Australian criminals and their Crimes. Con artists, scum bags, murderers, corrupt cops, pollies, rapists and paedophiles will find themselves in this blog. It was expanded to also cover those that ought to be charged for their idiotic disgusting behaviour. Usually high-profile people who think they are above the law
The Fitzgerald Inquiry | Crime & Corruption QLD | 1989 – The Fitzgerald report was tabled in Parliament in July 1989. It made over 100 recommendations covering the establishment of the Electoral and Administrative Review Commission and the Criminal Justice Commission (CJC) and reform of the Queensland Police Force. Download the report here: http://www.ccc.qld.gov.au/about-the-ccc/the-fitzgerald-inquiry
Beyond Bethany | 3 Mar 2008 – Twenty years on Chris Masters assesses the Joh Bjelke-Petersen legacy. Watch Online
The Moonlight State | 11 May 1987 – Chris Masters’ investigation into Queensland police corruption led to the Fitzgerald Inquiry, resulting in over 100 convictions and the police commissioner being jailed. Watch Online
“The Joke” was a system of protection involving illegal gambling, bookies, and brothels in QLD for more than a decade, probably decades
Updated June 12, 2017 14:19:00
It was Queensland, the year was 1987, and the State’s police force was riddled with corruption. The brotherhood of crooked cops who gave the green light to illegal gambling and prostitution believed they were untouchable.
“The level and systemic nature of it, reaching to all levels, including the highest political levels, was truly a shock to me.” Leading Criminal Investigator
There was a conspiracy of silence, from within the Queensland Government and all the way up to the highest levels of the force. The nature and the extent of the corruption sickened the honest cops, who operated in a world where they could trust no-one
Breaking the Brotherhood – Monday 12 June 2017
“‘Break his camera and break his mouth too!’ was the order.” Chris Masters, ‘The Moonlight State’ (1987)
It was Queensland, the year was 1987, and the State’s police force was riddled with corruption. The brotherhood of crooked cops who gave the green light to illegal gambling and prostitution believed they were untouchable.
“The level and systemic nature of it, reaching to all levels, including the highest political levels, was truly a shock to me.” Leading Criminal Investigator
There was a conspiracy of silence, from within the Queensland Government and all the way up to the highest levels of the force. The nature and the extent of the corruption sickened the honest cops, who operated in a world where they could trust no-one.
“There were times that I actually feared for my life and for the life of my family. It was clear to me that we had institutionalised corruption taking place.” Undercover Operative
A small band of brave crime fighters, and their families, took the enormous risk to trust a journalist with the State’s darkest secrets. The result was ‘The Moonlight State’, perhaps the most explosive true story ever told on Australian television.
“There is another side to the Sunshine State. Despite some wholesome attempts to pretend otherwise, the Queensland Government has not managed to stop the devil at the border. In the Sunshine State, sex is a great little earner.” Chris Masters, ‘The Moonlight State’ (1987)
Chris Masters’ landmark report prompted one of the most important anti-corruption investigations in Australian history, the Fitzgerald Inquiry, which led to the jailing of the Queensland Police Commissioner.
But the whole story of how the whistle was blown has never fully been told. Now the key players who put their trust in Chris Masters have come forward to tell their story, on camera, for the first time.
“I’m sitting there with my wife at home, because I knew when it was going to air, and I’m watching it. And I had this silly grin on my face, but it was also teary because we actually made it, we survived. The story got to air.” Whistleblower
“I believe that fate brought (us) together and that something had to be done.” Undercover Operative
The program also reveals the shocking lengths corrupt police went to, to try to silence the whistleblowers, and reporter Chris Masters.
“My son had been walking home from school and a car had pulled up beside him and told him that his father was going to be killed.” Undercover Police Officer
“Things got very scary, and a very powerful syndicate of organised criminals and corrupt police realised that they had an illicit empire to protect and they started to play nasty.” Chris Masters
Thirty years on from ‘The Moonlight State’, leading law enforcement figures warn that every police force today must remember the lessons of those dark days so they can never be repeated.
Breaking the Brotherhood, reported by Mark Willacy and presented by Sarah Ferguson, goes to air on Monday 12th June at 8.30pm EDT. It is replayed on Tuesday 13th June at 10.00am and Wednesday 14th at 11pm. It can also be seen on ABC NEWS channel on Saturday at 8.00pm AEST, ABC iview and at abc.net.au/4corners.
First posted June 12, 2017 13:43:00
Moonlight State: The honest cop who helped blow the whistle on Australia’s most corrupt police force – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
Moonlight State: The honest cop who helped blow the whistle on Australia’s most corrupt police force
To Mr Moore, babysitting a journalist was not part of his remit.
“I’ll be honest, I told [my assistant commissioner] I didn’t want to do the job,” he said.
But an order was an order.
It was 1987, and the AFP hierarchy had information that Masters was in danger.
He wasn’t at risk from the criminal underworld, but from the corrupt members of the Queensland police.
“It was made very clear that they were concerned for Chris’s safety,” said Mr Moore, speaking for the first time about the AFP’s secret role in protecting the Four Corners reporter.
“So we put the resources of the AFP, discreetly, behind keeping a lookout for Chris.”
‘We were being watched and shadowed’
Masters was getting too close to a brotherhood of bent cops and their network of graft and corruption, an arrangement known as “the Joke”.
What was the Joke?
The Joke was a vast system of graft and protection involving illegal gambling, starting price bookmakers, brothels and massage parlours that stretched back decades in Queensland.The dirty money flowed to the police, particularly to several senior members of the infamous Licensing Branch, who in exchange for regular cash payments turned a blind eye to vice.
In its later and most lucrative form, the Joke was administered by Jack Herbert, who, by the time it all came crashing down, was passing on nearly $60,000 a month in protection money to police.
Herbert was estimated to have received more than $3 million in payments.
In early 1987 The Courier-Mail ran a series of articles about unchallenged vice in Brisbane.
Then in May, The Moonlight State program was broadcast on Four Corners, revealing that police were being bribed to protect vice in Queensland.
The next day the acting premier Bill Gunn called a judicial inquiry.
The Fitzgerald Inquiry would run for two years and hear from more than 300 witnesses.
Evidence from the inquiry would lead to four government ministers and police commissioner Terry Lewis being jailed.
Other police would go to prison, while senior officers — including the assistant commissioner Graeme Parker — would give evidence in exchange for indemnity from prosecution.
The Fitzgerald Inquiry would also lead to the establishment of Queensland’s first anti-corruption body.
Stretching back several decades, the Joke was a system of protection payments that flowed from brothel owners, SP bookies and illegal gaming operators into the hands of corrupt police.
It was worth millions, and the Joke’s tentacles reached right to the top of the Queensland force.
In late 1986, early 1987, Masters had been sniffing around Brisbane’s red light district of Fortitude Valley for weeks talking to pimps, prostitutes and disgruntled police.
His inquiries were making the brotherhood nervous.
“We were being watched and shadowed,” Masters recalled.
“I didn’t really know that until Dave started to point out people who were surveilling me.”
Mr Moore says he first met Masters “up at the Tower Mill [Hotel]”.
“It became quite apparent to me that there was someone paying quite a lot of attention to Chris across the road,” he said.
“We later found out it was a hired vehicle which was being used by officers of the [Queensland] Police Force.”
As Masters got closer to cracking the Joke, the police brotherhood knew it had to destroy the Four Corners reporter before he destroyed them.
“They took him extremely seriously, to the point where they were on the brink of literally setting him up,” said Matthew Condon, the author of a three-book series on police corruption in Queensland.
“The plan was that they would plant an underage boy in Masters’ hotel room in the city and ultimately, whether they could prove it or not, the mud would have been thrown against Masters to discredit him.”
Masters would only be told of the plan to stitch him up many months later, after The Moonlight State had gone to air.
“I learnt of it through [former rugby league player] Tommy Raudonikis. He’d heard of it from a police mate and he then tipped off my brother Roy who told me,” Masters said.
“But when it was all supposed to happen I wasn’t in Brisbane, I was back in Sydney.”
The plan revealed the lengths the corrupt Queensland police brotherhood was prepared to go to protect the Joke.
It had flourished for years under the stewardship of a man known as “the Bagman”.
Jack Herbert was a former police Licensing Branch detective who for years was the conduit between the crooks and the cops.
He doled out hundreds of thousands in bribes to corrupt police.
Masters travelled the state speaking to and interviewing people about the Joke.
