Stanley Community Water Campaign Update

Save Stanley Water Campaign

As advised previously, a 1st Directions Hearing had been held at the Supreme Court, Melbourne, to consider costs, and other administrative issues, in regard to the Appeal against the VCAT ruling, to grant a permit to Stanley Pastoral a allow it to develop and use a water mining and extraction facility at Cue Springs. That Hearing was on the 1st April.

The Supreme Court has now given a ruling on these preliminary issues. Stanley Pastoral had asked the Court to require SRCI to pay just over $76,000 to the Court, to be held as security for its costs. Stanley Pastoral was entitled to seek that order because SRCI will not have the funds to pay Stanley Pastoral’s legal costs in the event we are unsuccessful.

Because SRCI is an incorporated association, Stanley Pastoral cannot seek the payment of its legal costs from our members. In an application for security of costs, the Court is not concerned about who will actually win the appeal, but simply whether it is fair to require a party to pay the amount requested to hold as security until the case is decided.

Through our legal representatives, SRCI argued that it would not be fair for the Court to require it to pay money it doesn’t have in order to have the appeal heard and decided.

The Court did not accept Stanley Pastoral’s arguments. It found that SRCI does have an arguable appeal and that Victorian law recognises the interest of objectors in the planning process, and the social importance of protecting the environment, by the process of law.

Taking into account the money SRCI does have available, and its further capacity to fundraise, it ordered SRCI to pay $20,000 as security, $10,000 within one month (18 May), and a further $10,000 within two months (18 June). The hearing is likely to be in July this year.

The Court’s full decision is available at http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/vic/VSC/2016/173.html

This is an excellent result for SRCI. It gives us an achievable goal to be able to go forward with our case. Thanks to your generosity in supporting SRCI’s fundraising activities, we have enough funds to make the first payment. We will need to raise further funding to be able to meet the second payment, but that is entirely ‘do-able’ with your support. The payments are required only as security. If SRCI is successful in its appeal it will get the money back at the end of the case.

Please continue to support the campaign to challenge VCAT’s decision in the Supreme Court by attending the Jazz Night on 14 May, and the forthcoming Stanley Plateau Harvest Dinner to be held at the George Kerferd Hotel on Saturday 4 June. Other events are being arranged, including a Vintage Car Rally, and the dining room table raffle continues.

Buy a ticket in the raffle, or take a book and sell it to friends, neighbours, and family. Every little helps. The raffle ends on 29 April, and will be drawn on 6 May.

Jazz Night tickets are available from Ed on 0419295352 and cost $30. More about that event, and the dinner later in NMN. Thanks to our legal team – Daniel Robinson (Barrister) and Dru Marsh (Lander & Rogers) – for a huge achievement.

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