DELIA LAWRIE FORCED TO PAY $280,000 IN LEGAL COSTS
FORMER Labor leader Delia Lawrie has paid $280,000 in costs for the failed legal challenge of the Stella Maris inquiry.
Ms Lawrie finalised the payment last week to Commissioner John Lawler’s solicitor, who returned the funds to the NT Government.
Another costs payment of $90,000 by Ms Lawrie’s legal counsel at the time, Alastair Wyvill SC, has also been finalised. The inquiry followed Ms Lawrie’s offer of a 10-year lease to Unions NT for the heritage listed Stella Maris building on McMinn St in the lead-up to the 2012 election.
Commissioner Lawler found the deal Ms Lawrie brokered was not in the public interest. She appealed the decision in 2014 and a year later Justice Southwood ruled against Ms Lawrie. Chief Minister Michael Gunner successfully challenged Ms Lawrie for the Labor leadership following the scandal.
Mr Lawler issued a statement yesterday.
“It is important for the NT public to understand that I did not institute any of these legal proceedings but was required to defend myself given the scurrilous allegations, that I had acted with bias and had not provided procedural fairness to Ms Lawrie during the Stella Maris Inquiry,” he said.
“The allegations were conclusively found to have no basis when the High Court of Australia rejected Ms Lawrie’s application for leave to appeal.” Ms Lawrie did not return calls.