On May 11, 1987, The Moonlight State went to air on Four Corners.
“The pivotal thing about The Moonlight State and why it caused an earthquake was that for the first time, what Masters achieved, was a link between criminal figures, the underworld and corruption and police,” Condon said.
“That’s what caused so much drama and why it was an astonishing piece of television journalism.”
For Masters, the day after The Moonlight State would bring fresh drama.
“I wake up to the sounds of my own heartbeat,” he said.
“These are scary moments, sometimes the worst moments because you’ve done your best, you’re pretty much exhausted, but then a whole new battle begins.”
That battle would become the Fitzgerald Inquiry.
It would run for two years, hear from 339 witnesses and see the police commissioner, Sir Terence Lewis, jailed and stripped of his knighthood.
Also convicted were senior police and Valley kingpin, Gerry Bellino, who was sentenced to seven years in prison for paying bribes.
As for Jack “the Bagman” Herbert, he escaped jail by rolling over and telling all to the inquiry.
Watch Four Corners’ Breaking the Brotherhood at 8:30pm on ABC and iView.
The Moonlight State, the 1987 report that prompted the Fitzgerald Inquiry, can be viewed in full on the Four Corners website.
The Commission of Inquiry into Possible Illegal Activities and Associated Police Misconduct (the Fitzgerald Inquiry) (1987–1989) into Queensland Policecorruption was a judicial inquiry presided over by Tony FitzgeraldQC. The inquiry resulted in the deposition of a premier, two by-elections, the jailing of three former ministers and a police commissioner who was jailed and lost his knighthood. It also led indirectly to the end of the National Party of Australia‘s 32-year run as the governing political party in Queensland.
The inquiry was established in response to a series of articles on high-level police corruption in The Courier-Mail by reporter Phil Dickie, followed by a Four Corners television report, aired on 11 May 1987, entitled “The Moonlight State” with reporter Chris Masters. Both reports highlighted prostitution, gambling and possible police corruption. With Queensland‘s Premier of 18 years, Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen, out of the state, his deputy Bill Gunn ordered a commission of inquiry the day after the television report was broadcast.
The allegations aired in the media were not new; they had surfaced from time to time and some news organisations had been forced to pay damages to aggrieved people who alleged their reputations had been damaged (Bjelke-Petersen himself was notoriously litigious in response to unfavourable press coverage). Ian Callinan drafted the terms of reference for the inquiry as well as appearing before it. While the terms of the inquiry were initially narrow, restricted only to the specific allegations raised against specific persons named in the media over a period of just five years, Fitzgerald used his moral authority to lever the inquiry into a position of being able to inquire into any relevant matter. The terms of reference for the Commission were extended twice.
This enabled him to set a new precedent for commissions of inquiry and Royal Commissions in Australia generally, using innovative methods such as indemnities from prosecution for key witnesses to secure vital evidence. The inquiry was initially expected to last about six weeks; it instead spent almost two years conducting a comprehensive investigation of long-term, systemic political corruption and abuse of power in Queensland. Public sittings were held on 238 days, hearing testimony from 339 witnesses.
The inquiry would eventually outlive the Bjelke-Petersen government. Mike Ahern became the new Premier after Bjelke-Petersen was deposed by his own party. Evidence revealed by the investigation (including testimony from Bjelke-Petersen himself) caused significant political damage and an internal power struggle within the National Party, resulting in Bjelke-Petersen resigning as Premier after his unsuccessful attempt to have the Governor of Queensland sack all of his ministers after they deposed him as party leader.
The inquiry’s special prosecutor was Doug Drummond QC. It was Drummond who decided not to retry Bjelke-Petersen after the hung jury.
Fitzgerald’s report was submitted on 3 July 1989. Based on the inquiry’s final report, a number of high-profile politicians were charged with crimes; notably Queensland Police Commissioner (Sir) Terry Lewis was charged with corruption.
Bjelke-Petersen himself was charged with perjury in respect of evidence given to the inquiry. The jury in the case remained deadlocked, bringing about a mistrial. In 1992 it was revealed that the jury foreman, Luke Shaw, was a member of the Young Nationals, was identified with the “Friends of Joh” movement and had misrepresented the state of deliberations to the judge. According to an ABC TV analysis, “A later inquiry conducted by Justice Bill Carter found the selection process had been manipulated by …ex-police officers …helping to put Joh before a jury led by Young Nationals member, Luke Shaw.” A special prosecutor announced in 1992 there would be no retrial because Sir Joh, then aged 81, was too old.
Jack Herbert had been the bagman, collecting bribes for police commissioner Terry Lewis from 1980. Lewis himself had been a bagman for former commissioner Francis Bischof. Lewis was convicted (and subsequently stripped of his knighthood).
Leisha Harvey former health minister, was charged with misappropriating of public funds as part of an investigation resulting from the findings of the inquiry. She spent one year in jail.Don Lane, former transport minister, was sentenced to twelve months imprisonment for falsifying expense accounts. Lane’s resignation resulted in the 1989 Merthyr state by-election. Brian Austin, another former health minister, was convicted of misappropriating public funds. Hinze’s resignation led to the 1988 South Coast state by-election.
The Queensland Police Special Bureau was formed on 30 July 1940 and renamed Special Branch on 7 April 1948. It was criticised for being used for political purposes by the Bjelke-Petersen government in the 1970s and 1980s, such as enforcing laws against protests (sometimes outnumbering the protesters or using provocateurs to incite violence so the protesters could be arrested) and investigating and harassing political opponents. It was disbanded in 1989 following a recommendation by the Fitzgerald Inquiry. Special Branch destroyed its records before Fitzgerald could subpoena them.
The two most significant recommendations were the establishment of the Criminal Justice Commission (CJC) and the Electoral and Administrative Review Commission which was to review electoral boundaries. The need for Freedom of Information legislation in the state was noted, as was the need to review laws relating to public assembly and guidelines for the disclosure of pecuniary interests of parliamentarians. The CJC was to be responsible for investigating specific individuals mentioned during the inquiry.
The police culture of the state was also criticised. Aspects such as loyalty to fellow police officers, police not enforcing laws against other police and criticism of other police being impermissible[clarification needed] were condemned because they led to misconduct, inefficiency and contempt for the justice system. Many of the inquiry’s recommendations were implemented by Wayne Goss, the first Labor Party Premier of Queensland in 32 years.
Bjelke-Petersen’s trial was later the subject of a TV movie, “Joh’s Jury“.
FOR more than three decades, Queensland Police simply called it “The Joke”.
And for the crooked cops who were in on it, along with a cavalcade of pimps, gamblers, prostitutes, drug dealers and politicians, being part of the punchline was lucrative business.
When The Courier-Mail finally exposed the system of corrupt payments with the landmark reporting of journalist Phil Dickie in 1987, it was clear the operation had penetrated the highest echelons and darkest recesses of life in the Sunshine State.
The main beneficiaries were the police. Courier-Mail journalist Matt Condon, who has written a best-selling trilogy about that era, wrote The Joke was an “elaborate, multi-million dollar scheme of kickbacks from illegal gambling, SP bookmakers, brothels and escort services”.
At its zenith in the mid- 1980s, the system’s meticulous bookkeeper Jack “the Bagman” Herbert was raking in so much cash he was running out of places to store it in his luxury, riverfront apartment at East Brisbane.
By 1987, he was channelling about $56,000 a month to police to protect SP bookmakers, casino and brothel operators from any serious law enforcement.
By then, the system was brazenly operating in the open, secure in its institutional hold on the police force and protection from the National Party government of then premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen.
Dickie’s investigative skills eventually shattered The Joke’s sense of impunity as he exposed the chain of money flowing to the police’s notorious Licensing Branch.
Reports in The Courier-Mail and an expose by ABC journalist Chris Masters on Four Corners led to the Fitzgerald inquiry, which finally finished The Joke in 1989 as three government ministers and police commissioner Terry Lewis were jailed.
In the final instalment of his trilogy, All Fall Down, Condon details a 1984 document written by serving police that provided forensic insight into The Joke’s structure, operation, breadth and membership.
It traced the system back to the 1950s, when the force was riven by factional fighting between Irish Catholics and the Masons.
The Joke then flourished under Frank Bischoff, who was commissioner from 1958 to 1969. Bischoff initiated Lewis, who was a young detective at the time, into the system and groomed him as a future successor.
