Update 2004.03.08


News from Raymond Hoser



Sent: Saturday, September 27, 2003 5:56 PM
Subject: Legal Double Jeopardy - now legal in Australia!


Can someone be charged with the same alleged crime twice?
Especially if they win in court the first time?
No is the theory in Australian law.
This is known as 'double jeopardy'.
That rule was broken in 2000-2001 when in an attempt to silence Australia's
leading corruption author Raymond Hoser, he was cited for contempt twice for
the same alleged act.
In April 2000 in court, Raymond Hoser was cited for contempt in relation to
two books he'd written, namely Victoria Police Corruption and Victoria
Police Corruption - 2.
He won that case outright!
The books were the same books that ultimately pushed the Kennett government
out of office in 1999 (just!) when in one seat (Geelong) the Liberals lost
by a mere 16 votes and about 1000 books had sold prior in that electorate
New Labor Attorney General Rob Hulls, adversely named in a number of other
Hoser books has since 2000 been waging his own campaign against Hoser.
While being a party to the original contempt charges, he was not willing to
abide by the ruling of the umpire in his own court, namely Judge Bill
In contempt of Gillard's own ruling, Rob Hulls then recharged Hoser and
publisher with the same contempt (namely to "scandalize the court" by
allegedly undermining confidence in Australia's legal system).
The charge was identical to the first.
Same books, same claim, same everything!
However this time in an act that probably wasn't mere co-incidence the case
was heard in front of a fellow Labor Lawyer and close friend of Hulls,
Geoffrey Eames, who also happened to have been appointed to the Supreme
Court by another fellow Labor lawyer, Jim Kennan.
The links between the three men are numerous and are ignored here to save
Judge Eames disregarded the double Jeopardy rule and allowed the case to
proceed against Hoser and as expected declared him guilty, convicting and
fining him.
A close friend of Eames, John Faine, whom he worked with in left-wing
politics previously, was adversely named in one of the books subject to the
case and so an immediate conflict of interest was obvious.  There were
several others as well.
Hoser appealed the judgement and then Hulls elevated Eames to the court of
Appeal thereby assisting the prospect of the charges against Hoser
There is therefore a very real prospect of Eames hearing his own appeal.
Even if he doesn't, the question needs to be asked, namely what judge of the
appeal court is going to find against a ruling by another judge in the same
court that they must sit with on a regular basis?
Is the preceding question fair comment or is it too contempt?
Is questioning any aspect of government operation now contempt?
Yes, it would seem so if this case against Hoser gets up.
Notwithstanding the double jeopardy implications of this case, the Eames
judgement against Hoser has been described by some lawyers as the most error
riddled judgement they have ever seen.
It is replete with serious factual and legal errors and has been accused of
itself bringing the legal system into severe disrepute.
The consensus is that the Eames judgement and the act of recharging Hoser
with the same alleged offence twice has damaged the credibility of the legal
system far more than any or all of Hoser's books, which incidentally have
never had their factual basis proven wrong.
If double jeopardy is allowed and Hoser is in fact convicted of the same
charge that he beat in the courts in 2000, the precedent will in fact
reverse one of Australia's most sacred of legal tenets.
By way of example, if double jeopardy is allowed, this precedent will allow
police or others to keep charging people with the same alleged offence and
going to court until they find a magistrate or judge that will side with
Can you imagine it?
A person beats say a charge once and then finds themselves in court the next
year on the same charge and fighting it all over again.
This is what Hoser has faced and is now facing (for the third time on this
single charge!), even though Hoser won it outright the first time.
Theoretically, this precedent, allowing double jeopardy, could then be used
by police or others to judge shop through literally dozens of judges until
they find one who will convict the targeted person.
It's understood that prosecution authorities in NSW are watching this case
with interest as it is being seen as a useful way to suppress any dissent
and exposure of misconduct in government.
More information can be found at:
Phone inquiries to Whistleblowers Australia and Lawwatch Victoria.
Phone: 0412 777 211
E-mail: adder@smuggled.com
Appeal documents and an appraisal of the lower court judgement are online


Hoser corruption book vindicated - again

4 January 2002

Today The Age ran two major stories claiming that the gun that Killed Graeme Jensen at Narre warren in 1998 was planted by corrupt police.  While this may come as a shock to some, it isn't news to the many thousands of readers of Raymond Hoser's book, Victoria Police Corruption, which was first released in 1999.

