Hogan demands apology over election ad
THE NSW Labor Party has been threatened with a defamation lawsuit after accusing Page MP Kevin Hogan of accepting donations from a gun lobby at the 2016 federal election.
Mr Hogan claims he was defamed when advertising paid for by the NSW Labor Party suggested he had accepted $4000 from the Shooting Industry Foundation of Australia.
The NSW Labor Party was referring to Australian Electoral Commission donor records that showed evidence of Mr Hogan accepting the money for his 2016 campaign.
But Mr Hogan told The Northern Star the money never reached his campaign.
On May 8, Sydney law firm Addisons issued a concerns notice to the NSW Labor Party general secretary on behalf of Mr Hogan demanding an apology over the "misleading" advertising.
The letter was provided to The Daily Examiner by the NSW Labor Party.
"Whilst he is aware that his name is mentioned in the disclosure return of the Shooting Industry Foundation of Australia, that donation was made to the National Party of Australia," the letter read.
"Mr Hogan did not in fact receive any such donation and accordingly has not disclosed any donation in his returns.
"The false statement is defamatory and constitutes misleading election advertising for the purposes of the offence provisions in section 329 of the Commonwealth Electoral Act."
The NSW Labor Party had until May 9 to publicly apologise, however a Labor spokesperson told The Daily Examiner Mr Hogan would not be receiving an apology.
Mr Hogan had previously indicated he had asked the National Party not to provide any gun lobby money for his campaign.
"The Labor Party included deliberately untrue statements in various advertisements and in various media appearances and defamed me," Mr Hogan said.
"I welcome a robust political discussion but Labor should operate within the law and as they haven't done that, I am asserting my legal rights."
SIFA spokesperson Laura Patterson said she could not comment on how the specific donation was made in 2016 but they no longer made political donations.
"It is fair to say the industry has donated to parties across the political spectrum in the past including the Nationals, Shooters, Farmers and Fishers and the ALP," she said.
"We made donations through the Combined Firearms Council of Victoria to Labor in 2016."
Ms Patterson provided The Daily Examiner with a list of donations SIFA made in 2016, however no record of any donation by SIFA or CFCV to the Labor Party could be found in Australian Electoral Commission records.