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«COMMERCIAL RADIO INQUIRY Report of the Australian Broadcasting Authority Hearing into Radio 2UE Sydney Pty Limited February 2000 Sydney ISBN 0 642 ...»

-- [ Page 32 ] --

However, clause 3.1(a) provides that advertisements must not be presented as news programs or other programs. To the extent that the presentation of any live read advertisement is capable of causing confusion in listeners’ minds with the editorial comment of Mr Jones, the Panel would be concerned that those live read advertisements may have breached clause 3.1(a).

The Panel therefore does not accept the submission of 2UE in this regard.

The Panel finds that, in the presentation of a current affairs program, Mr Jones presented material in a misleading manner by withholding a relevant available fact, namely the existence of a commercial relationship between himself and Qantas.

The Panel finds 2UE to be in breach of clause 2.2(d) of the Codes.

THAI FLIGHT ATTENDANTS

Material prepared by Mr Jones

The following script was prepared by Mr Jones:

There’s a story today that Qantas is going to employ about 100 Thai flight attendants on wages up to 40 per cent less than those received by Australian staff, according to the union representing flight attendants.

–  –  –

With 26 flights each week to Europe, the UK and Australia.

So Qantas are going to establish an offshore base, consistent with the practice of many airlines.

Qantas has operated a cabin crew base in Japan for about 50 years, providing Japanese nationals to operate the airline’s services to Australia.

Now obviously Qantas is unable to recruit sufficient flight attendants in Australia with the required Thai language skills, and so a new base in Bangkok will help Australia provide suitable attendants to meed the needs of Qantas’ multicultural customers.

Obviously Qantas has to look for language, cultural and efficiency benefits.

Transcript, Mr Shirley, pp. 381-382.

They’ll be trained in the same way as Australian-based staff.

But surely to God they’re not going to be paid the inflated rates that Australia commands for any form of employment.

It’s not a question of employing Thai flight attendants on wages less than those received by Australian staff.

Obviously Qantas need people who can speak the language and are familiar with the culture.

Qantas yet again have done the right thing in terms of providing service and jobs.742 Material Broadcast by Mr Jones

On 15 April 1999 Mr Jones broadcast the following:

A story today that Qantas is going to employ about 100 Thai flight attendants on wages up to 40 per cent less than those received by Australian staff. That will always make a headline, won’t it, that sort of story? These dreadful people at Qantas!

Well, it’s a nonsense story. The reality is Qantas are going to recruit about 500 new cabin crew, 100 of them Thai nationals. Why Thai nationals? Bangkok is a major hub for Qantas.

They have 26 flights out of there each week to Europe, Britain and Australia. So Qantas are going to establish an off shore base consistent with the practice of many airlines.

They have operated a cabin crew in Japan for about 50 years, providing Japanese nationals the capacity to operate the airline’s services to Australia from Japan. Now Qantas are unable to recruit sufficient flight attendants in Australia with the required Thai language skills, so a new base in Bangkok will help Qantas provide suitable attendants to meet the needs of Qantas’ multicultural customers.

Obviously Qantas has to look for language, cultural and efficiency benefits, and they have done it. They will be trained in the same way as Australian based staff, but surely to God they are not going to be paid the inflated rates that Australia commands for any form of employment? They are Thai nationals and they will be paid according to the Thai economy. It is not a question of employing Thai flight attendants on wages less than those received by Australian staff.

I have got to tell you, most world workers get wages less than those that are paid in Australia.

Qantas need people who can speak the language and are familiar with the culture and that’s what they are doing. They are doing the right thing yet again in terms of providing service and jobs.743 2UE’s Submission to the Hearing In addition to the general submissions made by 2UE, 2UE also made the following

submission in relation to this broadcast:

One of the factors which may limit the scope and nature of the alleged assumption of disinterestedness (assuming it to exist) is the extent to which the announcer may have become

–  –  –

associated in public mind with the third party because of the announcer’s participation in a campaign of live read advertising. Mr Jones performed a significant number of live read advertisements for QANTAS over a period of years.744 The Panel’s Findings The Panel finds that this broadcast is a current affairs program. It purports to concern matters focussing on social and economic issues of relevance to the community.

