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A policeman's lot is not a happy one, so says the old Gilbert and Sullivan line, and it is quite true. Policemen always arrive late at the scene, and then must establish just what expired at the scene, be it a motorcar accident, a criminal target, or a death. Always at such scenes there are clues, some vital, all precious, in telling a little bit of the story, which is why they are frequently described as part of a jig saw puzzle.
What I am attempting in this book is to illustrate the clues that I am aware of in the Port Arthur Massacre, and the message that I get from such clues. This work cannot be construed as fully accurate, or even the truth, but rather a thesis based on facts that are now embedded in history. I shall also be alluding as to reasons why certain actions were taken, based on my interpretation of events, not the actual reasons. I must thank all those who supported me in preparing this book. Visitors to Port Arthur, and the staff at the Port Arthur Historic Site were all prepared to relate their accounts of that terrible day. I must also add that most of these people are still suffering from the events of that day, and also from the diabolical treatment they have received in the aftermath. So much for our 'Christian Society'. I am told there have been 6 suicides to date from the ranks of those affected by the massacre.
There have been many others who have
also helped, and found information for me, both from Tasmania
and Victoria. Members and retired members of the Victoria Police
and the New South Wales Police have also answered my inquiries
with honesty and integrity, and I must not forget Mr Geoff Marsh
of Tasmania's SES, who gave me further encouragement. But mostly
the help came from people who became aware of the need for the
truth to be made public, and these people deserve special thanks.
Finally, I must thank my wife and family who have supported me, and paid the bills, while I have been preoccupied at my computer. Andrew S. MacGregor.
About the author.
The author was born in 1947, one of twins in a family of five children. His eldest sister was murdered on her 24th birthday on the 3rd March 1967 and his twin brother was murdered in October 1972. He served five years with 5 R.V.R., the old Victoria Scottish Regiment in the Mortar Platoon, Support Coy. He was a member of the Victoria Police for 17 years from 1968 to 1985, and was awarded the National Service Medal in 1985. He has no involvement with firearms, or with any firearm body.
1. ...This must raise the question of just what were ASIO doing within a State jurisdiction? Could the Port Arthur Massacre have been a 'terrorist attack'? The evidence as shown to the Australian public states otherwise and certainly during both the Hoddle Street and Queen Street massacres, there were no ASIO members collating information. Thus why were ASIO operatives called in from weekend leave, and despatched post-haste to Port Arthur?
2. We have all been told that the gunman during his reign of terror inside the Broad Arrow Café fired 29 shots from a Colt AR15, which resulted in the deaths of 20 people and the wounding of 12 others. That is a complete and utter fabrication. We have also been told that the gunman was only firing the Colt AR15 for approximately 1* minutes to at the outside, 2 minutes (Damian Bugg page 117 Court Document). That is another complete and utter fabrication. The Wilkinson videotape records 17 shots fired within a period of 15 seconds. It is worth consideration to make a comparison of this recording of the shots with the statement of how these shots were used by the DPP. Mr Damian Bugg QC, in his opinion of how people were murdered by these shots.
3. In the history of Police Forces in Australia, there has never been a more craven approach to police duties than that by the Tasmania Police hierarchy in the Port Arthur Massacre. For 6 hours, the Tasmania Police were held back from delivering this duty to the 500 or more people who were at the Port Arthur Historic Site. While the community volunteers rushed to assist their wounded and stricken fellows, the police hierarchy held the desperately required police members back until after dark, when they then entered the historic site at 2000 hours.
4. Andrew Fisher at the PFCP at Taranna on the evening of the massacre, "Well, a State Crisis Centre is being set up at Police headquarters, and the deputy State Coroner Mr Matterson has turned up as has a Mortuary truck to pick up the dead at the present time. Police are also saying that there will be trauma counselling both on the peninsula and a major centre is being set up at the Rokeby Police Academy just outside Hobart." "Thank you Andrew, we'll leave it there; Andrew Fisher." None of the audience listening to that little description would pick up anything unusual, but if Andrew Fisher actually saw the Southern Tasmanian Mortuary truck, he should have asked some very pertinent questions. For a full description of this vehicle consider this advertisement placed on the Internet in September 1999:
A hearse built to carry 22 bodies! It is the only one of its kind in Australia. Why would a State like Tasmania need such a vehicle? Why would a State government decide to purchase such a vehicle? What precedent would it be relying on to consider the application of such a vehicle? There had never been any requirement for such a vehicle in Tasmania's history prior to the Port Arthur Massacre, and there has never been any further requirement for this vehicle.
