WHO'S TELLING THE TRUTH, BRUCE?
The member for Keppel, Bruce Young, yesterday launched an extraordinary attack on The Morning Bulletin, accusing us of fabricating an interview.
Below is a response to Mr Young's claims, the comments Mr Young made on local radio, and a transcript of the 'fabricated' interview.
'Liar' claim offensive and unprofessional, Mr Young
By John Corlett
YOU could say Bruce Young's claims I fabricated an interview would be a "he said, she said" argument - but I tell you Mr Young, it's not.
As a professional and committed journalist I reject your claims, Mr Young, that I "fabricated" an interview concerning your maiden speech.
On June 6 I spoke to you via telephone about funding for a proposed RACQ Rescue Helicopter landing pad at the Rockhampton Hospital.
In that interview I also asked for your clarification on your comments to parliament that "Rockhampton had fallen to the poor cousin of Gladstone". Mr Young, you spoke freely on that day raising your concerns about Rockhampton's stigma as a flood-prone region and former politicians' lack of action on the issue.
Although the hospital helipad story was published with your comments, yes, your comments, the article about Rocky's flooding stigma was held over until appropriate space could be found in the newspaper. After The Morning Bulletin Editor Frazer Pearce received a highly critical letter about you from reader Tony Gubbins, a person who you represent, it was suggested I again contact you, Mr Young, to give you as an elected politician the opportunity to expand on your comments. This was on June 13. You declined.
As a professional journalist I sought to provide balance and context to Mr Gubbins' claims.
I used your previous (June 6) on the record comments to give readers the chance to assess your point of view.
Mr Young, I take personal offence to your claims and am appalled by the manner in which you delivered them.
To go on talkback radio and claim I am a liar is both unprofessional and highly offensive.
"The reality is that the article you saw in The Morning Bulletin was a total fabrication...The reality is that, mate. I never said it," you told 4RO's morning presenter Michael J Bailey.
But the reality Mr Young is that you did say it. I have thorough records of our conversation and my message to you is to consider who the liar really is.
Mr Young, if you won't stand by what you say, as I have done with my byline
clearly printed above the text, then that's a problem for you as a member of government.
I faithfully reported what you said, maybe that's the real problem.
(images: Journalist John Corlett and the story which prompted Mr Young's outburst - image links to story)
My Young's claims to 4RO's Michael Bailey yesterday morning
(image: Michael J Bailey from 4RO Mornings)
"The reality is that the article you saw in The Morning Bulletin was a total fabrication, mate they're not my words.
"The reality is that, mate. I never said it.
"I wanted to move on, I said that to the journalist.
"And I just want to say this to the editor of the paper, and I've said to him on numerous occasions, mate if I don't say it don't print it. (The Morning Bulletin Editor Frazer Pearce) prints what he likes and it's poor journalism."
Announcer: "So you said to the journalist, no comment; no, I don't want, and I want to move on. So what was the reporter's name again?"
Young: "John Corlett: C-O-R-L-E-T-T.
"I've got a half a mind to send this away to Media Watch. If they're not my words, then don't print it. I think he's got to change his way mate. If he doesn't change his way, then I think we need a new editor."
The June 6 interview with Mr Young
(image: Member for Keppel Bruce Young)
The Morning Bulletin Journalist, John Corlett (J): Just…ahhh… in your speech, your maiden speech. We haven't talked about your sort of statement here that Rocky has fallen as the poor cousin to Gladstone.
Member for Keppel, Bruce Young (Y): Well mate, it wasn't that so much. It was the lack of leadership. The reality is that the... and I'm being non-political here and I did say that in my speech, you know what I mean, I got to know Col Brown who was an old Labor boy and you can see that in my speech. Ya know, Col worked with all parties...ummm... and that was the benefit of Gladstone...ummm and that area. People have said to me that we don't want another Gladstone but we do want services. Now ...ya know...even Liz Cunningham is prepared, and I had a good discussion with Liz Cunningham last night, it's about getting away from politics, mate. I'm an old Rocky boy, born and bred ... umm, that reality is, ya know, Rocky has, has become political in the past. I want to create a new dynamic out there where it doesn't matter what side of politics you're on, we're there as public servants to maintain the best outcome to people of both electorate and also Rocky Regional Council. So, I'm prepared to work with everyone, it doesn't matter who they are, ya know, the mayor, even the Member for Rockhampton, we've all got to start working for the, ya know what I mean, to get the best outcome.
Y: And that's my angle, mate. I'm not driven by politics. It's about, it's about getting the best outcome.
J: So you mention Rex Pilbeam here, who's a bit of a hero around town, and how good a job he did.
J: So has this fallen under Carter or Strelow or Schwarten? Where does this lie, this recent sort of slump in Rocky's development?
Y: Oooohhh, I think. I this it's probably, ya know, it's... I wouldn't say it's a slump. I'm saying we're not all singing from the same sheet. So what I'm saying is that there, ya know, one of the big things, and I've put this in my speech, was the fact that after the '91 floods, and this is pivotal to Rockhampton, after the '91 floods, and it was stated to me by Col Brown to me back then, he said 'mate you've got to get away from the stigma of being cut off by flooding'. Ya know, even if the Gladstone industrial area goes ahead, ya know, and one of the big pushes is that people have still got to get to work and people have still got to get home. So, ya know, we can get cut off and that's one of the areas that we need to address. And I'm a bit critical of Kirstin, after the '91 floods we, and everyone I've spoken to, you know I travel widely, is that after the '91 flood there was a clear message that we had to flood-proof Rocky, and that didn't happen. Then we had the 2000 flood event, and if you look at my maiden speech you look at the costing that was never looked into.
Y: Ya know, for Rocky to go ahead we've got to get that ... that ... ya know, flood-proof Rocky. Ya know what I mean? Even if it's over to Egans Hill. Ya know what I mean? From the roundabout to Egans Hill.
J: So you'd be strongly supporting the Yeppen bypass and the bridge and all that work down there?
Y: Mate, one hurdle at a time. The really ... the big, the big thing that we've got to do now is, do is, not only just the ... ahh ... now we, Livermore's ... now I commend her spending the ... S..t mate I've got to go, I've got to go to parliament, gotta be there by two.
Y: But, but I commended money that she's spend. What we've got to do now is really get together and do the second leg which is, of course, from the Yeppen roundabout to Egans Hill.
J: State money for that?
J: Will there be state money for that?
Y: No, Bruce Highway, mate. Federal money ... federal money.
J: Alright, thanks for your time today.
Y: No worries mate, talk soon, thanks bye.
J: Cheers bye.
A follow up email to Mr Young
Sent: Wednesday, 13 June 2012 8:37 AM From: John Corlett
To: Office of Bruce Young
Subject: Rocky flood proofing.
Talking with Bruce a couple of weeks ago he mentioned that he felt Rockhampton had fallen behind because they failed to flood proof after the '91 floods.
I am looking for further comment:
Please explain the reasoning behind this view.
Was this a state government or local government issue?
Could Rockhampton be where Mackay or Gladstone is today if action was taken in the late '90s/early '00s?
Is it too late for Rocky to piggy back on the boom? What must be done to do this?
John Corlett, Cross Platform Journalist,
The Morning Bulletin