MORE than $190,000 discovered buried on the farm of Derrinallum bomber Glenn Sanders is now the subject of a dispute.
The 48-year-old mechanic died in a series of massive explosions that obliterated several buildings and injured two police officers, but the contents of a home-made safe are yet to be released by Victoria Police.
The safe containing $191,500 was discovered by a police taskforce as it carried out a three-week search for booby-traps and other explosive devices following the blast on April 12.
Some of the cash was damaged as police opened the welded metal box with an oxy torch but the notes are believed to have been replaced by the Mint.
The money now sits in a consolidated revenue account controlled by Victoria Police, which could lodge a claim against the estate of Mr Sanders to recoup the massive clean-up costs and medical bills of the injured officers.
Police have taken measures to secure the property and ward off trespassers, amid concerns that "trophy hunters and potential gold diggers'' would target the property at the base of Mount Elephant.
In a letter to the executor of Mr Sanders' estate, Acting Superintendent Paul Ross said the money was in dispute and would remain in the police account until "direction is received from an appropriate court of law".
But Mr Sanders' solicitor Michael Morrow said he was unaware of any dispute and was still waiting for an explanation from police.
"It's frustrating. Very little is happening at the moment," Mr Morrow said.
"But our inquiries haven't been pressing at this stage. We haven't said 'give us an answer in four days, or else'. We have just said that we would be grateful to receive their advice as to the nature of the dispute and what we need to do to get the money released," Mr Morrow said.
Mr Sanders left his entire estate worth about $1 million to his mother, who was ill at St John of God hospital in Ballarat at the time of her son's death. But about $570,000 was gifted to Mr Sanders from the estate of his late wife, Shirley, who died in 2012.
Her estate is being disputed by her daughter and only child.
Bank statements reveal Shirley also gave $191,500 in cash to Mr Sanders in the weeks before she died, which cannot be included in her estate, according to Mr Morrow.
The man known as "Colonel" was friends with most of the town's 400 residents until his behaviour became increasingly erratic after his wife's death.
As he grappled with grief and loneliness, Mr Sanders would often drink bourbon and lemonade by her grave in the Derrinallum Cemetery. Police also investigated reports that he had worn an explosives vest during regular trips to town.
He had taken to storing his mobile phone in a lead case, claiming his house was bugged and fearing personal information had been stolen from his computer.