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  1. Tasmanian Police will have a second, somewhat deeper look at the ‘Fox Evidence Fabricated’ dossier given to them by MLC Ivan Dean at the beginning of March.  According to the online Examiner 21 Apr 2016 | Chris Clarke’s “Out foxed - Tasmania Police to look further into Fox Taskforce allegations” [Here] , Tas Police (Acting Assistant Commissioner) Peter Edwards now states that

    “This initial assessment has identified that further inquiries need to be undertaken in order to gain a full appreciation of the allegations contained within the complaint and where evidence might exist,’’

    and that

    “The file will now be allocated for further assessment so an informed decision can be made regarding the most appropriate future course of action for this matter.”

    This news comes a week after Ivan Dean announced publicly that he was dissatisfied with the time it was taking (6 weeks) to progress his complaint.  He was also reported (online Mercury 12 April) as stating:

    “I would be extremely disappointed if there has been political interference behind the decision not to investigate yet.”

    Ivan Dean has said of the dossier report that

    “The thrust of my report is what I’ve been saying in Parliament for the last 13 years — there’s been a long history of allegations and suggestions of evidence not being real or fabrication of evidence” [Mercury 1 Mar 2016 “MLC Ivan Dean in plea for Tasmania Police probe into fox taskforce evidence allegations” | Patrick Billings]

    In speaking publicly on this, Mr Dean seems to have avoided any outright claim of fabrication, preferring to refer to ‘suggestions’ by others.

    Posted by Garry Stannus  on  22/04/16  at  08:23 AM
  2. .../In any case, the lesson seems to be that the squeaking wheel gets the oil.  Ivan Dean had announced publicly that if there was no progress towards a police investigation, he would ‘officially’ complain to the Integrity Commission of Tasmania.  Former police and primary industry minister, David Llewellyn has rejected claims of criminality within the then Fox Taskforce:  “Tasmanian Fox Taskforce crime claims rejected by David Llewellyn” | Chris Clarke, Examiner, 1 Mar 2016 [Here].  Peter Cremasco, former monitoring and investigations officer for the Fox Program, has also rejected these claims, while admitting that there were some breaches in the way scats were handled:  “Former employees reveal internal concerns” ABC Alex Blucher 1 Mar 2016 [Here]  It is now some two years since Ivan Dean spoke of investigating such allegations (with the ICT) and it seems as if the Police have not yet committed to prosecuting his case, despite having Mr Dean’s dossier (and supplementary report for close to two months.  We should not hold our collective breaths!

    Posted by Garry Stannus  on  22/04/16  at  08:24 AM
  3. Goodness Garry , you seem a tad upset ?
    It was quite OK when you were handing it out to the ‘conspiracy theorists’ though.
    All your jesting and essays have come to naught.

    If only you knew what I know.

    All that funding for the great green empire has dried up and the ring leaders will have some answering to do, and rightly so.

    Let the door knocking begin.

    You never know, seeing you have always known so much about the fox topic and who was doing what,  you may even get a visit.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  22/04/16  at  10:27 AM
  4. In respect to accusations against Tas government officials and their mates,  ” beyond reasonable doubt”  clearly includes any alibi from the fairytale any science fiction realms.

    Though no one ever had to defend it, I’m sure that the tens of thousands of Crown land used to pay for the land swap were simply sucked up by a black hole.

    John Hayward

    Posted by john hayward  on  22/04/16  at  01:19 PM
  5. Bet this gets buried very quickly, especially when you consider just about all the politicians over the last decade, were involved in supporting this debacle.

    Just another example of how stupid our politicians really are, but you’ll all vote for them again and we will go further down the drain, even faster.

    Posted by A.K.  on  22/04/16  at  03:08 PM
  6. I’m sort of happy and sort of not, actually, Ian (#3).  The ‘cave-in’ from Tas-Pol gives me some concern, because, from my knowledge of what is likely to be in the Dossier and the supplementary report (containing suspicions from S.M. and perhaps K.O’B) the police don’t have any grounds to waste public funds on an in-depth investigation of the collected rumours, suspicion and hearsays that have characterised ‘your side’s’ point-of-view:

    I’m happy if you nail any of those who might have fabricated evidence.  I don’t think that such alleged fabrications will eventually prove to be true, judging by what you have produced in the past.  But if it is true, then of course, it must be shown up for the travesty that it would constitute.  And to that extent, I have always supported your (and David’s and Clive’s etc ... such as Simon de L.‘s) quests for the truth.

    But honestly, Ivan has given it a good shot ... and they—the cops—didn’t want to know about it.  And I’m thinking they didn’t want to know about it for a good reason.  In the past, your evidence has comprised fact, assertion – and in the opinion of the PAC Inquiry – hearsay.  I never challenged you then, but beforehand and afterwards, I followed the debate, and I probably made some comments along the way.  But I was disturbed by the Sarre (2012) paper, to the extent that I felt I had to do something about it.  You see ... (I know you and many others are aware of this, but just for the ‘wider readership’) ... you see, Sarre’s paper, in my opinion, failed from the outset because it did not examine the provenance of the scats that were submitted to him for analysis.  Nowadays, Ian, your buddies have changed their tune, and are agreeing with me implicitly.  And now they are saying that these fox scats (imported from the mainland) were planted by one ‘rogue member’ from the Fox Taskforce.  What a pity that David and you denounced me for my ‘would-be science’.  You would have been entitled to do so, had you advanced reasons which were cogent, not (David’s) ‘Oh Garry, you simply do not understand the science’ or (your) ‘At the end of the day, no photos, none shot etc’.  I agree that I’m not a scientist and that there are no known specimens of foxes shot* in Tassie, but your group’s dodging Sarre’s reasonable objection, that the ‘Independent Scientists’ had failed to conduct secondary phase DNA sequencing on the scats ‘discovered’ around the state ...was an ‘own goal’ … in my opinion.

    It turns out now—your scientific buddies having admitted by default that the DNA science behind the identification of fox DNA in those 60 or so scats was valid – that their objections (see my ‘Fox Scientists: Both Sides Stumped? [Here]) were ‘sterile’.  So the Independent Scientists have had to step out of the limelight and reinvent themselves.  Now we are being told that those 60 odd discoveries were scats containing fox DNA, but that ‘o.k. they were fox scats, but someone mucked around with them’ and that they were some of the ones imported from the mainland (with which second proposition I have no particular argument) … and of these 60 or so, now you’re mob are saying that some 6 of them (6 of 60 out of 10,000+) have been shown to have had fox hair in their scats and your mob claim – against the scientific evidence – that this value (6!) is thus indicative of scats from captive foxes and thus from imported scats.  That’s what failed to get the cops up out of the trenches, in my opinion.  It was the lack of rigour in the case presented to them.  So now Ivan’s kicked up a song and dance and so they’ve placated him by promising to have a second look at the matter.  I can’t see a prosecution in the offing, let alone a ‘6 scat’** conviction.

    *there was a fox trapped in Burnie, of which you, yourself, agree, Ian.  Shall I hunt up your admission?
    **for detail on the ‘hairs in 6 scats’ claim, please go to my #23 [Here] in the recent TT article.

    Posted by Garry Stannus  on  22/04/16  at  04:22 PM
  7. Good Luck - NZ is subject to its own waste of money scams involving 1080 poison, Tb and associated rubbish that is printed before a 1080 drop.  Interestingly those responsible for the drop do not understand how the poison works, where if anywhere Tb is and if the poor possums even have it

    Posted by Mary Molloy  on  22/04/16  at  05:25 PM
  8. There are people Garry who have had the tenacity and perseverance to call it for what it is and demand the facts.

    You don’t seem to be one of them, Garry.

    But why the angry animosity and hatred from Garry Stannus directed toward Mr Ivan Dean?

    Garry, you became a TT commentator on the Tassie fox files a tad late mate.

    Perhaps you should go read the years of media sensationalism that was ladled out constantly from the main proponents of this fox-less fox hunt.

    Since joining the fox blogs Garry has taken a reactive and contrarian position and, in my view, shown a lack of knowledge on the published peer-reviewed science.

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  22/04/16  at  06:57 PM
  9. It’s interesting now to see Chris Clarke’s article in the Examiner [Here].  For too long the public discourse has been run by hearsay and faulty claims.

    In short, the matter has been over-beaten for years.  Yes, in my opinion there have been foxes here - but just lone ones, off the boat etc.  There could have been some imported near Longford, but I’m not convinced of that.  I’ve seen some of the records from the Task Force, and in my opinion they suggest—not criminality—but some slack procedures and practices.

    Ivan Dean tried to suggest last week or so that there was political interference behind the Police not having got an official investigation under way after 6 weeks since receiving his dossier on March 1 (I think it was).  I think Ivan Dean was himself improperly attempting to influence the outcome of a matter before the police, when he accused the Govt of interfering with the police response to his dossier.

    Yes, by all means, let the Police investigate Ivan’s claim’s, and let them refer it to the Integrity Commission, which would be able to widen the inquiry to encompass not just one or two blokes who the sceptics reckon fabricated some evidence, but also to evaluate the worth of the claims that have come incessantly from the sceptics—that I would like to see!

    Posted by Garry Stannus  on  22/04/16  at  07:23 PM
  10. Cave-in what cave-in ?
    The Police haven’t caved-in. They have taken time to analyse and compilate.
    You say “the Police don’t have any grounds to waste any public funds on an in-depth investigation of the collected rumours, suspicion and hearsays that have characterised ‘your side’s’ point-of-view”.
    The Police have every right…if only to prevent any future waste of Public funds, which results wise, morally and ethically,  this fox hunt has epitomised.
    Garry, to my mind,  you have been the master of speculation and contriving, always trying to change the facts to suit your view of things and satisfy the ideology (usually political) of your ‘friends’.
    All of whom would be greater respected if hey all were prepared to man-up and admit they got it wrong, from the 1080 fox baiting side of it they ‘backed the wrong horse’.

    Speculation is cheap, facts are riches.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  22/04/16  at  09:52 PM
  11. Garry ... you have no knowledge about what is contained in Mr Dean’s submissions to police and to brag that you already have knowledge about how police will act is arrogant grand-standing, in my view. Bear in mind the matters before police involve serious allegations that have been presented to Mr Dean by former fox program staff members.

    At least have regard to respecting that, Garry. Please let the police conduct their investigations and please stop these boastful commentaries.

    In my opinion, your interpretations on the commentaries in past TT fox stories and the speculative supposition you make about the published peer-reviewed science are a recurring attempt to criticise what you have misunderstood. This has been explained on several occasions (although not to your satisfaction).

    In my opinion, your contributions here are again unhelpful and represent the same opinions offered previously.

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  22/04/16  at  11:56 PM
  12. More, from the Ex on the Fox ...

    Posted by foxy  on  23/04/16  at  07:52 AM
  13. Well we got to give these old fox task-forcers a little bit of respect methinks.They believed in foxes and this served them well.  There are millions of good Christians that strongly believe in the Holy Trinity without any evidence ever having been provided that such a mirage exists.This is encouraged by those whose whole working life is spent serving those believers.

    Posted by Studler van Surck  on  23/04/16  at  09:16 AM
  14. *there was a fox trapped in Burnie, of which you, yourself, agree, Ian.  Shall I hunt up your admission?  Save you the effort…......

    Sure was, this is the same tame fox that jumped off ‘The City of Port Melbourne’ in Burnie on the 31st May 1998 and was caught in a rabbit trap several days later whilst stealing pet food in Pleasant Street, Burnie.
    Was buried in the ‘trappers’ rose garden, same address.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  23/04/16  at  11:25 AM
  15. Your comment at #8 is quite out of order, David, as it makes a baseless personal attack on my character.  It seems to me that you’ve dodged my points, and targetted me, the person. In my opinion you should play the ball, and not the man.

    Fact is, Ivan’s public “I would be extremely disappointed if there has been political interference behind the decision not to investigate yet”  (tacky as it was) was followed at the end of the next week by a ‘face-saver’ from the police: “This initial assessment has identified that further inquiries need to be undertaken in order to gain a full appreciation of the allegations contained within the complaint and where evidence might exist […] The file will now be allocated for further assessment so an informed decision can be made regarding the most appropriate future course of action for this matter.” Classic ‘Yes Minister’?

    Sounds like a gobbledegook ‘cave-in’ to me.

    Posted by Garry Stannus  on  24/04/16  at  07:11 AM
  16. Apropos comment #15 - Garry Stannus on the previous fox comment-thread wrote this:

    ” I hadn’t properly realised how much reliance Ivan [Dean] was placing on those reports from the so-called ‘independent scientists’. I’m glad we got rid of him in those ‘pulp mill days’, when he called us ‘misinformed’ for opposing that proposed monstrosity.  He had to reinvent himself when we sacked him from the position of Mayor of Launceston.”

    Leaving aside the intent, the statement is factually misleading. Ivan Dean was Mayor of Launceston for some time and then Mayor and Independent MLC for Windermere for another period. Please correct me but I understood Mr Dean is still a Launceston Councillor and an Upper House MLC.

    PS: I was a hopeless Aussie rules footy player myself I gave up the game and took up umpiring Little League for a few seasons. In one memorable incident as a player I was given a ‘free kick’ when I was seriously clocked by a lad twice my weight when I didn’t have the ball. In my dazed state I kicked the ball in the direction of the opposition goals. Boy, oh boy! ... but it was a useful lesson for me - steer clear of team-pursuit games.

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  24/04/16  at  09:19 AM
  17. “Those who will not reason, are bigots, those who cannot, are fools, and those who dare not, are slaves.”
    George Gordon Byron

    But slaves to whom I ask?

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  24/04/16  at  09:56 AM
  18. No David (#16), you are wrong:  We got rid of Ivan Dean as Mayor and he is no longer an Alderman on LCC - and in my opinion he tried to speed up your complaint to the Police by insinuating political interference. 

    (see my #1, #6, #9, #15 in which you steadfastly avoid acknowledging that Ivan ‘mouthed off’ about political interference, instead you are trying to suggest that he wasn’t kicked out as Mayor and that he is still a Launceston Council Alderman)

    And, post script for Ian (#17):  you are engaging in just the same form of personal abuse (rather than playing the ball) every time you slip in an ‘innocent comment’ like your latest ““Those who will not reason, are bigots, those who cannot, are fools, and those who dare not, are slaves.”  George Gordon Byron.  But slaves to whom I ask?”

    Unacceptable, mate.  In my opinion you are playing the man, and not the ball.

    Posted by Garry Stannus  on  24/04/16  at  10:55 AM
  19. re 15, hardly baseless, but perhaps more direct than your endless efforts in the opposite direction, Garry.

    re 17, That quote should accompany the one by Nietzsche that heads this site. The tag line is most appropriate as well.

