Clubs NSW has said it will sue the ABC for airing comments by former Labor minister Peter Garrett that claimed he was given an envelope of cash by someone from the organisation.
The ABC aired the allegations last week, before they were set to feature again in a later documentary.
However, Mr Garrett later amended the claims to say it was a cheque given to him before he was elected – and not after.
According to a report in Fairfax Media, Clubs NSW will sue for the “publication of utterly false claims”.
“We considered the initiation of legal proceedings very carefully before coming to this decision, and only decided to proceed once the ABC refused to issue a retraction or apology,” Clubs NSW CEO Anthony Ball told Fairfax Media.
“The ABC was well aware that Mr Garrett had a confused recollection of events and that Clubs NSW had denied Mr Garrett’s original and revised recollection when it decided to proceed with this story.”
Mr Garrett requested the claims be removed from the documentary and his recently released memoir, Big Blue Sky.
In the book he said “the clubs were generous donors to candidates”.
His withdrawal stated: “This was my recollection at the time and I referred to it in a later interview for a documentary.”
“I subsequently became aware, after checking with a person who was present when I was handed the envelope, that in fact it had contained a cheque made out to my federal electorate council.”
“I immediately informed my publisher and the documentary producer of the error so it could be corrected – not because of any external pressure.”
Clubs NSW is also, reportedly, seeking legal advice on whether to pursue publisher Allen & Unwin for publishing the original allegation before withdrawing.