{return to home page}

 A State out of control


Mr Fyffe was operating a bulldozer when it suddenly caught alight and was badly damaged by fire. Brian Fyffe had the bulldozer insured with the insurance company of the State of Victoria at the time of the fire but the State of Victoria refused to pay for the damage.

The matter went eventually to court where Mr Fyffe was awarded the $130,000 the machine was insured for and also $107,000 in interest. It was three years after the fire before the case was heard in court. Despite the fact Mr Fyffe had won the claim the insurer (State of Victoria) would not settle and another year passed. Because of the matter being dragged out and the late payment of the insurance Mr Fyffe was in a situation where he had no "tools of trade" and could not pay for new ones. This damage done to his business was never accounted for by the courts.

When the insurance claim was finally settled most of the money went on interest payments to the banks. Some of the interest rates these banks were charging him was as high as 25%. Mr Fyffe offered to payout the bank loan but the bank would not agree to this.

Some time later the police of the State of Victoria and the Special Operations Group raided Mr Fyffe's property. A forensic bomb expert alleged that Mr Fyffe had sent a letter bomb to the bank. (It has only come to light recently that the evidence of this 'bomb expert' has been discredited and that he has been dismissed from his official job as forensic scientist).

During the raid the police took some modified clocks and batteries as evidence for "making bombs". The clocks were being modified at the time, for automatic control of the irrigation system on the farm.

Three weeks later a 27 man strong police force, the Special Operations Group, the media, helicopters, horses, dogs and their owners marched on his land when Mr Fyffe was not at home. The police arrested Mr Fyffe's wife and took her to the police station, charged her and then released her. (Mr Fyffe's son, who was 17 years old at the time, was not charged until two months later when he had turned 18.) Arriving at his home Mr Fyffe was also interviewed and arrested, and then held without bail for 10 months. He faced charges of 18 serious criminal offences, all being dismissed at the committal hearing as the Judges found the evidence to be untrue and unsubstantiated. The charges against his wife were also dropped at this hearing. The police later re-instated the charges again her. The police also dropped two of the three charges against his son but later re-instated them.

Mr Fyffe was charged with yet another three offences, convicted, but later appealed this conviction, a week after he was released from jail. Two of these three charges were dismissed but the remaining charge, possession of explosives under suspicious circumstances, being the alarm clocks, was upheld. The alarm clocks, which had no explosives or detonators, were the only things that were found on Mr Fyffe's property. The Victorian Police found no other items during their thorough search. The State of Victoria has not cleared this matter through the courts presumably because they know that they have caused loss and damages to the Fyffe family for no valid reason.

Mr Fyffe's farm was auctioned and bought by the State of Victoria during the period that Mr Fyffe was held in custody and could not prevent the unjustified auction. Mr Fyffe alleged, against the State of Victoria, that the charges against him were fabricated, that holding him without bail for 10 months was illegal, that the fire sale of his property was suspicious and that he was entitled to be compensated for the way he was treated, for the defamation of himself and his family and for the traumatic experience they suffered.

In his eight appearances in the Supreme Court of Victoria and one in the High Court of Australia none of the matters raised have ever been answered and he consequently lodged complaints with the UNHRC over the gross violations of his human rights.

Held in detention for 10 months on flimsy and unjustified grounds it would appear that the detention was in revenge for his stand against the State insurance office. This detention robbed him of his farm and his income and defamed his and his family reputation.

Brian Fyffe's application for Special Leave to Appeal to the High Court of Australia has been refused by the High Court and the the State of Victoria is now adamant that the Fyffe family will be removed from their farm soon. At the present time (April 2000) it is understood that the government has a sheriff hovering about to eject the family.

Violations of local statute law and international covenants appear to be involved.

For the latest news on this case.

ONE VOICE - ONE PEOPLE is an independent, non-party-political, non-profit organisation committed to defend human rights and fundamental freedoms and to contribute to the promotion and advancement of democratic societies, institutions and processes


{to cases of concern}

To OVOP cases