    Posted by Simon Warriner  on  24/04/16  at  11:01 AM
  20. Garry in my opinion you are a bad loser and you are backing a loser.

    Your position as a librarian and constantly ridiculing highly qualified scientists does not instill any confidence in your claims for any reasonable person to accept with any degree of credibility.

    Simon has put it very well ” your endless efforts in the opposite direction, Garry”.

    Why do you display such hatred towards those that do not support your beliefs and ideology?

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  24/04/16  at  06:58 PM
  21. hard to play a ball
    fumbled and dropped
    by slippery sweaty palms

    Posted by spikey  on  24/04/16  at  08:24 PM
  22. Our brains are ‘belief engines’ that employ associative learning to seek and find patterns.

    Superstition and belief in magic are thousands of year old, whereas science, with its ways to methodically investigate false positives is only a few hundred years old.

    The cognitive disconnect evolved in human brains pays attention to anecdotes because false positives - believing that there is a connection between A and B when there is not - usually have harmless consequences, whereas false negatives - believing that there is no connection between A and B when there is - can lead to quite serious consequences.

    It provides an explanation for why it’s relatively easy to persuade a gullible multitude that a well-indoctrinated imagination is a threat.

    Humanity is now beginning to realise the global consequences of obstinate cognition.

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  25/04/16  at  08:11 AM
  23. David, did you not sue for “wrongful dismissal”, the very agency you are pillorying?

    Posted by Richard Kopf  on  25/04/16  at  12:52 PM
  24. Yes Dick Kopf and he won.

    As the old MLC Tony Fletcher once explained to me how and and why “they are a rogue agency, we will never fix the problem until we have giant clean out starting at the top and coming down”.
    Methinks that may not be as far away as some people wish it to be.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  25/04/16  at  01:18 PM
  25. All readers are reminded ... not only of the Code of Conduct expected of TT readers:

    but also of ...

    Cyber-bullying for which the federal government has set up these guidlines ...

    Cyber-bullying or stalking occurs when someone engages in offensive, menacing or harassing behaviour through the use of technology. It can happen to people at any age, anytime, and often anonymously.

    Examples of cyber-bullying include:

    •posting hurtful messages, images or videos online
    •repeatedly sending unwanted messages online
    •sending abusive texts and emails
    •excluding or intimidating others online
    •creating fake social networking profiles or websites that are hurtful
    •nasty online gossip and chat, and
    •any other form of digital communication which is discriminatory, intimidating, intended to cause hurt or make someone fear for their safety.

    Read more here:

    A couple of comments in the editor’s view have come close to crossing very generous lines into possible harrassment ...

    Posted by Editor  on  25/04/16  at  05:16 PM
  26. there’s many players in many ball games
    i’d hope none of lose sight of the ball

    Posted by spikey  on  25/04/16  at  08:39 PM
  27. C’mon Ed, you could drive the Queen Mary through that description. Hell, it could even preclude me pointing out the many and manifest flaws at the TFS on more than one occasion.

    Perhaps we would all be a lot better informed, and better behaved, if you just named the offenders.

    Posted by Simon Warriner  on  25/04/16  at  10:02 PM
  28. I mentioned ( in #2) that Peter Cremasco, former monitoring and investigations officer for the Fox Program had (on the 1st Mar) rejected allegations of criminality in the FEP and I supplied a link to the ABC news item, in which Cremasco told the ABC:  “I feel strongly confident that a police investigation into this will not proceed down the line of prosecution,” […] “I don’t believe they will find evidence of criminality, neither do I believe that they are likely to find that the bulk of the evidence has been faked.”

    Now, Peter Cremasco (see the link in #12) has repeated his earlier claims, this time to the Examiner:

    Former employee Peter Cremasco said police won’t find any evidence of criminality because no skullduggery took place.
    “I welcome the investigation.. to put the matter to bed once and for all,” he said.
    “There hasn’t been any criminality or corruption in producing evidence over that period of time.”

    At the moment, the police are said to be ‘assessing’ the documentation.  You’d think that they will have to give Ivan Dean some formal notice when they decide whether or not to conduct a formal investigation.

    Posted by Garry Stannus  on  25/04/16  at  11:56 PM
  29. Simon comment #27 - the difficulty the TT Editor has, in my opinion, is allowing anonymous bloggers to have ‘name suppression’. What reprimand is there in refusing a comment from an astroturfer, who reinvents themselves with another avatar name?

    Go back a few years onto the TT fox files and you’ll see the plethora of cyber-bullies commenting with anonymous names.

    Named people can potentially be yellow-carded or red-carded by the umpire but a few dickheads just keep shooting blanks behind their make-up names. Thank you.

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  26/04/16  at  07:57 AM
  30. Wishin’ and hopin’ aren’t gonna change anything.

    It isn’t amazing Govt. employees display such allegiance, of course Peter is going to say that, what else could he say?

    But when exactly did he have the change of heart?

    According to ‘The Mercury’ story of may 7th 2015

    BIOSECURITY Tasmania, the organisation whose job is to protect Tasmania against introduced pests and diseases, has been described as an “absolute dog’s breakfast” by an employee who has taken a voluntary redundancy.

    Peter Cremasco, who is leaving Biosecurity Tasmania today after seven years, has written an open letter to his bosses and to Primary Industries Minister Jeremy Rockliff spelling out his concerns regarding changes made in the past year.

    Mr Rockliff has rejected Mr Cremasco’s concerns, saying the organisation was stronger than ever and praised staff for recent successes against blueberry rust and myrtle rust invasions.

    Mr Cremasco said he was more saddened than angry at Biosecurity Tasmania’s predicament, and that he was leaving the organisation on his own terms.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  26/04/16  at  08:52 AM
  31. Please correct me if I’m not up-to-date, but I understood Peter Cremasco had transferred to the Sunshine state and was working on other pest control programs.

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  26/04/16  at  12:48 PM
  32. No skulduggery ?
    The fox scat saga would have to be one of the most bright shining examples of skulduggery and
    the Bruny Island fox scat discovery would have to be the most blatant example.

    I was first alerted to the fact that large amounts of mainland fox scats were being imported into Tasmania in April 2008 by an advisor in the NSW Government.
    Subsequent questions about fox scat importation in the Tasmanian Parliament over a period of several years were treated with negativity and denial.
    Even at the May- June 2009 PAC Fox Inquiry there was still denial, in fact it was suggested by Tony Peacock CEO of the Invasive Animals CRC that for myself to suggest such thing indicated I must be “smoking something”.

    It was only hard evidence of fox scat importation was proven and copies of advertisements that had been placed in mainland papers that it was admitted “oh well we have been importing fox scats for dog training”.
    Over 1250 fox scats for ‘dog training’?
    Why didn’t you say that in the first place ?
    One hundred a forty pages of FOI clearly show how much was involved.

    Even Minister Llewellyn admitted in a letter to a Federal Senator for Tasmania that fox scats had been imported since “late 2007”. Well before that Minister !
    No skulduggery ?
    Laughable to say the least….....

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  26/04/16  at  08:13 PM
  33. (Anonymous comment challenged and deleted)

    Posted by Richard Kopf  on  28/04/16  at  07:46 AM
  34. #33

    For the record, without consulting Dr Obendorf, some of us who are well aware of the motivation behind “Richard Kopf’s” cowardly line of questioning challenged this comment.

    I have also sent it on the the authority that the editor stipulated and to the current police investigation in Tasmania.

    You just can’t go much lower than this type of thing. Truly bottom of the barrel stuff. Enough said.

    I suggest that people who share my opinion show their support by not responding to Richard Kopf in any circumstances on TT from this point onwards.

    Posted by KopfOff  on  28/04/16  at  10:57 AM
  35. #33 Comfort in censorship. According to Aristotle, “there is always a reason for everything that happens. Your experiences are designed to shape you.”

    Posted by Richard Kopf  on  28/04/16  at  04:54 PM
  36. I thought lying to the Parliament was punishable by dismissal?
    Remember Steve Kons?
    Or did the rules change?
    For years Michael Aird, Doug Parkinson and in the last Labor Government the then Government leader in the Upper House Craig Farrell gave answers to Ivan Dean on fox questions that were scandalous to say the least.

    But who prepared the answers to the questions?

    Surely this will come out in the Police Inquiry?

    One example sticks in my mind that I personally was involved in… what happened at Calder N.W. Tasmania, October 2012.
    Residents of Calder were made aware that 1080 fox baiting was to take place in a huge swathe of Forestry plantation, many of the plantations
    adjoined their private land.
    Many of the residents complained (as they have done statewide… South Arm, Campbelltown, St Helens et cetra
    They were ignored.
    Baiting started at one Calder plantation which was ungated and unfenced, the property owners were actually in receivership.
    Baiting commenced on the 23rd October 2012 and was watched closely by residents concerned that many people including children had access to
    this ungated and unfenced property.
    Photos were taken of 1080 baits less than forty metres apart and within a metre of a formed gravel access road. In some cases 1080 baits were barely covered and then only with leaf litter.
    Photos were also taken of the 1080 bait sites with Devil,  Quoll and
    dog footprints at the bait sites.
    Photos and coordinates were supplied to the then FEP Manager Craig Elliott. Many email exchanges ensued and the matter was finally raised
    in the Parliament by Ivan Dean MLC.
    The answers that were supplied were a litany of lies and were as such a disgrace to the Parliament. The answers that were given misled the
    It was stated in answers in the Parliament on the 23rd May 2013
    Hansard part 2-pages 24-127 that “we” (the government) knew who was making the complaints but that person had not been forthcoming in
    supplying photos or any evidence.
    Absolutely untrue and the person who supplied the answers for the Government Leader Craig Farrell should have been sacked.
    Mr Farrell stated in the Parliament that the Department had no reason to believe that baiting in the Calder Road area in October 2012 was
    not undertaken in accordance with national standards.

    However some good came out of this as just a few days after the 1080
    meat baits had been laid they were removed.

    Even the Burnie towns water supply got a dose of highly toxic 1080.

    This has been the pattern all though this sorry saga and is a sad indictment on Tasmania and Tasmanian’s for allowing it to happen.

    David O’s analysis

    Mr Rist the Calder baiting and the baiting around the Pet Dam Reservoir at Ridgely was a PR disaster that resulted in crisis management for the FEP in 2012. The numbers of baits actually deployed at the dam site indicated how demoralised and ineffectual the program had become.

    From your comment Mr Rist, it’s likely the FEP wanted to hold up the possibility that the complaining party with recorded images of the bait stations and GPS locations might have been contravening some law but that explanation seems a rather puerile threat from the authorities.

    At the time it was highlighted on Tasmanian Times that the FEP bait laying was in breach of their own code of practice for deploying these baits. As you say Mr Rist they didn’t appreciate the exposure nor Parliamentary scrutiny and it seems these baits were removed within days of placement.
    - See more at:

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  29/04/16  at  12:51 PM
  37. It was Jeremy Rockliff who gave a copy of the FOI documents to Ian R. and thus to David O.  Now Jeremy Rockliff [ ] is attacked by Bryan Green, over allegations of a sighting reported by Rockliff -  in Feb 2015:

    Biosecurity Tasmania threw its resources at an investigation into a fox sighting lodged by the Primary Industries Minister while other reports were not followed up due to a lack of resources, documents have revealed.
    Right to Information documents show more than 215 fox sightings have been reported since July 2013.

    More than one in 10 of those remained “unallocated”.

    Additional documents obtained by the ABC cite the reason many of those sightings were not followed up was a lack of staff or time.

    The constraints did not stop Biosecurity Tasmania responding to Primary Industries Minister Jeremy Rockliff’s report of a fox sighting at a north-west farm in February last year.

    Opposition Leader Bryan Green told Parliament the investigation included two staff staying several nights at the property, setting up six motion cameras and interviewing witnesses.

    “Over $10,000 was spent on the investigation, other people have reported fox sightings they believe legitimately and there was nothing done,” he said.

    “In fact we hear people were told not to investigate them specifically.

    “And then the Minister himself comes out and says these are imaginary animals and it’s all a waste of money.”

    In September, Mr Rockliff told Parliament the Labor Party had wasted millions of dollars on the Fox Eradication Program when in government “chasing imaginary foxes around the state”.

    Posted by Garry Stannus  on  24/05/16  at  07:18 PM
  38. Methinks a couple of X Ministers may be getting a tad nervous, too many knocks on their doors perhaps?
    But still doing what they do best…laying smoke screens and dropping a few depth charges.

    “…staying several nights at the property, setting up six motion cameras and interviewing witnesses.”

    So children, the officers hunted high and low. The went up the hill and down again. Then they went half way back up the hill, turned left and scratched their balls before going down again. Along the way they asked all the animals if they had seen anything. But Mr Possum had not seen anything. Mrs Wombat said that at the time she was in the burrow making a grass birthday cake for young Willy at the time. Naughty Pete the Potoroo jumped up and down and told the officers that hadn’t seen anything either…..

    “Mr Rockliffe is going to be very disappointed”, said Bill.
    “Very disappointed indeed”, said Ben.

    Eventually the officers did the only thing they could do; they stayed several nights at the property and claimed about $200 a day away from home allowance and personal expenses all in the name of Tasmanian biosecurity.

    And everyone was happy.

    The End

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  24/05/16  at  09:17 PM
  39. 3800 fox sightings and only one investigated it seems. Why? Didn’t want to find a fox methinks. Would have damaged a few egos if they had.

    Posted by Richard Kopf  on  25/05/16  at  11:53 AM
  40. # 39

    Most of the FFTF-FEP field time was spent investigating ‘fox sightings” or so their websites claim…....

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  25/05/16  at  03:03 PM
  41. and who are the credible sighters of reynard the tassie fox - names please

    another $10,000 looted from the tassie treasury

    Posted by mike seabrook  on  25/05/16  at  06:05 PM
  42. It’s a pity to hear (on tonight’s ABC news - 25/5/2016) of my fellow CPSU members experiencing stress at work in the Biosecurity Tasmania branch, which replaced the Fox Taskforce/FEP.

    Posted by Garry Stannus  on  25/05/16  at  07:31 PM
  43. #42

    wonder who was collecting the crap from the invisible foxes and submitting it to the labs charging the taxpayers $millions for the testing.

    Posted by mike seabrook  on  25/05/16  at  11:19 PM
  44. # 43   Mike I am sure all will be revealed in good time.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  26/05/16  at  09:44 AM
  45. You know I reckon I saw a pterodactyl around sunset some 2 weeks ago just over the nearby hilltops heading over in the direction of Queenstown.

    I did not report this because I did not want to see the Tasmanian State government set up a pterodactyl force consisting of professional palaeontologists roaming across the North West of Tasmania on some wild pterodactyl chase.

