Joe Hockey proves he’s not for sale 390



View Profile

Treasurer Joe Hockey has had a $200,000 win in his defamation case against Fairfax Media, though it is something of a win for both participants in the case, and a warning to all of us using social media.

Hockey’s case was prompted by an article appearing in The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, and The Canberra Times on May 5, 2014. However the court win was not against the article, instead it was against the words “Treasurer for sale” that appeared on posters outside newsagents advertising the newspapers, and those same words posted on Twitter by the newspapers’ Twitter accounts.

Mr Hockey was awarded  $120,000 damages for the Sydney Morning Herald’s poster, and $80,000 for the two tweets from The Age’s Twitter account.

The actual newspaper article was considered by Justice White to be of “considerable public interest”. The lesson to be taken here is that good journalism is both safe and in the public good, and that we all need to be careful what we say on social media, such as Twitter and Facebook.

The Hockey case is the second successful defamation case involving social media in Australia, following on a $105,000 ruling last year in NSW, in which a teacher sued a student for posts made on Facebook and Twitter. These are judgements that the whole world stand up and watch with interest, given the explosion in social media use in the last eight years or so.

The judge in the NSW case had this to say about social media:

“When defamatory publications are made on social media it is common knowledge that they spread,” Judge Elkaim said.

“They are spread easily by the simple manipulation of mobile phones and computers. Their evil lies in the grapevine effect that stems from the use of this type of communication.”

With these two successful court cases it is now well established that media companies, and individuals, need to take care with what they say on social media.

Might news like this make you think more on what you say on Twitter and Facebook? Have you ever said something and quickly deleted it after thinking about what you said? Have you ever had any trouble on social media? Do you think a politician should sue media outlets, or should they put it down to the ‘price of the job’?



Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. He is such a cocky bastard wouldn’t know what its like to live week to week.

    17 REPLY
    • He doesn’t have to know because joe worked hard to get where he is today working for the government is not an easy job long hours high expectations always accountable the list goes on he earns
      His money. Others should do the same

    • Susan…….Lots of people work hard long hours they just dont get the arrogance and I am attitude he has. He does not care about people or this country. I have watched it going to ruin in dozens of ways over the years. Majority if which we can thank governments and their lies and cons for. He is one of the people who do this constantly..he is certainly All about me.

      1 REPLY
      • Well said Susan. I work 12 hour shifts, night duty & 2 jobs. Have done for last 50 years. Doesn’t make me rich or arrogant

    • Margaret I note you have watched this country going to ruin in dozens of ways for years, so true!!
      Previous governments have played a major part havnt they!

    • How do people know that Joe doesn’t know what it is like to live from week to week!! What about when he was a young man. He could have gone without a lot. You talk about him being arrogant I know a lot of people like that and they are not in a responsible job. I say good luck to him getting this payout – I think a lot out there are just jealous.

    • Hey I’m certainly not jealous of him. All politicians are the same only in politics to line their own pockets. All the rorts that go on and you cant say it doesnt happen.

    • Jill Hall
      Joe Hockey was born into money and then married into more money.
      He has never gone without but he did take advantage of all the free education and perks and jerks he could get.

    • Maybe he will give it to charity – or perhaps it will help him with the costs of his rent payments to his wife for living in her home !!

    • All you have to do is have a look at how he is using the system at the moment. Let’s face it both he and his we own the house that he lives in whilst in Canberra and then picks up the free money for living there. This guy only looks for ways to big note himself and pick up any loose cash he can. It maybe legal in what he is doing, but is he cutting costs of that the government pays out, I don’t think so. What he is doing doesn’t show what he and the party is preaching about.

    • Be nice to get compensation for the years we paid 18% interest on mortgages guess we cant complain about low rates now …but many of us ended up losing our homes and ended up brjnging up our kids on our own because dads couldnt manage …very hard to get rentals then as single mums .hard to save for retirement and not much super relevent to todays demands …many of us arent in a good situation now but oh such a burden on society but then its our own faults apparently and have to take the consequences …..

    • He studied hard as a child and worked hard all his life. “They say the harder I work, the luckier I am”. Envy is nothing to be proud of.