This best-selling book told the truth all along, even though the police and their friends in both of Melbourne's newspapers claimed that Hoser had made it all up.

We won't hold our breath waiting for the apology that is deserved, but most certainly won't be coming.  It's also a bit of a pity that The Age scribe John Silvester also refused in his article to credit Hoser and his book for getting the facts right three years before anyone else in positions of authority in Victoria would make such a concession.

For the record, what follows is the exact text from Hoser's 1999 book followed by the two news clips in today's Age newspaper.


From Pages 410-412 of Victoria Police Corruption

11 October 1988:  Graeme Russell Jensen, 33, was killed.  He was shot outside a Narre Warren shopping centre as he fled a Police stake out in his car.  He had just been to a lawnmower shop. At the time detectives shot five shots from a Police service .38 revolver and two from a Police issue shotgun. Jensen died instantly from gunshot wounds to the right arm and a single shotgun wound to the rear lower skull, the latter of which was either shot as Jensen's car drove away from Police or may have been fired after he had crashed his car and come to rest.

Police officer Rodney Grimshaw was accused of having planted a gun in the car after the shooting. Police have given conflicting accounts of events since the shooting.  Two officers refused to give evidence at the coroner's inquest on the grounds that it may incriminate them in a criminal offence.
Ironically, it appears Police bungled the operation even before they shot Jensen as it has since been revealed it was his associate Victor Pierce they were after.

Police claimed after the Jensen shooting that he was wanted for questioning over the murder of Armaguard Guard Dominik Hefti.  He'd been shot twice by an armed robber at Coles New World Supermarket, Brunswick at 3 PM on 13 July 1988.  However at a later inquest into Jensen's death, Sergeant Peter Butts of the Armed Robbery Squad stated that at the time Jensen was shot the Police had no evidence that could be used in court to support the allegation he was involved. 

The day after Jensen's death, Jason Ryan (who later become a star witness in the Walsh Street trial) gave Police a statement accusing Jensen of being a part of the robbery and murder.  Police forensic tests proved Ryan's statement false and perjured.  It appears Ryan had been induced by Police to make the statement.

Rodney Grimshaw (see above) was convicted in the Supreme Court of Victoria with making a death threat against a witness who was giving evidence in court against another Police officer.  Grimshaw subsequently left the force.

In July 1993, eight Police, namely Robert John Hill, Glen Robert Saunders, Peter Leslie Butts, William John Coburn, Jeffrey Forti, Donald William Nash Smith, Rodney Thomas Grimshaw and Christopher Ferguson were charged with the murder. A ninth officer, John Edward Hill was charged as an accessory after the fact for impeding the proper investigation of the murder, having been the officer assigned to investigate it. 

The prosecution appeared to be sabotaged to ensure acquittals, after a change in the head of the DPP from Bernard Bongiorno to Geoff Flatman.  Edward Hill suicided before his trial. Charges against 7 officers were withdrawn by Flatman before they ever got to trial.  Robert Hill (no relative to Edward Hill) was acquitted by a Supreme Court jury in August 1995.  Allegations of prosecutorial sabotage arose following the sacking by Flatman of lead prosecutor Doug Meagher QC.  There was then a savage reduction of the prosecution witness list before the trial by the replacement legal team.  It was said this made the prosecution case too weak to be able to secure a conviction.  The jury took just 16 minutes to deliver a 'not guilty' verdict. 

