Campbell Newman and Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney sue Alan Jones for defamation

January 23, 2015 2:31 am
Queensland Premier Campbell Newman and Deputy Premier
Jeff Seeney are suing broadcaster Alan Jones and Brisbane Radio station
4BC for aggravated damages over comments Mr Jones made in broadcasts
this week during the state election campaign.
Alan Jones is being sued over his comments about the Acland coal mine. (AAP)

In a statement of
claim filed yesterday in the Supreme Court in Brisbane and obtained by
the ABC, Mr Newman and Mr Seeney claim each of them has been “greatly
injured in his credit and reputation” by Mr Jones’ broadcasts.
pair are suing over three broadcasts, made on the mornings of January
19, 20, and 21 in which Mr Jones said Mr Newman had lied to him about
plans for the expansion of the New Hope coal mine at Acland on the
Darling Downs in southern Queensland.
Mr Newman and Mr Seeney, who
gave their addresses as Liberal National Party (LNP) headquarters in
Brisbane, argue in the statement of claim that they were defamed by Mr
Jones when he claimed the LNP received a “bribe” of $700,000 from the
owners of the mine in the form of donations to the party and this
induced Mr Newman and Mr Seeney to approve the expansion plan.
are also being sought over Mr Jones’s remarks on January 19 that Mr
Newman had “prostituted himself” because of the donation and lied in a
press release issued in February 2012 in which the then-opposition
leader said the LNP would not approve the expansion if elected.
plaintiffs said they were seeking aggravated damages because of “the
sensational language, tone and prominence of the matters complained of”
and because Mr Jones made the remarks in his broadcasts “knowing them to
be false or with reckless indifference to their truth or falsity and
lacking an honest belief in what he published”.
Mr Newman and Mr
Seeney are seeking general compensatory damages, aggravated damages,
interest and costs. No specific figure was mentioned.
Mr Jones on his show this morning acknowledged he had received the statement of claim.
have been waiting to hear from Campbell Newman for a long time –
goodness knows how many times I’ve communicated with him on a range of
issues and those communications have been unanswered,” he said.
“So imagine my surprise yesterday when I did receive correspondence running to 35 pages from him and his sidekick, Jeff Seeney.
to hear from you Mr Newman … you remain a bit of a political novice
if you think that’s the way to win an election or to silence people, you
need to actually think again but thanks for writing.”
Earlier this week, Jones said the Newman Government had an appalling track record and was “as bad as anything we’ve ever seen in government in Australia anywhere”.
The LNP has confirmed it will be funding the defamation action, as it was initiated by Mr Newman.
Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk said the Premier’s decision to
launch the defamation suit against Mr Jones was “typical”.
Boring is over. Here we go, back to the fights, back to the fights, the
dysfunction that we have seen, the chaos over the last three years.
Campbell Newman, the Operation Boring is completely over and he’s just
back to being himself,” she said.

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