Nine settles defamation case over ACA report

Nine has settled a defamation claim on confidential terms with former Liberal leader John Hewson, avoiding a lawsuit that was due to commence today.

Hewson took issue with a report on A Current Affair last May surrounding GSA Insurance Brokers, a company he previously chaired. Hewson alleged it defamed him by suggesting he “failed to direct” the insurance broking company to pay insurance claims.

The Age reports Dr Hewson’s lawyers said ACA was told prior to broadcast that GSA Insurance Brokers was an insurance broker and not the insurer, which meant it was “not even the decision-maker” on claims.

Nine’s barrister claimed the “primary issue” was the meanings conveyed by the broadcast.

Hewson had also sought aggravated damages, including for “a 27-year-old interview … that was completely irrelevant…”

The segment cut to Dr Hewson’s infamous interview on ACA over the costs of birthday cake as part of GST reforms.


  1. Mike Willesee did the country a great favour with that interview. Don’t forget that in that election campaign Hewson was pledging a 15% GST on everything (no exemptions) on top of all the existing taxes, the abolition of Medicare and the introduction of an “American-style health system” (his actual words) and the abolition of the Disability Support Pension and all other welfare payments to be replaced with a single payment equivalent to the dole. When Paul Keating delivered his True Believers speech on election night I think the whole country was thanking Willesee for enabling us all to dodge a bullet.

    • Yes, Mr. Hewson plainly did not want to become PM back then, however Australia is supposed to be a middle class country with a high standard of living and all profligacy needs to be paid for eventually.

  2. Mike Willesse still owned him in that famous trainwreck interview… I bet John has never enjoyed a birthday cake since that infamous day

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