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Nick Smith fails to front in his own charade

Nick Smith fails to front in his own political charade

Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey says he is appalled at the waste of taxpayer funds by National MP Nick Smith after he failed to front up in court today to pursue legal action he himself had initiated against the Chief Executive of Child, Youth and Family.

The MP commenced legal action in July 2002 claiming that the Chief Executive was failing to ensure a 14-year old child in the Department’s care was attending school. Lawyers for Ms Pivac were vigorously defending the action and told the court it was a transparently political exercise designed solely to embarrass the Department, and through it, the government.

Nick Smith did not turn up at a scheduled court hearing today to argue his case and did not provide any explanation for his non-attendance. Accordingly the legal action was dismissed by the Judge.

Steve Maharey said the government would be seeking to recover legal costs from Dr Smith and called on him to publicly apologise for his behaviour and personally apologise to the Chief Eexcutive for drawing her into a transparently political attack.

“Nick Smith has lost all credibility on this issue. After making a big media splash last year when he lodged his action he now fails to even front up in court to argue his case.

“It is an outrage that a politican was seeking to use the courts to advance a purely political argument in the first place. As a former minister Nick Smith would have always known this action would fail yet, until today, he has forced the taxpayer to shoulder the costs associated with drawing up the defence.

“The government will fully support Child, Youth and Family to recover the costs of this action from Nick Smith.

“Meanwhile the child at the centre of this dispute continues to be well looked after and continues to receive an education,” Steve Maharey said.

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