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Tree man Richard Pennicuik will come down from his tree, but not today.                                                                                                                           

He said this morning it was his “intent to come down” but he now needed to work out “the best course of action” for how to do it.

Mr Pennicuik said he was up until 4am with friends and family discussing what to do.

“What we’re looking to do is we’re looking to get down and we’re going to pursue it in the right direction to get down and that’s going to take us a little while,” he said.

“I’m not going to come down when people tell me.

“I’m going to come down when I want, I’m going to come down on my terms.

“I can’t come down looking like an idiot.”

Mr Pennicuik said yesterday that he needed “time” to think and talk to his friends and family after receiving legal advice that he should come down from a tree he has called home for three months.

Following a brief telephone conversation just after noon with his lawyer John Hammond, who called him from a neighbour’s house, Mr Pennicuik looked down at the gathered media pack yesterday to declare he was staying put.

But this morning he said: “It’s my every intent to come down.”

Whether it happens or not is another thing but that is my intent.”

Mr Hammond advised his client to come down after he received a letter from the City of Gosnells warning Mr Pennicuik could be fined $5000 fine and $500 for every subsequent day he stayed up.

Mr Pennicuik said this morning discussions last night focused on a track “that was completely wrong” but he would not say what that was. He said it was later ruled out.

Early yesterday speculation was growing that Mr Pennicuik would end his now 94-day protest.

But following the conversation with Mr Hammond, Mr Pennicuik said he did not want the council to make an example of him if he came down.

He said he was prepared to go to jail – a possibility if he failed to pay any fines – over his environmental crusade. He said he was also told his house could be seized.

Mr Pennicuik admitted he could not afford the cost of the fines, but insisted: “I can stay up here for the next 20 years.”

He said the council had reneged on a three-month moratorium to take no action.

But the council has said Mr Pennicuik shifted the goal posts when he made new demands for other trees to be spared and a barrier to be erected around the tree outside his house.

The council has maintained the eucalyptus melliodora has a history of being dangerous.

Gosnells mayor Olwen Searle said yesterday she was disappointed Mr Pennicuik had not taken his lawyer’s advice.

She said the council intended to visit him and ask him formally to come down, though she would not say when or give a timeframe for cutting down the tree.

Anyprosecution would be determined in the courts.

“All the council has ever endeavoured to do is to get Richard to come out of the tree and talk to us and we have given him every opportunity,” she said.

Mr Hammond said it was up to Mr Pennicuik whether to heed his advice.

“He is facing prosecution by the City of Gosnells, so Richard needs to make a call on that,” he said.

“If Richard wants to remain in the tree he can but there’s going to be legal consequences in doing that.”

Mr Pennicuik was already forced to remove a tree house in January and had an application to the Heritage Council rejected. 

“All the council has ever endeavoured to do is to get Richard to come out of the tree and talk to us and we have given him every opportunity,” she said.

Mr Hammond said it was up to Mr Pennicuik whether to heed his advice.

“He is facing prosecution by the City of Gosnells, so Richard needs to make a call on that,” he said.

“If Richard wants to remain in the tree he can but there’s going to be legal consequences in doing that.”

Mr Pennicuik was already forced to remove a tree house in January and had an application to the Heritage Council rejected.

Source  :  www.thewest.com.au

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