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The History of an Underground World
An Introduction to the Thesis, Methodology and the Literature
by Marijuana Australiana

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Marijuana Australiana

The History of an Underground World
An Introduction to the Thesis, Methodology and the Literature

Part One

The Thesis

This work is both an economic history and a literary history of cannabis use in
Australia during the half-century of prohibition between 1938 and 1988, and the two
sections are guided by differing theses. The dominant thesis in the literary history is
the idea that ‘the War on Drugs’ in Australia developed not for health reasons but for
reasons of social control; as a domestic counter-revolution against the Whitlamite,
Baby-Boomer generation by Drug War warriors like Queensland Premier Joh
Bjelke-Petersen and the youthful John Howard, who were followers and supporters
of the US and its President Richard Nixon. This is an adaptation of Dan Baum’s
thesis in Smoke and Mirrors that the War on Drugs in the US was a Nixonite code
for a War on ‘the young, the poor, and the black’.1

I argue that the twenty-four-year period between 1964 and 1988 was
characterised by two differing ‘regimes of prohibition’. The first period lasted from
1964 to the overthrow of the Whitlam government in the constitutional coup of 11
November 1975. It was characterised by the $30 ounce, a relatively benign view of
cannabis and a search for an independent Australian drugs policy. During this period
marijuana smoking became the cultural symbol of the Baby-Boomers generation and
spread widely among the under 30s. The fall of the Whitlam government is the fault
line that divides the two regimes of prohibition.

The second regime of prohibition, the War on Drugs, started in 1976 with
paramilitary attacks on hippie colonies at Cedar Bay in Queensland and Tuntable
Falls in New South Wales. It was a time of increasing US style prohibition
characterised by ‘tough-on-drugs’, right-wing rhetoric, police crackdowns,
numerous murders and a marijuana drought followed quickly by a heroin plague; in
short, by a massive worsening of ‘the drug problem’. During this decade, organised
crime moved into the pot scene and the price of pot skyrocketed, reaching $450 an
ounce in 1988. Thanks to this Americanisation of drugs policy, the black market
made ‘a killing’.

My economic history has been heavily influenced by Drugs, Crime & Society, the
Report by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on the National Crime Authority,
hereafter referred to as the Cleeland Report (after its Chairman Peter Cleeland MP)


which was the first government report to approach marijuana as a commodity and to
treat the marijuana trade as a market. It was a wonderfully numerate report: the first
government report to estimate the size of the marijuana market and its black market
value, just as it was the first to estimate the cost of drug law enforcement. My
section ‘History By Numbers’, and my approach in general, owes much to the
Cleeland Report.2

Likewise Clement and Daryal (1999), whose work, The Economics of Marijuana
Consumption, is the only other model of the Australian cannabis market, base their
model upon Cleeland too. Our models, which were developed independently and
contemporaneously, have as many differences as similarities, but we both agree on
Cleeland as the point of departure. I explain the two different models in ‘History By
Numbers’, and demonstrate how, with minor adjustments, Clements and Daryal’s
model approximates my own. By modifying Clements and Daryal (1999) in this
way, I demonstrate two different, yet compatible, ways of estimating the size of the
Australian cannabis market.3

In many ways, ‘History By Numbers’ is simply the Cleeland Report extended
over a 25 year period. Its various sections estimate the size and value of the
marijuana market, the cost of drug law enforcement, and the price of marijuana in
the period from 1973 to 1998. My original contribution lies in the concept of the
‘regime of prohibition’ – which is my way of measuring the amount of drug law
repression per smoker – which is the voodoo number linking price, seizure
percentages, and offences in my model. My aim is to build an historic model of the
Australian marijuana market, so be warned! In these sections you will need your
calculator handy!

To free myself from the blindfold of ideology, I have adopted an empirical,
scientific approach; and in ‘History By Numbers’, I propose and test three ‘laws’ of
the illicit cannabis market:
1. The price of pot varies with the regime of prohibition;
2. The percentage of pot seized varies with the regime of prohibition; and
3. The regime of corruption varies with the regime of prohibition.

Stripped of the jargon, Propositions 1 and 2 simply assert that as governments
press down, as the number of drug offences rises, price goes up, and the amount of
pot seized will increase proportionally. Propositions 3 is simply an outcome of
Proposition 1. Because price rises with government crackdowns, the value of the
black market rises proportionally, and the amount of money available from the black
market to fuel corruption increases proportionally with the ‘regime of prohibition’.
Every dollar spent on drug law enforcement acts as a multiplier for the black
market. Consequently, those who benefit most from prohibition are organised crime


and corrupt police. This explains the notion, first developed in ‘The Cedar Bay
Alliance’, that prohibition draws its political strength from an alliance between Mr
Big (organised crime) and Mr Bigot (right-wing politicians). In ‘The Cedar Bay
Alliance’, the role of Mr Big was played by corrupt Police Commissioner Terry
Lewis, while the role of Mr Bigot was played by Queensland Premier Sir Joh Bjelke-
Petersen, but these roles, like the role of ‘God’ or ‘the Sydney Connection’, can
almost be considered archetypes, roles which recur under prohibition. The alliance
of Mr Big and Mr Bigot explains ‘the Joke’, the entrenched system of corruption
whereby organised crime is ‘greenlighted’.

Although this history covers the period between 1938 and 1988, it was the period
between 1975 and 1979 which was most thoroughly analysed. The reasons for this
are many. Firstly, this was the period when the regime of prohibition changed,
producing the unusual ‘mega-features’ which accompanied this change in drugs
policy — the criminal takeover of the pot scene, the marijuana drought, and the
heroin plague. Secondly, my major underground sources, the
Weed/Seed/Need/Greed series and the first Cane Toad Times series, were published
in this period. Thirdly, this was the time of massive cannabis seizures, the time in
which my model of the Australian marijuana market was most fully tested. So both
my ‘lenses’ were at their most powerful in this period. Fourthly, it was the time of
the Nugan Hand Bank and the murder of Donald Mackay, which came to occupy my
attention more and more as I began to understand its central role in this history.
Fifthly, it was the ‘Age of Royal Commissions’, a time which was extensively
investigated by the Williams, Woodward and Stewart Royal Commissions and by
writers like Alfred McCoy, Bob Bottom, Evan Whitton and many others, whose
works are discussed below. Finally, in ‘The Sydney Connection’, I discovered a
unifying solution to many of the unsolved mysteries of this period.

It was the curious serendipity of my numbers driven approach which led me,
quite unexpectedly, to the network associated with the largest drug busts of the
seventies, the group I call the Sydney Connection. These were indisputably the Mr
Bigs of the seventies and they were big, not just in the Australian market, but in the
US market as well. That they were the group behind the murder of Donald Mackay
was the ugly truth that ‘the three blind commissioners’ — Justice Edward Williams,
Justice Phillip Woodward and Justice Donald Stewart — tried so successfully not to
see. The Americans were selling us our drug laws; they could not possibly be selling
us our drugs too?! Sadly, commissioner, they were.

The three blind commissioners — Williams, Woodward and Stewart — were all
judges. Almost invariably, it seems a rule that the commissions and inquiries
conducted by judges produced the poorest reports. Stewart’s report into Nugan Hand


simply whitewashed the CIA; Woodward’s conclusion that the drug scene in
Australia was dominated by an Italian secret society was nonsense; while Williams’
report, in his discussion of the crucial seizure figures of 1975-1978, verges on the
incompetent. Strangely, the use of judges to determine drugs policy has not been
seen as absurd or even faintly ridiculous; yet really it is a curious notion, on a par
with making a brain surgeon Attorney-General!

On Methodology

Possession of the smallest amounts of cannabis is an offence under laws like the
Drugs Misuse Act 1986 (Qld) in every state in Australia, while the cultivation of a
few cannabis plants can constitute the major crime of drug trafficking. As a
consequence of these laws, the world of cannabis use and cannabis users is an illicit
and underground world. For the historian of cannabis use in Australia in the period
of prohibition, this creates an obvious problem:

How do you write the history of an underground world??

The answer that suggests itself is obvious, and is not quite as ridiculous as it
sounds. You can write the history of an underground world by using underground
and informal archives. Having reached this conclusion, the hard task begins: where
to locate these underground archives? Fortunately, as a result of the Rainbow
Archive initiative of the Mitchell Library, Australia does have a high quality
‘underground’ archive, and this work owes a large debt to the Rainbow Archives

I was also fortunate in having access to the HEMP archives from the newspaper
HEMP of which I was editor, which included a collection of earlier cannabis law
reform magazines such as the Weed/Seed/Need/Greed series. I have drawn heavily
on these and other underground magazines, chiefly The Cane Toad Times, for this
history. The other underground magazines I should acknowledge are OZ, Revolution,
High Times, The Digger, The Living Daylights and Norml News. Most of these rare
alternative magazines can be found in either the HEMP archives or The Rainbow
Archives collection in the Mitchell Library.

Of these various underground magazines, my greatest source came from the crew
who produced the Weed/Seed/Need/Greed series. The unofficial voice of Australia’s
marijuana users, every issue of Weed/Seed/Need/Greed was banned. The publishers
stayed one step ahead of the censor by changing the name after each banning,
causing the name progression Weed/Seed/Need/Greed through to ?eed, until the final
masthead, which consisted of a large (obviously upper-case) marijuana leaf,
followed by three smaller (lower-case) marijuana leaves, a humourously iconic piece
of typography which was (sadly) their final joke on the censor. I particularly admire


that teller of A Dozen Dopey Yarns, JJ McRoach , who was the first editor of that
much banned magazine.4 I would also thank John Anderson, aka Fast Buck$, whose
articles inWeed/Seed/Need/Greed, and subsequent Fast Buck$ Newsletters, proved a
mine of useful information.

The rest of McRoach’s crew were impressive. Besides himself and John
Anderson, they included Michael Wilding, Professor of English at Sydney
University, joint publisher of Wild and Woolley, and one of the most important
writers and literary figures in Australia; Colin Talbot, one of Australia’s leading
‘new journalists’ whose article on ‘The Drug Squad Pavillion’ is featured in Part
Two of this work; John Halpin, another new journalist and editor of The Brown
Tapes; Melbourne poet and playwright, Phil Motherwell; and, Australia’s greatest
nineteenth century writer, Marcus Clarke, whose short story, Cannabis Indica, was
republished in The Australasian Weed 110 years after it was written, accompanied
by an excellent article on Marcus Clarke and cannabis written by Michael Wilding.5
In another literary coup, Phil Motherwell interviewed the man said to be the model
for the Javo character in Helen Garner’s contemporary novel Monkey Grip (i.e.
himself!). Wilding also contributed a very good historical piece on hemp in colonial
Australia. Despite its underground and illegal status, the Weed/Seed/Need/Greed
series had a formidable crew of contributors and the quality of its articles was

This is, consequently, an unconventional and underground history, which relies
far less on government archives than most, and a great deal more on banned and
illegal magazines. It employs two unusual ‘lenses’. The first lens I employ is the lens
of popular culture to tell the story of the development of Australia’s cannabis laws
and the Australian cannabis trade through the eyes of cannabis users themselves.
Although I too make the obligatory pilgrimage to the government archives, I also
trawl the waters of popular culture, looking for songs, posters, comics and
underground magazines. The title Marijuana Australiana embodies this ‘pop
culture’ approach as does the subtitle. Overall, this allows me to be more pluralistic
than conventional histories, enabling me to present the alternative view of the debate
as well as the elite view.

The second lens I employ is the lens of an economic history of the Australian
cannabis trade, the lens I call ‘History By Numbers’. By analysing the historical
relationship between the number of cannabis users, the amount of cannabis seized,
the number of drug offences, and the price of pot, I reveal the ‘Invisible Hand’ at
work in the Australian cannabis trade. Cannabis, like any other commodity, is a
trade, and an understanding of the cannabis economy is vital for understanding this
underground world. For the statistics used in this section, I rely on a large number of


government reports produced by various Royal Commissions, Australian Customs,
the National Drugs Strategy and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, as
well as the Year Book Australia and other publications of the Australian Bureau of

While the lens of popular culture is useful for revealing the world of ordinary
users, the lens of economic history, by contrast, reveals the world at the top of the
cannabis trade. In this way, my two lenses complement each other. They are ‘bifocals’.
This work is both an economic history and a literary history of the Australian
cannabis trade. In the sections on the counter-culture and the War on Drugs, the
narrative owes a great deal to various popular culture texts. In ’The Sydney
Connection’, the economic history drives the narrative. This is the technique I refer
to as doing ‘History By Numbers’.

What this technique uncovered, when employed over the crucial years of 1975-
1978, was an enormous distortion in the Australian cannabis market caused by the
operation in Australia of a trans-Pacific drug smuggling conspiracy, which supplied
the U.S. market from Australia. This was the Sydney Connection. This discovery (or
rather rediscovery) of the ‘export theory’ was a crucial revelation.

The seizure figures proved to be very informative. By analysing them it was
possible to discover who the Mr Bigs of the drug trade were through an examination
of the relationships between the principals of the major cannabis seizures. They also
revealed a surprising anomoly. Remarkably, the size of local production seemed well
in excess of local consumption in the seventies, suggesting that the Australian
cannabis market was composed of an internal market and an export trade. These
ideas coalesced in ‘The Sydney Connection’, which is one of the unifying concepts
in this work.

Another unifying concept is the concept of ‘regime of prohibition’ and the idea
that there are ‘regimes of prohibition’. Briefly, it is possible to measure
quantitatively how hard governments crack down, or how hard they enforce
prohibition. One measure of this is to look at the number of drug offences prosecuted
each year. There are, however, ways of massaging the drug offences number to
produce even better measures. One of these measures (useful for comparing
populations of different sizes) is to look at the rate of drug offences per 100,000
population. The best measure of all is to look at the rate of drug offences per
thousand drug users. It is from this figure that I derive the regime of prohibition,
which is my measure of ‘the heat on the street’ or how much government resources
are employed in repressing each individual drug user. Using this method, a
government which prosecutes drug offences at the rate of 50 drug offences per 1000


drug users is said to be pressing down four times as hard as a government that
prosecutes at a rate of 12.5 drug offences per 1000 drug users, and, consequently, its
relative regime of prohibition is 4. Regimes of prohibition are simply years of
similar regime of prohibition.

An Overview of the Literature

The outstanding books in the field of Australian drugs policy are Drug Traffic6 by
Alfred McCoy and From Mr Sin To Mr Big7 by Desmond Manderson, and this work
can be seen as complementary to these texts. My aim is to build upon their
foundations; to stand (as Newton would recommend) upon their shoulders.
Drug Traffic, Alfred McCoy’s history of narcotics and organised crime in
Australia ‘from Gallipoli to Griffith’, covers very similar territory to this work, the
major difference being that McCoy was a heroin expert whereas my focus is on
cannabis. Our styles of history are similar too. Just as I use underground magazines
to give ‘a view from the street’, McCoy employed the poetry of David King, one of
the many young Australians who died of a heroin overdose in 1977, to show the
world through the eyes of a heroin user.

One of the great strengths of Drug Traffic was its international perspective.
Amongst Australian authorities, a combination of incompetence and conspiracy led
to a denial of any international dimensions to the Australian drug trade. McCoy, a
Pacific historian who had written previously about the Southeast Asian drug trade,
was too experienced to fall for this.

Unfortunately, Drug Traffic was published in 1980, just before the whole Nugan
Hand affair broke. Effectively, this often left McCoy with only half the clues. So,
although he devoted considerable space to Murray Riley, he was unaware of the
Michael Hand/CIA/Laos connection; a connection he would well have understood.
McCoy was aware of some of the allegations about Frank Nugan, because the
investigations into the Nugans started in 1977, and the Nugans were given a brief,
but pointed, mention in Drug Traffic. However, the investigations into Nugan Hand
were only at a preliminary stage when Drug Traffic was completed.

I have attempted to add these Nugan Hand threads to McCoy in my portraits of
Frank Nugan and Murray Riley in the section ‘The Sydney Connection: Nugan Hand
and the Murder of Donald Mackay’. McCoy was also a source for my portrait of
John Wesley Egan, and much else. For example, David Hickie’s The Prince and The
Premier8, the other outstanding history of organised crime in Australia, was inspired
by McCoy’s pioneering work. I am also indebted to McCoy’s other works The
Politics of Heroin9 and The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia10 for shaping the
idea of ‘The Sydney Connection’; an idea also inspired by David Hickie’s


monumental expose of the political and criminal associations of Sir Robert Askin in
The Prince and The Premier.

From Mr Sin To Mr Big by Desmond Manderson is the other outstanding work in
the drugs policy field that has influenced my research. Manderson traces the
development of Australian drug laws from the nineteenth century to the present and
shows how these laws were influenced by racism, international pressure and
professional rivalry between doctors and chemists. From Mr Sin To Mr Big is a fine,
academic work and Manderson has trawled the archives well. My approach differs
significantly from Manderson’s because it is a lot more ‘popular’, relying far less on
government records and a great deal more on ‘alternative’ sources. In this regard, I
am Manderson’s complement. Because his work was there, covering the
development of drugs policy from the elite perspective, this allowed me more room
to explore my alternative and underground world. Both McCoy and Manderson
analysed the Williams and Woodward Royal Commissions with a great deal of
understanding, and their works were most useful in this area.

Henrik Kruger’s The Great Heroin Coup: Drugs, Intelligence and International
Fascism was another influence on the idea of the Sydney Connection. Kruger’s work
examined the reshaping of the world’s heroin trade routes which followed the breakup
of the French Connection in 1972. The Great Heroin Coup (according to Kruger)
involved the takeover by the U.S. of the Southeast Asian heroin trade. While
Kruger, a European, focused on the reshaping of the Atlantic drug trade, I examine a
complementary Pacific drug route, the Sydney connection, which emerged at this
time when the world’s heroin trade was reformed after the breaking up of the French

Nugan Hand is mystery spin, and the Stewart Royal Commission floundered
hopelessly against it. Fortunately, a great team of investigative journalists were also
on the trail: Jonathon Kwitny in The Crimes of Patriots12 plays Nugan Hand best; see
also Marian Wilkinson and Brian Toohey’s The Book of Leaks13, McCoy in The
Politics of Heroin; John Pilger in A Secret Country14, and David’s Corn’s excellent
biography of Ted Shackley, Blond Ghost15. Most of these books rely heavily on the
Report of the Commonwealth-New South Wales Joint Task Force on Drug
Trafficking16, which is very guarded in its style, partly because its subject matter is
so explosive. The Joint Task Force took over Justice Woodward’s outstanding
investigations and their report was the only official probe of the Sydney Connection.
Similar high praise can be awarded to the Fitzgerald Report. Written by Tony
Fitzgerald QC before his elevation to the Queensland and New South Wales
Supreme Courts, this is a compelling investigation of police and political corruption
in Queensland17. Fitzgerald’s report in turn inspired other books like Phil Dickie’s


The Road to Fitzgerald18, Quentin Dempster’s Honest Cops19, and Evan Whitton’s
The Hillbilly Dictator20, which have contributed substantially to my chapters on
Queensland. I have frequently consulted Whitton’s other works, Can of Worms I21
and Can of Worms II 22 in the course of my research. These discuss the corruption in
Queensland and New South Wales, uncovered by the Royal Commissions of that
period. I also admire Whitton’s The Cartel: Lawyers and Their Nine Magic Tricks23,
which is an outstanding analysis of the failings of the British and Australian legal

Like Whitton, I have done my time as a court reporter. I covered the most famous
frame-up in Australian history, the trial of Tim Anderson for the Hilton Hotel
bombing, for Radio 4ZZZ and for Rolling Stone magazine in 1990. I wrote a book,
The Incredible Exploding Man: Evan Pederick and the Trial of Tim Anderson about
that court case24. Reading the accounts of the trial of James Frederick Bazley for
conspiracy to murder Donald Mackay evoked strong feelings of deja vu. It appeared
to me that Jimmy Bazley was framed. For a long time, this made me uncertain how
to play the murder of Donald Mackay, which is one of the key events in this history.
In my early chapter, ‘The Murder of Donald Mackay’, I played the Mackay murder
with the straightest bat possible, in a purely defensive way. But the conventional
solution to the Mackay murder has always worried me.

Like the Hilton, the Mackay murder was a high profile case which the NSW
police had not solved, and they were under enormous pressure to solve it. Like the
Hilton, there were those who whispered that the NSW police were themselves
involved in the murder. In my experience, it is this kind of pressure, where the police
need an answer, any answer, just as long as it is not the real answer, which, almost
by magic, conjures ‘the frame’.

The difference between the two cases lay in the qualities of the men framed.
Unlike Tim Anderson, who was a highly intelligent, highly articulate political
activist, whose case became a cause celebre, Jimmy Bazley was an unattractive
character, a petty crim, with no support base at all. His accuser, Gianfranci Tizzoni,
was a much less believable witness than Evan Pederick, the witness I dubbed ‘the
Incredible Exploding Man’, not only because Pederick claimed to be the Hilton
bomber, but because his stories of that event, when examined in detail, kept blowing
up in his face. What made Pederick a believable witness was that he apparently had
nothing to gain by confessing to the Hilton bombing, apart from notoreity. On the
other hand, Tizzoni was facing very serious drug charges and he and his gang were
being rewarded with indemnities and offers of leniency for their ‘confessions’. It
was when I saw the Sydney Connection that I understood who murdered Donald


Mackay, and why. Seeing the Sydney Connection also gave me the ability to play
Nugan Hand in an original way.

I would like to thank Keith Moor, author of Crims in Grass Castles25, for
allowing me to interview him. His work and Bob Bottom’s Shadow of Shame26 are
the best works on the murder of Donald Mackay. Although I disagree with their
conclusions, I found both books very informative. Moor’s work is particularly useful
because he interviewed both James Bazley and Gianfranco Tizzoni. Where we differ
is on the credibility of Tizzoni ‘the Supergrass’, who is believed by both Moor and
Bottom, whereas I consider Tizzoni to be a transparent fabricator.

Bob Bottom has speculated much about the Mackay murder in other books,
besides Shadow of Shame. Curiously, I agree with his speculations about the Mackay
murder in books like The Godfather in Australia 27 and Without Fear or Favour28. In
these works, Bottom anticipates ‘The Sydney Connection’. Bottom’s other works on
organised crime in this period include Connections I29 and Connections II30. In my
opinion, Bottom’s great, unstated theme is the Americanisation of organised crime in
Australia in the seventies, though Bottom himself does not seem to recognise this.
The Godfather in Australia is (mostly) an excellent piece of reportage, but the
early chapters are, especially in comparison with Drug Traffic and The Prince and
the Premier, an inferior and wrong-headed history of organised crime in Australia.
In these chapters, Bottom suggests that organised crime in Australia is dominated by
a secret Italian society, which I find extremely dubious, if not racist. The Italian
presence, like the Lebanese and Chinese, is undeniable; but the Irish — the Kellys
and the Murphys — take precedence over the Sergis and the Bellinos; and above all
the ethnics are the corrupt members of the Sydney Establishment and their American
gangster friends.

In this regard, the mirror world of the illegal drug trade simply reflects the power
structures of the public world. It is simple economics that the Americans dominate
the world illicit drug trade because the US drugs market is the largest in the world,
something like 50% of the world drug trade. As a consequence, Australia, like many
other countries, finds itself embroiled in the violence and politics of the $200 billion
US drugs black market. It is only our traditional subservience to ‘our great and
powerful ally’ which makes us shrink from this truth.

In marked contrast to the works of the three blind commissioners, the Sackville
Royal Commission into the Non-Medical Use of Drugs in South Australia
represented a thoughtful examination of the drug problem in Australia. Headed by a
triumvirate consisting of a professor of law, a professor of medicine and a professor
of sociology, and aided by an exceptional research team, the various publications of
the Sackville Royal Commission have the advantage of being written by people who


were experts in the field, rather than by judges. I would single out two of their
productions for praise: John Lonie’s (1978) A Social History of Drug Control in
Australia;31 and Keith Windshuttle’ s unpublished monograph Drugs and the Press,
1977-197932. Windshuttle’s analysis is that the media play a dubious, double role,
simultaneously glamorising drugs and drug use while condemning them.
Windshuttle summarised this ‘Reefer Madness’ style as a formula consisting of
titilation, followed by arousal, followed by condemnation. Predictably, the Sackville
Commission’s sensible and intelligent Final Report 33 was savaged by the Murdoch
media with this same formula of moral outrage and condemnation. I would like to
express my gratitude to the Department of the Premier and Cabinet (South Australia)
for granting me access to the Sackville Archives.

Marijuana Australiana is thus a history of an illicit world, the world of cannabis
use and cannabis users in Australia between 1938 and 1988, which uses significant
illicit sources. It is in five parts. The first part looks at the ending of legal cannabis in
Australia in the years following 1938, when the word ‘marijuana’ was first
introduced into Australia. The second part looks at the rebirth of cannabis use
amongst the Baby-Boomer young during that decade of dissent (1964 -1975) known
variously as the Vietnam years and the Whitlam years. The third part looks at the
launch of the War on Drugs in the decade that followed the dismissal of the Whitlam
government in the ‘constitutional coup’ of November 1975, and describes the social
forces that propelled this Americanisation of drugs policy in Australia. The fourth
part is an economic history of the Australian cannabis market in the period 1973-
1998, called ‘History By Numbers’. The fifth part synthesises this economic history
with the previous literary history to explain the ‘mega-features’ of the War on Drugs
period, and to provide an insight into the top of the Australian cannabis trade. While
the third part examined the War on Drugs from the bottom level, from the level of
the ordinary cannabis user, the fifth part examines the cannabis trade at the highest
level, the level of international drug traffickers, the level of Nugan Hand and the
Sydney Connection.

A Note on Marijuana Manufacture

Traditionally, a work like this would begin with a description of the processes
involved in the manufacture of marijuana. However, under the laws in states like
Queensland, it is a crime to possess certain information about cannabis or many
other drugs. If I were to describe the processes involved in the manufacture of
marijuana, possession of this thesis would be illegal in Queensland under Section 8A
of the Drugs Misuse Act 1986. The so-called crime is called possession of a
document containing instructions for the manufacture of a dangerous drug, and it


carries a maximum penalty of ten years jail. Document is defined very broadly as
anything in oral, written, electronic or other form. It is catch-all legislation defined
in such broad terms that even books like Drug Traffic (which contains a detailed
description of the process of heroin production) are illegal. Indeed, large sections of
my library are illegal in Queensland, and could be seized by the police were I to live
in that state.

Not wishing to involve my markers or supervisors, who live in Queensland, in
trangressing these law, I have avoided this discussion as much as possible, although
it is an important topic for understanding the cannabis trade. Because possession of
such information is illegal, such ‘dangerous’ knowledge is best left with me. This is
unfortunate because knowledge of the processes involved in manufacturing
marijuana is very important for an overall understanding of the cannabis trade.
Fortunately, the process involved is so simple (you just grow a plant, then dry its
flowers!) that most people do not need a detailed grow guide.

I would point out that my other writing credits include The Australian Marijuana
Growers Guide34 (I was associate editor and one of the four major writers) and The
Book of Bud35 (I was editor and again a major contributor). In Queensland, people,
particularly HEMP activists, are routinely arrested for possession of these works. It
is a terrible feeling to know people have been arrested for reading words you have
written, particularly when all you have done is describe the growing and drying of

So although I choose not to demonstrate my knowledge in the area of marijuana
manufacture, I think it fair to claim that, of all the writers and royal commissioners
who have written about the cannabis trade, few rival my published works in the field
of marijuana production. When we come to the technical problems of estimating the
size of the Australian marijuana market, bear this in mind. When I estimate how
much pot an average cannabis plant would produce, or how much pot a heavy pot
smoker would use, this is not some novice’s guesstimate: it is the guesstimate of a
published writer in the field, who has consulted with other published writers.


Chapter 1

The Reefer Madness Campaign of 1938

In April 1938, the rather cluttered front page of the Australian newspaper, Smith’s
Weekly, was dominated by a headline that shrieked ‘New Drug That Maddens
Victims’. The article was subtitled ‘WARNING FROM AMERICA’ (a clue to its
author) and informed readers (in capital letters) that the ‘PLANT GROWS WILD IN
QUEENSLAND’. The plant in question was cannabis sativa; the drug, of course,
was marijuana. This article marked the start of an American-inspired Reefer
Madness campaign in Australia. It began:

A MEXICAN drug that drives men and women to the wildest sexual excesses
has made its first appearance in Australia.

It distorts moral values and leads to degrading sexual extravagances.

It is called marihuana.

Marihuana is obtained from a plant (Cannabis sativa) that has been
discovered growing wild in many of the coastal parts of Queensland.1
Although the article was attributed to Smith’s Hawaiian correspondent, a few
familiar examples from the Anslinger Gore Files indicate that the hand behind this
was the US Bureau of Narcotics, a fact subsequent stories confirmed. According to
the article, Cannabis sativa was growing wild in Queensland. Indeed there were
‘acres of it’.

There are places on the Queensland coast, some of them within a few miles
of Brisbane, where the long-leafed plant, Cannabis sativa, is to be seen
growing freely and in the districts further north it literally flourishes in many

Not far from Flying Fish Point, six miles from Innisfail, and situated at the
mouth of the Johnstone River, is a patch of it which covers five or six acres.
Farther along the coast, near Babinda, it is to be seen in plenty - also around
Trinity Bay and near Port Douglas.

Much farther south, around Montville, it grows with more or less freedom, its
deadly qualities completely unsuspected by those who see it every day and
know it by one or the other of the vernacular names it possesses. Its
occurrence has been reported from Caloundra, lately become one of
Brisbane’s most fashionable holiday resorts, and it grows in profusion in parts
of Moreton and Stradbroke Islands.2

This article introduced the word ‘marijuana’ into the Australian language.
According to the article, cannabis sativa (marijuana) was a new kind of superweed
with the potency attributed to skunk in our era. The article stated:


Illustration 1: Smiths’ Weekly, April 23 1938


Both botanically and chemically Cannabis sativa is closely allied to Cannabis
indica, from which Indian hemp or hashish, well-known for its violently sexstimulating
effects, is prepared, with the difference that the action of C sativa
is twenty times more potent than is that of C. indica.

