Government hypocrisy over filming in Tasmania 

By Bill Rowlings, CEO of CLA

Hypocrisy appears to be now the official policy of the government of Tasmania.

The Tasmanian government has kicked in $100,000 for filming – partly in Tasmania – a five-part crime series about a murder in Adelaide, the capital city of South Australia, in 1979.

Elise Archer, Tasmanian Minister for the Arts, said on 23 Sept 2019:

“The Hodgman majority Liberal Government is proud to have supported the production of Debi Marshall Investigates: Frozen Lies, a fascinating new true crime documentary series. Across five explosive episodes, Debi Marshall, a Walkley award-winning investigative journalist, explores the 1979 murder of Adelaide lawyer Derrance Stevenson.

“True stories are crucial to understanding our culture, history, environment and people, and it’s exciting to see documentaries and factual projects undergoing a new renaissance in Tasmania.

“An accompanying podcast further reveals Debi’s investigative prowess and highlights additional material to the series as she attempts to bring justice to victims,” Archer says.

This statement by AG Archer is hypocrisy run riot.

When a real-life film crew, which was self-funded, was investigating and filming a real-life and current (2009-2019) Tasmanian injustice – the Sue Neill-Fraser case – the State of Tasmania reacted entirely differently.

The Tasmanian Police:

  • put the film team under active surveillance while in Tasmania,
  • accessed personal financial records, and distributed them,
  • organised the NSW Police to raid the production facilities in Sydney to seize and copy the raw film and video,
  • charged witnesses to events who had given statements on film with thought crimes (“planning to do xxxx”) which are still before the courts),
  • tapped or bugged or intercepted hundreds of phone calls of an ex-detective acting as a film adviser, a lawyer and filmmakers and even their calls with lawyers
  • charged a lawyer doing pro bono work for SNF with perverting justice, and
  • are practically preventing the key ex-detective adviser and film-makers from any further travel to Tasmania under threat of arrest and jailing.

Elise Archer, as well as being Tasmania Minister for the Arts and dispenser of funds for filming injustices involving South Australia, is also Attorney General, Minister for Justice and Minister for Corrections in Tasmania.

Gross hypocrisy

Pity she’s apparently also Minister for Gross Hypocrisy in Tasmania.

Perhaps Archer can explain what is the difference between the talented Marshall’s “investigative prowess and (bringing) additional material to the series as she attempts to bring justice to victims”, which is worth $100,000 of assistance from the Tasmanian government…

…and the behaviour of “The Hodgman majority Liberal Government” when producer-director Eve Ash and a film crew was doing exactly the same thing in relation to the Tasmanian “murder” of Bob Chappell, where Neill-Fraser is yet to receive justice.

Neill-Fraser in August 2019 entered her 10th year wrongly convicted, CLA believes, in Risdon prison. She is sentenced to 23 years’ jail.

After a delay of nearly two years, mostly caused by Tasmanian authorities, she will finally get a chance to prove her original 2010 trial was a miscarriage of justice.

Unless Tasmanian authorities devise further delaying tactics, the new hearing will happen in the first half of 2020 under a new appeal process.

This will be a decade after the original trial over an alleged “murder” in which there is still no body, there has never been a believable motive, and twisted and embellished circumstantial “evidence” was put before a jury, a key element of which the prosecutor himself subsequently admitted was factually wrong.

‘Undercurrent’, Eve Ash series on the Sue Neill-Fraser case, aired on Channel 7 Australia 2019:

60 Minutes 2019 interview with a woman whose DNA was found on the yacht from which Bob Chappell disappeared: she reveals what really happened. (More than 245,000 views so far)

Photo shows AG Archer with Premier Wil Hodgman on an election campaign trail.


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