NSW Minister for Finance Services and Property Victor Dominello has begun defamation action against 2GB for what he claims was a wrongful allegation of corruption in a new story broadcast in 2017.
In its 7am news bulletin on September 9, 2017, 2GB broadcast a story sourced to the Sydney Morning Herald, which later proved to be wrong. The station did not make an apology.
The news item reported that Mr Dominello threatened a local councillor in order to have a building development approved – the opposite to the accusation that had been levelled against him.
The 2GB bulletin wrongly reported that Dominello had threatened the councillor “in order to have a 1400-unit development approved.” In fact the SMH reported that he called Ryde Deputy Mayor Jane Stott to convey his opposition to the development after receiving information about the development proposal from concerned council staff.
The matter was reported to ICAC but the corruption body declined to investigate the complaint.
In a statement of claim filed with the NSW Supreme Court, Victor Dominello has claimed that the 2GB story portrayed him as having behaved corruptly by using threats and intimidation to secure a benefit for a developer, of abusing his position and of using the influence of his position to benefit a developer.
He claims the damage to his reputation was aggravated by the falsity of the imputations and by the radio station refusing to apologise when contacted on four separate occasions.
2GB is defending the action and argues that the imputation that Mr Dominello used threats and intimidation to attempt to secure a benefit for a developer was substantially true.