Kyle Sandilands ... called a disabled child "spider baby". Photo: Getty Images
The media authority has launched an investigation into comments made by the controversial radio host Kyle Sandilands who described a Pakistani-born disabled child as a "spider baby".
The Australian Communications and Media Authority has confirmed it has launched an investigation following the comments made on air on his 2DayFM show last month in which Sandilands appeared to make fun of the child who has additional limbs.
"I can confirm that an investigation is under way," spokeswoman Emma Rossi said.
Rare condition ... the Pakistan-born child with six legs. Photo: AFP
A complaint by SackVileKyle, one of the groups that constantly monitor Sandilands, has gone directly to the regulator because the incident might be in breach of a licence condition imposed on 2DayFM in 2010 to protect children.
That allows the complainant to bypass the station and the 60-day window in which the broadcaster has time to respond and go directly to the media regulator.
It comes just weeks after the ACMA imposed another licence condition on 2DayFM for the next five years. It says that all its broadcasters be careful not to breach “generally accepted standards of decency” among its audience of listeners.
It was imposed in the wake of an investigation into Sandilands for calling a female journalist who had reviewed his TV show unfavourably a "fat slag" and a "piece of shit" late last year.
The original threat of a licence condition that would have stopped him, or any of his colleagues, from saying anything that could be regarded as offensive or demeaning to women or girls was changed after it became clear to the ACMA that it would be difficult to enforce.
All licence conditions apply to the station and not the individual broadcaster, a situation that has led to criticism of the laws governing the regulation of broadcasters and of the regulator itself.
The most recent licence condition applies for five years and if breached carries a $55,000 daily fine for any broadcaster not complying with the new conditions, as well as possible criminal action and ultimately a loss of its license to broadcast.
Southern Cross Austereo, 2Day FM’s parent company, made the following comment on the inquiry: "We are aware that ACMA is investigating these comments and we will submit our response as required. We do not believe there is any substance to the complaints."