Mark Dreyfus MP

Member for Isaacs
Contact Mark
(03) 9580 4651
Volunteer

ABC Corrects Porter ­- No Apology, No Damages, No Takedown, No Regrets

07 June 2021

The ABC has today directly contradicted the wild claims made by former Attorney-General Christian Porter about his failed defamation action.

MARK DREYFUS
SHADOW ATTORNEY-GENERAL
SHADOW MINISTER FOR CONSTITUTIONAL REFORM
MEMBER FOR ISAACS 
 
 
ABC CORRECTS PORTER ­- NO APOLOGY, NO DAMAGES, NO TAKEDOWN, NO REGRETS

The ABC has today directly contradicted the wild claims made by former Attorney-General Christian Porter about his failed defamation action.
 
ABC Managing Director David Anderson today told Senate Estimates:
“the ABC has not issued an apology. The ABC stands by its journalism. The article in question is still online, it remains unchanged and available for everyone to see it.”
 
ABC General Counsel Connie Carnabuci was just as blunt:
“the story remains online subject to an editor's note. The mediation costs of $100,000, no damages, no other costs payment.”
 
The ABC also revealed that Mr Porter knew his claim – that the ABC had been forced to express regret for Ms Milligan’s article – was false, as he had agreed to the wording of its editor’s note which included no such statement.
 
The truth is that Mr Porter’s bluff cost taxpayers $780,000 in legal and mediation costs, and Mr Porter has nothing to show for it.
 
Mr Porter did everything in his power to stop the ABC arguing the truth of the allegations, and even today he is still trying to suppress the ABC’s legal defences.
 
In the end, Mr Porter was forced to accept a settlement that involved no take down of the story, no apology and no damages – and with the ABC agreeing to pay for mediation costs only. The ABC’s decision to settle the action without paying a single cent in damages to Mr Porter has undoubtedly saved taxpayers money given that, even if the ABC had been successful at trial, it would not have been able to recover all of its costs from Mr Porter. .
 
As Labor said from day one, Mr Porter’s defamation action was never a substitute for a proper independent examination of Mr Porter’s fitness to serve as a minister.  
  
The Prime Minister should stop making excuses. 
  
It is now time for him to take these allegations seriously and show some leadership and hold an independent inquiry to satisfy all Australians that Mr Porter is a fit and proper person to serve in Federal Cabinet. 
 
MONDAY, 7 JUNE 2021