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Pinched or Planted ?

The Cunjelella Cattle Mystery


Susan McDonald

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Pumped Up Posse

Two separate mobs of cattle belonging to Nobbs Cattle Company mysteriously appeared in empty paddocks on Albeni, near Springsure, Queensland.

On 28 February 2006 a posse of previously friendly neighbours arrived on Albeni to verbally convict an innocent man of the theft of the cattle.

Swept Along In The Out-Of-Control Hysteria


  • One Stock and Rural Crime Investigation Squad (SARCIS) member was part of the posse, swept along in the out-of-control hysteria. 

  • By the time the SARCIS team – whose jurisdiction the property resides – arrived, it appeared that Graeme McDonald had been tried and charged with the theft.

  • As a result the McDonalds found themselves alone with no rights and no way of proving their innocence.


Other Crimes Were Exposed


However, not all evidence is revealed. Suffice to say that during investigations and testimonies given under oath at the committal hearing, other crimes were exposed.


Lawlessness in the bush is not just part of Australia’s history; unfortunately many others have similar stories.

The experiences of these graziers, who have worked so hard to create a legacy for their family, may give others, in similar situations, ideas how they can protect themselves and make the legal system more transparent.

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