In September 2017 Alan wrote an article in Independent Australia responding to an article in another online journal critical of the Human Rights Commission. Alan’s analysis pointed out several factual inaccuracies in that article, which included the false and damaging allegation that it was “Austin himself who is exposed as peddling 'fake news'.”
Instead of debating the issues through normal online channels, the author of the other article commenced defamation action against Alan and his publisher in a Queensland court.
This pursuit of damages from Alan has just been discontinued. It remains now for Alan to meet the costs of resisting this legal action over the last two and a half years. His friends and colleagues are adamant that this was not a legal battle Alan sought, that his article was 100% true and accurate and hence he should not have to bear the costs alone.
In 2018, a GoFundMe campaign raised some money for legal costs. Further funds are now needed to finalise this completely.
Alan has been a journalist for more than 40 years, having served with the ABC, World Vision Australia, the Uniting Church and many independent news outlets. He has won several prestigious awards in Australia and abroad. He currently writes regularly for Independent Australia, Michael West Media and other journals in Australia and abroad.
Alan has never had an adverse finding against him by any tribunal or professional body anywhere relating to factual inaccuracy or breach of media codes of ethics. Not ever.
Why this is important
It was vital that Alan resisted the claims of defamation. Not just to protect the Human Rights Commission and Professor Triggs. But to ensure other publications legitimately debating matters of public interest are not deterred. It is vital now that this can be finalised with community support for the resistance Alan and his colleagues have shown.
Alan’s advisers were always confident his analysis was not actionable. And thus it has proved.
So your generous support for this fund is requested, and will be greatly appreciated.
Disbursements and auditing of funds
The proceeds of this appeal will pay the final legal bills and reimburse expenses already incurred.
Payments will go into a Commonwealth Bank account in Melbourne in the name of Alan Austin.
This fund will be audited by Melbourne lawyer/accountant Simon G Mann .
Contact: media and other
To contact this fund, please click the small green envelope icon at top right. Further information is available. Media inquiries welcome. We will post updates.
Please share this page with others who may wish to assist. Thank you.
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