The existence of Mr Jones’ commercial relationship with Qantas was not disclosed in the broadcast. The Panel finds the available fact of Mr Jones’ commercial relationship with Qantas was withheld.

The Panel finds that this available fact was relevant because:





♦ Mr Jones is defending the actions of Qantas in hiring Thai flight attendants. Mr Jones says ‘they will be trained in the same way as Australian based staff, but surely to God they are not going to be paid the inflated rates that Australia commands for any form of employment?’;745 and ♦ the broadcast was favourable to Qantas.

The Panel notes 2UE’s submission that an extensive live read campaign for Qantas read by Mr Jones may have caused him to become associated with Qantas in the minds of listeners.

However, clause 3.1(a) provides that advertisements must not be presented as news programs or other programs. To the extent that the presentation of any live read advertisement is capable of causing confusion in listeners’ minds with the editorial comment of Mr Jones, the Panel would be concerned that those live read advertisements may have breached clause 3.1(a).

The Panel therefore does not accept the submission of 2UE in this regard.

The Panel finds that, in the presentation of a current affairs program, Mr Jones presented material in a misleading manner by withholding a relevant available fact, namely the existence of a commercial relationship between himself and Qantas.

The Panel finds 2UE to be in breach of clause 2.2(d) of the Codes.

‘OPEN SKIES’ TO BE GRANTED TO AMERICAN AIRLINES,

1 JUNE 1999 Material Broadcast by Mr Jones

On 1 June 1999, Mr Jones broadcast the following:

I must say, Federal Cabinet is still on this competition question of endorsed plans that will allow international airlines to negotiate for greater access to the Australian aviation market.

Submission made by 2UE – Alan Jones Broadcasts – Breach of Clause 2.2(d) of Code of Practice 2, C18 QAN.0008.0011 I’ve talked about this before, but the access will only be granted if the home country of the airlines offer the same reciprocal rights, that is, it will be possible for American airlines to pick up domestic passengers under this arrangement, from Sydney to Melbourne, thereby taking passengers away from Qantas, so long as Qantas have those rights in America.

Now, I don’t see any of the international carriers willing to grant those reciprocal rights and that’s the argument you’ve heard me ventilate before.746 2UE’s Submission to the Hearing In addition to the general submissions made by 2UE, 2UE also made the following

submission in relation to this broadcast:

One of the factors which may limit the scope and nature of the alleged assumption of disinterestedness (assuming it to exist) is the extent to which the announcer may have become associated in the public mind with the third party because of the announcer’s participation in a campaign of live read advertising. Mr Jones performed a significant number of live read advertisements for QANTAS over a period of years.747 The Panel’s Findings The Panel finds that this broadcast is a current affairs program. It purports to concern matters focussing on political and economic issues of relevance to the community.

The Panel finds the available fact of Mr Jones commercial agreement with Qantas was withheld. The existence of Mr Jones’ commercial agreement with Qantas was not disclosed in the broadcast.

The Panel finds that this available fact was relevant because:

♦ the issue was of concern to Qantas. Mr Shirley gave evidence that he spoke with Mr Jones about the issue and sent him a note ‘outlining the main points’;748 and ♦ the broadcast was favourable to Qantas: Mr Shirley gave evidence that he was pleased with the outcome of his representations to Mr Jones regarding the issue.749 The Panel notes 2UE’s submission that an extensive live read campaign for Qantas read by Mr Jones may have caused him to become associated with Qantas in the minds of listeners.

However, clause 3.1(a) provides that advertisements must not be presented as news programs or other programs. To the extent that the presentation of any live read advertisement is capable of causing confusion in listeners’ minds with the editorial comment of Mr Jones, the Panel would be concerned that those live read advertisements may have breached clause 3.1(a).

The Panel therefore does not accept the submission of 2UE in this regard.

Exhibit 86, p. 55.

Submission made by 2UE – Alan Jones Broadcasts – Breach of Clause 2.2(d) of Code of Practice 2, C22 Transcript, Mr Shirley, p. 381.

