Brad Keyworth
Brad Keyworth Chris Ison

Brads battle over bias brouhaha

FREELANCE cameraman Brad Keyworth says his ambitions to become a councillor have already cost him thousands of dollars after Mayor Brad Carter intervened.

Mr Keyworth, who has worked in Rockhampton for 25 years, filming for both the ABC and Channel 10, has attacked Cr Carter for reporting a conflict of interest to the ABC.

"The Mayor told the ABC that, as I had declared that I would be running for the council, it would be wrong for me to work on any political stories," Mr Keyworth said.

He said it was an insult to his professional integrity to suggest he would show any political bias in his work.

"I'm standing for Division 5 against councillor Cherie Rutherford.

"I have no political affiliations and as a cameraman I have no editorial input or control anyway, so I can't understand why Cr Carter thinks I have a conflict of interest," he said.

"I'm just an independent person who thinks we need to have a few changes. I'm not running against Cr Carter and I'm not affiliated with anyone who is.

"I wouldn't deliberately go out of my way to make him look bad, or anyone else for that matter and I think it is insulting to suggest otherwise."

He said the ABC had responded to Cr Carter's intervention by excluding him from any work that could be considered political in nature for the past few weeks.

"It's difficult to estimate how much work I have lost as a result.

"It could have been anything from a few hundred dollars to a couple of grand.

"Interestingly I've not heard from Cr Rutherford.

"I find it ironic that Cr Carter should consider that I might have a conflict of interest between my work and my political ambitions when there is an investigation into a possible conflict of interest in the role he has played in the Gracemere Industrial Area debate."

Cr Carter said yesterday he sought verbal advice from ABC management about how they would manage the perception of maintaining impartiality and unbiased reporting if an employee or contractor involved in reporting or filming the local election was a candidate.

"I was concerned that journalists and cameramen could influence a story and I was seeking an assurance from the ABC that I could be confident with their reporting and filming," he said.

"I received advice from ABC management that they would manage the situation so that employees or contractors would not be involved in covering the local election in accordance with their policy."

He said when he campaigned for mayor in 2007 and 2008 he was a senior employee of the State Government and took leave for the entire campaign to ensure the public could not form the opinion he had access to privileged information or a possible conflict of interest.

"I expect any public official standing for election should maintain the same ethical standards," he said.

Mr Keyworth said if he won a seat on the council on April 28 he would give up his career to become a full-time councillor.

It will be his third attempt to get on the council.

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