Maurice Furlan's story

From a houseboat builder to a single father.

A drive to Port Kembla and an unannounced meeting with Deon Voyer followed. When asked about the dates Voyer could not answer satisfactorily. When asked about their Register Books which records NOTICES  he said that Official Notices are recorded in Registers but he had not seen one. 

An External Review under Government Information Public Access (GIPA) was conducted and they agreed that the agency did not have any information about the entry of the NOTICE in a REGISTER. The result produced more shock when they advised that Maritime had destroyed their information on May 23, 2013

A month or so ago, the penny finally dropped and I had my Colombo moment. The little pest inside my mind woke me as usual and screamed out ITS FAKE ! Now on reflection the discrepancies in the NOTICE are obvious. It does not carry an official seal (1) nor a reference number (2). Furthermore, if it was genuine then why was there no action taken, as noted to prosecute (3) and fine me $400 (4). I did not remove the vessels from the river because the large one, which was partly constructed,  was much too large to be removed in one piece. The agents cut it up and loaded the smaller houseboat onto a truck as reported in the local newspaper on December 14, 1990. 

By now you may have noticed that the vessels were always referred to as botel or botel units. In fact the both vessels were legal commercial houseboats. I had designed them and sought approval since 1985, They were moored at a private legal mooring which was issued in 1987. 

There can be no doubt that my vessels were NOT botel units because the same Captain John Hensford wrote so another earlier letter in 1988. It clearly states that the vessels were not part of a botel !


Many professional people have seen this NOTICE over the years and not one has ever questioned it's authenticity. That only reinforced the assumption that it was genuine because surely government agents would not resort to fraud.  

In 2017, Maurie finally realised what had happened. He rang NSW Maritime to find out why the mooring had been terminated and who had the power to do that. He suspected the Minister of the time. 

Mr Deon Voyer was the Manager of Maritime matters on the Murray River in 2017. He rang and then sent the email which is shown below left.

During the telephone conversation there was no mention that Maritime had a file on the matter. It came as quite a surprise when Voyer titled his email ".... circa 1985-1988"  because the NOTICE is clearly dated 1990. That would suggest that there would be no record of the Notice. Sure enough that has turned out to be the case.   

Please note the same signature on both documents. So what did the agents steal ? Were they normal commercial vessels ? Why did they do it ? Want to know more then click here and complete the contact form. 

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