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Tabling of Jones petition may see ad guidelines tightened

Ian Bushnell 23 October 2019 65
2CC bus ads

The Alan Jones ad on the back of a Transport Canberra bus. Photo: File.

A petition calling for Transport Canberra to immediately remove 2CC’s Alan Jones ads from the back of buses in their fleet has been tabled in the Assembly.

Transport Minister Chris Steel will have three months to respond to the petition started by Canberra Women in Business president Peta Swarbrick, but because it garnered more than 500 signatures it will also go to the Environment and Transport and City Services Committee, which may recommend changes to Transport Canberra’s advertising guidelines.

The petition was sparked by Jones’ on-air comments about New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, a month after 2CC announced it would syndicate the Alan Jones Breakfast Show.

The ACT Greens threw their support behind the petition, stating that the government should not profit from Jones’ “blatantly sexist, misogynistic dog-whistling”.

Greens MLA Caroline Le Couteur tabled the petition, which drew 540 supporters in four weeks.

Ms Swarbrick said the petition underlined the depth of feeling in the community about comments and attitudes like those expressed by Jones.

“The greatest good that can come from this is that the guidelines are tightened up,” she said.

She said the government should be setting the standard about whose money it takes and whose it doesn’t.

“Jones uses hate speech and the government has a responsibility not to be seen to be promoting hate speech,” Ms Swarbrick said.

She rejected arguments that the petition was anti-freedom of speech and that 2CC and the government had a right to engage in a commercial arrangement.

“It’s always a freedom of speech issue when its someone in a position of power who has the power to damage another group in society,” she said.

“People with privilege have responsibility and he is totally unrepentant about it.

“It’s about the government as a purveyor of advertising holding themselves to a much higher standard than any other commercial entity.”

Ms Swarbrick said she would be happy to give evidence to the committee, saying it would be a good discussion to have in the current climate.

Ms Swarbrick she can’t believe 2CC broadcasts the Jones show, given his relentless Canberra bashing.

The current Transport Canberra advertising policy states that ads must not represent, portray or promote “a message that can be deemed offensive or demeaning to specific community groups (i.e. religious, ethnic, women, etc)”.

Jones said of Ms Ardern on 15 August: “I just wonder whether Scott Morrison is going to be fully briefed to shove a sock down her throat … Now I hope Scott Morrison gets tough here with a few backhanders.”

Around 80 advertisers have withdrawn their support from radio station 2GB and the Jones show since he made the comments about Ms Ardern. Macquarie Media said they would terminate Jones’ contract if he made similar comments again.

Jones wrote to Ms Ardern on 16 August apologising for his remarks, saying he would “never wish any harm” towards her. The apology letter was obtained under freedom of information laws.


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65 Responses to Tabling of Jones petition may see ad guidelines tightened
Paul Waters Paul Waters 4:57 pm 24 Oct 19

Alan Jones is a health hazard his ads should not be seen in public!

Imi Mo Imi Mo 12:00 pm 24 Oct 19

I do not think this is a legislative issue, I think this is a common sense issue. As with the other companies that pulled their advertising from Alan Jones, the ACT government should do the same and make the moral decision not to support his show by advertising it.

Josh Faganello Josh Faganello 11:26 am 24 Oct 19

Alex Small William Yeo jog on. Only person shaking the cage about drought

bj_ACT bj_ACT 10:50 am 24 Oct 19

Since the outer suburbs of Canberra lost their local bus services they don’t have to put up with Alan Jones in their neighbourhood. Lose Win.

Andrew Inman Andrew Inman 10:23 am 24 Oct 19

To all those saying his statements aren't illegal, he's repeatedly been found to breach broadcasting standards over and over again. For sexism inciting violence and corruptly not disclosing "advetorials". Only Peter Costello has saved his arse

Capital Retro Capital Retro 10:09 am 24 Oct 19

“I saw it again this morning!!!”

Are you stalking this bus, Jessica?

Gary Seen Gary Seen 9:54 am 24 Oct 19

Now the old Australia you wouldn’t give a rats aye

Jessica Forde Jessica Forde 8:17 am 24 Oct 19

It honestly gives me road rage everytime I see it. Grrr.

Spiral Spiral 5:35 am 24 Oct 19

Here’s a possible solution.

Instead of a pointless petition that takes only a trivial investment in time to sign, how about the people who want him banned use crowd funding to raise enough money to buy the advertising space.

Then his ad will be gone and they can put their own ad on the bus promoting whatever they want.

    Capital Retro Capital Retro 10:08 am 24 Oct 19

    That would be an alien concept for the haters.

    Grimm Grimm 12:49 pm 24 Oct 19

    If they were gainfully employed and could afford to buy the advertising space, they would probably have better things to do with their time than whine about Jones.

Brett Griffiths Brett Griffiths 1:47 am 24 Oct 19

574 people signed the petition, pathetic amount out of 400,000 people in the region. So the vast majority of people ignored this petition and that’s all that needs to be said!

Jim Hosie Jim Hosie 10:48 pm 23 Oct 19

Like him or loathe him why gag freedom of speech or expression? Undoubtedly there are people in the community who listen. His views are not deemed illegal. They are unpalatable to many. What next, we arrest members of a free press...wait...

    Sam Livingstone Sam Livingstone 10:59 pm 23 Oct 19

    The public transport system needs as much funding as it can get, the more money that is put in to it the better, and lets be real, who has seen the 51 shoot past and changed their radio station??

    Jim Hosie Jim Hosie 11:06 pm 23 Oct 19

    Sam Livingstone oh oh look it’s Allan!!! Quick!!! Change the station!!! Change the station!!!!! 😂😂😂

David Jackson David Jackson 9:37 pm 23 Oct 19

I think Ms Swarbrick needs to build a bridge. Private business. Private advertising money.

Annie Martin Annie Martin 9:33 pm 23 Oct 19

"🖕🖕" ⬅️ what I give Alan every single time I see this mug on a bus...

Kunal Chaturvedi Kunal Chaturvedi 9:30 pm 23 Oct 19

they have run out of things to legislate I suppose.

Wal Brown Wal Brown 9:26 pm 23 Oct 19

I vote for Tim Shaw

noid noid 9:22 pm 23 Oct 19

Yes Alan Jones used a “figure of speech” to get his thoughts across on how he felt. Yes it was a bad choice of words but to suggest that people would see this as a green light to behave in this way is crazy. And to suggest he actually meant it in the physical sense is absurd. With that view in mind we will need to ban all books and movies with any violence as anyone viewing or reading will be sure to commit a violent act as a result.
People can decide if they wish to listen to him or not that’s what the off button is for. Marijuana is far worst for your health but we are happy to legalise that…..go figure?

    Capital Retro Capital Retro 6:59 am 25 Oct 19

    I think Alan Jones would agree that with the Greens, reality is an illusion caused by lack of drugs.

Mitchell Bailey Mitchell Bailey 9:14 pm 23 Oct 19

Bring back Tim Shaw he’s the real man in the street I know Canberra loves him ....start that petition

rationalobserver rationalobserver 8:29 pm 23 Oct 19

I’m offended that our taxes were used to paint the action busses in rainbow colours. Does my offence equal your offence at Jones?

Sean Bishop Sean Bishop 7:50 pm 23 Oct 19

If you oppose one then oppose them all..

Colin Wilson Colin Wilson 7:40 pm 23 Oct 19

Oh calm your farm, dear.

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