Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, has spoken in Sydney about the recent death of UK nurse, Jacintha Saldanha, days after a 2Day Fm hoax.
Following the number of complaints received by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), Conroy said the decision to investigate the call for possible breaches of the Commercial Radio Code of Practice is one for the Australian independent broadcasting regulator.
“The ACMA is talking to 2Day FM about the facts and issues surrounding the prank call. They're in the process of gathering the information, making assessment whether to launch an inquiry without the need to go through the usual process,” he said.
According to Conroy, the usual process goes through the companies themselves first but as this issue is one where ACMA has received complaints directly, it is considering whether to invoke a separate part of the Act.
“There is a provision for them to take action directly themselves if it's felt that this is serious. And they're considering that at the moment, ascertaining the facts.
“There's obviously a police inquiry with a coroner involved in the UK, and investigations are going through our police as well. So this is a very tragic set of circumstances,” he said.
Conroy also mentioned that the ACMA is acting very swiftly following the revelations and under the tragic circumstances.
He added that during this sensitive period, the presenters are undergoing discussions and counselling. “The death of Jacintha Saldanha is dreadful and tragic. Along with all Australians, my thoughts and sympathies are with Saldanha's family, friends and work colleagues at this time,” Conroy said.