Pic Herald Sun

No matter how much they duck and weave and ignore the problem, there is only one entity to blame for the Tobacco Wars: the Government.

The tobacco black market has grown due to the increase in excise and other taxes on tobacco products, taking the price of a pack of cigarettes from $10 for the popular Winfield Blues in 2005 to around $47 a packet and $469 per carton by 2023.

A carton of cigarettes will last most smokers a bit over a week if they are lucky.

And with the annual excise locked in at 12% per annum, a carton of cigarettes will be over $500 per carton in 2024.

Smoking may be socially unacceptable, and a smoking environment is not too pleasant for non-smokers. Still, it is not criminal, and in these economic times, smokers are forced to access their smokes on the black market for purely financial reasons exacerbated by the current cost of living.

This strategy by the Government to tax people out of using tobacco has forced otherwise law-abiding citizens into fringe criminality, and who knows once the smokers become entwined in the criminal sphere what that will lead to.

Whatever that is, you can guarantee the criminals will exploit it.

Domination of this market will reap billions of dollars for the criminal gangs. Therefore, the motivation to control the market is enormous, hence the firebombings.

Black market cigarettes sell for around $20 per pack and are illegally imported into Australia by the container load.

The profit on just one container load is about $13 million.

The Herald Sun set out the case that describes this illicit trade from an unidentified source on April 3, 2024.

Tobacco industry analysis puts the ultimate retail value of a 40-foot container of smoke products at between $7m and $13m, more than double the worth of eight years ago.

The same load of contraband can be bought overseas for about $250,000, meaning there is potential for a 50-fold return on investment.

This has generated fierce competition for a lucrative market with other advantages for the tobacco racketeers.

Disposal of the product is far easier than for big shipments of narcotics like cocaine and methylamphetamine, where buyers are at risk of long prison terms.

“It’s always easier to get people to buy tobacco,” the source said.

Given these figures, is there any wonder that organised crime would move in on this lucrative cash cow?

And the cow that gives keeps on giving, as the subsequent rise annually in excise is set at 12%, pushing the retail value of an illegal container load to $14.5 Million and a pack of cigarettes close to $80, driving more smokers to the black market.

The extraordinary profits from this illegal trade have driven organised gangs to try to dominate this lucrative market. When they do, and without competition, they will push the price of the illicit products.

Given smokers are now prepared to pay $70-$80 per packet for legal cigarettes, the illicit cost, without competition, will also rise so the black-market smokes could reach $50-$60 per packet, raising the profits for the criminal gangs to numbers with a ‘B’ in front, the equivalent of the National debt.

The government has already had to adjust the Budget figures to reflect the reality of the loss of projected excise, but it seems caught in the ‘headlights’ of what to do about it.

The answer is pretty simple: it is in the numbers.

The massive cost of attempting to stop the importation at the border and the vast cost of policing the fallout of lawlessness and the growth of criminal gangs could be slashed tomorrow if the excise was removed without fanfare and pre-warning to the criminals.

The efforts to stop this issue at the border have failed, and simply increasing the resources there would be a ‘fool’s folly.’ A reinvigorated ‘Quit’ campaign could be aimed at the ‘Black Market’ that will ultimately lead to higher tax revenues once the hiatus designed to destroy the illegal trade, is completed.

An inquiry that may take a year or more could recommend a sustainable tax regime without restarting the illicit trade. This would encourage smokers to return to lawful retailers and give the government the financial boost they crave from taxation.

Catching criminals with vast stocks of illicit products would be somewhat prophetic, as it would hit them where they feel the most pain: in their hip pocket.

They will be forced to lower their prices to a degree where it is uneconomical to continue to import illegal tobacco products.

If the wars continue unabated and given the ethos (greed) of criminal gangs, the problem will escalate, and then the chances of somebody being killed would nearly be inevitable.



We have been mulling over the recent arrest and release of a sex offender who was one of the 149 detainees released by the Federal Government.

It was reported in the media (HS and others) that Alfons Pirimapun, 44, was charged on Wednesday, the 28th of February 2024, with sexual assault, stalking and two counts of unlawful assault. This followed two incidents in Richmond.

The Prime Minister was under extreme pressure from all media because the suspected perpetrator was one of the detainees released by the Government. The story about the alleged offences was the lead headline in nearly every masthead in the country. Then suddenly, the heat was off. VicPol was backtracking without a reasonable explanation.

A Victoria Police spokesperson said on Thursday that “a process had commenced to formally withdraw the charges.”

The Commander sent out to front the media to mop up this apparent blunder has inadvertently raised the possibility that this was a political hit job to protect the government.

It was reported again in the HS, that Victoria Police Commander Mark Galliot apologised to Pirimapun at a press conference shortly after the charges were dropped while arguing,

“ It wasn’t a mistake to arrest him on Wednesday night.”

“I wouldn’t say it as a blunder; investigators had sufficient evidence to make an arrest,” he said.

“Yes, there was an error in arresting the person and remanded him, and as I said as soon as we found out, we rectified it and we apologise sincerely.”

What concerns us most is the speed with which an investigation has determined that sufficient evidence for an arrest and being remanded can be so quickly overturned that it sounds like a direction to withdraw the prosecution rather than a failure of the evidence collected.

The withdrawal of the charges provided substantial political capital for the Government.

If the error was so blatant as to be so obvious and so quickly acted upon, serious questions of political interference can be raised. Without the proper and full release of the circumstances, this view will persist.

Police take the arrest and charging of a suspect very seriously, so there are only two explanations: the Force was used politically to make this go away, or there was some catastrophic flaw in the evidence.

As far as political interference is concerned, there has been a strong whiff persisting for some considerable time about VicPol being politicised and the Police Force being used as a puppet by the puppet masters at Spring Street. This seems to have become more blatant, giving rise to the real worry that Policing in this state is an extension of the government and not an independent authority.

As for the flaw in the evidence, the indecent haste that determined the flaw leads to the suspicion that the brief could not have been adequately investigated. The statement by Galliot, “as soon as we found out,can be reasonably interpreted as being told.

The who told what to whom is critical for community peace of mind and assurances that have some veracity. Given that Galliot also said that they had no other suspects, this gives rise, in part, to a lie about the mistake in identity hinted at during his press conference.

We have not heard a sound from IBAC, the watchdog, in months, but perhaps their chain is too short. Perhaps we don’t have an IBAC anymore; it’s just a bureaucratic malaise keeping a low profile to avoid criticism.

We have experienced first-hand VicPol dealing with crime in a partisan way. A serious crime supported by CCTV footage was reported, and overnight, a decision was made. The following morning, we were advised that no offence had occurred. This was done without interviewing any witnesses, and there were many.

Of course, there may be a new way to conduct an investigation; gathering the evidence and interviewing witnesses seems no longer the way, but what would we know, a lot actually.

What was particularly galling was that the report from the CAA was considered independently by no less than five former very senior Police investigators, who were unanimous that a prima facie case existed for serious offences.

The issue was that the perpetrators were most likely employees of the Richmond Drug Injecting room, a particularly political ‘hot potato’ where adverse public opinion could ensue.

There was insufficient time for even a rudimentary investigation, so the Investigators were undoubtedly told to make it disappear. The government had buried or withheld the Ken Lay report they commissioned into the injecting room function, and any criticism, particularly of a criminal nature, by the facility’s staff would be politically damaging.