Under the influence of the newer drug, the addict becomes at times almost an
uncontrollable sex-maniac, able to obtain satisfaction only from the most
appalling of perversions and orgies. Its effect is the same on either sex.3
Of course, this has no basis in botany whatsoever: cannabis indica (bhang) is the
drug plant and cannabis sativa (hemp) has no drug properties at all. However, this
nonsense disguised the fact that this new drug ‘marijuana’ was the well-known drug,
cannabis indica. By renaming cannabis indica as marijuana, the US prohibitionists
were able to promote cannabis as a new drug menace in Australia, even though
Australians had a long and untroubled history of cannabis use. As Dr Cumpston
would shortly inform the Prime Minister’s Department, this ‘new drug that maddens
victims’ had been used in Australia for decades.

The furore caused by Smith’s Weekly led DJ Gilbert of the Prime Minister’s
Department to write a memo to the Director General of Health, Dr JHL Cumpston:
Occasionally the blood curdling noises of Smith’s leads to the spot marked X.
If it is true that the plant which is spreading in our midst is as naughty as
charged your department may deem it necessary to become interested.4
Dr Cumpston wrote back on May 31 and was suitably unimpressed by this

With reference to the front page from Smith’s Weekly of the 23 April 1938
containing a “warning from America” concerning a “New Drug that maddens
victims” obtainable from Indian Hemp and that the “plant grows wild in
Queensland”, I have to advise that the drug has been known for decades and
the hemp plant has been under cultivation in Australia for over 50 years.
Being a tropical plant - native of India and Western Asia - it has probably
grown wild (now acclimatised) more extensively in Queensland than in the
more temperate climates of New South Wales and Victoria . . . . When the
plant is cultivated for fibre production, it is harvested quite early, before the
pistillate flowers are fully developed, consequently little resin would be
obtainable from a crop grown only for fibre.5


Chapter 2

Marijuana or Indian Hemp?

To understand Cumpston’s complacency in the face of this Reefer Madness hysteria,
you have to understand that drugs policy in Australia in 1938 was based on the
British model and was firmly in the hands of the medical profession. In 1926, the
report of the Rolleston Committee in Britain had addressed the problems of opiate
addiction and drugs policy. Dominated by doctors, it opted for the medical definition
of addiction. Addicts were defined, not as the ‘dope fiends’ of the popular press, but
as ’a person who, not requiring the continued use of the drug for relief of the
symptoms of organic disease, has acquired, as a result of repeated administration, an
overpowering desire for its continuance, and in whom withdrawal of the drug leads
to definite symptoms of mental or physical distress or disorder.’ Addiction was
clearly seen as a disease — not as a vicious, criminal indulgence — and was treated
as such. As a result, up until 1953, doctors in Australia legally prescribed heroin to
addicts. As an adherent of this ‘medical model’, Dr Cumpston no doubt regarded
‘the evil sex drug’ hysteria with suitable disdain.1

While the word ‘marijuana’ was unknown in Australia before 1938, drug
cannabis was very well known. In the pharmacopoeias of the time drug cannabis was
listed as Cannabis indica. The name means Indian hemp, and the drug comes from
the leaves and flowers of a plant that had been cultivated in India for millennia and
which the Indians called ganja or bhang. Originally an Indian plant, its use spread,
first around the Indian Ocean, and then, at a later stage, around the Mediterranean,
becoming widely known in Europe only in the nineteenth century.

In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Cannabis indica was a well
known and widely used medicine in Australia; the drug that police would later vilify
as a ‘Killer Drug’ and an ‘evil Sex Drug’ was a popular medicine in Britain and its
Empire, and was even prescribed to Queen Victoria by the Royal Physician.
Although the police would later claim that cannabis had no known medical uses, it
was one of the most important medicines of the time, and was used for a wide
variety of illnesses.

The first major European work on the medical properties of the Indian hemp plant
was Dr W. B. O’Shaughnessy’s On The Preparation of Indian Hemp Cannabis
Indica in 1839. The Fifth Edition of the United States Dispensatory (1843)


summarised Dr. O’Shaughnessy on the effects of cannabis: ‘it alleviates pain,
exhilarates the spirits, increases the appetite, acts decidedly as an aphrodisiac,
produces sleep, and in large doses, occasions intoxication, a peculiar kind of
delirium, and catalepsy’, and added ‘Its operation, in the hands of Dr. Pereira,
appeared to resemble very much that of opium’.2 Since opium was the great herb of
western medicine, this was high praise indeed.

In 1860 in America the Ohio State Medical society convened a committee to
examine the use of cannabis in medicine and claimed successful treatment of
neuralgic pain, dysmenorrhoea, uterine bleeding, hysteria, delirium tremens,
whooping cough, infantile convulsions, asthma, gonorrhoea, chronic bronchitis,
muscular spasm, tetanus, epilepsy and lack of appetite.

It was considered by several physicians specific in menorrhagia (excessive
menstrual flow) and was prescribed by the Royal Physician to Queen Victoria. It
was widely used to dull the pain of childbirth, and was used not only to alleviate
migraine, but also as a prophylactic for this condition. In 1913 Sir William Osler
recommended cannabis as the most satisfactory remedy for migraine.3

In 1938 dozens of cannabis-based remedies were readily available, either by
prescription or over the counter, in Australia. The most famous of them, Chlorodyne,
proved an immensely popular medicine in Australia over many decades and was
widely used. Its simple, yet effective recipe — six grams of black Nepalese hash
topped up with morphine — made it the country’s favourite panacea, and it was
widely imitated.

Attempts were made to prevent over the counter sale of Chlorodyne in Victoria in
1904, and were met with outrage. When a member of the Victorian parliament
proposed that it should be unlawful to dispense narcotic drugs such as opium,
morphine, Chlorodyne or cocaine without a doctor’s prescription, he met immediate
opposition from country members who complained about the inclusion of
Chlorodyne: ‘Why should a man have to ride thirty miles to a medical man in order
that he might get a bottle of Chlorodyne which was a drug very commonly used in
the country?’ one demanded. Another asserted that ‘Chlorodyne was a very
wholesome medicament. Why should he have to pay a guinea for a prescription
before he could get it?’4

In a similar vein, the Chairman of the Central Board of Health in 1906 was
outraged that South Australia’s anti-opium acts had defined opium so loosely that
any medical preparation that contained opium or morphine could be included in the
ban: ‘The effect of the amending Act was . . . that no officer at any station could give
anyone a dose of Dover’s Powder for a cold from the departmental medical chest nor
could anyone give a member of his family a single drop of chlorodyne for diarrhoea



or dysentery without transgressing the law.’5 As this shows, Chlorodyne was
regarded as being so safe that children of that era were regularly dosed with it. Like
heroin, Chlorodyne was closely investigated by the Rolleston committee with the
result that its morphine content (the focus of concern, not its cannabis content) was

Cannabis cigarettes, known variously as Joy’s Cigarettes or Cannadonna
cigarettes, were also widely advertised in colonial Australia as a cure for asthma.
They were still available after the Second World War but the rise of cannabis
prohibition would curtail their use, even though the Director -General of Health,
JHL Cumpston, ‘noted that no instance of addiction to them has been brought to
notice’ and ‘that they are used for medicinal purposes’.6

Fauldings General Price List of 1947 still lists Cannabis Indica (in fresh and
pulverised forms) at 1s 6p per ounce with Cannabis African at 9s 6p per pound, but
both required a DDA (Dangerous Drug Authority) form to order. However, bottles
of Brown’s Chlorodyne (19s 9p per dozen) and Fauldings own proprietary
Chlorodyne (8s 3p per dozen) did not require a DDA; the manufacturers getting
round the regulations by reducing the morphia content to less than 0.2%. Neither did
the many brands of Chlorodyne lollies such as Gibson’s Linseed, Liquorice and
Chlorodyne lozenges or Walco’s Linseed, Liquorice and Chlorodyne Jubes. And
neither did other Chlorodyne imitators such as Dr Poppy’s Wonder Elixir (with
Cannabis Extract) which, at only 2s 6p a bottle, was guaranteeing ‘a pleasant feeling
that lasts all day’ well into the fifties.7

Designed to prevent non-medical use, marijuana prohibition made cannabis so
difficult to obtain for medical purposes that it was gradually removed from the
pharmacopoeia. The last official American compendium of drugs to include tincture
of cannabis was the United States Pharmacopoeia of 1938. (The Marijuana Tax Act
became US law in 1937). In Australia, where the official book of standards for drugs
in common use is the British Pharmacopoeia, The British Pharmaceutical Codex of
1954 deleted cannabis preparations for the first time. Martindale’s The Extra
Pharmacopoeia still listed Cannabis indica in its 1958 edition though its tone was
negative, and the only uses it listed were for the relief of migraine and as a treatment
for shingles.8

Cannabis ceased to be a legal medicine in Australia in the 1960s when the
Poisons Acts of the various state parliaments finally outlawed it as a medicine.
Cannabis, the Drug War warriors were now proclaiming, had no known medical use
at all. Although it was once one of the most widely used medicines in the country,
all the drug schedules in Australia would come to classify cannabis as a drug with no
known medical use!


Illustration 3: Smith’s Weekly, June 1938


Chapter 3

The Second Smith’s Weekly Article

Seven weeks after its first Reefer Madness article, on June 11 1938, Smith’s Weekly
delivered the second article in its series ‘Drugged Cigarettes: G-Man Warns

A FEW cigarettes containing marihuana - the drug which causes its victims to
behave like raving sex maniacs, and has made pathetic slaves of thousands
of young Americans - have been smoked at recent parties in Sydney.

The G-Man in question was AM Bangs, the head of the Bureau of Narcotics in
Hawaii, one of Anslinger’s deputies, whose photo adorned the cover of this issue of
Smith’s Weekly. Bangs was quoted as saying that ‘Undoubtedly, if prompt action is
not taken, marihuana will flood Australia and New Zealand’.

For Smith’s credulous readers, Bangs described the situation in Hawaii where his
‘special squad of Washington G-Men’ were smashing this ‘vicious racket’.
Continually, marihuana dens in Honolulu are being cracked open by raiding

The drugged victims are like punch-drunk fighters. They cannot be questioned
for hours, sometimes days.

The women sit on their cell cots, their faces and clothes ripped, trying to piece
together what they did in their orgy of lust.

The men slowly come out of the stupor that gave them frenzied sexual desires
and colossal physical strengths.2

The article ends with a series of direct quotes from Anslinger’s Marihuana -
Assassin of Youth, establishing beyond any doubt the Bureau of Narcotics’

With this dreaded sex drug now on Australian shores, government complacency
became impossible. A week after the second Smiths Weekly article appeared, the
Prime Minister’s Department again became involved, requesting the Queensland
Premier to investigate the claims that hemp was growing wild in the places named in
Smith’s Weekly. A group of Queensland police were dispatched to Flying Fish Point
near Innisfail in mid-July, armed with a description of the plant. Nothing was found,
though no one seemed aware that winter was not a good time to go hemp hunting in
north Queensland.3

By August, the Council of Churches was urging the government to act against
this ‘deadly drug’. Publicly, the NSW Department of Agriculture announced that it


intended to have Indian hemp (defined as Cannabis sativa) declared a noxious weed
under the Noxious Plants Act. Queensland quickly followed suit.4

It seems the Bureau of Narcotics had been eyeing Australia for some time.
Shortly after the Marijuana Tax Act became law in the US in 1937, the US Consul in
Sydney wrote to the Australian government requesting information about Australia’s
cannabis laws. While cannabis prohibition was sponsored internationally by the
governments of South Africa, the United States and Egypt, there was little
enthusiasm for cannabis prohibition in either Britain or Australia. The Indian Hemp
Royal Commission had investigated the use of drug cannabis in 1894 and concluded
that the moderate use of hemp drugs appeared to cause no appreciable physical or
mental injury at all. Hemp was still grown in Australia; wild crops flourished with
official indifference; possession was not even a crime; cannabis medicines were still
widely available; cannabis was simply not regarded as a problem in Australia. Drugs
policy in Australia was based very much on the British system; it was a medical
model not a US-style law-enforcement model. Addicts were seen as sick people who
needed medical treatment, not as vicious criminal deviants.5

The Reefer Madness campaign of 1938 changed all this; the anaemic Australian
version of Prohibition was reformed along robust American lines. Reluctant
governments were goaded into action, and Cannabis sativa was declared a noxious

Coincidentally, the Local Government (Noxious Plants) Amendment Act (1938)
was going through NSW Parliament at the time the Australian Reefer Madness
campaign began. As a result of the wild hemp controversy, Indian hemp was added
to the list of noxious plants in NSW, but it was defined incorrectly as Cannabis
sativa. For this ‘drug’ plant, immediate destruction was to be the rule. Once Indian
hemp was declared a noxious weed in New South Wales, the police investigating the
wild hemp allegations in Queensland issued a report noting that the plant had not
been a declared noxious weed in Queensland, and recommending that Queensland
should follow the New South Wales example, which it did in October 1938.
Since the Queensland authorities had had trouble identifying the hemp plant, the
Australian Prime Minister sent the Queensland government a publication called
“Marihuana - Its identification” to aid in the plant’s destruction. The Queensland
Botanist dictated a tactful letter of thanks noting that this booklet was ‘remarkably
well illustrated, and it would be exceedingly useful in the identification of the Indian
hemp, if ever the occasion arises to identify this plant in the state’.6 The publication
had been sent from our ever-helpful friends at the Bureau of Narcotics in the United


The crucial role played by the US Bureau of Narcotics and its Commissioner,
Harry J Anslinger, in the outlawing of hemp in Australia should be noted. For
Anslinger and the Bureau of Narcotics, cannabis had to be destroyed everywhere.
The Reefer Madness campaign of 1938 marked the beginning of the
Americanisation of cannabis policy in Australia. Drugs policy in Australia was about
to be hijacked by a policy based, not on medical knowledge, but on misinformation
and tabloid hysteria.

Illustration 4: “How the media extend police powers”, Patrick Cook, New
Journalist 1978


Chapter 4

The Hunter Valley Crop

On the morning of November 16, 1964, startled residents of the city of Maitland,
180 km north of Sydney, awoke to the news that the Indian hemp plant — which the
newspapers called ‘the dreaded sex drug, marihuana’ — was growing wild along the
banks of the Hunter River.

A great mystery surrounded the find. The hemp plant is not believed to be a
native of Australia, yet the sheer size of the Hunter Valley crop seemed to indicate
otherwise. The plant was growing wild along a sixty-five kilometre stretch of the
Hunter River, and not as isolated clumps here and there, but in huge infestations
covering hundreds of hectares.

All that day, the radio and TV were filled with stories about the wild hemp crop.
The TV news showed workers with packs on their back, standing in huge paddocks
of marijuana, spraying furiously. All this lurid publicity about the ‘dreaded sex drug’
had a powerful effect on many of the young people of the area who immediately
organised expeditions to go out and pick some of the wild herb.

The time was ripe for the emergence of pot-smoking in Australia. It was 1964,
and the Beatles had just toured the country; pop icon, Bob Dylan, who turned on the
Beatles that year, would soon be singing “Everybody must get stoned!” For a whole
generation waiting to turn-on, the only question was: How? For those seeking the
answer, the Maitland Mercury revealed that “the plant did not need any special
preparation. Flowering tops of the female plant or the leaves could be cut and dried
and used immediately.”1

Those who took the hint and toked claimed that — unlike US ditchweed —
Hunter Valley weed was a good smoke. They were the first of many, a group of
people who became known in Australian marijuana folklore as ‘the Weed Raiders’
— the first pot smokers — legendary characters who came back from expeditions to
the Hunter with their sleeping bags full to the top and wild tales of monster plants
twelve feet high.

Both police statistics and popular folklore confirm that the wave of marijuana
smoking that was to engulf Australia in the next three decades had its origins here
amongst the weed raiders of the Hunter.

The Drug War against cannabis had its origins here too. The day after the story of
the Hunter Valley crop broke, Inspector Blake of the Maitland Police warned
“would-be marihuana hunters” that they would be charged with “possession of a


narcotic”. As the Maitland Mercury reported: ‘Police fear that Maitland’s wild
marihuana will fall into the hands of narcotic agents or teenagers “out for kicks”’.2
Ultimately, the Customs Department would estimate that the hemp plants were
growing along a 65 km stretch of the Hunter River, reaching from Singleton in the
north to East Maitland. Amongst the area it inspected, Customs estimated that 200
hectares of the Hunter Valley were heavily infested with cannabis, and the largest
patch was over 40 hectares in size.

The Mercury’s rival, the Newcastle Morning Herald, showed a farmer standing
waist deep in a 5 hectare paddock of marijuana on his East Maitland property. It
reported: ‘Since the presence of the marihuana was made public the Department of
Agriculture office at Maitland has been receiving constant telephone calls from
people who want to know how to produce the drug from the plant.’

Like the Maitland Mercury, the Newcastle Morning Herald did not leave its
readers guessing for long. Having shown a good identifying photo of the plant, its
article next day informed readers that marijuana merely had to be dried before

A grapevine of knowledge about good locations soon spread amongst the hip up
and down the coast, and by 1966, quite a few Newcastle lads had their trail bikes
revving along the back roads of the Hunter Valley, and were selling the herb along
Hunter Street ; all along the east coast of Australia from Noosa Heads to Swanson
Street, weed raiders spread this new joy.

One old surfer remembers: ‘What happened then changed many people’s lives,
and led to the hippie generation. The grass was the catalyst. Those in the know
turned many people on, and they turned on others. It spread very fast.’

For the local lads, the game of cops and weed raiders was a lot of fun. One
recalls: ‘You could pick the weed at many riverside locations, but getting back to the
highway with a sugar bag full of heads, and the cops on the prowl, could be pretty
nervy. Some guys used to fill their hub caps with grass. Others went quietly on
moonlit nights and took their time to pick pounds and pounds of the herb. From then
on, all our lifestyles started to change.’3

At that time there were many rumours amongst the surfers. One was that
marijuana had been observed growing in the flower beds of the Maitland Police
Station. Another had it that the farmers were being paid a bounty if they successfully
dobbed in a weed raider.

That this last rumour was true is confirmed both by the farmers themselves, and
by published reports of the Department of Customs and Excise. The first busts of
any size in Australia happened in the Hunter.


An old farmer recalls: ‘Some of these young blokes were pretty blatant. They
used to come up to me and ask, ‘Have you seen any of this marijuana round here?’ I
used to direct them to a paddock filled with stinking roger (a kind of wild marigold
that looks similar to marijuana). ‘There’s tons over there,’ I’d say. Some of the
others were a bit more sneaky, and pretended they were only fishing. Sure we told
the police if we saw them. We had young ones too, you know.’4

Origins of the Hunter Valley Crop

All the while, locals in the valley speculated about the mystery appearance of this
crop that had begun to transform their lives. Where had it sprung from? How long
had it been there?

According to the NSW Department of Agriculture, this was the first reported case
of marijuana growing in Australia! The plant was not indigenous to Australia, the
Department declared, and usually had to be cultivated. Yet the sheer size of the
infestation seemed proof enough that the infestation was natural and that no one was
deliberately cultivating the plant.

One theory was that the plants had grown from bird seed, which often contained
marijuana. Old timers could recall buying hemp seed for two shillings a bag back in
the 1920s. The Drug Squad discounted this, claiming that hemp seed in bird seed
mixtures was generally sterilised.

The most popular theory held that the plants originated from Chinese market
gardeners. That the Chinese should be blamed is predictable; Australia’s first drug
laws against opium smoking were fuelled by virulent anti-Chinese racism.

However, all these theories are wrong. The Hunter Valley crop was first
described by Dr Francis Campbell in his book A Treatise on the Culture of Flax and
Hemp published in Sydney in 1846. Dr Campbell writes:

I found it (hemp) growing wild in the greatest luxuriance on the sandy bank of
the river Hunter, near Singleton. But whether it had been originally introduced
into that part of New South Wales by some settler, or whether the plant be
indigenous, I have not yet been able to ascertain.5

Campbell obtained seed from this wild Australian hemp and conducted a growing
experiment. He was impressed both by the prolific growth rates and the size of this
wild crop. These impressions were repeated by the farmers of the 1960s who
claimed the plants had one of the fastest growth rates they had ever encountered.
Recent research suggests that the Hunter Valley crop originated with the Bell
brothers — Archibald Bell and William Sims Bell — the first white settlers of
Singleton in the Upper Hunter in 1823, who were friends of Dr Francis Campbell.
Their father, Archibald Bell, believed that Australia should be a colony for the
production of hemp and argued this case before the Bigge Royal Commission in


1819. Hemp was what the plant Cannabis sativa was called then; the word marijuana
was unknown in Australia before 1938. In those days the view that Australia should
be a hemp colony was widespread. Sir Joseph Banks, the ‘Father of Australia’, a
self-confessed hemp zealot, organised the seeds for the First Fleet and he put
Cannabis sativa at the top of the list. Hemp was at the heart of British naval power
in the Age of Sail. Each first rate man-of-war in the British navy needed 60 tons of
hemp for sails, uniforms, oakum and rope; and it took 320 acres (140 hectares) of
Cannabis sativa to produce this amount. The growing of hemp was, as Dr Francis
Campbell remarked, ‘a patriotic proposition’, and the British government
encouraged the hemp industry with bounties, grants of land, and free seed in all its

The early governors of the colony in New South Wales, naval men themselves,
‘set the example’ by growing substantial quantities. In 1803, Governor King wrote
glowingly to Sir Joseph Banks of the ten acres of Indian hemp he was growing in the
new colony:

From a pint of hemp-seed, sent from India in 1802, I have now sown 10 acres
for Government. A specimen of the rope is round the box that Cayley sends
you, which I have desired may be carefully preserved. It grows with the utmost
luxuriance, and is generally from 6 to 10 feet in height.7

Curiously, it seems that Governor King, who was interested in rope (Cannabis
sativa) not dope (Cannabis indica) was inadvertently growing dope, Cannabis
indica, or Indian hemp. At that time the British were ignorant of the botanical
differences between the two cannabis species, which are very similar plants. Because
Cannabis sativa seeds would not grow in India, Governor King was supplied with
Indian hemp or Cannabis indica seeds. This would have produced poor quality rope,
but might explain why the Hunter Valley crop was ‘a good smoke’.

Whatever its species, the Hunter Valley crop was intimately linked with the
founding of Australia, and this historical importance alone should have guaranteed
its preservation. But marijuana prohibition had brought with it a kind of historical
amnesia about the importance of cannabis.

The day after the Hunter Valley crop was discovered, the NSW Department of
Agriculture announced it would immediately begin a campaign of eradication:
cannabis was classified as a noxious weed under the Local Government Act, and all
hemp plants were to be destroyed.

The Department confidently predicted that ‘the bulk of the infestation should be
cleared in a fortnight.’ In fact, it was to take five years. During the late 1960s, many
Sydney university students had their initiation into the world of the weed on summer
holiday jobs at the Department of Agriculture, clearing, burning, poisoning —


exterminating in fact — a breed of wild cannabis which had made its home in
Australia for over 150 years.8


Chapter Five

I’d Love To Turn You On

Pot and the Sixties Counter-Culture

In 1967 the Beatles closed their epochal album Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club
Band with ‘A Day in the Life’ — a musical confession about their pot smoking:
‘Found my way upstairs and had a smoke/ Somebody spoke and I went into a
dream’. The song’s chorus and closing words were ‘I’d love to turn you on!’ And a
generation did. Within a few years of Sgt Pepper’s, pot smoking became widespread
in youth culture, not just in Australia, but across the entire planet.

The statistics reveal an extraordinary and explosive increase in cannabis smoking
in Australia in this period. In New South Wales, for example, 57 cannabis users were
convicted in 1966, and 394 in 1970, an increase of 500%! Even this increase seems
modest compared with Australian Bureau of Narcotic’s figures which show that
cannabis seizures rose from 1,376 grams in 1967 to 533,846 grams in 1972 — a
staggering 40,000% increase over five years! 1

It was the young who were turning on. Then as now, pot smoking was
concentrated in the 18 - 24 age group. A 1971 survey by the NSW Department of
Health in Sydney’s northern suburbs found that while only 9% of the population had
tried pot, 25 % of people aged between 18 and 24 years had used cannabis, and 13%
of this age group smoked pot regularly. None of the over 30s smoked pot at all.2
Pot-smoking was the preserve of the Baby-Boomers. Like the Vietnam War, pot
use divided the generations. As the conflict over Vietnam deepened, it divided
Australia, pitting left against right and old against young. In this overheated context,
the pot leaf joined the moratorium badge as a ‘revolutionary’ symbol, and to share a
joint at a party was to join ‘the Revolution’.

Pot in the Sixties

Sydney led the way as the centre of Australia’s cannabis trade for a number of quite
obvious reasons. It had the largest population in the country and was the largest port,
with numerous visiting ships. It had a well-established Lebanese community, and a
tradition of cannabis use among Kings Cross bohemians dating back beyond
Rosalind Norton and her cohorts in kink in the fifties, to before the Second World
War; to that time in 1938 when a hysterical Smith’s Weekly informed the nation that
the first doped cigarettes ‘of the evil sex drug marijuana’ had been smoked at parties
in Sydney.


In the sixties, Sydney was blessed with a seemingly inexhaustible supply of
cannabis. From 1964 to 1969, it had the Hunter Valley crop, hundreds of acres of
wild pot growing only 180 kms north. After September 1967 it had the US
servicemen on rest and recreation leave from Vietnam, flying in with some of the
best pot on the planet. Supply suddenly became no problem. If Sgt Pepper’s was the
spark, this supply-side surplus was the fuel for Sydney’s marijuana explosion.
By March 1967, the Sydney Morning Herald was writing about ‘pot parties’ in
Sydney where university students gathered to smoke marijuana.

Each month marijuana becomes more freely available in Sydney. It used to be
brought from the Hunter Valley where it grows wild, but departmental officers
have been poisoning it and police keep surviving patches under observation.
Today marijuana seeds are circulating in Sydney and the plant is probably
cultivated in countless backyards.3

The article, ‘Drugs—a new menace in affluent Sydney’ began in stereotypical

A girl of 19 lies on her filthy bed in a tiny room at King’s Cross. Once she was
pretty, but now she is pale and thin. She has long since lost interest in food,
clothes and cosmetics. She has not washed for weeks, and the stench of her
room is so foul that the unpaid social worker who is trying to help her gags
when he opens the door.

She is a heroin addict.

Framing the article was a photo of a junkie shooting up which bore the caption
‘Final stages of drug addiction - a “mainliner” injects heroin into a vein.’ The media
uncritically accepted the police view that marijuana use invariable led to heroin. As
policewoman Sgt Dell Fricker, addressing the Women’s group of the NSW Liberal
party in 1971, said: ‘We have found with this particular drug (marijuana) that, whilst
it is not an addictive one, after a while it no longer satisfies the smoker and almost
invariably they graduate to the hard drugs.’

Pot and the Growth of the Counter-Culture

The deepening divisions between the generations over Vietnam and drugs added to
youth’s growing distrust with the mainstream media. While the mainstream
portrayed marijuana as if it were heroin and treated it as a vicious, criminal
indulgence, young people were developing their own underground media which
poked fun at the mindless misinformation of the straight media and spoke to youth
about youth issues.

Australia’s first underground magazine, OZ, hit the streets of Sydney on April
Fools Day, 1963. Edited by Richard Walsh, Richard Neville and Martin Sharp, OZ,
in its first incarnation, was a satirical quarterfold, rather like Private Eye. Its vibrant
humour successfully outraged the defenders of public morals in Australia for several


Illustration 5: “The Addict”, by Martin Sharp, OZ, 1966


years. In 1968, at the peak of flower power, OZ rebirthed in London as a countercultural
newspaper with Richard Neville as editor.

Scooping Granny Herald on the marijuana issue,OZ published Martin Sharp’s
cartoon ‘The Addict’ in July 1966. Parodying the ‘Before and After’ formula,
Sharp’s comic narrates the tragic tale of young Wally Gruntley-Fang (member of the
school’s first XI and prominent debater) who, while on a pub crawl, is
unsuspectingly hooked on Indian hemp by vile degenerates at the Push’s pub, the
Royal George in Sussex Street:

They were in the lair of the perverse (and vile) smokers of that depraving
narcotic Indian Hemp (or “pot”, “shit” or “grass” as it is known to its pathetic
slaves) . . . He was overheard by what appeared to be a shambling pile of
rotting legs. This creature then offered him a “cigarette”. ‘Like a smoke’ were
the actual words, ‘like a smoke’, three seemingly harmless words, ‘Like a

Sharp’s work is satirical and phrases like ‘pathetic slaves’ recall startlingly
similar phrases from Smith’s Weekly’s Reefer Madness campaign of 1938. It ends
with an endorsement by ‘the United Breweries and Cigarette manufacturers of Aust
with the Federal Government’. Misinformation and hypocrisy, as always, provided
easy targets for the hip.

The counter-productive nature of much of the police anti-pot propaganda was
demonstrated by the popularity of police posters like ‘This is the prohibited plant
Indian Hemp’ which rapidly achieved cult status with Australian pot-smokers and
which hung on many a student wall.

But by far the most popular police turn-on for the counter-culture was the Drug
Squad display at the Police Pavilion at the Royal Shows in the various capital cities.
For many pot-smokers, this annual display of pot paraphernalia, plants and police
propaganda was the only reason to go to the Show.

Colin Talbot wrote an article about the Police Exhibition, ‘The Drug Squad
Exhibition’, for the Australasian Need in 1977. Featuring a wonderful Matt Mawson
illustration, this piece captured the feelings of awe and titillation (that ‘forbidden
fruit’ feeling) that the Police Exhibition invariably provoked:

And there in the far corner, under a banner proclaiming H. M. Customs, is
what we have paid to see. It is the dope stall.

Unfortunately we can’t get very close because it is proving to be a very
popular display, so we wait half an hour while the crowd thins down a bit, and
then wander over for a peruse.

Behind the bench is a plain clothes policeman. On the wall behind is the dope.
Hallucinogens, narcotics, soft drugs, hard drugs, uppers, downers, inbetweeners,
zoomers, stoppers, starters, capsules, tablets, ampoules, Glad-
Wrap bags. There are LSD, heroin, marijuana (several varieties), hashish
(several varieties), barbies, methedrine, benzedrine, blue capsules, red



Illustration 6: “Showday” by Ian McCausland


capsules, purple hearts, cubes, hookahs. Nothing left unsaid. We stand
gazing, without any obvious lust, we hope.

