Hindmarsh Island defamation web site

Issue 

By Dot Tumney

The Kumarangk Legal Defence Fund (KLDF) has re-launched a web site dealing with 10 defamation cases against 18 people and organisations in relation to the Hindmarsh Island bridge affair.

Members of the local Ngarrindjeri Aboriginal community and their supporters have opposed the building of a bridge from Goolwa to Kumarangk (Hindmarsh Island) because the land plays an important part in their spiritual beliefs and the lives of the Ngarrindjeri women. Environmentalists also oppose the construction on the grounds that species of bird life will be affected.

Tom and Wendy Chapman, who had applied for permission to build the bridge, sued the individuals and groups. Responsibility for the bridge is now being taken by the South Australian government.

The KLDF was set up to assist in the organisation of financial and legal support for opponents of the Hindmarsh Island bridge who were being sued. The web site was established last year, but was closed down by the British internet service provider after they received a letter alleging that the site contained material defamatory of the Chapmans.

A new host has been found and the site updated and extended to more than four times its original size. The KLDF have now received a complaint from the Chapmans' lawyers about the site.

"The site contains information of public concern about the impact of a series of defamation cases and other actions on an important political campaign. This raises issues about the way political debate is allowed to proceed in this state", spokesperson for the KLDF, Tom Glynn said.

Visit the site at <http://www.green.net.au/hindmarsh>.