Campbell Newman Cost QLD $525k ‘Cos He Wouldn’t Apologise For Being A Jerk

Fair to say that Campbell Newman‘s binning from State Government by the Queensland voters was one of the more spectacular ones in recent political memory.

The man who took the Liberal National Party to the largest majority ever seen in a QLD parliament, only to watch it crash and burn in a stunning 2015 election loss is apparently not done costing the taxpayers of Queensland money.
A lingering civil defamation case levelled against both Newman and his former Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie has apparently been quietly settled out of court by the former Premier, with the people of Queensland set to foot a bill that runs to the tune of $525,000.
Solicitors Chris and Daniel Hannay filed the libel lawsuit against Newman, after the then-Premier lambasted the duo, who were representing known bikies, and labelled them as little more than “part of the criminal gang machine.”
In February 2014, reports surfaced that the Hannays had advised clients not to appear in court together due to fears they could be arrested under Queensland’s strict and highly controversial “anti-association” laws that were aimed specifically at curbing bikie activity.
Newman, pressed for questioning by the media, responded with an extraordinary diatribe in which he inferred that the lawyers were criminals themselves.

“I’m sure that’s completely disingenuous from the defence lawyers concerned and I am sure they have ways of dealing with that. That is just nonsense.”

“These people are hired guns. They take money from people who sell drugs to our teenagers and young people.”

“Yes, everybody’s got a right to be defended under the law, but you’ve got to see it for what it is, they are part of the machine, part of the criminal gang machine and they will see, say and do anything to defend their clients and try to get them off or indeed progress their sort of case, their dishonest case.”

Bleijie was involved in the case after he made comments a day after Newman’s rant that provided clarification that the words were in specific reference to the Hannays.

The brothers filed the suit in April that year, seeking some $1.2million in aggravated damages.
Now it’s understood that the suit has been quietly settled out-of-court, with the Hannays awarded the $525,000 sum in damages.
Newman and Bleijie, it’s believed, could have had the sum reduced significantly if they’d simply issued a public apology. Instead, they offered a mere face-to-face apology; an offer that was rejected by the Hannay brothers.
The bill that will be shouldered entirely by the QLD taxpayer is likely to run far higher than the $525k settlement, due to Newman and Bleijie likely also eating the legal costs bill from both parties involved in the case.
Queensland Parliament political convention provides indemnity coverage for all politicians who are sued in the course of their duties.
He’s been out of office for a solid 16 months, but the ugly legacy of Campbell Newman still lingers on for the state of Queensland. Good times.

Source: The Guardian.
Photo: Glenn Hunt/Getty.