Making the issue go away would ‘curry favour’ with the Government.

We have often raised the issue of the ‘Separation of Powers’ issue, and failure to do so feeds suspicion of partisan bias, which is a dangerous predisposition for any Police Force in any free society where the rule of law applies.

This suspicion is not just some wild conspiracy theory when you take into account the alleged political influence in the Red Shirts saga, the criminal travel rorts, the failed George Pell prosecution, many aspects of the COVID response, and making the Gobbo affair prosecutions disappear, and the most blatant, the Road crash involving the Premier.

From this list, two conclusions can be drawn. If you offend and are a mate of the government or the incident can embarrass the political class, your sins will be overlooked, and prosecution is unlikely; if you are politically and ideologically opposed to the government, there is every possibility, no matter how improbable,  you will be prosecuted and pursued through the courts relentlessly, shades of a police state.

Given the way things are headed, a Royal Commission into Victoria Police and the role of successive Chief Commissioners in alleged Political influence would seem inevitable.

The underlying principle of the ‘Separation of Powers’ is our protection from a government ‘going rogue’ and engaging in criminal behaviour. When the police become joined at the hip to their political masters, the ‘blind eye’ principle becomes evident, a precursor to political criminality and the creation of a police state.

At what stage do the directions from Spring Street become. ‘a conspiracy, to Pervert the Course of  Justice?

We would argue that it is probable that the line has been crossed multiple times.

All criminal activity, particularly in Government, has a habit of being exposed at some stage. All it takes is a disgruntled Prosecutor or Police member to find their conscience, and the walls will tumble down. It might not happen today, but it can happen at any time.

In this instance, the police must explain how this incident occurred, given their advice that there wasn’t a blunder and that ‘investigators had sufficient evidence to make an arrest.’

Some things just seem unfathomable.



To see police involved in a fracas  at the recent Pride march is deplorable. This outcome was inevitable, and police should never have put themselves in this position.

Irrespective of who was the instigator of the melee, the Police, instead of performing the police function to solve a social problem, were part of it.

The seeds for this outcome were sown some twenty years ago when the Police moved from policing the event to being part of it.

The CAA logo features Lady Justice, who is depicted as blindfolded, showing Justice is blind.

The meaning is profound and forms the basis of our Justice system, which includes the Police.

Police must never become part of the issue and remain independent to exercise their powers in a dispassionate way, not showing favouritism or bias to the problems they are policing.

Being part of this march destroys impartiality and undermines the fundamental role of the Police.

We also noticed Police uniforms adorned in trinkets supporting the pride genera. These displays, supporting a particular cause, would be irreverent to many and detract from the impartiality that Police should project and preserve.

These displays must not be worn on uniforms or, for that matter, any clothing while a police member is on duty. It is a matter of professional pride.

It also could be argued that this police activity is in breach of their Oath of Office.

…that I will well and truly serve our Sovereign as a police officer in Victoria in any capacity in which I may be appointed, promoted, or reduced to, without favour or affection, malice or ill-will for the period of [ insert period ] from this date, and until I am legally discharged, that I will see and cause the peace to be kept and preserved, and that I will prevent to the best of my power all offences, and that while I continue to be a police officer I will to the best of my skill and knowledge discharge all the duties legally imposed on me faithfully and according to law.

This issue has nothing to do with the personal preferences exercised by any member of the Force in their private lives. That is their business, and if they want to march, they have every right to participate, just not in uniform.

In many ways, this clash was inevitable.

According to reports, there has been anti-police sentiment for a long time, and leadership should have been taken to avoid the inevitable confrontation.

In this event, participants dress up gregariously, as is their right; however, by high-level participation by the Police, they are relegating the uniform to fancy dress.

There are always huge risks when police favour one particular group, and we are confident that the Police Command would not tolerate uniformed Police marching in solidarity with Black Lives Matter, anti-COVID, Union movement, anti-government, environmental or the myriad of other special interest groups.

The test may again come as those who support Palestine become more vociferously anti-Israel as that war drags on.

Police, like all Australians, are entitled to exercise their right to lawful assembly, just not in uniform.

We encourage Victoria Police, in the interest of fair justice for all, to issue a direction that police on or off duty cannot participate in any demonstrations or cause in uniform.

Demonstrating a bias for or against any particular interest group is counterintuitive to effective policing.

Manufactured Bias

Manufactured Bias

The broad spectrum of bias in Government concerns us greatly as it is one of the key drivers of corruption.

Bias is not a singular phenomenon but multi-faceted; there is

  • Biase – Straight-out overt behaviour that erodes good governance.
  • Unconscious bias – Implanted in those susceptible to be used by those who peddle bias – the manipulators.
  • Confected bias – Created falsely to fit in or be accepted by others or to achieve a personal advantage – the career ladder climber.
  • Manufactured Bias– A process where an entity or person creates an environment influencing others to follow a bias that suits their purpose for power or control –

Among these traits, the Manufactured Bias is the most insidious and destructive.

For an apolitical organisation, we would not normally make comments that could be construed as partisan; however, the ex-Premier Daniel Andrews has entered the debate with a strange and somewhat ludicrously twisted set of hypotheses that really do ‘take the cake’.

We, as many Victorians, have been trying to encapsulate just what makes the ex-Premier tick and now we know, not from a media OPED but from the ex-Premier himself.

He has now exposed all in his most recent interview. Although much of what he said was no surprise, it confirmed what many of us suspected.

The ex-Premier has been the architect of Manufactured Bias, and this attempt at rationalising his behaviour is absurd.

This theory, which we have called Manufactured Bias, is something that the ex-Premier will be best remembered for.

The term that we coined was after reading the ex-Premiers version of his style of leadership as reported in the HS 9th December 2023.

What is concerning and explains a lot of where we are as a State is how Andrews sees Victorians; we are either “haters and the rest vote Labor” he said.

Or conversely, if you don’t vote Labor, you are a hater.

The irony of that statement is many of the victims of his style have been Labor voters, and no concession was ever offered to those voters. This includes shutting down the party rank and file branches, giving him free rein.

The convention that elected political leaders work for all Victorians under his premiership was a myth as we all suspected, now exposed in the context of a brag.

He clearly identified any criticism of him in not-too-glowing terms, indicating his flawed dictatorial management style and giant ego, he couldn’t countenance he could be wrong.

The flaw of his style can now be clearly identified from his own words and is best described as Manufactured bias. This is the method he used to operate with impunity outside convention and perhaps even outside the law.

To manufacture something, there needs several components, amongst them: an idea, a design, a key driver, resources to facilitate the manufacture (a budget) and a marketing plan. The sustainability of the manufactured item, or philosophy, hinges largely on how effective the ‘key driver’ is at convincing the market that the manufactured item is a necessity, irrespective of any consequences.

Of the two major components, the fiscal management plan is the primary one, and clearly, there just wasn’t one. Pillaging the State coffers and then incurring huge debts in the name of the State will adversely impact generations for many years and cannot be interpreted as getting ’shit done’.

We suspect that there is debt both on and off the books and when fully audited, will be explosive.

Anybody can do extraordinary things without the constraints of fiscal responsibility.

By any measure, regardless of what and how grandly something is manufactured, fiscal irresponsibility is a project failure.

The other serious failure exposed was Andrews’ attitude to the legal system.

