Facing two defamation actions ... Tania Mihailuk. Photo: Brockwell Perks
BANKSTOWN MP Tania Mihailuk is facing two defamation actions unless she apologises for allegedly making false and malicious statements about candidates in the September local government elections.
The former mayor of Bankstown, who has also recently been accused of fuelling factional infighting in ALP ranks, was put on notice last week that she has 28 days to make the apologies in writing.
A lawyer acting on behalf of the Bankstown council candidates Rabie Chehade and Pam Gavin has written to Ms Mihailuk warning that the pair plan to launch legal action in the NSW Supreme Court and seek damages, if she doesn't comply.
The letter said the comments made about Mr Chehade and Ms Gavin were ''completely false and maliciously made with an intention to harm'' their reputations.
Mr Chehade has supporting statements from witnesses that Ms Mihailuk had told voters turning up at Bankstown West Public School not to vote for him because a relative of his ''is a murderer''.
Mr Chehade said he had no idea why Ms Mihailuk would have said such a thing and that it was demonstrably false. There is no suggestion the allegation concerning the conduct of the relative is true.
Ms Gavin, a former Labor councillor for Bankstown turned independent candidate, has alleged that Ms Mihailuk had publicly accused her of being corrupt, rorting the system and stealing election posters. There is also no suggestion that there is any truth to these accusations.
Ms Mihailuk has previously vigorously denied making the statements about Mr Chehade and said the claims were ''nonsense''. ''These allegations are blatant fabrications which would ordinarily be laughable, if they weren't so offensive,'' she told Fairfax Media.