    Posted by William Boeder  on  26/05/16  at  01:09 PM
  46. But William # 45 Think of all the stress that could have relieved?
    More Barbcues and all that indoor football.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  26/05/16  at  03:16 PM
  47. Stress leave at Biosecurity Tasmania under-reported amid low morale, union says
    ABC Online‎ - 23 hours ago
    The Government is under-reporting stress leave in Biosecurity Tasmania related to the fox ...
    [Stress leave at Biosecurity Tasmania under-reported amid low morale, union says:  Here]

    Posted by Garry Stannus  on  27/05/16  at  09:22 AM
  48. #45 It would be awfully stressful being part of the ‘Pterodactyl Task Force’. Faking a pterodactyl roadkill is going to be a big challenge.

    Posted by KopfOff  on  28/05/16  at  12:00 AM
  49. To estimate time of death, what temperature should one expect when ‘steve irwining’ a pterodactyl?

    Would examining its gut contents reveal the naturalised endemic tasmanian fish ‘Clupea rufoforestrycorruptionensis’??

    I’m fairly sure I found pycnofibres in a megalodon, caught in pedder, at low tide.

    Posted by spikey  on  28/05/16  at  10:18 AM
  50. 49. I’m sure that there are go-to people in Tasmania who will be happy to extend their CV to pterodactyls and other Cretaceous threats.

    Posted by KopfOff  on  28/05/16  at  12:01 PM
  51. 50.I’m thinking of crowdfunding the pterodactyl task farce
    the coprolites ruining the joint will be tested
    I have some predictions based on observation

    high levels of inbreeding likely showing low genetic diversity
    swollen distended guts full of smoked salmon
    disturbing prevalence of and preference for sociopathic behaviour
    including compulsive lying and lack of concern for consequences of action

    i’ll need a volunteer for the steve irwin

    Posted by spikey  on  28/05/16  at  01:52 PM
  52. spikey, A difficulty arises in trapping a Pterodactyl, then how does one set 1080 baits for these flying saurian species of reptile/bird that had caught my eye.
    At that prior time of my sighting I sought access to the very top of Mt Read to enable me to obtain a 360 degree vantage view point to try and snap a photograph of the Pterodactyl as it is going about its business of flying around and looking here and looking there.
    Unfortunately there are locked gates in place preventing access to Mt Read.
    These locked gates are not dissimilar in design to the heavy steel gates set in place to prevent the people of Tasmania from driving into our State’s Crown Land Forests.
    I now understand how difficult it would be for others to observe and provide a sighting of this flying creature.
    Anyway after I finally obtained permission to access the top of Mt Read (but only if I would agree to have an employee of the Rosebery mine keep me under surveillance while I sat down on a rotating stool seeking here and seeking there) just in case I should pinch or steal a rock or stone from Mt Read that our local mine held a lease over so to keep all and sundry citizens from entering this high mountainous terrain.

    So then I became caught between one dilemma after another as had been set in place by our local mine authorities and Tasmania’s logging authorities, there ended my endeavour to obtain photographic evidence to confirm my prior possible sighting.

    It is fair to say that the mindset of these 2 separate authorities crushed my best intention to try for a photo of said flying winged saurian specie.
    Effectively the people of Tasmania are being prevented from any further confirmation of what could be the very last of Tasmania’s Pterodactyls.

    Oh by the way, I was unable to determine if it was a male or female Pterodactyl due to its elevated say mountain-top height, alas I may never be able to confirm that this creature actually exists.
    In the meantime as I drive around this West Coast region of our State I still keep a sharp eye alert just in case I find a sky-kill carcass (that had fallen to the ground) to provide proof of our State’s uniquely native Tasmanian Pterodactyl.

    If only one were possessed of the entrepreneurial guile and stealth of a David Llewellyn then one could tap into some Federal funding for say oh somewhere in the range of a cool $50 million oxford scholars to help to verify my sighting claim, then this funding could provide for a major State-wide sighting, trapping and poison baiting program, to eradicate this uniquely Tasmanian creature.

    Then too perhaps the Liberal incumbent Federal government may not inquire too much into the proposed aerial baiting programme, even if I were to obtain a sample scat of this flying critter, I do believe this would be the key that would soon unlock all those millions of dollars to be stacked up in our State’s cunning department for hunting and stunting purposes.

    Posted by William Boeder  on  28/05/16  at  02:50 PM
  53. From what I’ve read so far on TT, the evidence of feral pterodactyls and sauropods living in Tasmania is convincing. Take a look at this Biosecurity Tas bulletin.

    I know reliable people who have seen them and can’t quite understand the motivations of conspiracy theorists who claim that they are not here. It’s totally irresponsible actually. Until that time we should use the precautionary principle and begin to bait with 1080 immediately.

    From all the sightings to date I’d estimate that the current pterodactyl population is already as high as 2-300 individuals. I modelled that result using William Boeder’s data on the distribution of sightings and coprolites. Roughly speaking (although the statistics are complicated) if the person seeing the pterodactyl is really really really sure they they did, has at least one eye and has not killed anyone within the last decade the sighting is reliable.

    Posted by KopfOff  on  29/05/16  at  08:36 AM
  54. The evidence is all there, this should be easier than the last fifty million and it will be guaranteed to relieve stress.
    Too easy,  William Boeder has seem one fly across the road only a few meters in front of his moving vehicle.
    We certainly could get a carcass from a museum across the water (doesn’t matter about the state of decay) we can place it in a paddock somewhere or alongside a Tasmanian road and as long as we give it the finger test and claim it is still warm everything will be fine.
    Footprints will also be easy, all we need is a severed foot( a few emails will fix that) and a clay pan and some plaster cast.
    Scats, well they have to be importable from somewhere. I sure a few emails will fix that as well.
    Too easy.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  29/05/16  at  09:47 AM
  55. For those persons that remain unconvinced or shall I say sceptical toward my sighting I submit a link that will further explain the likelihood of the West Coast of Tasmania as being one of the last sky-domain realms or habitats of Pterodactyl and Pterosaur like flying beasties to roam the skies in this ancient region of the World.

    Furthermore Tasmanian is known to be the last remaining Gondwanian era flora and fauna that could well be the last preserve.

    Perhaps this might be the reason for all these locked gates barring entry into Tasmania’s World Heritage Listed Gondwanian era Forests.

    If others are convinced then it would be the duty of the non-sceptic to document then submit such evidence they possess to the former Fox hunting specialist headquarters.

    It is hoped that the accumulated sophisticated image recording equipment and expensive trans-forest vehicles have not been shoved through the 2nd hand dealerships or even snaffled by the personnel of our former specialist government forces.

    Posted by William Boeder  on  29/05/16  at  12:38 PM
  56. I just had a chat to a bloke outside an Allgoods store who is an expert in these matters. Apparently there is a relationship between pterodactyl sightings in Tasmania and rising global temperatures. It seems obvious that they have been here for millions of years in our remnant Gondwana forests, probably too cold to fly around much if at all. Now that things are warmer we are beginning to see them.

    That sounds like scientific proof to me.

    It is also obvious that the reason that no bodies have been found in the past is that the Tasmanian devils ate them all. Now that the Tasmanian devil population has declined it is certain that one will be found very soon.

    See, the scientific evidence is mounting very fast.

    I’d like to give you the name of the Allgoods expert, but they want stay anonymous. With all these anti-pterodactyl cynics around its a shame that members of the public feel that they can’t report their sighting lest they be publicly humiliated.

    Posted by KopfOff  on  30/05/16  at  11:46 AM
  57. What we must also do is get control of the media, they are the key.

    We must appoint special media people to spin the story, the more spectacular and sensational the better it will be received.

    Organize special press releases, selected hand fed media personnel only and make sure everyone from the Department is wearing ‘Doctor Who’ white coats.

    Authenticity is everything and we must have one very special hand selected “go-to” person, preferably one with previous Thylacine selling knowledge and this person must always be referred to as the ‘expert’.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  30/05/16  at  01:33 PM
  58. #57 Mr Rist. Do you think that an elephant gun bore would be suitable for pterodactyl? Or would an AA gun be best?

    If we put in a ‘Caring for our Country’ application we should make sure that we equip the task force with a full range of weapons.

    I have an order in already for Polartech jackets monographed with PTF (Pterodactyl Task Force).

    Interestingly the urban dictionary defines PTF as an acronym for:

    “PTF = To be screwed over by life, without any warning or chance to escape. Covers a wide variety of situations.”

    I think we are onto a winner as long as people know that we are only screwing over the taxpayer.

    Posted by KopfOff  on  30/05/16  at  04:50 PM
  59. # 58 I think we would have to have specialist equipment for this high-flying, nocturnal, invasive species.

    The WW 2 German developed Bf-110 night-fighter ‘Schrage Musik’ upward firing 20 mm cannons guided by specialist radar and purpose developed gun sights would be vital for eradication of this horrific invasive horror. Night vision equipment would be an absolute necessity.

    The PTF may consider the expense to interfere with the necessary pterodactyl key chains, fridge magnets, stickers, rulers, pens and all the other fox paraphernalia in the show bags handouts.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  30/05/16  at  06:33 PM
  60. perhaps the “be alert, not alarmed” campaign the feds used to warn us about terrorists could be borrowed, dusted off and repackaged to help get the community aboard?

    Nothing like a healthy dose of the paranoia meme to get the sightings happening. It’s the responsible thing to do, you know it is.

    Posted by Simon Warriner  on  30/05/16  at  09:56 PM
  61. On the other hand folks, true and honest factual evidence was not particularly relevant as regards the Fox Farce, this in itself allows Tasmania to host a few more possible sightings, then there could’ve been 2 of them, perchance one flying in front of the other, after all a pair of them would better qualify their survival.

    So David Diddler was without any ‘chronicled evidence’ thus sly David was able to capture the desired multi-Millions from the Federalies.

    Who would dare vote for such a crooked stinker in any and all future elections.

    I’m told this stinker is also ‘a man of the cloth’ an actual Parish Preacher.

    Oh what a miscreant mess the State’s mass media made.

    Posted by William Boeder  on  31/05/16  at  12:24 AM
  62. #59

    And we should not forget the pterodactyl hotline and pterodactyl roadshow, complete with a stuffed pterodactyl on wheels for shopping centres.

    Then we should start working seriously on the school education program.

    But I’m a little confused. Are we telling people that we are spending millions to conserve them because they are a vital part of Tasmania’s cryptic ecosystem or are we eradicating them because they will cause mass extinction and the end of life as we know it?

    It’s a subtle point perhaps best discussed once we have the designs worked out for the fridge magnets and key chains.

    Posted by KopfOff  on  31/05/16  at  01:23 AM
  63. Whilst mildly amusing to many, the inventing of an ecological threat, to distract everyone from the Mammathus in the room, I find delporable. 

    Not sure where we could possibly start looking for such Pleistocene politics pimping ecological threats for party profit at community cost.

    I’m sure its all included in the ‘Worlds Best Practise’ handbook of resource abuse

    Posted by spikey  on  31/05/16  at  08:13 AM
  64. A little something here that may well confirm my sighting.

    I see no reason that if New Guinea has a history of sightings in that country’s remote mountainous regions, then that our remote mountainous regions in the closed off World Heritage Listed Forests could possibly host that same form of creature contained in the above link.
    The relativity to Gondwandian suits the unknown interior of Tasmania’s no mans land.
    One of the difficulties facing Tasmanians is that our likely inbred government will not rest until such a creature is destroyed, as opposed to those that will it to survive.

    Posted by William Boeder  on  31/05/16  at  01:27 PM
  65. One of the greatest threats to Tasmania’s biodiversity and rural economy, is the introduction of foxes. When this happens, it will have occurred by careless border security or the deliberate introduction by those who would wish to have this predator to hunt.
    A few on these pages recognise the threat but by reading the last few posts, it is obvious many (people) think the issue is a joke, likening efforts to destroy the foxes that have been seen here as hunting for pterodactyls.

    Posted by Richard Kopf  on  08/06/16  at  10:18 AM
  66. One of the greatest threats to Tasmania’s biodiversity and rural economy, is the introduction of foxes.
    Not the furry ones, but the foxy businessmen and polticians who couldn’t care less.
    When this happened, it occurred by careless border security or the deliberate introduction by those who would wish to have an unfair share.

    A few on these pages recognise the threat but by reading the last few posts,
    it is obvious many (people) try to lighten the issue by making a joke,
    likening efforts to destroy the foxes that have been seen here as hunting for pterodactyls.

    sorry Mr Kopf, I find this comment of yours as genuine as all of your contributions
    i bet you a shilling, mine’s more accurate

    Posted by spikey  on  08/06/16  at  01:14 PM
  67. The obvious problem you have Herr Kopf is fifty million dollars plus of taxpayers money and 14 years of deception did not produce a single live fox.

    Now anyone with just a few brain cells would quickly realise you cannot have all that mono fox crap from all those individual foxes and no live fox shot,poisoned or photographed.

    Clearly as is becoming more and more obvious people were planting fox scats and other ‘fox evidence’ to further their own cause.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  08/06/16  at  03:23 PM
  68. Also re # 65 “destroy the foxes that have been seen here” ? ? ?
    All those 3,900 plus ‘fox sightings’ and not one ‘sighter’ with a camera or a firearm?
    Anyone who believes this is possible and the veracity of the ‘sightings’ simply doesn’t have any fox knowledge.
    There will be some very embarrassed people shortly I do believe.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  08/06/16  at  03:37 PM
  69. #64 I heard that someone introduced New Guinea highland pterodactyls into Tasmania to improve the dinosaur hunting. They brought in eggs, hatched them and then distributed them around Tasmania. It would be stupid to think that they brought in adults. It’s obvious that our border security needs pterodactyl sniffing dogs. If we wait until the the population builds up before we do anything the sky will be full of pterodactyls.

    I say we act now before this gets out of hand.

    Posted by KopfOff  on  08/06/16  at  03:48 PM
  70. re 65, Dick, you really need to get out and socialise more. You might learn to recognise a good old fashioned piss take when you see one!

    Posted by Simon Warriner  on  08/06/16  at  05:46 PM
  71. an ode to ptherodactyls

    ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
    7 times i did cackle
    7 times did the crimes
    miss one cardinal point

    what crimes cry the banshees
    we wrote our innocence
    or had it dictated to us
    by our masters malfeance

    flock to your defence
    guided by your shepherds hand
    know that the rest of us
    aren’t as blind and under command

    Posted by spikey  on  08/06/16  at  10:02 PM
  72. House of Assembly Hansard. Budget Estimates 8/6/2016

    Mr LLEWELLYN - Do you think the work done by the Previous fox taskforce over the years, then, given the reduction in sightings and so on, has been actually successful?

