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Gunns and Banks in Australia May 03, 2005 5:10 PM

Gunns is the timber company logging Tasmania's old growth forests. They have recently sued 20 environmentalists in a similar manner to what McDonalds did in the UK. Unfortunately Gunns is hard to target with a boycott, but we can target the four major banks that invest in Gunns - use local smaller banks and credit unions instead.

Gunns 20:

"It’s a case that looks set to test the legal limits of protest, activism and free speech."

Boycott the banks investing in Gunns:

"The Wilderness Society’s corporate campaign has therefore turned to the investors in Gunns. It may or may not come as a surprise that all of the four major banks and other financial institutions profit from the destruction of Tasmania’s old growth forests."

"In another first for corporate Australia, The Wilderness Society, together with more than 500 shareholders in the ANZ, Westpac, CBA and National Australia Banks, will hand the four banks resolutions for consideration at their AGMs later this year."

 [ send green star]
 May 03, 2005 5:16 PM

From the last link (on the CBA resolution):

"The resolution was supported by 94 million shares out of a total share pool of 413 million – which represents the largest support for a shareholder resolution in Australia’s corporate history."

 [ send green star]
Whatever happened to May 03, 2005 5:35 PM

"Cut-to-Fit" logging technology? I know it exists, and it would revolutionize the timber industry in such a way that clear-cutting could be phased out. For those that do not know what Cut-to-Fit is, its a method of logging trees from the top down, as opposed from the bottom killing the entire tree. It employs some expensive technologies, but it prevents entire forests from being cut. It would allow loggers to meet a more precise quota, and prevent a lot of the waste we see in the industry today.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 May 03, 2005 5:38 PM

Not sure how that would work or whether it would be economical. Another way of doing it is selective logging. You only take the largest or best trees, so that the other trees present fill the gap a lot quicker.  [ send green star]
Gunns May 03, 2005 9:52 PM

Hi Guys
Sorry for being so tardy in my responses.
Have redy all messages and am glad to see some Aussies in the group. 
Gunns is indeed the monster in Tasmania's old growth forests and the government keeps supporting them.  I trust that all members of this group are also members of The Wilderness Society.  If not please join!  You can be a member of TWS(The Wilderness Society)no matter where you live.  Details are
 [ send green star]  [ accepted]
Yeah... May 04, 2005 9:15 AM

A Cut-to-Fit logger is a machine with a huge armature with a long brace attached, with a chainsaw mounted perpendicular to the base on a pivot.  They raise the armature (that looks about like a cherry picker) and engage the brace around the mid section of the tree, and the chainsaw cuts at that point.  It leaves the rest of the tree in place to recover.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
typo May 04, 2005 9:16 AM

That chainsaw is mounted perpendicular to the BRACE, not the base.  To prevent confusion.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 May 04, 2005 2:50 PM

So they remove the top half of the tree and leave the bottom half there for good? Sounds like a good way to end up with a forest full of strange looking trees.  [ send green star]
Poison May 15, 2005 7:40 PM

Lets not forget the laying of 10/80 poison baits to kill all the wild life that may feed on new tree shoots.  This practice is not only kills herbivorous animals but also carivores that may eat poisoned wallabies, possums and others.
 [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 May 15, 2005 8:37 PM

I think the latest forest policy proposal from the coalition includes a ban on 10/80.  [ send green star]
 May 15, 2005 9:25 PM

Cutting a tree halfway up is going to leave the ones that survive susceptible to disease and fatal pests and  outright kill the rest.  not a good solution.  selective logging is the only viable option.  The best solution is to replace wood products with hemp.  And ALL wood products, from toilet paper to construction lumber can be made from hemp.   [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 July 05, 2005 9:37 PM,10166,15841169-31037,00.html

GREEN groups defending a multi-million dollar damages claim by logging giant Gunns Ltd say they will push today to have the case struck out of court.

Counsel for Gunns has today given the Victorian Supreme Court details of its claim against the defendants, who include Tasmanian Greens Senator Bob Brown, the Wilderness Society and the Huon Valley Environment Centre.

Gunns claims the defendants formed a conspiracy and interfered with the company's trade and business through unlawful means including the staging of a protest and locking themselves to a crane.

Also in the claim are a "significant number" of people whom Gunns says acted as agents for the Wilderness Society either professionally or as volunteers in the protest action and in the lead up to it.

Those included people involved in tree-sits, people who placed impediments on roads, people who acted as police liaisons, scouts, sentries, volunteers who raised money or sought publicity and others who attended meetings.

Justice Bernard Bongiorno has previously described the Gunns claim as enormous.

Today, he expressed his frustration, saying the cross referencing used in the document before the court varied between "harmless, annoying and labyrinthine".

Gunns is seeking $6.3 million from 20 defendants.