Meanwhile the policeman is giving a young married couple a sniff of opium
dross, and explaining to their amazement, all sorts of facts about smoking,
eating, dropping etc. these substances.

It is hard to believe all this stuff is real. I figure I had better ask and direct my
enquiry to the policeman.

“I say is all that . . .er, material up there the real thing?”

The policeman looks at us and says nothing.

“I mean, is it real, or have you substituted for the real thing for the effect?”
The policeman looks at us, and begins to smile. We look back, and he looks
at us looking. Everybody is looking.

“I just what to know out of curiosity. I mean I’m not gonna jump the desk and
grab it . . . er, or anything.”5

The Drug Squad exhibit also inspired Ian McCausland’s 1972 comic ‘Showday’
published in the underground magazine, The Digger.

In the decade that followed OZ, the underground press in Australia flourished
with a variety of radical youth magazines like The Living Daylights, Revolution,
Nation Review, The Digger, Rats and The Cane Toad Times, all of which published
the work of young Australian comic artists who explored youth themes like sexual
liberation and mind-expanding drugs — acid, mushrooms, pot —in an underground
cartoon form.

Australia’s own scoobie-puffing drug-pig, Captain Goodvibes, was created by
Sydney cartoonist, Tony Edwards in Tracks magazine. Inspired by Gilbert Shelton’s
Wonder Warthog, Captain Goodvibes achieved cult status with young surfies,
becoming even more popular in Australia than the Hog of Steel himself! The spirit
of Sheldon also inspired Ian McCausland who created a trio of furry Australian
freaks called Ace, Flasha and Bob Scramble who, like Shelton’s Fabulous Furry
Freak Brothers, smoke their way through escapades at beaches, country capers and
the police exhibition; miraculously avoiding busts by a combination of holy roach
clips and manic energy. McCausland’s clean, clear panels adorned The Digger,
Garrison’s Gazette and High Times between 1970 and 1972, and a good number are
reprinted in the Wild and Woolley Comic Book. They reflect the everyday life of pot
culture in Australia in the Sixties — the joys of ‘the turn-on’, the dread of the knock
on the door late at night.

Pot in Sixties Australia

Although prohibitionists like to claim that today’s hydroponic pot is twenty times
stronger than the ‘gentle’ pot of the 1960s, the truth is that the sixties were the
Golden Age for smuggling, and exotic pot like Buddha sticks, Sumatran Red,


Durban Poison, Maui Wowie and Lebanese hash were common. Police and customs
were unfamiliar with pot, and there were many surfies, hippies and ethnic
businessmen willing to give smuggling a go.

One Lebanese man related how he smuggled a kilo of hash into Australia
wrapped in Alfoil. He was searched by Customs, his suitcase opened, and the
package unwrapped. ‘What’s this?’ the Customs man asked. ‘It’s Lebanese food,’
said the young smuggler. ‘We eat it all the time back home! Would you like to try
some?’ Disgusted by the powerful smell of this ‘Lebanese food’, the Customs officer
quickly rewrapped the hash and shut the suitcase!

Many humorous anecdotes about pot in the sixties are based on ‘straights’ not
being able to recognise pot. For example, in The Cane Toad Times, the Brisbane
Devotee tells a story about being stopped by police in 1968 outside Foco, the radical
nightclub at Trades Hall. He was searched by police who were looking for pills,
uppers and downers, which were the main drugs of abuse amongst youth before pot.
The police discovered his marijuana pouch: ‘Listen, kid,’ the police said. ‘We’re not
interested in this Turkish tobacco. Where are the pills!’6

In the sixties, the regime of prohibition in Australia was low and the pot scene
was devoid of the criminal element that would become pervasive after 1976. It was
run by amateurs, young people who were drug enthusiasts themselves. In 1977,
writing about the recent criminal take-over of the Australian pot scene, JJ McRoach
nostalgically recalled the days of the counter-culture dealers:

Back in the ‘good old days of the counter-culture’, marijuana dealers were
regarded by most smokers as Robin Hood types, romantic urban outlaws
bringing the good stuff to the people. Some money was made by these
dealers but we assumed the prime motivating force was the spirit of a new
consciousness, not merely the carrot of fiscal reward.7

Much of sixties drug-taking was purely ‘experimental’ and ‘safe’. For sixties
counter-cultural youth, addictive drugs like heroin and speed were ‘uncool’ and the
‘hippie dealers’ would not touch heroin; providing an effective border against heroin
expansion, which the criminal takeover needed to smash. The good sense of this
drug taking was encouraged by the underground press, which published many wellinformed
articles, including interviews with leading drug researchers like Timothy
Leary. Under current censorship laws, much of this content would be illegal today.

The Counter-Revolution Begins

Just as in the USA, the debate about drugs policy in Australia was clouded by the
Vietnam War and a host of generation-related controversies for which drugs served
as a kind of code. Debating the Poisons (Amendment Bill) 1970 (NSW), a
government member argued that drugs were all part of ‘the permissive society’:


Permissiveness as a whole has many parts, including permitting
homosexuality ... permitting sexual intercourse outside previously tolerated
bounds; permitting easier divorce ... permitting attempted suicide; permitting
euthanasia; and permitting soft, tolerant attitudes to the rearing and education
of children and to discipline and authority generally.8

Another conservative speaker claimed that drugs were all part of a communist
conspiracy; the next complained that Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithful were living
together unmarried; while the next spoke about the dangers of pop festivals. The
attendance of a Labor member at a Moratorium rally also found its way into the

These elements were all linked together in the conservative mind by the current of
the times; ‘the drug pushers, the lawbreakers, the demonstrators and the radicals’, as
Bjelke-Petersen would label his enemies in 1976, were replacing communism as the
new menace for the right-wing.

To the horror of men like Nixon and Bjelke-Petersen, in December 1972, Baby-
Boomer votes took Gough Whitlam and the ALP to victory. It was Time! Time to
end conscription; time to end Australian participation in the Vietnam War; time for
the dawn of a new era of Australian independence in foreign affairs and drugs


Illustration 7: “The times they are Remaining”, Terry Murphy, Cane Toad Times


Chapter 6

Teenage Heaven: Sex, Dope and Gough Whitlam

In 1973 Australia’s most popular band, Daddy Cool, released their second album. Its
title was Sex, Dope and Rock’n’Roll: Teenage Heaven. 1973, the year of Teenage
Heaven, was the first year of the left-wing Whitlam Labor government. It was the
time of the Aquarius Festival in Nimbin, sponsored by the Australian Union of
Students with a grant from the Whitlam government. At that festival pot was smoked
openly, and 5,000 students rioted when the police attempted to make a drug arrest.
By 1973 marijuana was well established in Australian youth culture with about
500,000 smokers in Australia, almost all of them under thirty. Pot had grown to
become a multi-million dollar industry.1

With the end of rest and recreation tours, the amount of imported cannabis fell,
providing an enormous incentive for Australian pot growers. From 1973 onwards the
back-to-the-land movement amongst Australia’s counter-culture saw an increasing
number of young Baby-Boomers leaving the city for country areas like Nimbin and
Cedar Bay. Many of these ‘new settlers’ were pot smokers and grew pot on the side.
It was the back-to-the-land movement which became the main target of the War
on Drugs. Where they settled, in the far north of Queensland and New South Wales,
the conflict between these new settlers and the established population was intense,
and was exacerbated by three large, anti-logging, save-the-rainforest campaigns:
Terania, Mt Nardi and the Daintree Blockade. The politicians who led the charge for
the War on Drugs were generally National Party politicians from these areas who
were pro-development and who used pot as an issue to ‘bash the hippies’.

As a result, hippie communities would take the full brunt of the War on Drugs
with numerous paramilitary assaults by armed police of which Cedar Bay is simply
the most famous. In 1981 the ‘helicopter raids’ began in northern New South Wales,
subjecting thousands of individuals in scores of alternative communities, from the
Tweed to the Bellinger Valley, to massive ‘search-and-destroy missions’ by teams of
up to 30 police, who used helicopters and trail bikes to raid these remote rainforest
communities. Reinforcing the thesis that the War on Drugs was simply a code for a
war on the young, the Left, and the alternative, the hippies often claimed these
paramilitary invasions were payback for the rainforest protests in which they


As the War on Drugs progressed, the helicopter raids became a yearly occurrence.
To protest against fifteen years of helicopter raids on alternative communities in
northern New South Wales, in January 1997 the HEMP (Help End Marijuana
Prohibition) Action Group staged a non-violent protest in Lismore in which
members locked themselves onto the NSW Drug Enforcement Agency’s helicopter
while the DEA’s Plantation Squad were asleep in their hotel. The ambush worked
perfectly, holding up the raid schedule and embarrassing the police.2
The Thaw in the Cannabis War under Whitlam

Marijuana was generally perceived as a ‘soft’ drug in the sixties. This reputation was
further enhanced by a series of government inquiries including the Wooten
Committee in Britain, the Schaefer Commission in the US, and Le Dain Royal
Commission in Canada. The Wooten Report (1968) concluded:

Having reviewed all the material available to us we find ourselves in
agreement with the conclusion reached by the Indian Hemp Drugs
Commission appointed by the Government of India (1893 - 1894) and the
New York Mayor’s Committee on Marihuana (1944), that the long-term
consumption of cannabis in moderate doses has no harmful effects. 3

Reflecting this soft view on cannabis, the Senate Standing Committee upon Drugs
recommended in 1971 that Australia should press the United Nations to change the
classification of cannabis to a lesser schedule. It also recommended that ‘the
Commonwealth and the States enact cannabis legislation which recognise the
significant differences between opiate narcotics and cannabis in their health effects
and in the criminal impact on users and the community’.

That , for possession of marihuana for personal use, as already defined in
most states -
(a) The offence not be defined in law as a crime.
(b) The penalty be solely pecuniary and be enforceable by attachment of
property, imprisonment, or such other means as may be determined.
(c) The penalty be a fixed amount.
(d) The penalty be at approximately the same level (that is $100 to $150) now
being imposed by the courts in most states.4

The sentencing pattern for marijuana offences reflected a lessening regime of
prohibition. More than 80% of marijuana users convicted in NSW were jailed in
1966, despite a lack of prior conviction and despite the lack of gravity of the offence.
By 1972 only 20% of marijuana cases resulted in sentences, and none for possession
or use of marijuana, according to Mr Murray Farquhar CSM, Chief Stipendiary
Magistrate in New South Wales, who noted that the standard fine for possession of
cannabis had dropped to $70 by 1972. Echoing the views of the Senate Standing
Committee about the need to reclassify cannabis, Farquhar CSM said he believed


sentencing problems were created by bracketing marijuana with heroin and the other

Perhaps it would not be unfair to say that the delights of its (marijuana’s) use
appear to be over-rated by those who use it, and its dangers similarly
exaggerated by those who seek to keep it prohibited. I prefer not to become
uptight about the use of drugs. It is certainly a matter for most serious
concern, but not for panic. It is well to remember that it falls far short of
achieving the proportions of alcoholism. And we appear not to be uptight
about that.5

Magistrates in the ACT were taking an even less ‘uptight’ approach. In 1974 the
definition of cannabis as a ‘drug’ was successfully challenged in a number of legal
cases in the ACT. After costs were awarded against police, it was decided not to
prosecute users until new legislation was passed, bringing about a period of de-facto
decriminalisation. In the Whitlamite controlled ACT, the regime of prohibition in
1974 was absolute zero cannabis prosecutions/thousands smokers!

At that time the ACT had no local government and it was administered by the
Whitlam Labor government. In debates in the Commonwealth parliament from 1970
to 1972, Labor politicians, like Dr Cass, Dr Klugman, Dr Everingham, and Senators
Wheeldon and Cavanagh, had all made their opinions on the need for legislative
change on cannabis clearly known. All of them were ‘soft on drugs’. Attorney-
General Kep Enderby, who was responsible for the law in the ACT, was accused of
‘blackguardly impertinence’ and an ‘underhanded and cavalier manner’ by Liberal
shadow Customs Minister Don Chipp for allowing the ACT’s de-facto

The differing views on cannabis between the Whitlamites’ and their conservative
opponents were best illustrated on 17 April 1975, when Bob Katter Snr (National
Party, Kennedy) rose to condemn marijuana and the Whitlam government in a
speech which stopped just short of demanding the death penalty for both! According
to Katter, marijuana caused cancer, ‘genetic imbalance’, birth deformities and
impotence. Although his claims were not supported by any of the major
investigations into cannabis from the Indian Hemp Royal Commission to the Le
Dain Royal Commission, Katter attempted to give his unsubstantiated allegations a
veneer of scientific credibility with the claim they came from some (unspecified!)
UN report:

Mr Katter - Is the Attorney-General aware that, after prolonged investigations
into the affect of marihuana, a report from the World Health Organisation of
the United Nations now claims that there is conclusive evidence that the
habitual smoking of marihuana can cause genetic imbalance resulting in a
serious effect on a young woman’s - or any other woman’s - reproductive
organs and may similarly affect a young man; in particular there is the
possibility of his becoming impotent ... Is the Attorney-General aware that
there is the possibility of cancer also resulting. In view of even the remotest


possibility of this happening, will the Attorney-General now urgently allow the
law to be enforced in the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern
Territory so that those persons in possession of any quantity of any drugs will
be prosecuted and young people will thereby be protected against their own
weakness and their exploitation by criminal drug pushers? Will he step up law
enforcement activities so that he may have arrested, and put away, the lowest
form of animal life, the pusher? Will he take steps to have the law revised
whereby the murderous activities of ‘Mr Big’ who sits in the shadows, the
recipient of huge profits ... Will the Attorney-General apply the same penalties
to the wholesale distributor in drugs as applies to a convicted murderer? 7

In reply, Kep Enderby spelt out the Whitlamite position on cannabis:
Mr Enderby: I am not a doctor. The question of the harmful effects or
otherwise of marihuana is a continuing debate. My understanding is that the
case for its harmful effects is nowhere near as convincingly made out as it is
for alcohol and certainly for nicotine. But the debate and the controversy
continue ... My understanding, and it is based on advice that has come to me
from the Department, is that some considerable time ago a practice was
arrived at in the Australian Capital Territory Police Force that led to no more
arrests being made. There were exceptions to that, but that was the policy
and that was the practice ... The matter of changing the law is a matter for my
concern. There is a proposal, with which I am associated, together with the
Minister for Health in this Government, which would give effect to certain
international treaty obligations that the Government, flowing from the
International Convention on Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances. If
that proposition comes to fruition the penalties that are obviously thought
desirable by the honourable gentlemen for trafficking in hard drugs will
certainly be extremely severe. On the question of marihuana it would provide -
it is only a proposal at this stage - for a penalty much lighter than the penalties
that exist in the existing State legislation, because this proposal, if it comes to
fruition will result in legislation from this Parliament that will have overriding
Australia-wide effect.8

The aim of the International Convention on Psychotropic Substances was to bring
about control of mood altering drugs (which were not narcotics) in a similar way to
the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs 1961. Like the International Convention
on Narcotic Drugs, the Psychotropic Convention provided schedules which limited
the manufacture, movement and use of the drugs concerned. Drugs covered by the
convention were graded according to abuse potential, and controls ranged from a
virtual embargo on substances like LSD and mescaline, to less strict requirements
applicable to minor barbiturates, tranquillisers and stimulants. The Senate Standing
Committee on Drug Trafficking and Drug Abuse had recommended in 1971 that
Australia should press the United Nations to change the classification of cannabis
and move it to a separate schedule from the opiates. The Whitlam government’s
intention was to use the new international convention to reschedule cannabis in this
way; cannabis would still be a controlled substance, but under a less strict schedule
than the narcotics, and this reclassification would have an Australia-wide effect,


overriding state drug laws. Preparations for this move had already been made in
December 1974 when cannabis was rescheduled under the Customs Act.
In August 1975, the Whitlam cabinet was preparing the legislation (to be
introduced during the budget session) that would have decriminalised cannabis
possession Australia-wide. The legislation, drafted under the sponsorship of the
Attorney-General, Mr Enderby, the Minister for Health, Dr Everingham, and the
Minister for Police and Customs, Senator Cavanagh, was based on the international
drugs conventions; hence, the Whitlam government was relying on its constitutional
powers over foreign affairs to override the existing state laws. As recommended by
the Senate Select Committee Upon Drugs, the legislation would have separated
cannabis from drugs like heroin by moving cannabis to a different schedule with
lighter penalties. As The Australian’s Paul Kelly disapprovingly noted ‘Soft drugs
users will be fined an almost nominal $100, but drug traffickers could be jailed
and/or fined $100,000 under proposed new Federal laws ... Dr Everingham has made
it clear that he believes the problems of drug addicts should be treated in a medical
sense, without criminal action and that action should be stepped up against
traffickers in hard drugs.’ According to Kelly this ‘controversial’ legislation
reflected ‘the growing social acceptance of marijuana as a drug’. Kelly predicted a
‘states rights’ tussle with Queensland Premier Bjelke-Petersen, a battle avoided by
the ‘constitutional coup’ of 11 November 1975. 9 As the first stage of this reform, on
20 August 1975, the ACT Legislative Council passed the Public Health (Prohibited
Drugs) Bill (1975) introducing a maximum fine for the possession of up to 25 grams
of cannabis.9

The contrast with Katter was obvious. Like his Queensland leader, Bjelke-
Petersen, Katter wanted to use the drug laws to imprison (for life!) his political
opponents. At the time of Cedar Bay, he would make the same unsubstantiated
claims about the effects of cannabis and demand that: ‘While these dangers of the
drug pusher exist, these men and women in public life who promulgate the smoking
of marihuana should be put away for the rest of their lives’.11

The people Katter wanted to jail included three doctors, Dr Cass, Dr Klugman
and Dr Everingham; men whose crimes were that they had simply not read his still
unnamed ‘UN report’ on cannabis, and who based their conclusions on cannabis
policy on far more important reports like Le Dain, Schaeffer, Wooten and The
Senate Standing Committee upon Drugs.

In this bigoted and confusing way, the War on Drugs was becoming part of a
right-wing demand for a war on the Whitlamites.


Last Days of the Whitlamites

By 1975 nine US states had decriminalised, and many Australians were eager that
we should follow suit. In August that year, the ACT Legislative Assembly approved
the introduction of a maximum penalty of $100 for the possession of up to 25 grams
of cannabis, and moves were under way to change the laws federally as well as in
states like South Australia, New South Wales and Tasmania.12

In September 1976 Sandra Jobson interviewed a group of Sydney 16 year olds for
The Australian about how they saw the future. Their comments on drugs were
revealing. Said one schoolboy:

I would like to inform all you misguided elders about the drug problem in
schools. Drugs in any school are extremely easy to obtain and nearly
everyone I know has tried or smoked dope. I also think it should be legalised
because the more you say ‘don’t do this it’s bad’ the more the persons going
to do it. Secondly, people say pot is addictive and can lead to hard drugs like
heroin and LSD but this all bulldust. No one I know is addicted to dope and
only a small percentage of people go on to the harder drugs. Just consider
this: there are more people dying from excessive drinking than died through
drug abuse. So why don’t you ban alcohol or don’t you want to because it’s
something you like?

To these 16 year olds, legalisation of some drugs was inevitable. Another youth
foresaw the future thus: ‘The use of drugs will be so common that it will be
legalised. This will be a great advantage because it will no longer be a ‘big business’
issue with pushers becoming millionaires over-night. The price of drugs will drop’.13
It was a time, as they say, of ‘high hopes’.

It would prove a false dawn.

Whitlam, Nixon and Pot

Gough Whitlam was elected Prime Minister of Australia in 1972, an election that
marked the beginning of a short-lived era of national self-respect and independence.
The three stated aims of the new Labor government were to promote equality, to
involve the people in decision-making processes and to liberate the talents and uplift
the horizons of the Australian people.

Within two weeks of his election, conscription was abolished, draft resisters were
released from jail and troops withdrawn from Vietnam. Voting rights were extended
to all Australians over eighteen, and university fees were abolished. Whitlam’s youth
constituency also gained community radio stations, and the Whitlam government
intended to decriminalise marijuana. Whitlam’s policies on equality for all citizens
led to Aborigines being granted land rights in the Northern Territory.


In foreign affairs, the People’s Republic of China was recognised. Whitlam was
less subservient than his Liberal predecessors to foreign policy directions from the
USA, and he took a critical line, condemning President Nixon’s Christmas bombing
offensive against North Vietnam, thus enraging Nixon and Kissinger. In 1974, after
Whitlam was re-elected and Dr Jim Cairns became his deputy, Nixon ordered the
CIA to review US policy towards Australia. Many believe that a covert operation to
destabilise the Whitlam government began then. Whitlam’s conservative opponents,
like Queensland Premier Bjelke-Petersen, were similarly enraged, and they
conspired with the Americans to remove Whitlam.

Whitlam’s term as Prime Minister ended in 1975 when he was dismissed by the
Governor-General, Sir John Kerr. Whitlam’s dismissal — the constitutional coup of
1975 — is one of the most controversial issues in Australia’s history. It ended three
years of extensive social and cultural reform which enraged conservative Australia.
For the triumphant conservatives, it was time — time for revenge.


Chapter 7:

Richard Nixon and the War on Drugs in Australia

It was in the hands of rebellious youth that most Americans first saw wrinkled
little cigarettes of marijuana. In 1967, pot wasn’t feared much as a health
threat; it was the ‘soft’ drug besides heroin and the hallucinogens. From the
start, the country understood it as a cultural symbol with political punch.
Gallup got it: the polling company measured the connection between
marijuana and politics and tabulated the result in two neat columns -
demonstrators and non-demonstrators - showing vastly more demonstrators
had tried pot.

Dan Baum: Smoke & Mirrors

Within Australia in the late 1960s and early 1970s it was still possible, though
probably not justifiable, for most people to regard cannabis use as behaviour
largely confined to readily identifiable groups, such as radical students,
‘hippie’ drop-outs and opponents of the Vietnam War. As long as this
perception remained, cannabis users could be seen as threatening the values
widely accepted by mainstream groups in the community, particularly the
stress placed on honest labour and the distaste for political extremism.

The Sackville Royal Commission: Cannabis - a discussion paper

In his history of the US War on Drugs, Smoke and Mirrors, Dan Baum argues that,
although the US began using police to control the use of drugs in 1914, the War on
Drugs — in name and in spirit — began during Nixon’s 1968 presidential campaign.
The Swinging Sixties was a decade of sexual promiscuity, rock’n’roll and new
drugs like pot and LSD; it was a time of youth in rebellion against the old. But as the
decade progressed, in both the USA and Australia, the intense social division caused
by the Vietnam War (and conscription for that war) exploded. By the end, the sixties
had become a time of riot on the campus and in the ghetto. as a psychedelic counterculture
confronted the dominant culture. ‘The Revolution’s here’ the song
proclaimed, and the counter-revolution was waiting in the wings.

1968 saw the Tet offensive, the Prague Spring, the student-worker rebellion in
France, and the riots outside the Democratic convention in Chicago. In that year,
Richard Nixon swept into office in the USA on a political platform of ‘Law and
Order’. After the Tet offensive, Nixon knew that Vietnam was useless as a campaign
issue. Nixon found his substitute campaign issue just outside the window, ‘reeking
of tear gas, burning tires, and marijuana smoke’ as Baum puts it.


Vietnam was a million miles away, but right here at home life was becoming
unbearably chaotic for the middle-class white majority. Although Americans
were turning against the war, most despised the movement trying to stop it.1
This feeling was strongest amongst those Americans who were Richard Nixon’s
constituency. They saw the counter-culture as a godless bunch of stoned hippies,
braless women and homicidal Negroes; they were lawless wreckers who burned,
stole, and used drugs. They were bad people who needed to be punished.
Drugs provided a convenient way to achieve this end. What Nixon discovered
was that ‘drugs’ could stand in for a host of problems too awkward to discuss. Pot
was a dangerous drug, not because of any effects it had on your body, but because of
the way people who used pot thought. Since the counter-culture had chosen pot as
their symbol, the War on Drugs would be an integral part of Nixon’s counterrevolution.

The Democrats’ constituency — the young, the poor, and the black —
were all pot users. Nixon couldn’t make it illegal to be young, poor or black but he
could crack down hard on pot. As J. Edgar Hoover memoed his agents: ‘Since the
use of marijuana is widespread among members of the New Left you should be alert
to opportunities to have them arrested by local authorities on drug charges’.2

At Anaheim in California on 16 September 1968, Nixon stood in the shadow of
Disneyland as he launched his War on Drugs: ‘As I look over the problems in this
country, I see one problem that stands out in particular: The problem of narcotics.’
Nixon called drugs ‘a modern curse of youth’. Like the plagues and epidemics of
former years, they were decimating a generation of Americans. He promised his
administration would ‘accelerate the development of tools and weapons’ to fight
illegal drugs: a tripled Customs Service, more federal drug agents, massive
assistance to local police, and anti-drug operations abroad. Where Lyndon Johnson
had declared a ‘War on Poverty’ Richard Nixon declared a War on Drugs.

Baum’s thesis is that, in the US context, the War on Drugs has been code for a
war on the young, the poor and the black. This is true also of the Australian
experience — particularly in Queensland — where the War on Drugs was code for a
war on the young, the alternative, and the Left.3

After 1975, Australian conservatives launched a Nixon-style ‘War on Drugs’.
Not surprisingly, this application of US-style drugs policy to Australia would
produce US-style drug problems in Australia.

1976: The Launch of the War on Drugs in Australia

The first campaign of Richard Nixon’s War on Drugs in the US was ‘Operation
Intercept’ — the blockade of the Mexican border in 1969 — designed to cut off the
supply of Mexican marijuana. It was headed up by G Gordon Liddy, the future
Watergate plumber, who rose to fame by busting Timothy Leary. As critic Robert


Singer observed: ‘Liddy ran the War on Drugs as a domestic vendetta against
radicals and the youth movement.’4 In an intriguing parallel to what would happen in
Australia in 1976 and 1977, heroin use exploded in the U.S. as a consequence. The
War on Drugs inspired crackdown on pot, Operation Intercept, made marijuana
disappear from the street. At the same time, CIA-led heroin smugglers were flooding
the streets with South-east Asian heroin. By 1971, there were close to one million
U.S. addicts.5

The heroin epidemic, as Robert Singer observed:
drove millions of voters into the law-and-order camp by giving them a
bogeyman far more virulent, despicable and immediate than the classic
godless communism of yore: the pusher ... While George McGovern
campaigned against himself, Nixon beat him by running against the smack
dealer on the corner.6

All this would be duplicated in Australia eight years later when the victorious
anti-Whitlamites launched a Nixon-like War on Drugs in Australia. As in the US,
heroin use exploded in Australia as a direct consequence of the crackdown on
marijuana. As in the US, this so called ‘anti-drugs’ campaign was more a Nixonstyle
counter-revolution: the central aim was to punish Whitlamites, not to protect
public health. In Drug Traffic, Dr Alfred McCoy summarised the counter-productive
effects of this anti-drug campaign on Australia:

Ironically, then, the net effect of the 1977-8 anti-drug campaign was to
increase the gravity of drug taking and criminalise drug dealing. As marijuana
supplies dwindled, and heroin increased in availability, the Sydney drug scene
shifted from recreational marijuana use to heroin addiction. The sudden
increase in both heroin addiction and cannabis use in the mid-1970s had
prompted widespread public concern. Governments responded with increased
police enforcement, the formation of three Royal Commissions into drugs and
a politicisation of heroin suppression policy, most notably in the 1978 N.S.W.
State elections. During the early weeks of the campaign, the Opposition
Liberal-Country Parties featured ‘get-the-addict’ television advertisements
showing exploding syringes and young Australians ‘shooting up’ before the

As in the US, what was touted as an attack on ‘drug-pushers’ became ‘a
domestic vendetta against radicals and the youth movement’. The biggest operations
of this War on Drugs were two large paramilitary raids by police against hippie
communes in Queensland and New South Wales.

On 15 August 1976, the largest commune in Australia, the Tuntable Falls Cooperative
outside Nimbin, was subjected to a paramilitary attack by forty police.

Sixty two residents were arrested and carted off to prison in cattle trucks, delivered
to ‘the abattoirs of justice’, in the words of Neil Pike’s Bush Bust Ballad. Two weeks
later, on 29 August 1976, thirty Queensland police and Customs officers used a


helicopter, a navy patrol boat and a customs launch in a copy-cat paramilitary raid


a north Queensland commune at Cedar Bay. Food, gardens and houses were
destroyed as the Queensland police went on a rampage.

However, Cedar Bay and Tuntable Falls were simply the very visible tip of the
massive War on Drugs ‘iceberg’ as the figures on drug offences in Australia show.
After 1975 the number of cannabis offences prosecuted in Australia rose far more
rapidly than the comparative increase in smokers. Between 1973 and 1984, the
number of pot smokers in Australia rose from 500,000 to 1,175,000, an increase of
135%; however, total drug offences rose from 6,702 in 1973 to 65,200 in 1984, an
increase of 900%. This massive rise in drug prosecutions meant that the cost of drug
law enforcement in Australia rose from $10 million in 1973 to $250 million in 1984.

The Criminal Takeover of Pot Dealing

Along with the launch of the War on Drugs, the winter of 1976 brought with it a
criminal takeover of the pot dealing scene. Throughout the summer of 1976/77, the
underground press carried a number of reports of an attack on the old hippie dealing
network by organised crime. Although the reports came from all over Australia and
New Zealand, they were remarkably similar. Marijuana only dealers would be
visited by ‘heavies’ who offered a simple choice: either deal heroin or get out. Along
with US style prohibition, US style organised crime came to Australia.

David Hirst characterises the pot scene in Australia before the criminal takeover
as a ‘corner shop’ system of totally disorganised crime, which was ‘one of the
remaining aspects of an otherwise disembowelled counter culture.’ In Heroin in
Australia, Hirst reported interviewing a number of these ‘corner shop proprietors’
(his phrase for what McRoach called the old hippie dealer network) in Sydney,
Canberra and Melbourne. He found their reports ‘alarmingly similar’. In each case a
large number of men (up to ten) had arrived at night and terrorised the household.
They had knowledge of the activities of the dealers and demanded money and drugs.
They raided only dealers who refused to handle heroin and left threats of what would
happen if ‘another deal left the house’.

