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Drew Hutton, president of the vocal anti-coal seam gas group Lock the Gate, says he’s going to sue Clive Palmer after the mining magnate accused him of treason.
Hutton said a legal notice would be sent to Palmer outlining the defamation action he would be pursuing.
The move follows comments last week by Palmer that some anti-mining movements were funded by overseas interests to hamper Australia’s economic development.
Palmer targeted Hutton in particular, and said the activist should be made to explain the full extent of his funding.
The Courier Mail reports Hutton was initially unwilling to launch legal action but made the decision after the lack of an apology by Palmer.
"I’m sorry, but after some consideration, I have decided I can’t take that lying down," he said.
"I love my country, and I fight for the future of this country and our planet every single day."
Hutton said it was import for him to maintain his credibility in public.
Last week Palmer ridiculed Hutton’s suggestion he may launch legal action, and asked if the court battle would be funded by the Rockerfeller trust, which he claimed was a front for the CIA.
"Will the Rockerfellers be funding Drew Hutton’s defamation case? Court case would expose where the full funding for his campaigns comes from," he said.
According to the ABC Palmer yesterday hinted his claims linking the green movement to the CIA were part of a distraction ploy to keep negative attention off Campbell Newman in the lead up to the Queensland election.
"It’s wonderful that all of you could play a small role in having Campbell Newman elected as premier of Queensland," he said.
Palmer said while he would not repeat the allegations against the green movement he also did not regret them.
Hutton’s legal team was assembled by political lobby group GetUp, and according to the Courier Mail the organisation’s national director Simon Sheikh said Palmer’s latest comments would aid their case.
"We don’t need to prove false statements were made. Mr Palmer appears to have done that for us today."
Sheikh said while Palmer had listed litigation as one of his hobbies he was "out of his depth" with the Hutton case.
Image: Drew Hutton, The Brisbane Times