Placeholder Content Image

Australia's most trusted brands for 2024 revealed

<p>Despite the rise in cost-of-living, there are some brands that Aussies continue to have confidence in, and are willing to spend their money on. </p> <p>Over 4,000 Australians were surveyed by market research agency Catalyst, who were commissioned by Reader's Digest, and they were asked to choose the brands they trusted the most across nearly 70 different categories. </p> <p>"It's been a very challenging few years, but ultimately our category winners share a key common trait," Catalyst Research director Cameron Gentle said.</p> <p>"They consistently deliver on their promise. People have an expectation of what they're going to get, and the particular product or organisation delivers what they're after. Time and again."</p> <p>The survey, now in its 25th year, has crowned Bunnings as the ‘most iconic’ retailer and the fourth most trusted brand. </p> <p>Other noteworthy winners include Singapore Airlines for the most trusted brand to fly with, Panadol for pain relief, and Toyota for cars. </p> <p>Dettol was ultimately crowned the most trusted brand, earning the number one spot. </p> <p>"Since its humble beginnings in 1935, when Dettol Antiseptic Liquid was used as a post-surgery antiseptic skin wash in hospitals, Dettol has evolved to become the trusted brand in germ protection around the home," Readers Digest wrote.</p> <p><strong>Check out the list of Australia's top 20 most trusted brands below: </strong></p> <p>20. Stihl</p> <p>19. Weber</p> <p>18. Mitsubishi Electric</p> <p>17. Persil</p> <p>16. Specsavers</p> <p>15. Selleys</p> <p>14. Glen 20</p> <p>13. Dairy Farmers</p> <p>12. Royal Flying Doctors Service</p> <p>11. Weber</p> <p>10. Bega</p> <p>9. Toyota</p> <p>8. Panadol</p> <p>7. Bridgestone</p> <p>6. Cancer Council</p> <p>5. Dulux</p> <p>4. Bunnings</p> <p>3. Cadbury</p> <p>2. Band-Aid</p> <p>1. Dettol</p> <p><em>Image: Trusted Brands</em></p>

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

Miss World Australia attacked outside shopping centre

<p>Miss World Australia has taken aim at the lack of police response after she called Triple Zero for urgent assistance when she was attacked. </p> <p>Jasmine Stringer was running a workshop with a group of aspiring young pageant contestants at a Gold Coast shopping centre on Friday night, when a woman lunged towards the group in a random attack.</p> <p>"This person was hurling abuse at the young girls and then charged at me from across the road and punched me straight in the face," Jasmine told <a href="https://9now.nine.com.au/today/miss-world-australia-and-children-attacked-during-gold-coast-shopping-centre-event/cf15799c-99e7-45ee-b143-519bcff1114f" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>Today</em></a>.</p> <p>"I fended her off and then she turned her sights to a 14-year-old girl."</p> <p>While doing her best to protect herself and the young girls, Jasmine called Triple Zero for assistance.</p> <p>As the young girls fled from the scene, Jasmine waited for police - or members of the public - to help, and was met with no response.</p> <p>"I guess the most concerning part of this whole story for me is that I called Triple Zero, we are in the Southport CBD of the Gold Coast, less than three kilometres from the police station and in a 15-minute time frame when women and children are being assaulted, there was no one turning up to help," the 27-year-old said.</p> <p>"I stayed there for 20 minutes on the call with the dispatcher and I was starting to get stressed, this woman was still physically attacking these children as they're trying to get into cars and taxis and it was escalating and I asked 'is someone coming?' and they were quite dismissive to me."</p> <p>As part of her Miss World Australia advocacy work, Jasmine has devoted a lot of time and effort into preventing violence against women, and says this attack is the second time within a month that she's called for help from police after witnessing a violent incident and there's been nobody there to help.</p> <p>'I'm going to go to the police station today just make sure that the report is made and hopefully have the person who attacked us charged," she said.</p> <p>"But at this point in time, I've received no follow up from the police and it's been a really distressing situation."</p> <p><em>Image credits: Today </em></p>

Legal

Placeholder Content Image

15,000 squares, 500 hours, 19 months: how I used embroidery to make sense of Australia’s catastrophic fires

