Why a Parliamentary Inquiry is the best process to scrutinise the case of Sue Neill-Fraser

Andrew L. Urban

The entire Tasmanian legal and law enforcement establishment is under the cloud of the 2010 Sue Neill-Fraser murder conviction, which many claim is not proven beyond reasonable doubt. 

Given that no party – the DPP, the SNF legal team, or the Attorney-General – is willing to seek leave to re-open the appeal (heard  1-3 March, 2021, decision to be announced)  that cloud of doubt won’t disperse until a full and independent inquiry is held.

The Mercury 3 August, 2019

Even though Tasmanians may have been prevented from seeing some

The Mercury 22 March 2019

of the TV coverage around the Sue Neill-Fraser debacle over the past decade, the case has broiled with conflicted views and clashes between the police and the establishment protecting the conviction, and those who are questioning it by vocal protest, papers tabled in Parliament, books, articles and letters in local and mainland media, postings and comments in this blog, cartoons and a podcast.





The outcome of the latest appeal will do nothing to quell the alarm of the questioners, who consider that not only was the end result wrong, but that the process from beginning to end has been mired in malpractice, incompetence and lies. They argue that it needs to be reviewed and opened up to public scrutiny, irrespective of the outcome of the appeal.


There are alternatives available to do that:

1 A Parliamentary Inquiry; or,

2.  An inquiry established under the Commissions of Inquiry Act, 1995; these days such an inquiry is established by the Government, appointing the person or persons to conduct it.

The Mercury, March 2, 2021

One interested observer comments that “Given the conduct of

The Mercury, March 9, 2018

Government since 2017 in its response to the same young woman twice coming forward to state her being on the yacht with others when Bob Chappell met his end, their failure from August 2019 (sic) to even acknowledge receipt of those carefully researched and written papers on the evidence that was led at trial and the evidence that was ignored, along with the responses of the Attorney to the recent contents of the Etter/Selby papers (both before and after they were tabled in the Upper House) it would be foolish to assume that any inquiry set up by the Government would be interested in the truth.

“It follows that while there are theoretical alternatives the only practical option is the Parliamentary Inquiry.  Such an Inquiry would need the assistance of an experienced, highly regarded, advocate from interstate whose independence and calibre were beyond question.

60 Minutes, Sunday, March 10, 2019, Channel Nine

 Undercurrent x 6 eps, Seven, March 2019

“Let us hope that sufficient Tassie politicians have an interest in  a reputable justice system that such an Inquiry is established this year.”

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10 Responses to Why a Parliamentary Inquiry is the best process to scrutinise the case of Sue Neill-Fraser

  1. Diane Kemp says:

    Any inquiry must be independent of the Tasmania government and chaired by a person outside Tasmania to have any faith in a just and truthful outcome. My fear is that too many powerful people have involvement in Sue’s case to allow this to ever occur and for the truth to come out.
    Love your comment Owen to Brian – does it matter – Meaghan spewed – precisely.
    Tom – disgust is not a strong enough word for how I feel about what has happened. I can add contempt, deep anger, injustice, fury and on and on.
    This must end and Sue be released, exonerated and compensated for the ordeal she has been forced to go through because of an incompetent investigation, deliberate misinformation provided to the jury and reiterated by the judge in his summary.
    Stay strong Sue – we will not stop the fight.

    • owen allen says:

      With you Diane, great reply.
      Sometimes we just gotta cut the bullshit.
      Meaghan spewed on the boat.