    Mr ROCKLIFF - It may well have been; I cannot comment on that.

    Resulted in this Llewellyn Press Release:


    Rockliff concedes fox taskforce “may well have been” effective

      Nine months ago Minister said foxes were “imaginary”

      Massive shift in language since Minister’s own report was revealed

    Nine months after describing foxes in Tasmania as “imaginary”, Primary Industries Minister Jeremy Rockliff has conceded the work of the fox eradication taskforce “may well have been” effective.

    Desperate people do desperate things, how you could make a Press Release out of that simple statement by Rockliff is beyond most people.
    It is clutching at straws.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  09/06/16  at  10:08 AM
  73. #67. I have spent thousands of $$ on insurance over my lifetime. In your view, money wasted. Because I never got flooded, never a victim of bushfire, tornado nor hit by parts falling off aeroplanes.

    So the State Government spends $7 per year for each of us, Commonwealth money, all returned through taxes or dole not paid, which provides some 27 jobs in the state and systematically determines if foxes have been introduced, as an insurance against the disaster their presence would create. You claim this as money wasted.

    3800 recorded fox sightings, dead foxes, scat, all imaginary, I don’t thinks so.

    Posted by Richard Kopf  on  11/06/16  at  11:11 AM
  74. Herr Kopf the problem you have is no-one has been able to hold up a Tasmanian fox up with the blood dripping out of it or the 1080 frothing out of its mouth.
    I have tried to explain this to you before but you either don’t get it or don’t want to….
    Instead you rely on unsubstantiated “fox sightings’ and easily transportable ‘fox evidence’.
    All the wishing and hoping will not change that.

    I suggest you wait for the outcome of the Tasmania Police enquiry.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  11/06/16  at  05:11 PM
  75. Just like an honest Tassie party politician – there is more chance of a feral skunk living in Tassie than a fox out here in the real world …

    Posted by Claire Gilmour  on  11/06/16  at  09:45 PM
  76. Have they knocked on your door yet ‘Paulie’ ?

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  14/06/16  at  09:17 AM
  77. (Comment challenged (by the Editor) and deleted ...)

    Posted by William Boeder  on  14/06/16  at  04:21 PM
  78. Has the bait been taken in classic-fox style?
    Do we need cold showers to look at the evidence?
    We are pretty sure we know who was involved with importing and fabricating foxes.
    Have an open mind.
    If you pull out your conspiracy card, you can say nothing!
    A lack of trust in the government is fundamental to the problem.

    Posted by spikey  on  14/06/16  at  08:40 PM
  79. How the Tasmanian Devil did this comment arrive into this not entirely relevant article matter?
    How is it that this comment dwells in and among these nefarious Will ‘o the Wisp Foxes, Feral Skungage, Pterodactylae and Shibboleths.

    Posted by William Boeder  on  14/06/16  at  09:55 PM
  80. It would be good to track the URLs of these anonymous bloggers such as Paulie, Black Bob Slic Nic and others on fox articles.
    Over the years their bread-crumb trails of pernicious commentary (and self-protective deceptions!) have not done anyone any good, all they have done is attempt to deceive, confuse and lay smokescreens.
    Be a real person and use your real name instead of sniping from the background and getting other hand maidens to convey your messages that you are either to ashamed of to author or simply dont have the personal courage to do so…...

    I think everyone shpould have another read of the Nature 2002 magazine discussing ‘The baiting plan to remove foxes from Tasmania’.
    “The deliberate introduction of foxes into Tasmania, the island off the southern coast of the Australian mainland, is threatening to devastate the island’s unique ecology, wildlife biologists say”.
    At a conference in the Tasmanian city of Launceston earlier this month, fox and pest-control experts called for steps to eradicate the foxes before the breeding season begins in July.
    Baiting plan to remove fox threat to Tasmanian wildlife  
    Nature, Volume 416, Issue 6879, pp. 357 (2002). (Nature Homepage)
    Publication Date: 03/2002
    Origin:  NATURE
    Abstract Copyright: 
    (c) 2002: Nature
    Bibliographic Code: 

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  15/06/16  at  10:06 AM
  81. Re # 83
    Several queries regarding difficulty with the link to Nature Magazine have prompted me to post the relevant text…..

    Nature 416 page 357 –  28 March 2002

    Baiting plan to remove fox threat to Tasmanian wildlife.

    “The information that the authorities have leaves no doubt that foxes were deliberately brought into Tasmania”, says Nick Mooney, a member of the State Government’s Fox Task Force ….

    2 May 2014 – ABC-Radio National
    Background Briefing program
    The Great Tasmanian fox hunt

    Ian Townsend: “Do you believe 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.”

    “A lot of people just glibly dismiss stuff like that because it just doesn’t suit their frame of mind.”

    Such a turn around deserves an explanation from ‘Paulie’ et al.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  16/06/16  at  10:48 AM
  82. 384. Ian I note that at no stage were there any facts regarding Foxes in Tasmania ever established at any prior time regarding this futile Fox farrago.

    This whole Fox thingy began without any supporting factual or bona fide established evidence, other than the Llewellyn power of suggestion.

    So from my point of view all the participants in this decade or longer deception share the guilt of both ... (this fellow) and the nefarious David (sell off the State’s assets for next to nothing) Llewellyn, he being the ubiquitous joker in the pack.

    If it were possible to tally up the cost of this minister’s deceptive rants and consequent failures dumped upon Tasmania, this would tally up and over a hundred million dollars.

    The gas fired power-station debacle being just one example.

    Posted by William Boeder  on  17/06/16  at  01:18 PM
  83. Ian, (#84):  It’s perhaps a minor point to raise, but I’m interested to know why a quote in your comment differs not just from the programme transcript…
    [ ]

    ...but also from the actual audio
    [ ].

    Compare your…
    “A lot of people just glibly dismiss stuff like that because it just doesn’t suit their frame of mind.”

    with the actual audio & transcript…
    “A lot of people just glibly dismiss stuff that doesn’t suit their frame of mind.”

    Why the difference?

    Posted by Garry Stannus  on  21/06/16  at  08:04 AM
  84. # 86   in my opinion you are being pedantic and contrarian, you are claiming one word is not in order?
    How petty…it does not change the overall context of the statement at all.

    Honestly this desperate ‘nit picking’ isn’t helping anyone and your equally desperate attempts to undermine my knowledge and credibility on the fox issue is perceived by most people as just silliness.

    It will not change the outcome of the Police Enquiry which I sincerely urge you to wait for and then see what you think and have to say.

    One good thing you have done though is provide the link to the ABC’s ‘Background Briefing’  and in doing so refresh peoples minds to reality…you do have a habit of being able to create more damage than ‘good’ for your ‘cause’.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  21/06/16  at  10:42 AM
  85. #87 I perfectly agree with you regarding the pedantic nit-picking! I dealt with the same nit-picking habit by the same individual on a range of issues concerning another subject. He didn’t bother to pick on his facebook friend when that friend of his misquoted a well known lawyer in Hobart (Barbara Etter) regarding a forensic report.

    #86 How about it Garry? Will you find a more appropriate way to deal with comments on matters concerning subjects you aren’t an expert in?

    Peter Lozo, BSc, PhD
    Applied Physicist/Perceptual Scientist

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  21/06/16  at  10:44 PM
  86. It’s called attention to detail, Ian (#87).  As I wrote in my #86, it was perhaps a minor point to raise, however the discrepancy was interesting.  How did it occur? Deletions/additions don’t occur when ‘cutting and pasting’.  Were you relying on memory, or perhaps an inaccurate transcript?  I’d still like to know the answer to my question:  Why the difference?

    In my opinion you should be more careful when you use double quotation marks.  Such quotes should indicate that the words contained within them are the actual words that were used.  To me it raises questions as to the reliability of your quotes.  Incidentally, it wasn’t “one word”, it was two, either side of the word “that”.  Missing a word (“like”) is understandable, but adding a word (“because”) is a little problematic.  It suggests, for example, possible sloppiness, or perhaps reliance on a dodgy transcript.  How did you come to the misquote, i.e., why the difference? 

    I agree with you about waiting till we find out the outcome of the police inquiry.  I’ve been doing that, yet you’ve been making ongoing comments all the way through this thread that assert matters central to these ‘further inquiries’.  … so why haven’t you yourself been waiting for the outcome of the police ‘further inquiries’?

    If I can make a separate comment on that Backgound Briefing interview, I’d like to point out that I am confused by one aspect of Professor Sarre’s response concerning the error rate of the ‘Berry screening plus sequencing’ process:

    “Stephen Sarre [said]: It’s 0.4 of one percent, so four in 1,000 could by chance be false.  From the interview (and from its transcript) it seems as if Sarre is indicating that that error rate was post the DNA sequencing stage and I would appreciate it if someone could clarify this for me.  [audio &/ transcript: ] -

    I went back to the Sarre et al. ‘Foxes are now widespread…’ 2012 paper which had created such a fuss, to see if Sarre had mentioned anything about the error rate in that paper and found this, pertaining to Standard Error (SE):

    The threshold that maximized the sum of the sensitivity and specificity (predicted area) was equal to 0.022 (SE = 0.004), suggesting that c. 29% of Tasmania repre-sented suitable fox habitat (Fig. 4).

      This excerpt came from a section of the paper proposing a model of suitable fox habitat in Tasmania.  It’s possible that I am misunderstanding the ‘SE’ reference, however the use of the words ‘sensitivity’ and ‘specificity’ seem so applicable to the PCR+Sequencing (Berry and) Sarre process, that it leads me to think that Sarre in that interview was referring to a statistical value for a Standard Error relating to the PCR test, rather than indicating an actual error rate of 0.004 (i.e.  ”[...] 0.4 of one percent, so four in 1,000 could by chance be false.”

    I’m thinking that perhaps Townsend did not appreciate a distinction that Sarre was referring to a hypothetical error rate, rather than one which was actual.  I would appreciate some feedback on this matter.  I have a copy of Sarre 2012, and would be willing to share it (for the purposes of study/research – which I believe is permissible under Australian Copyright legislation).

    Posted by Garry Stannus  on  24/06/16  at  11:54 AM
  87. # 89
    I am not at all interested in debating with you, is that perfectly clear ?
    Dr Peter Lozo summed it up perfectly.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  24/06/16  at  03:57 PM
  88. Oops!  Yes, I nearly forgot about Peter’s (#86) entry onto this fox thread for the sole apparent purpose of ‘bagging me out’.  I mean, what did he contribute to the discussion on the fox and ‘further inquiries’ by police?  - Nothing.  Peter, your only purpose was to denigrate me.  Okay, so you’ve done that and maybe you feel a bit better for it.

    Actually, I was interested in how Ian came to make that small misquote of his in #84.  You see, past experience has induced me to not necessarily accept everything that Ian presents as fact.  I don’t check (though I usually read) most comments that Ian posts, because he knows more about the issue than a lot of others, including myself, so I was interested (see Ian’s #83 - #84) in seeing what the Nature Magazine had to say, since Ian had recommended that we have a re-read of it.  However, there was an abstract and a paywall.  Oh bother!  Once upon a time DPIWE Prospect Vale had a Special Library, with a good journal collection, offering access to the public.  I used to go there from time to time.  But I understand that a few years ago the Govt closed it down.  However, Ian’s #84 made it clear that he was directing our attention to a change (quite some time ago) in Nick Mooney’s certainty about the introduction of foxes into Tasmania.  Ian included a short incomplete excerpt (which I presume was from the Nature article) and followed it with two quotes from the Background Briefing program, the second of which was (in a small way) different to the actual article.  It might please Ian to know that regarding the first quote, the Background Briefing transcript was at odds with its own audio.  I put their minor omission down to pressures of deadlines etc.  But then I noticed that with regard to the second quote, the Background Briefing transcript and the audio were identical, however Ian’s account omitted one word yet added another next to that word’s neighbour.  Ian rightly pointed out that it did not change the overall context of the quote, yet I was left wondering how the misquote came about.  After being called “pedantic and contrarian” in #87 for asking how the mistake had happened, I canvassed two possibilities in #89:  a reliance on memory or on a defective transcription.

    By the way, it was David (#8) who called me ‘contrarian’, and being of a humorously pedantic frame of mind this eve, Ian, I recommend to you when using other people’s resources/writings (i.e. David’s), that you acknowledge it with some appropriate reference.  Peter (#88) in turn should have had a double duty:  acknowledging that he got the ‘contrarian’ word from your #87, but that it derived from David’s #8.

    But to refocus on the business at hand: in my #1, I quoted Peter Edwards AACommissioner, Tas Police) as saying:

    “This initial assessment has identified that further inquiries need to be undertaken in order to gain a full appreciation of the allegations contained within the complaint and where evidence might exist,’’

    I’m happy to leave this matter till the Police complete their further inquiries and announce their course of action.  I am open to them finding that there is no evidence to support a prosecution, and I am likewise open to them finding that there is evidence to prosecute some individuals.  I think that I am aware of some of the evidence that might have formed part of Ivan Dean’s brief, and I also think that there is other information to which I’m not privy. 

    In case it’s of any interest to others on this thread, I think Sarre’s ‘Foxes are now Widespread in Tas…’ 2012 failed from the outset because it did not validate the provenance of the scats which it tested in the lab.  I also believe that we have had occasional incursions of foxes onto our island – probably accidental – yet I don’t rule out a deliberate introduction – and (for which I have received much criticism on these fox threads) I also believe that the science of the ‘Independent Scientific Review’ “Tasmanian Fox?” was deficient.

    In any case, these and more recent matters are in abeyance, while the Police make their ‘further inquiries’.

    Posted by Garry Stannus:  on  24/06/16  at  10:16 PM
  89. #88; All I can say, Dr Peter Lozo, is Shame!
    On another thread Garry Stannus has steadily and consistently pointed out the deficiencies in your arguments. Unable to gain traction there, you pursue Heider logic and attack him on another thread, not just any thread, but a fox thread; notoriously nasty places to be.
    You have not been part of this thread. You have participated only to launch a personal attack against a poster you disagree with on another thread. It’s not a good look.
    I’d make a big deal about being off topic etc, if only this comment wasn’t guilty of the same sin! Fox threads are bad enough without dragging in baggage from elsewhere.

