Federal Govt to sue ACTU and ALP for $225,000  court costs

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Federal Govt to sue ACTU and ALP for $225,000 court costs

The Federal Government is seeking $225,000 in court costs over the failed attempt by the ACTU and the ALP to challenge its IR advertising campaign in the High Court.

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The Federal Government is seeking $225,000 in court costs over the failed attempt by the ACTU and the ALP to challenge its IR advertising campaign in the High Court.

The challenge claimed that there was no parliamentary authority for the $55 million expenditure on the campaign.

However the Full Bench of the High Court ruled that expenditure on such advertising was validly authorised and awarded costs against the ALP and ACTU.

Government pressing for costs

Workplace Relations Minister Kevin Andrews said the application by the ACTU and the Labor Party was always ‘a purely political exercise’, as noted by Justice Heydon on 29 July, when he said:

‘….this is really a political dispute. Courts tend to be reluctant to interfere in political disputes.’

‘ACTU President Sharan Burrow has repeatedly stated that the union movement would do “whatever it takes, for as long as it takes” to frustrate the Government’s WorkChoices reforms,’ Andrews said.

‘This should not extend to wasting the time and resources of the High Court and subjecting Australian taxpayers to needless expense in defending speculative litigation.

‘The Government stands by its view that it is entirely legal and proper to provide factual information in relation to significant Government reforms.

‘The political campaign being run against the Government by the ALP and ACTU should not include the abuse of legal processes in an attempt to frustrate the lawful work of the Government.’

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