… Police still sitting on investigation one year on

The Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, will call on Tasmania Police to come clean on the Kevin Lyons case – over a year after he originally wrote to the Commissioner.

Mr Wilkie wrote to the Police Commissioner on 14 March 2017, and again on 12 December 2017, asking that the original investigation surrounding the shock resignation of Deputy Premier Kevin Lyons in 1972 be reopened.

In April 2017 the Commissioner wrote to Mr Wilkie advising him that he had appointed a senior officer to review the file, and in December 2017 the Acting Commissioner told Mr Wilkie that the matter was still under review. A copy of his correspondence with Tasmania Police is here ( AW_Tas_Police_correspondence_re_Kevin_lyons.pdf ).

“Tasmania Police have now had over a year to make a decision about whether or not to investigate the momentous and unusual resignation of Kevin Lyons in 1972,” Mr Wilkie said. “The delay is out of step with the community who want to see this matter investigated.”

“These matters must be looked at afresh. For a start it beggars belief that in 1973 the Police thought it unremarkable that Lyons had been paid a $25,000 advance by British Tobacco for a book that was never published, and was awarded a lucrative contract by Federal Hotels after leaving Parliament for work that was new to him.

“Then in January this year, we had a man who was a bookmaker at the time come forward and allege that he was asked by gambling interests to deliver a locked briefcase to an address in Sandy Bay, two days before Mr Lyons resigned and brought down the Government.

“This matter goes to the very heart of governance in Tasmania and until it’s resolved there will be a cloud over those people alleged to be involved. Let’s not forget Federal Group’s monopoly poker machine license is a consequence of them being awarded the monopoly casino license in the aftermath of Kevin Lyons’ resignation.

“There’s a stench about this whole matter and Tasmania Police’s failure to so far address it is starting to raise its own questions.”