Patricia Petersen's (pictured) court claims against former MP Rachel Nolan have been described as
Patricia Petersen's (pictured) court claims against former MP Rachel Nolan have been described as "doomed to fail” by a supreme court justice. John Weekes

Petersen V former MP: The $6m case that was 'doomed to fail'

A SUPREME Court Justice has described a serial candidate's negligence case against a former Ipswich politician as "doomed to fail".

Former state and council election candidate Patricia Petersen sued former Labor MP Rachel Nolan claiming she had misused power in public office.

Ms Nolan was the sitting State Member for Ipswich and Minister for Finance, Natural Resources and Arts.

Ms Petersen was seeking more than $6 million dollars in damages.

But a judgment was today handed down in the Supreme Court of Brisbane in favour of Ms Nolan with his Honour Justice Glenn Martin saying the claim had "such a remote prospect of success that it should never have been brought".

It was claimed that during the 2012 State Election campaign, Ms Nolan used her position of power as a State MP to have the Ipswich City Council remove Ms Petersen's campaign signs and issue her a fine.

Ms Petersen was standing as an independent candidate.

In her claim, Ms Petersen alleged Ms Nolan knew she was refusing to preference her which would impact on her chances of retaining her seat so she arranged for the signs to be seized "to politically benefit from doing so, to win the seat of Ipswich, Labor to win the election".

The council did seize the signs and issue Ms Petersen a fine but Justice Martin said Ms Nolan did not cause this.

"Ms Nolan did not, either as a member of parliament or as a Minister, have any power to 'cause' the council to do anything, let alone either of those things. Nowhere in the pleading does Ms Petersen identify the 'public power' alleged to have been misused," the judgment said.

Ms Petersen was ordered to pay Ms Nolan's court costs on the indemnity basis.

After the judgment was handed down, Ms Nolan told the QT "this has been a profoundly unpleasant experience which I am happy to see concluded".



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