Monday, May 5, 2014

One Punch Laws, a Billionaire and the Media Mogul

Lost in the media's salivating over the street punch up between friends James Packer and his former Nine Network pal David Gyngell is the fact that both could be charged under NSW's heavy new "one punch" legislation introduced by the recently retired NSW premier Barry O'Farrell who was also instrumental in paving the way for Packer to build a multi-million dollar hotel and casino complex at Barangaroo.

Instead Australia's media have overlooked this important factor and despite the fact neither were apparently intoxicated, the legislation is squareky aimed at those who brawl in the streets. Both Gyngell and Packer have been life long friends- Packer was best man at Gyngell's wedding and visa versa. Meanwhile pundits have been excitedly fronting cameras in a reporting frenzy over the sale of a by-stander's snaps of the bust up and the fact they were purchased by News Ltd for a reputed $200,000 even while Packer pal Lachlan Murdoch visited James at his Bondi residence today. Not one has mentioned the new laws on street fights and the fact both could be charged with affray. This is a serious matter. According to witnesses both were throwing heavy punches : Packer is around 6'4" and a slip or fall during a fight could easily do him serious damage. Nor does the fact they are friends exempt them form the law particularly as the fight was witnessed by numerous by-standers and security men had to pull them apart.
What message will be sent to the public if two of Australia's senior businessmen can freely battle in the street ?
How on earth can the NSW government justify it's oppressive 'one punch' legislation and the fact James Packer has almost carte blanche with lax licensing hours with his proposed new casino when Kings Cross club & pub owners have been hit by laws restricting their hours?
The history of street punch ups has been tragic in Sydney with a number of distressing deaths in recent years and they weren't all strangers  as this recent example shows.
Being Sydney & NSW- once described as "the Chicago of the Southern hemisphere" with it's woeful history of official corruption since inception of the colony, the 'sweeping under the carpet' mode was immediately in full flight with both protagonists issuing gushing press releases and declaring undying support for each other.
It remains to be seen if the law is impartial in this case.
# James Packer's grandfather Sir Frank Packer was known for his fisticuffs and street fights with rival publishers and was once NSW Heavyweight boxing champ.
## The battling duo were mismatched : Packer is a billionaire, Gyngell a mere multi-millionaire.
### View the "$200K" fight snaps here.