Lewis readily accepted his new duties, becoming one of the notorious Rat Pack, which included Herbert and detectives Tony Murphy and Glen Hallahan.
Murphy, who later rose to be assistant commissioner, allegedly coined the term The Joke and ensured that the Rat Pack controlled its operations. He was known as The Godfather.
The rest of The Joke operated as a series of autonomous cells led by an officer known as a “control”. Controls answered to another control on the level above them but would not deal with any other person, insulating the Rat Pack from being exposed. Citing the document, which was sent to then opposition police spokesman Kevin Hooper, Condon said the Rat Pack used police resources to corrupt politicians, government departments and leaders of industry.
“Illegal tapping of phones and use of sophisticated electronic surveillance gear, control of illegal gambling, prostitution at all levels and the keeping of comprehensive files on citizens of prominence are all ways in which this group of men are able to get appointed to high rank in the department,” the document said.
“There is not a level of society that these men do not have contacts and informants who work for them either through fear of exposure or for monetary gain.”
More than 40 professional tennis matches were flagged for potential match-fixing by international bookmakers in just a three-month period last year — an average of more than three times a week.
At least 20 players involved reported to world tennis authorities
Blacklist contains more than 350 names
Two players are low-ranked Australians
Third review for the sport in 11 years
The fixtures took place at tournaments in countries including Colombia, Morocco, Russia and Germany between September and November 2015, eight years after tennis first vowed to fight the scourge of corruption.
At least 20 of the players involved in those matches have been reported to world tennis authorities on previous occasions — a dozen of them were first flagged by integrity investigators as far back as 2008.
The list contains more than 350 names, including at least 10 who played at this year’s Australian Open.
Two of the players on the list are low-ranked Australians, but the majority hail from developing economies in South America, Asia and Eastern Europe, where integrity measures in the sport are at their weakest. Four Corners has provided the list to tennis authorities.
The revelations come five days after the heads of each major tennis governing body — the Association of Tennis Professionals, the International Tennis Federation, the Grand Slam Board and the Women’s Tennis Association — announced a review of the sports integrity regime by a London barrister, Adam Lewis QC.
The investigation was prompted by news reports out of London that linked top-ranked players to corruption in the sport, prompting a global furore and overshadowing the first grand slam on the tennis calendar, the Australian Open.
The review will be the third for the sport in 11 years.
Four Corners has interviewed those who conducted the previous two reviews, all of whom say the sports’ governing bodies are facing a growing problem with matches fixed every single week somewhere across the world.
As an ATP executive, he produced a scathing report in November 2005 that was meant to have been made public.
The Ings report warned tennis it was “an alarming wake-up call for the sport of men’s professional tennis and its governing bodies”.
“Deliberate underperformance by players and ensuing gambling and alleged corruption that results from such deliberate underperformance, appear to pervade all levels of the men’s professional game today,” the report stated.
Mr Ings recommended the establishment of a uniform anti-corruption code and an integrity unit to more fully investigate 37 matches that were highly suspicious.
But tennis buried the Ings report and did not act on either recommendation until a major scandal years two later.
The controversy centred on a match in Poland in 2007 involving then world’s fourth-best player, Nikolay Davydenko, after Britain’s betting exchange, Betfair, voided all bets on the match.
He told Four Corners he believed that had tennis followed up with their investigation it would have been able to root out the core people corrupting other players.
“We actually did a presentation, showed various parts of the investigation that we had done and then physically handed over data files and actual ring binders of evidence that we had collected,” he said.
“We were pretty experienced at investigating these types of matters and we believed the evidence to be very strong.”
One of the heads of the review, Ben Gunn, said tennis at the time was at a “cross roads”.
“I think it’s disappointing eight years later, having had two reviews eight years later, that it appears there is still a huge question mark over the integrity of some tennis games,” he said.
Bad Sport, a Four Corners investigation, can be seen at 8:30pm on ABC TV.
Tennis match-fixing scandal: How it unfolded
Updated Wed at 2:44pm
Tennis has ordered an investigation into its anti-corruption unit after it was left reeling by reports of match-fixing.
Here is how the story rapidly unfolded from when it first broke on January 18 to the announcement of the independent review panel on January 27.
Investigation reportedly uncovers evidence of match-fixing by core group of 16 players
BuzzFeed News and the BBC reveal details of a probe which found 16 players had lost games when suspicious bets were placed against them.
A US Open champion and doubles winners at Wimbledon were among the core group, while one top-50 ranked player competing in the Australian Open is suspected of repeatedly fixing his first set;
Players were reportedly targeted in hotel rooms and offered $73,100 or more per fix.
The report looked at analysis of betting on 26,000 tennis matches and contained evidence of suspected match-fixing by gambling syndicates based in Russia and Italy uncovered as a result of an investigation in 2008, but over which no action had been taken.
ATP ‘absolutely rejects’ claims evidence of match-fixing has been suppressed
The president of the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) says the governing body “absolutely rejects” that evidence of match-fixing in the sport has been suppressed or overlooked.
“The Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) and the tennis authorities absolutely reject any suggestion that evidence of match fixing has been suppressed for any reason or isn’t being thoroughly investigated,” said Chris Kermode at a press conference at Melbourne Park.
With the allegations emerging as 2016’s first major got underway, high-profile players were immediately put on the spot by the media. Aussie young gun Thanasi Kokkinakis was one of the first to speak, admitting he had been approached by “randoms” on social media to fix matches.
Men’s world number one Novak Djokovic fronted the press, dismissing a report in an international newspaper that he “wanted to lose” a match in 2007 and saying he felt terrible when he has been asked to fix a match in 2006, while retiring Australian great Lleyton Hewitt also went on the offensive after a blog linked him to the list of 16 names.
That’s my point. There hasn’t been too many matches where top players lost in last decade or so in early rounds. You can pick any match that you like that the top player lost and just create a story out of it.
I think it’s not supported by any kind of proof, any evidence, any facts. It’s just speculation. So I don’t think there is a story about it.
This is now the main story in tennis, in [the] sports world, there’s going to be a lot of allegations.
The agency said it was unusual for such large bets to be placed on minor matches. It was later revealed at least 19 other bookmakers including Ladbrokes also cancelled their betting markets on the match, according to historical betting data available online.
Hlavackova and Kubot won the match 6-0, 6-3 in 49 minutes, with the New York times reporting on Monday that the unusual betting patterns on the match had led Pinnacle Sports to suspend markets 13 hours before the scheduled start.
Spanish doubles player Marrero appears on blacklist of players who bookmakers deem suspicious
Adam Lewis QC is appointed to lead an independent review panel to report on the appropriateness and effectiveness of the Tennis Anit-Corruption Program, aimed at safeguarding the integrity of the game.
The chairmen and chief executives of tennis’s governing bodies, the ATP, WTA, ITF and Grand Slam Board, commit to fund and implement all actions recommended by the panel.
Related Story: 7-Eleven business plan ‘not much different from slavery’
Senior 7-Eleven management have apologised “unreservedly” to exploited workers and vowed to fully refund underpaid staff, even if they are now overseas.
A Senate Committee held a special public hearing in Melbourne to examine the exploitation of workers at the chain store, as part of an inquiry into Australia’s temporary work visa program.
The convenience stores have come under scrutiny following an ABC Four Corners investigation which revealed the company was systematically paying its workers about half the minimum wage.
Many of the staff were foreigners who were being forced to work in contravention of their visa conditions.
The inquiry today heard the underpaying of staff in the convenience store chain was systemic and had been happening for decades.
7-Eleven Australian chairman Russell Withers admitted the behaviour was abhorrent.
“I want to stress that this has been highly embarrassing and I apologise unreservedly to any worker that has worked in a 7-Eleven store who has not been paid correctly,” he said.
New methods of staff exploitation were revealed during the inquiry, including some franchise owners who charged workers tens of thousands of dollars to secure a working visa.
Mohammed Rashid Ullat Thodi lost his job as a result of speaking out about the pay scam.
He told the inquiry some store owners had charged workers $30,000 to $70,000 to sponsor them on a visa.
“While it could be either an arrangement of taking the money off their pay, like if you work this many hours you could get this many pay,” he said.
He said the money went straight to the franchise owners.
Mr Withers maintained rogue franchisees were the cause of the problem.
“It is simply not in our knowledge whether the franchisee employee has been underpaid or not,” he told the inquiry. This prick has built his empire on this very lie!!!
