28.2 C
Byron Shire
February 3, 2023

Slipper says he’s been vindicated

Latest News

Go Thistles!

Lismore Thistles Soccer Club has launched the Thistles Acceleration Program, in the process becoming the city’s only player development academy. 

Other News

Saint Bob of the Greens in Lennox Head

With hardly a vacant seat in the auditorium, Bob Brown kept the party faithful’s eyes, ears and hearts glued...

A play that puzzles and delights

The multi-award-winning play is a puzzle of scenes that are slowly put together by the audience to tell the...

Swivel flop-flop

Not sure what Cr Swivel is doing. But while he appears to be providing support for both sides of...

The greater good

Byron Council has ratified the International Charter of Human Rights, complete with fine legal minds that developed a Charter...

Better outcomes start with teachers who believe in inclusive education

For all students – particularly those with additional needs – a teacher who doesn't believe in inclusive education can be harmful.

Dr Philip Nitschke to visit Lismore

Controversial founder and director of the pro-euthanasia group Exit International, Dr Philip Nitschke will hold a free public meeting on NSW’s new Voluntary Assisted Dying Act at the Lismore Workers Club on Saturday.

Peter Slipper leaves the ACT Magistrates court in Canberra. (file pic)
Peter Slipper leaves the ACT Magistrates court in Canberra. (file pic)

Former house of representatives speaker Peter Slipper says sexual harassment claims by a former staff member caused enormous personal stress which require ongoing psychiatric treatment.

Mr Slipper said he’d now been vindicated by the decision of James Ashby to drop his sexual harassment claim.

He said the impact of those allegations had been ‘immeasurable and irreparable.’

‘The allegations brought by Mr Ashby have caused enormous personal stress which has required ongoing psychiatric and psychological treatment and many weeks of inpatient hospital care,’ he said in a statement on Wednesday.

‘My mental illness  is both ongoing and debilitating.’

Mr Ashby announced on Wednesday he would drop his legal action.

That started in 2012 when he revealed lurid details of alleged sexual harassment by Mr Slipper, then the Labor government-appointed house speaker.

His appointment was highly controversial as it had increased Labor’s majority in the finely balanced parliament. At the height of the scandal, Mr Slipper stood down from the speaker job.

In a scathing decision in 2012, Federal Court Justice Steven Rares threw out Mr Ashby’s case, finding his main purpose was to pursue a political attack against Mr Slipper.

However, the full bench of the Federal Court reversed that decision and the case was set to proceed on June 30.

Mr Ashby said he was aware of reports Mr Slipper was mentally unwell and he did not want to continue lengthy proceedings that could cause further harm.

‘After deep reflection and consultation with those close to me, I now have decided to seek leave to discontinue my Federal Court action against Peter Slipper,” he said in a statement.

‘This has been an intense and emotionally draining time for me and my family, taking its toll on us all.’

Mr Ashby also cited the potential costs, given the Abbott government had confirmed the Commonwealth continued to cover Mr Slipper’s legal fees.

He said this kind of ‘deep pocket litigation’ was fundamentally unfair for an ordinary person seeking justice.

Mr Slipper said the decision came as a complete surprise and it meant no court had ever found sexual harassment occurred.

‘I very much regret that these horrendous allegations have meant that I was never able to complete my reform agenda for the House of Representatives,’ he said.

However, Mr Slipper, 64, still faces three criminal charges relating to dishonest use of a taxpayer-funded Cabcharge card for trips to wineries near Canberra in 2010, before he became speaker.

After failing in a Supreme Court bid to have those charges thrown out of court, he’s now set to argue they should be dropped on grounds of his mental illness. That’s listed for the ACT Magistrates Court for next Wednesday.


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Pothole protest gets immediate results

Psst: want to get Council staff to do something about the appalling state of roads in your neighbourhood? Organise a protest outside Mullum’s Council Chambers! By...

What’s Love Got to Do with It?

Art imitates life in What’s Love Got to Do with It? a 2022 British romantic comedy-drama film directed by Shekhar Kapur, from a screenplay by Jemima Khan.  The precis reads: ‘Set between London and Lahore, a filmmaker documents her childhood friend and neighbour’s arranged marriage to a bride from Pakistan.’

We’ve had the rain bomb, is a fire bomb next?

We had the Black Summer fires and then the floods and NSW Farmers says time is running out to prevent more mass bushfires at the end of this year.

A smorgasbord of flicks

This year’s smorgasbord of over 40 incredible short films are handpicked from a record 3,200 entries received for Flickerfest’s Academy® and BAFTA Qualifying short-film festival screened recently in Bondi, and Northern Rivers audiences are the first in Australia to experience the best of Flickerfest on tour. Highlights enjoying their Northern Rivers premiere include recent Academy® nominees and much-loved festival award winners alongside exciting, fresh, local talent.