A report making these allegations was submitted by Detective Senior Sergeant Bill Nash to the Police and DPP in April 1996.  He'd spent two years assisting the DPP with the case.  He said detrimental evidence was deliberately underplayed and that the DPP and Police had attempted to have a 'show trial' to bring the matter to the desired conclusion (acquittal).  Nash said that Flatman and the DPP had deliberately disregarded 'almost the entire evidence contained in the case statements'.  Police knew at the time of the shooting that Jensen hadn't committed the Hefti shooting, and that this evidence was kept out of the Hill murder trial. The Crown deliberately accepted as fact that Jensen held a gun when shot to ensure Hill was acquitted, even though such would have been effectively impossible given the way it was alleged Jensen was driving away from the Police at the time he was shot.

Among the important witnesses dropped from the list was armed robber and Police informant David John Keys, who'd made many detailed allegations against Police he'd paid off and whose evidence would have almost certainly strengthened the case against the Police. Nash said 'the trial of Robert Hill was held to placate those critical of the Jensen shooting, and thereby deflect any criticism of the inability of the prosecutorial authorities to act'. Not surprisingly, Police refused to issue the report and the government buried it.

Little known is that the day after Police charged over the Jensen shooting appeared at the Supreme Court, the building was broken into.  Justice Bernard Teague was the first on July 24, 1993 to notice that the glass security door leading to the judge's chambers had been smashed.  The person who'd smashed the door had left a trail of blood.  That the burglar had detailed knowledge of the set-up of the building was confirmed by the fact that the sophisticated security system had been bypassed.
Inspector John McCoy of the Crime department of Police was quoted as saying it was 'fair to assume' that the break in was linked to the appearance of the Police the day before.  However, in spite of promised investigations, no Police were prosecuted over the matter.

On 26 May 1995, Sydney Police officer Said Morgan shot an unarmed man six times and killed him.  Although charged with murder, he walked free at the end of the trial.  The jury had acquitted him after just 30 minutes deliberation.  His defence, which the jury bought, was that the man he shot in Sydney's western suburbs was a suspected child molester.  At the time of the shooting, the victim had no criminal record for child molesting or anything else. Three weeks after the acquittal, one of Morgan's young boys said to a journalist 'I'm daddy' turning the fingers of both hands into pretend guns and pointing them at the journalist 'bang, bang'."

And now the two stories from Today's Age newspaper

Police accused of planting gun in 1988 shooting

By John Silvester

January 4,  2003


But a policeman facing serious drug charges, Detective Sergeant Malcolm Rosenes, now claims the gun was planted by police.

Detective Sergeant Rosenes was in charge of the surveillance unit following Jensen when the suspect was shot. He was a serving drug squad detective when he was arrested in July, 2001, and charged with drug offences.

It is believed Detective Sergeant Rosenes has made a statement over the Jensen shooting to the Ceja taskforce - a police Ethical Standards Department team investigating allegations of drug squad corruption.

But Chief Commissioner Christine Nixon has handed the new claims on Jensen's death to the Ombudsman, Barry Perry.

When asked by The Age if he was reviewing the case Dr Perry said: "I couldn't comment."

Ms Nixon also refused to comment on the investigation.

Eight armed robbery squad detectives were charged with murdering Jensen but the charges were later dropped against all but one.

The detective who fired the fatal shot stood trial in the Supreme Court but was acquitted in 1995 when the prosecution failed to establish a strong enough case.

The Ombudsman is reinvestigating the 1988 police shooting of armed robbery suspect Graeme Jensen after new claims by a suspended detective that crucial evidence was planted at the scene.

Jensen was shot dead by police in Narre Warren on October 11, 1988.

The day after, two police were shot dead in Walsh Street, allegedly as a payback over Jensen's death.

Police maintained they fired on Jensen in self-defence when he threatened them with a rifle as he tried to escape in his Commodore station wagon.

An unloaded sawn-off .22 rifle was later found at the feet of Jensen inside his car after he was shot dead. A coronial inquest found that Jensen had possession of the gun when he was shot.

Fatally flawed: the death of Graeme Jensen

By John Silvester
January 4, 2003


By the time Detective Sergeant Malcolm Rosenes reported for duty, on October 11, 1988, Operation No-Name had been under way for nearly six hours. Under surveillance was armed robbery suspect Graeme Jensen at a house in Moray Court, Narre Warren.