But during the inquiry consumer advocate Michael Fraser, who said he alerted 7-Eleven to the problem in 2012, questioned how senior management did not know of the problem.
“How does an Indian in Melbourne, an Indian franchisee and a Pakistani franchisee in Sydney, and a Chinese franchisee in Brisbane, how do they all know the same scam?” Mr Fraser asked during the inquiry.
“How is it possible that me with no budget can stumble on such a big wage scandal buying a loaf of bread yet head office with all their oversight find no systemic problem?”
7-Eleven said it should know next month how many of its 620 franchisees underpaid their staff.
Calls for workers to be given visa amnesty
Tens of thousands of workers have potentially been affected. Most are on visas restricting their working time to 20 hours per week.
Many have been forced to work 40 hours, but paid for only 20.
Complaints were met with threats that they would be reported for breaching their visas.
It has led to calls from lawyers that anyone who has breached their visa conditions while working for 7-Eleven be given an amnesty.
The Greens member for the seat of Melbourne, Adam Bandt, said it was crucial the workers were able to give evidence free of any threat of deportation.
“Something is wrong in Australia where the head of 7-Eleven is a millionaire if not a billionaire and the people who are working in 7-Eleven stores are getting paid for only half of the hours they work and threatened with deportation back to their home country if they complain,” he said.
“We’ve heard from many, many people now that they want to complain, to be paid the fair Australian minimum wage, but they’re told that if they do it, they’ll be reported to the Immigration Department and deported.
“Now that’s not fair.
“These people are working long hours for low pay.
“They shouldn’t also have to face [a] threat of deportation if they speak up and do the right thing.”
7-Eleven has set up an independent panel to investigate the underpayments.
The New South Wales Government has announced it will end greyhound racing in the state from July 1 next year.
It comes after a special commission of inquiry found overwhelming evidence of systemic animal cruelty, including mass greyhound killings and live baiting.
Premier Mike Baird said the findings of the report were damning.
He said the industry was not capable in the short or medium term of reforming and in the coming months the Government would be working toward an orderly shutdown.
NSW will become the first Australian state or territory to ban greyhound racing.
More to come.
Special Commission of Inquiry into the Greyhound Racing Industry in NSW
The Honourable Michael McHugh AC QC was appointed by Letters Patent issued in the name of the Governor of New South Wales on 6 May 2015 to inquire into the Greyhound Racing Industry in NSW.
Commissioner McHugh AC QC provided his report on the Special Commission of Inquiry into the Greyhound Racing Industry in NSW to the Governor on 16 June 2016.
Transitioning the NSW greyhound racing industry to closure
The NSW Government has decided to shut down the greyhound racing in NSW following the report of the Special Commission of Inquiry into the Greyhound Racing Industry.
The Special Commission of Inquiry found overwhelming evidence of systemic animal cruelty, including mass greyhound killings and live baiting. The inquiry’s report concluded that the NSW Greyhound Racing Industry has fundamental animal welfare issues, integrity and governance failings that can not be remedied.
The NSW greyhound racing industry will be transitioned to closure over 12 months to allow appropriate management of animal welfare and transitions for industry participants. Racing of greyhounds will be permitted until 1 July 2017.
The NSW Government will announce a detailed industry shutdown plan during the second half of 2016 following consultation with stakeholders in industry and animal welfare organisations. The plan will include:
A welfare plan for existing greyhounds;
A support package for industry participants; and
A transition arrangement for existing Greyhound Racing NSW assets that will ensure they are used for open public space, alternative sporting facilities or other community use.
The Report of the Special Commission of Inquiry into the Greyhound Racing Industry in NSW
The Special Commission of Inquiry report has been published in accordance with the recommendations of the Special Commissioner, the Hon. Michael McHugh AC QC. The Special Commissioner recommended that parts of the report not be published. Those parts have been redacted in accordance with the Special Commissioner’s recommendations.
Many more about to be exposed, it makes me ask this question…
IF they had any honour and respect for their loved ones (people ,not dogs or animals they have proven that) who are about to be shamed, they would step up and say I fucked up! I got caught up whatever. The earlier participants speak up the better they will be received.
Otherwise, this is how it will be, little kids who loved their daddy, uncle, grandpa in photos with winners will grow to be disgusted. The public and punters etc are outraged but these tossers have their very own families and grand kids to answer to. WHY grandpa??????? is being asked all over Australia
Shocking’ debt deepens Racing Qld crisis
3 hours agoJune 03, 20157:51PM
DEAD greyhounds aren’t the only skeletons in Racing Queensland’s closet.
THE state government says the body is responsible for failing to stop the disappearances and killing of thousands of dogs and turning a blind eye to the practice of live baiting.
But Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has revealed Racing Queensland’s crisis is deeper – it’s also grappling with “shocking” amounts of debt.
KPMG administrator Ian Hall found the body’s losses will likely top $11 million this financial year and its draft budget shows it’s anticipating a loss of $21 million in 2015/16.
“This is shocking news and it has been uncovered within just a day of Mr Hall taking the reigns of this organisation,”
Ms Palaszczuk told parliament on Wednesday. The premier said the debt revelations justify the government’s decision to sack all four boards overseeing racing in the state, including the harness and thoroughbred racing boards.
“I stand by my government’s decision to provide the CEO of Racing Queensland (Darren Condon) with a show cause notice and giving him five days to respond,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“I stand by my government’s decision to abolish the boards of all racing codes in Queensland. “I am determined that this important industry will go forward with a clean slate.”
Ms Palaszczuk has also announced former Supreme Court and Court of Appeal judge John Muir had been appointed as chair of the new all codes board set up to oversee greyhound, harness and thoroughbred racing.
But Brisbane Turf Club Director Peter Bredhauer has warned the government to put politics aside during the restructuring process.
“If it doesn’t (appoint Labor associates) it’ll be the first time it hasn’t,” said Mr Bredhauer, who recognised the Liberal National Party was guilty of the same thing.
“I don’t know why it is but the political landscape in Queensland, every time we have a change of government, for some reason the racing industry has to suffer and they have to have a complete change of direction.”
The state government has insisted appointments made during the overhaul won’t be political.
Greyhound Hall of Fame trainer Ron Ball banned for life
May 26, 20153:05PM
Trainer Ron Ball: banned.
QUEENSLAND Greyhound Hall of Fame trainer Ron Ball has been banned from the industry for life.
The banning of Ball – who has not been charged by police – is one of the biggest scalps since investigations began into the greyhound industry.
A Racing Queensland statement confirmed Ball had also been removed from the hall of fame.
“The Queensland All Codes Racing Industry Board (QACRIB) has today taken the decision to warn-off greyhound licensee Mr Ron Ball in relation to its investigations into live-baiting in the greyhound industry,” the statement says.
“Mr Ball had previously been issued with a show-cause notice as to why he should be deemed a desirable person to be present on a Queensland racecourse.
“After considering Mr Ball’s submission, QACRIB determined he was not a desirable individual to be present at a racecourse and took the decision to warn him off.
“As a result of the QACRIB findings, Mr Ball has been removed from the Queensland Greyhound Racing Hall of Fame.
“He becomes the 22nd greyhound trainer to be warned-off in Queensland.”
Greyhound live baiting: Seven Victorian trainers charged by Greyhound Racing Victoria
Seven trainers have been charged by Greyhound Racing Victoria (GRV) over alleged live baiting at the trial track in Tooradin, in Victoria’s south-east.
Spent .22 calibre ammunition shells have been found scattered around a southern Queensland wildflower reserve where the bodies of 55 greyhounds were discovered, in what Police Minister Jo-Ann Miller has described as a “mass murder” by “oxygen thieves”.
Mr Perna’s report also found there was no current evidence to substantiate the allegations of a cover-up at GRV in regards to live baiting at Tooradin or elsewhere.
This is beyond greyhound welfare. This is animal welfare. Cruelty is just not on.
Sal Perna, Victorian Racing Integrity Commissioner
He recommended increasing the powers of animal welfare compliance, education and integrity staff at GRV.
“This is a small group of people that are conducting unlawful activity,” he said. “I don’t think it’s representative of the industry.”
Mr Perna also called on GRV to make formal agreements with animal welfare groups such as the RSPCA to ensure the immediate reporting of allegations of cruelty.
“This is beyond greyhound welfare,” he said. “This is animal welfare. Cruelty is just not on.”
Mr Pakula asked the Department of Justice to examine what legislative changes were needed to increase animal welfare compliance powers.