His claims about the role of some who he accuses of trying to usurp the authority of elected representatives is the foundation of how ‘Manufactured Bias’ is nurtured and manifests.

Obviously aimed at the former head of IBAC and the Ombudsman who dared to be critical of him.

The ex-Premier’s lack of knowledge of the legal system is breathtaking. These officers are not usurping the authority of the Premier or the Parliament or anything of that nature because both are acting within the legislation that the government designed and created.

That is how a democratic system works, and their independence is critical to reining in unlawful actions, either procedural or criminal; critical to the checks and balances.

If there is a problem perceived with their function, change the legislation; it is contemptuous to try to just usurp their authority.

The Premier’s twisted logic on this issue might explain why his behaviour, ‘I can’t remember’ when examined, was a contagion affecting most of the ex-Premiers acolytes also subject to examination.

The ex-Premier was the one usurping the Parliament’s authority and, with his admissions, may be in contempt of the Parliament.

Referring to Public Servants, again arguably aimed at IBAC and the Ombudsman, he said,

 “They have opinions and views, and they’re more than entitled to those. But see, what they’re not entitled to … (and that’s) to pretend that anyone voted for them. Not entitled to pretend that they’ve somehow got a mandate that is equal to, let alone superior, to the duly elected government.”

It is true they do not have a mandate from the people, but they have something much more significant: an act of Parliament bestowing specific powers and independence, something that the ex-Premier did not and could not control.

From this statement, the ex-Premier also accuses the work of the law officers of pretending to be ‘superior’. The ex-Premier saw the elected Government, led by him, as ‘superior’, implying above the Law. This may go a long way in explaining the attitude and memory losses the ex-Premier experienced when appearing before inquiries or being investigated.

That behaviour did cause very negative leadership of those within the Government who felt that they could take comfort that memory loss would protect them. A ‘protection racket’ led from the top by example. The concept of accountability was dismissed as irrelevant.

It is that contempt and, arguably, arrogance directed at the two Authorities that have emboldened many others within the government to flaunt the law in the belief that they were untouchable. ‘Manufactured bias’ manifested.

And to boast Mr Andrews said,

“ he’d rather be remembered for being forceful, making tough, necessary decisions and “getting shit done” than for achieving little during his term.”

It is this statement that resonates and will probably define his legacy.

Anybody can “get shit done” if you do not have to be accountable and have access to unlimited funds.

Andrews omitted to claim his most significant achievement, saddling all Victorians with a debt that will take many generations to repay, a yoke for our children’s children and more. Accompanied by no plan on how the debt may be serviced let alone acquitted.

What makes this even worse is that on that measure alone, fiscal irresponsibility, bordering on radical indifference, he will not be remembered fondly or respectfully.

Viewed collectively, the reality of ‘Manufactured Bias’ and the growth of this concept has been allowed and fertilised by Andrews’ leadership style in Victoria and is best described by a CAA-supporter comment on the CAA website at explaining how it works in Victoria Police, there is no doubt a similar approach is applied Government-wide.

“Because they are subjected to the ideology daily in memos, lectures, training courses and private conversations, they know that if you want a promotion, don’t upset those at the top. It’s the softest corruption there is, and it’s obvious to anyone who looks but is very difficult to root out.”- OMG.

‘Manufactured Bias’.



The Victorian Ombudsman, Ms Debora Glass, has produced a ‘damming assessment’ of the politicisation of the Victorian Government; however, the report fell short of recommending any prosecutions, and it didn’t even make recommendations for the need for further investigation.

The reasons for this, and a number of other issues investigated by the Ombudsman over a number of years, indicate a pattern of ‘falling short’ as the norm.

We would argue that the problem is far more insidious than the Ombudsman has determined, while her investigations into various decisions, although relevant, mask the real need for detailed examinations of the functions of the alleged nepotistic appointees by the Government.

The Ombudsman’s investigation was flawed and failed to properly investigate unconscious bias exercised by Senior Government appointees.

As well as looking into the matters covered and identified in her report, the issue of bias in appointments can be accurately determined by patterns of historical management behaviour.

“Politicisation is far more nuanced, complex and potentially pervasive than simply the practice of hiring your political mates.”- Ombudsman.

One example that demonstrates an unconscious bias is the management and function of Victoria Police in the operational strategies employed in matters of civil unrest and demonstrations.

It is highly unlikely that the Operational Commanders at these demonstrations were the same officer, so how is it that the strategies are only ever consistent with the government’s ideology?

There have been a number of demonstrations where the Police response has varied to a degree to indicate that either actual or unconscious bias is at play. Consistency in Policing demonstrations is sadly lacking, we argue, because of the bias.

In particular, the lack of police action at the Black Lives Matter rally, the overreaction to anti-COVID demonstrations, the lack of any action at the Anti-Trans Rally and, of late, the Pro-Palestinian/HAMAS civil unrest all have a common denominator: the action of Police can be seen to mirror the ideology of the Government on the purpose of the demonstration, and that is a very bad thing.

“But nothing will change without a recognition at the highest levels of government that change is necessary.”

It corrodes standards of public governance, decision-making in the public interest and trust in government, and if left unchecked increases the risk of corrupt criminal offending.” -Ombudsman.

On that point, the protestations of the Ombudsman fail.

The highest levels of Government do not see an issue because, to them, the status quo is appropriate and a right, part of the spoils of Governing.

It is abundantly clear that the checks and balances that should prevent this problem either do not exist or are not enforced.

Simply raising the issue has little chance of achieving a satisfactory result. It is imperative that the inquiry continue to examine where the checks and balances have failed and what remedial action is necessary.

Starting with a search for answers measuring executive managers’ accountability and performance against the position’s benchmarks.

The infection of bias is near epidemic proportions, and it can be averted tomorrow simply by holding executive managers to account, starting with the most senior ones. It would only take a handful of Senior executives to lose their position because bias was identified in their sphere of control, and very quickly, bias would be diminished dramatically if not eliminated.

Unless this Government acknowledges that there is a problem, nothing will change. Positive action is required.

No public servant should receive a bonus if they have not exceeded their accountability and performance levels.

For a cultural change, as that is what is required, it is necessary that failure to perform free from bias must be managed by the greatest motivator, their hip pocket.



The breaking down of law and order in Victoria has been evident for some time, but recently, this concept has accelerated to a very worrying level.

The past is only relevant to identify patterns; the future is the worry, as it seems nothing is being done to arrest the decline.

Currently, the situation where demonstrators, seemingly with impunity, do whatever they can to intimidate another sector of the community, instilling gross fear on any part of the community, is unacceptable on so many levels.

Worryingly, is that the intimidation is so vitriolic it is only a ‘hair’s breadth’ away from violence.

The seriousness of the situation cannot be downplayed, and yet the Police, who are responsible for maintaining law and order, seem ineffective through bias.

This is not the Australian way.

The bias by Policing has been developing for some time, and we suggest it has a lot to do with the failure of the principle of the ‘Separation of Powers’[i], a long-held presumption that has been eroded, and the management of public order is where it most obviously manifests.

The failure of this principle, where the decisions and responses to public order are tainted by Political bias, is a two-way street.

The blatant direct involvement of politics in decision-making has become far less obvious, but we are sure it still occurs; what has evolved is a far more insidious, unconscious bias. A will to please political masters or those who support the government without direct interaction.

