Ex-mayor being sued for $430,000
FORMER Douglas Shire mayor Mike Berwick is being sued for $430,000 as damages for defamation by a company associated with well-known developer Jeff Mccloy.
Wonga Beach Village Pty Ltd owned and operated a business known as Wonga Beach Aquaculture Resort Pty Ltd until December 16, 2010.
The company’s statement of claim said that a letter written by the defendant, Michael Berwick, on November 16 or 17, 2005, was then sent on to Desley Boyle who was then a member of the Queensland Parliament and Minister for the Environment, Local Government and Women.
The company claims the letter defames it.
The company further claims that on November 17, 2005, Mr Berwick did a radio interview where he repeated much of what was written in his letter in an interview with John Mckenzie on Easy Listening 84.6 AM.
The company said the nature of the interview given by Mr Berwick was intended to cause it damage and to sully its reputation.
A further letter written on November 23, 2005, by Mr Berwick was then sent on to Ian Campbell, who was then a member of Federal Parliament and Minister for the Environment and Heritage.
The company also claims this letter was published without providing it with the opportunity to respond to the content prior to its publication.
Mr Berwick then wrote another letter on or shortly prior to May 25, 2006, that was published in the Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette which the company claims was only published with the sole purpose to discredit Mr Mccloy and his business.
The company is suing Mr Berwick for $300,000 as damages for defamation and seeking $131,308.21 for injurious falsehood and interest.
When the Gazette approached Mr Berwick he said: “No comment.”
The Gazette also tried several times to speak with Mr Mccloy at his Newcastle office but was unsuccessful.
In 2008, Mr Mccloy settled a defamation claim he had brought against Mr Berwick. Mr Mccloy claimed that he had been defamed in a letter written by Mr Berwick and published in the Gazette.
Life’s a beach: Port Douglas
residents lap up Four Mile