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/tracey-clement-1518268">Tracey Clement</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/australian-catholic-university-747">Australian Catholic University</a></em></p> <p>I slip the needle through a small loop of black thread, pull it tight and snip. Done. I have just tied off the very last stitch on an embroidered scroll that has taken me more than 500 hours across 19 months to complete.</p> <p>All of my artwork is extremely labour-intensive. But I have to admit, this is a bit excessive, even for me. It’s not surprising that I have been asked more than once “why not just outsource the labour?” and even “what is the point?”</p> <p>I always sigh and think enviously of plumbers. I am 100% sure hardworking tradies are never asked to justify the point of <em>their</em> work.</p> <p>Why do I work so hard? There is no one easy answer, it’s different every time. The labour intensity of my processes adds time into the equation and this both carries meaning and can change the meaning of the work as it goes on (and on and on). I always learn something unexpected.</p> <figure class="align-center zoomable"><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/590597/original/file-20240426-17-sg7esy.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/590597/original/file-20240426-17-sg7esy.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/590597/original/file-20240426-17-sg7esy.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=800&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/590597/original/file-20240426-17-sg7esy.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=800&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/590597/original/file-20240426-17-sg7esy.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=800&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/590597/original/file-20240426-17-sg7esy.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=1005&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/590597/original/file-20240426-17-sg7esy.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=1005&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/590597/original/file-20240426-17-sg7esy.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=1005&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="A finger points to a knot on the back of a messy abstract embroidery done in black, red, orange and yellow" /></a><figcaption><span class="caption">The last stitch!</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Tracey Clement</span></span></figcaption></figure> <p>I put my little scissors down and, before busting out the bubbles, I snap a picture for Instagram because #selfpromotion, but also because this is news, albeit of a very slow-breaking kind. This is what I’ve learned after stitching for seemingly endless hours: while no news may be good news, “slow news” is even better.</p> <p>My embroidered scroll is titled Impossible Numbers. It started as my attempt to memorialise <a href="https://wwf.org.au/what-we-do/australian-bushfires/in-depth-australian-bushfires">the estimated 3,000,000,000 non-human lives lost</a> in the devastating bushfires of 2019–20, a number impossible to actually comprehend.</p> <h2>Doomscrolling an emergency</h2> <p>During that long and awful summer Sydney was often shrouded in an eerie orange haze. You could smell smoke. Ash fell. But, like many Australians, I experienced the worst of it by <a href="https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/doomscrolling">doomscrolling</a> fast news.</p> <p>I was both horrified and fascinated by images of fires so huge and hot they generated their own weather, by pictures of houses reduced to smoking skeletal outlines that somehow remained standing, by headlines comparing the fires to <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/dec/31/mallacoota-fire-mayhem-armageddon-bushfires-rage-victoria-east-gippsland">armageddon</a> and <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/oct/30/australia-must-prepare-for-future-shaped-by-extreme-climate-bushfire-royal-commission-report-warns">the apocalypse</a>.</p> <p>This hyperbolic language implies we are locked in a war of good versus evil. Even headlines in the vein of “Firefighters battle blazes” pit us (people) against them (the forces of nature). And in the heat of the moment the language of war feels right. <a href="https://traceyclement.com/2020/04/21/apocalypse-now">I’ve succumbed to it myself</a>. But it is dangerous. This language reinforces the idea we can dominate nature; it frames the fires as a conflict that we can end by winning.</p> <figure class="align-center zoomable"><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/590572/original/file-20240426-21-7mbf5w.JPG?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/590572/original/file-20240426-21-7mbf5w.JPG?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/590572/original/file-20240426-21-7mbf5w.JPG?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=1432&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/590572/original/file-20240426-21-7mbf5w.JPG?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=1432&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/590572/original/file-20240426-21-7mbf5w.JPG?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=1432&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/590572/original/file-20240426-21-7mbf5w.JPG?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=1800&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/590572/original/file-20240426-21-7mbf5w.JPG?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=1800&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/590572/original/file-20240426-21-7mbf5w.JPG?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=1800&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="A hand holds a phone taking a picture of a long abstract embroidery in black, red, orange and yellow." /></a><figcaption><span class="caption">Viewing the world through the phone.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Tracey Clement</span></span></figcaption></figure> <p>I will admit watching a goat-toting woman <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-03/scott-morrison-got-bushfire-welcome-he-deserved-says-liberal-mp/11838476">berate a sitting prime minister</a> left me with a short-lived, but mildly satisfying, feeling of shared righteous indignation. But mostly doomscrolling just fuelled my sorrow and left me feeling impotent as, inevitably, the fast news cycled on to the next crisis (and the next, and the next).</p> <h2>Slowing it down</h2> <p>In October 2022, I finally stopped trying to process the bushfires, and all their terrifying implications, through the fast-news language of war. I picked up a needle instead.</p> <p>Of course 3,000,000,000 stitches would be too many, even for me, so I decided to stitch a grid of some 15,000 squares, which I filled with innumerable stitches – a nod to the endless stream of pixels that usually deliver our news.</p> <p>I started wanting to honour the 3 billion dead, that impossible number, but after months of stitching I realised I was “writing” a kind of slow-news story. It may sound ridiculous, but this tactic has been used before. The <a href="https://www.bayeuxmuseum.com/en/the-bayeux-tapestry">Bayeux Tapestry</a> is a slow-news story that documents the Norman conquest of England through embroidery. It took years to stitch, and some 950 years later it is still in circulation.</p> <p>As an alternative to doomscrolling easily digestible fast-news stories of good triumphing (or not) over evil, I have created an actual fabric scroll which depicts a stylised firestorm building in intensity until it becomes all-consuming.</p> <figure class="align-center zoomable"><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/590574/original/file-20240426-16-lk14qm.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/590574/original/file-20240426-16-lk14qm.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/590574/original/file-20240426-16-lk14qm.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=799&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/590574/original/file-20240426-16-lk14qm.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=799&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/590574/original/file-20240426-16-lk14qm.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=799&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/590574/original/file-20240426-16-lk14qm.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=1004&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/590574/original/file-20240426-16-lk14qm.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=1004&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/590574/original/file-20240426-16-lk14qm.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=1004&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="A middle-aged white woman peeks out from behind a very long abstract embroidery in black, red, orange and yellow." /></a><figcaption><span class="caption">The artist with Impossible Numbers.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Tracey Clement</span></span></figcaption></figure> <p>Despite mimicking pixels, Impossible Numbers is resolutely handmade. It is too messy, too crude, to be anything else. It is bleedingly obvious (and there was blood) the will of a person is inextricably stitched into this image of devastating fire. Human labour is literally entangled in this artwork; it shows us as part of the picture, part of nature. And this is good news</p> <p>Impossible Numbers doesn’t have a victorious ending, or any ending at all. The scroll is not fully unrolled. There is no end in sight: the story isn’t over, it’s ongoing.</p> <p>In this way it points to the future; a future in which we are not fighting nature. And this is good news too.</p> <p>If you don’t have a spare 500 hours to process the news into slow news, don’t worry. By the time I finally tied my last knot, I found I had transformed my fear and rage into something tangible, something both magnificent and beautiful (if I do say so myself), no longer about me.</p> <p>It is now a slow-news story that is no longer about a particular event; something everyone can share. This is why I do the work.</p> <p><em>Impossible Numbers is on display as part of <a href="https://www.casulapowerhouse.com/prizes/the-blake-art-prize">The Blake Prize</a> at the Casula Powerhouse, Sydney, until July 7.</em></p> <hr /> <p><em>This article is part of <a href="https://theconversation.com/au/topics/making-art-work-126611">Making Art Work</a>, our series on what inspires artists and the process of their work.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/227907/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></em></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/tracey-clement-1518268">Tracey Clement</a>, Lecturer in Visual Art and McGlade Gallery Director, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/australian-catholic-university-747">Australian Catholic University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Instagram </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/15-000-squares-500-hours-19-months-how-i-used-embroidery-to-make-sense-of-australias-catastrophic-fires-227907">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Art

