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Freedom restored: High Court overturns Labor's advertising ban



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Philip Ruddock MP / e > f .

Federal Member for Dundas Shadow Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs

Tel: (02) 858 1011 Fax: (02) 804 6739

Electorate Parliament House

Tel: (06) 277 4343 Fax: (06) 277 2062

1 September, 1992

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FREEDOM RESTORED: HIGH COURT OVERTURNS LABOR’S ADVERTISING BAN

Philip Ruddock MP, Liberal endorsed Candidate for Berowra and Federal Member for Dundas has welcomed the decision made by the High Court to overturn the Labor Government's decision to ban political advertising.

"This decision is a victory for free speech and a stinging rebuff to the Labor Party's manipulators and to Paul Keating's 'thought police"', Philip Ruddock said.

Briefly, the High Court has ruled that the new Section 111D of the Broadcasting Act (ie the ban on electronic political advertising) is unconstitutional for all elections, including the next federal election. Aspects of the Act dealing with free time and policy launches were also deemed unconstitutional. Throughout this episode, the Coalition Parties have stood steadfastly by the principle of free political speech.

'This Government just can't get anything right. Its Budget is dead and buried, its political and economic strategy is in ruins and now the ad ban - which was designed to prevent focus on Labor's record - has been ruled invalid", Philip Ruddock said.

Because Labor has mismanaged its own money just as badly as it has abused the trust of the Australian taxpayers, the Court decision will hurt Labor's campaign plans.

"Mr Keating must realise that not only has this whole exercise been a misguided perversion of democratic principles but also that the legislation has been botched from start to finish by his Minister for Administrative Services", Philip Ruddock said.

Local constituents must be given the opportunity to know about the mess that Labor has caused and the answers that Dr Hewson has provided in the Fightback! package. By stating that the ad ban would be "unconstitutional", the right for freedom of political speech and freedom of political information has been returned.

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