In an article ‘The Canberra Connection’ in The Australasian Seed (July 1977)
Hugh Davidson interviewed the head of the Canberra drug squad, Sgt Craft, and
asked him if there was a criminal push to get rid of the ‘straight grass’ dealers from
Canberra. Sgt Craft replied: “There were a couple of gunmen doing the town over
last year but we put them away.” Sgt Craft thought it may have been organised from
Sydney, but was unable to say anything more definite. 8

A similar story emerged from Brisbane where, in May 1977, in an article entitled
‘I Cover The Dope Front’, The Cane Toad Times, described the situation in
Queensland: ‘The past season saw violence, rip offs, and the thin blue line fanning


out. Dope was in slack supply and in increasing prices.’ According to this article, pot
was almost impossible to get in Brisbane in December 1976:
No-one was singing All I Want For Xmas except to the Untouchable, Robert
Stack, [Rhyming slang for smack or heroin which began to flood through
Brisbane’s underground at this time]. One youth arrested by the police was
about to shoot up for the first time. In court he pleaded “I’m sick of drinking -
there was no dope -and I wanted to get stoned.9

This was about to become an all-too-familiar story.

The Cane Toad Times sensed the gathering storm:
“Remember Cedar Bay” is chalked up on the toilet walls at Herschell Street
[Queensland Police Headquarters], the limehouse lord and his bodyguard wait
with the Robert Stack .... ‘Whatever happened to Mary Jane?

In his book, New Zealand Green, Redmer Yska describes a similar pattern in
New Zealand; a legendary hippie era when ‘the blissed-out tribes of early pot
smokers’ rarely sold ‘sacramental cannabis’ for profit, which was replaced by a
criminal network around 1976. Yska quotes arts festival organiser, rock promoter
and cannabis supplier, Graeme Nesbit, who said his dealing began as a way of
getting large quantities of pot to pass around at festivals.

It didn’t occur to us for a long time that we could make money out of grass
because we were so stoned. And even then it was a case of shall we put a
dollar on it and it’ll help us buy a new amplifier. Money was never the

Nesbit and other New Zealand believers abhorred the heroin scene introduced by
Terry Clark and the Mr Asia gang. Like the Australian ‘old hippy dealer network’,
they would not sell heroin.

Clark wanted to move into dealing smack and we didn’t. And while we were
out there with the huge street market and refusing to infiltrate the pyramid with
anything other than grass, we were impeding his operation.

In late 1976 an organised crime group moved into the drug scene in Australia
and New Zealand. They attacked the counter-cultural, ‘grass only’ dealers,
demanding they sell heroin or get out. The old hippie dealers with their ethic of
‘consciousness-expansion’ were removed. The ‘Age of Robert Stack’ was looming.

Marijuana Drought/Heroin Plague

The criminal takeover of the drug scene made 1976 and 1977 a time of murders, the
most famous being the murder of Donald Mackay in July 1977. Following the
Mackay murder, marijuana supplies around Australia collapsed. This is the time
remembered in marijuana folklore as ‘the Drought’ or ‘the Great Drought’ — when,
for months on end, pot was almost impossible to obtain. The enormous reaction to
Don Mackay’s murder closed down the Griffith operation. With the old Hippie


network now the subject of attacks by both the police and organised crime, the
collapse in marijuana supplies was dramatic. Those who benefited most were the
heroin pushers. With pot unavailable, heroin sales went through the roof. During the
1976-78 period, the amount of Southeast Asian heroin entering Australia increased

The Cane Toad Times #1 first mentioned the Drought and placed its beginnings
at Christmas 1976. Possibly the Drought began earlier in Queensland because of its
high-level of repression. As The Australasian Seed ‘Market Report’ shows, Sydney
and Melbourne marijuana markets were well-stocked up until July 1977, suggesting
that the Drought became nation-wide after the murder of Donald Mackay. Damien
Ledwich’s cartoon, ‘Listen Earthperson’, in The Cane Toad Times #4, indicates that
the Drought was well-established by the time of the Right-to-March demonstrations
in October 1977. There was probably a series of peaks and troughs in the Drought,
corresponding with local circumstances and the annual Christmas-drought/Mayharvest
pot cycle, but the Drought seems to have lasted from July 1977 until 1979.

Between 1977 and 1978 Sydney prices for imported Thai sticks or Lebanese
hash more than doubled, while the retail bulk price for leaf marijuana went up more
than 500 per cent. ‘Given the vast amounts we were seizing,’ boasted a senior
Commonwealth officer, ‘it is very likely we have created a marijuana drought’.12
Heroin meanwhile kept a steady price and had a remarkably high purity of 22%.
NSW police reported an alarming increase of heroin abuse in the first six months of
1978. The lower grade No 3 Southeast Asian heroin, which had dominated the
market in 1977, gave way to more refined No 4 grade powder. Citing a figure of
7,000 to 10,000 addicts in Sydney, the police said that Sydney was now ‘the heroin
capital of Australia’.13

In January 1979, Bill Crews, director of the Crisis Centre of the Wayside Chapel
at Kings Cross, spoke about the changes occurring in the street drug scene as a result
of the crackdown on pot: ‘More and more of these people who can’t get marijuana
are getting into mandrax and alcohol and also heroin. When grass was around, they
used that most. But now it’s mandrax, heroin, and they are into booze as well.’
Patricia Healey, Acting Drugs Co-ordinator for the Sydney South Metropolitan
region, shared these concerns: ‘I find the whole thing extremely disturbing. The
impression I have from information I receive is that heroin is increasingly easy to get
and marijuana is increasingly difficult to obtain.’ By cracking down on the soft drug
pot, the authorities opened up a large market for heroin. ‘We have noticed that if
there is a shortage of marijuana, there is definitely a move towards other drugs,’
confirmed Dr. Stella Dalton, medical director of the Wistaria House drug clinic.


At Bondi Community Health Centre, drug counsellor Kate Russell said: ‘The
marijuana drought has been going on throughout the winter. Heroin is certainly
much easier to get than marijuana. From all reports, it’s definitely the case that
people are moving from marijuana to Mandrax and alcohol and heroin.’14
Much the same had happened eight years before in the US when the War on
Drugs was first trialled by the Nixon White House. The first campaign of the War on
Drugs was ‘Operation Intercept’, a blockade of the Mexican Border launched on 21
September 1969. A crackdown on marijuana, it too turned users to smack because
they couldn’t get grass. As David Smith, a doctor at the Haight Ashbury Free Clinic
in San Francisco, commented: ‘The government’s line is that the use of marijuana
leads to more dangerous drugs. The fact is that the lack of marijuana leads to
dangerous drugs.’15

Graph 1: Opoid overdose deaths (aged 15-44) in Australia 1964 - 1997


Chapter 8

The Murder of Donald Mackay

About 6.30 pm on a Friday night, July 15 1977, a local businessman named Donald
Mackay left the Griffith Hotel. After purchasing a cask of Coolabah Riesling, he
walked outside to the car park where his mini-van — with its conspicuous Mackay’s
Furniture logo — was parked. An assassin was waiting. As Donald Mackay went to
open the front door of his van, the assassin emptied his .22 revolver into Donald
Mackay’s body. In an office nearby, an accountant heard a sound ‘like someone
being sick’, and three sharp cracks ‘like a whip’.1

Mackay’s blood-spattered vehicle was found in the early hours of the next
morning. Blood spots and stains extended from the front mudguard back to the
bottom of the driver’s door, and there was a blood smear on the front mudguard as
well. The keys had fallen under the car, and two drag or scuff marks extended from
where the keys lay to a large blood stain on the ground. Three spent .22 cartridge
cases were found near the large blood stain. In all, the police were able to gather up
blood samples amounting to ‘a couple of cupfuls of blood’. The blood was type O —
Mackay’s type. In the blood were tufts of Mackay’s hair, cut and stuck together,
consistent with being sliced by a bullet. It looked like murder, and a very
professional hit too. For the body of Donald Mackay would never be found.2

It was a time of murders - Paul and Vita Clarke; Douglas and Isabel Wilson;
Linda Humphries; Harry Lewis; Jack Connors; Warren Lanfranchi; Bill Collins;
Carmelita Lee - to name just a few. But it was the murder of Donald Mackay that
most surely announced the criminal takeover of the Australian drug scene.
The Pot Capital of Australia - Griffith (1973 - 1977)

The town of Griffith, situated 600 kms south-west of Sydney, is the regional centre
of the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area, whose irrigated fields make ‘the Area’ one of
the largest producers of wine, rice, citrus, stone fruit and vegetables in Australia.
Ideally located between the major markets of Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide,
Griffith boasts of being Australia’s fastest growing inland centre. Its population was
13,000 in 1977, and has doubled in the 25 years since.


In the early 1970s, Griffith farmers began using their irrigated fields for the
production of an illicit vegetable. In February 1974, members of the Sergi and
Barbaro families were caught with two pot plantations, but they escaped with very
light fines — excusing themselves in court by claiming that they were unaware it
was marijuana they were growing; they thought the crop was ‘American tomatoes’.
The sympathetic testimony of Det Sgt John Ellis, a Griffith detective, was also
helpful in reducing their sentences.

The larger of the two marijuana crops, at Tharbogang near Griffith, was
discovered by uniformed police, but the case was taken over by a group of Griffith
detectives, John Ellis, John Robins and Brian Borthwick. When Inspector Tarrant of
Griffith’s uniformed police dropped around next day, he was surprised to find a gang
of eighteen Italian-Australian workers, including Bob Trimbole and Tony Sergi,
harvesting the crop. Detective Robins told Inspector Tarrant that Ellis had arranged
this with Tony Sergi. As Detective Robins informed the Inspector: ‘The Italians
were so ashamed that one of their countrymen could grow marijuana in this country
that they were out there harvesting it.’ Ellis, Robins and Borthwick would later be
charged with conspiring with the growers to pervert the course of justice.3

The lenient treatment by the law of the marijuana growers provoked considerable
local resentment. The Mackay family first became involved when Don Mackay’s
wife, Barbara, wrote a letter to the Griffith Area News in February 1975 about this

Exactly a year ago, a crop of marijuana worth a quarter of a million dollars
was discovered growing, carefully concealed, on a farm at Tharbogang, near
Griffith. Fines imposed on the two growers were $250 and $500 respectively.
Gaol sentences were suspended because they had “previously unblemished
records”. Last Friday the Griffith Area News reported a Leeton trial where
youths receiving gaol sentences and fines of $900 $600 and $300 for smoking
the end product of the growers. The contrast between these two judgements
is alarming.4

Her husband, Donald Mackay, let it be known that he was interested in finding
out where these rumoured marijuana plantations were. His inquiries were to lead to
the largest seizure in Australian history, the 31 acres of pot at Coleambally.
In July 1975, Mackay prepared a dossier to be sent to the NSW Attorney-
General, Mr Maddison, accusing Robert Trimbole and the local police:
The outlet for the drugs supposedly grown in the area is believed to be
through a wine shop or warehouse in Sydney operated by a man called Bob
Trimbole, himself a bankrupt a few years ago, but now the owner of two retail
stores and a very modern brick home. The drugs are supposedly sent to
Sydney in hogshead casks by road. Two panel vans owned by Trimbole
regularly commute from here to Sydney ...... We have been warned not to
report this to the local constabulary. 5


Attorney-General Maddison did nothing about this information. Not trusting the
local police, Mackay met with selected members of the Drug Squad in Sydney to
organise the biggest drug seizure in Australian history.

On November 10 1975, using information and vehicles supplied by Mackay, the
police raided a property at Coleambally 60 kms south of Griffith. The four police
officers were amazed by the size of the crop they discovered. Screened from the road
by a line of trees was a huge marijuana plantation spread over 31 acres. The
operation was very sophisticated and each row of pot plants had its own water
supply. The police estimated that when mature this one plantation would produce 60
tons worth of pot. At a time when the total value of agricultural production of the
entire Murrumbidgee irrigation area was estimated at $60 million, the police
estimated this huge crop had a street value of $60 million.

Luigi Pochi (a brother-in-law of Tony Sergi) and four other Italian-Australians
were charged over the Coleambally plantation. Proceedings started at Griffith
District Court on March 6 1977. During the trial, Judge Newton directed the
production of an official police notebook in which Mackay was named as an
informant, leading Justice Woodward to speculate that: ‘It is probable that,
inadvertently, Mackay’s name may have been disclosed, and he became identified as
the police informant whose information led to the raid.’6

The day before the court case began, the Sydney Drug Squad raided another
property at Euston 300 km due west of Griffith and discovered five acres of pot,
some 5000 drying marijuana plants, along with evidence that another nine acres had
been recently harvested. Although Mackay was not responsible for this raid, it seems
that he was the man who was blamed.

To this day, Coleambally remains the biggest plantation ever discovered in Australia.


Chapter 9

The Woodward Royal Commission

In 1977 there were high hopes that pot might be decriminalised in New South Wales.
In March that year the Joint Committee upon Drugs of the NSW parliament
recommended the removal of jail sentences for personal use of marijuana. In April
1977, Premier Neville Wran outlined a plan to remove jail sentences as penalties for
people convicted of having marijuana for personal use. Mr Wran said that the
government recognised that the personal use of marijuana was widespread. ‘I don’t
think that tens of thousands of parents whose sons and daughters smoke marijuana
want their children to carry throughout their lives the stigma of being a jailed,
convicted criminal.’1

However the assassination of Donald Mackay changed all that. Any possibility of
drug law reform was placed on hold as ‘Mr Big’ now emerged as a tabloid ‘folk
devil’. As Manderson argued, Mr Big’ was ‘a potent new symbol of evil’ who could
be ‘blamed’ for drugs. Just as ‘Mr Big’ was demonised, Donald Mackay was
beatified. He was the martyr of Griffith, whose blood cried out for revenge. His face
became a newspaper icon.2

The clamour to find the murderers of Donald Mackay grew loud. In August 1977,
the NSW government appointed the Royal Commission into Drug Trafficking
headed by Justice Phillip Woodward. The terms of his royal commission were to
inquire into the traffic in illegal drugs, investigate the identity of persons involved,
and recommend any changes necessary in State drug laws. As Woodward
commented: ‘I was being asked to do what all the enforcement agencies of Australia
. . . have been trying to do without marked success for some years.’ While some
dismissed the diminutive Justice Woodward and his portly counsel, William Fisher
QC, as a ‘Laurel and Hardy’ act, they saw themselves as lawmen riding in to clean
up an outlaw town.

Chasing the money trail, scores of investigators from the Taxation Department
and the Woodward Royal Commission were sent to Griffith. For the local hotels it
proved quite a boon; the Irrigana Hotel (where Donald Mackay ate his last meal)
was filled with police and officers of the Drugs Royal Commission ‘investigating the


marijuana trade’; across the road the $8-a-night Area Hotel catered to the less wellheeled
tax men. Reporters came, drank, and wrote stories about ‘streets of shame’
and ‘drug kings’ who lived in ‘grass castles’.3

From the start of the investigation, high-level NSW police were determined to
blame the ‘Italian’ marijuana growers of Griffith for Mackay’s murder. Many senior
detectives of that era, including Commissioner Merv Wood, had fought in World
War Two against the Italians in the deserts of North Africa. This war-time
experience had filled them with a hatred of Italians, a hatred which, regrettably,
lived on. By the time of the Mackay murder, the young soldiers, who had fought in
the Second World War, were in their late fifties and occupied senior positions in the
police, the judiciary, in politics and in many other aspects of Australian life. When
the special police team assisting the Woodward Royal Commission left for Griffith,
they were given a top-level briefing on the subject of marijuana and Italians, and told
to ‘Do to them what we did in the desert!’ These instructions led to an inquisition
against the Italian-Australian growers.

Mr Justice Woodward brought the Drugs Royal Commission to Griffith in
October 1977. Within the first two days of public hearings, names and details of
suspect financing came tumbling out. Peering over his half rimmed glasses, the
imposing figure of Bill Fisher QC subjected a variety of Sergis and Barbaros to his
renowned skills as a cross-examiner as he led them through the minefields of their
financial details. Typical was Francesco Barbaro, farmer of Tharbogang near
Griffith, who was asked to explain how an average income of $399 per year between
1969 and 1973 became $48,000 in 1975. The Commission issued photos of Mr.
Barbaro’s ‘grass castle’ showing the insides of his extravagantly furnished home —
with gold taps in the bathroom, chandeliers in the toilet, and marble skirting boards.
It was all too easy. As every new episode of sudden wealth unfolded, the bitterness
and resentment grew. And through it all, the dead man’s widow, Barbara Mackay,
dressed in sombre black, sat quietly at the back of the court.4

Much of the bitterness that engulfed Griffith was undoubtedly ethnic in
inspiration. Don Mackay was Australian-born and the Mackay family were amongst
the first white settlers in the Griffith area. Italians began moving into the area in the
1920s, and, at the same time, there was a large influx of soldier-settlers from the
First World War. This mix proved explosive during World War Two when Italy was
on the side of the Axis powers. As well as being ‘wops’ and ‘dagos’, the Italians
were now ‘enemy aliens’.

A second wave of Italians, largely from the Calabrian region of southern Italy,
arrived after the War, further compounding ethnic problems in the area. By the
1970s, 60% of Griffith’s population was of Italian descent and 40% were Calabrians.


As the Italians displaced the Anglo-Australians in the power structure, and in wealth,
resentment grew.

This ethnic divide was politicised further by the successful career of Al Grassby,
Federal member for the Riverina and Minister for Ethnic Affairs in the first Whitlam
government. The pioneering politician of multiculturalism in Australia, Grassby
used Griffith’s ethnic vote to hold a prosperous country seat for Labor for several
elections. With Grassby’s defeat in 1974, the Riverina seat fell to the Country
party’s John William Sullivan on the preferences of Liberal candidate Donald

Griffith’s marijuana growers were Calabrians, and the resentment their sudden
wealth inspired was overlaid with this history of anti-Italian bigotry which made the
‘grass castle’ such a powerful symbol. Andrew Fowler writing in The Australian
caught the rising note of resentment:

The brick house, with its sweeping staircase leading to the front entrance,
stands out among more modest fibro and timber homes of other less-fortunate
farmers in the neighbourhood. Locals have coined a name for the huge
homes - there are others belonging to other members of the Barbaro family
nearby. They call them “grass castles”. 5

Meanwhile, the NSW police investigation into the murder of Donald Mackay
meandered purposelessly, fuelling suspicions that the relationship between the
marijuana growers and the Griffith police would allow the Mr Bigs to get away with
the murder of Donald Mackay.

Graham Lawrence Keech was the detective rostered on at Griffith the night of
the Mackay murder. Instead of being on duty he spent almost the entire shift on what
has been described as an extended ‘pub crawl’ with Tony Sergi and Domenic Sergi,
two of the principals suspected of ordering Mackay’s murder. They were joined
during dinner by two other detectives, who had previously served at Griffith, Brian
James Borthwick and Arthur Andrew O’Sullivan, who had flown down from
Sydney. All the other principal suspects had similar watertight alibis. Almost as if
they had been forewarned, most had chosen to leave Griffith that week.
Still recovering from his pub crawl, Keech went off next morning to play a key
role in the investigation of the murder, including the investigation of an alleged
previous assassination attempt on Mackay on 12 July 1977 — the Jerilderie incident.
The twin roles of Detective Keech, as alibi for the suspects and investigator of the
murder, added to deep suspicions in Griffith that the murderers were being protected
by the NSW police. The previous Police Commissioner, Fred Hanson, regularly
visited Griffith where he socialised with the marijuana growers, shooting duck with
Bob Trimbole, who made him a present of an expensive shotgun.


As if to confirm these suspicions, the NSW police investigation into the Mackay
murder proved a hopeless shambles. Ineptly led by the bumbling Det Sgt Parrington,
a big, handsome man who looked not unlike Lee Marvin, it proved endlessly
incompetent; failing to interview key witnesses; studiously ignoring major clues like
the identification of the assassin at Jerilderie. Like some antipodean Clouseau, the
investigators of Australia’s most notorious homicide stumbled and bumbled their
way round all the obvious clues for several fruitless years.

The Age of Greed

In May 1977 an underground paper ‘with all the dope on dope’ called The
Australasian Weed was published from Melbourne. Banned in Queensland and
Victoria, restricted in NSW and other states, The Weed was forced to change its
name rather than go out of business, becoming next The Australasian Seed, and then,
in a long cat-and-mouse chase with the censor, The Australasian Need, The
Australasian Greed and the Australasian Pleed. In the fourth issue, The Australasian
Greed, editor J.J. McRoach wrote about the changing nature of the Australian
marijuana scene and the recent criminal takeover.

Greed?! What sorta name is that for chrissakes for a clean wholesome
marijuana newspaper?

Well, as the marijuana industry ‘comes of age’ in Australia (er, as the National
Times recently commented, as we enter the Age of Grass), we find the
business rapidly falling into the hands of those who are motivated solely by

Back in the ‘good old days of the counter-culture’, marijuana dealers were
regarded by most smokers as Robin Hood types , romantic urban outlaws
bringing the good stuff to the people. Some money was made by these
dealers but we assumed the prime motivating force was the spirit of a new
consciousness, not merely the carrot of fiscal reward.

Now these Robin Hood dealers have, in the main, fallen by the wayside. The
marijuana scene has been infiltrated by the barbarians - stand over
merchants, organised crime, informers and corrupt police. They all combine to
form what can be called an Ocker Nostra - merely isolating the bad boys of
marijuana as Italian Mafia members operating out of NSW is a dangerous
simplification, a red herring fostered by the media which draws our attention
away from the fact that the tentacles of organised crime in marijuana
permeates our society. Certainly there is evidence of an organised group of
Italians growing marijuana, but they are only part of a system that reaches
right into the Australian power structure.

Robbery, violence and murder are now part and parcel of what the Bulletin
once described as an industry bigger than BHP. If Don Mackay was murdered
because of his knowledge of a marijuana conspiracy, his death was by no
means the first. Many drug murders have already occurred but, because the
victims didn’t have the squeaky clean image of Don Mackay, not too many
questions have been asked. The newspaper headlines, if at all existent, have
been small.


The generation before us learnt the problems associated with the prohibition
of a popular drug. The Alcohol Prohibition proved to be the spawning ground
for America’s organised crime syndicates. Today the marijuana Prohibition is
creating the same syndrome, and it is this syndrome that we dedicate this
publication - GREED.6

Just as JJ McRoach predicted, Justice Woodward fell for the ‘dangerous
simplification’, the ‘red herring fostered by the media’, and put all of the blame on
the Italian-Australians. In his report on drug trafficking, Woodward said that an
organisation centred in Griffith had planned and directed a commercial cannabis
growing and distribution network. He named six men who were influential members
of that organisation and said that Donald Mackay was ‘probably’ disposed of by or
on behalf of members of that organisation.

The tiny amount of doubt that existed in Woodward’s report disappeared
altogether in Griffith’s Area News front page report of Woodward’s finding: ‘Six
named in Mackay Death plot’. Francesco Sergi, Domenic Sergi, Antonio Sergi, his
son also called Antonio Sergi, Francesco Barbaro and Robert Trimbole were all
publicly accused of the murder by the Griffith newspaper, even though they would
never be charged with the murder, nor given a chance to refute the accusation in

The problem with Woodward’s report was that it was a premature exercise.
Woodward had over-concentrated on Griffith and had largely ignored Sydney.
Woodward’s conclusion in this first report, that the Calabrian cannabis growers of
Griffith were the largest cannabis growing and marketing operation in the state, was
flawed for this reason. While no one disputed their role as the state’s biggest
growers, there was little proof of any state-wide Calabrian distribution network.
Indeed, all the evidence showed the contrary. Woodward simply had the growers,
the men on the bottom rung of an enormous drug-smuggling network. The
distributors and financiers, those higher up the chain, were left untouched. Instead of
uncovering who this ‘Ocker Nostra’ were, Woodward covered his failings with his
fanciful claim about the existence of a nation-wide, secret Italian society called ‘the
Honoured Society’, ‘L’Onorata Societa, ‘N’ Dranghita’ or simply ‘the Society’,
composed exclusively of persons of Calabrian origin, whom he alleged controlled
the cannabis trade.

The reason for this intelligence failure was Woodward’s over-concentration on
Griffith, and Griffith’s unusual ethnic mix. It was not until his Further Report that
Woodward investigated the Sydney drug scene and looked at Murray Riley and his
gang. At the end of his commission in 1980, Woodward left his outstanding
investigations (Murray Riley, Bela Csidei and Nugan Hand!) to the Joint Police Task


Force. At the end of his royal commission, Woodward was just beginning to look in
the right place!

McRoach’s nomination of an ‘Ocker Nostra’ of ‘stand over merchants, organised
crime, informers and corrupt police’ was far more correct. As McRoach guessed, the
Mr Bigs who ordered the murder of Donald Mackay were ‘part of a system that
reaches right into the Australian power structure’.


Chapter 10

An Australian Richard Nixon

To the rest of Australia, Queensland’s long-serving Premier, Johannes Bjelke-
Petersen, was an enduring Queensland joke: Queensland’s ‘Premier-for-Life’. Such
a man could become premier ‘only in Queensland’; and to prove it was the rest of his
cabinet: men like the voracious Russ Hinze and Don ‘Shady’ Lane. ‘Joh’ was God’s
gift to a legion of satirists like Gerry Connelly who made a great comedy career
parodying the bizarre ‘feeding-the-chooks’ patter of the Queensland Premier with its
characteristic mix of hyperbole and nonsense.

‘Joh’, ‘No 1’, ‘the hillbilly dictator’ was frequently portrayed as a southern
hemisphere Hitler, an antipodean Adolph, as ‘Jack-Boots-Bjelke’. He was rather an
Australian Richard Nixon — a rat-cunning political animal, adept at surviving by
‘dirty-tricks’ and by leading witch-hunts. Like Nixon, he began in politics ‘kicking
the communist can’. Like Nixon, he re-invented himself as a Drug War warrior.
Terry Lewis, the crooked copper who learned to manipulate Bjelke-Petersen so
successfully by playing on his paranoia, summed up the Queensland premier quite
simply. After his successful white-anting of Commissioner Ray Whitrod, whom he
accused of being an ALP voter and a ‘Whitlam supporter’, Lewis wrote: ‘No 1 really
a bigot.’1

It was the secret of his success. While the ‘sophisticates’ of Brisbane, Sydney
and Melbourne might laugh when Bjelke-Petersen denounced Gough Whitlam, the
World Council of Churches and the United Nations as ‘communists’, his power base
in Queensland’s ‘Bible Belt’ has always supported the politics of paranoia and
xenophobia. The rural areas around Brisbane — the Brisbane Valley, the South
Burnett and the Darling Downs — are the spiritual homeland to the far Right in
Australian politics. The area voted Social Credit in the 1930s, it produced Bjelke-
Petersen, and, in the 1990s, Pauline Hanson’s One Nation. Xenophobic, bigoted,
parochial, it is characterised by a festering, white-trash resentment — ‘they’re all
agin us’: ‘they’ being the governments in Brisbane and Canberra, the banks, the
Jews, the Communists, indeed the entire twentieth century.

Like Nixon’s power base, the Bible Belt saw drug use as an insidious form of
communist moral subversion of the young; marijuana was the ‘Jewish-Communist
Devil Weed from Hell’! Like the Nazis, they shared a mindset that was authoritarian,


right-wing and paranoid. Because of this mindset, ‘the druggies’, were destined to
become the ‘Jews’ of Queensland’s ‘drug terror’ state.

It was in the crucible of the Vietnam years that these views were forged. Jim
Prentice, a student leader at Queensland University during the Vietnam War era,
described the temper of those times in Queensland:

The political climate of the time was hysterical. The media was very hostile to
radical people, and anyone protesting about civil liberties or the Vietnam War.
There was the feeling that we were traitors, that we were sort of undesirables,
that we should be locked up, and we had a government that supported this
view and promoted an atmosphere of political repression which was not unlike
the early days of Hitler’s Germany.2

As Prentice points out, the media colluded with the government in suppressing
the voices of dissent, promoting a hysterical climate where criticism of the Vietnam
War was seen as a kind of traitorous disloyalty which had to be punished. In this
political climate, Queensland’s police force, like Hoover’s FBI, enthusiastically used
the drug laws to suppress dissent, framing many radicals on drug charges.
Greg George, long-time activist in the Queensland Greens, describes how he was
framed on drug charges in 1974 after leafleting a school:

I was taken back to Woollongabba Police station. While I was there I was
subjected to various interrogations. I know Special Branch were there
because one of them came in and roughed me up a bit. After this I was taken
out to my car and they made a big show of searching it. They opened the boot
and a few doors. Then one of them opened the glove box and showed me a
vial of pethidine. I said straight away: “It’s a plant!” I mean you’d have to be
pretty dumb to go out leafleting in Queensland, knowing you could be picked
up by the cops at any time, and have dangerous drugs in your car! They
attempted to be witty, saying things like: “We know what kind of plant it is!”
Then they took me upstairs and charged me with possession of a dangerous

The drug charge was quite serious. Admittedly it was a first offence, so I was
only looking at a hefty fine, but the consequences if it was successful would
have been disastrous for me, in terms of future jobs I would have lost, and
also because once corrupt cops or political cops get one drug charge up
against you it makes it easier for them to get up others.

We were lucky. It was a magistrate’s court, and the magistrate looked to be,
and proved to be a reasonable, thoughtful fellow, and the police stories were
fairly wild and a mish-mash of half truths that ultimately didn’t stick together.
Again, I went to a doctor straight after my arrest, and he examined me and
found that there was no evidence that I had been giving myself any illegal
injections. As they say, there were no ‘needle tracks’; and there was a whole
lot of other evidence I can’t recall.

Interestingly, the magistrate made no comment about the police. The basis of
my acquittal was that the police were lying, and the inference from that was
that they had planted the drug on me. The whole story was designed to
incriminate me as a user. Of course, nothing was said by the magistrate.
Obeying the same unspoken agreement, our barrister also didn’t make any
accusations. There was an unspoken agreement between the legal


professionals not to accuse the police. It was obviously going too far to
suggest that the Queensland police would plant you with drugs, ram your car,
just because you were handing out leaflets!3

Like the media, the legal system exercised a suitable kind of doublethink which
allowed it to ignore the growing misuse of the drug laws.

