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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.

Delia Lawrie

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