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Monday 16 September 2013

Special Edition 49

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Coober Pedy tourism operators Terry and Josephine Brennan-Kuss fight penalty for selling shark teeth

(CHIEF COURT REPORTER SEAN FEWSTER THE ADVERTISER SEPTEMBER 15, 2013 10:00PM)



Jo Brennan-Kuss from Josephine's Gallery and Kangaroo Orphanage in Coober Pedy Joey. Source:News Limited


A SET of shark teeth has sparked a dispute between a Coober Pedy art gallery and the State Government that could see tourism operators across South Australia dubbed outlaws.


Josephine and Terry Brennan-Kuss, operators of Josephine's Gallery and Kangaroo Orphanage at Coober Pedy, have filed action in the Full Court of the Supreme Court.
They are challenging 18-month, $100 good behaviour bonds imposed upon them for illegally selling "protected aquatic resources" - a set of great white shark jaws and teeth.
In court documents the couple say they have been unfairly prosecuted by the Department of Primary Industries and Resources' fisheries division.
They say their case creates a precedent which threatens "the liberty" of every tourism operator, jeweller and vendor selling shark souvenirs - regardless of how old the bones are.
"The effect would be that all persons in possession of a great white shark's teeth or jaws ... would now be committing an offence," they say.
"That would be inclusive of individuals with jewellery and tourism operators with sets of jaws and teeth ... surely, this could not have been the intention of legislators."
In July 2010, the couple were charged with breaching Section 72 of theFisheries Management Act (2007).
Prosecutors claimed the shark's teeth and jaw displayed in their gallery for sale were illegal to possess because they belonged to a protected species.
In their documents, the couple say the items were provided by Kym Hicks from kills he made in 1991 and 1993.
"At that time, Mr Hicks was the holder of a relevant fishing licence (and) sharks were not subject to protection under Commonwealth or State legislation," they say.
"Sharks were not considered a protected species until January 1, 1998 ... consequently, at the time of the taking of the sharks, no offence was committed."
The couple say the Port Augusta Magistrates Court erred in its approach.
"The court should not have read into the law that an aquatic resource that had, at any time, come from state waters attracts criminal liability," they say.
"This widens the potential operation of the section so as to place at risk the liberty of a class of people not otherwise at risk."
In its response, the State Government says the law has been interpreted properly so as to discourage people from selling, owning or displaying "trophy items".
It says it is impossible to forensically determine the age of shark teeth, and so the offence must be broad and far-reaching.
"The law creates a blanket prohibition (similar) to that in relation to the possession or sale of illicit substances and illegal weapons," it says.
The case returns to court next month.







Arson charge over far north fire

(abc.net.au 10 September)
A man has been charged with arson over a house fire in the far north APY lands.
Police allege the man, 27, set fire to a house at the Indulkana community, after 7:00pm on Monday.
They said no one was home at the time of the blaze, which left a damage bill estimated at $500,000.
The man was refused bail and will face the magistrates court at Coober Pedy.




Two men pulled over at North Adelaide for speeding charged over drugs allegedly found in car

• SAM KELTON POLICE REPORTER • THE ADVERTISER • SEPTEMBER 09, 2013 6:42AM
(www.perthnow.com.au)

The car was pulled over for speeding on Park Tce, North Adelaide, at about 2.45am on Sunday.
Police say that while speaking to the occupants - a 36-year-old man from Coober Pedy and a 36-year-old man from Woodcroft - officers noticed some drug paraphernalia in the car.
A drug detector dog allegedly found other items in the vehicle.
Police say they seized a small amount of cannabis, a brass pipe, a bag containing $11,000 cash, a trafficable amount of amphetamine paste, cutting agent and small jewellery bags with residue.
The driver and passenger were arrested.
Both home addresses were searched, with cannabis and hydroponic equipment allegedly seized.
The men were charged and bailed to appear in the Adelaide Magistrates Court in November.








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