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Tas minister hurt, offended by claims

AAP logoAAP 7/10/2016 Andrew Drummond

A senior Tasmanian government minister, who claims he's been defamed by a fellow parliamentarian linking bullying allegations to violence against women, has hit back and is pursuing legal action including the possibility of financial damages.

Police and infrastructure minister Rene Hidding on Friday said he won't stop until he's cleared his name from hurtful and offensive allegations made by upper house independent MLC Ruth Forrest.

"I'm a 20-year member of parliament, I've had plenty thrown at me over that time, but I sit here deeply hurt and offended, I'm not going to sit silently by and have my good name and reputation smeared any longer," Mr Hidding told reporters.

Ms Forrest said she felt threatened and intimidated by Mr Hidding during a conversation about local legislation the pair had at a parliamentary function in September.

Mr Hidding subsequently apologised for any tone he used that was perceived to be inappropriate.

On Thursday Ms Forrest told media she was considering police action against Mr Hidding and will pursue a code of conduct complaint.

"I support the view of the Australian of the Year, David Morrison, that the standard you walk past is the standard you accept," she said, referring to the former military leader's comments about domestic violence and gender equality.

"I believe all behaviour within the parliament and outside the parliament needs to reflect this standard."

Mr Hidding said that, as a husband, father, grandfather and staunch opponent of violence against women, he took offence to Ms Forrest's latest comments.

"I'm seeking full legal redress, in the first instance a full retraction and an apology," he said.

"Considering the seriousness of the ridiculous and false allegations against me based on a proposition that is nonsense, but made anyway, I will be seeking a full redress which may include exemplary damages to have my name cleared."

Mr Hidding said the discussion in question had been a viable argument between work colleagues and was not witnessed.

"This is a standard part of being an MP, particularly a minister who gets legislation through. It's called lobbying," he added.

Premier Will Hodgman has previously said he will not take any disciplinary action against Mr Hidding after seeking advice from the solicitor-general.

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