Month: May 2019

Home / Month: May 2019

Stella Donnelly
Utzon Room at Sydney Opera House, May 28

The Vivid Festival billed Stella Donnelly as a "star in the making" and the second of her three shows proved the claim was as genuine as one of her songs.

The 27-year-old from Perth has grown hugely as a performer in the two years between her first EP and March's debut album, Beware Of The Dogs, as evident in this night's performance of the breakthrough song that graces both, Boys Will Be Boys.

The indictment of excuse-making and victim-blaming around a friend's sexual assault accidentally became a #MeToo anthem when, as Donnelly reminded us, it was released three days before movie mogul Harvey Weinstein "started getting called out online".


Thirteen months ago Donnelly stood on a stage across town and performed the song poker-faced, as if she felt the lyrics and the anger behind them were enough to propel a movement in its first flush.

On this night, she made the song so convincing, it didn't need fluke timing to help get it noticed.

Played alone on electric guitar, there was a furious bearing down on the notes in a lyric like "you invaded her magnificence". There was more stridency in her strumming. More melismatic thrills in the chorus, which soared and could not be ignored.

There was even a smile at battles won while singing the closing pay-off to her pals'  tormentor: "Time to pay the f—ing rent."

The solo set that opened this show contained a few more songs that repeated Boys' trick. The title track of the new album, for instance, drew us in with its pretty, classically trained singing and beguiling melody, then stunned us with venomous protest.

"All these pious f—s/Taking from the 99," Donnelly sang, a post-election frisson suddenly thick in the air.

And while Donnelly's days as a barmaid would seem firmly in her past, her rage at the sexism she encountered while working in a pub still seemed raw on You Owe Me.

There was light among this shade. "Bit creepy, isn't it?" Donnelly remarked during the closing cover of Cyndi Lauper's Time After Time, after singing the "watching through windows" line.

Donnelly's showmanship really shone when joined by her four-piece band.

The rapport between these arts college chums was a joy to watch – there was even daggy co-ordinated dance moves for Die, the "banger" Donnelly wrote with her first drum machine.

This room's impeccable acoustics meant the varied textures of the new album's songs sounded great, too, particularly the eastern-flavoured guitars on the stand-out call for a #MeToo in the music industry, Old Man.

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Yet Donnelly's remarkable voice and gift for melody remained the centrepiece. Break-up lament Bistro, for instance, contained only eight different words – and no politics – but told a story as compelling as any on this night.

Stella Donnelly plays the Sydney Opera House's Utzon Room on May 29.

Conservative Coalition MPs emboldened by strong support from religious voters at the election are pushing the Morrison government for more radical and far-reaching religious freedom provisions in forthcoming laws.

Former deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce wants laws to exempt religious beliefs from employment contracts – in effect giving legal protection to views such as those expressed on social media by rugby star Israel Folau that gay people and fornicators will go to hell.

"You can't bring people's faith beliefs into a contract," Mr Joyce said. "Your own views on who god is, where god is or whether there's a god should remain your own personal views and not part of any contractual obligation."

Attorney-General Christian Porter is expected to present a Religious Discrimination Act to the Parliament as soon as July, acting on a pre-election commitment to boost protections for people of faith against discrimination and vilification.


But some Coalition MPs believe the election results – including significant swings away from Labor in highly religious seats – underline the case for bolder reforms to enshrine freedoms other than freedom from discrimination.

Liberal senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells – who worked extensively with faith leaders to galvanise the support of religious voters before and during the campaign – said the election marked a "new dawn" on religious freedom.

She called for a standalone Religious Freedom Act that would give greater legal heft to the demands set out by church leaders, Christian schools and other faith-based institutions.

Senator Fierravanti-Wells also said the government need not await the findings of a review being undertaken by the Australian Law Reform Commission into exemptions to anti-discrimination laws currently enjoyed by religious schools.

"Whilst the ALRC is not due to report until [April] 2020, given its diverse and broad terms of reference, I believe that the recent election has reinforced the need for more immediate legislative action," she told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

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"This is vitally important to not only address our concerns but afford protection against these constant incursions from Labor, the Greens and their acolytes. It's a new dawn on this issue."

Senator Fierravanti-Wells – who voted against marriage equality when it was legalised in 2017 – said the election results "had their antecedents in the same-sex marriage debate", noting large swings to the government in culturally diverse seats around western Sydney.

