Helen Szuty

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Helen Margaret Szuty (born 3 September 1957) is an Australian politician. She was an independent member of the Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly from 1992 to 1995. She was elected as the running mate of sitting independent Michael Moore on the Moore Independents Group ticket, but sat in the Assembly as an independent.[1] She was unsuccessful in recontesting her seat at the 1995 election on Moore's ticket, and again on an attempt to regain her seat at the 1998 election as an unaligned independent.[2][3]

In 1998, ACT Minister for Urban Services, Brendan Smyth claimed that Szuty made inappropriate representations to him on behalf of a client of the real estate agency where Szuty had recently been employed. Szuty made representations that her client was facing severe hardship. As a result of Smyth's complaint, made in confidence, to the Real Estate Institute of the ACT, Szuty was dismissed by her employer. Szuty asked Smyth to withdraw his complaint; which he ignored.[4] On the basis of the complaint, Szuty claimed that she had been allegedly defamed, and Smyth's actions adversely affected her employment and had ultimately forced her to leave the ACT. Szuty commenced defamation proceeding in the ACT Supreme Court. In a finding that was handed down in 2004, Chief Justice Higgins was scathing in his criticism of Smyth, but ruled that the defamatory remarks he had made about Szuty were protected by qualified privilege.[5]

Szuty subsequently moved to Tanunda, South Australia. She edited The Visitors Monthly magazine in Burra from 2001 to 2011, and as of 2016 is the spokesperson for the Group of Concerned Burra and District Residents and the Ratepayers Action Group (Regional Council of Goyder). She contested the Burra Ward of the Regional Council of Goyder at the 2010 and 2014 local government elections and again at a 2016 supplementary election, but was unsuccessful on each occasion.[6][7][8][9][10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Members of the ACT Legislative Assembly" (PDF). ACT Legislative Assembly. 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 February 2011. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 
  2. ^ "Electorate of Ginninderra First Preference Results". 1995 Election. ACT Electoral Commission. 1995. Archived from the original on 28 February 2011. Retrieved 6 August 2010. 
  3. ^ "Electorate of Ginninderra First Preference Results". 1998 Election. ACT Electoral Commission. 1998. Archived from the original on 28 February 2011. Retrieved 6 August 2010. 
  4. ^ Wood, Bill (1998-09-02). "Ms Helen Szuty". Hansard. ACT Legislative Assembly. Retrieved 2010-08-06. 
  5. ^ Campbell, Roderick (2004-09-02). "Smyth beats ex-MLA in defamation case". Canberra Times. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 2010-08-06. [permanent dead link]
  6. ^ Maunder, Sarah (14 January 2016). "Burra Ward: Meet Your Candidates". Northern Argus. Retrieved 16 February 2016. 
  7. ^ "Goyder Elections". Burra Broadcaster. Retrieved 16 February 2016. 
  8. ^ "Election Results 2014" (PDF). Local Government Association of South Australia. Retrieved 14 February 2016. 
  9. ^ "Election day nears for Burra Ward". Burra Broadcaster. Retrieved 16 February 2016. 
  10. ^ "Regional Council of Goyder, Councillor, 1 February 2016". Electoral Commission of South Australia. Retrieved 16 February 2016.