Union groups argue law 'muzzles' debate, 'silences' people

UNION chiefs across NSW have launched a high court challenge against the O'Farrell Government's electoral donation laws in the name of free speech.

Under the legislation, peak lobby groups like Unions NSW are banned from levying its affiliates to run movement wide election campaigns and trade unions banned from paying fees to political parties.

In documents tendered in court Monday, Unions NSW argues the legislation breaches the freedom of political communication and association that is implied in the NSW and Commonwealth constitutions.

Unions NSW Secretary Mark Lennon said the legislation, which passed through parliament late last year, hindered working people in expressing their political views.

He said if the laws were allowed to stand, they would "muzzle debate and silence the voice of working people in NSW".

Topics:  donations election campaign o'farrell government

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