Transport Hall manager takes Liz Martin to court

By ERWIN CHLANDA

 

The NT Government appointed manager of the National Transport Hall of Fame is taking to court Liz Martin, the co-founder of the iconic tourist attraction and for decades its driving force.

 

Volunteers pictured on Liz Martin’s Facebook site.

 

The statutory manager, Adelaide based law firm Rosey Batt & Associates, wrote to the Alice Springs News yesterday after we had sent to them a statement by Ms Martin intended for publication.

 

We said: “We are offering you the right of reply and the opportunity to point out any errors.”

 

In their reply the lawyers made no comment about any of the content of the statement but alleged it contains “defamatory comments which would give rise to our clients being entitled to sue you for an injunction and damages”.

 

The clients are named as Road Transport Historical Society Incorporated and Ms Rosemary Batt, apparently the firm’s principal.

 

The email to the News also says: “Ms Martin has sent you that statement knowing that proceedings were filed in the District Court of South Australia seeking an order to restrain her from making further damaging comments about our clients.

 

“What that means is that you would be publishing that statement knowing that proceedings have already been issued to restrain further damaging comments. That knowledge would go squarely towards the award of damages made against you.”

 

The News is holding Ms Martin’s statement pending legal advice.

 

The NT Government will not disclose the fees charged by Rosey Batt & Associates for running the formerly volunteer organisation.

 

The board members, including leading figures of the Australian transport industry, have been “summarily sacked,” according to Lindsay Johannsen, a co-founder of the Hall.

 

It had $300,000 in its bank account at the time the statutory manager was appointed in July last year, according for former board member Dave Kent.

 

The Hall had $15m in assets, turning over $1.7m a year in cash and lots more in kind, and displaying more than 300 trucks and machines “from rusty to immaculate,” Ms Martin said in August 2018.

 

 

 

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8 Comments (starting with the most recent)

NB: If you want to reply to a previous comment, start your comment with this notation: @n where n is the number of the comment you want to reply to.
  1. Patsy Hickey
    Posted February 4, 2020 at 12:20 pm

    Confidentiality about the way tax payer funds are spent is a fraud on the public – how did we ever let this scapegoat loose?

    View Comment
  2. Jack
    Posted February 4, 2020 at 11:24 am

    @ Fragile NT Government: If a crime has been committed then take the matter to the police.
    If not then negotiate and accept the outcome of the process.
    Litigate? No!!
    If you do litigate make sure you have very solid grounds because Liz Martin is hero in our town and we will remember come the next election.

    View Comment
  3. Fragile NT Government
    Posted February 3, 2020 at 9:31 am

    Responsible Governments do not use courts to manage disputes unless a clear breach of the law has taken place and then negotiation should be the first option.
    In this case it is conjecture and not appropriate to waste tax payers funds on what Government officials are paid to do – bring about good governance.
    So the inability shadow of the Northern Territory government continues around Canberra and Australia of “Fragile Government” that the NT is not mature to be entrusted with Statehood.
    Is it no wonder, with a NT Government bankrupt fiscal situation we use these precious funds to resolve what the public see as not a priority issue to be litigating.
    This seems more like a personal issue between parties and should not inappropriately use NT Government funds to litigate what should be managed by the officials.

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  4. Jack
    Posted February 3, 2020 at 6:24 am

    The lawyers are brining out the picnic blanket.

    View Comment
  5. jerrybrown sarre
    Posted February 1, 2020 at 3:35 pm

    The truth will set us free. When it becomes known it will shock some.

    View Comment
  6. Bruce Cotterill
    Posted February 1, 2020 at 3:16 pm

    I told you years ago that things were not right at the Hall of Fame. You wouldn’t listen.

    View Comment
  7. Evelyne Roullet
    Posted February 1, 2020 at 3:07 pm

    The United States has 50 official states plus 1 – Australia.
    Like the US we are becoming a country of laws suits, conflicts of interest, royal commissions and much more.
    Every day someone is demanding an apology or sues someone.
    Are we becoming so outraged at everything we risk becoming a nation of whingers?

    View Comment
  8. Watchn
    Posted February 1, 2020 at 12:12 pm

    What on earth is going on?

    View Comment

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