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V’landys loses ABC defamation appeal

V’landys loses ABC defamation appeal

Racing NSW chief executive Peter V’landys has failed in his bid to have a judgement dismissing his defamation case against the Australian Broadcasting Corporation for its 7.30 report aired in 2019 alleging cruelty to racehorses within the industry.
However, in a judgement handed down yesterday, the Full Court of the Federal Court lambasted the public broadcaster and journalist Caro Meldrum-Hanna for “very shabbily” treating V’landys and called the report “not high-quality journalism.”
Justice Steven Rares said in the judgement that Meldrum-Hanna did not seek comment from V’landys on specific matters before the broadcast went to air in October 2019. Justices Anna Katzmann and David O’Callaghan agreed with Rares, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
“This was not high-quality journalism or fair or decent treatment of him,” Rares said in the judgement. “It is understandable that Mr V’landys was upset by the publication of the report.” V’landys launched Federal Court defamation proceedings against the national broadcaster in 2020 after the program aired.
 Justice Michael Wigney dismissed his case in 2021 and ordered the Racing NSW chief executive to pay the ABC’s costs. In Rares’ appeal judgement, he said Wigney “correctly found that the report did not convey the imputations” alleged by V’landys, although it “may be accepted that the report conveyed a negative impression of Mr V’landys.” The Full Court dismissed V’landys’ appeal and ordered him to pay the ABC’s costs.