Le­gal ad­vice bill $42,630

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS -

BLACK­TOWN Coun­cil spent more than $42,000 seek­ing ad­vice on SBS doc­u­men­tary Strug­gle Street last year.

In to­tal, $42,630.50 of ratepay­ers’ money was spent to seek ad­vice on the con­tent of the show, with al­most $6000 of that spent this year after the series had al­ready aired.

A Black­town Coun­cil spokesman said the le­gal fees were jus­ti­fied to pro­tect the rep­u­ta­tion of the area.

“Strug­gle Street dam­aged the good rep­u­ta­tion of the com­mu­nity of Mt Druitt, and Black­town City Coun­cil took ac­tion to mount a de­fence” the spokesman said.

“Coun­cil was in­volved in a highly strate­gic and very pub­lic com­mu­ni­ca­tions ex­change on a num­ber of fronts. In or­der to con­sider our op­tions, it was both nec­es­sary and ap­pro­pri­ate to seek le­gal ad­vice.”

De­spite the cost of le­gal ad­vice, no ac­tion against the series was taken.

“There were no le­gal pro­ceed­ings as a re­sult of the in­ter­ac­tion over Strug­gle

Street, but there was a ro­bust ex­change of opin­ion,” the spokesman said. The coun­cil did not be­lieve the Strug­gle

Street pro­gram led to any im­prove­ment in con­di­tions for the res­i­dents of Mt Druitt.

SBS chief con­tent of­fi­cer He­len Kel­lie at a Black­town Coun­cil meet­ing last year.

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