Home Port Arthur The Question of Guardianship in Tasmania

The Question of Guardianship in Tasmania


tasmaniaTaking steps towards justice 

by Dee McLachlan

Gumshoe News was started in 2013 as a counterweight to the mainstream media deception. And now, two years on, contributors and commenters are together analysing and collaborating how truth and the law is being, and has been, subverted. Many are providing solutions to some of these atrocities.

I had not much knowledge of the Port Arthur massacre as I was not living in Australia at the time (1996). It is only recently that I’ve come to see its importance as Australia’s 9/11 moment.

Mary Maxwell is always providing us with insights as to how those “in charge” of the law sometimes deviate from the law for a particular outcome. In fact she has suggested that if there is evidence in that regard, then they are being “directed” to subvert justice.

It thus occurred to me recently: there has been no criminal trial, why not start a civil suit for damages.

My knowledge of the law is limited. One hears that Perpetual Trustees have been Martin’s guardian since approximately 1994, and that the reason he got a guardian had mainly to do with money he inherited. Martin had worked for, and been good friends with, an older woman named Helen Harvey; she died in 1993. His allegedly low IQ must also have been a factor.

One would assume that his guardian (whoever that is) should have been looking after him after he was “taken in.” And, if they claim he is intellectually “handicapped”, surely his guardian should have been present when he was questioned by police after the massacre.

I do not know if Perpetual Trustees are still his sole guardian, or if Risdon prison or some government office also has guardianship over him.

Thus, why not make an application to be his guardian? (I assume Martin’s mother Carleen Bryant does not feel that she can do it.)

The ideal person is someone who would walk Martin through whatever steps remain for him to get a fair trial – and freedom. Note: Mary Maxwell has pointed out to me that a Pardon may be the quickest way to get him out of jail.

Now I quote what is found on the website of the Guardianship Board of Tasmania:

Anyone who has a genuine concern for the welfare of a person with a decision-making disability can make an application to the Board. It is strongly recommended that you contact the Board’s office on (03) 6165 7500.

When you contact the Board’s office, an officer of the Board will discuss the issues with you and advise on whether a formal application is the appropriate course or if other less restrictive alternatives should be pursued.


The Guardianship and Administration Act clearly sets out the principles that must be observed when orders or other decisions are made.

The Board must take into account these principles (set out in section 6 of the Act) when considering any matter that comes before it.

The three major principles are –

A function or power conferred, or duty imposed, by this Act is to be performed so that:

  • the means which is the least restrictive of a person’s freedom of decision and action as is possible in the circumstances is adopted
  • the best interests of a person with a disability or in respect of whom an application is made under this Act are promoted
  • the wishes of a person with a disability or in respect of whom an application is made under this Act are, if possible, carried into effect

Board decisions remain in place for a maximum of three years and will then be reviewed. If major changes occur which may affect the decision made by the Board then an application for review may be made prior to the scheduled review date.

If you feel that the Board should conduct a review then you should contact the Board’s office.

Generally speaking, every citizen starts out with the right not to have a guardian at all. Even if he does have one, he can apply to stop having one.  Of course I am not suggesting here that Marin Bryant do that. We have no idea what his mental state is like these days.

If a person applies today to become his guardian, the Tasmanian Guardianship Board must tell that to Martin and give him a chance to attend a hearing. I presume they will be obliged to inform him by law? And almost certainly such a hearing would be held onsite at Risdon.

The following is but a sketch of some of the legal things a guardian of Martin Bryant could do:

  • sue the Murdoch Press for libeling him in 2015, and determine who snapped the unflattering photos of him in September
  • find out why he is forbidden to have visitors
  • ask the judiciary of Tasmania to revisit the ruling
  • ascertain what has happened to his inheritance




      • Report: Retiring Coroner Ian Gray says Victorian Coroners Court should be more transparent. Referring mainly to domestic violence he said “If you look at the future and say, where can we do better in terms of transparency and building confidence in the ultimate work of the court, namely recommendations to save lives, you could do that. … “That would have to be a very, very good thing from a public point of view,”
        Send him Port Arthur and see if he agrees to transparency

  1. Dee, I thiink I read recently that there is legislation afoot to make the coroners’ courts LESS transparent. I can’t find it at the moment –maybe it was in the US, not Oz.
    It would be in synch with George Brandis’s move (that you made such a fuss about) which would criminlaize us for writing about the crimes of SOG-type entities. Quel travesty.