  2. He wants the public eye?well he got it! But now complains.and gets money as well.mabe the homeless would like that money for shelter from the cold

  3. I wonder if he will donate the money he won to a charity.

    10 REPLY
    • Why should he?…If you were defamed and won a payout through the courts would you immediately donate it to charity?. Why is it labor supporterd have such double standards. This was about defaming his reputation.. whoever you are you’re entitled to justice if that happens. It so happens the courts also award money for defamation. Why should you people be so quick to attack someone just because he’s a Lib?

    • Got off your high horse Lorraine Cooper. Where in my message did I say I was a Labor supporter. Have you not heard of “freedom of speech “. That was a “tongue in cheek” remark. The way you were so quick to respond anyone would think you were related to him.

    • Go Wendy some people presume to know us when we comment let them get back to their political agendas and we will get on with our lives. Lol

    • Great response to Lorraine Cooper, Wendy Biden. Her reaction is the basis of why this country is in a mess and I am not aligned to any political party at all. The money has already been given to his charity – him!!!!

    • He probably needs the money to pay off the mortgage on his house!!!!! Maybe he will put it into his Super fund?

    • The whole issue was it was the truth. People paid thousands to go to a dinner with the treasurer. Was the magistrate a Lib mate? Dodgy outcome, greedy politician, not fit to be our treasurer.

  4. Congratulations Joe Hockey you stood your ground against the slanderous comments the media made about goes to show you can win against the media good on you! Why should he give it to a charity the slander was made against his good name and he defended it in court and won. There are a lot of jealous people out there who did not prepare for their old age to be financially comfortable the government give those people amply money to live on life is not a free ride

    23 REPLY
    • I agree with u SUSAN , why shouldn’t he sue ? Why should anyone tolerate the B.S. and sit back and take it , the media are the worst offenders .

    • Yes it’s ample money to live on especially when taxpayers are supplying the funds and those receiving it get it free be grateful for what is received for doing absolutely nothing to earn it a free ride not happy get a job

    • Hopefully you never come down with a debilitating illness like MS or MN and discover that your health care won’t cover you and your money runs out.
      Good to know that there are still people out there who believe that because they had luck on their side then that means everyone should have it….. “eye roll”.

    • Why is it that nasty people have to jump to conclusions and think that he is greedy and use it for himself for GOD sake

    • I think your use of the word “ample” when commenting about the pension is far from the truth. You obviously do not have to survive on that amount of money and I hope for your sake you never do, BUT, I suggest anyone who thinks it is easy (politicians included) and that pensioners have ample money, to live their way for 12 months and then see if the tune changes. The odd week politicians have done it it not a smidgen of how times with many pensioners paying rent, then there is gas, electricity, water, phone, fares or petrol if they have a car, insurances, clothes and if they are lucky they may be able to afford food!! Please try all that on less than $450 a week….. Oh, living on a pension is not a choice for many people either… No one asks to become disabled for example, and to age is not a crime surely…

    • Susan Porter
      Even on a pension we are still taxpayers. We still have to pay GST and fuel tax. We still have to pay road tax in the form of licence fees and registration.
      And don’t forget that we paid income tax for 50 to 55 years so that people who came before us could have a pension.
      So, we don’t get it for free. We have paid for what we get.

    • Well said Lynda many pensioners even those who did try to plan for retirement will feel the squeeze. I get really annoyed with people who cannot think outside their own little box and sit in there glass houses and throw stones at those less fortunate. I shows the ignorance and greed of these people. I myself am very fortunate and I see that much of what I have is through the being given a “fair go”. As far as I’m concerned Jo Hockey is a public figure he has made outrageous comments and slandered many in his position if he cannot take the heat he dishes out then he should just step down. He didn’t deserve this ruling

    • How much money do you think the government has to hand out. Just because you worked for 50 plus years why do u believe your entitled to a pension. You worked you didn’t put any money aside for your own future that’s being responsible for yourself. The taxes paid while u were working went to find the countries needs. One has to be responsible for their own welfare. I am not saying that everyone with a disability an illness is taking a free ride just those who now believe that the government owes them a living like your comment we have paid for it !