Eight armed robbery squad detectives had been in position from about 7.30am - but they could not act until they were sure the man in the house was their target.

What they needed was for the suspect to come out so they could confirm his identity. That was the job of the surveillance police.

They decided to use a textbook "box intercept" - when Jensen drove off, the detectives would use three cars to snare him. A car would pull up on each side, their noses slightly across the suspect's vehicle. The third car would block the rear.

That was the plan.

Jensen was no early riser - career criminals rarely are. He had breakfast in bed then rose about midday to watch a movie, The Postman Always Rings Twice.

Rosenes knew the target well; he was one of a gang of suspected armed robbers, including Jedd Houghton and Victor George Peirce, whom police had been watching since May.

But the police waiting in Narre Warren were chasing an innocent man. They intended to arrest him over the armed robbery of a Brunswick supermarket on July 11, 1988, where security guard Dominic Hefti was shot dead. Jensen was not even there.

But while Jensen did not kill Hefti, he was still capable of the most extreme violence.

Born in 1955, the youngest of five children, Graeme Russell Jensen lived with his parents until they split when he was seven.

He was 11 when charged with stealing from taxis. A policeman who dealt with Jensen in the early years wrote: "He is inclined to be smart and is apparently a show-off." But at his Children's Court hearing a welfare officer gave evidence that he was an outstanding athlete and a good student.

Jensen left school in third form. One of his few legitimate jobs was at a broom factory. He lasted only two weeks. Jensen saw his long-term career in crime.

At 14, he and four others used coat hangers to pull six fur coats, valued at the $2468, through a letter opening in the door of a Melbourne shop. At 15 Jensen became one of Australia's youngest bank robbers when he relieved the National Bank in Fitzroy of $1363. The arresting officer this time left a cryptic note: "This lad, in my opinion, will in the future become a very active criminal. He requires firm handling."

In 1977 Jensen was arrested in Canberra over three armed robberies totalling $70,000. The arresting officer observed: "Offender is a very dangerous type of person who, according to his girlfriends and other persons, always slept with his shotgun loaded under his bed.

"When arrested also had the weapon fully loaded in his possession. Warning, will finish shooting a policeman or some other person he has a dislike to if given an opportunity. Treat with caution."

Jensen was sentenced to 10 years, six months, with a minimum of eight for the armed robberies.

According to underworld figure Lindsay Rountree, Jensen and his friend Victor Peirce were convinced police had embarked on a policy of systematically culling career bandits.

Rountree claimed the two decided to fight back, vowing to kill two police every time a known criminal was killed by police. Perhaps Victor would not have been so staunch had he known that his wife, Wendy, had an affair with Jensen.

Rosenes was sitting in a silver Nissan sedan reading his paper when Jensen finally surfaced at 3.20pm. Even professional gangsters have to attend to mundane chores: Jensen needed a new spark plug for his lawn mower.

It took him only three minutes to drive 2.4 kilometres to the nearby shop. Two surveillance detectives then wandered into the shop to confirm the suspect was Jensen.

Three unmarked police cars containing the eight armed robbery detectives cars barrelled in. But the third car, slowed by passing traffic, was a few seconds late. This enabled Jensen to gun the motor and hit reverse. Police later gave sworn evidence that they saw Jensen had a firearm on his lap.

They yelled at him to stop. He clipped a car as he reversed out of the Webb Street shopping strip, then flung the automatic into forward. One detective yelled: "He's got a gun." Jensen was then shot dead. His car crashed into a light pole.

What happened then remained a matter of conjecture for years.

An armed robbery squad detective went to the boot of his car and grabbed a towel. He gave it to a second detective, who said he found a sawn-off bolt action .22 rifle next to Jensen's legs. It was not cocked, not loaded and the magazine was upside down. Two bullets were also found on the floor.