The Police have no role in allowing partisan views to influence responses but must respond on the basis of maintaining law and order, and that includes protecting vulnerable groups and all citizens; the issues and reasons for disquiet must never influence the operational response.

Some of the disquiet in police ranks that has provoked industrial action recently has been attributed to the Forces’ obvious bias.

This move toward partisanship with the government of the day has been an attempt by Governments to own police powers and have a far greater say in the operations of Policing, a repugnant concept that might seem fine in theory, but, as we have seen, makes Policing ineffective.

The current demonstrations against Israel by pro-Palestinian groups supporting Hamas are a case in point.

The basis of the demonstrations is those allegedly opposed to Israel’s response to the attacks, hostage-taking and murders committed by Hamas. The role of Victoria Police must not be influenced by the reasons for the demonstration but by providing a Police response to maintain Law and order and should be as concerned with protecting the abused Jews as they should be for those who identify as Pro-Palestinian.

The accusation of police bias is a ‘hot button’ issue sure to raise the ire of Police executives. Be that as it may, the matter is immensely serious, and the issue of the breakdown of the ‘Separation of Powers’ and biase must be corrected.

To ignore the issue will be a blight on the capacity of Police Senior management as this issue lies at their feet.

The following list of incidents indicates beyond doubt that bias is at play and must be addressed.

  • Black Lives Matter – passive police response acting as spectators.
  • COVID-19 – aggressive police response including use of firearms on demonstrators – aggressive role extending over numerous occasions for two years, including chasing and dispersing demonstrators using defensive weapons like pepper spray as an attack weapon. Tea bagging protestors to make them breach the COVID rules.
  • Sundry environmental demonstrations – passive police role acting as spectators.
  • Pro-Palestine (Hamas) demonstrations -passive police response acting as spectators.

We do not support unnecessarily aggressive responses but demand the Police apply the law without fear or favour, malice or ill will, absolutely, irrespective of the issue at hand.

Following this principle will rapidly improve and rebuild the image and confidence that the community had in its Police, and the police members will be able to return to the non-partisan positions they once were able to hold in their professional capacity, improving the morale within the organisation so that the workplace again becomes non-partisan.

We acknowledge, however, that the government has a lot to answer for by diluting the Police power to manage these issues by repealing the ‘move on’ Laws.

It has seriously diminished police authority to perform their task.

By removing those powers, the closest analogy is a law to remove the ability of doctors to carry a stethoscope when working in Emergency Rooms (ER).

The Victoria Police can and must do better operationally, free from Government pressure and interference.

[i] In Australia, the power to make and manage laws is shared between the Parliament, the Executive and the Judiciary. The separation of powers avoids any person or group having all the power.




Spent Convictions Legislation is currently under review, and it is essential that a major rethink on this flawed legislation occurs. In its current format, it facilitates or supports the perpetrator’s lying.

The CAA has no issue with people who have committed minor offences having the albatross of a prior conviction lightened; however, not to the degree this Act achieves where expunging a conviction by secrecy is repugnant, exasperated by no mechanism to monitor the effectiveness of the legislation.

If asked by a potential employer if they have ever been convicted of an offence they can either refrain from answering or lie. And that includes joining the Police Force.

Spent convictions can either be Minor or Historical; the latter raises very real concern as there is no definition of Historical. A magistrate or administrator may have a subjective view of ‘Historical,’ and that is not satisfactory.

Moreover, innocent victims and others can be caught up in committing offences created by this legislation to protect the criminal. Breaching this legalisation, whether or not it was intentional, is a crime.

Amongst the major flaws in this Act include the secrecy in the administration and legal processes, undermining our legal system, and fundamentally, the legislation is structured to legalise a lie by the very people that the system is supposed to help live a crime-free life. One would think free from lies and deceit.

This is seriously flawed legislation that slipped through without very much public discourse as Victorians laboured through the last three months of the COVID pandemic, with the Act taking effect on the 1st of July 2022.

A cynic would suggest this was deliberate, as now the matter has been raised by the Government again in the form of a review. Hopefully, this indicates the architects now doubt the folly of this legislation.

This legislation is egregious, particularly given the secrecy that surrounds this process.

We have no hope of ever knowing if this program is successful as we watch our crime rate grow. The secrecy prohibits the collection of empirical data to measure the effect.

If a conviction is spent and the perpetrator reoffends, neither we nor the courts or the bureaucracy will know. They will be processed as a first offender. That removes any deterrent effect.

Secrecy is the building block of corruption, and this proposal is one of the most high-risk devised; the anomalies must be rectified.

Review of the Spent Convictions Act 2021 | Engage Victoria  (CTRL + click)

We are very uncomfortable with aspects of the legislation, and we suspect many Victorians would share our concerns when they become aware of it.

Secrecy:          The secrecy around this process is an anathema to us and everybody else who has any respect for our legal system. The openness of our legal system is a defence against corruption and totalitarianism and provides accountability for the Courts. Not undermining a basic tenet of our judicial system.

Corruption:     The system is not transparent, so the potential for the scheme to be corrupted is extremely high. Not only aggravated by dealing with people who in the past have been prepared to break the law, but convictions can be spent by an administrative process, which, in effect, is totalitarianism by the second estate.

Administrative abuse risks.

                       As we understand it, most of the decisions will be administrative (referred to as automated). The automated system will be managed by Public Servants or perhaps contractors, faceless and unaccountable staff; this is a recipe for corruption—convictions spent for a price.

Anti-Victim:     However, a victim must have a right to be heard before a person convicted for committing a crime against them is spent. They could cross paths with the perpetrator in all sorts of circumstances. As a neighbour, in a local town, or a housing complex, in social circumstances or employment, the list is extensive. The onus must be placed on the Perpetrator to avoid these situations and not the Victim. Victim harassment must be avoided and be an offence under this legislation. They have suffered as a victim once; why is the onus placed on them and not the perpetrator? This is a moral anomaly.

No Victim Representation:

It is bad enough having secret Courts with only the Attorney General, and the Chief Commissioner permitted to be represented; it is an indictment on our legal system that the same right is not extended to the victims.

Spent Conviction Time frames:

                       The Act species time frames for the period before a Spent Conviction can be granted. That part of the legislation is flawed, particularly for juvenile offenders.

Perpetrators may not have finished a court sanction (their debt to society) before the conviction is spent. Alternatively, for a large part of the stipulated period, they were either in jail or subject to some other court-imposed sanction. Spent Convictions must be measured from when the Court sanctions expire, not the conviction date.

Restitution:     It seems utterly incongruous that a criminal can have their conviction spent without making any reparation to the Victim. This means that the gains accrued by the criminal and the benefit derived from the crime ensures that crime does pay, and any deterrent effect is lost.

The definition of our legal system is best illustrated by ‘Lady Justice’, our logo; the scales she holds demonstrate the Law must be balanced; however, for too long, the scales continue to be tipped to favour the criminal to the point where the criminals derive more benefit from the ‘legal system’ than the victim. There is something abhorrent about that.

Unfortunately, many see criminals through ‘rose-coloured’ glasses when, in reality, many criminals are not charged with offences, not because they have reformed, but rather because they have not been caught. That is very true with opportunistic criminals.

It is time this was rectified and a more equitable system developed to ensure that victims are compensated for their loss (that Victim could be the Crown), and the benefit of ill-gotten gains enjoyed by Criminals must never be expunged as a liability until settled.