Mitch Thompson is probably better known in Brisbane as a restaurateur, but in
the early seventies he was a prominent radical. During the Fitzgerald Inquiry, Jack
Herbert, ‘the bagman’, confessed that he had ‘verballed’ Thompson to get him
convicted of an assault charge arising out of one demonstration. On another
occasion, six police (including Kevin Dorries) raided Thompson’s home and planted
pot on him. Mitch Thompson recalls:

The situation was unusual. It was a raid that occurred around 7 in the morning
and it involved 6 police. There were two customs, two drug squad people, and
two Special Branch. The Special Branch detectives came straight in the front,
right into Tom O’Brien’s room, and stopped him communicating with me. Two
other police went straight to my room, and two others came in through the
back door. They tried to isolate us. Interestingly, they only searched my room:
it was a huge house, but only my room was searched. They found a sachet, a
little plastic packet of marijuana which they pulled out and said. ‘Aha! What
have we got here?’ Obviously, they had brought it with them. And I was duly
arrested for possession.

I immediately said it was planted, and I insisted on seeing a solicitor straight
away, and one of the Customs officials told me to stand where I was. I argued
with him, then he turned around and he punched me in the face. I felt quite
intimidated. They were very heavy. The other people in the house were kept
held in their rooms so they couldn’t see what was happening to me. I was
especially scared, because I was taken down to the Drug Squad offices and
held there for many hours, and I was really worried about what they might do.
I insisted on certain rights. I was noting everything down. I insisted on being
allowed to see a solicitor, even though they were being very heavy.4

Thompson was charged with possession of marijuana. At his trial the police
brought up his past history, including the charge of assaulting police which Jack
Herbert would later confess was a frame-up, to create the impression that he was a
violent, habitual criminal. After a district court trial that went for a week, the jury
found him not guilty, a good result because, as Thompson recognised: ‘Once you’ve
got someone on possession, you can get them for something a bit more serious later
on.’ 5

The non-political hippies were hated as much as their radical youth peers.

Indeed, according to The Courier Mail, hippies were even lower than Aboriginals on
the Queensland social scale. ‘Hippie-life worse than Aboriginal. Pot worshippers in
humpies’ screamed one headline in 1971, while in another article The Courier Mail
condemned the use of marijuana by ‘hippie or drop-out subculture youth’. As


Manderson notes: ‘It was their membership in the subculture, not the fact that they
smoked pot, that constituted the real objection.’6

The ‘misuses’ of the drug laws against dissidents in Bjelke-Petersen’s
Queensland began as isolated events, often mediated by Special Branch. With the
attack on Cedar Bay and the launch of the War on Drugs in Queensland, they were
to become systematic. As in other police states, it was terror as social control: terror
against Bjelke-Petersen’s Jews — the drug pushers, the lawbreakers, the
demonstrators and the radicals — in the rhetoric of the Lockyer by-election: terror
against his youthful opponents — the Whitlamites.

Although this drug terror state was derived from Nixon’s US model, it had some
quintessentially Queensland features, and Australians from other states found
themselves treated as druggies, simply by virtue of being ‘southerners’. In A Dozen
Dopey Yarns, JJ McRoach relates the ‘holiday adventure’ of three young Victorians,
seeking sun and adventure in Queensland in 1974, who found themselves enmeshed
‘in a Kafkaesque parody of justice’. The trio’s VW was searched by police in
Brisbane and the search revealed an ALP badge and a copy of Solzhenitsyn’s
Cancer Ward with a hammer and sickle on the cover. One Queensland police
officer, recognising they had some likely suspects, commented: ‘A commernist eh?’

Unfortunately for the young Victorians, the police search next turned up a copy
of Lord of the Rings which, the Victorians explained to the bemused Queensland
police, was ‘an adult fairy story’. The gales of laughter this provoked were
menacing. The Queensland police were so amused they arrested the three young
Victorians and took them back to the police station for a little joke of their own.
Their VW was searched again. This time the police found: 57 grams of grass; 18
grams of hash; and an ornate hash pipe. Due to various acts of police bastardry, the
three Victorians spent 30 days, tramping like cattle around Boggo Road prison,
before they got to court where the case was thrown out. Ironically, one of the police
who arrested the pot trio was called Beer. 7

As this story shows, books became one of the chief means used to determine
whether someone was a druggie or a Whitlamite and the possession of ‘commernist’
literature was damning evidence of both. During drug raids on private houses, the
Queensland police would invariably go straight to the bookshelf; further
demonstrating how the drug laws became a form of social control to persecute
opponents of the Premier and the police. In 1996, an amendment to the Drugs
Misuse Act made the possession of most books about cannabis a criminal offence in
Queensland with a maximum penalty of fifteen years in the state’s massively
growing, and heavily privatised, prison system.


Chapter 11

The Cedar Bay Alliance

On the morning of 29 August 1976, the inhabitants of the hippy colony at Cedar Bay
in far North Queensland were awoken by the WHAP-WHAP-WHAP of a helicopter
circling. As it dropped off a few policemen at the beach, they watched. It left, only to
return again, and again, and again . . . All that morning the chopper kept bringing the
coppers in.

In the camp, people began stirring. As they ate a hurried breakfast, the first
police group arrived, cutting through the bush along the bottom of the vegetable
garden. The police hurried through the camp, pausing for a few moments to chop
down the clothes line and Allen’s tent with their machetes. When challenged they
said: ‘We’re looking for marijuana plants!’ 1

Shortly after another group of police arrived and began searching the hut for
marijuana. They started ripping up the food supplies. They threw everything, bags of
rice, packets of tea, packets of soup, cans of vegetable, packets of flour — about
three months supply of food — on the floor. They bored holes in their water
containers. They then started a fire. When the amazed residents asked them what
they were doing, ‘Looking for marijuana seeds!’ was what they replied.

The police were firing guns everywhere. They were like cowboys shooting up a
town. Candy Smith remembered fearing that her friends were being killed. Suddenly
Lee, one of the young men, made a break. The cops stood around dumbfounded.
Finally they ran after him. He ran through the bush to his hut, only to discover that
the police had set it alight. They caught him trying to put the fire out. The police
called him a ‘dole-bludger’ and threatened to kill him if he tried to escape again. 2
Meanwhile, the others made no attempt to escape. Beside the helicopter, a light
aircraft, a Customs launch and the navy patrol boat HMAS Bayonet were involved in
the raid on Cedar Bay. More than 30 police, as well as Narcotics Bureau and
Customs agents, took part. The Task Force assembled to attack Cedar Bay was
certainly impressive. Against it, the dozen or so young people who were the
commune of Cedar Bay stood no chance. They felt cowed and completely defeated
by these big, trigger-happy police. They were marched off to the beach and
handcuffed together around trees.


Because she only had shorts on, Candy asked if she could go back to the camp to
get something warm. She walked back with one of the police only to see her hut was
already on fire and all her possessions, her dresses and clothes, everything she
owned was going up in smoke! She ran into the flames to salvage what she could. As
this frantic young woman tried desperately to save her few possessions from the fire,
the police stood around laughing. The burning hut started caving in, so they dragged
her from the fire, all the while laughing hysterically like mad men.

Back at the beach, the police had rounded up more hippies. Candy’s friend,
Sandy, and another friend, Michael Lennon, were there. They saw Candy was crying
and she told them that the coppers had burnt all her possessions, everything. Michael
Lennon gently asked the police why they were hurting them in this way. He was
pushed to the ground and told to shut his mouth or else. He asked why they were
being held and was given the same treatment again.3

The helicopter came and took the two women — Candy and Sandy — away. The
young men were brought back to Cooktown by the patrol boat. The raiding police
stayed behind and celebrated with a wild party, using the helicopter this time to fly
in their alcohol supplies.4

At Cooktown the two young women were interrogated by a policeman who said
he could charge them with several things such as being on Crown land, but he was
going to be easy with them and put them down as vagrants. And, since the police had
recently burned down their houses, vagrants is what they were. When Candy
protested that she had a bankbook, the policewoman who had taken her possessions
said that as far as she was concerned Candy didn’t have a bankbook. She told Candy
she could pick her bankbook up after court.

Candy was placed in a padded cell. The police sergeant threatened to keep them
in jail for a week if they pleaded not guilty. He made insinuations to the young
women all night. He said he would be paying their cells a visit later on ‘to keep you
sluts happy and warm’.5

Next day in court, Candy was amazed at the lies of the police. “Things like I was
sleeping on a mat on the floor in filthy conditions. I took great pride in the
cleanliness of our home.” However, completely cowed by the police threats, she
(like the other nine Cedar bay defendants) pleaded guilty to vagrancy. Because the
local Cooktown magistrate was on holidays, the police illegally got his clerk to stand
in. Not qualified to preside, the magistrate’s clerk added to the farce that was
Queensland justice by continually asking the police prosecutor what sentences he
should give.

Although Cedar Bay is 2000 kms north of Brisbane, the story of the Cedar bay
raid was broken by Brisbane’s alternative radio station 4ZZZ, who had a reporter,


Steve Gray, in Cairns. The 4ZZZ report alerted the ABC in Brisbane who sent
reporter Andrew Olle to Cedar Bay. His vivid report on This Day Tonight (TDT),
showing the burnt houses and the machetied fruit trees, made Cedar Bay a national

Many people were aghast at the police action. Criminologist Paul Wilson
described the Cedar Bay raid as ‘a waste of time resources and money’. He
described the anti-drugs operation as like an old American film script, and said the
raid achieved little of benefit to the community:

With five unresolved rapes, three unsolved murders and muggings on the
increase in Brisbane and all the provincial cities, it seems extraordinary that
they can use 30 men, planes, a helicopter, and ships to catch a few hippies
for smoking cannabis - and then charge others with vagrancy. How can they
be vagrants when they are living in a commune miles from any other

Dr Wilson said the raid was against the hippies and their lifestyle. ‘The police
wanted to demonstrate that they are hard on cannabis, even if police in other states
are not’, he said.

The Lockyer By-Election

Meanwhile in the Brisbane Valley, the campaign for the crucial Lockyer by-election
was under way. In her study of the Lockyer by-election, Margaret Cribb argues that
the by-election was ‘an out-of-town tryout’ for Bjelke-Petersen and the Nationals.
For some months, the premier and the government had been taking a strong and
unrelenting stand on the questions of law and order and drugs. In the past, Premier
Bjelke-Petersen had campaigned successfully against the Whitlam government, and
now with Whitlam gone, Bjelke-Petersen needed a political make-over. The feared
enemy of the Southern Socialists was about to transform himself into a drug war
warrior. Law and order and the War on Drugs were to be the new political agenda in

So the Cedar Bay raid proved a happy coincidence for Bjelke-Petersen, who
immediately went on the offensive, supporting the police, and announcing that his
Cabinet wanted life term for drug pushers. (An idea embraced by The Courier Mail
with this logic: ‘Harsh as it may seem, the State Government’s proposal that courts
be given the power to jail pushers of hard drugs for life is justified. An organised
pusher of hard drugs can become a mass murderer, killing many of his victims
indirectly.’) 8

Bjelke-Petersen’s message was loud and clear: it was War on Drugs and drug
users in Queensland. He said he had directed the Queensland police to bring drug
pushers before the court.


The Queensland government will not tolerate drug pushers, drug cultures, or
those who flippantly promote the use of illegal drugs as harmless or
therapeutic. The time for toleration of drugs is long past, especially among
students and teachers. My government has taken this stand in response to a
rising tide of unrest among parents and the responsible sections of society.
We’ll intensify our efforts to locate illegal drug cultivations and increase police
surveillance in co-operation with appropriate Commonwealth agencies. I can
assure all Queenslanders that this state will be no haven for illegal drug users,
pushers and promoters.9

Supporting the Premier, the recently appointed Police Minister, Tom Newbery
said he would take a hard line on drug offenders too. He said police raids on drug
areas were fully justified. ‘I don’t think we can do enough to clamp down on these
people.’ Questioned about the cost of the raid, Newbery declared proudly that he
was ‘tough on drugs’:

The cost was not really important. What was important was the stopping of a
flourishing market in North Queensland. I have always been known as a tough
minister and I intend to be tougher on these people.10

Asked whether the force used may have been excessive, Mr Newbery said the
police action at Cedar Bay would act as a deterrent.11

In Queensland Parliament, opposition Police spokesman, Keith Wright, called
for an inquiry into the police actions. He accused the police of adopting stormtrooper
tactics. The actions of the police were ‘over-zealous, irresponsible and
loutish’, he said. No one could condone what happened after the initial raid on
August 29. ‘I have seen photographic evidence that demonstrates a complete lack of
respect for individuals and their property,’ he said. ‘Homes were burnt down and
children’s clothing and food piled in a heap and ignited with kerosene. Dozens of
fruit trees were chopped down, a water tank was shot up, and shots fired
indiscriminately into the scrub.’ 12

Mr Wright said that the Attorney-General should conduct an inquiry into the
raid. He had been advised by senior counsel that various sections of the criminal
code were breached. It appeared that property was wilfully destroyed and the area

The state has a responsibility to protect citizens irrespective of their
philosophies. It has a responsibility to clear the good name of the police. The
drug traffic must be stamped out. But Cedar Bay can not be smoothed over by
a Ministerial statement. There needs to be an investigation.13

Premier Bjelke-Petersen fought back with a strident attack on the residents of
Cedar Bay and their supporters. It was, he said, all a conspiracy by people who
wanted to discredit the police and legalise marijuana. He claimed that the residents
may have fabricated evidence to embarrass the police, and that the trees allegedly
cut down by police might have been cut down for TV camera crews.14


Police Minister Newbery backed Bjelke-Petersen claiming there was an obvious
campaign by drug pushers (again that term) and vested interests to discredit police
anti-drug actions. There had been loud allegations and accusations, he said. All were
based on unsworn and unsubstantiated allegations by unnamed people who had
much to gain by discrediting the police. Describing the residents of Cedar Bay as
‘undesirables living in squalor’, Mr Newbery gave his full support to police actions
‘to stamp out evil’.

There will be no haven for the pushers and users of illegal drugs in this state.

There will be no haven in North Queensland where people can disregard the
law. There will be no pockets of isolated jungle, where they can grow and use
illegal drugs.15

Newbery used Parliament to attack the TDT program on Cedar Bay, claiming it
was blatantly biased because it did not mention that the police had seized marijuana
plants, and that it was a series of slurs on police integrity. ‘I understand that some
police officers who took part in the raid are considering legal actions against the
program as a result of unsubstantiated claims,’ Newbery said.

On this last matter, Mr Newbery was correct. A writ was served on the ABC
almost immediately. After that, the Speaker ruled that Cedar Bay could not be
debated in State parliament on the very dubious legal grounds that the discussion
was now sub judice.16

‘We want to know who authorised this destruction because of the question of
conspiracy,’ Opposition leader, Keith Wright, had asked in Parliament. The man
playing political football with the issue, Premier Bjelke-Petersen, had been in Cairns
the week before the raid, and was the obvious candidate. Bjelke-Petersen denied
ordering Cedar Bay, but quickly stopped the debate in Parliament. However, he
continued to kick the ‘drugs’ football all over the Lockyer electorate.

Speaking at the Gatton School of Arts during the launch of the National Party’s
campaign for Lockyer Mr Bjelke-Petersen declared:

Queenslanders like firm, decisive leadership and policies and the National
Party provides it. Being a leader brings you in for every accusation, every
smear, every attempt to belittle you that your opponents can muster.

The Queensland government’s attitude on drugs is clear-cut — we’ll not
tolerate them. We’ll not tolerate attempts by teachers or anyone else to peddle
a pro-drug attitude.

When your ALP candidate speaks, ask him point blank does he support the
legalisation of marijuana and other drugs.

The ALP always stands up for the drug pushers, the lawbreakers, the
demonstrator and the radicals against the community’s rights, the rights of the
police and your rights and my rights.17

In its spirit of zero-tolerance and ‘total war’ Bjelke-Petersen’s speech was pure
Nixon; even Bjelke-Petersen’s list of enemies ‘the drug pushers, the lawbreakers, the


demonstrator and the radicals’ resembles the famous Nixonite hate list of ‘the young,
the poor and the black’. He was signalling that the ‘rights’ of these ‘drug pushers’
and ‘lawbreakers’ — the democratic rights of protest which had made possible
opposition to conscription and the Vietnam War — were about to disappear.

The Last Honest Cop

Although Bjelke-Petersen was able to gag Parliament, he could not contain the
widespread sense of outrage and unease in the broader Queensland community about
the police actions at Cedar Bay. The inhabitants of Cedar Bay were to find a
powerful supporter in Police Commissioner Ray Whitrod. Although under continual
pressure from Bjelke-Petersen, Whitrod believed such serious charges against police
had to be investigated, and defied Bjelke-Petersen by ordering an internal police

Ray Whitrod had become Queensland’s Police Commissioner in 1971. A
dignified, intelligent and honest man, he brought extensive experience and
impressive qualifications to his appointment to head the Queensland Police.
Educated in South Australia, he had a Bachelor of Economics degree, and a
Postgraduate Diploma in Criminology from Cambridge University. He had served in
the South Australian, Papua New Guinea and Commonwealth Police Forces, the
latter two as a Commissioner, and was a former assistant director of the Australian
Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO). An outstanding policeman of great
honesty and integrity, he was appointed from outside the Queensland Police Force
with a brief to reform it.

Reforming the Queensland Police was an unenviable task. For many decades the
Queensland police force had had a corruption problem. Graft was paid to senior
police and politicians for the protection of prostitution, S.P. bookmaking and illegal
liquor sales. As the Fitzgerald Report notes: ‘police corruption had acquired a quaint
quasi-legitimacy by the Bischof era . . .Bischof [Queensland Police Commissioner
1957-1970] himself was said to be deeply involved . . . Certain police were said to
enjoy Bischof’s favour, and to be his ‘bag-men’.’ 18

Bischof’s ‘bag-men’ were rumoured to be three detectives — Terry Lewis, Tony
Murphy and Glen Halloran. Collectively, they and their supporters were referred to
as ‘the Rat Pack’. They were the ‘Black Knights’ of the Queensland Police Force.
By 1976 the power struggle between the Rat Pack and their allies in the Police
Union and Whitrod and his reformers had reached its peak. Whitrod’s campaign
against corruption was starting to bear fruit. Rat Pack associate Jack Herbert and two
others were charged with corruption in the Southport S.P. case. Two Scotland Yard


detectives were conducting an internal inquiry into police corruption, and pressure
was building for a public inquiry into police corruption.

To counter Whitrod, the Rat Pack and their supporters in the Police Union began
a campaign to woo Bjelke-Petersen. The corrupt police were promising Bjelke-
Petersen an alliance; unlike the ‘Whitlam man’ Whitrod, they would help Bjelke-
Petersen repress his political opponents. Two famous police ‘provocations’ occurred
at this time: on August 10 1976, a female student was struck over the head with a
baton by a police Inspector in full view of the TV cameras at a peaceful student
protest; on August 29 1976 came Cedar Bay. The Cedar Bay raid can almost be read
as the Rat Pack’s application to Bjelke-Petersen — a sample of the kind of justice
that Whitlamites could expect from a Rat Pack controlled police. So Whitrod’s
decision, in defiance of Bjelke-Petersen, to order an internal inquiry into Cedar Bay
on 6 October, would have fateful effects. Bjelke-Petersen knew there were other
police who would do his bidding.

On November 12, Whitrod learned that Bjelke-Petersen had pushed Inspector
Lewis through cabinet as Assistant Commissioner, a course which involved his
elevation over more than 100 more senior officers. Whitrod went to the Police
Minister’s office and said he was flabbergasted; he protested that it was widely
known in the force that Lewis was one of Frank Bischof’s bagmen. ‘That was when
he was a sergeant,’ Newbery replied. ‘He wouldn’t do that sort of thing now.’
Whitrod said Lewis was unacceptable, and asked to address cabinet. This was

Although Bjelke-Petersen gave evidence to the Fitzgerald Inquiry that he was not
responsible for the decision to promote Lewis, press reports at the time — as well as
Lewis’s diary, seized by the Fitzgerald Inquiry — suggest otherwise.
Following a gathering of National Party ministers in Charleville, Lewis was
informed of his promotion to Assistant Commissioner by a mysterious caller, whom
he records as 007. Lewis wrote in his diary these words: ‘Next Monday, No 1
(Bjelke-Petersen) has directed so. One at a time, you (Tony Murphy) next time.
Taylor’s approach.’ A gradual encirclement of Whitrod was planned.20

The next caller was ‘Don’ (Don Lane MLA) who had also heard the news of
Lewis’ promotion. Lewis wrote: ‘Will show him list.’ The list referred to had been
drawn up by Murphy, and was a series of typed sub-lists headed ‘Guests’, ‘Friends’,
‘Capable’, and ‘Others’. ‘Friends’ were: Sergeants Ron Redmond and Noel Dwyer;
Constables Ron Beer, Graham Leadbetter and Pat Glancy. All were to have brilliant
careers under Lewis. ‘Others’ were: Whitrod, Assistant Commissioner Bill Taylor,
Superintendent Jim Voight, Inspector Arthur Pitts, Basil Hicks and policewoman
Lorelle Saunders. Lewis added in his handwriting ‘all present CIU’ — the Criminal


Intelligence Unit which Whitrod had used against the corrupt police. All these would
have their careers destroyed under Lewis. This list was the heart of the Rat Pack
conspiracy; the fact that Lewis intended to show it to Lane suggests Lane had the
status of a co-conspirator.21

Six hours later, Lane rang back to report on a meeting with Bjelke-Petersen. He
told Lewis that both Murphy and Lewis had been ‘canned’ by Max Hodges; that
Bjelke-Petersen had heard that Murphy was an ALP supporter; but that Bjelke-
Petersen would trust Police Union President Ron Redmond’s advice. In his record of
this conversation Lewis wrote: ‘KoKo double-crossed No 1 over Cedar Bay. No 1
really a bigot’. (‘No 1’ is the code Lewis used for Bjelke-Petersen; ‘KoKo’ is
Lewis’s code for Ray Whitrod.)22

The Cedar Bay alliance had been cemented. It was never written down; it was a
kind of code that Lewis understood and Bjelke-Petersen wanted; it was the code for
a future of endless Cedar Bays. It meant war on the hippies, war on the young, war
on the left: war on ‘the Whitlamites’. It was the code for the coming ‘drug terror

As Whitrod saw it, the promotion of Lewis was intolerable. Not only might it be
thought that he was associated with the appointment of Lewis, but his operational
control of the Police Force would be seriously undermined by the Lewis/Bjelke-
Petersen alliance. He conceived of the possibility that he would become a
figurehead, with his reputation a shield for the corrupt. After being informed of
Lewis’s appointment on Friday 12 November, Whitrod thought about the matter
over the weekend and resigned at 9 am on 15 November. He also ordered summons
against four of the policemen involved in Cedar Bay.

The Courier Mail editorialised the next day:

It had become inevitable, of course, and State Cabinet obviously meant it to
be. And so Queensland has lost probably the best Police Commissioner it
ever had.

Mr Ray Whitrod was an idealist, but a practical one. He wanted higher
standards, higher calibre personnel and reform within the police force. His
critics, in the force and in the Government, wanted the old safe ways of the
entrenched system as little answerable to the public as it could be.
Aided by the Premier (Mr Bjelke-Petersen) and the Police Union, the old
guard has won. The Queensland public has lost. Cabinet set up a situation
which made it impossible for Mr Whitrod to do his job properly and left him no
real alternative but to resign.

The Government has shown a strange determination to be stubborn and
stupid, with its blatant political interference in the police force. . . . Obviously
the next Police Commissioner, whoever he is, will be expected to be a “Yes
man” to the Premier. 23

On November 22, the 48 year-old Terry Lewis was appointed Police
Commissioner for seventeen years — which would take him to retirement. Bjelke


Petersen praised his new, crooked commissioner with the words: ‘He’s a straightshooter.’
The accompanying colour piece in the Courier Mail described the new
commissioner as a ‘Man with a light touch’, the irony possibly being intended, for
all of Brisbane was buzzing with Rat Pack rumours. The Australian entitled its
eulogy of Whitrod ‘The Last of the Honest Cops’.24

On November 29, ‘the last honest cop’ told a packed press conference he had
resigned because of political interference. He would not accept being a puppet
commissioner for Bjelke-Petersen. Politicians were interfering in all levels of police
work, and had demanded favours for themselves and their families. Attempts had
been made to use political interference right down to the lower levels of police
transfer and promotions.

He revealed that Inspector Robert Gray of Cairns, who led the Cedar Bay raid,
was one of the four policemen he had summonsed in relation to the raid. He had
been instructed on ‘higher authority’ not to let his investigators go to Cedar Bay, but
he chose not to pass on that instruction. Cedar Bay was a ‘surface indication of the
existence of a fundamental difference between the government’s approach to
criminal law enforcement and my understanding of the proper procedures to be
followed’, Whitrod said.

The government’s approach, if carried to the limit, is favoured by extreme right
and extreme left groups . . . These extremist groups obviously have not
missed the significance of Goering’s successful assumption of control of the
German police as an essential step towards the establishment of the Nazi
state, and there have been similar lessons elsewhere. I felt so concerned at
this turn of event that I resigned lest it be thought I approved or at least
condoned this kind of relationship.

The comparison with Nazi Germany was pointed. Whitrod was an intelligent
man, highly educated in political philosophy; he was an ex-assistant director of
ASIO. What Bjelke-Petersen wanted was a totalitarian state and Whitrod saw this
and would have no part of it.

Whitrod said he had been pushed out of the job by the Premier who was making
decisions contrary to his own. ‘Interference with my responsibilities reached the
stage where I was no longer in command’, he said.

The government’s view seems to be that the police are just another public
service department, accountable to the Premier and Cabinet through the
Police Commissioner . . . I believe as Police Commissioner, I am answerable,
not to a person, not to the Executive Council, but to the law.

Q: Do you think Queensland is getting to be a Police State?
A: I think there are signs of that development.
Unfortunately, what was left unsaid was as almost as important as what was said.
Q: Are any of the bribe taking Rat Pack amongst the recent promotions?
A: I can not answer that.25


The Cedar Bay Trial

Ray Whitrod’s attempts to get justice for the residents of Cedar Bay went the way of
his attempts to reform the Queensland Police. Cedar Bay had become an important
issue that Bjelke-Petersen needed to win. He carried out a crusade, a witch hunt,
vilifying the victims of Cedar Bay.

Although the Queensland Parliament was prevented from discussing Cedar Bay
because it was ‘sub judice’, Bjelke-Petersen continued to put out a series of
prejudicial press releases. One press statement, issued on the eve of the new court
hearings, claimed that North Queensland was the ‘drug factory’ for the rest of
Australia, and referred to ‘drug plantations hidden in thick rain forest areas such as
Cedar Bay’. Another paragraph said police believed foreign fishing vessels were
bringing in hard drugs and that police were ‘seriously concerned that apart from
growing cannabis, hippie communes on Cape York might try to grow the opium
poppy, the main source of heroin’. State opposition leader, Tom Burns, denounced
this as ‘a blatant attempt to influence the court’. and the Council for Civil Liberties
president, Derek Fielding, said it had to be viewed as ‘a deliberate attempt by the
premier to influence the Cairns magistrate’.26

This campaign of vilification reached its peak during the trial of Inspector Gray.
The police described the hippies of Cedar Bay as ‘vicious criminal hippies’ who
were living in appallingly squalid conditions, amidst the stink of human excreta. The
buildings were described as dilapidated, abandoned, not fit for human habitation.
According to the police, conditions at Cedar Bay were so appalling they were only
made bearable by the constant smoking of marijuana.

At the trial Gray was acquitted, thanks to barrister Des Sturgess’ famous
‘suppurating sores’ defense. In his address to the jury, Sturgess relied on ‘sex drug’
hysteria, appealing to a bigotry based on a fear of youth and sex for which pot served
as code. He told the jury that the case had nothing to do with bright messages of new
hopes for an alternative way of life. It was about dirt and sores and stink and a return
to pre-history by young people who would do anything except work. He said Cedar
Bay had been portrayed as a sort of paradise occupied by gentle children of nature.
Life there, he claimed, was so squalid it was made bearable only by steady
intoxication from marijuana. He said Gray had been portrayed as the chief bully man
of a bunch of police bullies who came and interfered with these gentle, peaceloving
hippies who only desired to be left alone. ‘How would you like your son or daughter
to be up there’, he asked the Cairns jury. ‘What would you expect a conscientious
police officer to do if he found your daughter there? One girl among nine men . . .


youths with legs festooned with suppurating sores. They were absurd people without
shame or modesty.’27

It was Bjelke-Petersen style bigotry, delivered with a QC’s silver tongue.
Sturgess relied on the linking of sex and pot, which remains a continuing sub-theme
in this study. The fear of cannabis as an aphrodisiac has disturbed the conservative
mind in Australia from 1938 to the present. When Prime Minister John Howard talks
of drugs attacking the ‘moral fibre’ of the nation, this is again code for the youthful
promiscuity and the rejection of the work ethic of radical 1970s youth.

After a 17-day trial, Inspector Gray was cleared of all charges. Bjelke-Petersen
announced that the jury’s decision had justified his early stand on the issue.

The Right To March

Bjelke-Petersen had got what he wanted: a police force that would attack his
enemies — the young and the Left. And not just the marijuana smoking hippies of
Cedar Bay: already his sights were set on the marijuana-smoking student protesters
from the universities.

Three weeks before Cedar Bay, when the police had attacked a university student
march, Bjelke-Petersen had supported the police with the words ‘Australians are
becoming tired of demonstrations on any pretext’. The Police Union immediately
supported Bjelke-Petersen on this issue. Police Union president, Sgt Ron Redmond,
a Terry Lewis supporter, took the opportunity to bag Whitrod, and called on the
Premier to give a clear-cut decision on what police should do in relation to

They feel they have no support other than from the Premier and the
Government in their endeavours to maintain law and order. They feel deserted
by their Commissioner and Minister.28

Ten months into Lewis’s tenure as Police Commissioner and two months before
the next State election, Bjelke-Petersen banned the right to march in Queensland. On
6 September 1977, senior police officers were instructed that permits for
processions, which were ‘of a protest nature’, were not to be issued. On 13
September, Cabinet made the Police Commissioner the final arbiter on questions of
public meetings and marches. Commissioner Lewis enforced the new edict banning
street marches with suitable enthusiasm.

