Thursday 11 February 2010

Cairns Councillor Forsyth takes assault charge to Police against Community radio chief

Cairns Regional Councilor Diane Forsyth has told Cairns Police today that she will proceed with a formal assault charge against the vice president of Cairns Community Radio, Pieter Blaauw.

"I was treated awfully and this type of behaviour and aggression is equated to what women put up with in a domestic violence situation," Diane Forsyth said on the night of the January 6th meeting at the Raintrees studio.

Cairns Police have confirmed, following interviewing a number of witnesses that there is sufficient evidence to proceed and apprehend Mr Blaauw.

The president of the community radio has remained silent on the incident, and has ignored several formal letters from members to bring Blaauw to account and explain his actions. There have been calls for Mr Blaauw to step him down, pending the assault investigation.

Although Diane Forsyth reported the assault to the Police promptly, three weeks later Rodney Coutts, in an attempt to retaliate, sent a letter to one of the members saying that he verbally threatened "to thump" Mr Blaauw that same evening. Coutts said in his letter that he will seek to terminate his membership.

A current ACMA investigation is investigating Coutts and his mass rejection of memberships, among other issues.

It is expected the Mr Blaauw will receive a visit from Cairns Police in the next couple of days. He remains on air to this day.

1 comment:

Christina Baden said...

As a listerner of Cairns 89.1 FM, I am concerned at the public perception of Cairns Community radio.

The community has a wonderful asset in the radio station. Unfotunately the reputation has been tarnished and sullied with recent happenings.

I can not believe that the president of the management committee Mr Rod Coutts, could in all sincerety allow the person accused of physical violence Mr Pieter Blaauw to continue to hold an executive position. Hearing his interview on the ABC yesterday was an eye opener for me. I could not believe his lack of remorse, his sexist attitude and his lack of humility.

No community asset can continue to grow and serve the community well while mistrust is in the air.

It is time that the management committee rid itself of Mr Pieter Blaauw. I call on Mr Rod Coutts to act in the public interest.