Thank you for your email – we appreciate your feedback.
Under the complaints process outlined in the Commercial Radio Codes of
Practice emails are not considered as actual complaints. However
as some time has lapsed since the broadcast and your email, and due to
the fact the 2GB Management has undergone a complete investigation into
the broadcast, I will address your issues via email.
You have suggested that John Singleton is 2GB’s licensee and as such
you expect a response from him. Harbour Radio Pty Limited is actually
the licensee, and I am Harbour Radio’s representative for these
I am not sure if you heard the broadcasts, however if you did not, you
may not be aware that their primary focus was on law and order issues,
and the fact that a greater police presence was needed following
violence (and the threat of violence) at Cronulla Beach and in other
areas. This is very clear when the broadcasts are reviewed.
What is also clear is that Mr Jones expressly and unequivocally
denounced the SMS messages that were circulating prior to Sunday 11
December 2005. Mr Jones repeatedly expressed the strong view that
people should not respond to such messages and that the situation at
North Cronulla was solely the responsibility of the police.
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To provide you with some examples, after referring to the text messages
that were circulating, Mr Jones said: “And I say to all those young
people; hey, you’re not in charge of law and order; we do have law and
order people. Boys, don’t get down there and come at this
nonsense. This’ll only make things worse;” and “We really have to
be hands off here. We don’t want a situation whereby there’s open
warfare between people calling themselves Aussie whites and people
calling themselves Lebs, or whatever…. We have to say to people stay
out of this. We aren’t a country where we become our own law
enforcement authority. I do understand what people are saying,
let’s give the police a chance to do the job”.
It is unfortunate that press reports suggested that Mr Jones supported vigilantism, as the broadcasts confirm otherwise.
It should be noted that the reason that Mr Jones read out SMS messages
in relation to North Cronulla was so listeners would know what was
being proposed by the senders of those messages. The content of
these SMS messages was a matter of public concern and public interest,
and generated considerable debate. However, as noted above, Mr
Jones repeatedly stated that these were police matters, and that if “we
don’t have enough police, get the police”. Mr Jones made many
similar statements throughout the broadcasts. This context is
very important when the Commercial Radio Codes of Practice (Codes) are
applied to your complaint (including the specific comments identified
in your complaint).
It is also important to note that some of the comments attributed to Mr
Jones in an article that appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald on 13
December 2005 were made by another announcer at another station.
This was corrected by the author of the article on 19 December 2005.
Having regard to Mr Jones’s repeated cautions during the broadcast for
people not to take the law into their own hands, and having regard to
the broadcast as a whole and the drafting of the Code, I do not
consider that the broadcasts breached Code 1.3.
If you are not satisfied with my response you may refer your response
to the Australian Media and Communications Authority. However I
imagine they will expect you to follow due process, which requires you
to address your complaint to them in writing, either by mail or fax.
Chief Operating Officer
Macquarie Radio Network