Crime is not supposed to pay.



There can be no argument that Victoria is a standout State in Australia for all the wrong reasons, but why?

In trying to identify why things in this State have deteriorated so dramatically in recent years, it is notable that the Separation of Powers concept has all but disappeared from public discourse.

The CAA is strongly inclined to the view that this State’s decline, with no sign of abatement, all stems from a failure of the principle of the Separation of Powers.

That was clearly and intensely evident during the COVID pandemic, with the Police response seemingly dictated by the Government.

What has evolved is a massive block of Labor’s apparatchiks, achieved through ideological nepotism, throughout the public service and all Government authorities.

It would seem appointments are made not on the ability of the individuals but on their ideological bent. Structured in a way, they are beholding to the greater good, the ideology they all share, not the State citizens they are responsible for serving.

This has allowed the evolution of the ideological mass that has achieved the critical level of avoiding independent thought, the mass that has lost its independence of thought and rolls on engulfing any who get in its way.

Shades of the mythical ‘Blob’.

The power of this mass is frightening, deliberately caused by the Premier and those around him seeking ultimate power and control.

What the architects of this mass have underestimated is that the mass appears to have developed its own ability to grow and engorge the designers who are losing control, hence the more outrageous machinations of parts of the Legal system.

Initially, an attractive proposition for any Government putting people in key positions that have compatible ideological values, rather than competency for their function, which means that every decision is made through an ideological prism rather than a pragmatic reality that good governance requires.

The worst possible thing that can happen to any society is the removal of the safeguards that are the cornerstones of democracy.

The Separation of Powers is not a concept that is front of mind to many. However, its importance cannot be overstated.

Public officers are required to implement the Policies of the Government of the day, but that should not diminish their obligations granted under the various legislative Separation of Powers, bestowed on them to give critical and independent advice, particularly to Government Ministers.

Police are a critical example. A sworn police Officer cannot be directed to charge somebody with an offence if they do not believe there is a reasonable likelihood that a Court will convict. Equally, a Court must determine its findings in criminal matters based on the evaluation of the veracity of the evidence, not political ideology.

This concept is repeated throughout the Legal system, and the failsafe, the Separation of Powers, must be protected.

There are very strong indications that the ideological mass has permeated the legal system and, in particular, the senior people appointed to critical decision-making positions.

We have seen many instances where serious charges have been dropped without explanation and where what appear to be obvious serious criminal offences have not been prosecuted, again without explanation.  The community are not privy to the reasons behind this turn of events and are entitled to know.

Justice must not only be done but be seen to be done.

This begs the question as to why the Director of Public Prosecutions, Kerry Judd, is unwilling to keep the public, and, perhaps, more importantly, victims informed.

No better example of the failures was the decisions made by high-level bureaucrats in relation to the non-prosecution of the main alleged architects of the Gobbo fiasco.

An example of where the Separation of Powers, political and State administration, may well have collided, and because of the severe lack of transparency, the public does not know why these decisions have been made.

They may well be quite proper in the exercising of the authority of the bureaucrat but morally reprehensible in practice, allowing those who are of the ideological mindset of the government to avoid proper scrutiny and accountability.

The CAA implores all politicians for a bi-partisan approach to reviewing the application of the Separation of Powers to be undertaken.

It must surely be attractive to all politicians to have the bureaucrats being held to account for their administration rather than the politicians who can focus on Policy.

We are not opposed to amendments to Ministerial Accountability rules to achieve joint responsibility for the functions of the administration from the relevant Minister to the head of the Department with the ability for sanctions to be applied for failures.

Furthermore, it does not serve us well that Departmental heads can hide behind their Ministers, or the lines are so blurred as to the Separation of Powers – the loss of checks and balances will lead to more problems, and, inevitably, corruption.

To be clear, the dilution of the Separation of Powers for Victoria Police was created with the Police Act of 2013. This legislation was introduced by the then minority-conservative government.

There is little doubt that the unintended consequences, as they have manifested, were unlikely to have been anticipated.

A by-partisan examination and review of the Police Act is also essential to remove anomalies that currently exist.





29th July 2023

In 2018, the full High Court found  – “Victoria Police were guilty of reprehensible conduct in knowingly encouraging [Gobbo] to do as she did and were involved in sanctioning atrocious breaches of the sworn duty of every police officer”.

Of course, they could not do that on their own and needed the support or involvement of Officers of the Court – Lawyers.

The Herald Sun July 27, 2023, pp1, 6-7, refers to a number of Justice figures demanding a review of the decision not to pursue charges in the Lawyer X case and notes that the Director of Public Prosecutions, Kerri Judd, had represented former Chief Commissioner, Simon Overland, in legal proceeding raising concerns about a serious conflict of interest. The calls for a review of the decision are supported by Senior legal officials, including a former Vice President of the Victorian Bar Council.

It should be noted that former High Court Judge, Geoffrey Nettle AC KC, has expressed serious concerns about the decision of Judd not to bring prosecutions.

The Community Advocacy Alliance Inc., (CAA), since January 2020, has published several articles on our website relating to the Lawyer X scandal, highly critical of the conduct of Gobbo and senior police involved in this fiasco and calling for those responsible to be held to account.  We are in total support of the calls for an independent assessment of the evidence, and if that assessment supports the laying of charges against police or anyone else, demand that this be done expeditiously.

Only then can we, the public, be confident that justice is not only done but seen to be done.

The current status puts perpetrators above the law.


Extracts from our articles are set out below with links to full articles.


CAA | Jun 25, 2023,

When Law enforcement becomes law-breaking, there must be accountabilities. The continuing saga of the Lawyer-X criminality by law enforcement appears to be one of the most serious overreaches by serving police personnel in Legal History…


CAA | Jun 22, 2023,

Once again, we see the Victorian Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) refusing to act on clear and compelling evidence of the commission of criminal offences.

When the Special Investigator, Geoffrey Nettle AC KC, a former Justice of the High Court of Australia, the highest court in the Australian court hierarchy, recommends prosecutions, one could reasonably think that the evidence of the commission of criminal offences must be clear and compelling…


June 23, 2023,

The continuing saga of the Lawyer-X criminality by law enforcement appears to be one of the most serious overreaches by serving police personnel in Legal History. How can it be that nobody is going to be held accountable?


CAA | Dec 6, 2020,

From the outset, it must be made clear that the CAA does not support the use of lawyer Gobbo by the Victoria Police in the way it was done; it was unlawful, and Gobbo and the executive Police responsible must be held to account before the Law…


CAA | Sep 2, 2020,

Nobel cause corruption’ (the ends justify the means) is as unlawful as the normal interpretation of corruption. It diminishes the role of the Police in our society, as has the behaviours of the Police executive who promoted and or failed to manage the Lawyer X calamity and whose leadership was lacking throughout…


CAA | Feb 9, 2020,

Failing to recognise a loss of objectivity is evident in the Gobbo matter and a damming indictment of the police executives’ lack of competence. The buck, however, stops with the Chief Commissioner and in this protracted affair, no less than four Chief Commissioners failed to resolve or wheel in this train wreck, and each of them took the same Oath to the other Police involved…


CAA | Jan 4, 2020,

Many Victorians were sceptical of the Royal Commission into the Management of Police Informants. As the process started, most public sentiment towards the Royal Commission was, it is a waste of time because even if the Police tactics were not kosher with lawyers, the end justified the means.