A public statement by some of the defendants this morning said they were applying to strike out all or part of the amended statement of claim served last Friday by lawyers for Gunns, saying despite the 360-page document, many of them were unable to determine the case against them.

The case continues this afternoon.

The original writ included allegations of machinery sabotage, destruction of property, trespassing, blocking access to land and obstructing police officers at Lucaston, Hampshire, Triabunna and Styx logging sites.

 [ send green star]
 July 18, 2005 4:45 PM

The case has been thrown out of court:

The judge had earlier described the claim as incomprehensible:

Mitsubishi Paper Mills has stopped buying Tasmanian woodchips, and Nippon may follow suit:

 [ send green star]
 July 25, 2005 8:00 PM

Over 40 British MPs have signed a motion condemning the lawsuit as an "attack on basic civil liberties and freedom of speech." It also calls on Japanese paper mills to stop buying tasmanian old growth timber.  [ send green star]
Gunns case not over August 03, 2005 10:50 PM

Hi there - unfortunately Gunns case has not been thrown out of court completely. They have a month (two weeks left) to re-write their statement of claims. They could still make a go of this. One of the defendants has also just received another writ from another logging contracter. This fight is far from over, so please help out in any way you can....spread the word, donate to the campaign...  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
How You Can Boycott Gunns August 03, 2005 10:54 PM

Banks like the Commonwealth and ANZ are big investors in Gunns Ltd. The Commonwealth Bank reduced their investment in Gunns under pressure from conservationists, but they still hold some shares. There are other ways you can boycott Gunns though. When you go to Bunnings Hardware, or Mitre 10, make sure you are buying wood that is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, which means it is harvested under sustainable conditions. Don't buy old growth timber from hardware stores...there are plenty of alternatives, such as recycled or plantation timber. There are plenty of paper products that use old growth woodchips too, like a lot of commercial toilet papers, tissues, and printing paper. There is always a recycled choice when it comes to these products. Gunns Ltd's share price has dropped 20% so far this year, and if people refuse to buy into old growth woodchip products, it could go down even more!  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 August 16, 2005 12:15 AM,10117,16279899-29277,00.html

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.

 [ send green star]
Cadet 'fired' over pulp mill stories October 06, 2005 7:47 PM,5744,16840681%255E30417,00.html

A YOUNG cadet journalist claims he was sacked after writing and researching stories seen as unfavourable to Gunns's proposed $1.5 billion pulp mill in northern Tasmania.

 [ send green star]
Banks 'contribute to global warming' April 26, 2006 11:22 PM,10166,18944398-31037,00.html

AUSTRALIAN banks and other financial institutions have invested in activities that are contributing to global warming, the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) said.

"Probably a lot of banks don't realise this but a number of banks are heavily invested in a number of activities that produce a lot of greenhouse pollution," he said.

"Likewise, we had a close look at investments in the whole arena of water.

 [ send green star]
 July 24, 2006 6:52 PM

Help stop Tassie's dirty pulp mill:

 [ send green star]
 August 31, 2006 12:14 AM

Banking giants funding destruction

Tell ABN-Amro and ANZ banks to stop funding the destruction of Rapu Rapu. During its few months of operation cyanide and other contaminants from the Australian-owned mine on Rapu Rapu Island, Philippines, spilled into the sea, resulting in massive fish kills.

 [ send green star]
Gunns cuts claim against greenies October 17, 2006 1:17 AM


Tasmanian logging giant Gunns Ltd has dropped part of a multi-million lawsuit against a group of environmentalists.

The Wilderness Society has hailed the development a small win in its two year battle against the timber group, but is disappointed the case has been postponed while Gunns reformulates its claim.

"They're still pursuing a major case but this is the first of a cluster of claims to be dropped," Wilderness Society legal coordinator Greg Ogle said.

"It's significant both because it's a win for the defendant ... it's significant also because this particular claim is one we had identified as being a major issue of free speech."

 [ send green star]
 October 19, 2006 11:08 PM


A Tasmanian timber company must pay legal costs for a group of environmentalists it tried to sue for millions of dollars, a Victorian judge has ruled.

Gunns had tried to sue the 20 defendants, who included Greens Senator Bob Brown and Tasmanian Greens leader Peg Putt, for almost $7 million.

Since December 2004 the company has filed three separate statements of claim, which have all been thrown out of court.

 [ send green star]
 December 13, 2006 7:29 PM

Timber giant Gunns Ltd has dropped legal action against two prominent Greens politicians, the party say.

Greens leader Senator Bob Brown said Gunns had discontinued proceedings against him and Tasmanian leader Peg Putt.

It had also discontinued proceedings against three other defendants: Helen Gee, Peter Pullinger and Doctors for Native Forests.

 [ send green star]
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