Court to rule on minister’s action
A FEDERAL Labor minister’s decision to act indiscriminately in banning all farmers from exporting live cattle to Indonesia for six months in 2011 was not justified, a court has been told.
Noel Hutley SC was giving his opening address in the Federal Court in Sydney yesterday in a class action brought by north Australian cattle farmers against the thenLabor government agriculture minister Joe Ludwig.
They claim the ban cost them hundreds of millions of dollars. The group, led by Brett Cattle Company, is alleging “misfeasance in public office” by Mr Ludwig.
Earlier yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce told reporters the ban had been a “stupid decision”. “Everybody knows, even the Labor Party knows, it was an incredibly bad decision,” he said.
“Whether it was an illegal decision, is something entirely different. That’s determined by the court.”