Banks, Blaxland, Fowler and McMahon, which voted "no" to same-sex marriage, all posted swings to the Coalition above 3 per cent – although so did many electorates that voted "yes".


Mr Joyce, a former Nationals leader, said Folau's sacking "got a lot of people annoyed" during the election campaign.

"People were a little bit shocked that someone could lose their job because of what they believe," he said. "It made everyone feel a bit awkward and uneasy."

Mr Joyce said he would argue within the Coalition that any religious freedom law should include clauses to prevent employers crafting contracts that could penalise people for their religious beliefs.

"That would be my input – but whether it's what other people's views are, I don't know," he said.

Such a law should not necessarily be nicknamed "Folau's Law" because it would give the sacked rugby player credit for a law that "should be designed for everybody", Mr Joyce said.

Folau has said he is considering his legal options in response to his termination.

Late last year, in response to former attorney-general Philip Ruddock's review, Mr Porter pledged to introduce a Religious Discrimination Act and appoint a religious freedom commissioner to the Australian Human Rights Commission.

On Wednesday he said religious freedom was a "key issue" in the election campaign due to "enormous concern" about Labor's plans on the issue, and indicated legislation would be a priority when Parliament resumes at the start of July.

New Labor leader Anthony Albanese acknowledged his party needed to show greater "respect" to religious views after frontbenchers Chris Bowen and Tony Burke publicly lamented that people of faith had lost trust in Labor and progressive politics.

Liberal senator Eric Abetz said the Coalition owed Rugby Australia "a bit of gratitude … because their ham-fisted approach to Israel Folau clearly elevated the issue and concerned many, many people".

He agreed with Senator Fierravanti-Wells on the need for positively-framed legislation to establish religious freedoms but said it should be broader and encompass free speech.

"Freedom of religion is a subset of freedom of speech, and freedom of speech is the more important and overarching issue," he said.

PNG Parliament elects new prime minister

May 30, 2019 | News | No Comments

Papua New Guinea's Parliament has elected James Marape as new prime minister after outgoing leader Peter O'Neill resigned following weeks of political turmoil sparked by natural resources deals.

Marape, who quit as finance minister in April over a gas deal with France's Total he called too generous to the oil major, was the front-runner sources said ahead of the vote.

Political instability is not unusual in the poverty-stricken but resource-rich country, but Marape's defection from the government earlier tapped into growing concern over governance and resource benefits not reaching the poor.

Those concerns ultimately led to O’Neill’s official resignation on Wednesday.


Marape and his allies have indicated that April's agreement, which allows Total, Oil Search and ExxonMobil to begin work on a $US13 billion ($19 billion) plan to double gas exports, could be reviewed.

"Agreements and resources laws will be relooked at as a matter of priority," Philip Undialu, a lawmaker aligned with Marape, told Reuters by text from the Grand Papua Hotel where his supporters are based.

"It's going to be a fair deal not necessarily radical," he said.

Undialu said he believed Marape could command the backing of 79 members of Parliament, a clear majority. Counting was still under way.

Marape told Papua New Guinea's National newspaper two weeks ago, in reference to the April deal, that "something is wrong somewhere when the government is not unlocking … resources for our people".


"We have a government that wants to save the interests of corporate giants," he said.

Opposition leader Patrick Pruaitch was another possible replacement and, in a Parliament with few ideological divides, any number of other contenders could have emerged.

More to come


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A 74-year-old man has been charged over the sexual abuse of a teenage boy that allegedly occurred while both worked at Sydney's Central Station in the 1970s.

Police set up a strike force in January 2018 to investigate reports a 16-year-old boy had been sexually abused by a man known to him in the 1970s.

Following extensive investigations, a 74-year-old man was arrested at a home in Chatswood in Sydney's northern suburbs on Wednesday.

He was taken to Chatswood Police Station and charged with seven counts of indecent assault.

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Police will allege the man sexually abused the boy on numerous occasions while they both worked as staff at Central Railway Station between 1973 and 1975.

The man was the boy's supervisor, police said in a statement.

He was refused bail and is expected to appear at Manly Local Court on Thursday.

Investigations into the alleged abuse continue, and detectives have urged anyone with information that may assist them to come forward.

Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad Commander, Detective Superintendent John Kerlatec, also urged anyone who had been the victim of abuse to come forward, even if it occurred a long ago.

