How the ABC spent almost $200,000 of YOUR money on defamation costs for a tweet sent by star reporter Louise Milligan
- ABC managing director David Anderson defended $200,000 defamation spend
- Liberal MP Andrew Laming sued national broadcaster over reporter tweets
The ABC has defended spending almost $200,000 in taxpayer funds on lawyers after a star reporter wrongly accused a Liberal MP on Twitter of up-skirting women.
Backbencher Andrew Laming sued the national broadcaster in June after Four Corners journalist Louise Milligan told her social media followers the Brisbane-based backbencher had taken inappropriate photographs of women in public places – an allegation he denied.
The whole affair has cost taxpayers $184,000 so far, following an order from Federal Court judge Anna Katzmann in August.
ABC managing director David Anderson has confirmed $79,000 had been given to Dr Laming in damages plus $30,000 in legal costs but conceded the total cost was likely to exceed $200,000.
The ABC has defending spending almost $200,000 in taxpayer funds defending a star reporter Louise Milligan after she tweeted about a Liberal MP
‘That is not the total cost yet. There is still more to come,’ he confirmed to the Senate Environment and Communications committee on Tuesday night.
‘I don’t believe that to be a significant amount.’
In March, Crystal White complained to police, alleging Dr Laming photographed her underwear showing at the top of her denim shorts as she stacked a bar fridge for a landscaping supplies company in 2019.
Dr Laming, the member for Bowman in Brisbane, insisted the photo was ‘dignified’ and simply showed ‘someone trying to fit an impossible amount of stock into a fridge’ – and was cleared by police who found ‘no evidence to indicate a criminal offence’.
Milligan published four tweets on March 28, beginning with a statement that Dr Laming was one of the names ‘volunteered to me in off the record conversation with women staffers & politicians’ when she was researching for Inside the Canberra Bubble.
The November 2020 Four Corners episode purported to unveil a negative culture towards women in Parliament House.
Backbencher Andrew Laming sued the national broadcaster in June after Four Corners journalist Louise Milligan told her social media followers the Brisbane-based backbencher had taken inappropriate photographs of women in public places – an allegation he denied