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Defamation Laws-Common Sense Prevails

Nick Mckim

Nick Mckim  -  Thursday, 5 February 2015

Tags: Freedom of Speech, Justice, Public Service

After not even knowing what a SLAPP suit was during Budget Estimates last year, Attorney General Vanessa Goodwin's education is now complete as she has backed down from her draconian attempt to introduce gag laws in Tasmania.

"We are very pleased that the Attorney General has backed down. It's a win for freedom of speech and a win for environmentalists who want to tell the truth about what's happening in our forests without the threat of facing a SLAPP suit (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation),” Greens Justice spokesperson Nick McKim MP said today.

"Dr Goodwin's claim that she has been listening to Tasmanians is laughable. She has backed down because Attorneys General around Australia, including many from the Liberal Party, were horrified at the forum shopping and the breakdown in national consistency that would have occurred."

"She has clearly forgotten that the Liberals in the Tasmanian parliament voted for the nationally consistent approach that she was trying to dismantle."

"If she was really listening to Tasmanians why did she develop such draconian legislation in the first place, and why did she wait until the embarrassment had reached humiliating proportions before acting?"

"If the government withdraws its decision to sack over 250 teachers from our public education system then we can truly believe that they have started listening," Mr McKim said.