Sheriff to evict cannabis user

AFTER a six-year legal battle and hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal costs, Nirranda dope smoker Robbie Moloney will finally be kicked out of his home today.

Mr Moloney said he would be at his home when the sheriff comes to remove him at 10am after being issued a final eviction notice.

The self-confessed cannabis smoker lost his property after being caught growing a commercial quantity of marijuana in 2008. There was no suggestion he was drug dealing.

That led to a lengthy legal battle with the Office of Public Prosecutions and eventually resulted in his mud-brick home being confiscated. 

Mr Moloney not only lost his case but finished with a $400,000 legal bill. He claims the state government has spent $1 million pursuing him.

The 48-year-old said he had been caught by laws intended to confiscate the profits earned by the “Mr Bigs” of the drug world — not a cannabis smoker at Nirranda.

“They tell me I’ve got to be out by Monday. I’ve told the sheriff I’ll be here. I’ve got nowhere to go and I’m planning on setting up a tent on the side of the road,” he said.

“The sheriff has been pretty good. They can’t sell the house because there was no permit when I built it.”

Mr Moloney has been back squatting in his home for more than 12 months and says he now wants the house sold so the issue can finally be resolved.

He said the 2.5-hectare, heavily-treed block at 71 Mathiesons Road, Nirranda, has a Moyne Shire land value of $117,000.

During the legal battle, Mr Moloney’s original loan with the ANZ Bank has grown from $60,000 to about $140,000 — and is still climbing.

His latest legal action in the Supreme Court was unsuccessful and opened the way for the OPP to sell the property.

“The property is of little or no use to anyone else. It was my father’s land. This has just been a nightmare,” he said.

“It certainly has not been an easy process. It’s lucky I smoke a bit of dope to keep calm.”

In mid-2012 the property went under the hammer at auction but that sale fell through due to a raft of issues with the property’s section 32 notice.

The auction stalemate, and a run-in with a tiger snake while he was living in a nearby shed, prompted Mr Moloney to move back into the home he built with his own hands.

He switched the electricity back on and even arranged for the bank, which is the mortgagee in possession, to pay for the grass to be cut after warning it was a fire hazard.

Even if it is sold, Moyne shire officers previously indicated they will issue a “not to be lived in” notice until the building is deemed to be structurally sound.

athomson@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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