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Christian Porter questions ABC defamation defence

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Former attorney-general Christian Porter is seeking to strike out parts of the ABC’s defence in defamation proceedings concerning historical rape allegations.

The public broadcaster’s defence contains material that is “evasive or ambiguous” and/or scandalous, according to an application filed on behalf of Mr Porter.

The ABC filed its defence on Tuesday but it is yet to be released by the Federal Court.

Mr Porter in March launched defamation action against the ABC and journalist Louise Milligan for publishing what he says are “false accusations” he was the subject of historical rape allegations.


The woman at the centre of the allegations died in June 2020.

The West Australian MP has since the publication of the report changed roles from attorney-general to industry, science and technology minister.

Mr Porter’s application, filed Wednesday and published Thursday afternoon, seeks to strike out one paragraph of the defence and three schedules.

It also seeks an order preventing publication of the three schedules until further order of the court.

The material in the schedules is of a scandalous, frivolous or vexatious nature, is evasive or ambiguous, or are otherwise an abuse of the process of the court, Mr Porter’s application claims.

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The court is also asked to order the ABC to provide more information on certain denials outlined in the defence.

The parties are due to face off in court for the first time on Friday morning, before Justice Jayne Jagot.



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