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March 28, 2023

Penning has won right to see Adani’s case against him

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#StopAdani activist Ben Pennings.

Adani have been pursuing anti-Adani activist  Ben Pennings through courts since June 2020 and have had two failed attempts to ‘get court orders to raid Ben’s family home’ according to Mr Penning’s lawyers, Marque Lawyers. 

Following the two failed attempts to get court order to raid Mr Panneings home Adani (recently re-branded as Bravus) obtained a temporary injunction in September 2020, restraining Ben from engaging in much of the activities he undertook as spokesperson for Galilee Blockade. 

According to his lawyers Adani’s civil case claims Ben’s campaigning resulted in a ‘breach of confidence’ relating to confidential information, ‘inducing breach of contract’ and ‘intimidation’ relating to Adani’s contractors, and a ‘conspiracy’ to injure Adani’s coal operations in Australia.  

The Stop Adani rally at Byron Bay’s Main Beach made a clear point. Photo Orion Sturch

It is a core part of Adani’s case that Ben allegedly called for, obtained and used Adani’s and Carmichael Rail’s confidential information, including through leaks to Ben by the companies’ employees and future contractors. The words ‘confidential information’ are used on around 100 separate occasions in the claim, being around 67 per cent of the paragraphs of the claim.

However, Adani then tried to withhold key particulars of the civil case they have brought against Mr Pennings. Adani asked the Supreme Court to make broad confidentiality orders permanently banning Ben’s lawyers from telling him what confidential information Adani says he’s already received.

Ben’s legal team argued that he will have a fundamental difficulty in defending the case if those orders are made.

‘Sensationally, Adani’s Barrister admitted in court they’ve NEVER HAD EVIDENCE that Ben has accessed Adani’s confidential information, the core component of their case against him,’ said a press release from Mr Pennigns following the ruling by Supreme Court Justice Susan Brown on 25 June that cleared the way for Mr Pennings to see the ‘confidential information Adani says he’s already received’.

Now I’ve won the right to see Adani’s whole case against me, I can properly defend myself in court,’ Mr Pennings said.

‘I’m excited to ultimately win this case on behalf of all Australians because it threatens our political freedom. So long as Adani threatens my family and the environment we all share I will do everything lawfully in my powers to stop them.’

Ben’s lawyer Kiera Peacock, partner at Marque Lawyers said, ‘Adani started this case against Ben and then wanted to run it without him being able to see the fundamental details of that case. Ben’s position was always that this interfered with his basic legal right to know the case put against him. The Court’s ruling means that Ben will be able to see and give proper instructions to his defence team about Adani’s very serious allegations that he received and misused Adani’s confidential information, which is imperative to his defence of the case.’    

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  1. Good on you Ben, don’t care IF you did receive confidential information….how else are you (we) ever to challenge these companies ? Secrecy within Governments exists MOSTLY to protect themselves NOT the general public. Just ask Julian Assange . Ben you’re a hero and obviously dedicated to the principles of democracy which is rapidly disappearing in this country. How dare Adani withheld the reasons for their law suit against you, did we become Beijing over night? How bloody outrageous & to think that the Qld Govt and the Feds keep allowing Adani to operate & fund them ? Adani’s operations have time & time again revealed breaches of ‘their’ own environmental regulations and governance. STILL IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT THE HELL THEY DO, GOVTS STILL REFUSE TO STOP THEM. Lets all fund Ben and support his courage/ tenacity and environmental intelligence.


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