    Posted by Steve  on  24/06/16  at  10:28 PM
  90. The most disturbing aspect of David Llewellyn’s grand standing comments that we had Foxes in Tasmania has never been during the entire Fox farrago.
    There were a great number of attempts to prove otherwise with nary a Fox seen, caught, poisoned, skittled, nor even photographed.
    I do recall the tale of a Fox being ran over yet that proved to be somebody’s dog.
    At stake here is the credibility of a number of State ministers, then the whole shebang of all the former Fox eradication personnel.
    One can only wonder at the other deceptions perpetrated on the people of Tasmania; another shyster deal was the sale of the Old Norfolk Hospital.
    250 odd Hectares of land plus the huge number of buildings etc, had been given a far more creditable value in the multiple millions of dollars than that accepted by David Llewellyn and Mike Blake the State’s Auditor General.
    Sly perpetrations and dealings were not unusual, particularly during the time David Llewellyn reigned as the DPIPWE minister those years ago.
    So with these historical facts in mind, (including the suspicious land transfer dealings of yester-year many without titles, yet the whole undertaking was shoved through regardless of the prerequisite land titles.
    All being so in the times of this influential minister, one must consider the non-availability of any factual evidence other than oral statements saw this faux Fox alarm still pushed through to the Federal government about the State’s non-evidenced Foxes.
    There is evidence about this Fox farce, but that is decidedly in contradiction to the Llewellyn claims all those years ago.
    Steve Kons was given the flick from his ministerial role per his misleading statements expressed in parliament,  yet Llewllyn still lingers.
    A dirty lot of government business goes on in this State, such that there should be many more heads lopped by Madame Le Guillotine.

    Posted by William Boeder  on  25/06/16  at  10:06 AM
  91. If Garry cannot understand a very simple sentence in #90 (the first sentence) then how can we expect him to understand the last sentence in #88? 

    As for misquoting:

    People either copy and paste or rely on their memory and type out in full what someone else stated - in which case they can have a momentary memory lapse and miss a word or two. It happens to me too. If that cannot be deduced by Garry on his own then he must have a perfect memory and has an obvious desire to nit-pick and search for errors rather than contribute anything original to advance the state of common understanding. He is very meticulous in his writing and ensures that he copies correctly. But he has a significant difficulty in correctly interpreting the material he reads and thus generally ends up posting lengthy ramblings that do not have a clear point. Then his mates jump onto the bandwagon of ignorance as well and try to justify Garry’s ramblings.

    Who was it that said:

    “All your jesting and essays have come to naught.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  25/06/16  at  10:59 AM
  92. #94; I’ve just called back in to make sure I’m un-subscribed from this thread. No offence to those with more time but I avoid fox threads as a general rule.
    I have to say I can’t identify your quote, unless it’s a misquote of Hamlet to Yorick; a fellow of infinite jest? My only other option is Plato but I must confess you’ve got me.

    Posted by Steve  on  25/06/16  at  08:35 PM
  93. RTI063 would appear to fill in a few pieces of the puzzle…

    Posted by John Connor  on  07/07/16  at  06:35 PM
  94. Thanks John Connor (#96) for providing that link [DPIWE RTI 063:  Here].  ‘RTI 063’ is very interesting, however having only given it (at this stage) superficial scrutiny,  I’m not yet sure what to make of it.  Certainly it is a great addition to the public information on the fox issue.  I found Simon Fearn’s Report (see specifically:  p. 110 of the RTI docs, i.e., p. 6 of his original report document) quite interesting, as well as some material that comes near the very end of the RTI document – on the penultimate page perchance.  I won’t venture to canvass this latter matter, otherwise our Ed might get a little ‘nerveux’, however, I think that there won’t be any problem in quoting from Simon Fearn’s Report:

    In conclusion, all the insects identified from fox scats are consistent with Tasmanian ecosystems. Considering the highly modified, primarily agricultural habitats that the examined scats originated from, it is not surprising that no endemic Tasmanian insects were identified. Such species tend to be relatively rare and confined to specific geographic locations and habitat types (eg. wet forests and caves) where foxes are not expected to be found at this stage of their recent incursion into Tasmania. While all the species identified in this study also have wide distributions on the mainland, the important point is that no strictly mainland species were identified. Accusations of hoaxing of scat evidence in Tasmania are persistent from some vocal critics of the FEB. To bring scats in from the mainland and plant them in the Tasmanian landscape would entail taking the enormous risk that such scats contained easily identifiable remains of insect taxa that do not occur in Tasmania. A couple of good examples of the risks involved in such clandestine activities involve scarab beetles that are routinely eaten by foxes throughout south-east mainland Australia. Christmas beetles (Scarabaeidae, Rutelinae) in the genus Anoplognathus are commonly eaten by foxes (citations 1-9), particularly in rural habitats where the larvae of these beetles can be minor pasture pests. Only one species occurs in Tasmania (A. suturalis) but over half a dozen in south east Australia 22 [22=footnote22]. The dung beetle fauna of the south-east mainland is much larger than Tasmania in both introduced and native species24 [24=footnote24].0ne genus (Onitis) in particular is very attractive to foxes as they are large and abundant in pastoral habitats and can be eaten by foxes in large numbers (Fig. 28). Because foxes tend to eat large, abundant invertebrates such species are usually well known taxonomically and readily identified. The author has found no evidence of hoaxing of scats in this study.

    I wonder how Tas Police’s “further inquiries” are progressing.

    Posted by  on  08/07/16  at  02:41 PM
  95. #96. Yes John Connor, the hand written notes on page 152 or the RTI document (#63) are most interesting aren’t they! I wonder why they didn’t make it into the report proper? This one says ‘draft 2’. Was there a final report Mr Connor?

    Posted by Jack J  on  08/07/16  at  04:06 PM
  96. LOL   Hoping beyond hope that it may help the accused step down off the scaffold.
    However I would call it attempting to divert attention….........

    PS # 96. All the pieces of the puzzle are in place.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  08/07/16  at  05:43 PM
  97. Foxes exist in Tasmania with Federal political/taxpayer money. 

    No Federal money = no foxes. That’s how the game is played. 

    I don’t understand why some spend so much time trying to find an enigma, when there are so many more important real issues to focus on …

    What’s killing our wildlife is cats, 1080, poisons in general, climate change and government ineptness and corruption …

    Focus on the real!

    Posted by Claire Gilmour  on  08/07/16  at  06:29 PM
  98. #99 Ian, You appear to me to be over-confident with your view. Whilst I am very new to this thread and am from Adelaide, I have recently read the various scientific articles. I wouldn’t be so confident as you in believing that there are no foxes in Tasmania. At the same time I wouldn’t be confident in stating that there is a significant number of foxes in Tasmania. Based on what I have read so far, I don’t think that there was a sufficiently thorough scientific experiment conducted in the ‘hot areas’ to conclude with any level of certainty that there are no foxes. I would suggest that the Tasmanian Government installs infrared and visual cameras (triggered by motion sensors) around the ‘hot-spots’ for a period of 6 months.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  08/07/16  at  09:05 PM
  99. #95

    ... Had you searched this blog for the words “all your” you would have found the full quote at #3 by Ian Rist! How can I expect you to be able to search the internet for information on whether a white looking object in full sunlight can appear to be mid-grey to dark grey when viewed from at least 50 metres on an overcast day such that the viewer is looking in the general direction of the sun?

    Here is the particular sentence from #3 I chose to use:

    “All your jesting and essays have come to naught.”


    91 #Garry,

    I am not stalking you. Out of a scientific curiosity,  I am just interested in researching the subjects that you have commented on to see what further nonsense you wrote given that you as a non-science educated person have challenged me in my area of expertise (visual perception) in relation to the ‘Grey Dinghy’ issue in the Sue Neill-Fraser case.  I will respond to your ‘naive’  ute photos (aimed to discredit my scientific opinion) elsewhere.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  08/07/16  at  09:35 PM
  100. Dr Peter Lozo # 101. With respect. Neither I nor you know if there are any foxes in Tasmania currently.
    I have never contested that fact, what I have disputed and contested is the ‘fox evidence’ given by people with pecuniary and employment interests to make it appear that there are foxes in Tasmania.

    You say ” I would suggest that the Tasmanian Government installs infrared and visual cameras (triggered by motion sensors) around the ‘hot-spots’ for a period of 6 months”.
    Infra red, remote controlled sensor cameras have been tried since 2002, at one stage there were 204 motion cameras at the disposal of the ‘fox hunting Government agencies’ for deployment in the ‘hot-spot’areas.

    In 14 long expensive taxpayer funded years not one fox has been shot, trapped, recovered from poison 1080 baiting or photographed in Tasmania.
    Yet all that ‘fox evidence’ has kept on appearing ?
    It appears now ‘planted’ by the very people wanting to ‘prove’ there are foxes here.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  09/07/16  at  08:47 AM
  101. Dr Peter Lozo, considering your naiveté in this Fox conspiracy could I recommend that you read the thousands of comments submitted and published in this forum for the past say 8-10 years so to be able to gain a better understanding of the facts.
    This will consume a great deal of time while preventing you to generate a little income to support your counter-theorising that appears to be your habit to create nebulous assertions on yet another attempt to support this State’s Justice department for failing to hold State government ministers to account for their duplicities.

    Posted by William Boeder  on  09/07/16  at  10:50 AM
  102. #104 I went as far back as 2005! Nothing has yet convinced me either way regarding the presence or absence of foxes in your state.

    Your generally negative attitude towards various government departments is obvious (to me).

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  09/07/16  at  01:26 PM
  103. Dear Editor, regarding Peter’s #105, could you let us know if the “(to me)” . at the end of Peter’s #105 was your own addition, or whether it came from Peter.

    I’m asking this because last year or so, I’ve noticed that you’ve (in my opinion) stopped using the square brackets, e.g. ‘[in Garry’s opinion]’ (which I associate with Editorial intervention) and begun using the rounded brackets which suggest your actual commenter wrote ‘(in my opinion)’.

    Small beer, I know, but (in my opinon) sometimes a comma or other mark of punctuation makes a world of difference [in my (Garry’s) opinion] to the actual understood meaning of the odd word or two. (Smile! :) )

    Ed: Yes.

    Posted by  on  09/07/16  at  02:34 PM
  104. I’ve just discovered this thread and I’m surprised to see the amount of ‘he said, she said’ circular debate which sometimes gets a bit too heated and unproductive.  For everyone’s sake I hope this issue can come to a conclusive and satisfactory end soon.

    Garry #97.  I was intrigued by your choice of extract from Simon Fearn’s report, and I wondered if your take on this was one of supporting evidence of foxes living in Tasmania?  If so, my reading of it is a bit different.

    Below are the key (imo) take-home messages within your Fearn extract, and my own conclusions:

    “... all the insects identified from fox scats are consistent with Tasmanian ecosystems.”

    “... all the species identified in this study also have wide distributions on the mainland…”

    “... no strictly mainland species were identified.”

    “The author has found no evidence of hoaxing of scats in this study.”

    Here are my conclusions based on the above extracts:

    All scats contained insects that occur on both the mainland & in Tassie. So scat origin cannot be determined one way or the other.

    I believe the author’s concluding statement is incomplete which can lead to misinterpretation. It only gives half of the story.

    Simultaneously, the same evidence did not disprove hoaxing either.

    Posted by Lyndall Rowley  on  09/07/16  at  04:01 PM
  105. #15. Dr Peter Lozo, my comments and negative attitude towards various government departments are meant to be obvious, for I have researched my facts and can justify my attitudes.

    Furthermore I have studied the legislated statutes that bind each of Tasmania’s GBE’s (State government business enterprises) to operate in their function as a State GBE.

    Therefore when I make a claim relating to the malfeasances, misleading references, baseless media releases, then the assertions as are published via this State’s major media portals, only a fool would dare to contest my claims.

    Yes, we have fools in Tasmania and I also note that there are fools located outside the State of Tasmania.

    Therefore the claims I have made relevant to Tasmanian Foxes, (that various authoritative persons and government employees have claimed that there were or are Foxes present in Tasmania) have since been vindicated, not a photo, nor any valid Fox sightings, nor a genuine Tasmanian Fox carcass, neither were there any actual factual Tasmanian Fox scats discovered.

    To consider how many of this State’s government ministers have held to the unsubstantiated claims that Foxes are or were present in Tasmania tells me we are governed by ministerial persons lacking credibility.

    Word of mouth is not an acceptable replacement for solid immutable evidence of fact, however in Tasmania word of mouth is enough to have people imprisoned for crimes not committed.

    This State’s GBE’s are by legislative record, to be subservient to this State’s non-credible government ministers, surely you are able to understand that personal integrity in this State is as obvious as my attitudes that are displayed for all to see regarding State minister levels of competency.

    Then yes my claims are valid, (be they negative or even positive) as my claims are openly visible to all and every person to examine and that they verily testify just how negligent and oh so erroneous were these State government ministerial claims of Foxes being resident at any time in Tasmania.

    Posted by William Boeder  on  09/07/16  at  05:23 PM
  106. #106 Have you had the government wanting to lay 1080 bait on your land to get rid of foxes?

    I have.

    Have you ever watched an animal die from 1080?

    I have.

    Apparently my area – Rocky Cape, was a strong hold of Tassie foxes … according to the Governments Fox Task Force.

    Funny how all the local farmers, chook owners, rural property owners, shooters etc etc NEVER saw, smelt, heard, experienced even an inkling of a fox.

    If you want to follow the thread further more to honest threads … Cassey O’Connor said (in a phone conversation to me and my ex) re Fox Task force – She said …  It’s about the money – the state needs the money! Federal money she was saying.

    Lies built upon lies. And the Greens were complicit in that!  Just like the Libs and Labs.

    The truth should be known – hopefully there will be a proper investigation.

    Having known some who have worked both in the Devil and Fox task force and told the truth … I wouldn’t trust much the government or their minions have said.

    A government scam of the highest proportions I suggest.

    The Fox task force was about getting Federal funds to lay 1080 bait to kill many animals; give spurious employment to some; help Forestry; and bring Federal funds into the state.

    Posted by Claire Gilmour  on  10/07/16  at  12:06 AM
  107. I have taken an interest in the fox issue since 2001.
    In fact I first raised it on TT in 2004.

    The fox issue in my opinion has been a litany of mistruths, outright lies, deception, rumours, fabrication, hoaxes and false information.
    It all started ‘over the back of a ute’ outside Allgoods in Hobart and the motivation there was because of a certain taxidermists vendetta against the Donaldson family.
    The ‘information’ was passed on to a certain NPWS employees brother and it went from there and five detectives from Tasmania Police were called in to investigate the whole matter in mid 2001.
    The Police proved the fox cub import and release claims were based on rumours, gossip, innuendo and false information and there was also no evidence to suggest the presence of Red Foxes in Tasmania. Reference FOI/RTI Letters from Tasmania Police Det.Inspector Otley to Commander Ivan Dean to Deputy Commissioner Jack Johnstone.
    A letter in 2003 from acting Commissioner Lupo Prins to a Federal Senator again confirmed all this and indeed stated (despite the Ministers claims) that there was no evidence to charge anyone regardless of the “statute of limitations”.
    However authorities chose to ignore the advice of their own Police Department and proceeded with a Federal funding application based on ‘fox cub importation’ and ‘fox sightings’.
    It developed into a huge ‘cash cow’ with huge expenditure of taxpayers money.