Placeholder Content Image

"Best part of my life": Terri Irwin's moving Mother's Day post

<p>Terri Irwin has celebrated Mother's Day by reflecting on being a single parent to Bindi and Robert. </p> <p>Irwin called motherhood the “best part of my life,” writing that it had given her “purpose” after Steve's untimely death in 2006. </p> <p>The 59-year-old shared a series of photos with her two children, Bindi and Robert, who are now 25 and 20 years old.</p> <p>“Being a mum is the best part of my life,” she said on Instagram.</p> <p>“When Steve passed, it was not a burden being a single mum, it was actually my children that gave me purpose, courage, and happiness every day.”</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/C65S8q7rqmr/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/C65S8q7rqmr/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Terri Irwin (@terriirwincrikey)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>“Bindi and Robert are the reason I can stand strong, meet every challenge, and embrace every adventure.</p> <p>“As a mother, I am truly blessed.”</p> <p>Bindi responded to the post, “I love these beautiful photos and memories. Thank you for ALWAYS being there for me and Robert. And now for Grace. It means more than I can possibly describe. I love you.”</p> <p>“Love you mum!” Robert wrote.</p> <p>Bindi also celebrated Mother's Day by posting her own tribute to her mum, posting a throwback picture and writing, "Happy Mother’s Day to this amazing woman. My mum. Her commitment to conservation and making the world a better place inspires me every day. I love you."</p> <p>The young wildlife warrior also shared a photo of her daughter Grace on the special day, paying tribute to the child who made her a mum. </p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/C64Mo3Hve1M/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/C64Mo3Hve1M/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Bindi Irwin (@bindisueirwin)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Bindi shared a series of photos with her daughter, writing, "Grace Warrior, when I look at you, I know the meaning of life."</p> <p>"Being your Mama is the best part of my existence."</p> <p class="css-1n6q21n-StyledParagraph e4e0a020" style="box-sizing: border-box; overflow-wrap: break-word; word-break: break-word; margin: 0px 0px 1.125rem; line-height: 25px;"><em>Image credits: Instagram </em></p>

Family & Pets

Placeholder Content Image

Yes, Australia’s big supermarkets have been price gouging. But fixing the problem won’t be easy