Transcript, Mr Shirley, pp. 381-382.

The Panel finds that, in the presentation of a current affairs program, Mr Jones presented material in a misleading manner by withholding a relevant available fact, namely the existence of a commercial relationship between himself and Qantas.

The Panel finds 2UE to be in breach of clause 2.2(d) of the Codes.

‘OPEN SKIES’ AVIATION POLICY, 2 JUNE 1999 Material Broadcast by Mr Jones

On 2 June 1999, Mr Jones broadcast the following:

The Fin Review says the Federal Government should be moving towards a genuinely open skies agreement that imposes fewer restrictions on the rights of foreign airlines to fly to and beyond Australia.

That is absolute and utter rubbish. You just wonder who writes this rubbish. ‘An open skies agreement that imposes fewer restrictions on the right of foreign airlines.’ I’ll tell you what that means. That means American Airlines would come into Sydney at five o’clock this morning or six o’clock this morning and they’d have 60 spare seats, empty, they’d be empty anyway, wouldn’t they?

So they’ll say we’ll fly you to Melbourne for $50.

Well, what happens to Qantas and Ansett? Can Qantas go to America, land in Los Angeles and say we’re heading off to Florida, we’ll take you there for 60 bucks? No way in the world.

But oh, some idiot here is saying that should be allowed in Australia – ‘open skies’. Well, I’ll tell you what, at the expense of what? An absolute nonsense argument.750 2UE’s Submission to the Hearing In addition to the general submissions made by 2UE, 2UE also made the following

submission in relation to this broadcast:

One of the factors which may limit the scope and nature of the alleged assumption of disinterestedness (assuming it to exist) is the extent to which the announcer may have become associated in the public mind with the third party because of the announcer’s participation in a campaign of live read advertising. Mr Jones performed a significant number of live read advertisements for QANTAS over a period of years.751 The Panel’s Findings The Panel finds that this broadcast is a current affairs program. It purports to concern matters focussing on political and economic issues of relevance to the community.

Exhibit 86, p. 57.

Submission made by 2UE – Alan Jones Broadcasts – Breach of Clause 2.2(d) of Code of Practice 2, C23 The Panel finds the available fact of Mr Jones commercial agreement with Qantas was withheld. The existence of Mr Jones’ commercial agreement with Qantas was not disclosed in the broadcast.

The Panel finds that this available fact was relevant because:

♦ the issue was of concern to Qantas. Mr Shirley gave evidence that he spoke with Mr Jones about the issue and sent him a note ‘outlining the main points’;752 and ♦ the broadcast was favourable to Qantas: Mr Shirley gave evidence that he was pleased with the outcome of his representations to Mr Jones regarding the issue.753 The Panel notes 2UE’s submission that an extensive live read campaign for Qantas read by Mr Jones may have caused him to become associated with Qantas in the minds of listeners.

However, clause 3.1(a) provides that advertisements must not be presented as news programs or other programs. To the extent that the presentation of any live read advertisement is capable of causing confusion in listeners’ minds with the editorial comment of Mr Jones, the Panel would be concerned that those live read advertisements may have breached clause 3.1(a).

The Panel therefore does not accept the submission of 2UE in this regard.

The Panel finds that, in the presentation of a current affairs program, Mr Jones presented material in a misleading manner by withholding a relevant available fact, namely the existence of a commercial relationship between himself and Qantas.

The Panel finds 2UE to be in breach of clause 2.2(d) of the Codes.

‘OPEN SKIES’ AVIATION POLICY, 4 JUNE 1999 Material Broadcast by Mr Jones

On 4 June 1999, Mr Jones broadcast the following:

Australia is to seek reciprocal open skies agreements with other countries following the unveiling of what’s described as a liberalised international air services regime. I mean, at the end of the day, this is another one of these government policies that’s ridiculous.

I’ve said 100 times, you can’t have an open skies policy where you allow American Airlines into Australia at this hour, 10 to six in the morning, 80 spare seats, and they advertise in Australia and say, well, we’ll pick you up at Sydney and take you to Melbourne for $80.



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