A message from Sebastian Rice, Chairman — Star Observer

I WOULD like to humbly thank those of you who have already pledged funds to our campaign. Today we have pledges of $24,000 towards our crowdfunding target of $75,000.

For those of you who don’t realise, our fundraising campaign is urgent, and absolutely necessary. A series of legal threats have weakened our organisation.

Legal battles are a reality of journalism, and the fiercely independent nature of our reporting makes us a high profile target.

There are only 13 days to go for our fundraising, and if we don’t hit our target of $75,000, we won’t receive a cent of the money. That is the way crowdfunding campaigns work.

Any amount you can contribute to our campaign will help us reach the target, and to help protect the Star Observer.

Our team is absolutely focused on bringing you the best possible independent journalism now, and in the future. We need your support today.

Some people have asked me personally for more details of the legal matters which have prompted this fund raising, and I wish we could publicly discuss the full details. But we can’t.

However, I can paint a broad picture.

Over the last five years, the legal matters we have dealt with have primarily been in the areas of defamation and commercial matters, such as bad debts incurred when companies have chosen not to pay for contracted advertising.

Yesterday, an individual made public claims that we have underpaid him, making wild public allegations in the media, and lodging a claim with the Fair Work Commission. This individual has also threatened additional legal actions to accompany that claim.

These wild claims are false, and completely without merit.

The Star Observer is a small not-for-profit social enterprise. Some of our team members are volunteers, others are paid. We pay our employees their full entitlements due under their contracts.

We have extensive evidence that contradicts the disgraceful attacks of the individual mentioned above. But it takes very significant resources for us to defend ourselves.

As a publication with a long and proud tradition of serving LGBTI readers, we take our responsibility to both the community we report on and the people we employ extremely seriously.

Our fundraising campaign is needed because our organisation has been damaged by this string of legal threats. We need your help today.

Please spread the word. Thank you for your support.

MAKE A PLEDGE: Click here

© Star Observer 2014 | For the latest in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans* and Intersex (LGBTI) news in Australia, be sure to visit starobserver.com.au daily. You can also pick up the next Star Observer monthly magazine September 18 or Join us on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.