      1 REPLY
      • Susan Porter there was no such thing as super when we were working plus we both had to go out to work to be able to support our family and buy a house,yes I manage on the pension because I learned to budget all those years ago.It sounds like you are a Joe Hockey supporter and that is your prerogative,I have to agree with the majority he is an arrogant man who should keep his mouth shut before he makes anymore stupid blunders.

    • Once upon a time retirement and getting a pension was seen as a way of rewarding people for there hard 50 years of work that enabled a country to build and prosper. Many pensioners now have paid into super in preparation for retirement and many have lost thousands of this super through greedy corporations that stole there money and got away with it. Our super today is not what we expected when many joined up due to all the changes and mire changes will come. I do not see aged pensioners as living on hand outs I see that it’s a country looking after those that helped build it. Without the little people within the economy we would not be what we are today so why the bloody hell shouldn’t they be looked after.

    • Susan. You come across as heartless and self centered you do not know the circumstances of some. Maybe one day you will see real life as it is not with your eyes on the almighty dollar. It is important in life to be kind and caring and you seem to be a Hockey jockey in these respects.

    • Susan Porter get that silver spoon out of your mouth now and take off your rose coloured glasses.

    • Joe Hockey only won from the head line on twitter, the judge said the story was accurate and why try to belittle pensioners? they did not cause this..Joe himself did by taking money from people to have dinner with him..pensioners could not even afford to buy the buttered roll at these fancy restaurants

    • I can understand your logic although times change there are many many Australians who put money aside for their own welfare then there are those like yourself who just expected the government to care for them in their old age they give you a pension that may or not be adequate for your living standards. But that’s the pension that your entitled to. I take it as a compliment that I be like Joe Hockey thank you ! Juliar Gillard she enough said! Do you people think that because I am making my own opinion that I had it easy no I am still working at aged 66 and will continue to work retirement at aged 65 is not an option these days if you want to retire comfortably It’s the dole bludgers that should have to get out and work single mothers who keep having children not to work fix those leaches then just maybe the government will give those who deserve a pension a higher pay rate

    • well there you go..out of the mouth of a Liberal voter, vote for them to get in Government again and you can see you attitude that these Liberal voters have, that pensioners will never get respect and this pensioner issue will be revisited

    • the old age pension at the time was part of your tax hence social security thats where the name came from penis head but where is the money that was supposed to be in escrow
      to pay out on retirement pay for wars and politicians perks and the like no doubt

      1 REPLY
      • Please get your facts right Dave Milne. The age pension was never a part of your tax. Only in Europe was this so. In Australia it has always been paid out of current revenue so there was never a kitty of money to fund pensions. John Howard and Peter Costello established a futures fund for this purpose but that was squandered by the previous government so there is no such fund anymore. All superannuation is exposed to the global market unfortunately because when compulsory superannuation started, that is when the age of entitlement for pensions ceased or at least changed.

    • Well Susan i have worked since I was 14 and nine months and today I am blessed with what I have. On saying this I have empathy for those less fortunate than me. I look deeper into a society that labels and belittles those who are less fortunate. Maybe that is because of my education I am able to judge the corruption within our society more. It amazes me of the ignorance of some that they sit on there high Thrones and make such remarks and justify them. Beyond my ability to comprehend such ignorance

    • You people out there are fixed minded want everything handed to you free When a person disagrees with you heaven help them for giving their opinion. Just goes to show your mindset So if you have worked hard and still working to ensure oneself a good life even enjoying those fancy restaurants your ultimately responsible for your own welfare take what the government gives you as a gift. People like myself aged 66 who continue to work hard do not receive government handouts self funded not a burden on the government why do you resent us? Jealousy ! We are not self centred or heartless. We have employees who we keep employed a business that has been operating for 49 years it’s called hard work I am proud of what we have achieved silver spoon or not unfortunately no rose coloured glasses sorry to disappoint you.
      Your responsible for your own destiny in this world

      1 REPLY
      • Well said Susan !!

        there are a lot of jealous people out there who still think they are owed something and resent those who have done what is necessary to provide for themselves. I have just retired at age 70 and will never get a pension because I worked too hard, went without too much to save for my retirement and now I am expected to keep paying to fund those who feel an age of entitlement !!

        Effort = reward and the sooner people realise that the better.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *