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Closing statements in Avi Yemini's fight for press freedom

LIVE: Avi's Supreme Court challenge for access to Dan Andrews' press conferences

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Rebel News Australia chief correspondent Avi Yemini is fighting for the right to attend parliamentary press conferences in Victoria in the Supreme Court.

The court heard on Tuesday from Yemini's legal team that he was denied procedural fairness when his application for a Victorian media pass was denied.

On Wednesday the court heard closing arguments from Christopher Horan QC, representing the trio of Victorian parliamentary office-holders and Will Houghton QC on behalf of Yemini.


Catch up on live updates from proceedings below:

Last year Yemini was dramatically ejected from a public press conference by Victoria Police after a request was made by Daniel Andrews' personal staff member.

At the time, Yemini had his Rebel News and official Australian government press credentials to verify his role as a journalist.

His application for a Parliament of Victoria media pass, initially made in March 2021, was denied by the Sergeant-at-Arms without offering any reason on the 19th of July and after numerous follow-ups.

In a hearing of Victoria's Supreme Court late last year, Will Houghton QC sought an urgent judicial review of the decision, citing the urgency of the state's state election in the upcoming year, saying that there should always be room for an alternative perspective.

"We can't stress highly enough that next year will be a big year for political news leading up to an election in November," he said.

"Certainly members of the public in Victoria are well served by the mainstream media but there is always room for an alternative voice and that is not currently being heard because of the prohibition on the ability of my client to enter the (parliamentary) precinct."

In response, Ayres claimed that, despite other journalists having greater privileges and access to politicians within the parliament, it didn't impact Yemini's ability to report.

"He's still entirely able to report on and comment on proceedings of parliament - he's able to approach members of parliament if he wishes to attempt to speak to them," he said.

Mr Houghton said that the limitations placed on Yemini directly affected his ability to do his job as a journalist reporting on important state political matters.

Such limitations are not in place for other members of the media who can freely walk the corridors of power and speak with policy makers directly.

Yemini's team includes Australia's most experienced media lawyer Justin Quill and William T Houghton QC, who recently successfully challenged Victoria Police's ban on aerial protest telecasts.

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