He also asked the new GRV to get straight to work implementing the five interim recommendations from Mr Perna’s report.
They included increasing the powers of animal compliance officers, introducing new regulations for trainers, and new strict compliance rules for trainers and owners regarding the ownership and transfer of ownership of greyhounds.
Animal welfare ‘comes last’ in racing industry: RSPCA
The RSPCA said the greyhound industry’s efforts to regulate itself had been an “abject failure” and an independent body was needed to oversee the sport.
Its Victorian chief executive, Liz Walker, said the interim report lacked clear outcomes, and greyhound welfare seemed to come last.
“The evidence shows that under self-regulation, it’s been an abject failure,” she said.
“If the public are going to have confidence that greyhound welfare is going to be the utmost concern, then the only way forward is to have this independent body.”
Opposition Leader Matthew Guy welcomed the resignation of the board.
“As far as I’m concerned it is good that the board’s gone,” Mr Guy said.
“It sends a message, it sends a clear message to everyone in the greyhound industry that those who have been complicit or take part in live baiting should and will be brought to justice.”
He also said he supported a review into whether greyhound racing needed a greater level of oversight to protect animals.
“I think the time’s come for a discussion around animal welfare, which may be outside of the scope of what we’ve seen previously,” he said.
Mr Pakula was asked why the board members resigned if they had been cleared of wrongdoing.
“They’ve taken the view, which I share, that for the code to move forward and public confidence to be restored that a new start is required with a new board,” he said.
“We don’t for a moment believe the appointment of a new board itself will restore confidence.
“It will be about the way that the industry carries itself and the way it deals with those people who insist on doing the wrong thing.”
Queensland greyhound trainers Reg Kay, Tom Noble, Debra Arnold, James Harding and Tony McCabe have all been banned for life for their part in archaic live baiting practices.The five will never participate in the sport of greyhound racing again after being warned off racetracks and banned from training or owning greyhounds, as well as being banned from placing any wagers on greyhound racing.Racing Queensland Chairman explained the reasons behind the decision.”As a board we determined the actions of these individuals proved they should not be considered fit and proper persons to continue to be involved in the greyhound industry,” Mr Dixon said after a Racing Queensland board meeting at Deagon.
“The conduct we saw from these people in the evidence provided to us is not only against the rules of greyhound racing, it is deplorable by its very nature.
“There is no place for anyone who engages in this type of conduct in the industry.”
This conduct came to light after an investigation by the ABC’s Four Corners program, which exposed horrific cruelty in the widespread use of live animals such as piglets, possums and rabbits on mechanical lures as a means of ‘blooding’ greyhounds.
Racing Queensland’s probe into the cases of involving trainers Greg Stella and Michael Chapman is yet to be resolved.
update 20/02/15 Well done WA but is this retrospective?otherwise you will catch nobody going forward. There are thousands of rabbits free that were doomed to die alive a few days ago
WA imposes life ban, $50k fine for greyhound industry live bait offenders
Anyone found to be involved in the practice of live baiting in the greyhound industry will be banned from the sport for life, under tough new rules announced by Racing and Wagering WA.
The industry has been embroiled in a live baiting scandal in the eastern states but there is no clear evidence of the practice in WA.
Racing and Wagering WA said offenders involved in live baiting will face a minimum 10-year disqualification and $50,000 fine, in addition to a life ban from the sport.
Previously the penalty was a 12-month disqualification from the industry.
General manager Denis Borovica said offenders would not be able to participate in greyhound racing in any registered capacity for life.
“We felt that it would more appropriately reflect the zero tolerance we have for offenders by having a penalty provision that prescribes a period of not less than 10 years disqualification and a fine of $50,000 for any person found guilty of an offence involving live game,” he said.
“So effectively what the penalty means is that for 10 years you’re unable to set foot on the racecourse and after that you become a member of the public again, but you’ll only be a member of the public you will not be a participant of the racing industry again.”
The State Government said WA now has the harshest penalties for animal cruelty in the country.
The entire board of Greyhound Racing NSW has been dismissed following revelations of widespread live baiting within the industry, the New South Wales Government says.
NSW Racing Minister Troy Grant said he dismissed the board because his government wanted to restore the integrity of the industry.
“They have agreed with me that the community has lost confidence in the industry, and we now need the clear air in order to reform and reshape the industry,” he said.
NOTICE FROM OWNER AND ADMINISTRATOR OF THIS SITE
To those highlighted (and those pending, you can’t delete every pic online) in the gallery. Stop trying to threaten me via email etc or any other way you like because NOTHING will be removed. It does not work that way anymore…
The PIG/RABBIT/POSSUM is out of the bag and talking And I keep every instance of contact via communication, email, mobile, social media etc for safe keeping.
ROGUE TRAINERS GALLERY (added to daily)
DEBORAH ARNOLD -PRESIDENT of the United Queensland Greyhounds Association and a prominent trainer and breeder, owns kennels at 14 Wotan road, Churchable, Qld
“Um… If they do I don’t know about it and I don’t really want to know about it. Um, but yeah, so this is the…It’s cruel. Yeah. You know, it’s not…No, it’s not the done thing.”
TOM NOBLE, TRAINER, owner/operator of a popular break-in centre on Wotan Road, owner/operator of a popular break-in centre on Wotan Road, Churchable
“Yeah, one with no muzzle: that was $100. That was $50 there to kill the pig. They’re $50 each, them c**ts.”
(Footage of RSPCA inspectors at Tom Noble’s training track)
INSPECTOR: So have you ever used pigs? Have you ever been on this property and used pigs in the past? TOM NOBLE: No, I haven’t. INSPECTOR: Never?
REG KAY: 3 Greyhound of the Year titles and the “2008 Australian trainer of the year”
TONY MCCABE, TRAINER,
JAMES HARDING, TRAINER
MICHAEL CHAPMAN, TRAINER
GREG STELLA , TRAINER
STEPHEN SHERWELL, TRAINER
GERRI CRISCI, TRAINER
ANTHONY HESS, TRAINER
STEVEN ARNOLD, TRAINER
MICK EMERY, TRAINER
SAMANTHA ROBERTS, TRAINER NSW
JOHN THOMPSON, TRAINER, Shannon Brook, NSW
“What people have got to realise: it’s like anything you do. You’ve got to come out of the old days into the new days. With the welfare of greyhounds now, your biggest factor is, is that it, it doesn’t happen that easy any more”
ZEKE KADIR, TRAINER break-in Centre, Wilshire Park, Londonderry, NSW
(The rabbits are tied to a hand-pushed lure controlled by Zeke Kadir, dragged along the ground at speed, pursued by dogs in so-called training.)
HARRY SARKIS, TRAINER, so many questions, read all about the luxury kennels built by TAFE and more read here
(In a further blow to the industry, champion Londonderry trainer Harry Sarkis has been suspended pending an inquiry into vials of banned substances found at his kennels during an inspection.
Sarkis has trained champion dogs for more than 20 years, including Tenthill Doll and Kristy’s Charity, and reportedly paid $800,000 for Brett Lee at the end of its career.)
IAN MORGAN, TRAINER, The trainer was caught removing the possum’s fur and flesh from its mouth. He’s blooding one of his up-and-coming dogs, Cee Cee Quoted.Four days later, we caught Ian Morgan leaving his western Sydney home with Cee Cee Quoted, bound for an afternoon race meet in Newcastle.
JOHN CAUCHI, TRAINER, Box Hill (footage of Cauchi swinging a live rabbit before a greyhound as it attacks it)
BRUCE CARR, TRAINER, has been suspended after GRNSW removed four live rabbits from his property.
JOHN O’BRIEN, TRAINER has admitted keeping eight live European rabbits in cages on his Congewai property, but denied any involvement in live baiting after explosive evidence of systemic cheating uncovered by ABC’s Four Corners program.
Mr O’Brien, a licensed trainer based west of Cessnock, was immediately stood down on Thursday after officers from Greyhound Racing NSW raided his property and found eight live European rabbits.
His property was raided the same week as five registered trainers and operators in western Sydney who were targeted by RSPCA NSW officers over live baiting.
Mr O’Brien stressed he had no intention of live baiting the rabbits, saying he kept them to use for ‘‘finish-on-lure’’ trials, where a humanely killed rabbit is attached to the arm of the lure as incentive for the greyhound to chase.
