘foxes are now widespread in Tasmania’ in 2012 that must constitute more than ‘a giant hoax’. Arguably that’s got to be [b]fraud[/b].

    There are no bouquets here. But why did DPIPWE – who knew from their own scientific assessments – allow a fraudulent program to continue to draw down on tens of millions of dollars taxpayer funds and employ a small army of public servants – for 16 years?

    Does that mean those labelled “conspiracy theorists” have proven a conspiracy to defraud?

  355. spikey

    November 17, 2017 at 8:50 pm

    born into lies
    liars leading
    no wonder the soul
    of humanity
    is bleeding

    call em out
    get rid of them

    before there’s nothing left
    to feed our trough

    tell them their hold
    on humanity is fading

    like the amoral lies
    they sell with spells

    for breakfast

    thats oats, fitch

  356. Lyndall Rowley

    November 17, 2017 at 6:39 pm

    “Hear, hear”, and thank you David for writing the article. Thank you also for dedicating so much time trying to uncover the truth and shine some light onto the murky machinations of this major publicly-funded programme.

    As you’ve identified in your article, the Tasmanian fox saga is sadly not an isolated phenomenon; rather, it is a manifestation, and symptomatic of the poor health of our democratic system in this case involving the workings of government and government institutions. For anyone doubtful of this characterisation of our democratic system, I suggest they scan over the TT article headings to see that there’s often an underlying pattern of a dysfunctional system in play – e.g. Senator Whish-Wilson’s speech referring to the Tasmanian Government’s use of spin to support Tassal despite a questionable environmental record and leaked information that contradicts public promises of jobs; the various stories about s.44 of the Constitution and the poor standards of government practice and lack of pursuing penalties for legal offences committed by its own parliamentarians; and, it seems, the never-ending debacles with government and government authorities in relation to managing Tasmania’s forests, energy, water, biodiversity, and health & education systems, and so on. Spin has become the oft-used tool to cover over a variety of these ineptitudes and even malfeasances in government and its various institutions; and spin is being very successfully used by those refusing to take responsibility and address the actual issues.

    If the TT headlines aren’t enough to convince some of you (‘doubting Thomas’) of what’s really going on, then please indulge me and observe our political leaders at work. For instance, try exposing yourself to an hour of ‘question time’ (NB – not ‘answer time’) in Federal Parliament (on ABC TV) and assess the calibre of politicians we’ve elected to lead our country. Watching either house in action will do, but the Lower House is probably the best example of the high art of spin and parliamentary conduct. Here serial spinning is found in its most inappropriate context and therefore worst form, ie within our democracy’s highest institution, and when the Opposition member or an Independent has asked a question in an attempt to hold the government to account; but all in vain. Even the Dorothy Dixers that come from their own side often lead to a lack of substance. Instead, these questions are mostly deployed, not as an opportunity to inform us, but simply as a hostile tactic to air a factually inaccurate and fully-spun recounted history whilst also hurling blame, ridicule and insults across the floor.

    I’m disgusted. I think politicians treat Question Time with utter contempt by turning it into a partisan point-scoring game using inane spin, sarcasm, misinformation and even character assassination of those opposite. Worse still is that the opposition encourages this toxic behaviour and plays along with these games with smirks, snide comments and smart-arse so-called questions. It’s like watching a large bunch of hyperactive little school children interact whilst stuffed into a small playground, but the difference being, in this case, turbo-boosted with full intent and malice. It’s shameful. How dare they conduct themselves so appallingly in that place – so much for democracy at work in our great parliament?

    You say David, democracy is in crisis. Yes, I think so, too. A healthy, highly-functioning democracy couldn’t possibly produce a long-running saga like that of the great Tasmanian fox hunt. It proves that the normal checks and balances we all assumed were operating within the system have completely failed. As for integrity – it’s missing in action; and justice – not done and may never fully be done under the current dysfunctional system.

    How did we become something like that poor beast with the rider atop who has been feeding us stories – you know, conning us with spin and purported promise? And all the while these riders are getting exactly what they want for themselves within their privileged atmospheres and are leaving the rest of us and the entire future for dead.

    Well, citizens, I think it’s time for everyone to wake up and see what’s pervading and perverting this current system. Like David and many other TTers have expressed, it’s time to radically change our political landscape and return our democracy to good health. It’s probably also high time to heed the warnings from some of our esteemed former judges and support their call for the establishment of a National Integrity Commission.

    (btw – Simon, Jack et al. – I think there’s far more to be rectified beyond simply voting Independent to fix the entire system).

  357. Jack Jolly

    November 17, 2017 at 3:56 pm

    #6 … The first stage of taking the corruption of governance seriously is that the wider public actually recognise it as the corruption of the democratic process that effects their quality of life and that of their kids.

    I suspect that most see this as the ‘new normal’ in which case there are no barriers to self interested cartels gaining office. That’s why spin has become so important to all the major parties such that they must pretend that their self interest = the public interest.

    Deception is the way this is done.

    That’s how High Rise Harry gets to turn Sydney and Melbourne into Hong Kong. He’s given a licence by the state government to do so, and to hell with what the people who live there want. Did anyone ask the people of Sydney and Melbourne? Nope.

