Kearney v 2HD Broadcasters Pty Limited t/as 1143 2HD [2012] NSWSC 321

Judgment

The phone call

1. On 23 February 2010 at 3:21am a telephone call was received by the Defendant radio station 2HD Newcastle from a caller. After the caller gave his name to the producer he was put through to the presenter of the program, Gary Stewart. The following conversation then ensued:

Presenter:Heading off to Morisset, Morning Geoff.
Caller:G'day mate, how are ya?
Presenter:Well mate, I'm ok, how are you?
Caller:I wanna know if you've got your copy of the Newcastle Herald this morning yet?
Presenter:Oh look I've got... No I haven't. I've only got the Telegraph in front of me I'm sorry.
Caller:Ok, I've just got hold of my Newcastle Herald. Front page of the paper there... local ABC broadcaster Mr Kearney done for drink driving for the third time in two years.
Presenter:Is that right?
Caller:I, um, think it's a might hypocritical how these people get on and they are all high and mighty about morals and standards and stuff yet they can't follow the law themselves. I think it's pretty bad and I think the ABC should do something about it. I don't know what they can do it about it but I don't think this bloke should be on the air. He'll be on the air tomorrow, or today, pontificating as usual.
Presenter: Mmmmm.
Caller:And that's not good enough really.
Presenter:Yeah, yes I see your point, Geoff. I'll go and chase the paper and have a look at that story but you're right. It's no good them there... um... not so much dictating but at least communicating with his listeners about the safety of road... drinking issues (as used?) for arguments sake and then going out and getting stung twice in a row or?
Caller:*Unclear* Well this is the third time in two years.
Presenter: Third time?
Caller: That he'd been charged. Yeah.
Presenter: Right.
Caller:I mean, I don't even know how you keep a licence with that sort of record.
Presenter:Yeah. Correct. No that's interesting, interesting Geoff. I'll go and chase that story, thank you.


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