Wangaratta Magistrates' Court is an art deco building on Faithfull Street. Tinted windows let golden light onto carpets of a grubby caramel colour -- black spots with lighter yellow flowers. Faithfull Street is largely cafes and bars, edged by the tree-lined Ovens River that runs languid around the picturesque cathedral town. It's here that the possibly self-defeating and certainly bizarre defamation case between former Indi MP Sophie Mirabella and the Benalla Ensign concluded yesterday, in Mirabella's favour.
Benalla is a town 50 kilometres south west of Wangaratta. The paper had already printed an apology and retraction regarding the April 2016 story at the heart of the matter. The story claimed Mirabella had physically pushed her (ultimately victorious) opponent in the seat of Indi, Cathy McGowan -- who belatedly agreed it hadn't happened -- at the opening of a new wing of the Cooinda retirement home.