Clubs NSW have announced today that they are dropping their defamation case against Independent MP Andrew Wilkie, just days after declaring they had commenced legal proceedings.
The media release issued by Clubs NSW on Sunday 22 November stated that the action “relates to the broadcast and publication of false claims and insinuations made by Mr Wilkie which were part of interviews conducted with the ABC”.
Wilkie was reported in the Fairfax press today as being prepared to face bankruptcy rather than back down and apologise for his comments, which were in regards to an alleged industry cash donation to former Labor MP Peter Garrett.
The backdown follows speculation that Clubs NSW were not only using the threat of legal action to pressure Wilkie into retracting his statements, but were scared of what might be revealed about their industry should they actually follow through with the court case.
Clubs NSW are no strangers to threats of this nature, having famously set up a $20 million war chest to campaign against the Federal government in marginal seats when Wilkie put poker machine reform on the national agenda.