Veteran radio broadcaster Alan Jones has conceded that his on-air comments about a Queensland family were brutal, but has rubbished their claim he suggested they were murderers.
Brothers Denis, John, Neill and Joe Wagner are suing Jones to the tune of $4.8 million for suggesting they were responsible for the deaths of 12 people during the 2011 Grantham floods due to a wall of a quarry they owned collapsing during the natural disaster.
Jones made the accusations across 32 different broadcasts on stations 2GB and 4BC, as well as once on Sky News, during 2014 and 2015.
Harbour Radio (which employs Jones), 4BC and journalist Nicholas Cater are also facing a lawsuit.
Taking to the witness stand at the Supreme Court in Brisbane, Jones conceded his on-air comments about the Wagner family were “savage”, but stopped short of being them labelled vicious.
He also denied using his radio broadcasts to suggest the Wagner family were murderers, describing his criticisms as “accurate”, according to ABC News.
“I attempted to convey to my listeners the sentiments of the letter which called it a municipal murder, which in fact is what it is,” he told the Wagners’ lawyer Tom Blackburn.
“I was intending to say, Mr Blackburn, which I’ve said for six years, without the quarry 12 people wouldn’t have died.
“Without the Wagner quarry, many of these people wouldn’t die. It’s a self-evident fact.”
Fighting back tears, ABC News reported that Jones also detailed the stories he’d been told by families of the flood victims, and claimed he offered the Wagner family many chances to defend themselves on-air.
“It was just a blatant no,” he said.
“I was concerned about getting answers for the deaths of 12 people. And it seems that no-one else was prepared to answer that.
“The Wagners didn’t appear to be remotely concerned, and that’s the Wagner attitude. They want things done their way. Well, I’m sorry – I do things my way.”
Jones’ court defence came after Joe Wagner told of the barrage of verbal and physical abuse his family has suffered as a result of the radio host’s accusations.
The family has also received support from motorbike racing legend Mick Doohan, who gave evidence earlier this week in court.
The hearing continues today.
Freedom Foods and 72andSunny Sydney have launched the first advertising campaign for Australia’s Own range of plant-based beverages. The campaign introduces a new visual world and identity for the brand and captures the healthy, positive feeling you get when spending time in nature and when consuming Australia’s Own certified-organic, plant-based beverages. As well as featuring […]
Nine creatives from APAC are among the 94 finalists from 27 countries in The One Club for Creativity’s prestigious Young Guns 19 competition, celebrating international creative professionals age 30 or younger. The finalists from APAC are: Hiu Ching Kung, graphic designer, Hong Kong Lam Ieong Kun, graphic designer, illustrator, indego design, Macau Raxenne Maniquiz, graphic designer, illustrator, Santa Maria (Philippines) Kiyotaka […]
OOH transit company Adflow has announced the success of the first phase of its regional expansion program. Adflow’s regional footprint has increased by 60 per cent to now include 65 regional locations. With 9.1 million people living regionally in Australia (growth of 1.1 per cent experienced in the 19/20 Financial year) and most regional centres […]
Freshworks, a leading software company, has started trading on the Nasdaq Global Select Market, marking an important milestone for the company. The company priced its IPO at US$36 per share (AU$49.76), raising about US$1 billion (AU$1.4B), resulting in a total market capitalisation of AU$13.7 billion (US$10B). Freshworks, which was founded in India, has strong roots […]
Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM) is the biggest player in the holiday shopping game and Google’s most recent research suggests consumer interest for the peak sales season starts much earlier than retailers may realise. The pandemic has fundamentally changed buyer behaviour over peak sales season, with Google suggesting that global consumer interest in Black Friday […]