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Baked Beans, Beer, & Bull$#*! - a True Story
Peter C. Bunn
Baked beans, Beer & Bulls#*! - is a detailed account of the actions and conduct of the Andrew Reitzer-led Metcash (the self appointed ‘champion of the independent retailer’ and licensee of IGA in Australia) when one small independent retailer would not accept or be intimidated by Metcash’s refusal to comply to a legally binding supply agreement with his company. What followed was, what can only be considered, an extraordinary and deliberate attack launched by Metcash upon Peter Bunn, his company, and its stores “Tempo Grocers”.
The story details the extent to which Metcash were prepared to go, and what they were prepared to do, in pursuit of their desire to silence public discussion of their conduct by using the legal system.
It also reveals Metcash’s use, and/or threat of tactical (SLAPP) litigation as a tool to silence public discussion and free speech – Initiated, not only against Peter Bunn, but also a number of reporters who were also on the receiving end of such threats from Metcash in regard to this story.
More importantly this story reveals the apparent moral and ethical depths to which the Reitzer-led Metcash would sink to, so as to evade its legal obligations, and the extent to which the company was prepared to use the law, and the Federal Court of Australia to obscure public awareness and impede discussion of their actions and conduct.
Metcash spent nearly four and a half years in the Federal Court, and what has been estimated to be at least $2m of Metcash funds, trying to stop this story being published and turning the argument into a mammoth 4½ year legal fight by Peter Bunn against Metcash’s tactical litigation; and was to also become a fight to defend free speech - the Federal Court’s Justice Lander stated, in respect to the case that: “This case [Metcash v Bunn] makes World War II look like a skirmish.”
When finally required, by the Federal Court to evidence and/or substantiate many of their claims by which they were able to originally persuade the Federal Court to place interim injunctions on Bunn; and, as to their claims of having complied with the terms of the Tempo supply agreement, the Andrew Reitzer-led Metcash, clearly being unable to do so, were forced to whimper out of their litigation against Bunn by agreeing to orders by consent.