Westfield rejects Brogen account of phone calls to leader of Opposition’s staff

02 September 2004

Countries: Australia

Westfield today rejected claims made under Parliamentary privilege by NSW Leader of the Opposition that it had bullied his staff.

Mr Brogdens highly selective description of two phone calls made to his office by Westfield Director of Corporate Affairs Mark Ryan did not accurately describe the content or tone of the conversations.

A witness to the phone calls, a former member of Mr Brogdens staff and now Westfield Corporate Affairs Manager, Mr Matthew Abbott, disputes Mr Brogdens account.

Mr Abbott said today:

The tone and content of the conversations were courteous.

I did not hear any words of an intimidatory or bullying nature.

Contrary to the way that Mr Brogden has represented the use of the words big boys Mr Ryan had said that Westfield were big boys who could handle criticism but needed to speak up when there were unsubstantiated suggestions that it had behaved improperly.

The conversations were conducted and concluded in a cordial manner.