On 22 September 1977, 700 police were deployed when 400 university students
attempted to march to the city. They dispersed and walked to King George Square
where a rally was held. There were 31 arrests.


On Saturday 22 October 1977, 700 police were deployed when 5,000 university
students, civil rights adherents, environmentalists and others formed in King George
Square and marched into Adelaide and Albert Streets. There were 418 arrests.
That day, National Anti-Uranium Mobilization Day, 20,000 people marched
peacefully through the streets of Sydney and 10,000 did likewise in Melbourne. A
minimum number of police supervised those processions and no arrests were

On the eve of the State election, 11 November 1977, 690 police were deployed
against a Right To March demonstration. There were 169 arrests. By provoking
turmoil in the streets, Bjelke-Petersen won a smashing victory.

As in the days of the Vietnam Moratorium protests, Right to March activists
found themselves victimised by corrupt Queensland police who misused the drug
laws against them. Ian Kerr, a prominent activist in the Right To March protests, was
subsequently planted with a block of hash by Queensland police in August 1980.
Typically, the Queensland police who raided his house kicked in his door and then
went through his bookcase, confiscating a number of radical pamphlets and books
before planting him with the hash. Due to inconsistencies in the police evidence, Ian
Kerr was eventually acquitted on the hash charge.30

Bjelke-Petersen was smashing his opponents in the streets: was he also smashing
them in their homes? Damien Ledwich’s cartoon, ‘Speak Earthperson’, associates
the Right to March demonstrations with the great marijuana drought of 1977 when
pot almost disappeared from the street. ‘This Droughts gotta break soon’ says the
narrator: ‘I’m down to dry stems and wet dreams.’ In the next frame people shoot

The Drought had begun after Cedar Bay. At that time, heroin started to seep
through Brisbane, and exploded in use during the street march era. Some said that
the corrupt police were pushing the heroin. Fats Parameter, whose song Pig City was
one of the anthems of Brisbane protest, describes those times:

Within a few years within my circle of friends who had been into street march
politics — between 1977 and 1980, half of them had turned to heroin. Quite a
few subsequently died. I have no proof, but I always suspected the police sold
them another form of rebellion.31

The Queensland Drug-Terror State

After Cedar Bay, the use of ‘drug-terror’ by the Queensland police force became
systematic. Just as in the street march demonstrations, the use of agent provocateurs
was widespread. In May 1978, when the Drug Squad conducted a series of raids
around Rockhampton, there were many complaints of entrapment. Following the
raids, a letter to the Rockhampton Morning Bulletin protested: ‘It seems we are


paying our agent provocateurs to go throughout the state causing young people to
commit crimes they would not otherwise consider in order to make the Drug Squad
figures look a little healthier.’32


Illustration 10: “Speak Earthperson”, Damien Ledwich, The Cane Toad Times 1978


The Anglican Synod of Rockhampton issued the following statement: ‘while the
Synod deplores the growing tendency towards the use of illicit drugs in the
community it nevertheless voices its concerns at some police methods being used to
enforce the law and gain convictions, believing the end achieved do not justify the
means ...’33

In July 1978, the Drug Squad moved onto Kuranda, where a 28 year old Sydney
man was fatally shot by police as he fled from a drug search. Queensland lawyers,
who had been critical of the ‘Starsky and Hutch’ tactics of the Drug Squad for years,
said they had been expecting such a shooting. According to the lawyers, drawn guns
were a regular feature of drug raids in Queensland, irrespective of the likely damage
to police; doors were smashed in without warning and furniture indiscriminately
destroyed; not as part of the search for drugs, but for intimidation. The number of
complaints indicated these practices were standard procedures.34

In August 1978, the Queensland police force brought their ‘Cedar Bay’ style of
drug-terror into northern NSW. At Yelgun, local resident Luc Tournier was shot and
wounded as a result of a Queensland police stakeout. According to John Burns,
secretary of the Northern Rivers Human Rights Action Group, at least three dozen
shots were fired by Queensland police during the stakeout and subsequent highspeed
chase. Burns alleged that the police concerned had earlier been seen drinking
and larrikinising at a nearby hotel. When Luc Tournier’s car finally ran off the road,
he was dragged out and, as one officer held a gun to his head, another repeatedly
kicked him in the ribs shouting: “Die you —— die!’ Burns’ statement continues:
The next morning, Luc’s home was ransacked by police, armed with pistols
and rifles, his wife and a neighbour being dragged to the police station,
charged with minor drug offences, while their screaming children were left
behind. While these people were being questioned, other police went back to
their homes, tearing everything apart and taking and destroying personal

Needless to say, Luc Tournier and his friends were hippies.

Year by year the number of drug ‘persecutions’ in Queensland increased, often
executed against dissidents, because, as we shall see, under the Queensland system
the Mr Bigs were protected. The stated aim of this persecution was to drive drug
users out of Queensland, and in this regard it succeeded with many young, liberal
Queenslanders choosing to leave the state and become ‘Queensland refugees’.
However, it did not stop drug use in Queensland at all, as graph 3 (below) shows.
The burgeoning War on Drugs in Queensland is reflected in the graph of Drug
Offences in Queensland 1968 - 1988. Notice the growing acceleration of arrests
following Cedar Bay (August 1976) which reached a crescendo in the years between
1983 and 1986 in which the Nationals ruled alone. Note the fall in 1987/88, the years


of the Fitzgerald Inquiry, when the Queensland police were lying low. Over 100,000
drug offences were prosecuted in Queensland during Bjelke-Petersen’s premiership;
most of these (almost 90,000) while Terry Lewis was Police Commissioner.

In 1983, after 15 years of Bjelke-Petersen and his tough-on-drugs policies, drug
offences in Queensland had not gone down at all. Instead, they had increased by an
extraordinary 8,000%. During the same period, Bjelke-Petersen’s tough-on-drugs
stand proved enormously popular and his party’s share of the vote increased from
19% to 39%. While the War on Drugs proved a successful means of social control
for a corrupt, right-wing government, it was accompanied by a massive increase in
illegal drug use in Queensland, massive erosion of civil liberties and massive


Chapter 12

Regime of Corruption

If any proof were needed for the corrupting influences of prohibition, Queensland in
the eighties was the perfect example. Bjelke-Petersen was the ‘front man’ providing
a cloak of god-fearing ‘Christian’ morality. Beneath this cloak was a state of total
and utter contempt for the law. The police organised the crime and shared in the
profits; the Licensing Branch was a systematic illegal franchising of the market in
prostitution and gambling; the Drug Squad (and the police in general) were a retail
arm that siphoned seized drugs back to the streets; there was evidence of police
involvement in auto-theft, gang murders, payroll robberies and armed hold-ups.

The existence of this corrupt network was widely rumoured, and the allegations
about the Rat Pack were the subject of intense gossip. Nonetheless, the Queensland
media did its best to ignore the evidence of corruption beneath the surface of the
‘Sunshine State’. In their ‘watering holes’, Brisbane’s journalists were only too
eager to gossip about corruption: in their day jobs they wrote puff pieces about Terry
Lewis and his many awards; genial Terry Lewis becoming Father of the Year; a
laughing Terry Lewis playing with a Lewis submachine gun in the Police Museum;
Sir Terence Lewis, the first serving Police Commissioner to be knighted by the
Queen. Lewis’s promoter, the man most directly responsible for this perversion of
Queensland society - No 1, Joh, ‘the hillbilly dictator’ - was hailed as Queensland’s
saviour and a political genius. Suitably, the beneficiaries of this corrupt system
called it ‘the Joke’.

While Brisbane’s brothels blatantly and luridly displayed their wares on major
city intersections, the police and the government claimed there were no brothels.
Meanwhile, Chris Masters, whose Four Corners expose ‘The Moonlight State’
would bring the Joke down, described how Fortitude Valley had taken on ‘the
brazenness of Kings Cross’:

‘You would have to have suffered acute glaucoma, spent your entire life in a
monastery or been an elected official of the National Party to be ignorant of
what was on offer ... Many thousands of homeward bound commuters could
not miss spotting Hector Hapeta’s main brothel. ‘Top of the Valley’
commanded a useful corner position at a major Fortitude Valley junction. It
seemed to me that in the tradition of giant pineapples and giant prawns you
see at coastal tourist towns, a giant penis would have not been out of place. It
would have been no less blatant.1


Similarly, the Bjelke-Petersen government declared that the ‘evil drug trade’
would never be tolerated. Yet the word on the street was that much of the wealth so
openly flaunted in Joh’s ‘bigger and better’ Queensland was from the drug trade
which, like prostitution and SP gambling, was licensed by the Rat Pack.

The ‘Drug Joke’ was rumoured to be run by a leading Queensland police officer,
codenamed ‘God’; God was said to meet with certain Lebanese, Italian, and
Vietnamese businessmen in a Chinese restaurant in Fortitude Valley. The identities
of these ‘ethnic businessmen’ was widely known; they were ‘prominent socialites’,
often seen on the social pages with the knighted Premier and his soon-to-be-knighted
Police Commissioner. The Drug Joke they controlled was worth hundreds of
millions of dollars.

The North Queensland Operation

We’ll intensify our efforts to locate illegal drug cultivations and increase police
surveillance in co-operation with appropriate Commonwealth agencies. I can
assure all Queenslanders that this state will be no haven for illegal drug users,
pushers and promoters.

Queensland Premier Bjelke-Petersen 1976.

Despite the firm assurances of the Premier, in the years following Cedar Bay, North
Queensland became the drug centre of Australia. Both the Williams and Stewart
Royal commissions would learn of links between the Italian communities in north
Queensland and those in Griffith in New South Wales.

With the death of Don Mackay, Griffith became too hot and the Italian marijuana
growing operation was closed down, adding enormously to the Drought. The
Drought in turn was ended in the eighties by a growing supply of North Queensland
‘mango heads’. It was said that the branches of ‘the family’ in north Queensland had
become responsible for the growing of cannabis for the southern states. Hidden in
the jungles of north Queensland were crops of near-Coleambally proportions — an
estimated two hundred and fifty thousand plants according to the Slade report. The
north Queensland operation also imported large quantities of Buddha sticks, hashish
and heroin into Australia. North Queensland boomed. Under God and Joh,
Queensland became the centre of the Australian drug trade.

Mareeba, the new ‘pot capital of Australia’, was ‘a town like Griffith’ in its
ethnic mix, though more dominated by its large Italian community. Its central
position in the rich Atherton Tablelands in the mountains above Cairns made it an
administrative centre for much of Cape York and the north Queensland hinterland.
Unlike Griffith, which was famously busted, the Mareeba operation eluded even the
Fitzgerald Commission.


Although many Italians were involved, the operation was ‘multicultural’ and was
supervised and protected by corrupt Queensland police. As a further demonstration
of the multicultural mix that made the ‘Ocker Nostra’, there was some hippie
involvement too.

Paul Clarke was an ex-member of the Sydney ‘push’ who became a hippie and
learnt his trade as a marijuana grower at Nimbin and Cedar Bay. A refugee from the
era of Love and Peace, he was recruited by the operation to be their grower in north
Queensland. The deal was he was supposed to be paid $30,000.2

He was never paid. On the 24 May 1981, Paul and Vita Clarke were found shot
dead in their house at Julatten in north Queensland. They each suffered multiple 12-
gauge shotgun wounds, fired at them as they lay in bed. The bodies and house were
both set alight and only the fact that the A-frame house collapsed in on them saved
enough of their bodies to be identified from dental charts. They were marijuana
growers; they were hippies from Cedar Bay; they were, in Des Sturgess’s fine words
at the Cedar Bay trial, “absurd people without shame or modesty”. Unlike Don
Mackay, they were people who were easy to kill.

The officer in charge of the police in North Queensland at the time of the murder
of Paul and Vita Clarke was the other half of the Rat Pack — Tony Murphy.
Murphy’s brilliant but checkered career had changed decisively once his friend,
Terry Lewis, was appointed Police Commissioner in November 1976. Thereafter,
Murphy’s rise was meteoric. Promoted to Superintendent over 50 more senior
officers in 1977, on 8 December 1980 he was sent to Cairns as Regional
Superintendent of the Far Northern Region.3

Leading the investigation of the Clarke murders was Sgt Ross Beer, the officer in
charge of the Mareeba police district, one of the ‘friends’ of the Rat Pack. Like the
other ‘friends’, Beer had an outstanding career under Terry Lewis. He was promoted
to Inspector shortly after he failed to solve the Clarke murders, and transferred back
to Brisbane where he was again promoted to head the Gaming Squad in 1986.4

In 1984 the legendary anti-corruption campaigner, Fast Buck$, ran for the Senate
in Queensland. He published two reports concerning the Mafia, marijuana, police
and politics in North Queensland, focusing on three strange deaths: that of Detective
Jack Connors, policeman and National Party fund-raiser, who ‘committed suicide’ in
the car park of the Italian Club in Mareeba in 1978; and the murders of Paul and Vita
Clarke in 1981.5

The Fast Buck$ Reports devoted a good deal of coverage to the two police
officers who were in charge of the Mareeba Police Station in the early eighties —
Sgt Ron Beer and Sgt Ross Dickson. Beer’s successor, Dickson, claimed he got into
enormous problems simply by doing too good a job. He made a number of large


arrests to the apparent displeasure of his superiors who rewarded him by hounding
him from the police force. Dickson claimed he was getting ‘too close to the big
boys’ when he was supposed to be ‘concentrating on the hippies’. He claimed he
was offered a bribe of $200,000 to drop drug cultivation charges against two
members of the ethnic Italian community, which he refused.

In 1983 four men from the Drug Squad in Brisbane arrived in Mareeba
unannounced to take Dickson’s file on drug trafficking in Far North Queensland ‘to
put on the computer in Canberra’. The files never arrived there. Early in 1984
Dickson was taken off all drug investigations and told not to leave Mareeba without
giving full details to the inspector. He was transferred to Townsville in June 1984
and was forbidden to visit Mareeba unless accompanied by a Commissioned

Fast Buck$ claimed that a prominent Queensland police officer, who was ‘wellknown
in the Police Force as the man who controlled (and still controls) escort
agencies and gambling in North Queensland — and who was often to be seen in
casinos with a call-girl on his knee’ also controlled this Drug Joke. Fast Buck$ also
claimed that a prominent National Party minister was ‘an ambitious front man’ for
the Mafia in North Queensland, feeding drug money into the coffers of the National

Although these Fast Buck$ allegations were ignored by the mainstream media,
tens of thousands of pink Fast Buck$ Report leaflets were delivered to rush hour
commuters during the 1984 election in Brisbane. And Fast Buck$ was given
considerable publicity on radio station 4ZZZ.

4-ZZZ: Young, Left Radio and the War on Drugs

For the thirteen years between 1975 and 1988, 4ZZZ FM provided the soundtrack
for life on the edge in Bjelke-Petersen’s Queensland. Operating on the proverbial
shoestring, paying lousy wages to its always burnt-out staff, 4ZZZ proved that
collectives can work, and got under the skin of the smallest minded and most corrupt
government in Australia. It stayed there, despite the many efforts to destroy it,
providing an independent news service, and being an outlet for the young and other
marginalised groups such as murris, feminists, and prisoners.8

4ZZZ grew out of the radical student movement at the University of Queensland
during the years of the Vietnam war. In 1971, the students mobilised to oppose a
tour by an all-white South African Springbok Rugby Union team. They saw parallels
between the apartheid system and the way the Queensland government treated
Aborigines under its control. The Premier, Bjelke-Petersen, declared a State of


Emergency, suspended civil liberties, ringed the rugby field with barbed wire, and
called up more than 600 police from country areas.

The protests were broken up by force in a brutal series of confrontations that
lasted over a week. The climax came at the Tower Mill, the hotel where the
Springboks were staying. A crowd had gathered peacefully on the footpath opposite
the hotel, singing protest songs like ‘We Shall Overcome’. The police waited until
dusk when they called in the riot squad to baton charge the anti-apartheid
demonstrators down the hill. The demonstrators were kicked and punched as they
tried to escape. Police Commissioner, Ray Whitrod, tried to hold the police back.
Brisbane legend has it that the baton charge was led by Terry Lewis.9

The tour proved a public relations gift to the Queensland Premier, Bjelke-
Petersen, who was beset with charges of corruption over a gift of shares from
Comalco. Bjelke-Petersen, who had been widely seen as a shifty, dishonest,
bumbling yokel, took to television as a Nixon-like strong man and defender of ‘law
and order’. His compliments to the police for their ‘restraint’ defied reality. In an
outburst of hyperbole, soon to become his trademark, Bjelke-Petersen claimed that
police had been opposed by ‘trained agitators, radicals and militant union leaders’.
While overseas media like the London Times carried accurate reports of the police
violence, local Brisbane media ignored the police brutality and instead carried the
state government news releases praising police restraint.

Somewhat disillusioned by this display of ‘independent journalism’ Queensland
style, some students began thinking about how to get the truth out. When the
Whitlam government was elected in 1972, a group that included Jim Beatson and
Alan Knight, began the process of obtaining a community broadcasting licence. The
process was tortuous but ultimately successful; 4ZZZ went to air on December 8
1975, just sneaking in at the end of the Whitlam era. At noon that day, John Woods
read a statement setting out the station’s manifesto and then played ’Won’t Get
Fooled Again’ by The Who. The station’s manifesto declared 4ZZZ’s commitment
to pluralism and for being a voice for the disenfranchised.10

Four Triple Zed was the station of the young and the Left par excellent. For
Bjelke-Petersen and his ilk, the 4ZZZ collective were more like Four Triple
Whitlam; the children of the anti-Christ himself, seducing the young with alternative
lifestyles, pro-Marxist propaganda, alien ideologies, and, of course, drugs, as
Queensland morals campaigner Rona Joyner explained when urging the cancellation
of 4ZZZ’s temporary licence in 1976.

Rona: Their station [4ZZZ] is there to promote the alternative lifestyle. They
are doing it to destroy the lifestyle that the majority of taxpayers have striven
for, and have worked up, and are wanting to see continued. They’re
advocating abortion, they’re advocating pro-Marxist forces overseas, or aiding


in the propaganda that they’re churning out in favour of the pro-Marxist,
Communist forces, which we in Australia are not in favour of, in the majority of
cases. I mean every life that’s led astray or destroyed or led into a life which’ll
end up in drugs . . . And I mean this alternative lifestyle has shown that . . .
That it does lead to drug addiction and destroyed life.”

Questioner interrupts: What, Triple Zed? 4ZZZ is doing this??

Rona: It’s only a segment of the forces that are encouraging an alternative
lifestyle, every segment I believe is one segment too many . . . If the Minister
for Post and Telecommunication decides to cancel their licence, which is a
temporary licence up till the end of March. If he decides to cancel that licence
then we’ll have no more problems.11

Behind the hyperbole and the far right rhetoric was another reason for the hatred
of 4ZZZ; Triple Zed represented the one media voice in Queensland that
continuously opposed the all-pervasive alliance of corruption that was Bjelke-
Petersen’s Queensland. In its first year of operation 4ZZZ set the pattern by breaking
the Cedar Bay story; despite its location on the Saint Lucia campus 2,000 kms to the
south of Cedar Bay, Triple Zed became the central media resource for Cedar Bay,
feeding information from Cairns, Cooktown and Cedar Bay to the rest of the media.
As Steve Gray, the 4ZZZ journalist who broke the story recalled:

For the first time, other sections of the media were coming to us for the news:
we were getting the stories first; our accuracy was given more credence than
the other Cairns sources. Triple Zed became the central organiser of the
broadly based campaign that included groups as disparate as the people of
North Queensland and the state ALP.12

Triple Zed’s reporting of Queensland police overkill continued on beyond Cedar
Bay including numerous reports of the excesses of the Task Force, the Drug Squad
and the Special Branch. The persecution of 4ZZZ was no doubt intended as a signal
to the other media in Queensland of the dangers of independent journalism and of
being a voice for the disenfranchised. As a form of payback, 4ZZZ workers were
regularly spied on by the Special Branch and busted by the Drug Squad. As one
4ZZZ journalist declared in 1986:

We have paid the price in terms of police harassment. A lot of long-term 4ZZZ
workers carry their drug convictions with pride ... it’s an occupational hazard
and nothing to be ashamed of anyway.13

Like 4ZZZ journalists, 4ZZZ listeners, were also major targets of Queensland’s
drug laws. In April 1984, 4ZZZ organised a Drug Bust Phone-in, and were swamped
with calls. The statistics they compiled reveal that half (of 33 callers) had been
searched in the ‘privacy’ of their own homes; 13/33 were not told powers of search
(of these 8 asked and were told to piss off); 28/33 had specific complaints, e.g. guns
drawn, assault, abuse, ‘redecoration’, intimidation.14

4ZZZ venues like the Queens Hotel were closed down by the Licensing Squad as
soon as they got profitable. Others like the Caxton Street hall were swarmed over by


the Task Force leading to a near riot. The most successful of all 4ZZZ venues,
Brisbane’s legendary Cloudland Ballroom, suffered the greatest repression. The
campaign against Cloudland was led by Don ‘Shady’ Lane, ex-Special Branch cop
turned corrupt politician, one of the key figures of the Joke. Every night throughout
the summer of 1979/80 gigs at Cloudland saw more police; there were sniffer dogs
in the crowd, and narcs everywhere. Finally, like so many other historical Brisbane
buildings during this period, the legendary ballroom was torn down in the middle of
the night by the notorious demolition firm, the Deen Brothers.15

This period is best recalled by a song that became 4ZZZ’s anthem; recorded by
The Parameters at the 4ZZZ studios in October 1983 it was called ‘Pig City’. In the
years 1983 to 1986, when drug prosecutions in Queensland reached their peak, ‘Pig
City’ was regularly in 4ZZZ’s hot 100 and became the most played song on the
station. For the young and the Left, Brisbane in 1984 was the era of ‘Pig City’.


Pig City

If you go downtown just beware Pig City!
there’s a demonstration in the Square Pig City!
the boys in blue are everywhere Pig City!
see the blacks in the park Pig City!
hear the door slam, hear the dogs bark Pig City!
they’re keeping the city safe after dark Pig City!
the minister for corruption’s working late Pig City!
he wants a piece of the action in race eight Pig City!
no s.p. here, he’s ringing interstate! Pig City!
the blacks at arukun have to go Pig City!
to keep big business on the go Pig City!
while joh gets shares in comalco Pig City!
who was the bagman, who was the hitman Pig City!
who was the front man, who were the big men Pig City!
in the national scam? Pig City!
hello, hello, is that you dear? Pig City!
what’s that clicking noise I hear? Pig City!
walls have eyes and phones have ears Pig City!
go to a dance to have some fun Pig City!
here come the boys with their dogs and guns Pig City!
they don’t like punks, run, johnny, run Pig City!
who’s that knocking at the door? Pig City!
at 6am it must be the law Pig City!
right, you know what we’re looking for Pig City!
a state of emergency for the ‘boks Pig City!
then to show the workers who’s boss Pig City!
you think you’ve got rights, they’re already lost Pig City!
so you don’t want to know, you’ve heard it before Pig City!
but if you cop this lot you’ll sure get more Pig City!
where to now from ’84? Pig City! 16

Illustration 11: “Pig City”, The Paremeters, 1983


Operation Noah and The Drugs Misuse Act (1986)

The high point of the War on Drugs in Australia came with the national launch of
Operation Noah (Narcotics, opiates, amphetamine, and hash) on 13 November 1985.
The national front man for this Dob-in-a-Druggie Day was corrupt SA Drug Squad
chief, Barry Moyse, who would later be convicted for drug trafficking. Suitably, it
was launched in Queensland by Police Commissioner, Terry Lewis, who called on
every Queenslander to wage war on ‘the vermin that profit from the misery of drug

They are callous dealers in death and misery — parasites who deal in a
vicious trade purely for greed ... Operation Noah can help us root out these
dealers in death ... Remember drug traffickers and dealers become fat cats by
ruining thousands of lives. They give no thought to the lives they shatter...
Nothing is affecting the health of the youth of Australia worse than drugs.
Anyone who wants to help guarantee a brighter, healthier future for our
children and has information about drug dealers, growers or importers, should
not hesitate to phone in on Wednesday.17

Premier Bjelke-Petersen also declared himself determined to crack down on the
‘merchants of death’, and he called on all Queenslanders to support Operation Noah
by phoning police with information about drug dealers and drug users. Bjelke-
Petersen took the opportunity to announce tough new anti-drug legislation which
would extend police powers to tap phones of ‘drug dealers’, and would include
mandatory life sentences without parole for drug offences. He was heralding The
Drugs Misuse Act (1986).18

As usual, the media were only too happy to do the work of the police, promoting
Operation Noah, and championing all measures to crack down on ‘drug pushers’.
Giving its support to the ‘Dob-in-a-druggie’ campaign, Brisbane’s Courier Mail
declared in an editorial: ‘Some civil libertarians may say that informing on others
should not be encouraged but, here again, “dobbing in” is the lesser of two evils.’ In
another editorial, charmingly entitled ‘Better a tap than a fix’, the newspaper also
supported Bjelke-Petersen’s suggestion of extending police phone-tapping powers
using ‘the lesser of two evils’ line. In Queensland, the evil of drugs was always
perceived to be far greater than the erosion of civil liberties and the extension of
police state power to corrupt police.

Meanwhile, at the Sunday Mail, ‘anti-druggie’ hysteria was wildly promoted. In
the weeks leading up to Operation Noah, the Sunday Mail ran a series of
sensationalised articles, obviously police inspired, beating up the ‘drug menace’. In
one editorial, called ‘Drugs: Join the good fight!’ the Sunday Mail loudly beat the
drum for the War on Drugs:


Regular readers will recall our special report last Sunday about Australia’s
burgeoning drug market. Its message was frightening. The cases — Jo, Brian,
Karen, Jim and Alan — were tragic. A Queensland welfare worker said almost
every Gold Coast and Brisbane school had its marihuana, heroin and
sometimes cocaine users. Children. Queensland children. Deadly Drugs. An
appalling equation. Normally such disclosures, such disturbing evidence,
would produce a strong response in our letter columns at least. This was not
the case. Except for calls from a few helpful people, there was no reaction.19
What could possibly make the Queensland public so jaded? If you wondered,
there were even more of these ‘shocking revelations’ for your titillation. An article
called ‘True life horror of Queensland drug’ scene began:

Primary school aged girls injected with pethidine and subjected to sex abuse,
young teenage boys picked up at pinball parlours and given drugs in
exchange for posing for pornography pushers, a mother selling her child for
the night in exchange for cocaine, pamphlets advertising eight and ten year
olds available for perverted acts - it’s the stuff of horror movies.

The Sunday Mail’s portrayal of drugs was firmly in the Reefer Madness mould
and followed the usual pattern of titillation, arousal and condemnation. The style of
journalism had not changed from the days of Smith’s Weekly and Harry Anslinger.
Drug users were demonised in an hysterical way, portrayed as deviants, as junkies
and paedophiles. ‘Before’ and ‘After’ profiles of users portrayed drug use as a oneway
trip to an overdose in some heroin hell. Meanwhile, in the real world, drug users
were the boy/girl next door smoking pot. Ninety per cent of drug use was simply pot
smoking; typical drug users were not paedophiles; they were the young, the 18 - 24
age group, over half of whom smoked pot. It was predominantly young, unemployed
males who bore the brunt of the War on Drugs which the papers were always

While the Queensland media were demanding more powers for the police,
figures released by Operation Noah showed that Queensland would record the
second highest number of drug offences in Australia: on projected national figures
New South Wales would record 18,750 charges, while Queensland would record
14,700 drug offences; easily beating the more populous Victoria where about 12,750
offences were expected. Overall, Australia could expect 67,200 drug prosecutions in
1985. The figures revealed that, under Queensland’s drug terror state, young
Queenslanders were being prosecuted at twice the national rate already without the
‘tough new laws’.20

Still, for the media the message was clear: more police powers were called for,
and Bjelke-Petersen was willing to oblige. The Drugs Misuse Act went to parliament
for the first time in December 1985 with provisions for jail for natural life for
trafficking in marijuana, and mandatory life for the possession of more than 2 grams
of heroin and cocaine amongst its many extreme provisions. The legislation


represented Australia’s toughest anti-drug laws. The Premier had promised the
legislation during the 1983 election when he promised to crack down on the
‘merchants of death’. Said Bjelke-Petersen: ‘We will not allow the Mr Bigs of this
intolerable, degrading and murderous trade to continue reaping multimillion dollar
profits off the suffering of our youngsters.’21

Police Minister, Mr Glasson, said the Government’s approach contrasted sharply
to Labor policy:

... which was to decriminalise the use of starter drugs such as marijuana.

Experience has shown that marijuana is simply a stepping stone for large
numbers of young people to heroin and now, in increasing quantities, cocaine
... As far as the government is concerned we will do everything possible to
keep drugs out of schools and away from young people by jailing the human
parasites who live off this terrible trade in human misery.

