COMMUNITY radio station Voice FM and the City of Ballarat have defended the suspension of a volunteer presenter and ambassador after she interrupted a speech by Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu.
Klaudia Hochhuth, a City of Ballarat Multicultural Ambassador and long-time host of the German-language Klaudia’s Cocktail program on Voice FM, interrupted Mr Baillieu’s remarks at the Diversity Week Gala Dinner in Melbourne earlier this year to thank him for presenting the station with an award last year. The unusual gesture saw her immediately suspended from on-air activities while her involvement with the City of Ballarat’s Multicultural Ambassador Program was terminated.
A letter from a council officer said the decision was due to Mrs Hochhuth’s behaviour at the dinner and “the negative impact on council’s reputation” it caused.
Mrs Hochhuth, who submitted her resignation to Voice FM last month, said she felt badly treated by the station’s board.
“It took them less than 24 hours to suspend me and tell me I am not even allowed on the premises and now, 11 weeks later, I haven’t heard anything from the board,” she said.
Voice FM chair Tully Smith said the resignation followed a breach of the station’s governing codes of practice.
“Klaudia was suspended because of an alleged breach of the Community Radio Broadcasting Codes of Practice, in particular for allegedly representing 99.9 Voice FM without prior arrangement, and for also bringing 99.9 Voice FM and a member of the management team into disrepute,” he said.
A City of Ballarat spokesperson said Mrs Hochhuth’s involvement with the multicultural ambassador program had been ended by mutual agreement after a process of mediation.