It was later claimed the towel was used to hide the gun taken from the police car to plant in Jensen's station wagon. Police said it was to cover Jensen's body from public view. The towel was later destroyed without being tested for gunshot residue.

In his findings, Coroner Hal Hallenstein said: "There was suspicion and assertion expressed in inquest that the sawn-off .22 calibre rifle and two .22 calibre bullets had been planted there by police."

But ultimately Mr Hallenstein rejected the allegation. ". . . It is hard to envisage anything like those events unless Jensen had possession of a gun which had been seen by police members," he said.

"By considering Jensen's criminal history involving firearms and armed robbery and in the absence of any evidence of the firearm being seized, retained and planted as alleged, it is concluded in inquest that the firearm was in Jensen's possession prior to and at the time of intercept and prior to his fatal injury with resulting vehicle collision."

Rosenes would later admit that when he heard shots, "I froze in my position instead of hightailing it quickly and seeing if Jensen was making a getaway". But he soon gathered his composure.

Rosenes ordered his surveillance team to a meeting. He instructed them to write notes on what they had seen so they would have records for the subsequent investigations.

But those notes went missing. They were never found.

When Rosenes gave evidence in the Coroner's Court in March, 1990, he was unable to explain what happened to the missing notes.

At no stage did Rosenes indicate he had seen anything questionable on the day Jensen was shot. He didn't seem overly curious.

Next day, two police constables, Steven Tynan, 22, and Damian Eyre, 20, were gunned down in Walsh Street, South Yarra, in what detectives maintain was a payback for Jensen's death.

Victor Peirce, Trevor Pettingill, Anthony Farrell and Peter McEvoy were charged with the Walsh Street murders. They were acquitted.

The eight armed robbery squad detectives involved in the Narre Warren raid were later charged with murder.

The prosecution made a series of claims, including that the detectives involved "sought to impede their prosecution, conviction and punishment by falsely asserting that Jensen brandished a gun threatening one or more of them as he drove off in his car, and by placing a sawn-off rifle at his feet in the car to add credibility to the pretend justification".

The policeman who investigated the Jensen shooting, Detective Senior Sergeant John Hill, committed suicide two months after he was charged with being an accessory after the fact to murder in that he allegedly concealed evidence suggesting police were criminally liable. He always maintained his innocence and felt his integrity had been destroyed when he was charged.

The charges against seven of the police were dropped. The detective who fired the fatal shots was acquitted in the Supreme Court on August 9, 1995. It took the jury 18 minutes to decide the prosecution had not established a strong enough case for the trial to continue. It was 2494 days since Graeme Jensen left home to buy a spark plug.

The cost for the investigation, prosecution and inquest on Jensen was $4 million. Freedom of information documents show the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions paid 11 barristers a total of $1 million in fees.

Police later reviewed training procedures and launched Operation Beacon, a plan to try to avoid police being involved in fatal confrontations.

Rosenes was considered a plodder. He later moved to the drug squad and was arrested in July, 2001, for drug trafficking. Now he has made a statement calling into doubt the official version of events surrounding the death of Jensen. The matter has been handed to the Ombudsman, Dr Barry Perry, for re-examination.



From: adder@smuggled.com

To: Info@Adelaideinstitute.org

Sent: Sunday, November 24, 2002 8:57 AM

Subject: Sunday Herald-Sun plagiarises the truth yet again.


Why the Raymond Hoser name is black-banned by the Murdoch press

For those not aware, it stems from his role as Australia's leading corruption author.
His books including Smuggled, Victoria Police Corruption and The Hoser Files - The Fight Against Entrenched Official Corruption have had him labelled a 'terrorist' by corrupt people in government and as a result they have managed to get most of the media to forcibly suppress reporting of Hoser and/or his publications via the use of their mates in positions of power in the Murdoch and Fairfax presses.

This is all relevant to the Sunday Herald-Sun plagiarization story posted on the AAP Media net site earlier today.

People should note that the  Fairfax controlled Age recently paid Hoser as a result of an out-of-court settlement in a case where they pleaded guilty to plagiarizing Hoser's material from one of his top-selling books.