  2. noeline Durovic says:

    Andrew, Importantly it is known Bob Chappells demise and disappearance from his and his partner Susan Neil Frasers newly purchased luxury yacht “Four Winds” is supported as fact. However this seems where fact is weaved into fiction as Tasmanian Police tasked with the investigation of Bob Chappells likely murder from a partly sinking yacht misguidedly and dishonestly set about a wrong direction to charge and make his partner Susan Neil Fraser responsible for his demise and disappearance. From the time of the yachts discovery taking water and sinking without one of its owners on board where he should have been on a clear calm morning the Tasmanian Police investigation was without doubt diabolical. For example the Tasmanian Police with the ease of opportunity why, after swarming all over the sinking “Four Winds” and suspecting findings immediately of foul play and Bob Chappell not where he was meant to be? Why did the police not immediately bring the yacht up from the water where full relief equipment was available to do so at the Yacht Club it was in front off?..Not take “Four Winds” to constitution dock? Then off around to Goodwood to moor it alongside..Have forensic police like keystone cops bring for example a police dog on board the yacht at Goodwood to sniff for what? With water sloshing around through the interior of the yacht still deep enough to make such an endeavour useless? Megan Vass’s vomit on the upper deck far side of the yacht DNA the size of a dinner plate fact not fiction There it sat! Fact not fiction? Not a secondary shoe DNA B..S>>> walked from a fictitious place off-shore? Where off-shore? By a fictious made up person of no name? Evidence? A lie?The blue rag forensically examined said to be used to wipe Megan Vass’s DNA vomit after she threw up on the yacht – an exhibit? Now disappeared. (Is that crooked or what).
    Tasmanian Police in cronyism with the DPP(s) making up absolute tyrannical unlikely occurrences of their victim Susan Neil Fraser to blacken her in front of a Jury “She Did It” Not Sam? Using a tool kit of made up items.. For no good reason the Jury was to believe for example a good whack over her partner Bobs head from behind with a big fat wrench was the way to go..They’re the ‘Wrench Sat” the DPP’s inane yet insidious false plant to the Jury that his victim Susan Neil Fraser likely used such an item to murder her partner of years by cracking his skull blood and gore? Made up?.. Not fact ? Then once done lies to guilt did not stick.. As Police?DPP factually misled and lied to get Susan Neil Fraser a guilty verdict..Perverting Justice? Today 2021 Police/DPPs – Judiciary Parliament put on notice. Tainted by this persecution of an innocent woman and her family especially Robert Chappell. Susan Neil Frasers partner know to be said to be murdered by named murderers? Still at large? Why not? Police not interested in catching the real murder(s) – criminals? Today on they go Police/DPP(s) show there reprehensible bullying and blackmail – fitting people up to supposedly shut them up? Fact not fiction the law needs the investigative likes of A Royal Commission of Enquiry likened to the “Woods Royal Commission in NSW” into corruption! Not more Tasmanian Corruption persecuting innocent persons?

  3. Peter Martin says:

    This will be bigger than the wrongful conviction of Lindy Chamberlain and the whole prosecution team know it. But who will make the next move?

  4. Tom Cairns says:

    It is repetitive to go on and on about a Royal Commission and/or a Parliamentary Inquiry but what alternative is there? Everyone knows that the accusers know not only that Sue is innocent but who the guilty party is, as simple as that. It is difficult to find additional words to express the overwhelming disgust now felt by hundreds of people,
    but disgust can be ignored whereas a formal inquiry can not.
    I wonder which happens first, Sue’s release on parole or the Appeal judge’s retirement package?

    • Fiona Peate says:

      No Tom not ‘disgust felt by hundreds of people’, but disgust felt by over 25,000 people who have signed the petition calling for an independent inquiry.

      • Tom Cairns says:

        Thanks Fiona. I’ve signed the petition myself and was just using a handy expression. The most exasperating feature is the self-isolation of all those factions who act as though they are untouchable. Disgust does not seem to bother them.

  5. owen allen says:

    Great idea Andrew, a perfect solution to resolve the ambiguity.

  6. Brian Johnston says:

    Tassie politicians have an interest? Start with Wilkie, what did he do, nothing.

    The grey dinghy beside the yacht doesn’t seem the right time for a burglary.

    Does anyone know if Vass has given any indication what time her and the guys were on the Four Winds?

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