The Hon. Philip Ruddock
CANBERRA ACT 2600
14 June 2007
I refer to the case of Dawn Rowan, whose plight was recently highlighted in the
Today Tonight on 14 May 2007, and whose case I'm sure of which you have been
After the broadcasting of that report, I have been contacted by a number of
constituents who are now concerned about the Commonwealth's role in the case.
As I understand the matter, Ms Rowan as a self-represented litigant joined the
Commonwealth as a defending party in her action against the South Australian
While the Commonwealth should not reward speculative litigation, I am concerned by
the implication in the reports that Ms Rowan's home is to be seized in lieu of payment of the Commonwealth's costs which were awarded against Ms Rowan.
In order to respond to these concerns, I therefore seek further detail from your office and the Department as to:
Firstly, whether this action is presently subject to further appeal (if so, I note you may not be able to provide advice on the questions following).
Secondly, whether the Commonwealth has, in fact, made a final determination on to
seizure of Ms Rowans assets, and if so, what that decision is.
Thirdly, whether or not Ms Rowan is entitled to damages from other defendants in the
case, and whether consideration has been given to seizure of these funds.
Finally, whether or not a cost-benefit analysis has been performed on recovery of
costs from Ms Rowan.
I thank you for your consideration of this matter. I look forward to your early
Senator Joe Ludwig
*From: *"Tanner, Lindsay (MP)"
*Date: *9 October 2007 9:33:33 AM
*Subject: **Dawn Rowan*
Dear Reverend Nettleton,
Thank you for your email of 2 October 2007 concerning Dawn Rowan.
I have received similar correspondence from another of my constituents earlier this year. I am able to inform you that representations have been made by our Shadow Attorney General Joe Ludwig to the appropriate Ministers (as the parties seeking to recover costs in the case), Attorney General Phillip Ruddock and The Minister for Community Services, Mal Brough. A query to Senator Ludwig’s office yesterday confirmed that there has as yet been no reply. I have attached a copy of the text of this letter for your information.
In addition to this I referred my constituent’s concerns about Ms Rowan’s situation to The Member for McEwen, Fran Bailey who is now Ms Rowan’s local member and hence the other most appropriate Member of Parliament to make representations on her behalf.
Shadow Minister for Finance Federal Member for Melbourne