"We want the community to know that any victim of child sexual abuse – whatever the circumstances and no matter when it occurred – is encouraged to report it to police so perpetrators can be brought to justice," Superintendent Kerlatec said.

"Our priority will always be the health and wellbeing of victims, but it’s only when police know it is occurring that we can help someone put an end to the abuse and bring justice for a victim," he said.

Damien Cook has nominated Rabbitohs teammate Cameron Murray to be NSW's emergency back-up hooker, a role he's been groomed for at NRL level should anything happen to the Australian No.9.

Blues coach Brad Fittler is without an obvious replacement should Cook be forced to spend time off the field after sparing Tyrone Peachey from this year's game-one squad, but his first-choice rake is under no illusions who it should be.

Despite having never started one of his 45 NRL games at hooker, Murray has been sporadically working with Cook on his passing game.

Cook has played all but one minute of the Rabbitohs' sparkling start to the season under Wayne Bennett and quickly morphed into one of NSW's most important players.


Raiders star Jack Wighton is poised to make his State of Origin debut as the NSW utility from the bench, but Murray is considered a more viable option as Cook's understudy.

"Back at Souths that's generally the plan, if anything is to happen to myself – touch wood – then Cam Murray would be the one to go there for us at club level," Cook said. "I'm sure that's probably Freddy's plan as well. If anything does happen he would slot in there easily.

"We just do a bit of passing. That’s the most important thing. You want to be strong in defence, which Cam is. And then you just want to give good service from hooker. We’ve naturally been doing it for a few weeks now and we just practise a few passes each side after training every day."

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Queensland coach Kevin Walters has covered his bases with the inclusion of Moses Mbye on the Maroons' interchange bench, set to provide relief for Ben Hunt. Hunt has carved a niche out as a hooker at representative level despite wearing the No.7 for the Dragons at NRL level.

But Fittler doesn't have the same luxury and will be desperate for the durable Cook to play the entire 80 minutes of the series opener at Suncorp Stadium.


Murray will form part of a youthful NSW bench which includes Wighton, 19-year-old behemoth Payne Haas and Angus Crichton, who has only played three Origin games.

On Murray, NSW five-eighth Cody Walker said: "If something happens in the game Cam can step in and do that [hooking role]. He's one of the hardest working players at our club in terms of extras and working on their craft. He's just a gentleman. There's no other word that describes him."

Added Cook: "Very much he deserves [an Origin debut]," Cook said. "Whether it was this year or in the near future Cam was always going to get this jersey I believe. That’s just the player he is. He's a superstar already."

ANZ Stadium could retain hosting rights for Sydney's only State of Origin match next year as the NSW government closes in on finalising the business case for the redevelopment of the state's largest venue.

The Herald understands key powerbrokers have left the door ajar for ANZ Stadium to stage the Blues' 2020 home fixture as either game one or two of the series, given the delay to the original construction timetable.

It was previously anticipated work on the venue would start soon after this year's NRL grand final, meaning this year's Origin clash would be the last at ANZ Stadium in its current guise. But tickets to a Queen and Adam Lambert concert are now selling to a mid-February event.

The SCG had earlier been slated to host Sydney's two biggest matches next year – Origin and the grand final – but, given ANZ Stadium would only need to be functioning for another three months after the Queen show, it is again in line to host the interstate rivalry.


The ANZ Stadium business case is set to be unveiled within weeks.

The opening two games of next year's series will be split between Sydney – at either ANZ Stadium or the SCG – and the Adelaide Oval, whose hosting criteria stipulates it be a live rubber.

"ANZ Stadium is our home," NSW Rugby League chief executive David Trodden said. "We've built our state-of-the-art centre of excellence at Olympic Park and that's where the Blues base is."

ANZ Stadium's main tenants, the Rabbitohs and Bulldogs, have been intently watching the situation as they try to bed down their home game structure for next season. Both could shift some games to the $360 million Bankwest Stadium at Parramatta if the government opts to expedite the makeover for the former Olympic venue.


There is also a sense the government will want the project to get underway as soon as possible to ensure its controversial stadiums network is completed before the 2023 state election. Any delay to the ANZ Stadium rebuild will place some tension on that timeframe.

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"Venues NSW, along with Infrastructure NSW and the Office of Sport, are working to complete the final business case for the refurbishment of Stadium Australia [ANZ Stadium]," a Venues NSW spokesperson said.

"Construction timelines will be clearer once a final business case has been considered."

