T. L. McDERMOTT
BARRISTER & SOLICITOR
1st FLOOR, 149b MACQUARIE St., HOBART 7000
27 August 1998
71-75 Paterson Street
LAUNCESTON TAS 7250
ATTENTION MR ROD SCOTT
Re TASMANIA FIRST PARTY & COLUMNIST NICK EVERS.
I refer to my telephone conversation with Mr Rod Scott today. On behalf of the Tasmania First party I lodge a complaint about the gratuitous comments of Nick Evers concerning Tasmania First which is penned as a final paragraph to an article whose heading would seem to indicate that it was to be an article on the “Greens”.
The phrase “nevertheless, Tasmania First – a sort of mirror image of One Nation” is an unsustainable opinion. It is not balanced reporting. It is unfair reporting and to the reasonable independent observer it might well be regarded as biased.
Tasmania First and One Nation may have policies in common but I venture to say there is no party in Australia that does not. However the words “a mirror image” clearly mean that Tasmania First has the same type of race policy which has been vilifies by the media and many individuals.
The statement is clearly defamatory and unless there is a retraction in tomorrow’s Examiner legal proceedings will be commenced both against your paper as publisher and Mr Evers.
In respect of the observation that “their visibility is less than spectacular”, “spectacular” can hardly be a fair comment concerning the candidate for Lyons David Pickford, who, as press reports and polls show, has a good chance of taking the fifth seat in Lyons.
Unless there is a retraction or apology published in tomorrow’s paper a writ will issue against your newspaper and Nick Evers and a complaint will be made to the appropriate media body.
In any event a spokesperson for Tasmania First should be entitled to a reasonable space to rebut Mr Ever’s opinion.
T. L. McDermott.
“Pauline Hanson’s One Nation party as unable to field candidates under the party banner because it failed to register the party in time. Nevertheless, Tasmania First – a sort of local mirror image of One Nation – has a full book of candidates in all electorates.”