ABC respond to "I need a bull bar to clear cyclists out of the way.

A Perth ABC radio announcer thought it was OK to say he wished he had a bull bar on his car to clear all the cyclist out of the way. I was one of many who complained that day (the story was forwarded to me by a friend in Perth) and the ABC response is below. Shame more station don't take responsive attitude the ABC does. My original complaint is at the end. It happened on the same day a delivery driver in Randwick went out of his way to tell me to get a car or get of the road you faggot. Please I live in Surry Hills do you think calling me a faggot is an insult? But still I was wound up that day and had to respond. Clearly we should do it more often. 

Dear Mr Smirk

Thank you for your email concerning a comment made by Eoin Cameron on 720 Breakfast about cyclists on 29 August.

Your email was referred to Audience and Consumer Affairs for consideration and response. The unit is separate and independent from ABC program areas and is responsible for investigating complaints alleging a broadcast or publication was in contravention of the ABC's editorial standards. In light of your concerns, we have reviewed the broadcast and assessed it against the ABC's editorial requirements for harm and offence, as outlined in section 7.1 of the ABC's Code of Practice:  . In the interests of procedural fairness, we have also sought and considered material from ABC Radio.

During an interview with David Hynes, media spokesperson for the Public Transport Authority, about ongoing engineering issues with the Fremantle train line, the drop in numbers of people using public transport and increase in people using bicycles, Eoin Cameron said he wanted a bull bar to clear cyclists out of his way.

While intended as a joke, in the context of the large and growing number of injuries caused to cyclists, the remark was inappropriate. Mr Cameron immediately realised this, saying straight away that the comment was 'naughty' and he wished he could 'bite his tongue'. He read critical comments from listeners on air during the same program.

Mr Cameron is genuinely sorry for making the remark and apologises for any harm or offence he has caused.

On Monday 1 September he began his program with an unreserved apology, and followed it up with a scripted apology which read, "On Friday I made a comment about wanting a bull bar to clear cyclists out of my way.  I just want to say I regret what I said and I'm sorry I said it.  I understand it's upset a lot of people - cyclists especially - and I apologise for that.  All road users have the right to travel without feeling threatened - none more so than cyclists."

Audience and Consumer Affairs conclude the broadcast was not in keeping with section 7.1 of the ABC Code of Practice.

Thank you for taking the time to write; your feedback is appreciated.

For your reference, the ABC Code of Practice is available online at

Should you be dissatisfied with this response to your complaint, you may be able to pursue your complaint with the Australian Communications and Media Authority,  .

Yours sincerely

Mark Maley
Audience & Consumer Affairs

To: Audience & Consumer Affairs
From: Justin Smirk (
Subject: ABC 720 Breakfast show on Friday Eoin Cameron
Date: 01/09/14 13:00

Below is the result of your feedback form.  It was submitted by Justin Smirk (
ABC program: ABC 720 Breakfast show on Friday Eoin Cameron

Response required: true

Date of program: Friday September 1

Contact type: Complaint

Location: NSW

Subject: ABC 720 Breakfast show on Friday Eoin Cameron

Comments: So Eoin Cameron is "wanting a bull bar on his car to "clean-up" cyclists". Really, is this appropriate when currently there are many drivers who feel it is OK to put their two tonne killing machine in a position that threatens a cyclist? Why is it OK to promote the idea it is OK to intimidate the vulnerable. Does the idea of having someone who is more vulnerable make Eion fear his one vulnerability? Is he really that weak a person? And does he want to encourage those who also fear their own vulnerability to take it out on those more vulnerable? When did the ABC start condone bulling?
Network - Local Radio
RecipientName - Audience & Consumer Affairs Referer - Complaint

Views: 1275

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Kudos, Nice work there.

Good to have it all on record as well.

Thanks Peter. I was very wound up and would not let it slip. Yes it may have been in jest but there are too many out there who may take it as a sign that their behaviour is fine. My kids and wife all ride (alone or with me) and I want them to be safe and I would like to come home to them after a ride. We all have to do our bit to keep this moving forward.

Good work.

I continue to be amazed that bull bars continue to be permitted. If you even needed a sign on a vehicle telling you an owner does not care about vulnerable road users, a bull bar does it.

"If you even needed a sign on a vehicle telling you an owner does not care about vulnerable other road users, a bull bar does it."

Aren't they now called "nudge bars"?

More importantly weren't they banned by the first Carr government for non-commercial vehicles? I've noticed the growth in bull bars over the last two years . . . and just as an aside I'm constantly amazed by the number of snorkel equipped SUV's. What's all that about? 

I am sorry but I am still not able to accept this character's apology. If he thought that was funny even for a moment he has no place on public radio. The thought should never have entered his mind. I love the ABC and there is no place for a person that thinks like that on my ABC.

I'm with you regarding apology. The fair question to ask would be what would the ABC's own Media Watch do if that was on (say) 3AW or 2GB? I'm not sure the ABC is interested in being self-critical anymore. Maybe Mr. Cameron could do a piece about riding to work for a week on a bike?

Why should he still be working for the ABC?

Facebook says 75 comments to the ABC plus mine.

Send comments to:

I've seen plenty of self critical stuff on media watch in the recent years.

Not me. Not since Littlemore left.

I agree. I will boycott the ABC.

I guess I have calmed down but you are right. There is too much of saying (or worse doing) something then just saying sorry afterwards. Saying sorry does not change anything other than make the perpetrator  feel better and more on. 

Maybe Michael is right and we need people like this to do more afterwards to promote the cause rather than just palm if off. 


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