The demolition of Allianz Stadium is well under way and the inner-city venue will be the second of the three major Sydney stadiums to come back online.

Olympic 800 metres champion Caster Semenya has filed an appeal to Switzerland's highest court against a ruling to uphold rules requiring that middle-distance female athletes with a high natural level of testosterone must take medication to reduce it.

"I am a woman and I am a world-class athlete. The IAAF [International Association of Athletics Federations] will not drug me or stop me from being who I am," Semenya, 28, said in a statement after filing the appeal on Wednesday.

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South African Semenya lost an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on May 1 which ruled the IAAF's regulations were necessary for athletes with differences in sexual development (DSDs) to ensure fair competition.

The statement added that Semenya will ask the Swiss Federal Supreme Court to set aside CAS's decision in its entirety, which it said did not consider medical protocols and uncertain health consequences of taking testosterone-reducing medication.


Semenya has said she will not undergo hormone therapy to lower her naturally elevated testosterone levels, a decision that, barring a successful appeal, would make her ineligible for the 800 metres at this year's world track championships in Doha, Qatar, and at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.


Intersex athletes such as Semenya face restrictions in women's events from 400 metres to one mile, distances that require both speed and endurance. Semenya can compete in long distance events without having hormone therapy to limit her testosterone levels.

On May 1, the Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld IAAF's testosterone restrictions. The court ruled by a 2-1 vote that the restrictions were discriminatory but also a "necessary, reasonable and proportionate" means of achieving the IAAF's goal of preserving a level playing field in women's track events.

The testosterone restrictions apply to athletes with a so-called disorder of sexual development known as 46, XY. Such athletes competing in women's events have a rare chromosomal makeup — both an X chromosome and a Y chromosome in each cell — that genetics have long defined as a standard male pattern. Women have been typically defined genetically by two X chromosomes. Athletes defined as intersex often have ambiguous genitalia.

Athletes with this disorder of sexual development can produce testosterone in the male range, according to an IAAF-backed study, and gain an unfair advantage in muscle strength and oxygen-carrying capacity in certain events.

Intersex athletes who want to participate in women's track events from 400 metres to the mile will have to take hormone-suppressing drugs and reduce testosterone levels below 5 nanomoles per liter for six months before competing, then maintain those lowered levels.

Most women, including elite female athletes, have natural testosterone levels of 0.12 to 1.79 nanomoles per litre, the IAAF said, while the typical male range after puberty is much higher, at 7.7 to 29.4 nanomoles per litre. No female athlete would have natural testosterone levels of 5 nanomoles per litre or higher without a disorder of sex development or tumors, the IAAF has said.

Reuters, The New York Times

Sundar Pichai was, for years, one of the world’s highest-paid corporate executives. Now he's facing the opposite reality: No big paychecks at all.

The Google chief executive officer hasn't received an equity award in more than two years. A key reason is that Pichai turned down a big new grant of restricted stock in 2018 because he felt he was already paid generously, according to a person familiar with the decision.

It's unclear how much he passed up. But another giant payday – on top of hundreds of millions of dollars in previous awards – could have sparked a new round of controversy for the mild-mannered executive.

Technology companies are being increasingly blamed for all sorts of societal ills — including rising income inequality. Since getting the top job in 2015 for his engineering prowess, Pichai has had to address these concerns, while juggling a host of other politically charged issues.

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"He may have looked at these numbers and said: 'I've had enough' — or he might just be trying to manage the optics of his pay," said David Larcker, a professor who researches corporate governance at Stanford Graduate School of Business.


The board of Google parent Alphabet Inc. is scheduled to revisit the CEO's pay later this year, said the person, who asked not to be identified discussing private matters. By then, almost all Pichai's previous stock awards will have vested. That makes him an anomaly among US corporate leaders, and is even raising questions about what's next for the 46-year-old.

"Clearly there's very little retentive effect left for Pichai," said Fabrizio Ferri, an associate professor at the University of Miami who studies executive pay.

A Google spokeswoman declined to comment, and said the Alphabet board won't comment either. The company and its directors have said nothing publicly about the CEO leaving any time soon. Pichai has never mentioned moving on either.

Google is known for its willingness to pay lavishly to attract and keep talented employees in the executive suite and beyond. Top bosses receive almost all of their compensation in the form of restricted shares, usually granted in even-numbered years. Pichai had been among the main beneficiaries.