It seems that in their haste to hide the and obliterate Hoser's name, it appears that the Herald-Sun editors and staff have yet again been guilty of blatant information theft and plagiarization.
The latest effort was in the Sunday Herald-Sun of 24 November 2002, although the real story began about a week ago.

As most readers would know, Raymond Hoser's been in the snake research game for many years.  He also does 'snake rescues', which is the removal of snakes from properties when requests are made.
Using the trademark name 'Snakebusters', Raymond Hoser sent a media release to most media last weekend in response to the hot weather and the high number of snakes brought out as a result.
On Monday 17 November 2002 some media took up the story and ran with it.
On Tuesday 18 November 2002 a scribe with the Murdoch controlled MX called Hoser that morning and that afternoon and ran a short piece on the snake story on page 5, under the headline 'Snakes warm to summer'.  This either followed on from the earlier stories on radio and/or from the media release as posted on AAP Media nets site.
This in itself was quite an achievement as we all know about the D-notice on using the name Raymond Hoser by the mainstream controlled media.  One can only guess that this one slipped past the censors.
On the same day a journalist from the Sunday Herald-Sun, Mary Papadikis called Raymond Hoser on his mobile and spoke for well over an hour on the phone and asked countless questions about snakes and the like for a major story she had planned for the Sunday paper.
We know the time, because it shows up on the mobile phone.
From the conversation it was clear that she had no knowledge of snakes and Hoser had to fill in even the most basic of questions and answers.
Anyway, she promised a story in Sunday's paper and promised to feature details of Hoser and information from the original media release that sparked her inquiry.
She eagerly promised to call Hoser back later in the week.  This was even recorded!
Sure enough, the higher scribes appeared to have got to her and the story appeared, but with all references to Raymond Hoser carefully removed.
The information as reported had come from Hoser, but was attributed to two other people, namely a Simon Watharow and Nick Clemann, both of whom Hoser had referred Mary to as further corroboration for the original facts.
By any reasonable measure, it appears that Papadikis had engaged in plagiarization of information and/or failure to correctly and honestly attribute the primary sources of her information.
This is particularly galling as it was noted that:
1.  Hoser had been the original source of the story via the media release and had been sucked dry of information for more than an hour as well as (by Papadikis's own admission) had his informative reptile and snake websites perused by her for some substantial time prior to this call,
2.  The information had been effectively repeated as if from Hoser's mouth by parrot fashion.
3.  Some of the information is also effectively identical to that published in the 1989 book Australian Reptiles and Frogs which was coincidentally by Raymond Hoser and is widely used as a definitive reference source.
Detailed quotes from Hoser and subsequently reported in near identical wording included:
"Snake hot spots across greater metropolitan Melbourne include Eltham, Warrandyte, Rockbank, Hoppers Crossing, Caroline Springs, Ferntree Gully, Frankston, Brighton, Heidelberg and Abbotsford.
Victoria's most common deadly snakes are tiger snakes, copperheads and brown snakes."
And "Simple steps can be taken to reduce the chance of a snake slipping into your property: you should keep lawns mowed and clear any clutter from your garden and around your house and sheds."
Which also coincidentally sound remarkably similar to the comments attributed to Hoser in the MX piece a few days earlier and/or the original Hoser media release reproduced below.
It's just a pity that no laws exist to stop the fraudulent practices as just documented.
Oh, and for the record, the same thing happened a few months back in September when an earlier release by Hoser, as posted on AAP Media-net's site on 23 September, was taken up by the media and then too Hoser was called by a different Herald-Sun journalist.
Then as well, the final story that showed up in the Herald-Sun a few days later had all references to Hoser carefully deleted as well!
For the record, here is the relevant Sunday Herald-Sun piece by Papadikis.