After all, we are not talking about the pillars of society, but murderers and drug lords being locked up, and that is a good thing, isn’t it?

As many Victorians have watched the evolution of this Commission, attitudes are changing…


The community is quickly realising that the old adage, ‘whether you are a prince or pauper, saint or sinner’, we are, and should all be, equal before the Law. Although in Victoria, depending on who you are, that principle is corrupted.

Culpability must also extend to those executives that conspired to cover up the actions of this artifice, whether by use of the legal system or otherwise, that only served to extend and exacerbate the original reprehensible behaviour. In many ways, their behaviour is more reprehensible than the original architects.

They all must have known what was going on. It is fanciful to suggest that authorising or orchestrating a cover-up without knowing what you are covering up beggar’s belief.

It is also bordering on fanciful that lawyers, particularly those who conspired with Victoria Police to hide the Gobbo matters using the Courts, didn’t know what was going on. Remember that lawyers are Officers of the Court, and with that goes obligations that some may well have breached.

Equally, there are no doubt senior Police Officers, many still serving, who were totally cognisant of what was happening and the criminal and moral culpability but chose to support or take no action against the perpetrators and are therefore equally complicit.

The Police’s disgraceful and conscious dismissal of their principles in their oath of office brings great shame on them and all Victoria Police, serving, and who have served – something they will have to live with forever.

The only way to deal with this matter is to purge the culprits and give genuine Police, Lawyers and the community some reason to have confidence in the Legal system by removing this dark shadow.

We can only hope and encourage that the day of reckoning is sooner rather than later.



26th June 2023

Premier, time to pick up the phone. Two quick phone calls will resolve the impasse in determining the gult or innocense of individuals involved in the Lawyer -X affair.

A demonstration of leadership.

The calls will not compromise the independence of either party. All that needs to be done is that advice is given for both parties to cooperate in the best interest of the administration of the Law.

Both parties are eminent legal professionals, so a quiet word from you and everything can move on.

The impasse that has evolved between the Director of Prosecutions (DPP) Kerri Judd KC and former High Court judge Geoffrey Nettle, Special prosecutor (OSI) tasked with investigating whether criminal charges should be made against a number of people in the Lawyer-X affair, does not serve our Legal process well.

The issue is over the authority to prosecute, and in our view, the failure to give the Special Prosecutor power to prosecute was a significant failing.

Although we only have access to public information, we are bemused that the issue between the two legal heavyweights has tended to focus on the offence of Misconduct in Public Office. Undoubtedly, this offence could apply to many of the individuals accused.

We are somewhat mystified why the offence of Conspiracy to pervert the course of Justice has perhaps not been pursued, as it very obviously threaded through the whole artifice and would allow the Courts to properly dispense appropriate Justice depending on the roles of the perpetrators responsible for the entire artifice.

The Lawyer-X scandal has spanned many years at an eye-watering cost to the public purse without resolution, and the Special Prosecutor, a recommendation of the Royal Commission,  was a positive step to bringing the matter to a conclusion, resolved by the Courts, enabling a line to be drawn under the matter.

The community will be outraged at the expenditure without resolution of these matters by a court. Equally, the potential of the guilty walking free without accounting to a Court for what was described as egregious behaviour is unacceptable at any level.

The community is developing an increasingly jaundiced view of the lack of resolution in matters, particularly where corruption by officials of the State is inferred.

Further, without resolution, the deterrent effect, a critical function of the administration of the Law against repetition in the future, is lost, and the sanctity of Client Lawyer privilege is forever diluted and compromised.

There has been a series of Legal issues allowed to drift into the ether without a proper resolution,

  • The Red Shirts. Alleged misuse of public monies, which may have involved criminality, that may have unfairly interfered with the electoral process.
  • The Quarantine fiasco . Allegedly responsible for the deaths of over eighty Victorians during the COVID pandemic.
  • I-Cooks Foods What seems to be a conspiracy by Public Officers to shut down a private business because it competed in a market space the Government moved into.
  • Premiers Vehicle crash. Involving a cyclist, many suspicions and contradictions place serious concerns that the truth has not been told, and a cover-up of the facts was embarked upon.
  • The non-prosecution of politicians. A number of politicians clearly identified as rorting the system of parliamentary allowances, theft by deception. Officials would not hesitate to prosecute this behaviour if it happened outside of the political sphere.

The pattern is now actual, and the uncertainty created by non-resolution runs the risk of the whole Government being known for cover-ups, irrespective of whether there was one. The confidence of the community can become irreparably damaged.

Additionally, the attorney has very scant knowledge of the Legal system and is embarrassingly exposed as a lightweight on legal matters.

The trashing of legal professional privilege is a critical legal principle, and appropriate penalties must be imposed to reduce the likelihood of it ever happening again.

Ordinarily, we would be recommending that the Attorney General intervene; however, according to reports in the Herald Sun on 24th June 2023, Jacklyn Symes MP, our Chief Law Officer, Attorney General (AG), said,

“…it would be wildly inappropriate to give the OSI prosecutorial powers.”

“We have an investigative body; it’s not appropriate for an investigative body to then decide they are the prosecutor as well,” she said.”

This claim by the AG is remarkable in its naivety of the legal process and standard practices operating in our legal system.

Disgraceful from our highest Legal officer.

The AG is wrong in her assertions about prosecutions.

There is a proliferation of organisations within the government system that then have ‘wildly inappropriate powers’ as  investigators and prosecutors, including,

Police   –    Local government    –     VicRoads     –      IBAC    –    Health Department    –     Energy, Environment and Climate Change Department, and others, – also including some Government authorities.

The reality is that most prosecutions undertaken on the State’s behalf are made by agencies other than the DPP. The AG’s interpretation is breathtakingly mistaken.

The DDP’s role only becomes evident in matters that may end up in a Court higher than the Magistrates Court. The DPP Act give the DPP responsibility to act as the prosecutor in such matters.

Other than a direct presentment, rarely used, accused persons are subject to a Committal hearing, where a Magistrate rules on whether there is a Prima facie case for the accused to answer, a fail-safe part of our Legal system.

We call on the Premier to exercise leadership and either support the proposed Opposition bill on this issue or make a couple of calls to resolve this tiff between two professionals and allow the legal process to proceed.

It would be criminal of itself not to have this matter proceed and the multimillions of dollars invested in this process wasted.



23rd of June 2023

When Law enforcement becomes law-breaking, there must be accountabilities.

The continuing saga of the Lawyer-X criminality by law enforcement appears to be one of the most serious overreaches by serving police personnel in Legal History. How can it be that nobody is going to be held accountable?

As serious as this issue is, the resolution casts a darker pall over the entire legal system and severely damages the cornerstone of its success, community confidence in the legal system.

When the Victorian Government appointed the Special Investigator, former Australian High Court Judge Justice Nettle, there was hope that what he found, would be addressed. The current Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Kerri Judd KC, is reported to be at an impasse with the Special Investigator with regard to the charging of key people in this matter.