In 2014, shortly before Pichai was promoted to take over many of Google co-founder Larry Page's responsibilities, he received restricted stock worth about $US250 million ($361 million). The following year, when he became Google CEO, he got $US100 million of stock. And in 2016, Pichai received another grant worth almost $US200 million.

That was the year the Google CEO job began to morph from a technical leadership role into a political minefield. Employees marched in protest of President Donald Trump's immigration plan in early 2016. Less than a year later, a memo from Google engineer James Damore claiming the company was biased against conservatives exploded into a national scandal.

In 2018, Google workers revolted over a military contract and a proposed censored search engine in China. In the fall of that year, thousands of staff walked out of their offices after discovering the company had given big bonuses to executives accused of sexual harassment.

At a staff meeting earlier this year, one Google worker asked why Pichai was paid hundreds of millions of dollars, while some employees struggle to afford to live in Silicon Valley, people familiar with the situation said at the time.


The criticism has been just as loud from outside the company. Google is facing multiple antitrust investigations around the world, and rising scrutiny in the US over its size, power and access to personal data. Co-founders Page and Sergey Brin, have stepped away from day-to-day management, and former CEO Eric Schmidt, who used to handle politics, is leaving the board.

On December 11, just over three years after taking the CEO job, a noticeably grayer Pichai sat before Congress being questioned about the political slants of his staff and algorithms, Chinese censorship and surveillance, and even a conspiracy theory about Hillary Clinton that spread on Google's YouTube video service.

"Sundar is aging quickly," said Matt McGowan, a former Google executive who left in 2016. "When you have a billion customers around the world, there's always going to be hundreds of people who disagree with your decisions. And they're loud."

People who have worked with Pichai describe him as a consensus-builder who shies away from conflict. Key parts of the CEO job nowadays, like testifying before Congress and policing internal rancor, are not his favorite.

"He's not a well-seasoned CEO who has been through these types of crises before. But he appears to be learning quickly," McGowan said.

Pichai has revived revenue growth at Google, helping shares of Alphabet rise more than 50 per cent since he took over the internet giant. However, the company missed Wall Street estimates last quarter and the CEO frustrated analysts on a recent conference call.

Reputation Institute, a management consultant, ranked Pichai first among major CEOs last year. In this year's ranking, Pichai fell out of the top 10. "Maybe there are a few elements of doubt around his leadership credentials," said Stephen Hahn-Griffiths, an executive at Reputation Institute.

Since that big 2016 stock award, Pichai has collected a $US650,000 annual salary and typical CEO perks such as the cost of personal security. As of Tuesday's close, he had 51,249 unvested Google shares, worth about $US58.1 million, left to earn. They will vest in June, September and December, regulatory filings show.


Hong Kong: Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam has told an Australian audience it was “speculation” and “absolutely untrue” that Hong Kong would lose its distinct identity as the Chinese Communist Party pushes ahead with an economic plan to link the former British colony with nearby mainland cities.

Lam will travel to Australia to promote the Greater Bay Area, the Chinese government’s plan to create an economic hub linking Hong Kong, Macau and China’s technology centre of Shenzhen, among nine mainland cities.

She will call for Australian companies to invest in the project, which has already seen China build the world’s longest sea bridge to link the islands by road with the mainland.

Tax concessions that would allow professionals living in Hong Kong to work under the same conditions within the Greater Bay Area on the Chinese mainland have been announced.


But the push to create the Greater Bay Area comes as anxiety is rising in Hong Kong among the public and business community that Beijing is eroding the “One Country, Two Systems” principle that gave Hong Kong unique freedoms, including a separate legal system and police force.

Lam said that One Country Two Systems, and Hong Kong taking advantage of commercial opportunities in the Greater Bay Area, were not mutually exclusive.

“Any worry and rumour and speculation that once we cooperate and take a greater part in the Greater Bay Area, Hong Kong will lose its unique characteristics, and the 'One Country, Two Systems' principle will be eroded, is absolutely untrue,” she said in a keynote speech to the AustCham annual awards.

Lam said she “will safeguard fiercely” the rule of law in Hong Kong, and said Hong Kong will continue to appoint overseas judges in a system that highlighted the independence of the judiciary. Four of 14 overseas judges in the Hong Kong court system come from Australia.

Her keynote speech to the AustCham dinner also comes after a noisy public debate in Australia last year over whether Hong Kong companies should be regarded as a national security risk on the basis of Hong Kong being subject to Chinese communist party rule.


