GREENS senator Bob Brown said today a lawsuit by a logging company against himself and 19 other environmentalists is an abuse of the legal system.
Timber company Gunns Limited yesterday renewed its legal action against the group, known as the Gunns 20, filing a third statement of claim with the Victorian Supreme Court.
Gunns has previously sought $6.3 million from defendants, claiming it had suffered losses as a result of anti-logging campaigns.
But Senator Brown said today the case was "an abuse of the responsible use of our legal system in a free and open democracy".
Gunns "should accept if they want to be in industrial logging in Tasmania, it's their job to defend it in the public arena", he said.
"It's made me more determined than ever to campaign to save Tasmania's great forests and wildlife."
Senator Brown said the new case cited a night in Cygnet, in Tasmania, when he and others had allegedly conspired against the company.
"In fact, it was an evening's entertainment with (the band) Dolly Putin and The Kazakstan Kowgirls," he said on ABC radio today.
"It was a cabaret on that night. It was absolutely nothing other than a fundraiser."
Victorian judge, Justice Bernard Bongiorno, last month gave the company's lawyers 28 days to redraw their 360-page statement of claim against 20 environmentalists, including Senator Brown, Tasmanian Greens leader Peg Putt and the Wilderness Society.
The deadline was yesterday.
Gunns spokeswoman Sarah Dent today confirmed the statement of claim had been lodged but said she could not make further comment while the matter was before the courts.
Justice Bongiorno said last month Gunns had failed to provide the court with a proper, coherent and intelligible statement of claim.
Senator Brown said the new case was "terribly wanting in substance".
"I don't think it nearly passes the test of a substantial case being made against the defendants," he said.
The claim has been criticised by environmentalists and civil libertarians as having a chilling effect on free speech and legitimate public protest.
Terry Edwards, chief executive of the Forest Industries Association of Tasmania, said the statement of claim now covered each individual, rather than events, and that made it easier for claims against them to be identified.
Otherwise, he said, the thrust of the claim remained unchanged.
"That is that Gunns allege that the law has been broken as people are allegedly endeavouring to express their personal opinion about the company and stopping its operations," he said on the ABC.