NSW government minister Victor Dominello launches defamation proceedings against 2GB

Sydney-based radio station 2GB is facing another defamation suit, with NSW minister for finance, services and property, Victor Dominello, suing the broadcaster over claims it made linking him to a property development in Ryde.

2GB – now majority owned by Nine – was summarising a news story published in The Sydney Morning Herald (now also owned by Nine) in September 2017, however in its broadcast it bungled the accusations levied against Dominello.

NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian with Victor Dominello

The Sydney Morning Herald article had reported Dominello, who is the state member for Ryde, had been referred to the corruption watchdog – the Independent Commission Against Corruption – after he pressured Ryde deputy mayor Jane Scott to ensure a 1,400-unit development in the area did not get approved. The then-Fairfax paper claimed the minister had linked Scott’s pre-selection to his demands.

ICAC declined to investigate the allegations.

In re-reporting the accusations, however, 2GB said Dominello had threatened Scott in order to ensure the development was approved.

Dominello has now filed papers with the NSW Supreme Court over the 2GB broadcast.

According to The Sydney Morning Herald today, Dominello is claiming the 2GB story “portrayed him as having behaved corruptly by using threats and intimidation to secure a benefit for a developer, of abusing his position and of using the influence of his position to benefit a developer”.

He also claims, according to The Sydney Morning Herald, the 2GB refused to apologise for the error on four separate occasions.

2GB’s defence, however, claims it offered to make amends which included a retraction and apology, a donation of $10,000 to a charity of the minister’s choosing and covering his legal costs.

The minister has also not ruled out suing The Sydney Morning Herald over the original article titled ”Threatened and intimidated’: deputy mayor accuses minister’.

Sydney’s property developers have been hitting headlines around NSW this summer due to the Opal Tower debacle and the ensuing questions of responsibility, quality control, safety, building standards and the state of the approval process.

Last year, broadcaster Alan Jones, 2GB and Brisbane’s 4BC were ordered to pay $3.4m in damages plus interest, to the four Wagner brothers after Jones suggested they were responsible for the deaths of 12 people.

The Supreme Court of Queensland found broadcaster Jones, who operates on radio stations Sydney’s 2GB and Brisbane’s 4BC, defamed the Wagner family in a series of radio broadcasts between 2014 and 2015.

2GB and Dominello have been approached for comment.


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