Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Attorney general must stand firm-Costello



Download PDFDownload PDF

f

PARLIAMENT OF AUSTRALIA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA. ACT. 2600. SUITE R 2 117 PHONE (062) 77 4750 FAX (062) 77 2124 20 BEATTY AV ENUE, ARMADALE, VIC. 3143

PHONE (03) 822 4422 FAX (03) 822 0319

PETER COSTELLO, M.P. FEDERAL MEMBER FOR HIGGINS SHADOW MINISTER FOR CORPORATE LAW REFORM AND CONSUMER AFFAIRS

MEDIA RELEASE

ATTORNEY GENERAL MUST STAND FIRM - COSTELLO.

"Attorney General Michael Duffy must stand firm against Minister for Industrial

Relations Senator Peter Cook and his union constituency trying to selectively veto

increased penalties under the Trade Practices Act", Mr Peter Costello Shadow Minister

for Corporate Law Reform and Consumer Affairs said today.

In the 1989-90 Annual Report of the Trade Practices Commission, the Commission called

for realistic penalties to underpin enforcement of the Act. Attorney General Duffy has

recommended to Cabinet that fines of $250,000 be increased to $5 Million. These fines

would apply to all breaches of Part IV of the Act including breaches of S45D and S45E.

Mr Costello said "breaches of the Act must incur the same penalties - whether the

' offender is a corporation or whether it is a union. Senator Cook is obsessed with granting

privilege to Unions. As a result, he wants lesser penalties for union lawlessness. His

position has stopped the Attorney General's Cabinet Submission dead in its tracks. As

the first law officer of the Crown the Attorney General has a responsibility to ensure all

subjects are treated equally before the law and are subject to the same penalties."

Mr Costello said that different penalties for contravention of Section 45D and 45E would

be a form of "legal apartheid". "One sector of the community - trade unions - would be

given privilege over the rest if the Attorney General backs down in the face of political

pressure from Senator Cook and the industrial wing of the Labor Party".

Mr Costello said "the Coalition will support tough enforcement of trade practices law. It

will not support unequal penalties and unequal treatment". He called on the Attorney

General to send the Minister for Industrial Relations packing on this issue.

END RELEASE: 16 April 1991 CONTACT: Anthony Smith CANBERRA 277 4750 OR AH (018) 324 009