‘‘How I do it is I get bush rabbits, wild rabbits, and I break their neck and remove their head and everything else, the intestines and stomach and the dead rabbits go on the lure,’’ he said.
‘‘My only problem was I kept the bunnies alive, a bunny out of the freezer can come out quite wet and cold and if you put it in the microwave then it can fall apart.
‘‘I was silly, but fresh is best, once you put a frozen rabbit on the lure, the dogs are not that interested, they show more interest if they [rabbits] have just been gutted or have a bit of blood on them.
‘‘They only need it once, the dog at least has to know there is something on the lure. It is a 100% difference in how they run, something cold on the lure coming out of the fridge is nothing to them.’’
BOB SMITH, Greyhound Racing Victoria’s (GRV) former integrity and racing operations manager
the state’s former second in charge of greyhound racing, can be seen in the footage taken at the Tooradin trial track south-east of Melbourne.
Smith has been serving on a GRV steering committee and his involvement casts serious doubt over the regulator’s claims of integrity.
ANDREW MILLS, TRAINER the former deputy chief steward for Greyhound Racing Victoria, now the regulator’s chief racing grader for the entire state
STUART MILLS, A SUCCESSFUL TRAINER AND OWNER/OPERATOR OF TOORADIN, a GRV-approved and licensed trial track.
“Yeah, look, I think the, the live baiting and, and that has certainly been clamped down on in the last five years, um, and it’s cleaned right up.” Early the next morning, we paid Stuart Mills a visit.
(To Stuart Mills)Caro Meldrum-Hanna from Four Corners. How are you? STUART MILLS: Yeah, not bad. CARO MELDRUM-HANNA (to Stuart Mills): We’re just here to ask you a couple of questions. CARO MELDRUM-HANNA: A clearly shaken Stuart Mills maintained his denials.
(To Stuart Mills) Have you been live baiting here, Stuart? STUART MILLS: No. CARO MELDRUM-HANNA: Why do you think they were here yesterday? STUART MILLS: You ask them that. CARO MELDRUM-HANNA: Did you? STUART MILLS: Yeah. CARO MELDRUM-HANNA: And what did they say?
Mills gets told to shut up by someone off screen and walks away
PAUL ANDERTON, TRAINER, and former steward for Greyhound Racing Victoria.
NEVILLE KING, TRAINER, and the president of Cranbourne Racing Club
DENNIS DEAN, TRAINER,
DARREN MCDONALD, PREMIER TRAINER, a Two-time Australian Greyhound Trainer of the Year; more than $4 million in prize money.
(It’s the 18th of November, 2014. Darren McDonald, dressed in a white t-shirt, attends Tooradin, carrying a hessian sack. A tiny, pink piglet is lifted out, tied down, its little legs kicking.As the mechanical lure starts up, McDonald and handler Chris Connelly appear, two greyhounds straining on leads. As they near the camera, muzzles can be made out on each dog.After two laps, the muzzles are removed. The piglet can be heard squealing as it’s mauled to death off-camera. Seventy-two hours later, Darren McDonald and his star dogs are at the annual Greyhound Melbourne Cup, the richest night on the racing calendar.)
Live possums, rabbits, piglets and other small animals are being used as live lures in training and secret trials. Some of the biggest names in greyhound racing will be shamed tonight on Four Corners. What the governing bodies could not do within their multi billion dollar industry, an animal welfare group could. On a shoestring budget they were able to discover in a few weeks. The dirty secret the hold industry knows about and ignores.Pathetic, sad, and will disgust most Aussies.
NSW and Victorian industry awards nights set down for Friday have been postponed, as has an awards night in Queensland.
GRV has resolved to suspend any greyhound trained and/or owned by the 10 persons suspended by the board, on Friday, February 13, in relation to live baiting. The dogs will reportedly not be able to race until investigations into the allegations are completed.
GRV MOVES TO SUSPEND GREYHOUNDS
On the advice of the Racing Integrity Commissioner, the board of Greyhound Racing Victoria (GRV) has resolved to suspend any greyhound trained and/or owned by the ten persons suspended by the board, on Friday 13 February, in relation to live baiting. This suspension will continue until the Racing Integrity Commissioner and GRV have concluded their investigations into these serious allegations.
Live baiting claims a shock: racing chief Really, 5 years in the job and your shocked, you should be bloody sacked. It is common knowledge if the industry and EVERYONE turned a blind eye for decades
February 17, 201512:04PM
VICTORIA’S racing integrity commissioner believes the illegal practice of live baiting is isolated in the greyhound industry.
SAL Perna says the allegations of live baiting aired in an ABC report were a shock and he was only aware of one instance, which was disproved, in his five years in the job.
MrPerna says the extent of the practice isn’t known. “My guess is that it is isolated but I really don’t know yet,” he told reporters on Tuesday. He says he will investigate the extent of the problem.
The State Government has promised to crack down on the industry, with Racing Minister Martin Pakula labelling the live baiting practice “barbaric, abhorrent and illegal”.
RSPCA chief Dr Liz Walker said she was “stunned” Greyhound Racing Victoria’s stewards did not discover the practice, which was instead exposed by a small team of Animals Australia activists.
More than 70 greyhound trainers have been implicated in the scandal, with at least 20 people suspended from the industry across Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.
The ABC’s Four Corners program last night aired videos showing small animals squealing as they were flung around training tracks as bait.
The footage showed dogs released to chase a possum as it was flung around a racing track 26 times at high speed until it was left hanging by its spinal cord.
One well-known interstate trainer was recorded excitedly telling others to smash a baby possum’s head in.
Other injured animals were stuffed into small boxes.
Among those implicated has been two-time Australian Greyhound Trainer of the Year Darren McDonald, who was allegedly caught on camera carrying a piglet inside a sack into the Tooradin property where dogs then mauled the animal.
Also shamed was successful Victorian trainer Stuart Mills, the brother of Andrew Mills, who was a former deputy chief steward for Greyhound Racing Victoria and now the regulator’s chief racing grader.
Another former Greyhound Racing Victoria steward, Paul Aderton, who policed the industry in his former role, has also allegedly been caught training his dogs with live bait.
Mr Pakula promised to stamp out the cruel and illegal training technique.
On Monday night he announced he would be cancelling Greyhound Racing Victoria’s Industry Award Night, which was due to take place this Friday.
Prominent greyhound breeder and trainer and president of the United Queensland Greyhound Association Deborah Arnold allowed her 70 greyhound puppies and racing dogs at her property ‘Dessa Downes’ in Churchable to be filmed by Four Corners. “The kennels have to be RSPCA QLD-approved,” said Arnold. “It definitely meets the requirements.” When questioned on the practice of live-baiting, Arnold denied any knowledge of it: “If they do I don’t know about it, and I don’t really want to know about it.”
Undercover footage from Animal Liberation Queensland and Animals Australia earlier filmed a training track in Churchable, Queensland, across the road from Arnold’s property. On film, it captures Arnold and her dog Dorak Des chasing a live pig on the lure while Arnold asks “what’s the quickest been today” before being informed her dog is.Arnold is later asked by Four Corners what mantra is at the forefront of greyhound racing in 2015, to which she states, “animal welfare.”
Professor of animal behaviour and animal welfare science Paul McGreavy offered his comments on the matter of live-baiting coming from a decade of research into the breed, insisting there are breeds far more dangerous and that greyhounds are simply “chasing to catch, not to kill”. He emphasises the dogs “love racing, they love moving around that speed – they’ll be getting off on this,” and that they “are so sedentary when they’re not exposed to this stimuli.”
Animal Liberation Queensland investigator Hailey Cotton reveals the first tip-off regarding live-baiting in Churchable was passed to her: “Their words to me were ‘something really bad is going on there,’ and they said ‘it smells like death’”.
Undercover cameras were placed in the property of prominent Queensland trainer Tom Noble, a celebrated, award-winning greyhound trainer with almost 50 years in the game. His break-in centre is the epicenter of greyhound training in Queensland, and the live baiting footage of Deborah Arnold’s dog occurred on his track.
More than 40 owners, trainers and handlers are recorded on camera while live baiting occurs on Tom Noble’s property. “These people are leading trainers, they’re training their dogs with these methods,” said Cotton. “They’re then going on to win races using these methods, so the whole integrity of greyhound racing is really brought into question here.”
Footage confirms four times a week, piglets and later possums are flung around Noble’s track 26 times at high speed. The piglet is shown squealing with a man on the camera swearing at it, and one or two dogs are let loose to chase, grab and maul the possum while it’s still alive. Some 56 minutes later, the lure stops and the possum is snapped in half, the corpse still attached by its spinal cord, with the men in the footage making light of the situation.