    Think about “suicides” like Jeff Bradstreet. His family asked for domations to GoFundMe and got 40K so far from 702 peeps, in order to hire private investigators, but no news. The website says::
    “We are still working on Jeff’s case. There has been a lot of very interesting developments as we are working with a very well known forensic scientist/detective.
    Please continue to pray for truth to be revealed and that very soon the Bradstreet family can have closure in this terrible tragedy.”

    So if the authorities killed him, then what?

  2. Apologies to G. H. Schorel-Hlavka, who commented almost a year ago at Gumshoe. He was way ahead of me in thinking that Martin may need a guardian.

    I quote Schorel-Hlavka:

    “In my view Mary [Maxwell] could lodge a complaint with the relevant Legal Service Commissioner that it appears to her that Martin Bryant may not have instructed his second lawyer to “plea guilty”. She may also argue that if Martin Bryant was not deemed a fit and proper person, due to having an alleged mental illness, which the Commonwealth may be perceived to have certified by providing an invalid pension, then his competence to instruct a solicitor to allegedly “plea guilty” may have been beyond his mental capacity. As such there ought to be an independent proper assessment if Martin Bryant was and currently is mentally competent to instruct a lawyer. If he was not mentally competent to instruct a lawyer then an order for administration ought to have provided for the appointment of a Guardian who then could act in the best interest of Martin Bryant and if needed instruct a lawyer.
    In my view a ROYAL COMMISSION should be established to investigate the Port Arthur murders. This as I view it serves neither the victims, their families, the general community nor justice if Martin Bryant is wrongly convicted.”

    Thank you on both counts, GH Schorel-Hlavka: considering the guardian ship issue, and recommending a royal commission.

  3. Seems worth a try. Why not?
    Simply for it to become public knowledge that there are people applying for guardianship of Martin would be a considerable boost for the cause of freeing him and getting to the truth, IMHO.
    If they decide are too many applications,The Guardianship Board could simply start rejecting them out of hand, but there’s always pitfalls to consider in any course of action.
    I’m curious to know how or why Perpetual Trustees apparently didn’t know Martin was driving himself around without a license. I think it was Andrew McGregor who said he’s been driving the yellow Volvo bequeathed to him by Helen Harvey, since September 1995.
    Petra Wilmott never seemed concerned, nor apparently was Carleen ( I know she’s suffered a lot but this is worth remembering).
    Martin inherited the vehicle so there was a record trail leading to him. Did Perpetual Trustees have any knowledge of this considerable asset? It would be surprising if they didn’t. It seems pretty weird that no-one there apparently had any oversight or knowledge of this vehicle. No-one thought of the possibility Martin might have decided to drive his car around the place.
    Then there’s the matter of filling it with petrol. One doesn’t have to assume Perpetual Trustees were literally watching every single purchase Martin made, however small, to wonder how a possibly considerable item in Martin’s budget, fuel, was never picked up.
    I’m not saying he should or shouldn’t have been driving, simply that it seems very curious that Perpetual Trustees apparently stood back and watched Martin Bryant drive himself around for nearly a year.
    I’d also like to know how long it takes for someone driving around without a license to be busted by the police. I have no real idea, partly because I don’t know how often Martin did in fact drive, but 8-9 months seems a long time. This is something else I’d like to know more about.
    Calli Lane, the former surf life saver, is having her case and possible wrongful conviction looked into by RMIT University’
    s Innocence Initiative. It would be great if they did that for martin Bryant, but I fear it’s just too big a can of worms for them to open.

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