Fairfax Media

Joe Hockey sues Fairfax for defamation. Who’s his legal adviser, Craig Thomson?

Treasurer Joe Hockey is suing Fairfax Media for defamation and initiated proceedings today in the Federal Court of Australia. To me it is clear political suicide but that is up to Joe Hockey. It relates to front-page articles headlined “Treasurer For Sale” on May the 5th in the The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Canberra Times and their online services.

The first part of the May 5th article in the SMH starts off:

“Treasurer for sale: Joe Hockey offers privileged access”

“Treasurer Joe Hockey is offering privileged access to a select group including business people and industry lobbyists in return for tens of thousands of dollars in donations to the Liberal Party via a secretive fund-raising body whose activities are not fully disclosed to election funding authorities.”

“The Independent Commission Against Corruption is probing Liberal fund-raising bodies such as the Millennium Forum and questioning their influence on political favours in NSW.”

“Mr Hockey offers access to one of the country’s highest political offices in return for annual payments.”

“The donors are members of the North Sydney Forum, a campaign fundraising body run by Mr Hockey’s North Sydney Federal Electoral Conference (FEC). In return for annual fees of up to $22,000, members are rewarded with “VIP” meetings with Mr Hockey, often in private boardrooms.” (Click here to read more)

Didn’t the Liberals learn anything from the Craig Thomson defamation proceedings. If Fairfax Media do not settle and I suspect they will not, then a lot of media attention is going to be on Hockey and his financial dealings for a long time and most likely right up to the next election. A lot of people see the dealings as being dodgy even if they are not illegal. I can’t and most people cannot afford a lazy $22,000 to get a meeting with Hockey or most politicians for that matter.

Joe Hockey should have just forgot about it and moved on.

Maybe Hockey has had a rush of blood watching how well Australia’s number one perjurer Kerry Stokes is doing in his lawsuit against me. If that is the case then it is a major mistake because in a few weeks or so it will become obvious that perjury boy Stokes is not doing well at all.

I checked the Federal Court website and Hockey is using the law firm Johnson Winter and Slattery Lawyers and most likely Top Gun defamation lawyer Mark O’Brien who is a partner at the firm although it could be another lawyer there. I wonder if either party will use the compulsive liar and Pop Gun defamation barrister Sandy Dawson.

It is interesting that Joe Hockey has chosen the Federal Court instead of the NSW Supreme Court. It is possible that Fairfax Media will challenge on jurisdiction grounds as defamation is not something that the Federal Court normally deals with and whether or not they have jurisdiction has never been fully tested to my knowledge. I think the choice might have something to do with Joe Hockey trying to avoid a jury trial, which is fairly standard in the Supreme Court unlike the Federal Court which has never had a jury trial.

I hope it does go to trail as it will give this site plenty of material. It is set down for a directions hearing at 9.30am the 12th June in court room 21B before Justice Peter Jacobson. Is Jacobson honest? No he’s a grub and I know because I’ve had dealings with him but more on that next time.

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28 replies »

  1. I hope Joe is successful with his action. Despite what some people might think, the majority of pollies of the Liberal persuasion have to fundraise continually via a local committee to fund election campaigns. They do not have the luxury of skimming off union funds to pay the high cost of running campaigns like I believe the Labor Party do. It is usually left to enthusiastic local Liberal committees to organise raffles, auctions, dinners and social events which trickle in the funds.
    Maybe it is time for some proper rules to be drawn up whereby a recognised and legal fund is established and monies dished out by that body as required and it may have to be taxpayer’s money!

  2. As a CONSTITUTIONALIST I have addressed the issue of Ministers of the Crown to charge for access to them and view this is an abuse of power/position. Ministers are not appointed because they are members of a particular political party (albeit the convention is they generally are drawn from the political party with the most Members of Parliament in the House of Representatives, Ministers are commissioned to be advisors to the Governor-General and on his behalf manage a Department for and on behalf of all Australians, not just their own party members. they may have their political views but that must take second place as the general community must be their primary focus even if this means to abandon certain political views.

    • There is nothing constitutional about party politics except for its dubious insertion under false referencing in 1984.The question asked was not a constitutional one!





  5. As you know I am not a legal eagle, however I live in Victoria and we only have the ABC and Fairfax, and during the last week or so the lies, which have been broadcast have been unbelievable, and I am sure, they are lies.
    The liberal party has always raised funds that way, we did raise funds for the schools in that way too many years ago.
    What is the matter with people, honestly I think that the ALP, which has raised money through the unions and workers must belong to a Union to get a job is more stinky to me.
    May be, there is a limit of how much Fairfax can get away with and to be honest I hope
    Joe Hockey wins this’
    The same as I sincerely hope, you will win of that Stokes fellow, who seems to think he is somebody special.

    And politically, I am getting sick and tired of people complaining about the new government, who are trying to bring Australia back from the brink and people only complain about losses, that they not even will experience, most of them do, not even know the real facts of the new policies.

    • Hear! hear! nottwisatedyet. I live on disability after paying tax for many years but am happy to do my bit to try to fix the mess left by the Rudd/Gillard/Rudd Government. God help us if Shorten takes the reigns. He would not have a clue about what to do to fix the mess that Australia has been left in. All Labor know how to do is Spend,(waste) spend,(waste) spend (waste) and them borrow to spend (waste) even more….even borrow to pay the interest on the massive debt…now that is TWISTED!

    • You have Andrew Bolt and channel nine, now that more than evens-up any bias media in Victoria. Oh and you get both Karl and Koshie for stimulting breakfast TV, so there you go Libs have more than their fair share of right-wings “journalism”….