Discussion of dumping dead dogs is captured on film, leading the investigation to ask NSW greyhound trainer John Thompson about the issue. Animal Liberation Australia links him as the man in the footage telling others to smash a baby possum’s head in so the live baiting of its mother can begin. “They ripped the baby from the mother, they tied the mother on the lure, and they then stick the baby’s head in the sand to kill it while its mother is watching on, all the time laughing and joking on how amusing it is,” said Hailey Cotton.
In mid-November 2014, Lyn White of Animals Australia simultaneously led an investigation at the Tooradin Trial Track in Victoria after a tip-off. Considered to be in the heart of greyhound racing territory in the state, the track is run by owner operator Stuart Mills, whose brother is Andrew Mills, former deputy chief steward for Greyhound Racing Victoria and now the regulator’s chief racing grader for the entire state.
Lyn White reveals 17 people were captured live baiting the first time undercover footage was recorded. The first trainer identified is former steward of Greyhound Racing Victoria Paul Anderton, who arrives as Stuart Mills attaches a lure on a wooden plank with leather straps, before returning with a live rabbit and stretching it out tightly as he buckles it down flat. The rabbit is shown returning five minutes later, mauled but still alive and twitching in agony. “It tells me this is a practice that has been going for an acceptable level to trainers for years and years,” White said.
Anderton’s dogs went on to win three races days after being captured on the footage in Tooradin. President of Cranbourne Racing Club Neville King is also filmed on camera live baiting two days before Christmas at Tooradin.
Trainer Dennis Dean and a young girl watch as live rabbits are leashed and thrown to the dogs to kill. CEO of Greyhound Australasia Scott Parker was questioned on his thoughts of live-baiting behaviour during the revelations of the footage and the discovery of children being brought to watch while it occurs: “I think that’s ridiculous and abhorrent. I don’t support that at all. I’m not aware of it, and never heard of it, live baiting is illegal as well as being wrong and against the rules of greyhound racing.”
Footage of dogs on the Tooradin track is shown, encouraged to savagely kill several rabbits, which are skinned or tied as they maul them.
Former steward at Greyhound Racing Victoria Amanda Hill says there was a problem inside GRV regarding regulators failing to pick up and follow on rumours of live-baiting in the state: “Lack of resources, lack of funds, lack of knowledge, or plainly, they don’t want to accept that it’s a possibility.”She believes some trainers are “doing it to try and get an edge. It’s probably harder to get caught live baiting than what it is to using performance-enhancing drugs.”
Hill left GRV in 2004 and became the Chair of Stewards in Greyhound Racing Tasmania, where she was able to do better in stopping live baiting. In 2008, Hill caught a female trainer red-handed live baiting a possum. Possum carcasses were found all over the track, and it remains one of two cases in the past decade where a steward has followed through and successfully convicted a live baiter.
Hill identifies two-time Australian greyhound trainer of the year Darren McDonald as one of the figures caught on film three days before the 2014 Melbourne Cup, engaging in live baiting at Tooradin alongside handler Chris Connelly. He is shown on camera carrying a sack with a tiny pink piglet before placing it on the lure. The two men remove the muzzles on their dogs after two laps and the dogs maul the piglet, heard squealing as it dies off-camera. McDonald has since transferred all of his greyhounds to his wife’s name.
New South Wales wrap-up:
McDonald’s top sprinter Keybow is revealed by Four Corners to have been broken in across the border in NSW at Londonderry by Zeke Kadir.
Four Corners received a tip-off within the industry that Kadir was rumoured to be the best live baiter within the state, and that it occurred at his property as part of his training purposes. “He mentioned that he broke (in) Keybow, and he talked about how he gets live rabbits from a person he knows, and he gets about 30 a week,” a private investigator for Four Corners confirms.
Footage shows Zeke Kadir using the rabbits tied to a hand-pushed lure, controlled by Kadir. They’re dragged along the ground at speed pursued by dogs in training. On January 12, 2015, the footage captures Ian Morgan arriving at the venue for a private session, where a native possum is strung to the lure struggling to escape as two muzzled greyhounds attempt to bite the possum. Four minutes later, the muzzles come off and the cry is captured off-screen of the possum’s demise. “I am fearful at how widespread this is, and the consequences for literally thousands of animals each year,” said Lyn White.
Morgan is later seen removing the dead possum from his greyhound, Cee Cee Quoted. Four days later, Four Corners catches him leaving his Western Sydney home bound for an afternoon race meet in Newcastle, where Cee Cee Quoted places third. John Cauchi, of Box Hill, was also caught practising live baiting by hand.
Four Cornersnotes requests for interviews with the regulators in all three states caught live-baiting were declined, deferring comment to CEO of Greyhounds Australasia Scott Parker. “I don’t suspect this is a systemic problem at all,” Parker said. “It’s illegal, abhorrent, and totally rejected by the industry.”
When asked about how three tracks have been confirmed to have had live baiting occurring on site that have not been detected by regulators, Parker surmises “our controlling bodies do a great job, but it’s a big industry and a lot of these facilities are a long, long way away from Sydney and Melbourne and Brisbane – and that’s why compliance officers are employed to get out there.”
In Queensland, RSPCA caught the live-baiters at Tom Noble’s establishment during their follow-up raids and saved a live piglet tied in a sack moments away from being bound and baited. Tom Noble was on-site, as well as his staff James Draws and Tony McCabe. They denied any wrong-doing despite being caught on film. RSPCA eventually found a second piglet hidden inside a shed on the property, wounded from a previous live-baiting session.
At Tooradin, Stuart Mills was watched closely, but no animals were caught on-site. Four Corners visited him the next day of the raids, and he’s clearly shaken as he maintains his denials about live-baiting.
Zeke Kadir’s property was visited, but he refused to answer Four Corners’ reporters on live baiting.
Four Corners’ investigations are now a criminal matter, with state charges imminent.
In Victoria, GRV chair Peter Caillard has welcomed a $6 million government investment for investigative resources for GRV to help detect and prevent practises such as live-baiting from occurring in the future. In addition, GRV have also announced that dead animals will no longer be allowed to assist in the training of greyhounds. “The use of live animals is already outlawed. GRV will also outlaw the use of dead animals in greyhound training whether on private premises or registered training premises,” Mr Caillard said in a press release. Caillard has also agreed to cancel the Greyhound Industry Awards night, which was to be held this Friday night, after instruction from MP Martin Pakula. The Darren McDonald-trained Sweet It Is was the frontrunner to take out the highest honour, 2014 Victorian Greyhound of the Year.
In New South Wales, GRNSW have announced that a taskforce has been established to investigate the extent of the live-baiting practices in the state. The taskforce will be led by former High Court justice and eminent legal practitioner, the Hon. Michael McHugh AC, QC. The taskforce will look into the training methods used in NSW and will arrange for trial tracks and training facilities to be monitored. It is also set to examine whether GRNSW and relevant agencies such as the RSPCA NSW have the necessary powers to correctly investigate animal cruelty allegations. “We need to stamp out live baiting once and for all. Not only is it illegal but it is sickening and we are disgusted with what we have witnessed on air,” GRNSW CEO Brent Hogan said in a press release. “GRNSW welcomes Michael McHugh’s acceptance to head this taskforce and is committed to working closely with him and the taskforce as quickly as we can. The taskforce will help ensure that live baiting and other acts of animal cruelty identified in NSW are eradicated as quickly as possible.”
A must watch tonight on the ABC on Four Corners 8.30pm
Greyhound racing: Live baiting revelations on Four Corners to be ‘extremely damaging’ to greyhound racing industry
Australia’s greyhound racing industry is in turmoil ahead of an explosive Four Corners report, set to air tonight, that reveals conclusive evidence of live baiting.
Live baiting is the practice of using small live animals in secret greyhound training sessions.
It has been banned and criminalised for decades, but trainers and owners across the country have been using the illegal training method in the belief that it will improve a dog’s performance.
Live baiting carries substantial financial penalties and sentences of up to five years’ imprisonment. The evidence that will be broadcast tonight on the ABC could have a massive impact on the industry.
The RSPCA, in conjunction with police in NSW, Victoria and Queensland raided five properties on Wednesday last week after the Four Corners program, in conjunction with Animals Australia and Animal Liberation Queensland, confidentially handed over the results of its investigation into the sport to the state-based RSPCAs more than a fortnight ago.