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/bree-hurst-174985">Bree Hurst</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/queensland-university-of-technology-847">Queensland University of Technology</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/carol-richards-153226">Carol Richards</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/queensland-university-of-technology-847">Queensland University of Technology</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/hope-johnson-125018">Hope Johnson</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/queensland-university-of-technology-847">Queensland University of Technology</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/rudolf-messner-1373038">Rudolf Messner</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/queensland-university-of-technology-847">Queensland University of Technology</a></em></p> <p>A much-awaited report into Coles and Woolworths has found what many customers have long believed – Australia’s big supermarkets engage in price gouging.</p> <p>What <a href="https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Supermarket_Prices/SupermarketPrices/Terms_of_Reference">started</a> as a simple Senate inquiry into grocery prices and supermarket power has delivered a lengthy 195-page-long <a href="https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Supermarket_Prices/SupermarketPrices/Supermarket_Prices">report</a> spanning supermarket pricing’s impact on customers, food waste, relationships with suppliers, employee wages and conditions, excessive profitability, company mergers and land banking.</p> <p>The report makes some major recommendations, including giving courts the power to break up anti-competitive businesses, and strengthening the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).</p> <p>It also recommends making the Food and Grocery Code of Conduct mandatory for supermarket chains. This code governs how they should deal with suppliers. The government’s recent <a href="https://treasury.gov.au/consultation/c2024-510813">Independent Review of the Food and Grocery Code</a> also recommended making it mandatory for the supermarket giants.</p> <p>But at this point it’s hard to say what, if anything, the recommendations will mean for everyday Australians and the prices they actually pay.</p> <h2>Price gouging isn’t illegal</h2> <p>At the heart of the Senate inquiry was the question of whether Australian supermarkets were price gouging. According to the committee, the answer is a “resounding yes”, despite the evidence presented by supermarkets to the contrary.</p> <p>Price gouging is when businesses exploit a lack of competition by setting prices well above cost price. But the practice is <a href="https://www.accc.gov.au/consumers/pricing/setting-prices-whats-allowed">not explicitly illegal</a>.</p> <p>The committee put forward a number of recommendations that could help reduce price gouging. These include making it an offence to charge excess prices and establishing a new “Commission on Prices and Competition” to examine price setting practices in different sectors.</p> <p>The committee also wants the ACCC to be given enhanced powers to investigate and prosecute unfair trading practices, and to be better funded and resourced.</p> <p>The committee says supermarket claims that price gouging does not exist should mean the giants have nothing to fear under tougher legislation. However, it says:</p> <blockquote> <p>the evidence brought forward by people willing to speak out about the business practices of Coles and Woolworths suggests that maintaining margins and increasing margin growth is occurring at the expense of suppliers, consumers, and best business practices, and without proper justification.</p> </blockquote> <h2>It’s unlikely we’ll see relief anytime soon</h2> <p>Will these recommendations actually deliver any relief on prices? It’s hard to say at this point. The recommendations put forward are comprehensive, but they’re unlikely to result in any short-term change for consumers.</p> <p>At any rate, the Albanese government does not support many of them. In the report’s additional commentary, Labor senators argue that Australian competition law already addresses excessive pricing by prohibiting misleading and deceptive conduct. They also don’t support establishing a new commission to examine prices.</p> <p>Rather, the report calls for a dramatic overhaul of current regulatory settings, which it says are “not appropriate or fit for purpose”. This is not going to be an easy or fast process.</p> <h2>What does the report mean for the Greens’ divestiture bill?</h2> <p>While the inquiry was underway, the Greens <a href="https://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;page=0;query=BillId%3As1413%20Recstruct%3Abillhome">introduced a bill</a> which would give courts “divestiture powers”. This means a corporation could be ordered to sell some of its assets to reduce its market power.</p> <p>While the bill lacks support from the major parties, the committee suggested that such divestiture powers should be introduced specifically for the supermarket sector. Where abuse of market power was able to be proven, supermarkets could be forced to sell certain stores.</p> <p>While Australia does not have divestiture powers in this context, some other countries do. In New Zealand, the UK and the US, courts can force corporations that are abusing their market power to sell components of their business. Such powers are very rarely used, but the deterrent they impose can be <a href="https://theconversation.com/its-time-to-give-australian-courts-the-power-to-break-up-big-firms-that-behave-badly-226726">highly influential</a> on corporate behaviour.</p> <p>Labor rejects creating any forms of divestiture power in the report’s additional commentary. But the Coalition isn’t entirely against the idea, noting that it “does not believe the committee has persuasively found that divestiture powers should not be pursued at all” and that “divestiture powers should be targeted to sectors of concern”.</p> <h2>What’s next?</h2> <p>At this stage, the report suggests there’s only one action all political parties agree on at this stage: making the Food and Grocery Code of Conduct mandatory and ensuring its full enforcement. We’re unlikely to see much unity on the other recommendations.</p> <p>In a scathing commentary, the Coalition argues the report represents “a missed opportunity to address some of the structural imbalances in our supermarket sector that are impacting Australia’s growers, farmers, small businesses, and ultimately consumers”.</p> <p>While this is a harsh assessment, the reality is that unless these structural imbalances in our food system are addressed, we’re unlikely to see meaningful change.</p> <p>The report draws on substantial evidence to paint a troubling picture of the food system in Australia – in particular, how growers and consumers are struggling. The task for regulators is working out what mechanisms can be used to address the imbalance of power in the market, in a way that doesn’t force growers or Australian consumers to bear the cost.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/229602/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/bree-hurst-174985">Bree Hurst</a>, Associate Professor, Faculty of Business and Law, QUT, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/queensland-university-of-technology-847">Queensland University of Technology</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/carol-richards-153226">Carol Richards</a>, Professor, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/queensland-university-of-technology-847">Queensland University of Technology</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/hope-johnson-125018">Hope Johnson</a>, ARC DECRA Fellow, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/queensland-university-of-technology-847">Queensland University of Technology</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/rudolf-messner-1373038">Rudolf Messner</a>, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/queensland-university-of-technology-847">Queensland University of Technology</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credit: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/yes-australias-big-supermarkets-have-been-price-gouging-but-fixing-the-problem-wont-be-easy-229602">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

