Slater & Gorden play media game

MEDIA RELEASE: 12 December 2008

‘If class action lawyers Slater & Gordon want to play the media game, they should check their facts before issuing media releases’, said City of Casey Chief Executive Officer Mike Tyler.

The law firm, which is representing a group of Brookland Greens residents in a class action against the City of Casey, today put out an inaccurate media release.

‘Slater & Gordon’s media release stated that Council refused to hand over documents. In fact, the City of Casey only received a request for a large number of documents yesterday (11 December 2008) and today the Court agreed to allow extra time for Council to respond to this request’, said Mr Tyler.

The Slater & Gordon media release also incorrectly quoted City of Casey Mayor Cr Geoff Ablett. The media release stated in part:

Lawyer Ben Hardwick says the Council’s attitude to the legal action is at odds with its recent public statements.

“Newly elected Mayor Geoff Ablett says Council needs to earn back the respect of Brookland Greens residents and show them that Council supports them,” Mr Hardwick said.

‘This statement is incorrect’, said Mr Tyler. ‘Slater & Gordon has attributed the Mayor’s statement about earning the respect of the entire Casey community to just the Brookland Greens residents.’

Council’s media release dated 4 December 2008 (titled ‘New Casey Council Sworn in') quotes the Mayor as follows:

Cr Ablett said… ‘As a united team we will work hard to earn the respect of the community.’

In addition to the above quote, Cr Ablett made special mention of supporting the residents of the Brookland Greens estate.

‘We are doing this by regularly communicating with the residents to keep them informed of the Stevensons Road closed landfill project and working collaboratively with the Community Reference Group to rebuild community spirit and confidence in the estate’, said Mr Tyler.

‘If Slater & Gordon are truly concerned about the residents, why do they continually use the media to re-inflame the issue? Perhaps they should just let the Court deal with the matter on the basis of the evidence put before it instead of stirring up further public sympathy for their case’, he added.