Friday 19 November 2010

Councillor Gregory won't take defamation against CairnsBlog

Yesterday I blogged about the inaugural Cairns Regional Council standing committee meeting for the cultural precinct, and the absolute circus the debate is becoming.

I quoted Councillor Paul Gregory, saying that he suggested council should return the $40 million offer to the Federal Government. I heard this directly from the Mayor and other Councillors. It was also mentioned on ABC radio I understand.

However, Paul says he said no such thing, and telephoned me to confirm this. In an email to all councillors and the CEO late yesterday, Paul Gregory wanted his colleagues to know the facts.

"There has been a suggestion that a councillor stated yesterday that the money for the Cultural Precinct "should be sent back"; this suggestion came from the Mayor on ABC radio this morning," Councillor Gregory wrote. "It has also been made and attributed to me on Michael Moore's CairnsBlog."

"This is patently untrue, and can be verified by listening to the relevant part of the audio tapes of the meeting (which I have done). It was shouted out by a member of the gallery sitting directly behind me while I was speaking. I will be asking for a retraction from Mike," Paul said.

Of course, I'm a nice and easy fella to negotiate with, given reasonable and timely communication. Such dialog also displays a gracious and courteous act on behalf of the person that feels aggrieved or mis-represented.

Now Paul and I don't have the same political leanings on every issue, of that I'm certain. However his communication with me since being re-elected in 2008, has always been open and positive. He's always responded when I've asked for a comment about any issue. I recall Paul approached me on the day of Council's investiture in April 2008 and raised some issues. I also remember his partner, who was by his side, was not impressed with the way Paul had been represented on CairnsBlog. We discussed things, and I took on board his concerns.

Following yesterday's attribution on CairnsBlog to Paul, I corrected the error as soon as he contacted me. I also cheekily asked if he wanted to take out defamation proceedings, a quip in relation to Councillor Blake's $350,000 case against me.

"Absolutely of course!" Paul responded, with a sarcastic reply.

Councillor Gregory said he took "no offence" at the error, as the person who bellowed out the remark was right behind him, sitting in the public gallery.

"[It's] probably an easy mistake for Val to make," Paul said. "Which is why I asked for no apology, just to get rid of it."

I share this tale because it shows you how a small comment, that was originally attributed to a Councillor and may have defamed his character, was dealt with promptly and respectfully. Paul in fact comes out of such a situation with a greater respect and integrity for the way he dealt with it. It wasn't adversarial, just professional.

Of course Councillor Alan Blake could have taken a similar course of action, but never picked up the phone. There's a lesson in all this.

Even though Paul asked for no apology: Paul, I'm sorry for suggesting you would even utter such things. Thanks for allowing me to put it right.


Bryan Outlaw said...

Martin Tenni also repeated the same comment and attributed it to Cr. Gregory on John McKenzie's radio show this AM. What's the chance of getting a retraction out of old rugnut?

Martin Tenni also told Margaret Cochrane that the Mayor and MP Desley Boyle were obviously mentally ill. Cochrane didn't disagree, I noted.

MG said...

MM Paul was not subjected to months and months of constant false reporting by yourself AND you withdrew the article piece objected to.

Wow I imagine as you are being taken to court you never offered to apologise or withdraw any of your false and misleading reports on the blog UNTIL you were served.

Nice to know you admit get your information straight from the Mayor and other councillors

"I quoted Councillor Paul Gregory, saying that he suggested council should return the $40 million offer to the Federal Government. I heard this directly from the Mayor and other Councillors"

Does this mean the mayor and other councillors lie and mislead the blog and ABC radio???????

This shows how infused and riddled with 'MISINFORMATION' the "mayor and other councillors" are.

Get the facts right first so time and money is not wasted on proving what 'actually' occurred.

Isnt good journalism about getting the story right rather than embellishing third hand the so called 'truth' to inflame the public readers and increase blog ratings?

Otherwise this is not journalism just a gossip blog

Mrs Bear said...

MG if you read the banner on the top of the blog it says "stiring since 2007" I dont think MM has ever held this site out to be anything other than a blog where fredom of speach and sharing opinions is encouraged. Furthermore Blakey never asked for the retraction or apology, of course MM ofered to do these things after he had being served, because prior to that he didnt know Blakeys feelings were hurt.

Anonymous said...

"Bryan Outlaw said...
What's the chance of getting a retraction out of old rugnut?"

None whatsoever. Some years ago there was a report of a young mother in Sydney who was mugged by a screwdriver wielding junkie, who apparently kicked her pram as well.

McKenzie devoted his entire editorial to it, followed by endless calls from the usual law and order lynch mob who demanded public floggings and the death penalty.

The next morning it turned out that the young mother had fabricated the whole story .

No mention of that by McKenzie who ended up with egg all over his face for blindly reporting this story..

MG said...

Oh dear Mrs Bear where have you been?

Freedom of speech - what a crock!

If this site were a supporter of free speech it would show some decorum and remove the school yard swearing and outright rude posts here and concentrate on the content rather than the popularity contest of who can be the biggest boofhead with what he/she can deliver in comeback's and personal insults.

As to McKenzie well maybe he needs to get a call from the Mayor or Greggory stating the facts and asking for retraction.

Mother Bear I suggest you deal in facts - MM was asked by Blake when MM rang Blake and Blake rang MM - to retract his untruthful comments reported here and because he got a bite from a big fish he kept going.

Do you really think one comment about greggory compared to hundreds about blake is equivalent and fair and ethical?

If you do then please test your reading glasses and check back in previous articles and photos

Or even read my posts as the closer I get and the more I disclose it appears the more MM bans me lol - freedom of speech - NOT

Or better still here is some news

you like the banner that the blog has well Alan Blakes son designed it

you like the advertising this site has well MM used Blake to garner through through the guise of networking.........

Me I would call it used abused and spat out when MM got what he wanted

MM would love to hear a reply here

Greggory did you a favour asking for a retraction.....he could of given the proof to blake to support his cause

Cr Paul Gregory said...

Mike, just got to have a look at your blog...been busy on the farm. Many thanks for your kind words. We don't see eye to eye always, but dignity and graciousness cut across most barriers. Will get to send my thoughts on CP this week. Thanks again, Paul.