Diamond flares hot at gag letter

By MIKARLA THURECHT

EVEN a so-called gag letter couldn't stop outspoken Rockhampton radio host Bruce Diamond from venting his spleen yesterday.

Mr Diamond continued to send sparks flying on his 4RO morning show despite management requests for him to stop.

Member for Rockhampton Robert Schwarten, fellow 4RO host Jeff Goodwin and radio management were all in the firing line.

The heated debate reached flashpoint on Friday when Mr Diamond read a letter on air from 4RO management asking him to stop talking about Mr Schwarten, Mr Goodwin and his campaign for an oncology unit.

Radio management added fuel to the fire when during broadcasting yesterday, they again asked Mr Diamond to "move on'' from the three issues.

Streams of outraged listeners rang into the program to offer support for Mr Diamond, who said he would not be "gagged'' and was prepared to lose his job.

"If I did lose my job, I would like to think that something good had come of it. That we would get better health services for CQ,'' Mr Diamond said.

Mr Schwarten said after seven months of criticism from Mr Diamond, he approached 4RO management for a "fair go''. He said Mr Diamond had gone too far when he involved his son and wife.

"As a politician I regard myself as fair game .?.?. they can't criticise me on a personal level and involve my family when they have nothing to do with my role in parliament,'' Mr Schwarten said.

Mr Diamond, however, claims it was he who was personally vilified, not Mr Schwarten.

"It's become personal from Robert's point of view, not mine. "He (Schwarten) won't talk to me on air. He doesn't bring me a present. I'd like to invite Mr Schwarten to publicly give evidence of his claims (that I attacked his family).



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