Brett Cattle Company verse former ag minister

THE Federal Court has ordered former agriculture minister Joe Ludwig to hand over private and internal emails and text messages as part of a $600 million class action against the Government.

Mr Ludwig has been accused of failing to disclose mobile phone records and using personal email accounts to conceal his role in the 2011 live cattle ban.

The class action is led by the Brett Cattle Company, which filed an interlocutory application in the Federal Court for communication between Mr Ludwig, his staff and former prime minister Julia Gillard.

"Some time ago the Commonwealth promised to behave like a Model Litigant," said Ms Tracey Hayes, the CEO of the Northern Territory Cattlemen's Association.

"It is astounding that we have had to fight so hard to get this material, for Joe Ludwig to have to be ordered to provide it.

"These documents will assist the NTCA, who is strongly supported by the Australian Farmers' Fighting Fund, to run the case listed for July this year."

Read the ABC's full report here.