Justice Nettle has impeccable credentials, being part of the full Bench of the High Court when it handed down the unanimous decision dealing with Police actions in and around Lawyer X. The Court determined there were ‘Fundamental and Appalling Breachers, of proper police behaviour’; and potential criminality by Police and others in the management of the informer Lawyer-X. After years of delays because, in part, the actions of previous Victoria Police administrations, in retrospect, were clearly designed to protect themselves, not action to facilitate a legal outcome.

It seems that some actions by Victoria Police were in the best interest of the Chief Commissioners of the day and other executive Police. It is not so clear that they served the proper application of the law.

A conflict of interest of mammoth proportions is now apparent.

Decisions by VicPol executives in legal matters seem to have been designed to protect Chief Commissioners who could be facing criminal charges, legal actions which were authorised by those very same Commissioners who may stand accused of unlawful acts. It is possible this protection went further than the Chief Commissioners and included legal entities of that time, some of whom are now sitting Judges.

Is the Government trying to save itself from embarrassment, knowing that if this matter was to go to Court, it would expose those who received promotion or appointments by the Government while their illegal involvement, if any, in the Lawyer-X fiasco was known? The CAA has noted that legal practitioners who represented the Government or its Ministers and Senior Bureaucrats have been regularly promoted to the Bench after their work for the Government.

Interestingly, the media in Western Australia have reported that,

“Nicola Gobbo was prepared to plead guilty to perverting the course of justice and testify against Victorian police officers, including a senior figure in the gang-busting Purana taskforce, over their involvement in a “joint criminal enterprise.”

– WA Today, 21st June 2023.

The offer to plead guilty would only have only one purpose, to mitigate any sentence imposed.

The big concern for some is that once she achieved a benefit for offering to testify against the Police, who else will she then offer to testify against? What other intelligence on the activities of others could be made public to further her advantage?

A leopard doesn’t change its spots; once an informer, always an informer, and Gobbo will use the information (power) she possesses for her own benefit.

Offering to testify against the Police is simply the first card she is dealing with. No doubt she has many more to play.

If the evidence is not there, a committal hearing will determine whether there is a prima facie case. And then it is up to a Judge and jury. A Magistrate may determine that there is no prima facie case and dismiss the matter rather than have it unresolved. We acknowledge that the DPP has the power she has exercised, but that does not make the application of that power right.

The CAA strongly believes that the DPP’s decisions must be questioned as they appear not to be in the public interest. The public can reasonably expect this identified egregious behaviour to be determined by a court. It does not differ from any other heinous crime, and no statute of limitations applies.

Additionally, the argument about lapsed time is disingenuous as the Courts regularly determine the guilt or innocence of accused persons who may have committed offences decades ago, as with some sexual, fraud and capital offences.

The argument over whether there is a likelihood of a conviction in this matter seems somewhat premature as the briefs are not all finished. As is normal practice in complex matters, the DPP has been included in the investigative process; however, deciding before the race is run is problematic.

Running the cost argument is also disingenuous as the multi-million price tag already spent is a complete waste if the matters do not go to Court, particularly when the cost to finalise these matters is probably quite a lot less than was spent getting to this stage.

Even so, the arguments put forward by DPP Judd are tenuous because the broader community needs and is entitled to know the innocence or guilt of the people involved. We note that some continue to hold senior positions.

This is, and should form, the central piece of decisions by Judd as it reflects wholly on the Judicial system and the Police.

Corruption often hides in the shadows. To restore a measure of confidence in the legal system, the DPP must allow light to shine on the allegations. We cannot continue to operate in the dark.

LAWYER X Failure to Prosecute – an Absolute Disgrace

LAWYER X Failure to Prosecute – an Absolute Disgrace

Once again, we see the Victorian Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) refusing to act on clear and compelling evidence of the commission of criminal offences.

When the Special Investigator, Geoffrey Nettle AC KC  is a former Justice of the High Court of Australia, the highest court in the Australian court hierarchy, recommends prosecutions, one, could reasonably think that the evidence of the commission of criminal offences must be clear and compelling.

That the DPP could conclude that a court would not convict flies in the face of common sense.  Surely, given the qualifications of Geoffrey Nettle, a jury should decide guilt or innocence.

How can the DPP be made accountable for such an inexplicable decision?

Why should a long-suffering public not be outraged that perpetrators identified by Nettel do not face the courts?

The actions of Gobbo and, by extension, others, were found by the High Court as ‘Fundamental and appalling breaches‘, yet the DPP is unwilling to put the perpetrators before the Courts.

The Community Advocacy Alliance (CAA) calls for the immediate resignation of Kerri Judd KC.  Anything less means the State is condoning crime.



26th May 2023

 In the Herald Sun of 25/05/2023, there is an article referring to the charging of a former Police Sergeant, Mark Sims, with Misconduct in Public Office and other offences for writing a message on a whiteboard at Kyneton Police Station in November 2020, “beware of the rats”.

Ultimately the charge of Misconduct in Public Office was withdrawn, and the only remaining charge was dealt with when Sims admitted to a single charge of causing disaffection among police officers.

While in no way condoning the actions of Sims, the fact of Sims being charged with Misconduct in Public Office is a cause for concern.

Over the past eight years, the Community Advocacy Alliance Inc.(CAA) has continually referred to actions of members of the Government that, in our view, clearly constitute Misconduct in Public Office only to hear that this offence was too difficult to prove for charges to be laid.

If writing “beware of the rats” on a police station whiteboard was considered sufficiently serious for the laying of a Misconduct in Public Offence charge, how is it that no politician has been similarly charged?

Incidents warranting such a charge range from the notorious Red Shirts Rort to the treatment of Ian Cook and ICook Foods, with many instances in between. In particular, the issue surrounding the Quarantine debacle, which allegedly resulted in the death of over eight hundred people. Nobody was held accountable, let alone charged with any offence.

Clearly, double standards are being applied. Those authorities who have repeatedly failed in their duty to the public to hold politicians and Public Officers to account should themselves be considered to have committed Misconduct in Public Office.

For how long are we expected to tolerate these double standards?




Recently The Community Advocacy Alliance Inc. (CAA) emailed a letter to you relating to the North Richmond, so called, Safe Injecting Room pointing out the utterly inappropriate siting of such a facility.  We requested you to use your power to prevent the continuing sacrificing of the physical and psychological health of children who live near that facility and who attend the nearby school.

A majority of you opted to ignore our plea and have passed legislation ensuring that the well-being of children will continue to be sacrificed to the needs of drug addicts.  For this, those who voted to pass this legislation ought to be thoroughly ashamed.

How in good conscience any thinking adult could believe the needs of drug addicts could outweigh the protection of little children beggars belief. see
Legislation can always be repealed.

The CAA implores you to reconsider this barbarous act and repeal this cruel legislation, and, if such a facility is to be continued, choose a site where children and local residents are not so adversely impacted on a daily basis.

Would you have your children, if any, raised next to an Injecting Room?  If you answer honestly, your answer would be a resounding no.

If you voted against the permanent continuance of the Injecting Room at the North Richmond site, we congratulate you.  If you voted for the continuance, we utterly deplore your inhumanity in continuing to sacrifice children in 2023 and beyond.

The CAA will continue to do all it can to protect the rights of affected children and local residents.

(It should be noted the CAA has proposed a much better health related approach to dealing with drug addiction.)



Should Andrews face the Courts?

Should Andrews face the Courts?




24th April 2023

The Community Advocacy Alliance has been restrained in our criticism of the Premier of this State as we respect the democratic process. Still, there comes a time, issues and place where we can no longer remain silent because we would be failing to advocate for the Community.

