A WA [West Australian] group opposed to the release of the rabbit calicivirus has failed to get a Federal Court injunction to stop the deliberate spread of the disease.
Justice Robert French dismissed an action yesterday by Don Fuller, director of the Defence Coalition Against RCD (rabbit calicivirus disease).
The group had been fighting the national release of the deadly calicivirus
since it escaped in 1995 from an island test site off the South Australian coast, two years ahead of its scheduled release.
Justice French said the group failed to set out the grounds on which it wanted a review into Primary Industries Minister John Anderson's September 1996
declaration of the imported virus as a biological agent.
It also had not showed why there should be a review into the virus' registration as a chemical product by the National Registration Authority.
Justice French said it was beyond the court to consider merits of the authority's investigation into RCD's effect on people or the environment.
Outside the court, Mr Fuller said the decision far from ended action against
what he described as monumental foolishness on the part of authorities.
In February, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal granted standing to the group
to apply for a review of the NRA's decision to release the virus.
Agriculture WA released RCD on October 18, 1996, a week after Australia's first official release of diseased rabbits in New South Wales.
Peter Thompson, Agriculture WA manager in charge of the release program, said the virus had been quiet in summer.