Sun 03/10/2010 Melissa Fyfe, The Age
ONE of the Brumby government's most vocal critics is taking it to court over what has been described as an ''astounding'' breach of her privacy.
Jan Beer, who has led the fight against the north-south pipeline, will take her case to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal tomorrow, after conciliation with the government body Melbourne Water and the Victorian Privacy Commissioner failed.
In April this year, The Sunday Age revealed Melbourne Water and its private partners in the north-south pipeline had spied on, filmed, photographed and tailed the 62-year-old Yea farmer.
''The sheer volume of information collected on my client is astounding'' said Elizabeth McKinnon, a solicitor at the Environment Defenders Office. ''It is unclear as to whether any attempts at all were made by Melbourne Water to comply with the Information Privacy Act in relation to the management of protest activity at the site''.
Mrs Beer said: ''At no time during this period was I informed who the people collecting my information were employed by, why they were collecting the information, or what it would be used for.''