The Community has every right to expect that our elected officials act lawfully and ethically, delivering the services, infrastructure and good governance the Community expects.

The political machinations orbiting around the latest IBAC findings involving the Premier are just a bridge too far. We need as a community to stand up and be vocal, holding him to account.

We accept that the IBAC Act restricts the ability of IBAC to lay charges against certain people based on the nature of the alleged misbehaviour, noting that similar behaviour by anybody else would not be tolerated. However, given what has been reported in the media on the IBAC, raises severe doubts about the competency of our Legal system to deal with corruption or criminal endeavours.

Although IBAC cannot lay criminal charges in these circumstances, that does not mean there has not been criminal behaviour. There is no absolution of the Premier in the IBAC reports.

Given the information in the public domain, two alleged offences would have a very good prospect of succeeding, and, depending on the Premier’s advice, a third offence and the most serious would apply.

Primarily multiple counts of Misconduct in Public Office seem to be the most prolific offence, and it is arguable the Premier and others have engaged in multiple Conspiracies to commit other criminal offences-most notably, Theft by Deception from the State.

The most recent exposure of the movement of funds to the HSU needs further investigation to see where all the funds ended up and with whom, and was that purpose even legal? Just because the money was moved within the government and union sphere does not necessarily mitigate theft.

The Premier’s behaviour over an extended period of memory malfunctions is also highly questionable because if it is deliberate, it is undoubtedly Perjury when he is speaking under oath and Misconduct in Public Office at other times.

He has repeatedly used memory lapses when questioned under oath.

And there is also the matter of the notes.

Are we to believe that with a posse of advisers, the Premier does not have access to logs or notes, contemporaneous or otherwise and audio recordings of the important decisions he is involved in?

Are we to believe that the Premier is so unprofessional he operates on a wing and a prayer and has no reference material on his conversations on critical matters of State?

If that is the case and he has the compromised memory span that he claims, the lack of records on important issues of the State would rate as deliberate misconduct.

Either he has repeatedly given false evidence under oath or withheld documents from multiple inquiries, all of which amount to multiple offences of Perjury or Misconduct in Public Office, -or his mental acuity is questionable, making him unfit for Office.

He can’t have it both ways.

We know that he has used the memory lapse response before a number of inquiries, and on each occasion, it was reported that he used it multiple times. Although Perjury is rated as an extremely difficult case to prosecute, nevertheless, in this circumstance, each time during each examination he used the memory lapse answer under oath, he potentially committed a further offence.

What makes these allegations of Perjury offences so egregious is their proliferation and the high profile of the person responsible. These acts alone serve to undermine the rule of law and encourage others to perjure themselves in all jurisdictions where sworn evidence is relied upon, without consequences.

It is essential that this matter be tested in Court to determine if the actions amounted to Perjury.

At the very least, there is a ‘prima facie‘ case for which his guilt or innocence must be tested.

Why should the Premier be protected from prosecution when anybody else in the Community would have been charged?

We are not arguing for a change of government but that the law be applied equally to all.

Allegedly we are all equal before the law as a fundamental Human Right. Still, the actions of this State’s legal system have now breached the rights of all other Victorians by not prosecuting the Premier.

Because the IBAC Act says IBAC cannot prosecute, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and the Chief Commissioner can.

The Parliament can censure him and refer the matter to the DPP or the Chief Commissioner, which must now happen.

It is also imperative to avoid repetition by others in power, that the Premier, when forced from Office by his colleagues, the most likely scenario, is his discretions do not simply disappear with him.

That would be a travesty of justice of monumental proportions and give license to others to behave in a similar way – integrity in government and the Legal system is then severely compromised, and the integrity of both may end up unrecoverable.

The only other alternative, is we will have to rely on the media to achieve the same result through relentless pressure until his colleagues and Party do what the legal system has failed to do

 – hold The Premier to account.








2nd March 2023

Interesting to see what happens, now that the idea of raising the age of criminal intent to fourteen years is facing scrutiny, even before it is introduced.

An idea that sounds wonderful in theory but fails the young people it seeks to benefit.

As reported on the 24th of February 2023 by the Herald Sun, a group of young offenders have been arrested, including boys under fourteen.

A 13-year-old faces nine charges, including attempted aggravated burglary, theft of a motor vehicle, affray, unlawful assault, burglary, theft, robbery, failure to answer Bail and committing an indictable offence while on Bail.

A 12-year-old boy is facing charges including theft of a motor vehicle, affray, robbery, shop theft, and committing an indictable offence while on Bail.

These are not isolated incidents and happen all too frequently.

The questions we have for the Premier are –

  • How will you deal with young violent thugs when you lift the age to fourteen? Will Police have no power to arrest once their age is established?
  • Having established their age, then what do the Police do with them? Put them back on the street to offend again?
  • What happens to the Police Cautioning Program that has served the State so well and is by far and away the most used and effective sanction when Police deal with young offenders? The caution will no longer be able to be offered in lieu of prosecution.
  • What are you going to tell the Victims – the offences committed by these young thugs hurt the Victim just as much, irrespective of the age of the perpetrator? Just because they were assaulted by a twelve-year-old, the damage is no less painful.
  • And what happens to the young perpetrator that will dissuade them from offending again?
  • What liability does the State carry for a failure to ensure the safety of the young perpetrators? It would seem a lot. There would be a ‘hue and cry’ if a young penetrator was seriously injured while committing a crime where the State failed, in their duty of care, to intervene in the childs criminal endeavours.
  • What protection is offered to victims of violent sex offenders in this cohort?
  • And of greatest concern is what happens when a young person in this cohort commits murder. It can and does happen.
  • If a young person is accused of a serious crime, that accusation may not leave them, which is particularly brutal if the child is innocent.
  • How do you propose to teach young people that there are consequences for unlawful acts?

The argument for the necessity of this move is not based on facts and will eliminate the option for a Police caution for children under fourteen.

“Of 5981 young people alleged to have committed an offence 56% received a caution, 45% were charged.

Consistent with the findings of previous studies, young people who were cautioned were less likely to re-offend than those charged. The current study also found a longer duration between the index incident and their first reoffending incident for cautioned young people as opposed to those charged.”


This government proposal has been suggested by people with little or no idea of the psyche of young people of this age.

  • If arrested, being sent home will be interpreted as, winning and beating the system.
  • Time for young people is now; no matter what they are told, if intercepted by the Police, they will immediately return to the social set that got them into criminality. (One of the great advantages leading to the success of the Police Cautioning Program is that it can be delivered in close time proximity to the offending, having a greater impact than a Court case some many months after the event from which the child has long moved on both in maturity and socially.)
  • These same young people are hazardous to the community because they have no concept of the consequences of their actions on victims.
  • The concept of Bail is also seen as them beating the system. They do not ignore the Bail but do not grasp what it means.

What is very obviously deficient in this proposal is what it intends to achieve.

Called progressive socialism, it is a concept heavy on the narrow emotive argument, a subjective bias of the perpetrator’s age, and sadly lacking in effectiveness.

Premier, if you want community support, please explain how you will reduce the suffering of Victims and how this proposal will benefit young people and steer them from a life of crime.

Avoiding consequences at that age, will instead ensure they become entrenched in a life of crime.