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Government seeks court costs against ALP And ACTU.

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Hon Kevin Andrews MP

Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service 21 December, 2005

Media Release


Government Seeks Court Costs Against ALP And ACTU

The Australian Government today served notice on the Australian Labor Party and ACTU that it seeks costs of

$225,000 against the ALP and the ACTU in relation to their attempt in the High Court to question the legal

validity of the Government’s workplace relations advertising.

Following a hearing before the full bench of the High Court, the Court ruled that expenditure on such advertising

was validly authorised and awarded costs against the ALP and ACTU.

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. 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.

For further information contact:

Ian Hanke 0409 715 861