Christian Porter sues ABC and journalist Louise Milligan for defamation over historic rape allegations

Attorney General Christian Porter has launched a defamation campaign against the ABC and journalist Louise Milligan.

Porter is suing the public broadcaster for making “false allegations” against him in an online story alleging that he was the subject of historical rape allegations.

The legal lawsuit also targets a report aired in November alleging he was a misogynist and sexist.

His attorneys have accused the ABC of running a media case and Milligan of acting maliciously, which damaged Porter’s reputation.

“If ABC and Ms. Milligan want to argue the truth of the allegations, they can do so in this trial,” Attorney Rebekah Giles said in a statement Monday.

“Under the Defamation Act, ABC and Ms. Milligan are free to rely on the truth in defense of this action and to prove the allegations against the lower civil standards.”

Thousands of people have signed a petition demanding the dismissal of Attorney General Christian Porter. Credit: AAP

Giles and his colleague Sue Chrysanthou jointly represented Brittany Higgins in her settlement against Secretary of Defense Linda Reynolds.

They argue that the attorney general has been tried by the media for several weeks, regardless of the presumption of innocence, rules of evidence, or the proper disclosure of material alleged to support the allegations.

“The media process should end now when this process begins,” said Giles.

“The claims of ABC and Ms. Milligan will be decided in a court in a procedurally fair process. Mr. Porter will have the opportunity, and exercise, to produce evidence to deny these false allegations under oath. “

The defamation lawsuit comes days after a former friend offered to testify about his talks with both parties about the allegations of the woman Porter accused of rape.

More than 80,000 people have signed a petition calling for Porter’s suspension as attorney general for the rape allegations he denied.

The Prime Minister remains under continued pressure as he continues to insist that the police have dealt with the historical allegations and that no further action is required.

Porter has taken an indefinite mental health vacation, but Scott Morrison firmly believes he will be welcomed back to the cabinet.

SCOTT MORRISON MOTOR PRESSERPrime Minister Scott Morrison faces further calls for an investigation into Christian Porter. Credit: AAP

Treasury Secretary Simon Birmingham rejected proposals that the government would be out of touch with community expectations.

“I think Australians expect proper legal procedures to be followed in combating such allegations,” he told ABC Radio.

“These legal processes were used by the NSW police as described.

“Of course there are legal processes related to the tragic death (of the woman concerned) and those processes are ongoing in South Australia and we should let them run their course.”

Porter’s former wife was among thousands of Western Australians marching through Perth on Sunday in protest against gender discrimination and violence.

Thousands more march into the parliament building in Canberra on Monday.

Other rallies will take place in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

Porter’s absence hinders reform in the workplace

Big deal calls on the government to press ahead with controversial labor law reform despite Porter’s vacation hindering Crossbench negotiations.

Porter, the Minister for Industrial Relations, will not be in Parliament this week. This is the last session of the Senate until the May budget.

Nation leader Pauline Hanson and party colleague Malcolm Roberts will meet with Porter’s temporary substitute senator Michaelia Cash on Monday.

But the other three small parties and independent senators have signaled that they are unlikely to negotiate the legislation without Porter.

The Secretary of State for Employment, Senator Michaelia Cash, with Scott Morrison.Michaelia Cash takes over the management of labor law negotiations in the absence of Christian Porter. Credit: AAP

The government needs three of the five Crossbench Senators to support the Omnibus Labor Relations Act, which will be debated in the House of Lords on Tuesday.

A powerful coalition of employers has urged the coalition government to pass the law this week, arguing that there is no valid reason for the delay.

The joint declaration is signed by the heads of the Australian Chamber of Commerce, the Australian Industry Group, the Australian Mines and Metals Association and the Business Council of Australia.

The Australian Retailers Association, the Master Builders Association, the Restaurant & Catering Industry Association, and the Nationals Farmers’ Federation are also represented.

“Failure to vote on the bill increases uncertainty and confidence in companies at the worst possible time – just before the end of the JobKeeper program and as companies make important decisions about employee retention,” the group says.

Government Senate Chairman Simon Birmingham said negotiations with Crossbench would address any issues that Senators have raised.Government Senate Chairman Simon Birmingham said negotiations with Crossbench would address any issues that Senators have raised. Credit: MICK TSIKAS/.AAPIMAGE

Crossbench trio Rex Patrick, Stirling Griff and Jacqui Lambie have raised concerns about parts of the bill related to casual work.

Government Senate Chairman Simon Birmingham said negotiations with Crossbench would address any issues that Senators have raised.

But he said the talks would not be necessary if Labor supported the legislation.

“This is a bill that increases penalties related to wage theft. It is a bill that deals with bogus contracts,” said Senator Birmingham.

“It’s a bill that provides more security in terms of casual work and greater opportunities in terms of part-time employment.”

After that week, the Senate will only sit three days into the budget week before returning in mid-June.

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