Federal Speaker Peter Slipper and his former staffer James Ashby have failed to reach a settlement in a sexual harassment case after nearly nine hours of mediation. The matter will now return to the Federal Court tomorrow.
Mr Ashby's spokesman Anthony McClellan says his client has consistently maintained that his motivations in bringing this case were to stop Mr Slipper and his conduct against him, and to prevent it from happening again.
'Unfortunately the mediation held today was not successful,' Mr Ashby's spokesman, Anthony McClellan, told media outside court on Wednesday night.
The matter will now return to the Federal Court on Thursday 'to proceed against Mr Slipper and to hold the commonwealth to the settlement they offered and we accepted', Mr McClellan said.
'Mr Ashby has consistently maintained that his motivations in bringing this case were one, to stop Mr Slipper and his conduct against him, (and) to prevent re-occurrence of that conduct in relation to parliamentary staff, current and future.
'This case is not about money.'
Mr Ashby was unable to comment under the terms of the mediation, Mr McClellan added.
A 'person of authority' from the commonwealth also took part in the unsuccessful mediation after it failed to finalise its settlement with Mr Ashby.
Last week, the federal government announced it had settled its case with Mr Ashby for $50,000 and a pledge to provide training for MPs and parliamentary staff to prevent sexual harassment, but the settlement hit some difficulties.
As well as the original sexual harassment case and the commonwealth settlement, the parties were also negotiating on Mr Slipper's application to throw out the case as an abuse of process.
He came under fire earlier in the day after entering the court in a government car through the private car park, avoiding the media.
A Federal Court spokesman said Mr Slipper did not have permission to use the car park entrance.
'The expectation is that all litigants enter and exit court buildings through public entrances,' the spokesman said.
Justice Steven Rares will now hear the matter in the Federal Court on Thursday.
He has repeatedly expressed his concern about the need to resolve the case, saying it 'cries out for a resolution'.
Mr Slipper left the court by the main exit at 9.35pm (AEST) and got into a commonwealth car.
He made no comment to waiting journalists other than to say: 'Good evening, everyone.'