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Cundall in court over pulp mill protest. -

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ELEANOR HALL: The former host of the ABC's Gardening Australia, Peter Cundall, has used the
publicity surrounding his court appearance to accuse the logging company Gunns and the Tasmanian
Parliament of corruption.

Mr Cundall was arrested during an anti-pulp mill protest last year. Now he hopes to fight the
charges in a test case, as Felicity Ogilvie reports from Hobart.

FELICITY OGILVIE: The 82 year old gardening celebrity was arrested during a protest against Gunns'
pulp mill outside State Parliament last year. This morning Peter Cundall pleaded not guilty to the
charge of refusing to obey a police order to move away from Parliament House.

Outside court Mr Cundall was having another swipe at Gunns and the politicians who approved plans
to build Australia's biggest pulp mill in the Tamar Valley.

PETER CUNDALL: When you get a situation where a major proponent of a major pulp mill can actually
donate to the main political parties and then cooperate in preparing that legislation for
Parliament and passing that through, that is corrupt and I'm fighting against that.

FELICITY OGILVIE: Mr Cundall is one of 57 anti pulp mill protesters who were arrested out the front
of Parliament House in November last year. Several have pleaded guilty but not Mr Cundall.

He and at least 12 others pleaded not guilty this morning. Their lawyer Roland Browne is
negotiating with the police prosecutor to run one case as a test to determine the lot.

ROLAND BROWNE: There's a lot of allegations about corruption in the pulp mill process. There's a
lot of allegations about the relationship of the timber industry and the Government and Forestry
Tasmania and I can tell you that that is not part of this case. This case is going to be relating
to the lawfulness of people being at Parliament House to protest to talk about corruption like
that.

FELICITY OGILVIE: Peter Cundall says he will be the test case and he's using it to push his line
that Gunns is corrupt. He says the anti pulp mill protest was peaceful and legal.

PETER CUNDALL: We did not block any doorway. We had done absolutely nothing wrong. We even placed
little markers on either side of the doorway to make sure it was not blocked. We were not intending
to commit any offense at all.

FELICITY OGILVIE: Now that the 82 year old has retired from presenting Gardening Australia on ABC
TV, Mr Cundall is using his celebrity status to fight the pulp mill.

PETER CUNDALL: It was corrupted because the proponent of the mill was allowed to help prepare the
legislation to pass its own, to pass the legislation through Parliament, they were actually helped
there with the parliamentary draughtsman and worked with him to prepare the, and as a result the
legislation that went through gives the people anywhere absolutely no recourse to the law if
anything should go wrong.

FELICITY OGILVIE: What proof do you have that Gunns helped write the legislation?

PETER CUNDALL: The proof is this: they haven't denied it. It's been pointed out several times that
in fact they helped prepare, and they simply haven't denied it. And just the same, as many of the
members of Parliament have not denied that their families have a certain pecuniary interest, that's
another thing too.

So here's another: I keep saying and using the word corruption. I use it deliberately. Why has
nobody sued me? And the reason why is because if I go into court accused of calling somebody
corrupt, I'll be there with evidence to say this is what happened. They don't want that.

FELICITY OGILVIE: Gunns isn't commenting on Mr Cundall's claim that the company used corrupt means
to get its pulp mill approved. But under the law Gunns isn't able to take legal action against Mr
Cundall because corporations with more than 10 employees can't sue for defamation.

ELEANOR HALL: Felicity Ogilvie reporting.