Hell in Australia, The Mick Skrijel Story

Start from the beginning

After my boat was burned, I demanded an inquest. In Sth Australia, the victim of any arson is entitled to an inquest if he so desires, which I asked for. Police tried to persuade me not to have an inquest but I ignored them. The inquest was a joke. The coroner had no choice but to find that the boat was burned by person/persons unknown. The engine of the boat that was burned was put close to the jetty where it stayed there for several weeks. The harbor master asked me to shift the motor and that if I couldn’t, he would. I went and got the motor from the jetty and took it to my backyard. 2 days after, 2 detectives from Mt Gambier came to my home and asked me where the engine was. I was surprised at the interest that they were now showing in the engine. When it was sitting on the jetty for several weeks, no-one showed any interest in it. I told them that I had thrown the engine away. They looked at each other and said that we are charging you now with theft of one V8 Perkins diesel engine. I asked them if they were sure of that. They said yes. There were 12 engines made in the factory in Melb and one was missing and that was mine. I asked them again if they were sure and they said yes, they had a report from the factory in Melb where the engines were made. I said to them that they didn’t do their homework. Number 1: the Perkins engines were not made in Australia but England. Number 2: they should’ve asked for a receipt from the place that I had bought it. They got up. I said, “Plenty of time, they’ll get me on something”. I was writing letters as far as the Prime Minister just begging to be left alone and to be able to work honestly.

During the inquest, police never brought eye witnesses. They saw the empty cars on the jetty with the doors open 10 minutes before my boat caught on fire. They told me several times before the hearing that they would be calling those witnesses. They never did. During the inquest, 90% of the evidence that police gave was lies.

When all the non-English speaking migrants arrived here, we don’t get told about the do’s and don’ts in this country or what our obligations are to this country and sometimes we break the law without knowing. I was told by the people that I have to pay tax, 25% of my earnings and that I have to buy tax stamps at the post office. Religiously for years, I bought tax stamps for 25% of all work done. I had thousands of pounds of tax stamps and I thought that I was doing the proper thing. One day I had a friend at home and I opened the drawer which was full of tax stamps. I noticed the look of amazement on his face and he asked me where I had got them from. When I told him that I had been buying them and he told me that I should sent them to the taxation department every year and that I’d be in a lot of trouble. I immediately went to see a lawyer in Hamilton and he sent me to a taxation specialist lawyer in Melbourne. His name is Murray McClutchon and their offices were in Naroo house in Melb. I was very upset for not doing the right thing by the country that had given me a home. After a couple of months, I was told by the lawyer that there would be no penalties and actually I received a sum of money back because I was paying more than I should have. I became quite a good friend with Murray McClutchon. Every time we came to Melb, he asked me to come and have a cup of coffee with him and I took crayfish and other fish to him often.

We moved back to Digby and purchased another piece of property and lived in caravans that a couple of friends had lent to us until the holiday house in Sth End was shifted to Digby. As we never had any problems with anyone that lived in Digby and we had quite a few friends from Hamilton police station and some from Portland police station, we thought that we would escape the hell of Sth End. We were mistaken. I built another boat out of aluminum. I had most of the money for it but had to borrow some from the bank too. It took me 6 months to build. I done it all by myself. I bought the aluminum form Melb in sheets and took it to Heyworth where I built a boat. I cut, prefabricated and welded it all on my own. I worked 7 days a week, approx 20 hour days. I hardly went home, I slept on the job. I wanted to finish the boat before the beginning of the crayfish season. I had already lost 1 year of fishing. In Sth End, there were 3 companies buying crayfish. The 3 company was just being formed and they called themselves, Self Nominees.ent flyers to all of the fishermen asking them to join the company. The only conditions for joining were that you are currently licensed to fish for crayfish, which I was. The membership fee was $100, which I sent long before I finished the boat. I

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