A tax on sugary drinks can make us healthier. It’s time for Australia to introduce one

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/peter-breadon-1348098">Peter Breadon</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/grattan-institute-1168">Grattan Institute</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/jessica-geraghty-1530733">Jessica Geraghty</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/grattan-institute-1168"><em>Grattan Institute</em></a></em></p> <p>Sugary drinks cause weight gain and <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41574-021-00627-6">increase the risk</a> of a range of diseases, including diabetes.</p> <p>The <a href="https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2792842">evidence shows</a> that well-designed taxes can reduce sugary drink sales, cause people to choose healthier options and get manufacturers to reduce the sugar in their drinks. And although these taxes haven’t been around long, there are already signs that they are making people healthier.</p> <p>It’s time for Australia to catch up to the rest of the world and introduce a tax on sugary drinks. As our new Grattan Institute <a href="https://grattan.edu.au/report/sickly-sweet/">report</a> shows, doing so could mean the average Australian drinks almost 700 grams less sugar each year.</p> <h2>Sugary drinks are making us sick</h2> <p>The share of adults in Australia who are obese has tripled since 1980, from <a href="https://theconversation.com/mapping-australias-collective-weight-gain-7816">10%</a> to more than <a href="https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/health/health-conditions-and-risks/waist-circumference-and-bmi/latest-release">30%</a>, and diabetes is our <a href="https://www.diabetesaustralia.com.au/about-diabetes/diabetes-in-australia/">fastest-growing</a> chronic condition. The costs for the health system and economy are measured in the billions of dollars each year. But the biggest costs are borne by individuals and their families in the form of illness, suffering and early death.</p> <p>Sugary drinks are a big part of the problem. The more of them we drink, the greater our risk of <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41574-021-00627-6">gaining weight</a>, <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2963518/">developing type 2 diabetes</a>, and suffering <a href="https://academic.oup.com/eurpub/article/31/1/122/5896049?login=false">poor oral health</a>.</p> <p>These drinks have no real nutrients, but they do have a lot of sugar. The average Australian consumes <a href="https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/health/health-conditions-and-risks/apparent-consumption-selected-foodstuffs-australia/latest-release">1.3</a> times the maximum recommended amount of sugar each day. Sugary drinks are responsible for more than one-quarter of our daily sugar intake, more than any other major type of food.</p> <p>You might be shocked by how much sugar you’re drinking. Many 375ml cans of soft drink contain eight to 12 teaspoons of sugar, nearly the entire daily recommended limit for an adult. Many 600ml bottles blow our entire daily sugar budget, and then some.</p> <p>The picture is even worse for disadvantaged Australians, who are more likely to have <a href="https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/health/health-conditions-and-risks/diabetes/latest-release">diabetes</a> and <a href="https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/health/health-conditions-and-risks/waist-circumference-and-bmi/latest-release">obesity</a>, and who also consume the most sugary drinks.</p> <h2>Sugary drink taxes work</h2> <p>Fortunately, there’s a proven way to reduce the damage sugary drinks cause.</p> <p>More than <a href="https://ssbtax.worldbank.org/">100 countries</a> have a sugary drinks tax, covering most of the world’s population. <a href="https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2792842">Research</a> shows these taxes lead to higher prices and fewer purchases.</p> <p>Some taxes are specifically designed to encourage manufacturers to change their recipes and cut the sugar in their drinks. Under these “tiered taxes”, there is no tax on drinks with a small amount of sugar, but the tax steps up two or three times as the amount of sugar rises. That gives manufacturers a strong incentive to add less sugar, so they reduce their exposure to the tax or avoid paying it altogether.</p> <p>This is the best result from a sugary drinks tax. It means drinks get healthier, while the tax is kept to a minimum.</p> <p>In countries with tiered taxes, manufacturers have slashed the sugar in their drinks. In the United Kingdom, the share of products above the tax threshold <a href="https://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1003025">decreased dramatically</a>. In 2015, more than half (52%) of products in the UK were above the tax threshold of 5 grams of sugar per 100ml. Four years later, when the tax was in place, that share had plunged to 15%. The number of products with the most sugar – more than 8 grams per 100ml – declined the most, falling from 38% to just 7%.</p> <p>The Australian drinks market today looks similar to the UK’s before the tax was introduced.</p> <p>Health benefits take longer to appear, but there are already promising signs that the taxes are working. Obesity among primary school-age girls has fallen in <a href="https://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1004160">the UK</a> and <a href="https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/fullarticle/2786784">Mexico</a>.</p> <p>Oral health has also improved, with studies reporting fewer children going to hospital to get their teeth removed in <a href="https://nutrition.bmj.com/content/6/2/243">the UK</a>, and reduced dental decay <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33853058/">in Mexico</a> and <a href="https://www.ajpmonline.org/article/S0749-3797(23)00069-7/abstract">Philadelphia</a>.</p> <p>One <a href="https://www.ajpmonline.org/article/S0749-3797(23)00158-7/fulltext">study from the United States</a> found big reductions in gestational diabetes in cities with a sugary drinks tax.</p> <h2>The tax Australia should introduce</h2> <p>Like successful taxes overseas, Australia should introduce a sugary drink tax that targets drinks with the most sugar:</p> <ul> <li>drinks with 8 grams or more of sugar per 100ml should face a $0.60 per litre tax</li> <li>drinks with 5–8 grams should be taxed at $0.40 per litre</li> <li>drinks with less than 5 grams of sugar should be tax-free.</li> </ul> <p>This means a 250ml Coke, which has nearly 11 grams of sugar per 100ml, would cost $0.15 more. But of course consumers could avoid the tax by choosing a sugar-free soft drink, or a bottle of water.</p> <p>Grattan Institute <a href="https://grattan.edu.au/report/sickly-sweet/">modelling</a> shows that under this tiered tax, Australians would drink about 275 million litres fewer sugary drinks each year, or the volume of 110 Olympic swimming pools.</p> <p>The tax is about health, but government budgets also benefit. If it was introduced today, it would raise about half a billion dollars in the first year.</p> <p>Vested interests such as the beverages industry have fiercely resisted sugary drink taxes around the world, issuing disingenuous warnings about the risks to poor people, the sugar industry and drinks manufacturers.</p> <p>But our new report shows sugary drink taxes have been introduced smoothly overseas, and none of these concerns should hold Australia back.</p> <p>We certainly can’t rely on industry pledges to voluntarily reduce sugar. They have been <a href="https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/public-health-nutrition/article/trends-in-sugar-content-of-nonalcoholic-beverages-in-australia-between-2015-and-2019-during-the-operation-of-a-voluntary-industry-pledge-to-reduce-sugar-content/EE662DE7552670ED532F6650C9D56939">weak</a> and misleading, and <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2024/apr/10/sugar-increase-in-fanta-and-sprite-prompts-calls-for-new-tax-on-australia-food-and-drinks-industry">failed to stick</a>.</p> <p>It will take many policies and interventions to turn back the tide of obesity and chronic disease in Australia, but a sugary drinks tax should be part of the solution. It’s a policy that works, it’s easy to implement, and most Australians <a href="https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/9/6/e027962">support it</a>.</p> <p>The federal government should show it’s serious about tackling Australia’s biggest health problems and take this small step towards a healthier future.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/228906/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/peter-breadon-1348098">Peter Breadon</a>, Program Director, Health and Aged Care, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/grattan-institute-1168">Grattan Institute</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/jessica-geraghty-1530733">Jessica Geraghty</a>, Senior Associate, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/grattan-institute-1168">Grattan Institute</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/a-tax-on-sugary-drinks-can-make-us-healthier-its-time-for-australia-to-introduce-one-228906">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Food & Wine

Placeholder Content Image

Australians lose $5,200 a minute to scammers. There’s a simple thing the government could do to reduce this. Why won’t they?