  6. I am so very sick of the MSM and in particular the ABC and Fairfax thinking that they can say anything they like about the Coalition Government and get away with it. Out right lies but still they feed it to the gullible readers/listeners who hang off every word as if it is gospel. Time they were held to account for their actions. Hockey was lambasted for dancing with his wife to a song of his sons choosing and you would think by the headlines that he had killed someone, or at the least committed armed robbery. I hope he wins the case and Fairfax are held to account for their lies and deception of the Australian public, all in their quest to reinstall Labor and Greens back into government to finish off the job of ruining Australia financially beyond fixing.

  7. How good it is to read these comments, thank you! If we don’t stand by this Government, nothing can save us! Sure, it is a tough budget, but we knew that it had to correct Labor failures, and the disgusting way Coalition members are being treated has to stop! Good luck to Joe Hockey and I pray that he defeats the SMH, and that the Justice system is fair and honest!

  8. Anything written about Joe Hockey in May would have attracted more attention because of the upcoming May Budget and Fairfax knew that.

    One has to look at the headline for the article in the context of the times it was written. We’ve had weeks and weeks of NSW ICAC hearings on political corruption involving access to politicians and illegal fundraising. To the average reader, the headline implies a connect with Joe Hockey to political corruption. It seems a deliberate action by Fairfax to mislead with its headline.

    Further into the article there is a suggestion that Hockey’s consideration of changes to the FOFA will favour the financial institutions that have paid for VIP access to him –

    “The FSC’s members, including financial advice and funds management firms, stand to benefit from the changes to the Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) laws being considered by the federal government, which would involve a winding back of consumer protections introduced by Labor.

    The National Australia Bank would also benefit from the changes.”

    and a further suggestion that the Coalition government will be influenced by a certain person in relation to the Fair Work Act and possible changes to penalty rates

    “The chairman of the North Sydney Forum is John Hart, who is also the chief executive of Restaurant and Catering Australia – a hospitality industry lobby group whose members stand to benefit from a government-ordered Productivity Commission review of the Fair Work Act that is expected to examine the issue of penalty rates.”

    It was indeed a grubby article that needed Court action to clear Hockey’s good name.

  9. Seriously, are you really surprised Shane? Joe Hockey has always been an idiot. Regards, Warren Olsen

  10. Government ministers are servants of the ‘people’ (they pledge to serve) so can Joe Hockey take an individualistic stand to sue another individual for defamation.
    Fairfax’s statement was aimed at a government member in office, so shouldn’t the statement be taken as aimed at the government representing The Crown which are ‘the people’.
    Looked at from this angle, the judge, also a servant of the people, should find Fairfax to be guilty.
    There is a big gap between a convicted criminal, Thompson, and Joe Hockey.

  11. Joe has used to oldest trick there is, go to a court where you will be tossed out, that way Joe can huff and puff what a big boy he is and ready to sue, without ever having to go to evidence! In Joe’s mind its never been done before, nobody will be awake to what he is up to!

  12. I don’t blame Joe, after all it was good enough for Old silver budgie to sue with great success and add to his wealth anyone he thought slighted his name by speaking the truth., it might make them think before they write libelous comments. Go Joe.

    • I would say , you would just get the hear his bull—t in person for $22.000. We pay them $88 million dollars + a year ,and now we have to pay to speak to them, what a joke , just plain greedy!!

      I used to think he was an alright bloke , until the power went to his head , my God hasn’t he changed his stripes, since his new position .

      Well ,we wont have to put up with them for too much longer , soon as new election comes they will all be surely gone.

      Moderator: Rest deleted as heading way off topic.

  13. I hope Joe has good luck with his legal battle, some of these reporters think they can get away with murder, why don’t they pick on some of the real grubs in the politics department like Shorten and Rudd they have plenty to answer to. I have met Joe Hockey in Bunbury and he struck me as a very genuine poitician and has a very difficult job clearing up the mess that Rudd and Gillard left behind.Allan from Myalup WA.

  14. The entire New South Wales election funding issue consequential from the Labor government funding laws, is one big fraud as is ICAC’s investigation of it. The High Court found in favour of the unions in a challenge when O’Farrell tried to ban donations altogether by any organisation allowing a max of $5000 from individuals only thereby cleaning up the whole issue. The legislation now clearly favours the unions and Labor and has the effect of preventing the Liberals from raising anything like the funds the ACTU/ALP can, because Labor and the unions exchange money (and therefore government favours when in power) between each other by listing donations on a per capita basis eg a $100,000 cheque can legally go to Sussex street from the ACTU together with a list of one thousand unionists names at $100 per head, the ACTU lie that they are simply the donation coordinators. Clearly this is not available to the Liberals and so Labor have a huge advantage over the Liberals and the Greens. It’s amazing the laws have not been challenged by the developers, the gambling and hotel industries because the High Court has in effect found in their favour by finding in favour of the unions. Either we allow private election funding or we don’t and the High Court has said we must allow it. Some industry has to initiate a challenge on behalf of the donors to the Liberals and stop the farce that is the ICAC enquiry.

    • We need a federal ICAC… The Liberal Party supporters were happy when it was the ALP were under the pump but now ICAC’s effectiveness has cast a wider net the glitterarty party are choking on their grange… But what the hell, you maintain your rage and sleep sound in the knowledge that the your turn/my turn of Australian governance from both the major party’s is alive an well… Up to the point of mainstream Australians finally being so disgusted with their flawed representation that they finally seek a viable third option… That is the day I live for!

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