    Oddly, governing the state would be a hell of a lot easier if it was done on the basis of finding out what the public wanted done and what public values require. Basing your policies upon such things would resolve the disconnect between political parties and the public and it would resolve the distortion of the state services by vested interests as well.

    Presently a massive industry and a huge amount of time and effort is spent ramming square pegs into round holes and using expensive bullshit to fill the cracks. That’s what happens when self-interested rent seekers set government agendas.

    Should we turn Hobart into a high-rise city too? Simple, ask the people who live there.

    Do we want our sea to become eutrophic lagoons of salmon crap? Ask the people.

    How about the future of Tasmania overall? What industries should we have? Should we set about turning it into a massive casino and flatten our forests? Ask Tasmanians.

    And how about the issue of ‘integrity’? Does anyone really think that the public does not want an integrity commission with giant balls and the bite of a white pointer? But what political party has the balls to ask the question? None. Their masters and funders won’t allow it. Their balls are owned by people outside of the parliament.

    It’s called a failure of democracy. Until it is seen as such and the public votes to cut out the cancer that is eating our communities, the quality of governance will not change.

    If you can chase something that does not exist for 15 years and spend $50 million on it, then claim that it has been an outstanding success, then there are no limits to the bullshit you will project. Anything is possible.

    Isn’t that the lesson of the fox fiasco – that government has no shame and no fear of the public whatsoever? They can look us in the eye and lie time and time again. There are no consequences.

    Well those consequences must come at the election. Put the major parties last.

  358. john hayward

    November 17, 2017 at 11:28 am

    It’s clear John Friedrich was a pioneer in what has become the norm in Tasmanian governance. Our present system has evolved, however, by consolidating the regulatory agencies such as courts with rogues so that ” getting caught” is no longer a risk to those inside the tent.

    John Hayward

  359. David Obendorf

    November 17, 2017 at 1:52 am

    Comment #1 … cradlecreations.tas@gmail.com – I don’t know what ‘articles written by the Advocate’ you have an interest in. There’s a prodigious amount of fox media from 1998 onward in the Tasmanian local newspapers. Perhaps contact me with some details: dobendor@iinet.net.au

    Jack #4 … I suspect that the three political parties in Tasmania like to have their respective tribal ideologies and try to pick up followers who might become rusted-on voters, but as you highlight the [i]public interest[/i] is not benefiting from their brand of politics. When in Government they all play the same way – they talk within their own fiefdoms.

    The corruption in governance has to be taken seriously. Thank you.

  360. Simon Warriner

    November 16, 2017 at 5:37 pm

    Dead right, Jack.

    Now what needs to be done is to work on convincing the other voters of that. As I have been saying for quite a while now – that is where the real changes can be made.

  361. Jack Jolly

    November 16, 2017 at 4:30 pm

    “Moulding public perception is now a bog-standard skill of government with little regard for truth. In the process admissions of uncertainty, doubt and a capacity to correct the record has been outlawed. Pretending has become all important. And it is a slippery slide from pretence to fabrication and from fabrication to fraudulent behaviour.”

    Too right. Like boiling a frog, all you need to do is to turn up the temperature slowly enough. Soon enough even those people administering the lies and taking the cash feel like they are performing a public service.

    The public sector used to be there to protect the public interest. Now they have become like the bastards they once regulated. Politicians gave away their powers and forced them to become private-sector lite. This happened because the representatives of self interest and the party career plan got voted into parliament. They put weak-kneed ‘yes’ men and women into the management of state services who ensured that they were fuelled by managerialism and marketing and not substance.

    Unfortunately groups like The Greens went for ideology as the LibLabs salivated over self interest. This left a vacuum in the centre of politics. The people were forgotten. The concept of ‘public interest’ has been lost. None of the major parties are capable of defining it. They retreat either to neoliberal mantras or PC-driven rhetoric instead – hollow stuff. None have a vision for the nation state and some would even give it all away, flogging it off in the name of ‘growth’ if they had half a chance.

    Voting for the big 3 will not end this corruption of governance. No major party deserves a single seat until they reform. Vote only for independent candidates and send the 3 big parties to the wilderness.

  362. William Boeder

    November 16, 2017 at 3:10 pm

    Than you Dr. David, a most compelling read considering the number of facts interspersed in your article matter, then that the people of Tasmania have all been alerted to the fraud actions committed on a grand scale by a small number of this State’s ministerial collaborators.

    We all owe thanks to both of you, Dr. David and Mr Ian Rist, each respected for one’s impeccable use of proven facts and sharp relied upon proven forensic skills.

    Incidentally, how is it that the full extent of this State’s own authoritative non-ethical departments have each colluded with these well known State government ministers?

  363. mike seabrook

    November 16, 2017 at 2:02 pm

    and another con of the feds coming up

    the hobart hospital (wilkies promise from gillard) is/was planned to be clad in flammable aluminium sandwich cladding

    does anyone have an update

  364. Advocado News

    November 16, 2017 at 12:51 pm

    Thankyou David, very informative. Do you happen to have any newspaper clippings that you could track down and could scan or photograph, or the rough dates of the articles written by the Advocate so that we might search the library archives?

    xo – Advocado.
    cradlecreations.tas@gmail.com

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