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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Friday, 25 July 2008
Open letter of complaint to ACCC about Coca Cola Amatil deception on 'spring water' at Peats Ridge
Mood:  sharp
Topic: legal

Dear ACCC Complaints officer

We write as agent for an intervenor Neville Diamond in the Land & Environment Court proceedings 10429 of 2005, current in 2008 called David Kettle Consulting [agent for Coca Cola Amatil] v Gosford City Council. Diamond was made an official Intervenor in judgement by Justice Nicola Pain on 4th July 2008, which is less than a full party, more than a bystander, actually limited participant in proceedings.

Our concern is that our legal and media research over the last several months has indicated the CCA subsidiary Peats Ridge Springs Pty Ltd which is its business signage, and trading name, and common name of its business location on Mangrove Mountain near Gosford, and has been at least for some years in advertising on their bottled water product, is NOT spring water. If we are right then this is a breach of section 52 of the Trade Practices Act and equivalent NSW fair trading legislation.

That is to say the company in court documents fully concede the water is pumped from multiple bores to source what used to be a spring fed creek up until the early 1990ies but which till then permanent waterway has been wrecked by over consumption.

The Australian Macquarie Dictionary Third Edition, defines a spring in this context as

"34. an issue of water from the earth, flowing away as a small stream or standing as a pool or small lake, or the place of such an issue: mineral springs"

The local food growing farmers and horticulturalists quite reasonably accuse the CCA/PRS of producing "bore water" as per minutes of a public meeting in 2006 not spring water as a result. In 2006 CCA was successful in litigation in getting permission to lower the local water table 5 metres deeper into the ground (in the drilling jargon from 10m to 15m from case collar). Their bore apparently reaches 70 metres into Peats Ridge/Mangrove Mountain.

The locals now describe the once permanent creek, once permanent groundwater dependent flora and wildlife "as a bare paddock".


Interestingly CCA on print out of their website earlier this year refer only to "Peats Ridge Water" as their product line. Refer http://www.ccamatil.com.au/australianProducts.asp

But they maintain on another webpage "Peats Ridge Springs, Peats Ridge (water bottling only)". This suggests to us the corporation is alive to the misdescription of product issue but continue to play in the grey legal area while they can, having destroyed the un named watercourse on their site. Refer http://www.ccamatil.com.au/bottledwater.asp

Could you please advise what documentary or other evidence you need to progress an official investigation into our complaint on tel. ...... or 0410 55883 ......

Please also see this weblink for images of misnamed "Peats Ridge Springs" water product/business get up etc.


Yours truly

Tom McLoughlin, agent for intervenor Diamond.


Posted by editor at 7:52 AM NZT
Updated: Friday, 25 July 2008 2:06 PM NZT

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