Robbie Katter has vowed to block any future attempts to reintroduce a bill that bans journalists from publishing corruption allegations about poll candidates.
Robbie Katter has vowed to block any future attempts to reintroduce a bill that bans journalists from publishing corruption allegations about poll candidates.

Katter vows to stand for press freedom

ROBBIE Katter has vowed to block any future attempts to reintroduce a bill that bans journalists from publishing corruption allegations about candidates amid election campaigns.

The controversial laws would have journalists jailed for reporting on corruption allegations.

The laws would have covered the caretaker period of state or local government elections, after the writs were issued, and carry a six-month jail term or a $6672 fine.

Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath made a shock announcement on Friday morning that the State Government would no longer be pursuing the bill.

"The government respects the recommendations of the CCC," she said in a statement.

"However, given the limited time for the parliamentary Legal Affairs Committee to consider the law changes the CCC seeks, the CCC Bill introduced yesterday in state parliament is withdrawn."

Traeger MP and Katter's Australian Party leader Mr Katter described the bill as "outrageous".

"They've tested the waters with this controversial legislation and backed down but I'm going to be on guard - they might try to push this again in the future," Mr Katter said.

The bill had received significant criticism, including from journalism professor Peter Greste.

"If there is a time in a democracy when freedom of the press matters most, it's during an election," Mr Greste wrote in an opinion piece.

"That's when we really think about the character and integrity of the people seeking our support in their campaign for public office."

Originally published as Katter vows to stand for press freedom


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