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Woodchip licence challenge begins

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NEWS RELEASE Monday 23 January 9 5


WOODCHIP LICENCE CHALLENGE BEGINS An application to have' the woodchip export licence issued to Newcastle based BORAL subsidiary, Sawmlller Export P/L (SEP/L), struck out as invalid was lodged in the Federal Court, Sydney today, according to a spokesperson for the northern NSW regional conservation umbrella organisation, the North Coast Environment Council Inc., Mr John Corki11.

"The Minister made a series of errors in his decision in late September to grant a 15 month licence to Sawmillers Export P/L. This licence is only partially affected by the legal precedent of the recent victory in the Federal Court by the Tasmanian

Conservation Trust.

"The Federal Government seems to believe that this licence is not susceptible to legal challenge but that is not the advice of our QC, Mr John Basten.

Mr Corki11 said that the licence would be challenged on several grounds and that details of them would be released shortly.

He said that Federal Resources Minister Mr David Beddal1, had again failed to provide reasons for his decision in late

September to issue the 15 month licence to Sawmiller Export, promising to provide them on or before 30 January 1995.

"The Minister has failed to meet 3 deadlines, and is now weeks late in complying with his statutory obligation to explain his findings of fact and reasons for granting the Newcastle licence. We are not confident that this latest deadline will be met.

"We have not waited for Mr Beddal 1 to finally comply with

Commonwealth law. When he finally does respond and furnish his reaons for his decision 4 months ago, we'll add that to the pile of evidence before the Federal Court," Mr Gorki11 said.

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For more information phone Mr John Cork ill 02 267 4410 w