    A bit like the war in Iraq and to quote Neil Sheehan a Vietnam war correspondent - “A Bright Shining Lie”.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  10/07/16  at  10:17 AM
  108. Thanks for your #106, Lyndall:  I’m really pleased to have learned (courtesy John Connor #96) that DPIPWE now posts its RTI releases.  Actually, I’m puzzled by the material that is contained in that RTI release and by the order in which it is presented.  It led me to wonder what were the questions asked by the RTI applicant, whether the applicant had prior knowledge of the matters contained in these documents and/or whether someone within the Department was aiding the applicant.  Having written that, I must say that these were just questions which came to me, trying to get my head around the disclosures.  I do not know who the applicant was nor what that person asked.  It has been claimed publicly [e.g. Here on TT] by MLC Ivan Dean and some Tasmanian Times contributors that evidence used to support the existence of foxes in Tasmania may have been fabricated.  The second-last page of the documents is quite pointed, and given that the matter is under review by the Tasmanian Police at this stage – has been for some time – one wonders why DPIPWE has in the last 6 weeks or less decided to release this material prior to the Police indicating whether or not charges would be laid. 

    I accept what you identify as “key […] take-home messages” and your final sentence “Simultaneously, the same evidence did not disprove hoaxing either.”  However I think it’s fair to point out that disproving hoaxing suffers from the same difficulty as disproving the existence of foxes on the island or for that matter, the existence of Bertrand Russell’s tea-pot orbiting the sun somewhere between Earth and Mars. (for an account of my taking tea with Russell, you might find time to peruse my #34 [Here]).  More seriously, tea-pots aside, the ‘take-home’ message for me was Simon Fearn’s

    To bring scats in from the mainland and plant them in the Tasmanian landscape would entail taking the enormous risk that such scats contained easily identifiable remains of insect taxa that do not occur in Tasmania.

    Then again, if I remember correctly, Clive Marks has pointed to a greater than normal number of fox grooming (?) hairs in some (?) of the ‘discovered’ scats and a less than usual number of invertebrate remains within them as indicative of coming from captive foxes, rather than of foxes living in the wild.  This is an interesting question and I’d like to know more about it, for example, whether Dr Marks examined the scats himself, or whether he was basing his remarks on a reading of Simon Fearn’s report. 

    Posted by  on  10/07/16  at  11:20 AM
  109. .../
    A final point of interest:  Readers might have seen earlier this year, an Examiner article “Fox Collection Doubts: QVMAG”(March 2, 2016 / Chris Clark) [Here].  It seemed to suggest that the Museum’s doubts as to the origin of the items in the collection arose after Ivan Dean approached Tas. Police, asking them to investigate claims of fabrication of evidence.  I came across the following email template [Here] for a monthly QVMAG report (August 2009) which referred to some of the evidence as “Victorian”.  Were there doubts then, at the Museum/FEP?

    Donor: Simon Fearn (Fox Taskforce)
    Specimens: 2 fox carcasses (both Victorian), 1fox skull (believed to be Victorian), samples derived from fox carcasses previously donated, 106 pinned insects (mainly beetles).

    Just for the record (as per my #91), I believe that we have had occasional incursions of foxes onto our island – probably accidental – yet I don’t rule out a deliberate introduction. I also wrote there in #91 that I am open to the Police finding that there is no evidence to support a prosecution, and I am likewise open to them finding that there is evidence to prosecute some individuals.  I’m looking forward with eagerness to hear whether the ‘further enquiries’ by the Police will lead to an actual formal investigation.

    Posted by  on  10/07/16  at  11:22 AM
  110. #103 onwards

    Thanks. I am primarily concerned with the scientific reports.


    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  10/07/16  at  03:08 PM
  111. Dr Peter Lozo, how can you verify if the scientific reports relating to the presence of Foxes in Tasmania since 2001 are indeed based on fact.


    Another gentleman that has sought verifiable facts but has been unable to locate same is via a Doctor David Obendorf here in this State.
    I understand he has practiced as a wildlife forensic pathologist along with a number of other aspects specific to, or in addition to, Tasmanian wildlife and non-indigenous to Tasmania fauna, this gentleman has a history of immense respect and toward the credibility contained in his every professional undertaking.

    Let me provide you with further relevant fact Dr Peter Lozo, that the man who can give you (if he chooses to tell the truth) the full Monty about this ... matter is David Llewellyn MP, for it was he that in company with another 2 related persons became the Genesis that sought and enabled the Federal government funding for this non-existent Tasmanian faux Fox affair.


    Perhaps if you become a member of his diocese you might be given some insight into the preaching’s and religious incantations offered by this enigmatic David Llewellyn MP.

    There has been a Parliamentary Inquiry into the valid or non-valid claims re these non-existent Tasmanian Foxes, (please carefully read this next sentence) “this is where submissions are purposefully rejected, or that certain evidences held within a submission are purposely held in camera so that these evidences will never see the light of day.”

    Therefore our State Parliamentary Inquiries can be carefully conducted (even with a stacked deck of selected ministers) I note this additional remark can be added to the substance of the above quoted sentence.

    “Invitat culpum qui peccatatum praeterit”

    Translation: He who passes a crime unpunished, encourages sin


    Posted by William Boeder  on  10/07/16  at  05:50 PM
  112. I too am a great believer in the science.
    I wish however to repeat what I said in comment # 103.
    “In 14 long expensive taxpayer funded years not one fox has been shot, trapped, recovered from poison 1080 baiting or photographed in Tasmania”.
    “Yet all that ‘fox evidence’ has kept on appearing” ?
    “It appears now ‘planted’ by the very people wanting to ‘prove’ there are foxes here”.

    All the hypotheticals and speculation will not change that fact.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  10/07/16  at  06:14 PM
  113. Garry #111.  You’ve answered my question, thanks. You weren’t highlighting Fearn’s conclusions as evidence for foxes living in Tasmania.

    I’m reluctant to go down the well-worn rabbit hole in this thread and disappear into a mire of intrigue, rumour, cover-ups, whatever.  My hair is going grey enough as it is.  But the extract you provided caught my eye - actual scats and their insect content - and at least I could read some facts. Though the way it is written is a bit ‘messy’, and that’s why I picked out the most important and unequivocal bits to make sure I comprehended the results correctly.

    As for captive foxes and the expected proportion of hair and insects in their scats – I have no knowledge about this. But I think it’s reasonable to assume that a captive fox would have a different diet. Re grooming hairs – once again, I have no knowledge, but you’d think that some captive fox scat material from the mainland would be available for comparison.  Another indicator for captivity might be hormonal/chemical?  A captive fox would surely be stressed and perhaps the scats might reflect this.  I really don’t know.

    Posted by Lyndall Rowley  on  10/07/16  at  06:27 PM
  114. I agree with William Boeder in comment # 114 where he says:
    “There has been a Parliamentary Inquiry into the valid or non-valid claims re these non-existent Tasmanian Foxes, (please carefully read this next sentence) “this is where submissions are purposefully rejected, or that certain evidences held within a submission are purposely held in camera so that these evidences will never see the light of day.”
    I was requested to attend the 2009 Parliamentary Inquiry into foxes… wish I had not, it was a farce.
    A typical Yes Minister, what answer do you want ?

    Of the fifteen witnesses called all but two had a pecuniary interest or an employment interest in fostering the belief “there are foxes in Tasmania”.
    A carefully constructed press release followed on Christmas eve 2009 and a follow up story in ‘The Mercury’, written by a journalist who a few weeks later became employed by the then State Government!
    The headline claimed “Parliamentary inquiry confirms foxes are in Tasmania”.
    What a farce, the terms of inquiry where entirely about the fiscal aspects of the Fox Free Task Force not if there were ‘foxes in Tasmania’.

    None of the recommendations of the Inquiry where implemented.
    What a time consuming, tax payer funded farce.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  10/07/16  at  06:55 PM
  115. Garry.
    Correction: Upon further thought, I realise now that the fox scat samples were probably too old and dry for chemical analysis. So please ignore my previous suggestion.  Aside from that important point, I found a few references for chemical analysis of faecal matter for stress hormones.  So, seeing I mentioned this as a possible marker for stressed foxes (e.g. from captivity, but also from being chased by dogs or shot at!), I thought I’d post this abstract anyway:

    “A multitude of endocrine mechanisms are involved in coping with challenges. Front-line hormones to overcome stressful situations are glucocorticoids (GCs) and catecholamines (CAs). These hormones are usually determined in plasma samples as parameters of adrenal activity and thus of disturbance. GCs (and CAs) are extensively metabolized and excreted afterwards. Therefore, the concentration of GCs (or their metabolites) can be measured in various body fluids or excreta. Above all, fecal samples offer the advantages of easy collection and a feedback-free sampling procedure. However, large differences exist among species regarding the route and time course of excretion, as well as the types of metabolites formed. Based on information gained from radiometabolism studies (reviewed in this paper), we recently developed and successfully validated different enzyme immunoassays that enable the noninvasive measurement of groups of cortisol or corticosterone metabolites in animal feces. The determination of these metabolites in fecal samples can be used as a powerful tool to monitor GC production in various species of domestic, wildlife, and laboratory animals.”
    In: Stress hormones in mammals and birds: comparative aspects regarding metabolism, excretion, and noninvasive measurement in fecal samples. (Palme et al. 2005).

    Posted by Lyndall Rowley  on  10/07/16  at  08:10 PM
  116. It is the proponent that has to disprove the null hypothesis (that foxes are absent) and not the task of the skeptic; as no one can disprove any claim (fairies, thylacine, etc). What is being asked by some is hence rather unscientific as it is suggesting that they are requiring proof that foxes don’t exist. It is a tired argument.

    Better all take a cold shower and let Tasmania Police put it all to rest.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  10/07/16  at  08:46 PM
  117. to trace the guilty-  follow the scat documentary proof of the celebrated bruni island fox which crapped once only

    they were never serious - when they found a supposedly positive scats - they never immediately contacted all neighbourung land owners and had an intensive hunt.

    when asked to give permission to 10-80 my property - no authorisation was given when no satisfactory responses were received from the above queries.

    not just me , i believe the vdl company also denied baiting approval.

    more evidence - look at resignations and transfers and early retirments and voluntary redundancies from the tassie fox hunters and the reasons given.

    no one has asked me for evidence for any enquiry into the scam

    Posted by mike seabrook  on  10/07/16  at  08:54 PM
  118. #118. Lyndall your fields of expertise are many and also of regard is to the manner you present your commentary, which are and should be highly regarded.
    However there has to exist a ‘prima facie’ basis(not faecie as there is no singular term for an isolated animal scat or a portion of faeces) of presentable evidence (not just verbal statements even if given under oath) then there has to be the ‘onus probandi’ (the person that makes the originating claim or the allegation) which in this farcical Fox case happened to be a certain well known State government minister, then 2 State government senior employed persons that sought to reinforce this onus probandi.

    The continuing jest or farcical evidence presentations had continued on ad nauseum during the entire of the 14 year fallacious faux pas exercise, yet no admissible evidence was found to be.
    An example of a similar quest or capriccio would be the act of successfully obtaining evidence that the fountain of youth doth exist.

    The fact is that there was no prima sine qua non. (Without fact which it cannot be.)

    The rest of the proffered evidence is pure supposition, especially given the volume of scientific analysis that has been wholesomely conjectured in this ab initio (from the beginning) event.
    This Fox matter is now sini die. (postponed indefinitely, without any day fixed for resumption.)

    I will lay odds of 10-to-1 that this reinvestigation is or will be unable to find charges laid against this State government’s many complicit Lib/Lab ministers.

    Please note the speed of the State’s police address already given to resume another fact denying investigation.

    Posted by William Boeder  on  10/07/16  at  10:25 PM
  119. #114

    “how can you verify if the scientific reports relating to the presence of Foxes in Tasmania since 2001 are indeed based on fact.”

    The answer is: I can’t verify whether a scientific report is based on fact!

    What I can do is to make a pretty good evaluation of the quality of the scientific work presented in the articles I read, even if the subject is outside my area of expertise. I am not impressed by the work of the Canberra group. The review of their work by another group (to which David O contributed) is impressive.


    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  10/07/16  at  11:40 PM
  120. The Examiner’s Chris Clarke has been covering this matter for some time.  I’ve just noticed that a July1 2016 article of his [‘Fox Taskforce inquiry follow-up likely’] had escaped my attention.  It is worth posting it here:

    THE Integrity Commission will likely conduct part of the investigation into allegations of corruption in the Fox Taskforce if Tasmania Police finds there is sufficient evidence to support a larger inquiry.
    Tasmania Police has confirmed it is nearing the end of its “preliminary inquiries” phase after receiving an official complaint in March that alleges members of the Labor government agency tampered with fox evidence.
    The complaint was submitted by former police officer and Windermere Independent MLC Ivan Dean who has been investigating the taskforce since its inception in 2001.

    The complaint alleges the Labor government planted evidence of foxes in Tasmania to secure ongoing federal funding for pest eradication.
    The complaint contains testimony of this from former taskforce employees.
    Tasmania Police has remained tightlipped about its initial assessment of the information, but investigating officer Inspector Matthew McCreadie said his work was almost complete.
    Those close to the investigation expect the state’s corruption watchdog the Integrity Commission to consume control of at least part of the next stage of the investigation.
    However, it is understood the watchdog will request Tasmania Police detectives assist it during its probe.
    “It’s a very complex matter,” Inspector McCreadie said.
    “The assessment of the information is ongoing. The assessment will be completed soon.”
    The preliminary assessment has seen Inspector McCreadie gauge the quality of information contained in Mr Dean’s complaint.
    It is understood he has conducted interviews with at least two former taskforce members.

    Inspector McCreadie confirmed he has been in regular contact with Mr Dean and said he had spoken to long-time fox evidence skeptic Ian Rist about the information contained in the complaint.
    Mr Rist said his initial meeting with the inspector went for five hours.
    “I didn’t hold back with anything. I gave (Inspector McCreadie) names,” Mr Rist said.

    When asked if the Integrity Commission had committed to an investigation, acting chief executive Michael Easton said: “The Commission understands that the matter has been forwarded to the Commissioner of Police for consideration.
    “All allegations of misconduct are dealt with.”

    The following excerpt from Chris Clarke’s article surprised me, as till now I’d thought that the falsification allegations were directed at members of the FEP:“The complaint alleges the Labor government planted evidence of foxes in Tasmania to secure ongoing federal funding for pest eradication.”

