Former law student turned ABC radio producer Josh Begbie
Former law student turned ABC radio producer Josh Begbie

‘Unlawful entry’ as easy as ABC

AN ABC radio producer, who boasted on air that he broke into the Garamilla Boulevard construction site, has been "spoken to" by the taxpayer-funded broadcaster and the Department of Infrastructure and Planning and Logistics has made a complaint to police.

ABC Local Radio producer Josh Begbie, a former law student, broke into the construction site in the wee hours of last Wednesday morning to record a radio segment in which he bragged about being the first person to ride a bicycle down the road.

Begbie's segment, which presenter Jo Laverty praised on air, quickly came to the attention of bosses at construction company Territoria Civil, which has an impeccable workplace safety record.

Begbie's conduct has been reported to workplace safety authorities, the Department of Lands, Planning and Infrastructure (DIPL) and NT Police.

On air on Wednesday last week, Laverty said she and co-host Adam Steer had been discussing how they could become the first people to drive down the new road once it opened.

She said of Begbie: "the cheeky thing has gone out and stolen the idea".

Begbie described his breaking into the construction site as "fun".

An ABC spokesman said Begbie found the site open, and on air Begbie said he showed up to the site "expecting to have to jump the fence" only to find "a big hole" in the construction site's security.

The ABC spokesman claimed the broadcaster had not heard anything from NT Government.

However, in a letter sent to ABC management on Monday DIPL chief executive Andrew Kirkman claimed that Begbie's conduct was "illegal" and "in breach of workplace safety regulations".

"To ignore safety regulations of any construction work site and make light of safety breaches publicly not only puts your journalist at risk, it also promotes ignorance of work site safety within the community," Mr Kirkman said.

The letter said Begbie's conduct had been reported to NT Police as an unlawful entry.

The ABC spokesman said "the staff concerned" had been "spoken to" for breaching the broadcaster's workplace health and safety obligations, as well as its editorial guidelines.

The spokesman said the report "should not have subsequently been broadcast".

He would not say whether taxpayer money would be spent defending Begbie if police laid criminal charges.