5. The next moves made by Mr Howard though are mind-boggling. The Prime Minister stated that since the perpetrator had been apprehended, it would help ease the suffering of the survivors if they did not have to experience the pain of a Coronial Inquest. By making such a comment, Mr Howard has made a legal presumption. Under Australian law, a person must be considered innocent until proven guilty. Mr Howard must have been aware that stating Bryant was the guilty person was an offence within the meaning of the Act, of contempt. Radio commentators have been gaoled for making similar remarks. Any barrister worthy of their station would immediately condemn such statements as being prejudicial to his client. No such criticism was levelled at the Prime Minister. There was another problem with Mr Howard's dictum, of which he must have been well aware. Mr Howard is only a politician. It is normal under State law that every death not covered by a Doctor's Certificate, must undergo an Inquest. There are no ifs or buts about it.
6. In the weekend prior to the Port Arthur disaster, there had been a disaster exercise at the Hobart Airport, which brought together all services. A year earlier, this group actually used the Tasman Peninsula as a hypothetical situation for a disaster exercise. On the weekend of the Port Arthur disaster, an EMST course was being conducted at the Clinical School adjacent to Royal Hobart Hospital and this included many of the Southern Regions' key players in trauma management. The Director of Retrieval Services, Dr Rod Franks was on call on the day of the disaster, and Dr Smart, Director of Emergency Medicine was working on the floor in the Emergency Department. These two individuals had the most detailed knowledge of the disaster plan of any hospital specialists and were immediately available. Dr Franks was a key player, because on his desk was a folder with the complete disaster plan ready for release officially the following day.
7. The Liberal Party Government ruled for 4 years, and in February 1996, Tasmania went to the polls again, and the Liberal Party secured government, but without a majority. In an unprecedented move, Ray Groom stood down as Premier, and Tony Rundle became Tasmania's new Premier. However, it cannot be said that Ray Groom dropped his workload. He took on the duties as Attorney General, Minister for Justice, Minister for Tourism, Minister for Workplace Standards and Minister responsible for the Port Arthur Site. Thus, two months prior to the Port Arthur Massacre, Ray Groom took over every portfolio that would be concerned with any aspect of the Port Arthur Massacre, and the aftermath. It would appear that the Attorney General, etc, Mr Ray Groom MHA must have been the duty Minister on the day.
8. There are many clues that signify that the actual target for the day at the Port Arthur Historic Site was the ferry, The Bundeena. The first clue comes from the girls in the broken down car outside 'Seascape', when after purchasing $50 of marijuana the gunman told the girls, "I'm going to the Isle of the dead to get rid of some wasps." In fact the full implication of the gunman's parking was recognised by Ian Kingston immediately after the massacre at the Broad Arrow Café when he approached another colleague and stated, "He was after the ferry you know. He wanted to park down by the water, and from there he would have had a field day with the visitors lined up to embark and with those disembarking. He could have shot over 200 people." When the overall events have been studied, it becomes apparent of the vast amount of thought and planning that had gone into the preparations for the massacre, and this in itself is proof that Martin Bryant could never have been part of this portion of the massacre.
9. If we don't get it right this time. Then next time there is a massacre, and there will be, then they'll take all our guns off us." Deputy Prime Minister, Tim Fischer, in May 1996. It was the Australian Prime Minister who initiated the call for any inquest relating to the Port Arthur massacre to be denied. What we must consider is that by these peoples' actions, truth, justice and in fact every facet of what we call democracy in Australia has been undermined. How can we trust a system when it has been utilised so that these 'pillars of our society' were able to steal from us, the very basis of our civilisation. The question as to 'why' is then open to scrutiny. The initial moves in relation to firearms was instigated within the Labour Party in 1987, and the New South Wales Labour Premier, Barry Unsworth is credited with the quote of, "There will never be National Firearm Laws until there is a massacre in Tasmania" in December 1987 at a Special Premiers meeting at Hobart. There are also the media journalists of whom, Ray Martin was leading the vanguard. In the second debate between Paul Keating and John Howard in February 1996, it was Ray Martin who was strongly advocating the full Labour Party agenda in relation to the ceding of firearm laws from the State to the Federal arena, during that debate. It was Ray Martin who provided Australians with all the tainted evidence in relation to the Port Arthur Massacre, purported as factual evidence from the Tasmania Police. What is also noticeable was that the National Anti-Terrorist Plan was endorsed in November 1995, and first utilised during the Port Arthur Massacre in April 1996, five months later. In considering the aftermath, and the cover-ups that have followed the Port Arthur Massacre, and the criminal way the survivors and relatives have been treated by not only the State of Tasmania, but also the Federal Government, then all Australians have a duty to remove these criminal elements from within our governments.
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