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Ellenbrook Community Radio – War of the Airways

The operation of Ellenbrook Community Radio VCA88.5fm has been thrown into turmoil after allegations of cronyism, and claims that a whistle-blower was ostracised, made to resign, and placed on a restraining order, by the station management.

Rob Howes, a consulting electronics engineer who was active at the station as treasurer, technical manager and on-air presenter (Midnight Bob) for three years, said he was hounded out of the station by what he called a targeted, relentless and malicious campaign by committee member Carlos Picado and his close associates, some of whom the committee had allegedly installed into the administration without consultation of the broader membership, representing a breach in the code of conduct.

“It started when I drew attention to a potential electrical hazard following a non-compliant installation of an LED sign by presenter Carlos Picado. The power cord of the sign eventually ended up getting caught in the presenter’s chair, causing a short circuit” he said.

Following the removal of Rob Howes as a member of the station, Mr. Howes decided to table a ‘Motion of No Confidence’ at the AGM in December 2021, citing claims of harassment of himself and other members, cronyism, and breach of the code of conduct.

As a response to this, the station chairman, Nicolas (Jimmy) Antartis, sought to prevent Mr. Howes from having any contact with the station and its volunteers by seeking a misconduct restraining order against Mr. Howes through the Midland Magistrates Court.

Mr. Howes said the station’s actions and subsequent four court appearances have caused him a lot of personal stress as well as substantial financial losses, despite ultimately winning the court case at the final court appearance on the 4th of January 2024.

“In the end, at the last court appearance, the entire case was dismissed in my favour, after the claimant, Mr. Antartis, failed to appear in court. The judge basically threw out the case as frivolous,” said Mr. Howes.

Mr. Howes intends to continue to pursue the station in order to draw attention to what he calls ‘the unethical way’ the current committee runs a publicly funded community radio station.

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