Monday 24 March 2014
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Coober Pedy gallery owners Terry and Jo Brennan-Kuss acquitted of selling shark teeth against SA laws.
• CHIEF COURT REPORTER SEAN FEWSTER
• THE ADVERTISER
• MARCH 21
THE owners of a Coober Pedy art gallery have been acquitted of breaching the state’s environmental conservation
laws by selling a set of shark’s teeth.
Jo Brennan-Kuss from Josephine's Gallery and Kangaroo Orphanage in Coober Pedy. Source: News Limited
In a judgment published this week, the Supreme Court has overturned guilty verdicts against Jo and Terry Brennan-Kuss,
operators of Josephine’s Gallery and Kangaroo Orphanage at Coober Pedy.
In September, The Advertiser reported Mr and Mrs Brennan-Kuss were sentenced to 18-month, $100 good behaviour bonds.
The couple had been charged, in July 2010, breaching Section 72 of the Fisheries Management Act (2007) by illegally selling
“protected aquatic resources” — a set of great white shark jaws and teeth.
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.
The couple, however, said the teeth were taken from kills made between 1991 and 1993, while sharks were not named a
protected species until January 1998.
They said their conviction, if allowed to stand, could see tourism operators across South Australia in
possession of shark relics dubbed outlaws.
In the judgment, Justice Malcolm Blue says the teeth and jaws had been for sale at the gallery since 2010.
However, he said the act only applied to aquatic resources taken after it had been enacted — meaning the teeth
and jaws could be lawfully sold.
Opal symposium gets postponed
The eighth National Opal Symposium has been postponed until 2015.
The symposium was meant to be held in Coober Pedy, this coming Easter in conjunction with their Opal Festival and annual trade show.
Unfortunately they did not have enough volunteers to organise the symposium.
We hope this will be rectified for next year with an appointment of an events manager to the Coober Pedy local Council.
Coober Pedy will also be celebrating their centenary in 2015 and it promises to be a big year on the South Australian opal fields.
Safer town after alcohol restrictions
There's been a dramatic drop in violent behaviour following the introduction of alcohol restrictions in Coober Pedy.
The local council says Coober Pedy has gone from being a party town to a place where people are proud to belong.
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