Zac Schmierer

Cr. Len Roberts is no longer the Honorary CEO of the Karuah Aboriginal Land Council. And he’s left Newcastle Court with a tarnished reputation – another  blow to a colourful legal record, having just been found guilty of assault charges.


According to KLC Member Zac Schmierer, Roberts was sacked and paid a hefty ex-gratia payment of $85,000 arranged by Karuah Land Council President and long time close friend of Roberts, Beverly Manton, for Roberts to step down. 

On 4th February 2019 Karuah Aboriginal Land Council voted to “appoint a special auditor to examine the financial affairs of the Land Council” after Len Roberts left the board.

The Karuah Aboriginal Land Council also voted to approve the Model Rules for the Karuah LALC  to include dismissal provisions, which means the community can now sack the Board if they so wish.

The incident in question in court came about when Zac Schmierer found Roberts had entered the locked Land Council Premises on July 24, 2018 after being asked not to do so. Roberts was found removing documents and so members of the community called the police to stop Roberts leaving with Land Council property. In the ensuing stand off, Roberts allegedly drove his car at several protestors blocking his way, knocking down Schmierer who subsequently brought assault charges against Roberts. 

The case was heard in Newcastle Court before Magistrate Caleb Mark Franklin on March 12, which lasted from 11am to 5pm with a break for lunch .

Roberts kept his cool as the caring Baptist pastor until a bit before lunch when his temper got the better of him and he started raising his voice and banging on the table. Possibly a remark from the Magistrate that he found Roberts an “unreliable witness” and there were inconsistencies in his evidence, didn’t help Roberts’ mood. 

It was Zac Schmierer, a shy and quiet young part Aboriginal man, who was hired to work in the Karuah Land Council and who uncovered incriminating documents and took them to the KLC Board and others, and was then fired by Roberts.

With minutes before court closed for the day, Magistrate Franklin passed his verdict of Guilty of Common Assault against Roberts.

A Common Assault charge in NSW carries a maximum penalty of two years imprisonment and possibly a criminal record. 

Mr Roberts will appear for sentencing in court April 9. 

Related Posts


  1. John Stockard says:

    Great work Zac. We need to get rid of bad eggs like this.

  2. John Sahyoun says:

    I’d be interested in what the custodial sentence will be. My money will be on a fine and a slap across the wrists.

  3. Michael says:

    Yi ha. Must be jebus’s work eh Len? Or is that your other equally ludicrous imaginary deity the rainbow serpent?
    Now the biggy. Can he still be a councillor?

  4. Peter WARR says:

    Councillor Len Roberts – Public Oath he took against Violence.

    See the published article and photograph below of Len Roberts – publicly pledging his anti-violence Oath

    Mr Roberts will appear for sentencing in Newcastle Criminal Court on Tuesday, April 9, 2019.

    Please inform the Magistrate sentencing Mr Roberts tomorrow of the Public anti-violence Oath which Pastor Len Roberts pledged.

  5. Judy says:

    Today is sentencing day. Whatever the sentencing outcome, Len Roberts is unsuitable as a public representative. Let us lead by example and elect to Mid Coast Council moral, calm, open minded councillors capable of listening, acknowledging and considering public opinion, … who will vote on matters thoughtfully, independently.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *