ETU state secretary Peter Simpson.
ETU state secretary Peter Simpson. David Nielsen

ETU state secretary to sue The Courier Mail and LNP

ELECTRICAL Trades Union (ETU) state secretary Peter Simpson has served a defamation writ to The Courier Mail newspaper and the LNP for what the union has called "disgusting allegations" made against him.

In a statement, an ETU spokesman said the writ was served "under the Defamation Act following the disgusting allegations made initially by the Premier (Campbell Newman) at the Sky News Leaders debate, leading to an edited LNP attack ad that featured on their Facebook page, using footage ripped off from a citizen journalist".

The footage, shot at an anti-VLAD rally on Australia Day 2014, shows Simpson giving an account of circumstances he witnessed during the 1998 Maritime Union of Australia's dispute with the then Howard Government.

"During that dispute, I witnessed bikies, farmers, butchers, business men and every day Queenslanders bringing cash, vegetables, meat, eggs, clothing, you name it, such was the community spirit during that disgusting attack on working people" Mr Simpson said.

"For the LNP to then attempt to fashion an attack ad that alleged that I "took wads of cash" from people they say are "criminals", is beyond the bounds of decency. They have attacked my reputation and they have attacked my union and its members, something I will never tolerate."

Mr Simpson is well known in Ipswich for standing up  to the LNP on behalf of local workers after the job losses that were announced at the Swanbank power station.

The ETU sent a delegation to help Ipswich residents clean up in the floods and have been a strong voice in the campaign against asset sales, particularly in Ipswich.

In a statement the union said "today marks the start of the union leader's attempt to undo the smear laid upon him and workers by the LNP, aided and abetted by the Courier Mail".

"Given these matters will now be before the courts the union does not intend making further comment."