Mood: accident prone
We are doing pro bono work for a community objector in the bottled water extraction case at Peats Ridge Springs. Coca Cola Amatil are cutely known as David Kettle Consulting, their agent, in the legal proceedings, full name David Kettle Consulting v Gosford City Council no. 10429 of 2005, NSW Land & Environment Court (LEC).
What is intriguing is this: The court appointed expert hydrologist Anthony Lane of Melbourne, who right or wrong the local community objectors do actually distrust, has begged off his deadline for reporting on the impact of permanent 66 megalitre per year extraction from Peats Ridge Springs.
As we understand he was due 6th June at a callover at the LEC, which was delayed to 20 June, when an email from him was read out by barrister Nick Eastman representing Coca Cola, as retained by Coca Cola's Yvonne McKay of 71 Circular Quay East, Sydney NSW 2000. He is now due to report after an overseas trip and a delay 'entirely due to other work' he says. What other work? Twice bitten?
The Registrar has now adopted a deadline of 21st July 2008 and further mention on 29th July 2008.
It is fair to say the Registrar of the Land & Environment Court was "concerned". A short email was read from Lane, nominated by Coca Cola as "expert" and agreed to by Gosford City Council, who just happened to fail to warn community objectors for a full month during this phase, contrary to their legal obligations of notification under the Environmental Planning Act. We have the General Manager of GCC in writing admitting this "oversight". This delay meant objectors could not become a party in time to nominate respected experts from Sydney Basin with good reputations on the tricky perched sandstone aquifers here. Something Melbourne doesn't replicate in topography.
As we wrote to the principal of the Environment Defenders Office yesterday:
The big news from the call over last Friday was that the CAE has in my words "blinked" asked for 2nd extension of time because the job is bigger than he realised. This is the guy in 2006 who ticked off greater extraction. He should have all the detail. [We suspect he is] dodging .... because of the experts cross referencing in Neville's (my research) affidavit that exposes him ....... I can smell it - he's worried if Diamond becomes a party we will juxtapose ERM 2004, Dr Marshall 2008 pers comm, and Noel Merrick UTS 2006. The irony is that ERM are CCA's own expert. Love that.