There was immediate furore about many of the provisions of the Drugs Misuse
Bill. The laws on ‘permitting use of place’ made parents liable to 15 years jail if they
didn’t dob in their children. Even National Party president, Sir Robert Sparks,
thought this ‘too draconian’. Bjelke-Petersen dismissed this criticism as ‘off-beam’.
‘I don’t like a dobbing-in requirement,’ Bjelke-Petersen said, ‘But if parents cannot
control their children they should tell police if they cannot stop them.’22

The Bill was roundly criticised by a number of influential organisations ,
including the Queensland Law Society and the Bar Association. Indeed, as Bar
Association President, Ian Callinan QC, wrote to Justice Minister Harper:
In the recent experience of members of the committee of the Bar Association
there has been no recent Queensland legislation to match the universal
disapproval which the present Bill has attracted from members of the
association. The Bar Association is concerned about the extensions of police
powers contained in the bill. It argues that Queensland police already have
wide powers for detention, search, seizure and arrest under legislation dating
back to 1937. The legislation is not soft on drugs, as the Justice Minister has
suggested as a reason for his Bill. ... On the subject of penalties, for example,
under the new legislation, possession of a small amount of marihuana, four
cigarettes, will expose an offender to a mandatory life sentence. In New South
Wales, the same offence attracts a fine of $250. 23

Another powerful critic, Queensland Law Society president, Mr Denis Byrne,
said the Drugs Misuse Act proposed dramatic reversals in law, such as requiring
people to prove their innocence rather than the Crown prove their guilt; he was also
worried about the wide powers that were to be given to police. Gold Coast Law
Association spokesman, Mr Chris Nyst, said it was an exercise in futility which
would burden taxpayers with the costs of long jail terms for young offenders.24
The Civil Liberty Council vice-president, Terry O’Gorman, criticised the Drugs
Misuse Act on the grounds that the Bill opened the way for corruption and the abuse
of police powers. Mr O’Gorman spoke at length at a public meeting in the Caxton


Street Legal Service hall, crammed with more than 400 people. The meeting was
called by radio station 4-ZZZ to organise opposition to the bill. ‘When you boil it
down this Bill is really about increasing police powers,’ Mr O’Gorman said.25
Dismissing these criticisms, Bjelke-Petersen said the final changes would be
worked out in talks between himself, Police Minister Bill Gunn and the Police
Commissioner, Sir Terence Lewis. In this regard the Drugs Misuse Act shows its
parentage well. Bjelke-Petersen wanted an extension of the war on the Young and
the Left; Police Commissioner Lewis’s concerns seem to have been to protect ‘God’
and the ‘Drug Joke’. As the opposition pointed out in a number of pamphlets and
posters, the bill’s provisions were well tailored to these twin ends.

The poster ‘Pig City’ (Illustration 12) takes its name from 4ZZZ’s theme song,
and quotes one line from the song in fine print (‘you think you’ve got rights, they’re
already lost!’). The photo on the poster is Terry Lewis holding a Lewis submachine
gun, looking like the archetypal American mobster. His word balloon ‘We’re here
for your protection!’ is a sly reference to the Drug Joke. ‘Wanna be a legal drug
dealer? Join the Qld Police!’ promises the headline, while the text declares:
The government says it is introducing the Drugs Misuse Bill to get at the MR
BIGS. Are they?? The main features of the Bill are the horrific penalties for
very small quantities of drugs. This is a bill aimed at small users, Why?? Is it
because those who drafted this bill are naive, ignorant rednecks? NO! The
Police drafted this Bill. They know exactly what amounts are involved in using
and dealing. The Bill provides police with enormously increased powers.

* They will be able to buy and sell drugs (to obtain evidence of course) no
questions asked.
* They will not be liable to any damage to property during a raid.
* If they find drugs in your house they won’t have to prove they were in your
possession - they’re there - they’re yours.
* If they charge you, even if you win in court, you still have to pay court costs.

This is a bill drafted for MR BIG. If you’re a user, if you’re small-time, watch

For the police, business is booming!!26

The distinguishing feature of the Drugs Misuse Act (1986) was the horrific
penalties for very small quantities of drugs. Every other state drug legislation
distinguished between ‘users’ and ‘drug traffickers’ with severe penalties for the
latter, and small penalties for the former, and allowed for ‘simple offences’ - small
penalties and fines for possession of small amounts of cannabis, usually 25 grams.
With the Drugs Misuse Act, the simple offence disappeared: the penalties for users
in Queensland were on a par with those of drug traffickers. Justice Williams had
commented in his Report that it was ‘illogical’ to distinguish between drug
traffickers and users, and his fellow Queenslanders, Bjelke-Petersen and Terry
Lewis, ensured that the Drugs Misuse Act was the first not to be so ‘illogical’. As


the critics claimed, it was a Bill aimed at small users. Possession of the smallest


Illustration 12: “Pig City”, the poster


Illustration 13: “What is a Criminal”, the poster


of cannabis was made a worse crime than rape, assault or official corruption. By the
same token, drug traffickers, in particular, police drug traffickers were far better
protected than users under the legislation.

Another poster, a punk-style ‘cut up’, entitled ‘What is a Criminal?’ (Illustration
13) shows a considerable debt to the US underground comic by Spain in both title
and the punch line. The examples of dubious criminality are given, however, a very
topical Queensland flavour: the poster depicts four pillars of the regime - ‘Top-
Level’ Ted Lyons, Allen Callaghan, Martin Tenni and Alan Bond. Interestingly, two
of the four — Bond and Callaghan — would end up behind bars; scuttlebutt in
Bjelke-Petersen’s Queensland could be surprisingly accurate.27

The campaign against ‘Australia’s toughest drug laws’ failed, and the Drugs
Misuse Act passed through Queensland’s parliament in August 1986. Two months
later, Bjelke-Petersen scored, what was for him, a stunning electoral triumph when
his National Party received 39% of the popular vote in the Queensland elections;
given Queensland’s notorious gerrymander, this was easily enough to hold
government in his own right. In his first election in 1969, his party’s share of the
vote had been only 19%, forcing him to govern in coalition with the Liberal Party to
1983. Thus the 1986 result was the high point of Bjelke-Petersen’s political career.
Encouraged by the Murdoch media, he launched the fateful ‘Joh for P.M.’ campaign,
aiming to capture Canberra.

In retrospect the campaign against the Drugs Misuse Act (1986) can be seen to
have added to the growing atmosphere of public anger at the endemic corruption of
the Bjelke-Petersen regime. It would be the growing stench of corruption that would
bring Bjelke-Petersen’s drug-terror state undone.

The Moonlight State

James George Slade was another of the besieged ‘honest cops’ in Queensland’s
corrupt police state. An undercover police specialist, he was engaged in surveillance
duties for the Bureau of Criminal Intelligence. In 1984, Slade and a colleague, Ian
Jamieson, were sent on a three-month intelligence gathering operation to far north
Queensland to investigate the drug trade. As a result of that work, Slade submitted a
report which described the scale of the North Queensland operation and named some
members of the Bellino family.

In March 1985, his superior at the Bureau of Criminal Intelligence, Alan Barnes,
handed Slade a $100 bribe, apparently from Gerry Bellino, and said ‘From Uncle
Gerry. Have a drink.’ Slade did not know what to do. Returning the money meant
transportation to the Queensland equivalent of Siberia. Accepting the money meant
the end of his self-respect. As a temporary solution, Slade put the money in a plastic


bag and hid it under his bed. Later, he tried a compromise solution by handing the
money back without too much fuss or mess.28

As a consequence of his attempted honesty, Slade was moved from the Bureau of
Criminal Intelligence and was being shunned by his mates when, in September 1986,
he was visited by Four Corners reporter Chris Masters who was researching a story
on corruption in Queensland called ‘The Moonlight State’. From the moment he met
Slade, Masters knew he was onto a good story: the scent of institutional corruption
gave it scale; the cry from the heart of Jim Slade gave it passion. ‘I was angry,’
Masters writes, ‘at the notion that honesty could be so cunningly press-ganged into a
career with the other side.’ 29

Following Slade’s lead, Masters next spoke to Ross Dickson, the maverick
Mareeba cop, who was Fast Buck$ informer. Dickson had retired from the force and
now ran a small fish restaurant at Yeppoon with the unforgettable name ‘Sea Food
and Eat It’. He too confirmed Slade’s accusations that, in Joh Bjelke-Petersen’s
Queensland, the police force organised crime, including the drug trade.

As their investigations continued, Masters and the Four Corners crew found
themselves under growing surveillance. The Queensland police kept following them,
watching them closely, tapping Masters’ phone, and monitoring his calls. Masters’
diary contained notes like ‘Spot three surveillance cars. Why don’t they look for
crooks?’ 30 Terry Lewis’s growing concern about the Four Corners enquiries was
reflected in a dozen separate entries in his work diaries. Officers like Jim Slade who
talked to Four Corners were interrogated; witnesses like John Stopford were traced.
‘What is a Criminal?’ the poster asked. In the topsy-turvy world of Bjelke-
Petersen’s Queensland Chris Masters found himself asking the same question.

The whole business began seriously to get me down. I wasn’t a criminal, I was
a journalist — but I was being treated like a criminal, like an enemy. It is very
depressing to recognise you are in enemy territory in your very own country.31
‘The Moonlight State’ went to air on 11 May 1987. In one brave broadside, it
sank ‘Battleship Queensland’. With Bjelke-Petersen absent pursuing his ‘Joh for
P.M.’ campaign, acting Premier Bill Gunn announced an inquiry to be headed by
Tony Fitzgerald QC. At the Fitzgerald Inquiry, ex-policeman Jack Herbert admitted
he controlled a graft empire in Queensland covering SP bookmaking, prostitution,
illegal casinos and illegal in-line machine gambling. He alleged that Police
Commissioner Terry Lewis was a key participant in the empire and received
monthly payments. Herbert named dozens of serving and former police officers as
having been in on the Joke.

The biggest problem for Fitzgerald was that in Bjelke-Petersen’s Queensland
there were simply far too many crooks; years after Fitzgerald, the prosecutions
continued, till they topped well over one hundred. On 5 August 1991, Sir Terence


Lewis was found guilty by a Brisbane District Court jury of 15 charges of official
corruption. He was sentenced to 14 years jail. His sponsor, Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen,
was tried for perjury but the case was dropped after the jury failed to reach a verdict.
Four other ministers, including the ex-Special Branch cop, Don Lane, were jailed
for rorting expenses. (Note it was Lane himself who steered the investigators
towards the issue of expense account rorting as a way of explaining his excess
wealth; Lane went down, but he took three other ministers with him). Brothel kings,
Hector Hapeta, Gerry Bellino and Vic Conte, were also jailed. The head of the
Licensing Branch, Allen Bulger, got twelve years; another senior sergeant Noel
Kelly got five years. Others like the bagman Jack Herbert, Assistant Commissioner
Graeme Parker and Sgt Harry Burgess received indemnities from prosecution in
exchange for breaking ranks with the brotherhood.

Despite these heroic efforts, Fitzgerald failed to crack ‘the Drug Joke’. He had
the bagman for the Licensing Branch, Jack Herbert, but he did not have ‘God’.

Despite the assurances Herbert gave when he received his indemnity that he would
tell everything, it seems a kind of honour amongst bagmen prevailed, and Herbert
protected God and the Drug Joke.

Certainly, there were strong suspicions that Herbert did not tell all. Before the
Inquiry, Herbert denied any knowledge of police involvement in the drug trade. He
also denied any knowledge of corrupt activity by Tony Murphy after the early
1970s. In the press box, Evan Whitton famously whispered to Quentin Dempster
‘We might as well go home!’. ‘I’m being interrupted by people talking,’ said
Herbert. ‘It’s just the media,’ said Fitzgerald. 32

Just before his arrest, Brisbane brothel owner, Hector Hapeta, predicted that the
Fitzgerald process would blow over, and, within a few years ‘this town (Brisbane)
will be as bent as ever’.

So it proved.

Although Fitzgerald’s creation, the Criminal Justice Commission, attempted to
reform Queensland’s notorious drug laws, they were resisted every step of the way
by the new Labor Premier, Wayne Goss. By Goss’s second term, the number of drug
offences was rising rapidly, and Queensland was again the drug capital of Australia,
the centre of some enormous marijuana growing and smuggling operations. In
February 1995, a 162, 000 plant plantation was busted at Upper Widgee near
Gympie — the largest Australian plantation since Coleambally. On 13 December
1996, 8.4 tonnes of cannabis resin were seized by Customs from a boat called
Highlander in Tin Can Bay; and another 5,000 cannabis plants were discovered on a
property leased by one of the Highlander principals. Proof of a very large drug
trafficking organisation in Queensland.


Eight years after Fitzgerald, in 1997, the Criminal Justice Commission sent out
another inquiry, headed by Justice Bill Carter, to look for ‘God’. Suspiciously, the
Carter Inquiry looked in all the wrong places; investigating minor police corruption
at Airlie Beach and the Gold Coast, while studiously avoiding the enormous busts
mentioned above. Neither Cairns and its hinterland (including Mareeba) nor
Brisbane were investigated at all! At the media release of his report, Police and
Drugs, Justice Carter was asked by a 4ZZZ journalist: ‘Is this just a case of a few
bad apples, or is the whole system rotten to the core: i.e. Is there a ‘God’?’ In reply,
Justice Carter admitted that his team was split on the ‘God’ issue into ‘believers,
agnostics, and atheists’, but, on this point at least, he was ‘an atheist’.


Chapter 13:

Justice Williams and the Americanisation of drugs policy in Australia

The man who officially recommended the Americanisation of drugs policy in
Australia was another Queenslander, Justice Edward Stratten Williams. A judge
from Bjelke-Petersen’s Supreme Court, Williams was appointed by Prime Minister
Malcolm Fraser, on the 13 October 1977, to head the Australian Royal Commission
of Inquiry into Drugs (ARCID); his terms were to inquire into illegal drug
trafficking and report on the adequacy of existing drug laws and law enforcement. It
was three months after the murder of Donald Mackay, and the ‘drug problem’
dominated the political landscape in Australia as never before.

As a direct response to the radicalism of the just released Senate Standing
committee report on Illicit Drugs which had recommended decriminalising cannabis,
Fraser appointed Williams, a conservative Queenslander, to head the inquiry. The
conservative ruled states of Queensland, Victoria, West Australia and Tasmania
issued Letters Patent in identical terms to the Commonwealth to the Williams
Commission. Only New South Wales, which had already established the Woodward
Royal Commission, and South Australia, which had appointed the Sackville Royal
Commission, did not participate. Williams’ solutions were what Bjelke-Petersen and
Fraser — the men who appointed him — wanted. He was a man ‘with a narrow
legalistic approach to the problem’ as Manderson observed. His report was not a tool
for re-evaluation, ‘but a means of further entrenching and improving the functioning
of the established legal order’.1

The Williams inquiry took three years to complete and took evidence from over
2000 witnesses. Williams’ report, handed down in 1980, has been the basis of drug
policy in all states except South Australia for the past two decades. It has been hailed
by Ian Leader-Elliott as ‘Australia’s most comprehensive examination of the
problems associated with illicit use of recreational drugs’.2 Desmond Manderson,
less generously, described the report as ‘turgid in style’, ‘predictable’ and
‘orthodox’; while Don Chipp described its ‘obsession’ with law enforcement and the
cutting off of supply as like ‘fairyland’.3

As a researcher who has looked closely at the Williams Report, I have to say I
find it sub-standard. Williams fails to get the most basic figures right, and you, the
researcher, find yourself in the curious position of having to recalculate the official


figures to get meaningful information. For example, Williams’ summary of police
seizures of cannabis plantations in the years 1975, 1976, and 1977 — of vital interest
to any clear overview of the cannabis market in Australia in the 1970s — is riddled
with the most appalling errors. In its section on cannabis production the Williams’
report states:

Inspector D.H. Haswell of the Commonwealth Police referred to statistics
maintained since 1974 and said that two crops were detected in 1974, four in
1975, eight in 1976 and 20 in 1977 (Of 173). The two crops in 1974 were in
New South Wales and they yielded 16,500 plants; the four in 1975 were in
New South Wales (1) and Queensland (3), totalling 4340 plants and 181 kg of
cannabis; the eight crops in 1976 were in Queensland (6) and South Australia
(2), yielding 23,288 plants weighing 1370 kg; and in 1977 four states were
involved: New South Wales (14), Victoria (4), Queensland (1) and Western
Australia (1) the total number of plants was 28,485, weighing 3023 kg.

Acreage were 33 in 1975, 7.25 in 1976 and 547 in 1977 (Open Exhibit 41).4
To deal with the obvious errors first. Consider Williams’ claim about the four
plantations discovered in 1975: ‘the four in 1975 were in New South Wales (1) and
Queensland (3), totalling 4340 plants and 181 kg of cannabis’. The ‘one’ plantation
in New South Wales was Coleambally, and it totalled 375,000 plants alone! ie
Williams is at least 370, 000 plants short, even without considering the three
Queensland plantations! Similarly, consider Williams’ claim about the number of
plantations in 1977: ‘in 1977 four states were involved: New South Wales (14),
Victoria (4), Queensland (1) and Western Australia (1)’. This misses Northern
Territory (1). A fairly important miss too: Bela Csidei’s four acres of exotic Mafia

The most ludicrous error is the claim that 547 acres of pot were seized in 1977:
547 acres is impossible at first glance, and becomes even more improbable with even
a moment’s thought; it represents seven million plants, something like eighteen
Coleambally plantations for the year, or one Coleambally every three weeks!
Impossible! Not even one marijuana plantation the size of Coleambally was found in
1977 or 1978 or 1979 or 1980 or ever again! Coleambally is out there still, our Mt
Everest of pot.

Although there is no excuse for errors of this magnitude other than incompetence,
part of Williams’ problem seems to be that the seizure figures were presented in a
confusing way, as a number of different units — in acres, in plant numbers, and as
kilos of dried cannabis — and this seems to have bamboozled Williams. Whatever
the reason, Williams manifestly misunderstood the seizure figures, and effectively
destroyed the seizure evidence through his lack of understanding.

Williams’ bungle of the seizure figures had dire consequences. One result of
Williams’ mythical 547 acres seized in 1977 was that it made the 31 acres seized at
Coleambally look small. In this way Williams made his contribution to covering-up


the murder of Donald Mackay. Williams’ mythical figures also supported the police
claims that the Drought was the result of vigilant law enforcement and not due to a
‘heroin conspiracy’.

Williams’ problem seems to be that he already knew the answer — Australia
needed US-style drug laws. Because he ‘knew’ this answer, Williams did not need to
bother with irrelevant matters like the seizure figures. His was an ideology-driven
approach no evidence would shake.

To continue: The History Of An Underground World - An Introduction To The Thesis Methodology & The Literature by Marijuana Australiana Part 2:


The History Of An Underground World - An Introduction To The Thesis Methodology & The Literature by Marijuana Australiana Part 1:

The History Of An Underground World - An Introduction To The Thesis Methodology & The Literature by Marijuana Australiana Part 2:

The History Of An Underground World - An Introduction To The Thesis Methodology & The Literature by Marijuana Australiana Part 3:

The History Of An Underground World - An Introduction To The Thesis Methodology & The Literature by Marijuana Australiana Part 4:

The History Of An Underground World - An Introduction To The Thesis Methodology & The Literature by Marijuana Australiana Part 5:

The History Of An Underground World - An Introduction To The Thesis Methodology & The Literature by Marijuana Australiana Part 6:

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Supporting The Love For Life Website, The Cristian Family and The Living Dream Of Kindom (Creation Of Do No Harm Communities) - The Love for Life website is produced for free without a fee (no contract or conditions attached) as a gift of love for the benefit of others. If you feel you have gained something from visiting it, feel inspired, and would like to reciprocate as an equal exchange in substance and support (value), you are most welcome to make a gift of love to keep it and the dream of Kindom going. As always, we thank you for your gifts of love.

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Account number:
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Fiona Caroline Cristian
012 547
5576 81376


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The Cristian Family November 2006

We Stand For NO SYSTEM

Kindom (Do No Harm Communities) is the dream for freedom, but it is the dream for the freedom of those around us who also live the dream of freedom, because it is in living for the freedom of others that we get our freedom. When we live for the dreams of Kindom of those around us, we live life as a gift because we live for (dedicate our lives to) their dream of freedom, truth, peace, joy, abundance, etc, just as they live for our Kindom dreams too. This is true co-creation (cooperation) with no attack on the uniqueness of each of us. When we live this way, we have no need for any man-made system - everything/everyone has already been taken care of by our love for life.

Just as we do not have to jump 10 feet across the room to grab our next breath, neither do we have to worry about food, water and shelter because it has all been taken care of as we each co-create Kindoms/Kin-Domains for everyone. Now everybody and everything of the dream of life that is Kindom/Paradise is free (has been set free once again). The issue is greed and selfishness, power and control trips, arrogance, ignorance, being fed many many lies and being traumatised. The issue is not overpopulation - there is more than enough land available for every family to have a hectare (2.5 acres Kin-Domain) to care for. The land of Australia can provide a Kin-Domain for every family across Earth, each with a food forest, clean fresh drinking water and plenty of space for building natural do no harm habitats and with plenty of land left over.

Everyone must have the freedom to take full-responsibility for their lives, for the water they drink, the food they eat and for their shelter. Currently, "The System" forces everyone to give up taking full-responsibility so that we become grown up children accustomed to sucking on the nipples of "The System" corporations for everything, having to use money to get by and to follow the rules of money because we are not co-creating freedom, peace, truth, joy and abundance for each other. Money only leads to haves and have nots and all the abuse, manipulation and distractions that we are subjected to as slaves to money.

When we give up living for other's Kindom dreams, we start creating hell ("The System") all around us because we become self-centred - now it's all about "my freedom","my money", "my land", "my belief", "my saviour", "mine", "mine","mine", "i","i", "i", "own", "own", "own", etc. To protect what we claim we own requires a man-made system with FORCE to protect those self-centred claims. This is ALL trauma based and all story-telling (brainwashing/braindirtying).

NO SYSTEM = KINDOM/DO NO HARM COMMUNITIES photo Kindom_zpsa6d24e8a.jpg

Our true freedom comes when we set our thoughts of freedom into motion so that we live freedom rather than just talking and thinking about it while we still slave for "The System". Kindom will not happen while we meditate for hours in the bush or do yoga retreats or wait for Jesus or follow the processes of the OPPT (One People's Public Trust now called One People). This is not freedom because we are not living freedom because we are living the story-telling of Jesus or Zeitgeist or The Secret or Thrive or One Earth/Consciousness/People.

Living Kindom is very, very hard work as we set about repairing the damage to MAN/Earth/Nature that we are ALL responsible for but the burden becomes lighter the more of us put our life-energy into the dream of returning Earth to Paradise. Day-after-day, we all have to work our arses off until Kindom is all around us (MAN) once again. This is the price we pay to set each other free on a piece of land (Kin-Domain), so that no one is under the image-power (education/brainwashing/story-telling) of another MAN anymore and so that everyone can have their space of love to create and live their unique, do no harm dreams. This only happens once we have the Kindoms set up so that everyone is provided for.

Once we re-create the food forests, whether on land or in the suburbs, we can re-claim our freedom, breaking the strangle-hold of "The System" because we are no longer reliant on its services and benefits and no longer turning each other into slaves of "The System", cogs in the wheels of "The System" machine. If we don't put the effort in to set everyone and everything free all around us then we still live in HELL ("The System"). The key is to live for everyone else's freedom so that we can have it too.

From Bare Dirt To Abundance
A Year In The Life Of The
Love For Life Food Forest

Arthur & Fiona Cristian
8th February 2013
51 Minutes 46 Seconds

From Bare Dirt To Abundance Part Two A
5th November 2014

From Bare Dirt To Abundance Part Two B
Coming Shortly

We live for NO SYSTEM. We do not lose anything by not having a man-made system and, in fact, we gain. We gain our freedom and we gain abundance. Let go of the fear.

The Cristian Family November 2006

A Collection Of Various Love For Life Posts
Providing The Big Picture We See

Sequential Order

We ask you to NOT believe anything we say/share and instead use scrutiny like an intense blow torch and go where the logic of truth/sense takes you. This is very, very important. Put everything you believe up to the test of scrutiny to see how it stacks up. If you are true to your heart/senses and go where the logic of truth/sense takes you will find that NO belief, etc, will stand up to the test of scrutiny. They just do not stack up because they are lies/fraud.

After you have watched and read all the material and any questions are left unanswered, send us your landline number and we will use the internet phone as a free unlimited call. We are on Sydney NSW Australia time. Best times for us to chat are between 11.00am and 6.00pm.

It is critical that you fully comprehend Image Power, "Spelling", Trauma, Reaction To Trauma, Curses, Processing Curses, Full-Responsibility/Liability, Limited Liability/Responsibility (passing-the-back), Slavery, Senses/Sense vs Non-Sense/Senses, Re-Presenting Intellectual Property such as but not limited to "Name", Storytelling/Storytellers, Duality, Black-Magic, Belief, Lies, "i", All Seeing "i" (eye), etc..... These themes and others are covered over and over and over again.

If you do not comprehend these insights and are unable to use your senses to sense your way through all the non-sense/non-sensory-images that enslave MAN under their image power (darkness = "The System" = Hell), men and women will remain deeply trapped under a terrible state of trauma. Our intention is to inspire you to remedy by showing you how to move away from reacting to trauma in all its nefarious and devious forms.

Superb Diamond Range Interviewing
Arthur & Fiona Cristian 4th February 2014

His-Story/Her-Story (History)
Arthur Cristian - Love For Life
2005-2007 - Re-posted July 2014

The Dream Of Life Part 6
Under The Spell Of Intellectual Property

Arthur Cristian - 51 Minutes 52 Seconds

Trauma Induced Fantasy
July 2013 Interview With
Jeanice Barcelo And Arthur & Fiona Cristian

The Dark Side Of The Moon
The Background To "The System"

Arthur & Fiona Cristian Interviewed By
Jahnick Leaunier, The Tru-Mon Show
24th August 2016
Love For Life - 142 Minutes

Eric Dubay's Flat Earth Is A Cult
The Background To The System Part Two

Arthur & Fiona Cristian Chatting With
Jahnick Leaunier On The Tru-Mon Show
Love For Life - 31st August 2016
154 Minutes

Eclipse Of The Sun - Video (Arthur swears in this video)
The Background To The System Part Three
Arthur & Fiona Cristian Chatting With
Jahnick Leaunier On The Tru-Mon Show
Love For Life - 25th October 2016

The "Name" Is The Mark Of The Beast
The Strawman Identifying
Your Slave Status In "The System"

By Arthur Cristian - Love For Life
5th February 2012 - 56 Minutes 25 Seconds

The Satanic Craft Of Inculcation In Practice
Fiona's ACT Supreme Court Affidavit Explaining Inculcation & Illumination
Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life
4th March 2016

The Spinning Top
Full Bloom Inculcation

Arthur And Fiona Cristian
Love For Life
Facebook Discussions Between The
8th December 2016
26th January 2017

The Shit Of Death
Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life
28th January 2017

The Selfie Of Freakenstein
Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life
17th March 2017

Three Sets Of Fiona Cristian Documents Filed With ACAT
Merged Into One Document For Downloading

Fiona Cristian Affidavit
ACT Supreme Court / Court Of Appeal

Dancing With Magic (Lies)
Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Videos, Articles, Comments
And Pending E-Book
Love Fort Life
September 2015

Dancing With Magic Part One
Arthur & Fiona Cristian - Love For Life
5th September 2015

Dancing With Magic Part Two
Arthur Cristian - Love For Life
12th September 2015

Dancing With Magic Part Three
Arthur & Fiona Cristian - Love For Life
13th September 2015

Dancing With Magic (Lies) Part Four:
Arthur & Fiona Cristian - Love For Life
16th September 2015

Introduction To Kindom Video
By Arthur & Fiona Cristian - Love For Life
6th March 2015

To Be Educated Is To Have No Soul
The System Is Soul Destroying

Frederick Malouf & Michael Tellinger's
Contrived Gifting
Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life
1st September 2016

Illumination IS Definition
Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life
26th to 29th January 2016

The Nefarious Tactics Used
To Disguise Truth And Distract Us
From Remedy

Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life
24th January 2014
This post contains many recent Facebook comments
and email replies which collectively provides a big picture
into exposing the deception behind IMAGE POWER.