Tonight in its exclusive report, Four Corners will reveal how trainers and owners across the country, working in concert with licensed trial track operators, are training their dogs using banned methods and engaging in illegal activity.
Make no mistake. This story will be explosive, emotive and extremely damaging to the future of this sport in Australia.
This behaviour constitutes cheating under the laws of greyhound racing.
Tracking dogs and their trainers from private training facilities and on to official race meets and using undercover investigators to infiltrate the industry, the program has discovered the integrity of potentially thousands of races and millions of dollars in prize money is now in question.
Aware that the Four Corners program was set to air, Greyhound Racing NSW, Greyhound Racing Victoria, and Racing Queensland, the sport’s statutory regulators, moved to suspend more than 20 trainers, owners and trial track operators late last week.
In another attempt to pre-empt the program, on Sunday, Racing Queensland announced a $1 million taskforce to combat live baiting and other allegations of cruelty.
But the regulators’ attempts to act raise further serious questions about their ability to fulfil obligations and adequately police the sport in addition to carrying out their dual role as the sport’s promoter. Australians are now wagering a staggering $4 billion on the sport annually.
It is also revealed the illegal activities have remained undetected by the regulators, and makes it clear self-regulation has been a failure. At the same time, the evidence could prompt governments to reconsider their support and endorsement of the sport.
‘This story will be explosive’
In an internal memo written by Greyhound Racing Victoria (GRV) and obtained by Four Corners over the weekend, GRV’s chief executive officer Adam Wallish encouraged trainers and owners to start strategising and preparing to react publicly after the Four Corners program airs tonight.
“Make no mistake. This story will be explosive, emotive and extremely damaging to the future of this sport in Australia,” Mr Wallish wrote.
“As a group of people that love the greyhound breed we should all be shocked and outraged by the allegations in the story and prepared to fight the small minority that continue to partake in such practices jeopardising the future of the sport and indeed the future of the breed itself.”
Mr Wallish also urged the greyhound racing community to focus their anger on the wrongdoers in their sport, rather than the messenger.
“You will be emotional, you might be angry. Don’t be angry at those that attack us, regardless of their position. Be angry at those within the sport that are doing the wrong thing and undermining the values for which we stand,” he wrote.
“This time is a testing one for all of us in the industry and we need to stay resolute in our desire to exceed social standards and public expectations.
“The future of the sport and the wonderful greyhound breed necessitates it.”
Greyhound Racing Victoria has also set up a counselling telephone hotline to support those affected emotionally by the allegations. The hotline is contactable on (03) 8329 1100 and will be available from 7:30am on Tuesday morning.
The program, Making a Killing, will broadcast tonight on ABC1 at 8:30pm. Anyone with further information can contact Four Corners.
Tooradin track closed after claims greyhound trainers used live bait
MANDY SQUIRES AND RYAN REYNOLDS
FEBRUARY 15, 20159:00AM
GREYHOUND Racing Victoria has suspended 10 people and closed the Tooradin Trial Track for alleged live baiting.
The news comes in the wake of revelations a Geelong-trained greyhound tested positive for amphetamine and methamphetamine (known as ice) after a race in Warragul on January 17.
GRV has confirmed the RSPCA is investigating the Tooradin track and Racing Integrity Commissioner Sal Perna is involved.
GRV chief executive Adam Wallish said live baiting, where a dog is given a live animal to hunt down in the lead up to a race, was a criminal and abhorrent practice.
“The use of live bait in the training of greyhounds is disgusting and has no place in our sport.
Any person engaged in live baiting can expect to be disqualified and prosecuted. We have zero tolerance for these individuals,” Mr Wallish said.
“In accordance with GRV’s Animal Welfare Penalty Guidelines those responsible face a 10 year ban from the sport.”
Live baiting was a criminal offence punishable under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and attracted a jail term of up to two years and a fine of more than $30,000, he said.
“GRV takes matters of animal cruelty extremely seriously. Allegations of live-baiting are extremely disappointing and GRV supports the RSPCA and Victoria Police’s efforts to investigate any wrong-doing within the sport of greyhound racing,” Mr Wallish said.
A spokesperson for RSPCA Victoria confirmed it had executed warrants and conducted an inspection at a greyhound training facility in south-east Victoria.
The inspection had resulted in the launch of an investigation into greyhound training practices, she said.
Lara trainer Jenny Hunt said she was “gutted” and “bewildered” her dog Jubilea Bale tested positive to drugs, and planned to travel to Warragul to have “a look around”.
“I’ve asked all my employees and they all said they have nothing to do with it (ice),” Hunt said.
Greyhound Racing New South Wales also suspended five people and closed Sydney’s Box Hill Trial Track this week for alleged live baiting.
The RSPCA said anyone who had information about cruel or illegal practices in the greyhound industry should report it immediately by calling 9224 2222.
Live animals allegedly used as bait in greyhound racing
February 15, 2015
Greyhound racing is in the spotlight amid allegations of live baiting. Photo: Max Mason-Hubers
More than 20 greyhound racing dog owners and trainers across NSW, Victoria and Queensland have been suspended after a series of raids which allegedly discovered the illegal use of live animals being used to bait and lure dogs.
The shock revelations come just a year after the industry regulator NSW Greyhound Racing told a parliamentary inquiry it had no evidence that such alleged crimes were occurring in the $144 million a year industry.
The inquiry’s deputy chairman and Greens MP John Kaye at the time claimed Greyhound Racing NSW had “dodged a bullet” and issues like animal welfare and the allegations of live bait had been put in the “too-hard basket”.
Late on Thursday, Greyhound Racing NSW announced it had stood down five industry participants and one licensed trainer for alleged live baiting offences and closed down the Box Hill trial track. Victorian greyhound racing authorities also announced it had suspended 10 people for allegedly using live baits at a track in Tooradin, south-west of Melbourne.
In Queensland seven trainers have been suspended after they were allegedly about to use live pigs as bait for their dog training. Racing Queensland’s General Manager of Stewarding and Integrity Operations Wade Birch said the trainers had been stood down and their greyhounds scratched from all competition pending an investigation.
“This decision was based on further information received by Racing Queensland, the substance of which required immediate action by stewards,” said Mr Birch.
The RSPCA has been involved in raids but officials refused requests for any information. A statement released by a media spokeswoman said they “had received a number of complaints regarding animal cruelty and greyhounds, these are currently under investigation”.
Fairfax Media reported in 2013 that the illegal practice of allowing animals to be killed by greyhounds as part of their racing training was still occurring in NSW.
Problems have beset the industry over decades. As far back as 1972, newspaper reports revealed that a leading greyhound trainer and industry figure were fined and narrowly escaped jail for using a possum and a rabbit for live baiting at a track in Kellyville. The magistrate at the time said their previous good behaviour had saved them from a custodial sentence.
In 2013 there were shocking revelations at the parliamentary inquiry about the barbaric act of live baiting including details about the use of guinea pigs, rabbits, chickens, kittens and possums which have had their claws and teeth removed so they can’t hurt the dogs being mauled to death in training sessions.
“I have been told ‘anything that squeals will do’,” an industry stakeholder, whose identity has been suppressed, said in a written submission to the parliamentary inquiry.
TV vet Dr Robert Zammit had also backed up the claims in his evidence to the inquiry and RSPCA NSW chief inspector David O’Shannessy said they had also received anonymous complaints but so far they had been unable to substantiate the claims. He encouraged people to come forward with information.
Dr Kaye said on Saturday that slowly public pressure is forcing Greyhound Racing NSW to admit what most people have known for decades.
“It’s clear that live baiting still occurs and that the dogs are brutalised, and rabbits, cats and possums are being ripped apart while they are still live,” said Dr Kaye.
“Greyhound Racing NSW dismissed allegations before a NSW Upper House Committee of live baiting, claiming they lacked evidence. Suddenly, they act against five participants suspected of live baiting and one trainer with live European rabbits on his premises.
“The regulatory body had been told of possums that had their teeth and claws ripped out and that then died in terror and agony, yet they failed to act until they faced the threat of media exposure,” he said.
ABC’s Four Corners program will screen a program on Monday night about greyhound racing.
Dr Kaye said the failure to crack down on live baiting by the regulatory authority for the past six years, is another reason for stripping the industry body of its animal welfare and regulatory functions.