This week, Coffs Harbour City Councillor John Arkan has been ordered to pay more than $89,000 in court costs to blueberry company Mountain Blue Orchards. The verdict was passed after Arkan was found guilty of illegally growing and selling a protected blueberry plant earlier this year. The order was handed down by Registrar Lynch at the Federal Circuit Court in Brisbane.
Arkan now has four weeks to pay the fee of $89,061.81 to cover the legal fees and court costs of Mountain Blue Orchards.
The $89,000 fine will be added to the $42,500 fine Arkan received in March this year for selling a special variety of blueberry plant known as Ridley 1111 without a licence.
Newsofthearea.com.au reports how Arkan was found by the Federal Court of Australia to have infringed the rights of Mountain Blue Orchards near Lismore, under the Plant Breeder’s Rights Act 1994, a Federal law that enforces protections to certain plant varieties.
Arkan was found to have produced and reproduced propagating material of the Ridley 1111 variety and offering propagating material for sale, without the licence or authority of Mountain Blue Orchards.