Mining firm sorry for emails

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CAMERON ENGLAND The Advertiser October 18th

The Advertiser October 12.

MINING company Terramin Australia has issued an unreserved apology after it was revealed in State Parliament that its lawyers had served documents on people associated with the Bird in Hand winery “to piss the whole family off”.

Terramin said in a statement it would take “severe action” over the matter, saying the company was “shocked” and “had no role in this unfortunate behaviour’’.

Emails from Terramin Australia’s lawyers, Botten Levinson – read out under parliamentary privilege by the Liberal member for Kavel, Dan Cregan – indicated they had served legal documents on people associated with the Bird in Hand winery “largely just to piss the whole family off”. Terramin has confirmed that the emails are genuine.

The emails read out by Mr Cregan, which had the names redacted, indicated that a person who was attending hospital with a sick child was served legal notices, via email, relating to Terramin’s court bid to block a $30 million Bird in Hand winery expansion, despite not legally being a party to it.

Another partially redacted email chain read out by Mr Cregan shows Terramin’s lawyers contacting family members on purpose. The comments included:

From: Law Clerk:

“Please note that I have just spoke to (redacted) from (redacted) on the phone – (redacted) has asked that all communications only be sent to (redacted).

From: Lawyer:

“I emailed it to (redacted) last night too. Largely just to piss the whole family off.”

From: Law Clerk:

“I’ll get started looking for the grandparents email addresses.’’

Terramin said its law firm had “accepted this mistake and will apologise to anyone at BIH who received this email’’.

“We, too, will formally apologise for the actions of the employees of this firm to Bird In Hand winery,” it said.

The mining company has been locked in a battle with neighbours at its proposed Bird in Hand gold project site at Woodside, including the Bird in Hand winery, other wineries and farmers.

Terramin plans to reopen the historic gold mine, which many locals believe will put the local water table at risk and pose a threat to tourism. Terramin believes it can operate the mine safely and in harmony with its neighbours.

The stoush appears to have turned nasty, with allegations of “threats and intimidation” also aired in State Parliament yesterday.

The Advertiser reported last week that Terramin had lodged an appeal in the Environment, Resources and Development Court in a bid to block Bird in Hand winery’s proposed $30 million expansion. It is arguing the development does not fit the “desired character” of the area.