Legal advice bill $42,630
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.