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/peter-martin-682709">Peter Martin</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/crawford-school-of-public-policy-australian-national-university-3292">Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University</a></em></p> <p>What if the government was doing everything it could to stop thieves making off with our money, except the one thing that could really work?</p> <p>That’s how it looks when it comes to <a href="https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/types-of-scams">scams</a>, which are attempts to trick us out of our funds, usually by getting us to hand over our identities or bank details or transfer funds.</p> <p>Last year we lost an astonishing <a href="https://www.accc.gov.au/media-release/scam-losses-decline-but-more-work-to-do-as-australians-lose-27-billion">A$2.74 billion</a> to scammers. That’s more than $5,200 per minute – and that’s only the scams we know about from the 601,000 Australians who made reports. Many more would have kept quiet.</p> <p>If the theft of $5,200 per minute seems over the odds for a country Australia’s size, a comparison with the United Kingdom suggests you are right. In 2022, people in the UK lost <a href="https://www.ukfinance.org.uk/system/files/2023-05/Annual%20Fraud%20Report%202023_0.pdf">£2,300</a> per minute, which is about A$4,400. The UK has two and a half times Australia’s population.</p> <p>It’s as if international scammers, using SMS, phone calls, fake invoices and fake web addresses are targeting Australia, because in other places it’s harder.</p> <p>If we want to cut Australians’ losses, it’s time to look at rules about to come into force in the UK.</p> <h2>Scams up 320% since 2020</h2> <p>The current federal government is doing a lot – <em>almost</em> everything it could. Within a year of taking office, it set up the <a href="https://www.accc.gov.au/national-anti-scam-centre">National Anti-Scam Centre</a>, which coordinates intelligence. Just this week, the centre reported that figure of $2.74 billion, which is down 13% on 2022, but up 50% on 2021 and 320% on 2020.</p> <p>It’s planning “<a href="https://treasury.gov.au/consultation/c2023-464732">mandatory industry codes</a>” for banks, telecommunication providers and digital platforms.</p> <p>But the code it is proposing for banks, set out in a <a href="https://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2023-11/c2023-464732-cp.pdf">consultation paper</a> late last year, is weak when compared to overseas.</p> <h2>Banks are the gatekeepers</h2> <p>Banks matter, because they are nearly always the means by which the money is transferred. Cryptocurrency is now much less used after the banks agreed to limit payments to high risk exchanges.</p> <p>Here’s an example of the role played by banks. A woman the Consumer Action Law Centre is calling <a href="https://consumeraction.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Joint-submission-CALC-CHOICE-ACCAN-31012024-Scams-Mandatory-code-treasury-consultA.pdf">Amelia</a> tried to sell a breast pump on Gumtree.</p> <p>The buyer asked for her bank card number and a one-time PIN and used the code to whisk out $9,100, which was sent overseas. The bank wouldn’t help because she had provided the one-time PIN.</p> <p>Here’s another. A woman the Competition and Consumer Commission is calling <a href="https://www.accc.gov.au/system/files/Targeting%20scams%202022.pdf">Niamh</a> was contacted by someone using the National Australia Bank’s SMS ID. Niamh was told her account was compromised and talked through how to transfer $300,000 to a “secure” account.</p> <p>After she had done it, the scammer told her it was a scam, laughed and said “we are in Brisbane, come find me”.</p> <h2>How bank rules protect scammers</h2> <p>And one more example. Former University of Melbourne academic <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/377766055_Scams_Blaming_the_Victims">Kim Sawyer</a> (that’s his real name, he is prepared to go public) clicked on an ad for “St George Capital” displaying the dragon logo of St. George Bank.</p> <p>He was called back by a man using the name of a real St. George employee, who persuaded him to transfer funds from accounts at the AMP, Citibank and Macquarie to accounts he was told would be in his and his wife’s name at Westpac, ANZ, the Commonwealth and Bendigo Banks.</p> <p>They lost <a href="https://www.afr.com/wealth/personal-finance/i-lost-2-5m-of-my-super-to-scammers-20240423-p5flzp">$2.5 million</a>. Sawyer says none of the banks – those that sent the funds or those that received them – would help him. Some cited “<a href="https://www.choice.com.au/money/financial-planning-and-investing/stock-market-investing/articles/st-george-capital-investment-scam">privacy</a>” reasons.