26.3 C
Byron Shire
February 23, 2024

Slipper says he’s been vindicated

Latest News

Knitting Nannas get behind Save Wallum campaign

With porcelain tea cups, lace-covered tables and plenty of knitting the Knitting Nannas Against Greed (KNAG) headed to the...

Other News

Naked rally in Byron as gov’t agency calls time on ‘nude’ beach

Around 150 people rallied in support of a clothing-optional section of beach in the Byron Shire on Sunday, many of them nude.

Dear Justine

Would you kindly advise what your government is doing to signal its respect for the International Court of Justice’s...

Editorial – Prosecuting publishers

WikiLeaks founder and Australian citizen, Julian Assange, will soon face possibly his final court hearing in the UK High Court of Justice over whether he should be extradited to the US to face spying charges. 

NSW Aboriginal Land Councils elections this weekend

Elections for members of NSW Aboriginal Land Councils (NSWALC) are on this weekend and NSWALC CEO Yuseph Deen stresses the critical significance of active participation in shaping the future of Aboriginal communities in New South Wales.

New programs and plenty of tennis have flowed from tennis court upgrades in Suffolk Park

Suffolk Park Tennis is in full swing after court enhancements and the introduction of a full program since then. The...

Government amends Biosecurity (Fire Ants) Emergency Order

As the spread of fire ants into the north of the state becomes more apparent, the NSW Government has made amendments to the Biosecurity (Fire Ants) Emergency Order in an attempt to stem fire ant migration.

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

NPWS wants to remove beach nudity option

For 26 years, Tyagarah Beach has been an oasis for the region’s naturist community – a space where bodies of all shapes and sizes could roam free without threat of fines or reprimands.

‘Key workers’ removed from Ballina Council’s housing project as Mayor seeks full market rents

Essential workers were the losers at the recent Ballina Council meeting when councillors actively removed the category for ‘key workers’ from their development of rental housing on land it owns in Wollongbar.

Tried catching a bus to TAFE or work in the Northern Rivers – it’s a serious challange

Getting around the Northern Rivers is no easy task without your own transport. Young people are unable to attend TAFE, and you can’t catch public transport to work due to the impossible timing of, and lack of access to, public transport. 

Community tree planting in Mullum Feb 24

Want to help locally to care for our environment and plant trees for our wildlife?