Saturday, 25 April 2009

Beat Up by The Australian

Monday's The Australian published an article about me that contained inaccuracies. Click here to read the story.

While they did publish a mini-retraction the next day, here's the correspondence between the reporter and I edited only as to private phone numbers and email addresses.

First here's my email:
I refer to today's article which bears your by line. It contains untrue implications and incorrect facts.

The headline refers to 'partner's casino fortune'. If I am the partner, then this statement is false. No part of my assets relates in any way to shares in the Burswood Casino.

As I said to you, I was unaware of my father's acquisition of these interests. I played no part in his disposal of this shareholding. I have received no benefit from this transaction. I remain unaware of what the actual profit is.

I continue to play no part whatsoever in my father's business decision making.

The last line of the first paragraph states "... owes much of his family's wealth to casinos". You stated that you did not write this paragraph. You stated also that the article you wrote had published the BRW wealth figure for my father so that readers could see for themselves. The article as published did not. The truth is, at best, the profit gained was a very small part of my father's wealth.

The third paragraph of the article states "a sizeable portion of his family's wealth came from the asset class he loathes - poker machines". As you know, this is untrue.

The 5th paragraph refers to my "casino ties". The fact is that I have no ties nor ever have had any ties with any casino.

I am informed that my father has an investment in Wesfarmers Limited. I am uncomfortable with this investment. I have personally expressed the opinion that Colonial First Estate's investment in Wesfarmers is unethical. I feel the same about my father's investment.

In the circumstances, you should publish an article correcting the record with the same prominence given to the distribution of the incorrect information.
Now here's the response:
Leave it with me, I’ll run some pars in tomorrow’s CityBeat as discussed on the phone before.

As I said, I don’t back away from the facts of the story, that your father’s company was a major shareholder in Burswood and that you were a director on the board of the company, and that Nick and Tim were unaware of such.

And I’m sure you’ll agree that the story also clearly pointed out that you were not party to the investment decision by your father, was in fact overseas at the time and derived no financial benefit from it.

I agree with your point that the BRW figure should have remained in the story to put the Burswood share sale into perspective. So I will make a point of this.
As the article states, all of this happened in 2003, some 4 and 1/2 years before began. As always, all are welcome to post on this blog with your own view of the matter.

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