A bid by a prominent Hong Kong company CK Group to purchase a major gas pipeline was rejected on the grounds it was contrary to national interest for any foreign company to acquire sole ownership of critical gas infrastructure.

Since the decision, CK Group has joined the board of AustCham Hong Kong. Hong Kong has also signed a Free Trade Agreement with Australia, which Lam said she hoped would soon be ratified by the Australian Parliament now the election was over.

AustCham had told Lam’s government that Hong Kong’s advantage lay in upholding One Country, Two Systems and this would be important to the island’s continued success.

Australian Chamber of Commerce Hong Kong chairman Andrew MacIntosh said the business community was “optimistic about the promise” of the Greater Bay Area.



The latest flashpoint for concern over Beijing’s reach into Hong Kong has been an extradition bill proposed by Lam’s government.

On Monday 30 foreign consuls held a meeting with Hong Kong politicians where they expressed concern the proposed extradition law would allow suspects to be handed over to mainland Chinese authorities.

Lam said earlier on Tuesday she would meet with foreign envoys to explain the legislation.

The business community in Hong Kong has also expressed its concern.



The Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce met with Hong Kong’s security secretary on Monday to ask for more safeguards in the bill, saying the law would have significant and far reaching implications for Hong Kong’s criminal justice system “which is a vital contributing factor to the city’s reputation as an international city”, the peak business body said.

Human rights safeguards should be improved and Chinese provincial governments banned from making extradition requests, the chamber said.

AustCham’s Macintosh said: “The chamber has been watching the issue very closely.”

China’s Foreign Ministry said protests against the extradition law by foreign governments were “clearly an interference in China’s internal affairs”.

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Alan Jones has re-signed with Macquarie Media after protracted  contract negotiations that have dragged on for months.

On Tuesday, Macquarie Media announced the Sydney shock jock had been given a two-year contract. Formal contract negotiations kicked-off in late February.

Macquarie Media chairman Russell Tate said in a statement he was pleased that Jones would be staying with the station for at least another two years.

"Over his already extraordinary radio career, Alan has dominated Sydney radio with 218 ratings survey wins, including 15 consecutive years at number one on 2GB," he said. "With Alan's current ratings share of the Sydney radio audience amongst the highest it has ever been, his dominance shows no sign of slowing down. All of us at Macquarie are delighted that we will continue along with the ride with one of Australian media's most outstanding performers."


Macquarie Media is majority owned by Nine, the publisher of this website.

Jones' future at 2GB has been the subject of intense speculation in recent months given the broadcaster's age as well as a string of controversies. In September 2018, Jones was found to have defamed prominent Queensland family, The Wagners, which triggered $3.7 million in damages.



Many, including Media Watch host Paul Barry, have suggested the defamation case played a part in the long negotiation period.

Sources close to Macquarie Media have also cited possible succession planning as another issue that had to be worked through. Jones turned 78 last month and has spent long periods away from the microphone in recent years due to complications with his health.

Late last year, Jones was also forced to apologise to listeners after dropping the N-word live on air. Then, in October, the shock's on-air treatment of Opera House chief executive Louise Herron triggered protests and another on-air apology.


Jones first appeared on Sydney airwaves in a full-time capacity in 1985 as a replacement for longtime 2UE morning host John Laws. He famously left 2UE in 2002, causing the station's ratings to plummet. His new employer, 2GB, quickly cemented itself as Sydney’s most popular station on the AM band.

According to Gerald Stone’s 2002 biography of John Singleton, Singo, Jones was lured to 2GB with a “staggering offer that included a one-fifth share of ownership in 2GB … worth perhaps $12 million, plus a salary of $4 million a year over seven years”.

Jones currently holds a 1.27 per cent stake in Macquarie Media through his private company Hadiac Pty Limited. At today’s valuation, those shares are worth around $4 million. The radio broadcaster’s former contract was due to expire on June 30.

The shock jock has been no stranger to controversy over the years. In 2012, he told a Sydney Young Liberal fundraiser that former prime minister Julia Gillard’s father “died of shame”. In the wake of the comments, 2GB took the unprecedented step of temporarily suspending advertising on Jones's breakfast show after more than 70 sponsors turned their back on the program.

Apart from his long and distinguished radio career, Jones has been a teacher, political candidate, speech writer and a coach of the Australian national rugby team [for which he was awarded an Order of Australia in 1988].

with Karl Quinn

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