24 Dec 2010

New appeal in long-running wool battle

9:15 am on 24 December 2010

The long-running legal battle that specialist merino-wool producers have been waging against the former Wool Board is not over yet.

The Saxmere company and others comprising farmers who produce superfine merino wool have been battling through the courts for more than a decade to retrieve money paid in levies to the Wool Board for marketing.

They have been seeking millions of dollars in compensation from the former board.

The Court of Appeal heard the case this year after questions were raised about a business relationship between Justice Wilson, who was on the bench for the original appeal hearing, and the Wool Board's lawyer.

The court, in a majority decision released last month, found the board had acted lawfully in its handling of levies.

Saxmere is seeking leave, however, to take a further appeal to the Supreme Court; it has until February to file details of that claim.

The disestablishment company representing the former Wool Board is still holding more than $7 million worth of reserved funds on behalf of 13,000 sheep farmers but cannot pay it out while the legal challenges continue.