Galati fined $40,000 for contempt of court charge
Potato grower Tony Galati and his company has been fined $40,000 for his admitted contempt of court in growing more potatoes than agreed to with the now extinct Potato Marketing Corporation.
Earlier this month, the protracted potato war between the Spud Shed owner and the government came to an end, after he pleaded guilty to a contempt of court charge, following admissions he had breached a Supreme Court injunction handed down in 2015.
That court order was intended to prevent Mr Galati growing more than 1049 tonnes of potatoes in the prescribed period.
At the start of what was set to be an expensive eight-day trial, he admitted he had grown and delivered 150 tonnes more than that.
The admission cost Mr Galati $200,000 towards the costs of the government lawyers.
On Friday, Supreme Court judge Paul Tottle handed down an additional $40,000 in punitive fines.
“The breach was not a trivial breach.
“A significant tonnage of potatoes was sold in breach of the order.
“Galati Nominees derived substantial revenue from the infringing sales,” Justice Tottle said.
It had earlier been agreed that Mr Galati made around $148,000 from the sale of the extra 150 tonnes of potatoes.
Earlier this month, Jeremy Giles SC, appearing for Mr Galati who was in court, said he accepted “entirely and unhesitatingly” the contempt should not have happened.
“He is here to apologise to your Honour, and also to the State of Western Australia,” he said.
That apology was repeated in a large announcement in the pages of The West Australian newspaper.
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