The Pull Of E-Motion
Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life
8th February 2014

Processing Curses
A Lie Is A Curse
Liars Process Curses

Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life
26th February 2014

How The System Is Really Constructed
Bouncing Back Curses Upon Curse Makers
To Stop Harm Forevermore

Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life
27th February 2014

Slave To A Name
Parts One, Two, Three, Four,
Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life
3rd to 6th March 2014

Educated Slaves
Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life
20th March 2014

The Only Path To Freedom
Beware The False Steps

Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life - 2nd April 2014

Free-Dumb For All
Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life - 5th April 2014

Revoking The Ego
Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life - 8th April 2014

How MAN Commits Spiritual Suicide
Arthur Cristian
Love For Life - 3rd April 2014

How To Detect Intel Operatives Working
For The New World Order Agenda
Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life - 10th April 2014

How The Psyop Program & Intel Networks
Are Messing With Your Head +

Arthur & Fiona Cristian - April 2014

Godzilla Through The Looking Glass
Destroyed By Name"

Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life - 20th April 2014

What It's Going To Take
To Co-Create Freedom Forevermore

Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life - 22nd April 2014

Falling For Fairy Stories
Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life - 24th April 2014

A Disassociation From The Work
Of Kate of Gaia

Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life - 17th May 2014

Separating The Wheat From The Chaff
Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life - 22nd May 2014

Revolution Or Revolution
Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life - 25th May 2014

Routing Out Psyop Programs
Routs Out Intel Operatives
Exposing Max Igan's Psyop Program

Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life - 31st May 2014

The Psyop Program Scam
Behind Religion Belief Faith
& Associated Opinion

Arthur Cristian
Love For Life
11th June 2014

Another Delusion
Arthur Cristian
Love For Life
11th June 2014

A World Of Words Is A World Of Lies
Arthur Cristian
Love For Life
13th June 2014

The Name Of The Beast Is MAN

Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life - 9th May 2014
Includes Mountain MAN Arrested
Facebook Discussion About "Name"
Uploaded 25th June 2014

Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life - 13th August 2014

Discussion With Brother Gregory
Clearly Demonstrating Christianity
Is Part Of The Problem
And Not The Solution

Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life
Between the 12th May 2014 and 30th August 2014

The Psyop Program Behind Free Food
And Permaculture

Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life
29th October 2014
Facebook Discussion With Unconditional Love Moon

Head So Strong
Music and Vocals Arthur Cristian
Backing Vocals and Vocal Effects Arthur Cristian & Hannah Wood
Lyrics Fiona and Arthur Cristian
Written during our spare time between Aug & Oct 2014

The Time Of Trauma That Destroys Us
Arthur Cristian - Love For Life
9th November 2014

The Most Powerful Video On Spirituality
And Happiness FOR SLAVES
How To Accept Slavery And Be Happy About It

Arthur Cristian - Love For Life
6th August 2014
Facebook Discussion About The Work Of Eckhart Tolle

What Can We Do What Can We See
Arthur Cristian - Love For Life
A series of Arthur Cristian Facebook
posts and discussions
between 17th and 21st November 2014

The Misuse Of Love By Intel Networks
To Create Doubt And Uncertainty
With The Intention To Destroy Love
And Therefore Destroy MAN
(True Freedom, Peace, Joy, Abundance And Truth
For Everyone)

By Arthur Cristian - Love For Life
26th November 2014

The Void Of E-GO That Is Spiritual Suicide
The Justification Of Laziness
That Perpetuates System Creature Comforts
Ensuring Our Fall

Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life
13th December 2014
Massive Update Occurred 14th Dec 2014 3.10pm Sydney Aust time

Darkness Visible Part One A, B, C, D
The Freemasonic World In Plain Sight
Decoding George Washington Lithographs

Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life
14th December 2014
Part One A
Part One B
Part One C
Part One D

Darkness Visible Part Two
Yin And Yang, Duality, Spiritual Suicide
And Frank O'Collins UCADIA / One Heaven

Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life
14th December 2014

Darkness Visible Part Three
How The Word Sausage
Re-Presents The New World Order
Boiling Point & Out To Get Us

Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life
27th December 2014

Darkness Visible Part Four
Aleister Crowley - Thelema - OTO
And The Black Magic Psychedelia Of The Intellect

Facebook Discussion
4th to 10th January 2015

Darkness Visible Part Five
Living MAN Fiona Cristian's Standing
+ Decoding Judeo/Judaism

Fiona Cristian & Arthur Cristian
Love For Life
24th January 2015

Darkness Visible Part Six
The Many Fingers Of The Hidden Hand Appearing
YouTube Community Flagged A Video
Posted To The ArthurLoveForLife YouTube Channel
As Being "Hate Speech"

Fiona Cristian & Arthur Cristian
Love For Life
4th February 2015

Darkness Visible Part Seven
The Full Responsibility For Setting
True Freedom For All Into Motion
In Present-Sense Forevermore

Fiona Cristian & Arthur Cristian
Love For Life
10th February 2015

Who We Really Are Does Not End
At The Surface Of Our Skin

Arthur Cristian & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life - 22nd February 2015

Introduction To Kindom Video
By Arthur & Fiona Cristian - Love For Life
6th March 2015

The Rot Parts One, Two, Three
Arthur Cristian
Love For Life
5th June 2015

"The Good Guys" And The "Bad Guys"
Working Together To Bring In
The New World Order

Arthur Cristian - 18th July 2015

Can You Spot The Ego?
Where's Wally? Part One

Compilation of Facebook & Youtube
Insight Posts During Aug/Sept 2015
By Arthur Cristian

Can You Spot The Ego?
Where's Wally? Part Two

Compilation of Facebook & Youtube
Insight Posts During Aug/Sept 2015
By Arthur Cristian

Dancing With Magic (Lies)
Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Videos, Articles, Comments
And Pending E-Book
Love Fort Life
September 2015

Dancing With Magic Part One
Arthur & Fiona Cristian - Love For Life
5th September 2015

Dancing With Magic Part Two
Arthur Cristian - Love For Life
12th September 2015

Dancing With Magic Part Three
Arthur & Fiona Cristian - Love For Life
13th September 2015

Dancing With Magic (Lies) Part Four:
Arthur & Fiona Cristian - Love For Life
16th September 2015

Illumination IS Definition
Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life
26th to 29th January 2016

The Satanic Craft Of Inculcation In Practice
Fiona's ACT Supreme Court Affidavit Explaining Inculcation & Illumination
Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life
4th March 2016

The Dark Side Of The Moon
The Background To "The System" Part One

Arthur & Fiona Cristian Chatting With
Jahnick Leaunier On The Tru-Mon Show
Love For Life - 24th August 2016

Eric Dubay's Flat Earth Is A Cult
The Background To The System Part Two

Arthur & Fiona Cristian Chatting With
Jahnick Leaunier On The Tru-Mon Show
Love For Life - 31st August 2016

To Be Educated Is To Have No Soul
The System Is Soul Destroying
Frederick Malouf & Michael Tellinger's
Contrived Gifting

Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life
1st September 2016

New Love For Life Kindom Facebook Group
Started March 2015
Includes 63 Minute
Introduction To Kindom Video
By Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Facebook Kindom Group Guidelines
The Love For Life website home-page provides
the bigger-picture background to the themes
touched on in this video:

Crop Circles Are A Massive Hoax
Facebook Discussion On Simon Kawai's Wall
Involving Arthur & Fiona Cristian
31st August 2013

OPPT & Slavery Through Intellectual Conscription By Deceit
Arthur & Fiona Cristian - Love For Life
27th February 2013 onwards...
Part One:
Part Two:
Part Three:

Water Is The Life Of MANS Consciousness (Breath)
Arthur & Fiona Cristian - Love For Life - 8th February 2013
Part One: - 70 Minutes 5 Seconds
Part Two: - 81 Minutes 13 Seconds
Part Three: - 70 Minutes 18 Seconds

What Do You Believe On Origins?
Who Said There Was A Beginning?
Who's Truth Do You Accept?
Belief Is A Strange Idea.

Discussion Lyndell, Scott and Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Between March and April 2013
Posted 29th October 2013

So You Want The Good Bits Of "The System"
But Not The Bad Bits?

By Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life - 12th August 2013

Turning Away From The Reflection
Of MANS Looking Glass

Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life
30th April 2013


From Bare Dirt To Abundance
A Year In The Life Of The
Love For Life Food Forest

Arthur & Fiona Cristian
8th February 2013
51 Minutes 46 Seconds

From Bare Dirt To Abundance Part Two
5th November 2014

From Bare Dirt To Abundance Part Three
7th March 2016
60 Minutes

Love For Life Food Forest & Native Garden March 2016
Extension Of The Love For Life Food Forest And Establishment
Of A New Native Garden At The Front Of The Rental Property
In East Bowral - 24th October 2015 to Mid February 2016.
15 Minutes

Control The Land
And You Control MAN On The Land
Displace MAN From Land
And You Turn MAN Into Slaves

Arthur & Fiona Cristian - Love For Life
April 2011 (Updated 14th September 2011)

The Divine Spark
Facebook Discussion With Raymond Karczewski
Arthur & Fiona Cristian & Others
2nd October 2013

Capturing Another MANS Uniqueness
A Facebook Debate With
Arthur & Fiona Cristian - Love For Life
And Raymond Karczewski
Starting 13th May 2013

The Spell Is Broken
Taking The Land To Create Kindom

Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life
3rd March 2013

The Steps Of Kindom
Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life 2006/2007

To explore these themes in greater detail go here where you can find links to all our Love For Life comments, articles, debates, discussions, videos, podcasts, etc:

All the best
Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life

Email :
Mobile : 0011 61 418 203204 - (0418 203204)
Snail Mail: PO Box 1320 Bowral 2576 NSW Australia
Facebook Arthur Cristian :
YouTube Arthur Cristian :

Register To The Love For Life Mailing List:

Facebook Group Why Aren't We Free Discussion :
Facebook Group Kindom/Do No Harm Community Discussion :

Links below will kick in when the professionally recorded Love For Life music is released.

SoundCloud :
Nimbit Music :
Twitter :
Facebook Music :
YouTube Love For Life Music :
MySpace :
Google + Fiona Cristian :

Peaceful Transition Through Sacrifice And Service

We feel there is an essential peaceful do no harm transition required to get all of MAN back to standing on MANS feet without reliance upon another MAN for water, food, shelter. As it stands everyone in "The System" are highly dependent and reliant on the "group mind-set" that forms "The System" of slaves providing services and benefits for the emotionally addicted slaves to "The System" (and you can put us in the same basket too). The transition is to get MAN back to relying ONLY on nature without 3rd party interlopers, intermeddlers, interceders getting in the way. The transition is a team effort with the foresight for setting all of MAN free down-the-line so that MAN is no longer dependent on slaves and masters providing services, benefits, privileges and exclusivity while being bound to contracts, rituals, procedures, conditions, rules & regulations which compromises MAN severely.

This transition is all about shifting from limited liability/responsibility to full liability/responsibility. This full responsibility is all about caring for our health, nature all around us, clean uncorrupted (pure) water and food, partner/co-creator, children, shelter, animal-friends in partnership, etc. In "The System", we are already together destroying each other - we have to come together to create peace together so that we can all have peace. We cannot live peacefully when we are islands, not taking full responsibility for the lives of those around us until EVERYONE can take full responsibility for their life, which means that EVERYONE is healed of system trauma. In "The System", we all come together to make slaves of each other - now is the moment to come together to set each other free, to live for each other's freedom, peace, joy and abundance. Once we have set each other free, we are free.

Control The Land
And You Control MAN On The Land
Displace MAN From Land
And You Turn MAN Into Slaves

Arthur & Fiona Cristian - Love For Life
April 2011 (Updated 14th September 2011)

The Spell Is Broken
Taking The Land To Create Kindom

Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life
3rd March 2013

"The Steps Of Kindom"


Once we fix these issues, we or our children or our descendants to come, can start focusing on the even bigger picture of getting back to where our ancestors were, as breatharyan's, before they fell into non-sense images to be enslaved by them.

All the best to you and your family
Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life

The Cristian Family November 2006

The Cristian Family Declaration

The Cristian family and The Love for Life Campaign are apolitical, non-religious, non-violent, anti weapons, anti drugs (both pharmaceutical and recreational) and anti any ideology that denies the existence of Do No Harm Communities (Kindoms) and suppresses the uniqueness and freedom of all men, women and children.

The Cristian family and our Love For Life work is unaligned to any big business corporation, intelligence agency, government body, "system" law, "system" think tanks, "system" green or environmental movements, religion, cult, sect, society (fraternity, brotherhood, sisterhood, order, club, etc,) secret or not, hidden agenda, law or sovereignty group, occult, esoteric, New Age or Old Age.

The Cristian family supports and promotes the remedy that brings an everlasting peace, freedom, truth, joy, abundance and do no harm for all of life without causing loss of uniqueness or the need for having slaves and rulers. We are not into following the one in front or being shepherds for sheeple. Most importantly, we take full-responsibility for everything we think, feel and do.

The Cristian family are not Christians.

Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life

December 2006

The Cristian Family November 2006


Being of clear brain, heart and intention, we each declare the following to be true:

• We have no intention of ending our own lives.

• We will not tolerate suppression of truth, ideas, freedom, or our work. We stand for freedom of speech.

• We stand together to support others in the expression of truths and freedom to speak out no matter how radical those ideas may seem.

• Standing for freedom takes courage; together we shall be strong in the face of all odds.

• If it is ever claimed that we have committed suicide, encountered an unfortunate accident, died of sickness/disease, disappeared, been institutionalized, or sold out financially or in any other way to self-interested factions, we declare those claims false and fabricated.

• We testify, assert and affirm without reservation, on behalf of all those who have dedicated their lives to the ending of secrecy and the promotion of freedom of thought, ideas and expression that we shall prevail.

• We Do Not Have Multiple Personality Disorders

Arthur Cristian
Fiona Cristian
Jasmin Lily Cristian
Emma Rose Cristian
Frances Hannah Cristian
Xanthe Jane Cristian

15th December 2006 (Edited/Updated 18th September 2011)

The Cristian Family November 2006

Update Regarding The Love For Life
Home Page And Quick User Guide

We are turning the Love for Life Quick User Guide into a blog of all the main insights of our work since March 2005, whether through articles, videos, podcasts or discussions/debates.

As we do not have the time to compile everything we have written into a book, as many have suggested we do, compiling all our most important work into one area of the website is a way of providing easy access to this work so those interested are able to fully comprehend the big picture.

Instead of having to find our different articles, videos, etc, in various parts of the website, it will all be accessible here: and here:

Love For Life Videos

As amateurs and posted in the Quick User Guide below the Facebook links, we're currently creating and posting a series of videos called "The Dream Of Life" which covers the ground of all the Love For Life insights. We plan to have the videos completed by December 31st 2012. Once this is behind us, our intention is to create a 2 hour or so video covering the body of this work. All videos are embedded in the quick user guide and uploaded in Arthur's YouTube channel:

Love For Life Music

We have started recording songs, with others, that express the themes of Love For Life. They are now being posted on Arthur's YouTube channel: and are embedded in the quick user guide We have over 100 songs to record. A few rough demos have already been used as the soundtrack on the first "Dream of Life" video.

About Us - Love For Life & The Cristian Family

Also, everything we, the Cristian family, have gone through, from bank fraud and the theft of the family home to death threats and attempts on Arthur's life, is documented in the Quick User Guide too. If you, the reader, are prepared to put the effort in, you will comprehend the extent to which we have all been tricked into becoming slaves, giving up our uniqueness and our full-responsibility for life and destroying everything of life to the point where life is in danger of dying out completely. You will also comprehend the remedy to all this chaos; a remedy that requires only love for life and the determination to do what needs to be done. Though our focus is very strongly on the remedy that creates a world of freedom, truth, peace, joy, abundance and Do No Harm for all of life without loss of uniqueness or the need for slaves and rulers, we realise that it is vital to comprehend how to get there and what stops us from getting there. This is why there is so much information on the hows and whys of everything going wrong in the world today. We are not into peddling conspiracy theories, we are into routing out all forms of organised crime.

Saturday 26th November 2011

Arthur and Fiona Cristian
Love For Life

Mobile: 0011 61 418 203204 - (0418 203204)
Facebook Arthur Cristian:
YouTube Arthur Cristian:
Nimbit Music:
Facebook Music:
Facebook Why Aren't We Free Discussion:
Facebook Do No Harm Community:
YouTube Love For Life Music:
Google + Fiona Cristian:
Register To The Love For Life Mailing List:

1. For The Body Of The Love For Life Work by Arthur and Fiona Cristian

Which Unravels The Reasons For The Chaos, Mayhem and Confusion Being Experienced In The World Today, Explains The Need For "Community Immunity" and Responsibility, and Focuses On The Creation Of Kindoms - Do No Harm, Life-Sustainable Communities (As The Remedy That Heals All Mans Woes) - And How We Can Co-Create Them. For Comments, Articles And Discussions, Go Here: - Also Go Here To See Podcasts And Videos Posted by Arthur & Fiona Cristian: - The Information Shared Comes From Inspiration, Intuition, Heartfelt-Logic And Information Gathered From Nature And Many Amazing Men And Women Along The Way. It Is Not Found In Any Books Or Channellings, Or Talked About By "Experts". Go Here To Read A Brief Synopsis Of Why We Started Love For Life:

2. For Information About The Ringing Cedars of Russia Series

go here: and for more on Eco Homes, Villages, Organic and Permaculture Gardening and Life-Sustainability, etc, go here: and here: and Mikhail Petrovich Shchetinin - Kin's School - Lycee School at Tekos:

3. For How To Eat A Raw, Living Food Diet,

go here: - LIFE is information. When we distort LIFE and then eat, drink, absorb, think, feel, hear, see, touch, taste, smell and perform these distortions, the information of LIFE, your LIFE, our LIFE, our children's lives, everyone's LIFE, is distorted.

4. To Find A Menu For The Extensive Research Library (over 8,000 items posted embodying over 11,000 documents, pdf's, videos, podcasts, etc)

Which Covers Topics From Health to Chemtrails/Haarp to Brain Control to Archaeology to Astronomy Geocentricity Heliocentricity to Pandemics Bird Flu Swine Flu to Fluoride to Cancer to Free Energy to Global Warming, 9/11, Bali Bombings, Aspartame, MSG, Vaccinations, Aids/HIV, Mercury, New World Order, Satanism, Religions, Cults, Sects, Symbolism, etc, etc, go here:

5. If You Would Like To Read About The Cristian Family NSW Supreme Court Case

(Macquarie Bank/Perpetual Limited Bank Fraud Condoned By Judges, Registrars, Barristers, Lawyers, Politicians, Public Servants, Bureaucrats, Big Business and Media Representatives - A Crime Syndicate/Terrorist Organisation) Which Prompted The Creation Of This Love For Life Website December 2006, And The Shooting And Torture Of Supporters Who Assisted Us In Reclaiming The Family Home, Joe Bryant And His Wife, Both In Their Late 70's, go here: And Read Some Of Our Email Correspondence With Lawyer Paul Kean - Macedone Christie Willis Solari Partners - Miranda Sydney May 17th-June 27th 2006:

6. For The Stories Of Other Victims Of The System,

go here: (If you have a story you would like us to put up, we would love to here from you:
action @

7. For Documentation Of Harm Done By The Powers-That-Be And Their Representatives,

Evidence Revealing How Victims Did Not Break The Peace, Caused No Crime or Harm, There Were No Injured Parties. Documenting Incontrovertible Evidence Demonstrating How The Powers That Be (PTB) And Their Lackeys Will Break All The Laws They Are Supposed To Uphold. They Will Kidnap, Intimidate, Terrorise, Rape, Pillage, Plunder And Lie And Take Responsibility For None Of It. All Part Of Their Tactics Of Using Fear And Trauma To Keep Us In Our Place. Relatives Of Those Under Their Radar Are Also Not Safe From Attack And Intimidation. All Starting From A $25 Fine For Not Voting And A $65 Fine For Not Changing A Dog Registration. We Do Not Have Freedom And Can Only Appear To Have Freedom If We Comply. Regardless How Small The Matter The PTB Throw Hundreds Of Thousands Of Dollars Away To Enforce Their Will.... Go Here:
Fiona Cristian Reply To State Debt Recovery Office - Part One to Part Ten - From 17th October 2008 And Still Continuing: or
Fiona Cristian Reply To State Debt Recovery Office
Part One: - From 17th October 2008
Part Two: - From 18th December 2008
Part Three: - From 9th January 2009
Part Four: - From 14th January 2009
Part Five: - The Sick Puppy - From 20th February 2009
Part Six: - Police Officers, Sheriff’s Officers, Tow Truck Driver and State Debt Recovery Office Blatantly Ignore the Law To Rape, Pillage and Plunder The Private Property Of Fiona Cristian - From 11th March 2009
Part Seven: - Affidavit Of Truth - Letter To The Queen + Australia: Fascism is Corporatism - From 30th March 2009
Part Eight: - The Pirates Auction And The Ghost Of VSL386 - From 4th April 2009
Part Nine: - Arthur Cristian's Letter To Pru Goward MP - From 15th December 2009
Part Ten: - Should We Be In Fear Of Those Who Claim To Protect Us? "Roman Cult" Canon Law - Ecclesiastical Deed Poll - The Work Of Frank O'Collins - From 13th October 2010

8. If You Are Interested In Information On Freedom From Statutes, Rule-Of-Law, Free Man/Free Woman, Strawman, "Person" and Admiralty Law (The Law Of Commerce),

go here: - For Common Law, Democracy, Constitution, Trial By Jury, Fee Simple, etc, go here:

9. If You Are Interested In Banking and Money Created (Fiat/Credit/Debt/Mortgage/Loan/Overdraft etc) Out-Of-Thin-Air, How Banks Counterfeit Money,

go here:

10. For A List Of All The Latest Posts In The Love For Life Website,

go here:

11. For Links To Many Hundreds Of Videos, DVDs And Podcasts

go here:

12. To See The Cristian Family Pledge, Legal and other Disclaimers

go here:

13. To Read About How A Representative Of The NSW Jewish Board Of Deputies Had Threatened To Shut Down The Love For Life Website

go here: Part One: Part Two: THE STEVE JOHNSON REPORT AND VIDEO: and Part Three: Latest Update On James Von Brunn:

Conscious Love Always
Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life
action @
0418 203204 (int: 0011 61 418 203204)
PO Box 1320 Bowral 2576 NSW Australia

Arthur Cristian

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The Cristian Family November 2006

Love For Life Legal Disclaimer

The information contained on this world wide web site (the web site and all information herein shall be collectively referred to as "Web Site Information"), under the registered url name,, resides on a host server environment in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15203, United States of America.

The Web Site Information has been prepared to provide general information only and is not intended to constitute or be construed as providing substantive professional advice or opinion on any facts or circumstances. Transmission of the information is not intended to create, nor does its receipt give rise to, a professional-client relationship between 'Love for Life' and the receiver.

While every care has been taken to ensure the accuracy and timeliness of the information prepared and/or reported on this site, 'Love for Life' is not responsible for any errors or omissions or for the Web Site Information not being up to date. The Web Site Information may not reflect the most current developments.

The impact of the law, policy and/or procedure for any particular situation depends on a variety of factors; therefore, readers should not act upon any Web Site Information without seeking professional advice. 'Love for Life' is not responsible for any action taken in reliance on any Web Site Information herein.

'Love for Life' is not responsible for any action you or others take which relies on information in this website and/or responses thereto. 'Love for Life' disclaim all responsibility and liability for loss or damage suffered by any person relying, directly or indirectly, on the Web Site Information, including in relation to negligence or any other default.

'Love for Life' does not warrant, represent or hold out that any Web Site Information will not cause damage, or is free from any computer virus, defect(s) or error(s). 'Love for Life' is not liable to users for any loss or damage however caused resulting from the use of material found on its web site.

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The sending of information by you, and the receipt of it by 'Love for Life', is not intended to, and does not, create a professional-client relationship.

All Web Site Information is considered correct at the time of the web site's most recent revision.



The Cristian Family November 2006

Posted Wednesday 17th June 2009
Updated September 2011

NSW Jewish Board Of Deputies
Has Threatened To Shut Down
The Love For Life Website

No Freedom Of Speech - No Freedom Of Thought

Love For Life does not support harm doing in any shape or form. However, we are supporters of free speech and post articles, documentaries, etc, that represent a wide cross section of ideas. See the Love For Life extensive research library where over 6000 documents, articles and videos are posted: We clearly see the evidence of the destruction to MAN and the earth that has been caused by ALL religions over the centuries and are therefore not supporters of religions, cults, sects or any group that demands conformity of thought, speech or action, or has rules, regulations or rituals that must be followed. Religions, nationalities and cultural "identities" are formed as a result of the brainwashing we receive from childhood. They are part of the tactics the Establishment uses to keep us all divided from one another and fighting one another.

All religions promote discrimination and division, leading to hatred and even violence and murder. None of them have yet to produce a remedy to all the suffering, poverty, unhappiness and discrimination in the world. If any religion truly had the remedy to all the suffering on earth, there would no longer be any suffering. What have Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, atheism and the New Age done to end the suffering in the world?

Since December 2006, there have been many attempts to take down the Love For Life website. Any attempts have been thwarted by Love For Life supporters inundating the harm-doers with emails, etc, objecting to them taking down the website for a variety of reasons. The trouble makers usually back off when they realise that they can post all their views, arguments, beliefs, etc, in the Love For Life website without censorship or restriction imposed. They get to see that even the Queen, Pope, Prime Minister, President of America, etc, can post all their views without hindrance or sabotage and that we support freedom of speech/thought which means we support the right of all sides to express their views.

Of note, there is a vast amount of information posted in the Love For Life website which we do not agree with but we leave it all up because we refuse to be biased, opinionated or self-centered/self-serving. Of the many thousands of comments posted over the years we have only removed posts containing secret links to commercial advertisements, terrible foul language, threats of violence and death, etc, and attacks on other people's characters that avoid the subject/debate at hand. Besides links to advertisements, we have taken down less than six comments due to the above. We usually leave everything up, all warts and all, even those posts threatening to do terrible things to Fiona, our children, our dogs, our friends, family & supporters, etc.

The Love For Life website has information from all sides on many subjects, whether about Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Law, health, psychology, mind control, vaccination, aspartame, MSG, Chemtrails etc. There are over 11,000 articles, documentaries etc on the website and they are so diverse that we are sure that everyone would be able to find something they loved and something they hated, if they took the time to search. If we removed all the articles hated by everyone, there would probably be nothing left! We are not anti anyone but freedom of speech is freedom of speech and no one should condemn the work of another without taking the time to research the subject themselves. Yes, there are articles by those who have a less-than-rosy-viewpoint of Judaism, but there are also articles on the dark side of Tibetan Buddhism (and it is very dark) for those who are interested in the truth: Tibet - Buddhism - Dalai Lama: Should the authors of these articles be abused and imprisoned for daring to challenge the widely conceived reputation of Buddhism as being the religion of peace and love and that of the Dalai Lama as a saint, or should those interested be allowed to study the work and come to their own conclusions? The same applies to all the articles, documentaries, etc, about Christianity, Islam, Freemasonry, New World Order, etc.

The Love for Life website also shows how the Rule of Law, the Bar, the Government, the Monarchy, the system of commerce, the local, national and multi/trans-national private corporations, all the courses and careers on offer from our universities, all the educators, scientists, academics and experts, the aristocrats and the Establishment bloodlines have also done NOTHING to end the suffering in the world. The website maps the insanity of a world where there is no help for those in need, just as there was no help available for us when we were victims of terrible bank fraud: "NSW Supreme Court Case - Macquarie Bank/Perpetual Limited vs Fiona Cristian - Victims Of Bank Fraud Condoned By Judges" (orchestrated, condoned and protected by an international crime syndicate/terrorist organisation of judges, barristers, registrars, lawyers, politicians, banksters, big business representatives, media moguls and other lackeys who, all together, put up a wall of silence despite our trying many, many avenues. After the family home was stolen and business destroyed we were left close to poverty and destitution caring for 4 young daughters. Three years later not much has changed regardless of all our efforts. Where were all the followers of all the religions to help us? Or do we have to be members of those religions to receive help from others involved in them?

The New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies accused us of being anti - Jewish, see: and because we had posted an excerpt from James von Brun's book: Kill the Best Gentiles: in which he blames Jews for the problems of the world. Obviously this is not our view because of what we have stated above. We do not hate anyone, whatever religion they follow. We are always open to talk to any religious leader or politician and meet with any judge, member of the Bar, experts, academics, educators etc to share the remedy we offer that heals all the divisions between MAN and MAN, and MAN and the EARTH.

Today, a representative of the New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies is threatening to close the website down, because they have decided it is anti - Jewish and that we promote racism. What has the New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies done to end the suffering in the world? Can they show that they are concerned with the suffering of ALL men, women and children AND ARE SEEN TO BE DOING SOMETHING ABOUT IT or are they only concerned with Jewish affairs? If so, they, along with all the other religions that only care for their own, are part of the problem, not part of the solution. The man who rang Arthur today was only concerned with Jewish affairs; he was not interested in our intentions or in anybody else, just as most Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, Catholics, etc, are only interested in their own. While we separate ourselves into groups, dividing ourselves from others with rules, regulations, rituals, procedures and conditions, we will never solve our problems.

No matter what we in the Western World Civilisation of Commerce have been promised by our politicians, religious leaders, scientists, educators, philosophers, etc, for the past two hundred years, all we have seen is ever-increasing destruction of men, women and children and the earth. None of the so-called experts and leaders we have been taught to rely on are coming up with a solution and none of them are taking full-responsibility for the fact that they can't handle the problem. All religious books talk about end times full of destruction and suffering but why do we have to follow this program when there is an alternative to hatred, mayhem and death? Why are our leaders following the program of destruction and death rather than exploring the alternatives? It seems that any mainstream politician, priest or academic are only interested in supporting the RULES OF THE DIVIDE, that maintain the haves and the have nots. For 200+ years, 99% of the world population have been so trained to pass on their responsibility for themselves, others and the earth, that the 1% of the population that make up the leaders of the rest of us are making all the decisions leading to the destruction of all of us and the earth. Let's not forget the education system that brainwashes the 99% of the population that we are free and have equal rights while, in fact, we are feathering the nests of those at the top.

At the root of all our problems is self-centredness, an unwillingness nurtured by the Establishment that keeps us concerned only with our own needs rather than the needs of others around us and the Earth. Instead of creating and releasing acts of love for those around us as gifts to benefit them and the earth, we take, take and take, until there is nothing left. The whole point of the Love for Life website is to show people the root of all our problems and to share the remedy. The extensive research library is there to attract browsers and to provide access to information not available through mainstream channels. If the New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies can, after careful examination of our work, prove that anything we are saying is wrong, we will be happy to accept their proof. If they cannot, and they are still insistent on closing the website down, they will be showing themselves to be traitors to MAN because they are not interested in pursuing any avenue that can end the suffering in the world.

All religions, corporations and organisations that support and maintain the Western World Civilisation of Commerce are part of the problem because our civilisation is a world of haves and have nots, racism, violence, hatred, poverty, sickness, discrimination, abuse, starvation, homelessness, corruption, collusion, vindictiveness, social unrest, arrogance, ignorance, fear, war and chaos. While we support civilisation, we support death and destruction because ALL civilisations that have ever existed are apocalyptic by design.

If we truly want peace on earth and freedom for all, we have to let go of all that which keeps us divided, and come together as MAN, conscious living co-creators of creation. The Love For Life website offers a remedy to the problems we all face in the form of DO NO HARM COMMUNITIES: For more details see here: and here: - We also highly recommend that everyone read the brilliant Russian books called The Ringing Cedars: - The Love For Life Website Homepage also provides lots of inspiring remedy based information: - If you want to be kept up to date with our work please register to the Love For Life Mailing List here: We usually send two postings per month. Presently (September 2011) there are over 7000 registrations reaching over 500,000 readers across Earth. The website now (September 2011) receives up to 12 million hits per month. Since December 2006, over 100 million people have visited the Love For Life website.

Conscious Love Always
Arthur and Fiona Cristian
Love For Life
17th June 2009

The Cristian Family November 2006

Clarification Regarding Our Intentions
Behind The Use Of Donations

The Love For Life website is offered for free without a fee and without any conditions attached. If people are inspired to donate money, then we accept their gift and have provided an avenue for them to support the work we do through Fiona's Paypal or ANZ bank account There is no obligation whatsoever to donate and all are equally welcome to our work and to our "time", whether they donate or not. Over the last 9 years, all the Love For Life work has been put out for free and it has often been donations from supporters that have enabled us to renew the domain name, etc, to keep the website going. While some complain that we have an avenue for donations, others complained when we didn't! Either use it or don't - the choice is yours.

Since Love For Life started March 2005 and website December 2006, Arthur has worked 16 hours a day, 7 days a week unpaid for much of this period, putting together the website and sharing insights to wake people up to what has been done to them, whether through the 11,500+ individual articles, videos, podcasts, debates, discussions, pdf's, research documents, etc, found amongst the 8,500+ posts, as well as helping many, many men and women over the phone, and through email, website correspondence, Facebook and YouTube, and creating the Love For Life food forest vege garden and Love For Life music recording studio. This is our life is a gift commitment to serve MAN/Nature/Earth but we are still severely compromised by "The System" and still have to give to Caesar what is claimed to belong to Caesar, which is where the donations help us.

Fiona & Arthur Cristian
Love For Life
21st July 2014