Michaelia Cash loses AWU documents court fight
December 20 2017 - 1:46PM
Employment Minister Michaelia Cash has two weeks to hand over documents linked to raids on the Australian Workers Union after she lost a legal bid in the Federal Court.
Justice Mordecai Bromberg on Wednesday found the AWU had a legitimate reason to see the documents from Senator Cash’s office to determine if there was political motivation for the October 24 raids in Melbourne and Sydney.
He found the AWU “has a legitimate forensic purpose” in seeing the communications between Senator Cash and the Registered Organisations Commission.
But Senator Cash will not have to hand over all the documents the union sought, with Justice Bromberg limiting access to only relevant paperwork.
The raids drew scrutiny in parliament after the media arrived at the AWU’s offices before police, thanks to a tip off from her now-former media adviser David de Garis.
The union will also get documents from the Fair Work Ombudsman and its media adviser Mark Lee.
“I am satisfied that in seeking each of categories one to five, the AWU has a legitimate forensic purpose of demonstrating that the decision to initiate the investigation was motivated by the political purpose alleged or was directed by the minister,” Justice Bromberg said in his ruling.
Senator Cash needs to hand over her documents by January 5. Mr de Garis and Mr Lee have until January 11, while the Fair Work Ombudsman has until January 16.