A mysterious and shadowy hotmailer calling themselves “human being” has filed this interesting piece on the longstanding dogfight between Senator Sue Knowles and diminished Liberal Party powerbroker Noel Crichton-Browne.

One of our favorite parliamentarians, the notorious letter writer, Senator Sue Knowles found herself again embroiled in the messy affair of having provided untrue allegations to Labor politicians about one of her former colleagues.

The Speaker of the Legislative Assembly in the WA State parliament tabled a report of the Parliament Procedures and Privileges Committee in which Knowles’ nemesis, Noel Crichton-Browne, had set out the admission by the Western Australian Attorney General, Jim McGinty, that Knowles had been McGinty’s informant that led him to have death threat allegations raised in the State parliament.

In 1995 Knowles was running a bitter campaign against her then colleague Noel Crichton-Browne which culminated in Knowles planting allegations with the Labor Party that Crichton-Browne had threatened to kill her and that she was under police protection.

That allegation subsequently disclosed as a fabrication, ended up with Knowles’ admission in the Western Australian Supreme Court that it was untrue and she forked over $20,000 for her trouble.

It now appears Knowles might have been involved at the time in a very nasty letter writing campaign, at least according to the signatories of the following sworn affidavits.

AFFIDAVIT 1

I Wendy June Bartlett of Alexander Heights in the State of Western Australia, Home Help worker, being duly sworn make oath and say as follows:

“In March 1995 I lived at 5 Currie Grove, Mirrabooka.

In March 1995 I received an envelope in the mail post marked 19 March 1995 which was addressed to Wendy Bartlett, 5 Currie Grove Mirrabooka WA 6001. The envelope contained what was called in the media “a dirt sheet” of allegations about Noel Crichton-Browne. I attach the envelope as exhibit “A”.

Senator Knowles is the only person either inside or outside the Liberal Party who ever wrote to me at 5 Curry Grove Mirrabooka.

Senator Knowles learnt of my address in Mirrabooka when I met her in a street in Mandurah quite by chance. Senator Knowles asked me where I was living and she wrote down the address I gave her. I did not see her spell Currie.

I have deliberately not disclosed my address in Mirrabooka to any member of the Liberal Party because I did not want it known. I had a silent telephone number for the same reason.

The only Liberal Party person who ever wrote to me at my Mirrabooka address was Senator Knowles and that was after I gave her address when I met her in Mandurah.

I attach as exhibit “B”, a copy of an envelope that I received from Senator Knowles which is addressed to Mr & Mrs T Bartlett at 5 Curry Grove, Mirrabooka WA 6061.

Sworn by the Deponent,

Wendy June Bartlett

at Alexander Heights

in the State of Western Australia

this 22 day of February 1999.”

SWORN AFFIDAVIT 2

“I Jonathan Youngs of 48 Eclipse Drive, Albany in the State of Western Australia do solemnly and sincerely declare that:

In March 1995 I received in the mail an envelope addressed to Mr Johnathon Youngs, PO Box 1717 Albany WA 6330, which contained material which was obviously designed to destroy Noel Crichton-Browne’s reputation and his political career. The envelope was post dated 19 March 1995 and posted from Perth.

I assumed that the material as sent to me from someone in the Liberal Party because it referred to Mr Crichton-Browne’s preselection being held the following Saturday and urging people to ask the State President of the Liberal Party not to proceed with Mr Crichton-Browne’s pre-selection.

I have held a number of office bearer positions within Forrest Division of the Liberal Party and I often received mail from the Liberal Party Members of Parliament.

My first name is often misspelt but very rarely has been spelt “Johnathon”. Senator Knowles is the only person in the Liberal Party whose correspondence to me was addressed as “Johnathon”. I concluded that the address was from her data base when I saw the envelope and its contents.

I took particular interest in the address on the envelope when I saw what the envelope contained. I was so disgusted that I sent the envelope and its contents to the head office of the Liberal Party.

I make this solemn declaration by virtue of section one hundred and six of the Evidence Act, 1906.”

Declared at Albany

this 26th day of February 1999

Jonathan Youngs.

AFFIDAVIT 3

“I, Alan MacMillan Carstairs of 11 Minda Place, Wanneroo in the State of Western Australia, retired butcher, being duly sworn make oath and say as follows:

I am a member of the Liberal Party.

In March 1995 together with my wife I was a caretaker for a 10 acre horse property owned by Robert Fyfe. At that time I was a member of the Liberal Party, however I was aware that Mr Fyfe was not a member of the Liberal Party at the time.

As the live-in caretaker it was part of my duty to receive mail addressed to Mr Fyfe and where appropriate to pass it on to him by courier bag.

On or about 16 March 1995 I received a letter addressed to me and my wife from Senator Knowles. In the same postal delivery I also received a letter from Senator Sue Knowles addressed to “Mr B Fuife.” I opened Senator Knowles’ letter addressed to me and saw that it was to do with political matters. I did not open Mr Fyfe’s letter but because it had come from Senator Knowles I assumed that it contained the same political material.

I noted that Senator Knowles’ staff had misspelt Mr Fyfe’s surname as “Fuife.”

In the same postal delivery on the same day I also received a further letter addressed to “Bob Fuife.” Although the envelope did not have printed on it “Senator Knowles” like the first one, nevertheless the address label of the second envelope was identical to the first envelope. I drew the conclusion that the second envelope had also come from Senator Knowles’ office. That conclusion was based on the identical nature of the address label and also the identical misspelling of Mr Fyfe’s surname.

Annexed and marked “A” is a copy of the envelope which has “Senator Sue Knowles” endorsed on it. Annexed and marked “B” is a copy of the envelope that has no such endorsement upon it.

I opened Exhibit B and saw the type written material that was inside the envelope. I do not remember exactly what it said but I recall that it contained derogatory remarks about Senator Crichton-Browne. I also remember that the newspapers reported that other people had received similar letters and had complained about them.” That is the reason why I recall the general nature of the material that came out of “Exhibit B”.

I was a caretaker of Mr Fyfe’s property for three years. One year prior to receiving the envelopes and two years after receiving these envelopes. During the entire 3 year period this was the only occasion when I received on behalf of Mr Fyfe any envelopes misspelt as “Fuiffe.”

In was in March 1995 and still am a Justice of the Peace. I have spent three years as a duty Justice of the Peace on the roster of the Joondalup Court.

Sworn by the Deponent

Alan MacMillan Carstairs

at West Perth in the

State of Western Australia

this 16 day of February 1999.

These letters contained an anonymous dirt sheet which smeared Crichton-Browne and were sent to hundreds of people across to Australia including federal politicians and the media. When requested at the time by the State Director of the Western Australian Liberal Party to provide a copy of her data base to Head Office, Knowles refused to do so.

Knowles recent bitter and vitriolic letter published on Crikey in which she berated and abused her colleagues for not voting to send her on another junket is apparently not the first occasion that Knowles has resorted to poison mail but she did at least sign her mail that time.

What with Departmental investigations into her use of her tax-payer funded postage allowance and a police inquiry into her use of travel entitlements, Senator Knowles seems to have her hands more than full. There again, if the Western Australian Liberal Party State President and her Senate colleagues from WA have their way, she will have plenty of time on her hands after the next election, which might be sooner than later.

Peter Fray

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