Ruling on Ms Gobbo's application to limit publication of her image

Below is Commissioner McMurdo's response to confidential submissions from Mr Nathwani and Assistant Commissioner Neil Paterson that when Ms Gobbo gives her evidence to the Commission that it be seen only by the Commissioner and not be streamed publicly.

02/02/20 23.54pm

'This is an application by Ms Gobbo's counsel and by counsel for Victoria Police that when Ms Gobbo gives her evidence to the Commission tomorrow her evidence, which is being streamed by video link to the Commission, be seen only by me [the Commissioner] and not be streamed publicly. 

In support of that application her counsel have relied on their written confidential submissions and the confidential affidavit of Assistant Commissioner Neil Paterson. Victoria Police also rely on their own confidential submissions and Mr Paterson's confidential affidavit.

Mr White on behalf of The Age and Nine Network has pointed out the difficulty in making submissions when unable to see the confidential submissions and affidavit, but emphasises that Ms Gobbo's safety and that of her family are already at risk because of her notoriety, and that she voluntarily put her own image on national television recently so that it is difficult, he submits, to understand why her image being broadcast at this time would further elevate safety risks.

Mr Croft on behalf of the Herald & Weekly Times, Seven Network and Nationwide News, adopts those submissions and further submits that Ms Gobbo's evidence will in any case receive such wide publicity, whether or not her image is shown, that it is difficult to understand why the showing of her image would elevate safety risks.

I have considerable sympathy with the submissions of the media interest. However, having considered the confidential submissions, the confidential affidavit and another matter which I have had the benefit of exploring, and in light of the legislative and common law principles applicable to this case, I am satisfied that the interests of justice, particularly the safety concerns for Ms Gobbo and her family members, warrant the following order: I direct that, at this stage, Ms Gobbo's image during her evidence to the Commission be recorded but not streamed or made publicly available and that only I see her image whilst she is giving evidence.'

Reviewed 03 February 2020

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