Chief government whip Don Brown will pay $50,000 in damages over a defamatory publication made about an LNP candidate who ran against him in the 2020 state election.
The matter filed by Bev Walters in the Brisbane Supreme Court three years ago was due to go to trial this week.
Barristers for Capalaba MP Mr Brown and Ms Walters told Justice Susan Brown on Thursday they had agreed on a proposal to end proceedings.
The parties were satisfied there was a defamatory publication given the agreement provided for judgment against Mr Brown, Justice Brown said.
She added that it was to the credit of experienced legal representatives on both sides that a resolution had sensibly been reached without the case going to trial.
Justice Brown said the damages to be paid were strictly speaking within the discretion of the court to ensure there is an appropriate and rational relationship between the harm sustained by Ms Walters and the damages awarded.
She agreed to make orders as agreed by both sides, saying the outcome addressed the acceptance of the fact there had been a defamatory publication that caused some harm to Ms Walters.
Ms Walters confirmed Mr Brown was required to pay $50,000 in damages plus her costs.
“I’m feeling relieved it’s over,” Ms Walters said outside court, adding she was regretful it had taken three years and three months to get the outcome.
She said the comments Mr Brown made had not been mere political argy-bargy.
“They constituted a deliberate assassination of my character,” Ms Walters said.
She said Mr Brown had published material to his Facebook page, wrote to the electorate and spoke about the matter under parliamentary privilege.
Asked whether there would be any consequences for Mr Brown’s behaviour in this case and previously calling youth crime a “media beat up”, acting Queensland Premier Steven Miles said it sounded like there had been a significant consequence.
“I understood that Don had done his best to settle that matter, that he acknowledged that he said the wrong thing, and the legal process has worked as it should,” Mr Miles said. Regarding Mr Brown’s position as government whip, Mr Miles said he retained the confidence of the caucus. -AAP