Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

Milne Ordered to Pay Costs for Rally Action

Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

Milne Ordered to Pay Costs for Rally Action

Article excerpt

Byline: Peter Caton

A FEDERAL Court judge has chastised Tweed councillor Katie Milne for her failed legal bid to stop last month's world championship car rally and ordered her to immediately pay the rally organisers' legal costs, understood to be more than $26,000.

Justice Margaret Stone in the Federal Court on Tuesday said Cr Milne's attempt to seek an injunction against the rally the week before it was held was "ill-considered and misconceived". She ruled Repco Rally Australia's costs in defending the case should be "payable forthwith" by Cr Milne.

If Cr Milne does not pay the costs, it is understood recovery of the money could lead to seizure and sale of any property she has, an order for redirection of her income or the appointment of a receiver.

Yesterday Cr Milne did not return phone or email requests from the Tweed Daily News seeking a response.

But Murwillumbah Business Chamber president Toni Zuschke said Cr Milne, in addition to paying the costs, owed the community an apology for the court case.

"She should have done a lot more homework," Mrs Zuschke said.

"We need councillors who can do their homework. When you are a councillor you have to vote for what is in the best interests of the entire community.

"She (Cr Milne) was only representing a minority."

Rally Australia chairman Alan Evans yesterday declined to comment directly on the costs his committee is seeking, but said Rally Australia was "pleased with Justice Stone's judgment".

Rally representatives had previously indicated the costs would be "in the vicinity of $26,000".

"Cr Milne's attempt to stop the rally was unjustified, caused needless last-minute uncertainty among patrons, suppliers, competitors and organisers and forced significant legal expense upon Rally Australia," he said. "Justice Stone's finding that there was no case to ans- wer based on Cr Milne's claim vindicates the rally's comprehensive approach from the outset to protecting flora and fauna. …

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