YARRAM - PORT ALBERT
DEVON NORTH near YARRAM
|On 11 April 2006, I, Peter John Stone, of Devon
North, Victoria, received a pdf file letter via email from Madgwicks, Lawyers,
of Bourke Street, Melbourne, signed by Peter Dreher and Kerrie Murphy,
"Synergy Wind Pty Ltd - Defamation by Mr Peter Stone." It advised that Madgwicks were acting on behalf of Synergy Wind Pty Ltd and Mr Christian Spitzer, who I know as project manager for Synergy Wind. The letter demanded changes and retractions of statements on this website that were deemed by Madgwicks to be false and defamatory, and, in essence, demanded retraction of such listed statements, and to cease making any further comments about Synergy and Spitzer which are inaccurate, misleading or which give rise to any false suggestion or false imputation in respect of or in connection with their activities in the wind energy industry. Madgwicks have made it clear that their letter of demand to me is 'not for publication'. I shall respect that. My open reply to Madgwicks is as follows:
11 April 2006 . By email.
Firstly, I wish to apologise to Mr Christian Spitzner for any misunderstanding that there may be in my communication to him and what has been placed on our website. The objective of all communication with him has been to receive answers to a number of questions relating to the proposed windfarm at Devon North. In order to be open and transparent, all communication between Spitzer and myself has been made public via the website. You will note that at no time have I ever criticised nor condemned Spitzner for his personal conduct, nor attacked his credibility nor integrity, nor attacked in any way his company. Indeed, I have made it quite clear that Synergy Wind have every right to seek the appropriate permits to construct a windfarm, providing all aspects of the law have been complied with. I have deliberately made open, public, comment with a view to seeing answers from Spitzer, and any comments made by Spitzer as a result of my documentation I have included in its entirety without change. My objective has always been to present the truth of the current situation, and where I have perhaps misunderstood a situation, I have always given Spitzner the opportunity to make the correction. I see no advantage in any argument based on falsehood.
To comply with your demands, as listed, I advise as follows:
1. Not to further publish the imputations referred to in this letter.
I shall immediately go through your letter and amend or clarify all instances that you document.
2. To publicly retract and withdraw the statements made and referred to in this letter forthwith.
In conjunction with point one above, I shall do as requested.
3. For the statements referred to in this letter to be immediately removed from your website.
In conjunction with point 1 above, I shall do so.
4. To cease making further comments about our clients that are inaccurate, misleading etc etc.
I shall be most pleased to comply with this. My objective has always been to seek the truth, and any inaccuracy is unacceptable.
May I take the opportunity to make further comment.
I find it confusing that you have indicated that your letter is not for publication. I shall comply with your request of course, but why should not such a letter also be placed in the public domain in order to clarify the situation and ensure the veracity of what is documented?
As you now have a client in Synergy Wind, perhaps you could advise them of the defamation of my character as expressed by Spitzner in his recent communication to me. As I have mentioned, I have never criticised Spitzner personally, but he sees it necessary to comment on my personal integrity. I can only speculated that his motive is frustration in having to answer my questions. Perhaps you may like to retain your client as my advise is that I have definite grounds for defamation against Spitzner.
I find it hard to accept that Spitzner has sought legal action based on information that is in the public domain, without attempting to communicate with me to correct any misunderstanding. The points you have raised in your letter could just as easily have been commented on and indeed corrected if required by Spitzner, and through you as his solicitors, I invite him at any time to communicate with me in order to ensure that the general public, and specifically the community of Devon North and Yarram, have the right information with which to make their own decisions about wind energy, and, specifically, where a windfarm should be located.
I note that I have 4.00pm 13 April to comply with your demands. I shall attend to it today if possible, but as we are coming up to Easter I have a few community responsibilities to attend to. Check out the website after the deadline and if there are further changes to be made, please advise.
Peter Stone, Devon North
Second email - 11 April 2006
As per my earlier email communication, I have
undertaken to comply with the demands made to correct or clarify specific
statements on our website. I will load this to the net later this day.
I trust I have done in accordance with your requirements, with a view to
not defaming Synergy Wind Pty Ltd and Mr Christian
I do have several Comments to make, more for your
own information than anything
Re: Synergy has contacted residents about the proposed wind farm on numerous occasions.
Would it be possible to obtain a list of these residents, and the dates that they were contacted, so that we can verify this statement. I categorically state that not all the residents and owners of the neighbouring properties bordering the proposed windfarm site have been contacted, neither by mail, phone or in person.
Re: Mr Spitzner attended the consultation day held 16 December 2005, in Yarram.
Could you please advise at what time Mr Spitzner was in attendance.
Re: Statements made to Mr Dominque La Fontaine, CEO of AusWEA, 9 March 2006.
Firstly, unless Miss La Fontaine has undergone a change of gender preference over the past few weeks, it is Miss, Mrs, or Ms Dominique La Fontaine. A small error, perhaps akin to my inadvertent scanning errors.
As this letter is not on the website and is thus not in the public domain, I am not sure what you require of me in this instance. If you wish me to amend my statement by way of a letter to Ms La Fontaine, then please advise.
Re: "... telephone conversation with Spitzner".
What can I say??? My word against his and I can assure you that I did not make up any stories. But I have apologised to Spitzner for any misunderstanding that may have occurred.
Re: The self-drawn map on your website is incorrect.
I have had a good look at the first map, and note that it is incomplete: there are further houses to add. Thankyou for bringing it to my attention.. That some of the circles show sheds within the circle is correct. However, the homes circled do exist, and whereas sheds and other buildings are indicated on the map, these have not been circled individually. Only one residence lies within each circle. The map is not incorrect and is thus not misleading. The complaint that the Helleren house is circled seems to me to be a pedantic consideration, and is not incorrect in that of course they have a concern with the proposal. Would you have me identify the Helleren home as being the residence of the proposed windfarm landowner? I think not, as this would surely be a breach of personal confidentiality. Respectfully, I advise that I shall not be removing the map unless you can define something specific that is misleading. I have added a clarifying note that one residence lies within one circle.
Re: We suggest you use the map which has been professionally prepared by Synergy and was distributed at the consultation day.
I have. It has always been shown. Have you not
seen the website?
I shall endeavour to load the amended websites within the next few minutes.
As indicated, should you require further changes, please feel free to contact me, with or without a threat of legal action. My objective is to present the truth.
Peter Stone, Devon North