Ula Majewski MR
Triabunna 13 launch defence and counter-claim against Gunns Ltd

Wednesday, 4th February 2009

TRIABUNNA 13 LAUNCH DEFENCE AND COUNTERCLAIM AGAINST GUNNS LIMITED AND CALTON FRAME.

The 13 forest activists sued over December’s climate change focused shutdown of Gunns’ Triabunna woodchip mill lodged their defence in the Launceston Supreme Court late yesterday afternoon.

The activists’ defence is based on the legal right to communicate information about government and political matters.

“The peaceful action at the Triabunna woodchip mill was conducted in direct response to the federal government’s climate change White Paper, and to the ongoing destruction of Tasmania’s ancient forests – a political issue if ever there was one,” Huon Valley Environment Centre spokesperson and Triabunna 13 defendant Warrick Jordan said.

The forest activists have also served a counterclaim on Gunns Limited and Calton Frame, which states that representations regarding the use of old growth logs in Gunns’ proposed pulp mill are misleading and deceptive. The counterclaim seeks an order that Gunns Limited and Calton Frame be permanently restrained from representing that no wood from old growth forests and no old growth logs will be used in the pulp mill.

“Gunns have consistently claimed that their proposed Tamar Valley pulp mill will not use old growth logs. Our counterclaim states that Gunns have used misleading and deceptive representations, which constitutes a breach of Section 52 of the Trade Practices Act,” Still Wild Still Threatened spokesperson and Triabunna 13 defendant Ula Majewski said.

“Gunns Limited have failed to show any accountability in regards to the public, the media, political process or Tasmania’s natural environment. However, Gunns Limited and Calton Frame are certainly accountable to the courts” said Warrick Jordan.

“Much of Gunns’ efforts to raise finance for the proposed mill have relied heavily on its alleged environmental credentials as has its social license. The Tasmanian and Australian publics as well as potential investors deserve better than to be subjected to these kinds of deceptive and misleading representations” said Ula Majewski.