</p> <p>The Consumer Action Law Centre says the banks that transfer the scammed funds routinely tell their customers “it’s nothing to do with us, you transferred the money, we can’t help you”. The banks receiving the funds routinely say “you’re not our customer, we can’t help you”.</p> <p>That’s here. Not in the UK.</p> <h2>UK bank customers get a better deal</h2> <p>In Australia in 2022, only <a href="https://download.asic.gov.au/media/mbhoz0pc/rep761-published-20-april-2023.pdf">13%</a> of attempted scam payments were stopped by banks before they took place. Once scammed, only 2% to 5% of losses (depending on the bank) were reimbursed or compensated.</p> <p>In <a href="https://www.psr.org.uk/information-for-consumers/app-fraud-performance-data/">the UK</a>, the top four banks pay out 49% to 73%.</p> <p>And they are about to pay out much more. From October 2024, reimbursement will be compulsory. Where authorised fast payments are made “because of deception by fraudsters”, the banks will have to reimburse <a href="https://www.thomsonreuters.com/en-us/posts/investigation-fraud-and-risk/app-fraud-uk">the lot</a>.</p> <p>Normally the bills will be split <a href="https://www.psr.org.uk/news-and-updates/latest-news/news/psr-confirms-new-requirements-for-app-fraud-reimbursement/">50:50</a> between the bank transferring the funds and the bank receiving them. Unless there’s a need for further investigations, the payments must be made within five days.</p> <p>The <a href="https://www.psr.org.uk/media/as3a0xan/sr1-consumer-standard-of-caution-guidance-dec-2023.pdf">only exceptions</a> are where the consumer seeking reimbursement has acted fraudulently or with gross negligence.</p> <p>The idea behind the change – pushed through by the Conservative government now led by UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak – is that if scams are the banks’ problem, if they are costing them millions at a time, they’ll stop them.</p> <p><a href="https://www.thepost.co.nz/business/350197309/banks-given-fraud-ultimatum">New Zealand</a> is looking at doing the same thing, <a href="https://www.biocatch.com/blog/mas-shared-responsibility-fraud-losses">as is Singapore</a>.</p> <p>But here, the treasury’s discussion paper on its mandatory codes mentions reimbursement <a href="https://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2023-11/c2023-464732-cp.pdf">only once</a>. That’s when it talks about what’s happening in the UK. Neither treasury nor the relevant federal minister is proposing it here.</p> <h2>Australia’s approach is softer</h2> <p>Assistant Treasurer Stephen Jones is in charge of Australia’s rules.</p> <p>Asked why he wasn’t pushing for compulsory reimbursement here, Jones said on Monday <a href="https://ministers.treasury.gov.au/ministers/stephen-jones-2022/transcripts/interview-mark-gibson-abc-perth">prevention was better</a>.</p> <blockquote> <p>I think a simplistic approach of just saying, ‘Oh, well, if any loss, if anyone incurs a loss, then the bank always pay’, won’t work. It’ll just make Australia a honeypot for these international crime gangs, because they’ll say, well, ‘Let’s, you know, focus all of our activity on Australia because it’s a victimless crime if banks always pay’.</p> </blockquote> <p>Telling banks to pay would certainly focus the minds of the banks, in the way they are about to be focused in the UK.</p> <p>The <a href="https://www.ausbanking.org.au/submissions/">Australian Banking Association</a> hasn’t published its submission to the treasury review, but the <a href="https://consumeraction.org.au/scams-mandatory-industry-codes-consultation-paper/">Consumer Action Law Centre</a> has.</p> <p>It says if banks had to reimburse money lost, they’d have more of a reason to keep it safe.</p> <p>In the UK, they are about to find out. If Jones is right, it might be about to become a honeypot for scammers. If he is wrong, his government will leave Australia even further behind when it comes to scams – leaving us thousands more dollars behind per day.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/228867/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/peter-martin-682709">Peter Martin</a>, Visiting Fellow, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/crawford-school-of-public-policy-australian-national-university-3292">Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/australians-lose-5-200-a-minute-to-scammers-theres-a-simple-thing-the-government-could-do-to-reduce-this-why-wont-they-228867">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