    Posted by  on  11/07/16  at  08:20 AM
  121. Well, William #121. Gratius tibi ago (thank you) for your regard for my comments. I do try to cut through the white noise and find res (fact) and evidentia (evidence). I do enjoy your use of Latin sprinkled through your comments and, as you can see, it has encouraged me to attempt a response in your ilk of commentary. Mea navis volitans anguillis plena est.

    Let’s all hope for some clarity, facts and satisfactory conclusion to this difficult and divisive saga soon.

    Posted by Lyndall Rowley  on  11/07/16  at  09:37 AM
  122. I have no particular inclination to dispute (Ian at #119) your observation about null hypotheses - or more particularly – that part in which you wrote:  “It is the proponent that has to disprove the null hypothesis”.

    But Ian, the remarks that I directed to Lyndall in my #111, about the difficulties of disproving certain claims, were manifestly about the difficulties in disproving claims of hoaxing i.e. in this instance the falsification of evidence – to whit, the scats.  Lyndall had concluded her #107 with the following:  “Simultaneously, the same evidence did not disprove hoaxing either.” and I had replied ”However I think it’s fair to point out that disproving hoaxing suffers from the same difficulty as disproving the existence of foxes on the island [...]”

    This is not about proving whether foxes exist, Ian … it is about the relative standing (in this instance) of Simon Fearn’s report’s: ”[…] The author has found no evidence of hoaxing of scats in this study”. compared to Lyndall’s ”Simultaneously, the same evidence did not disprove hoaxing either.”  And I agreed with Lyndall’s point.

    This does not transmute (#119, Ian), into your rendition of that exchange that “they [unnamed persons] are requiring proof that foxes don’t exist”.  In my opinion, Ian, you’ve started mixing apples with oranges.  This thread is about the allegations of hoaxing which the police are now examining.  Our comments (Lyndall’s and mine) were about whether the data in Simon Fearn’s report could be used to support or disprove the notion of hoaxing/fabrication of evidence.

    ‘Hoaxing of the scat evidence’ might have occurred.  I’m not in a position to know.  However, the Simon Fearn report indicates that (via what I perhaps rightly, perhaps erroneously have assumed were morphological rather than ‘chemical’ examinations) the scats themselves did not contain evidence of hoaxing.  This is where the ‘null hypothesis’ is properly realised … in other words, it’s up to you, who seem to be claiming that scat hoaxing occurred, to falsify the converse proposition ... that scat hoaxing did not occur.

    (Again, for the record, I don’t know if there are any foxes on the island.  I believe that there have been occasional ‘incursions’ … probably accidental, yet I do not rule out a concomitant ‘deliberate-introduction’ scenario).  Further to this, Ian was the person who alerted us to the fact that the Fox Task Force had begun importing scats from the mainland.  Unpublished FOI information – later kindly supplied to me by Ian – indicated that some of these scats had gone ‘missing in action’ and this realisation led me to question whether the scats underpinning Sarre 2012’s ‘foxes are widespread…’ might have been MIA’s … lost by one FEP worker and later found by another.  And now the police have been asked to see whether, if rather than by accidental loss and subsequent discovery, these widespread scats (see Chris Clarke’s article, posted in my #123) had actually been planted by the Labor Govt, or by members of its agency, DPIPWE’s (FEP) personnel in order to attract ongoing Fed. Govt. funding.  I’ve got no opinion on this.  I simply don’t know.  I’m waiting for the police to tell us if they will formally investigate the matter, or – for example – whether the Federal Police need to be involved in such allegedly misused Federal funding matters, and further, I need to understand how it might be that Tas Police might refer the matter to the Integrity Commission, help them with it, and then receive the ball back from the ICT, once the potential investigations have finished.  You see, the course of proposed action inferred in Chris Clarke’s article is at odds with the ICT model that I understand to operate.  In my - albeit limited - understanding, if someone has a complaint about the actions of public servants, they take it to the relevant agency or to the ICT.  If the matter has come to the ICT, then that body might or might not make investigation, and depending on the outcome, the agency related to the origin of the complaint is then acquainted with the ICT’s conclusions on the matter and enjoined to put things right.  However, under this legislated scenario, I don’t understand why Ivan Dean didn’t take his dossier and days-later-follow-up to DPIPWE and then/also give the ICT a copy.  Why the cops?  Or perhaps the better question is ‘Why the ICT?’)

    Posted by  on  11/07/16  at  03:47 PM
  123. Having had time to go over the comments on this thread and the RTI carefully several things have jumped out at me…..
    In # 97 Garry Stannus states:

    “Then again, if I remember correctly, Clive Marks has pointed to a greater than normal number of fox grooming (?) hairs in some (?) of the ‘discovered’ scats and a less than usual number of invertebrate remains within them as indicative of coming from captive foxes, rather than of foxes living in the wild.  This is an interesting question and I’d like to know more about it, for example, whether Dr Marks examined the scats himself, or whether he was basing his remarks on a reading of Simon Fearn’s report”.

    I find this quite amazing as the only people that would have had access to this paper were Journal referees and some members of the Tasmanian Government.
    Where did you get this information from Mr Stannus?
    Did a referee give you a perusal of the confidential paper or was it a Government member ?
    Clear undertakings were given that this would not occur.

    I also find it equally amazing that in comment number 96 John Connor’s reference to the RTI063 suggests that he (John Connor) at the time was very close to Government or a Government agency.
    It is very unusual that a unredacted copy appeared naming former FFTF employees.
    Or was this a deliberate act…what for?
    Was it a diversion?

    I intend to take these matters up with Tasmania Police.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  11/07/16  at  06:07 PM
  124. Also in # 125:
    – whether the Federal Police need to be involved in such allegedly misused Federal funding matters….

    I am absolutely sure evidence of alleged fraudulent activity used to defraud the Commonwealth will end up with the Federal Police.

    I also went back and checked the hard copy of The Examiner fox story on the 2nd July 2016

    It said:

    July 2, 2016,The Examiner.
    The state’s corruption watchdog will likely take on the next stage of the Fox Taskforce investigation.
    “Tasmania Police has confirmed it is nearing the end of its “preliminary inquiries” phase after receiving an official complaint in March that alleges members of the Labor government agency tampered with fox evidence”.
    It clearly says in the hard copy:
    “alleges members of the Labor government agency tampered with fox evidence”.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  11/07/16  at  06:38 PM
  125. #125

    may i draw your attention to

    ‘I am not at all interested in debating with you, is that perfectly clear ?’

    I like a debate.

    The Fearn report was clearly written with intended political influence.
    As has been pointed out, the ‘lack of evidence of hoaxing’, is merely a lack of evidence of insects exclusive to the mainland.
    Inconclusive evidence used incorrectly.
    Recognised clearly as intended to be misleading political bollocks by everyone who read it… well almost everyone.

    I’m fully aware of the difficulties involved in identifying, to species, insects from scats. 

    Analysis of 2 of the fox DNA containing scats, collected 6 months apart, in separate locations, appear to be from the same animals scat, who had been eating foam.

    I’m not a coprofoam taxonomist, I’ll have to take their word on that.

    ‘The complaint alleges the Labor government planted evidence of foxes in Tasmania to secure ongoing federal funding for pest eradication.
    The complaint contains testimony of this from former taskforce employees.’

    I’d say the testimony from former employees was reason enough to consider hoaxing more likely than convenient innocent laboratory errors.

    Given the disgusting culture of political interference, bullying and covering up that goes on in most of our public services, I’m glad this was handed to the cops.

    I assure you they’re smart enough to look for evidence of hoaxing, without assuming a lack of conclusive invertebrate assemblage is evidence for lack of hoaxing.

    Disclaimer: I volunteered to collect poo for the fox farce, I collected it on Bruny, I did not add any fox DNA.

    Posted by spikey  on  11/07/16  at  06:57 PM
  126. Thanks Spikey #128.  My highlighting of a few key statements from Fearn was simply an attempt to make SENSE of the conclusions. As I stated earlier, I thought Fearn’s conclusions were ‘messy’. I had to read the thing twice before deciding to extract the factual statements from the confusing stuff so I could understand. Hence my first posting here to check if Garry was posting it as evidence of no hoaxing (as Fearn states lastly) and therefore proof of foxes living in Tasmania.

    I don’t know about any political influence, but I do know that reading the conclusions made my head go around in circles. Not well written imo, and as such fairly easily misinterpreted or, if not carefully read for key facts, possibly even misleading.

    Posted by Lyndall Rowley  on  11/07/16  at  09:34 PM
  127. So now, Ian (#126) you “intend to take these matters up with Tasmania Police.” 
    ‘And what matters might those be?’, the casual reader might ask. 
    1 John Connor’s comment (#96) in which he gave us a link to what I guess is a relatively new facility on the DPIPWE website – RTI releases.


    2 Garry’s #97, in which he stated:  ““Then again, if I remember correctly, Clive Marks has pointed to a greater than normal number of fox grooming (?) hairs in some (?) of the ‘discovered’ scats and a less than usual number of invertebrate remains within them as indicative of coming from captive foxes, rather than of foxes living in the wild.”

    On the basis of these two remarks, Ian, you write that you are going to go to the Police!

    My reaction?

    A completely potty idea! 



    Posted by  on  11/07/16  at  11:32 PM
  128. # 130 You could at least be honest and not use (in my view) your usual evasive double-meaning contributions.
    Obviously you aren’t going to disclose who let you view the journals (illegally) so we will have to pursue other means.
    My answer to spikey at # 129 is… I was prepared to risk death by 10,000 words if I could get to the truth of this violation of trust.

    The amusing thing about some of the pseudonyms used constantly on this site is that the judge won’t accept them when this mess is finally sorted out…won’t be any hiding in ‘Cowards Castle’ then LOL.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  12/07/16  at  08:02 AM
  129. In my opinion, you’ve ‘shot yourself in the foot’ again, Ian, with your #126 promise to take my comment (#97) up with the police. 

    I’m sure the police will be interested to learn that my reference to Clive Marks mentioning hair in fox scats was drawn from none other than the Tasmanian Times article of November last year:

    Furthermore, you yourself, Ian, (comment #18 at my ) happily told us all about the issue of feeding captive foxes for scat production in January of last year.  Had you forgotten?  You even gave the page numbers of the FOI docs that you subsequently asked Lindsay not to publish.

    I think you owe me an apology, Ian, for publicly suggesting that that I have viewed certain journals illegally – it is not true and I must say that I’m quite surprised that Lindsay allowed you to make this false and defamatory claim which is contained in your #131.  I don’t ask the Editor to delete it, I ask that you repudiate the accusation and apologise for it, appropriately, on this comment thread.

    Posted by  on  12/07/16  at  09:26 AM
  130. #131. Ian Rist thank you for your earlier comment as #117. I have attempted to convey the facts from the perspective of the farmers that had allowed the FEP onto their properties and have consequently had lost valuable farm dogs to the 1080 baits as well as deaths among their livestock.
    The persons that began this fraud upon the Federal government has remained intractable even up until the present time attempting to cajole people into a Fox presence in this State.
    For those persons engaged in their forensic study of the former forensic scatterings of scats, in time they will realize that unfortunately they are labouring away in their trying to create a substance that is as elusive as the missing link.
    For those persons that have unwisely chosen to disregard the integrity of both Ian Rist and Dr David Obendorf, it will be to their own peril.

    I now refer to another of this State’s political Preying Mantis, a former minister of the DPIPWE that was only too happy to rid his association with this farce by dumping the Fox Eradication Force from his port polio onto a new incoming State Labor minister, that off-loading minister was Bryan (the giggler) Green.
    He is another of the insiders who suspected that this would ultimately become a Federal fraud case.
    As I have stated earlier, it would be easier to find the mystical fountain of youth than to find any fact that there were Foxes in Tasmania.

    Anyone that continues poking about in imported Fox scats will ultimately find that they have become intoxicated under the spell of the aromatics of imported Fox scats.
    One has to understand that there are no regulatory authorities in this State who can apprehend the onus probandi, (rumour-monger) for he will stand atop a dozen copies of the King James version of the Holy Bible and say, “how dare you doubt me?”.
    The State’s highest Police ranks owe their achieved high rank status to persons that are themselves the prime suspects in this Fox plot.

    I myself would no longer seek within for evidence in this State’s imported Fox scats as in my opinion this is an extreme illogical and stinky endeavour.
    (“How was your day at work my dear husband?” replied the husband, “somewhat of a difficult task, it has been a day of picking and probing through imported animal turds, my dear wife.”)

    Furthermore the legendary Sherlock Holmes would soon become baffled by this Fox matter, “look here Watson, you cannot locate a creature that does not exist,” would have been Mr Holmes final exasperated conclusion.
    “We Watson have been foiled by a person who claims himself as a man of respectable standing, alas he is nothing more than a Bible-belting Tasmanian government minister.”

    Posted by William Boeder  on  12/07/16  at  09:40 AM
  131. Ian #131. I can hear your genuine cry for truth and justice. This entire saga has generated far more that 10,000 words already, and even so it still seems no-one is getting any closer to a satisfactory explanation and an end. It’s a very sad situation, really.

    I was trying to think of a positive coming out of this negative-generating never-ending story, and I wondered if participants in this thread might have some constructive ideas. If ‘the system’ and its processes were functioning with proper checks-and-balances and was operating transparently and could be held to account, then it makes sense (?) that another similar long-running, murky, controversial and divisive saga like this could not happen again. (I’m not referring more fox sagas; just talking in general).

    As a consequence, this same failure has caused people to lose trust in the system. The lack of facts and perceived &/or real lack of transparency (government, agency etc) has grown a potent and poisonous mix of relatively few facts with lots of rumour, inference, accusation, suspicion, and so forth. The longer it goes on, the bigger and more complex it grows, and the more entrenched the opposing viewpoints become.

    Anyway, I suppose I’m saying that there are (must be) lessons to be learned from this. In some ways the system has failed, and in so doing has also failed the citizens of Tasmania.

    Have any of you got some constructive/practical ideas/opinions about how the system could be improved so as to prevent any situations like this happening again in the future?

    Posted by Lyndall Rowley  on  12/07/16  at  09:55 AM
  132. #108 & #78 William Boeder

    Thank you for confirming to us all in your own words:

    “my comments and negative attitude towards various government departments are meant to be obvious, for I have researched my facts and can justify my attitudes.”

    Now that we have your admission on record about your attitude (of which I have been aware for a number of months because I did a quick on-line research about you, as I usually do about people who challenge my opinion) it is therefore expected of you to be opposed to anyone’s opinion that might agree with the opinion of the government departments that you don’t have respect for. I now like to remind you of your #78 (which is misplaced because it refers to the Susan Neill-Fraser case rather than foxes). Isn’t that comment of yours at #78 an example of bigotry driven by your dislike of the Tasmanian judicial system rather than being based on a thorough research and the understanding of the Neill-Fraser case and the understanding of the science of visual perception and memory, as well as the science of secondary transfer of DNA??



    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  12/07/16  at  10:24 AM
  133. where were we?

    ah yes evidence and foxes and dubious reports.

    ‘In conclusion, all the insects identified from fox scats are consistent with Tasmanian ecosystems.

    ‘Considering the highly modified, primarily agricultural habitats that the examined scats originated from,

    it is not surprising that no endemic Tasmanian insects were identified.’

    Hmmm consistent with Tasmanian Ecosystems… or consistent with Tasmanian/Victorian ecosystems…? seems suggestive

    ‘Such species tend to be relatively rare and confined to specific geographic locations and habitat types (eg. wet forests and caves)’

    Bahaha I’d love to see that reference referenced in any way whatsoever.

    ‘where foxes are not expected to be found at this stage of their recent incursion into Tasmania.’

    Hmmm, really? Whatever, imaginary foxes might dislike caves and wet forests

    ‘While all the species identified in this study also have wide distributions on the mainland,
    the important point is that no strictly mainland species were identified.’

    An important point… as important as no tas endemics being found (hiding in caves and wet forests no doubt)

    What follows is reference to a few mainland insect prey species common to some mainland foxes and an apparent paucity of Tasmanian representatives. 

    I’d consider it largely irrelevant, unless these species were shown to be found and predated in all mainland fox habitats.

    Interesting such little mention is made of the absence of more common prey items, which could easily have included endemics.

    Posted by spikey  on  12/07/16  at  12:50 PM
  134. #135. Dr Peter Lozo, how observant you have been, well done on your part.
    As for my bias toward this State government bureaucracy and the integrity of this State’s government ministers, were you a resident you may then understand that there is no system in place in Tasmania where a government minister is ever truly held to account for their lack of credibility and integrity.
    However you are free to think otherwise as is your wont.
    For your future reference you would be best advised that there is a dividing line between the haves and the have nots, the have nots being the persons that have to battle for living, while the haves are mostly all on the State government payroll.

    A case in point is one I have investigated ... the case of an elderly lady whose wealth was frittered away through power of attorney ...


    Another case matter that I have investigated had concerned the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and its relationship with ASIC, who ideally are seen as the regulatory authority that is supposed to keep the corporates in Australia operating fairly and within their Codes of Conduct in their business dealings and undertakings, though which has still not been ratified between these 2 entities.
    I am in possession of correspondences between ASIC, the Federal Attorney General, then that of Australia’s Prudential Regulator that has had a part to play in letting this Bank off the hook for deeds nefarious and unconscionable.
    Furthermore I have read the transcript of a High Court of Australia decision handed down in favour of this dubious government protected Australian Bank.
    Also that I was able to access the videoe-taped Senate Inquiry sessions into both ASIC and the Commonwealth Bank, then that I had corresponded with one of the Senators that had participated in this Inquiry, please note that I had read the full transcript of this Inquiry and also the resultant Senate Inquiry report that held the plea for a Royal Commission into this specific Bank.
    See the link below.,4048
    Given that I am an outspoken person, I believe I hold a civic duty to report facts as I have found them to be, those that choose a different view that is ever their own choice.
    This World has far too many disinterested persons most of which are lazely complacent and disinclined to challenge the government published dictums, reports, media releases and the like that enter into and affect our lives upon this isolated Island off the coast of Australia.
    Consider Tasmania as an island larger in its geographical spread than that of Norfolk Island, then consider the like manner of its historical administration.

    Posted by William Boeder  on  12/07/16  at  04:05 PM
  135. #137 William

     Your bias is preventing you from understanding those whose opinion disagrees with your view of life and your view of how the world should work. 

    Your use of the word “zealot” was inappropriate and was uncalled for. I didn’t ask the editor to delete that comment of yours because I wanted it to stay as an example of bigotry. Your comment was a personal attack on my character. Instead of apologising to me you chose to write irrelevant and rambling nonsense in which you are justifying your view and negative attitude. Each case (and each subject) deserves an unbiased and objective approach if that case is to be correctly understood!

    You might benefit by reading a book on the Dreyfus Affair, and Viktor Frankl’s book Man’s search for Meaning. Perhaps these two books might help you to ‘re-tune’ your intolerance and pessimism towards something more positive and objective.


    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  13/07/16  at  01:04 PM
  136. # 134
    Lyndall I believe the Federal E.P.B.C Act and the NHT made it all possible.
    Some ‘bright’ people within the Department recognised the Threat Abatement Plan (TAP) clause from the EPBC Act and used their own interpretation of the Key Threatening Process (KTP)  clauses to access a what they claimed was a bottomless pit of Federal money.
    The Partial sale of Telstra provided the taxpayers’ money for the two acts. Sadly it was rorted.

    Foxes had been placed on the KTP register on the 16th July 2000 and all you had to name   in the TAP were two or more threatened species.
    Problem was we didn’t have any foxes.
    That was taken care of by hoaxing and fabrication and a paranoia was created.  Foxes like the Thylacines, Yetis and little green men in UFO’s quickly appeared from under every bush, easily transportable fox evidence starting appearing on road sides and in paddocks.
    The media helped spread the paranoia and the ‘bean counters’ jumped for joy, a never ending supply of funding whilst ever we can keep producing the ‘fox evidence’.

    After fourteen long taxpayer funded years and not a single fox shot, trapped, recovered from 1080 poison baiting or even photographed in our tiny Island State.
    That fact alone should confirm what has been going on…that period of time alone simply makes the whole thing implausible.

    ‘spikey’  # 136
    Not one single alleged tested Tasmanian’  fox scat has contained any trace of any Tasmanian endemic species.
    Bit strange don’t you think?
    With all that road kill, especially Rufus wallabies that are killed by the hundreds each night.
    When I raised that fact at the 2009 PAC Inquiry an ‘expert’ claimed Rufus Wallabies were just too ‘zippy’ and the foxes would find rabbits much easier to catch.

    It has been a sad indictment on Tasmania and Tasmanians generally, let us hope the Police at State and Federal level clean it up so it can never, ever happen again.
    It has thrown a terrible stench over Tasmania and certainly will not help further genuine funding requests.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  13/07/16  at  06:45 PM
  137. i think i saw a fox
    playing with its balls
    whilst men made irrelevant whimsy

    their nit-picking eyes
    never straying from the prize
    points proven tenuous and flimsy

    rude and objectional
    too easily offendable
    mostly just acting the goose

    gandering indignantly on
    to their own swan song
    records stuck, scratched, boring, overused

    Posted by spikey  on  13/07/16  at  07:29 PM
  138. #137. Given that you claim an apology is due to you with regard to my deleted comment here at #78. Do please accept my apology.

    As for the basis of fact where and when I relate to this State’s government representatives, its ministers, then its departments and GBE’s that are often the originating source of my contentions, I owe no apology in regard to any and all of my claims.

    Do please accept that there is no ultimate responsible institution or person in this State that can call the State’s higher ranking public servants to full account.

    Thank you.


    Posted by William Boeder  on  13/07/16  at  10:52 PM
  139. #140

    Ian, I do find it very strange that no endemics were found.  Having worked on gut contents (poo in the making) I can attest both to the difficulty in identifying digested remains and the generally impoverished status of much taxonomic knowledge.

    I reckon there’s very few people who are capable of high level insect identification… most taxonomists have a broad interest and specialise in a few groups.  Most keys are written for mature intact specimens.

    I have no idea which entomologist/s studied the scats, or how skilled and rigorous they were at identifying digested endemic invertebrates.

    Its stranger that no endemics was used as ‘evidence’ of consistency with tasmanian ecosystems.
    That no endemics was used as ‘evidence’ of consistency with tasmanian farmland.
    That the absence of a few common seasonal mainland insects was used as evidence of lack of hoaxing.

    When someone appears to be this eager to use lack of evidence as evidence, I start to question impartiality in identification.

    Unfortunately given the mysterious appearance of a fox in QVMAG, apparently masquerading as famous tasmanian road kill;  and the apparent contamination of bruny island and other scats, my faith in due scientific process is somewhat tarnished.

    In my experience, honest experts don’t usually offer ridiculous justifications like zippy roadkill, nor do they drop such clangers as not expecting endemics due to farmland vs (eg)caves and wet forests.
    Politicians (and many shilly TT anonymous regulars) speak mostly misleading half-truths.

    I’d have hoped the conclusion read more like:

    No endemic insects were found, this is quite unusual.
    A paucity of other common prey items was also unusual.
    On this basis alone, no evidence for, or against, hoaxing was apparent.

    Not a heap of questionable justifications incorrectly suggesting a less likely mainland origin.

    Posted by spikey  on  14/07/16  at  10:03 AM
  140. spikey

    Thanks for the dialogue.

    I guess at the end of the day we will have to rely on confessions and eye witness contributions.

    The 1250 imported mainland fox scats were never going to have any Tasmanian endemics anyway.

    To even think that imported fox scats were going to offer irrefutable and incontestable evidence was indeed an amateurish mistake in the first place.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  14/07/16  at  12:36 PM
  141. #142 William,

    I accept your apology.

    I am not interested in the rest of your comment as it corrupts the significance and the intent of the apology.


    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  14/07/16  at  02:36 PM
  142. Ian #140. Thanks.  But I was thinking about ‘system failure’ in a slightly different way.  EPBC Act and NHT are just the mechanism and funding pot for any biodiversity management. I was looking to yourself and other TTers in this thread to identify within the system where there was a failure to embed checks, evaluations, whatever, of the fieldwork, quality of reports, risk assessments and subsequent regular review of the programme. If the Fearn report conclusions are part of official investigations and scientific evidence (?!), then on that basis it’s no wonder everyone’s still debating this saga full of riddles.

    Being fairly naive to all of the comings and goings of this fox incursion story, it seems obvious to the onlooker that something has gone terribly wrong with the processes within the system. With so much time and money spent without incontrovertible proof of foxes living (and presumably breeding and eating) in Tasmania, I’m very surprised that the feds did not seriously question the ongoing funding of this some years ago, simply on that basis alone. (I’m not entering into the actual hoax or not hoax, or any fraud or cover-up side of things).

    I’m going to stick my neck out and risk a flood of criticism. But if we were having a coffee and a chat, I’d like to have a conversation about these things and bounce a few ideas around.

    Firstly, I’m no expert on foxes, nor am I an expert biologist, nor am I familiar with the fauna of Tasmania. So, I have to rely on my own thoughts and logic. It seems logical to me that a fox would alight from the boat, no doubt hungry, and find itself in a strange land of plenty.  I mean, it’s hit the jackpot.  An island full of ground-dwelling fauna that is completely naive to the menace that a fox represents – the residents are sitting ducks to this predator, I imagine (but I am prone to exaggeration to get my point across).

    So, the fox probably steers clear of humans and heads along the shoreline and fringing coastal vegetation for a bit of dinner. There’s usually something to scrounge at the high tide line; but what’s this?  A bunch of penguins, yum! Then perhaps a further wander where it comes across a skink hiding in a log – the Blotched Blue Tongue being a particularly slow and meaty reptile; then onwards… a European rabbit, score! This is a veritable smorgasbord of ground-dwelling prey items!

    I looked up the Tasmanian department website for ground-dwelling fauna of a suitable prey size (up to 5.5 kgs) as well as information about the impacts of foxes in Tasmania.  Below is the list of potential prey items (in no particular order):
    Eastern Barred Bandicoot; Eastern Quoll; Tasmanian Pademelon, Swamp Antechinus; White-footed Dunnart; Long-nosed Potoroo; Swamp rat; Brown rat, House mouse; Southern Brown Bandicoot?  Tasmanian Bettong? Little Fairy Penguin, ducks, plovers, lapwings, dotterels, quails, coots, swamphens, moorhens, a large variety of shorebirds, skinks, frogs, insects, mussels? crustaceans? lambs, and chooks.

    This is what the Tasmanian department says about foxes in the brochure re feral animals:
    “Known impacts: Many Tasmanian native species defenceless against this devastating predator, implicated in decline or extinction of several mainland species. Kills prey up to 5.5 kg; could hunt more than 80 local species (including 12 threatened species); at least 5 species could become extinct. Could compete with native carnivores and occupy niche vacated by declining devil population; could prevent devil from re-establishing should DFTD be eliminated; will disrupt ecosystem function. Threatens agriculture and ecotourism; carries diseases dangerous to humans and other animals.”
    Also “foxes kill up to 30% of lambs in some mainland areas.”


    Posted by Lyndall Rowley  on  14/07/16  at  03:42 PM
  143. OK. So some of the questions that arise in my head are:

    Why would that fox move from whence it landed and keep moving further inland given that there is so much food readily available in situ?

    Given the terrible reputation foxes have as predators, why weren’t there sudden signs of predation on the well-known penguin colonies or on farms (lambs) or even back-yard/farm chooks, for example?

    Was there a second fox that landed soon thereafter, and it happened to be the opposite gender to the first? (e.g. to create a breeding pair?), and they found each other? Otherwise, how could the evidence in the form of scats and other material be so numerous whilst simultaneously widespread (?) and not in a typical pattern of established territories as per mainland fox behaviour? (NSW department states fox territories typically 2 – 5 sq km. With so much food available in Tasmania, one would expect territories at the smaller end? No need to move more than necessary in order to survive).

    How many individual foxes is the scat evidence supposed to represent? In what period of time did one fox grow into a population estimated to be X? (and is that feasible?).

    If one excepts that normal fox behaviour would dictate the establishment of territories, then why hasn’t anyone noticed a localised increase in prey deaths e.g. lambs, penguins, other, without also finding scats containing those remains in the same areas?

    These are just a few questions about impacts and fox behaviour that I think should have been established to test against the fox program and its evidence.  Was the evidence fitting with the patterns of known fox behaviour and occupation? Were the devastating signs of fox impacts, as stated by the department, becoming manifest in the Tasmanian ecosystem? Year after year, how long should a program continue when the unequivocal signs of foxes were still not apparent?  And so on…

    These are just some rough thoughts generated by an outsider. It’s easy to criticise, but at the same time, this situation was serious and not short of funds. I would hope that these and many more questions about fox ecology and behaviour would’ve been known to the Tasmanian department and used to test the credibility of the field evidence as well as to target field monitoring/detection.

    Posted by Lyndall Rowley  on  14/07/16  at  03:44 PM
  144. In view of the police investigation and the sensitivity around the fox issue, this thread is now CLOSED for COMMENT…

    Posted by Editor  on  14/07/16  at  05:05 PM





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