Federal Court application filed to challenge validity of unprecedented AWU raids

25 October 2017
Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, who are representing the AWU, have today filed an application and have sought an urgent hearing in the Federal Court to challenge the validity of yesterday’s unprecedented and heavy-handed police raids on the union’s offices.

Maurice Blackburn Principal Josh Bornstein said yesterday’s police raids were an outrageous abuse of power, and the union would today be seeking a court remedy to ensure a proper and fair process was undertaken.

“There were plenty of options open to the Registered Organisations Commission (ROC) to seek access to these materials without having to deploy 32 AFP officers, including writing to the union or issuing a summons compelling production,” Mr Bornstein said.

“None of these actions were taken. Instead, a highly orchestrated media strategy was implemented so that television cameras arrived before the AFP to capture the raid and thereby seek to paint the union in the worst possible light.

“This is an outrageous abuse of power and a farcical misuse of police resources that raises serious questions about the conduct of both the ROC and Federal Minister Michaelia Cash, who instigated the investigation.

“Prior to the raid, we wrote to the ROC expressing our concern about possible political interference by the Federal Government in this matter.

“We sought copies of all communications it has had with Minister Cash and her staff but the ROC has declined to provide us with those documents. We will continue to press for that crucial information to be provided to the AWU,” he said.

Note: A hearing for this matter has been set down in the Federal Court in Melbourne for 2:15pm (AEST) TODAY, Wednesday 25 October 2017.

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