“Tasmania Police has completed a review of documentation relating to the Fox Eradication Program.
The review determined that no criminal offence has been committed.
The complainant has been advised of the outcome.
The review has been provided to the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment, for their consideration. The Integrity Commission has been advised of the outcome.”
This won’t be the end of the matter. MLC Ivan Dean and David Obendorf have both signalled that the matter will not end here. Despite Police having stated that…no criminal offence has been committed... it looks like Ivan and David will continue with their allegation of ‘funny business’ on the part of Fox Eradication Program members in discovering fox scats in the field … despite that notion having been rejected by the Tasmanian Police.
I, as a Tas Times reader and occasional contributor, am left wondering: Was there ever anything of substance in the allegations that some one—or two—FEP staff members had fraudulently ‘discovered’ … fox scats in-the-field ... which had supposedly come from foxes captive on the mainland?
Admittedly, there is some circumstantial evidence which does support the ‘fraudulently discovered’ theory, however, in my opinion, it is not conclusive. Apparently, so too did Tasmania’s Police also conclude. So where to from here? The Integrity Commission? Fat chance. That august body, created in the furore over the Gunns proposed pulp-mill, found that it could not make a single finding in relation to the many submissions that it received on that issue.
Q How will the ICT deal with a complaint that has already been categorically rejected by TasPol?
A The ICT will not (in my opinion) pursue this matter. Their charter allows them to take up matters which have been referred to them by police (and other state bodies), but to imagine that they will proceed with Ivan Dean’s failed police complaint, is nothing short of … difficult.
So, after the ICT reject Ivan Dean’s complaint, what then? The next step will (presumably) be to the Ombudsman. However, it’s difficult to see much joy in that. The Ombudsman is a Board Member of the ICT and judging from recent pronouncements, has expressed somewhat less than ‘proactive sentiment’ in the complaint raised by Ivan Dean.
I wish this whole matter could have felt like a genuine inquiry, rather than a witch-hunt.
*Garry Stannus is an occasional contributor and regular commenter to Tasmanian Times. His interests include environmental matters, politics and other miscellanea. He’s a youthful 65, lives and works in the North (Liffey and Lonnie) drives an old grey ute and rides a bike to get from A to B when he’s in town.