Public warned: let snakes be
24 November 2002


TIGGER the tiger snake has a "good personality", according to owner Simon Watharow.
The deadly, 1.5m snake is the long-time handler's favourite pet and the star of his travelling show that aims to raise awareness about reptiles. "He does this strange caterpillar crawl, which has the kids in hysterics," Mr Watharow says of 15-year-old Tigger. "Tigger is a very laid-back kind of cruisy individual. He's got a good personality for a venomous snake."
For most Victorians, Tigger is the face of fear.
With more sightings in hotter weather and reports of two snake bites last weekend, there is mounting anxiety about the reptiles. Experts say Victorians should stay away from snakes, which at this time of year are increasingly found in domestic yards.
Snake hot spots across greater metropolitan Melbourne include Eltham, Warrandyte, Rockbank, Hoppers Crossing, Caroline Springs, Ferntree Gully, Frankston, Brighton, Heidelberg and Abbotsford.

Victoria's most common deadly snakes are tiger snakes, copperheads and brown snakes.
Tiger snakes are found in all areas of the state, apart from the north and west. Brown snakes are also widespread. Copperheads are more common in southern and central Victoria.
Department of Natural Resources and Environment wildlife ecologist Nick Clemann said snakes should never be approached.
"If you try to kill a snake, it's probably going to try and kill you," he said. "And it is illegal to kill a snake -- they are protected wildlife. "I'd like to see people have a bit of respect for these animals. They are an integral part of the ecological system."

Simple steps can be taken to reduce the chance of a snake slipping into your property: you should keep lawns mowed and clear any clutter from your garden and around your house and sheds.
Dr Ken Winkle, director of the Australian Venom Research Unit at Melbourne University, said up to 100 Victorians required hospital treatment for snake bites each year.
As many as four Australians die from snake bite each year, with a Victorian killed on average every two years. Dr Winkle said young Victorians were over represented among fatalities.
He said tiger snakes and brown snakes were responsible for about 80 per cent of bites in Victoria.
Immediate medical attention was vital after a bite, he said. "People can die within minutes of a snake bite."

Oh, and for the record, the relevant Snakebusters media release that started it all is also shown below, as posted via e-mail and on the aap medianet site.

Media Release 17 November 2002

Yet another warm weekend has sent Melbourne people into their back yards and into contact with venomous snakes.
This weekend, with days hitting the thirties, Melbourne Snakebusters were inundated with calls and queries from people finding snakes in their gardens.  Most commonly seen were Brown Snakes, Copperheads and Tiger Snakes, all of which can pack a deadly bite if bitten.
In response to the continuing demand from the public for more information on Melbourne's snakes, Snakebuster have launched a new website which has the most detailed information available on Melbourne's snakes, including how to identify them, as well as excellent photos of all local species and what to do in the event of finding one.
While snakes are generally inoffensive, they will bite if unduly harassed.  And so the general advice is that if one sees a snake, simply walk away and leave it alone. 
However Snakebuster's spokesman Pyrrhus Acanthophis says that "If there are Children or pets involved or living nearby, they may get curious, play with the snake and end up with a fatal bite ... it's then that we recommend that a snakebuster be brought in".
Government licenced snake removalists are generally listed in the phone books under snake removals or similar and usually charge a service fee for their job, but Mr. Acanthophis reckons that it's a small price to pay for peace of mind.
At this time of year most snakes are seen basking around north-facing and exposed retaining walls or moving away from such places in response to the warmer weather.
Recently Snakebusters had a call for a Tiger Snake at Warrandyte and found a pair next to each other.  One was in a bunch of Agapanthas, the other under tin.
Shortly after this there were calls from the same local area to remove a Tiger Snake from a shed and a Copperhead that had decided to look for fish in a pond next to a house.
To keep snakes out of the yard, the best policy is to keep lawns mowed and remove tin and other rubbish that snakes like to hide under, and of course, if you see a snake, don't try to catch or harass it.
Further information (including high resolution photos for publication of venomous snakes, snake handling photos, snake handlers), etc, can be found at:
or by phoning: 0412 777 211
NOTE: People who find snakes in their yards and want them removed should look up their local snake catcher in the phone book (usually) under the heading "snake" or similar.

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