Gunns Limited is a Tasmanian sawmiller, woodchipper and manufacturer of timber building products. In 2004 it launched a $6.4m legal action that claims the Wilderness Society and others, including Greens Senator Bob Brown, the Huon Valley Environment Centre and Doctors for Native Forests, have conspired to injure Gunns by unlawful means and have illegally interfered with the company’s business so causing economic loss.
The Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) has called on Gunns’ shareholders to write to superannuation funds, governments and other investors and to pressure the company into dropping its lawsuit against environmentalists trying to protect Tasmania’s old growth forests.
The ACF has not been named in the legal action.
Gunns’ legal action is ‘ill-advised’ says the ACF and will not resolve the deep-seated problems related to unsustainable logging of Tasmania’s old growth forests and the need to protect the forests while sustaining local jobs. It identifies several fund managers as Gunns’ shareholders and asks unit holders to express their concern at their monies being used to support Gunns’ legal action. These include: AMP, Concord Capital, Deutsche Bank, IOOF, Perpetual Trustees, Queensland Investment Corporation and SMF Funds Management.
Members of the following superannuation funds have been asked to take similar action: Australian Retirement Fund (ARF), Energy Industries Superannuation Scheme (EISS), Local Government Superannuation Scheme (LGSS), Equipsuper, Seafarer’s Retirement Fund (SRF), Superannuation Authorities Service (SAS) (‘State Super’), First State Super (FSS), Telstra Superannuation and UniSuper.