Score 2-0 in Trad v Jones

Nick O’Malley; 5/2/10;

Radio 2GB and its star broadcaster, Alan Jones, have been forced to hand over the $10,000 in damages they were ordered to pay the Lebanese Muslim community leader Keysar Trad last year by the Administrative Decisions Tribunal, after failing to have the order stayed while they are appealing against the decision. Just before Christmas the tribunal ordered Jones and the station to pay the damages and to meet Trad to discuss the timing, nature and form of an apology and to review its policies and training procedures, after it upheld a complaint of racial vilification against Jones and 2GB’s owner, Harbour Radio. The complaint related to on-air comments Jones made before the Cronulla riots in 2005. While it failed to have the damages order stayed, the station, which lodged an appeal against the orders last month, was successful in securing a stay on orders related to the apology and the review. Attention is now turning to who will pay the legal costs for the dispute, which threaten to dwarf the damages ordered by the tribunal. It is understood that both parties have lodged written submissions arguing that the other should pay all of the costs, which are estimated to have run to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Trad has previously said the damages money would be donated to a Muslim women’s charity: a respite centre run by the Australian Council for Women’s Affairs.