Don’t give mum chocolates for Mother’s Day. Take on more housework, share the mental load and advocate for equality instead

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/leah-ruppanner-106371">Leah Ruppanner</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-melbourne-722">The University of Melbourne</a></em></p> <p>With Mother’s Day right around the corner, many grateful and loving families are thinking about what to give mum to show their appreciation.</p> <p>Should you give her chocolate? Nope. Fancy soaps? Nope. Fuzzy slippers, pyjamas, scented candles? No, no and no.</p> <p>On this Mother’s Day, keep your cash and give your wonderful mother gifts that will actually have a long-term impact on her health and well-being.</p> <h2>1. Do a chore that mum hates and hold onto it … forever</h2> <p>Research <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13545701.2020.1831039">shows</a> men have increased the amount of time spent on housework and childcare and that mothers, over time, are doing less (hooray!).</p> <p>But, women <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1741-3737.2008.00479.x">still do more housework</a> than men, especially when <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/gwao.12497?fbclid=IwAR2dp04p2sFqbDqdehXmXgDSfTYwX3GRzP7ScMJhSOrMePTGQVErR2TTX88">kids are in the home</a>.</p> <p>Further, <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0891243205285212">men tend to pick up the more desirable tasks</a>, like <a href="https://www.jstor.org/stable/3598304">cooking and playing with the kids</a>, leaving mothers to do the less pleasurable chores (think cleaning toilets and clearing out fridges).</p> <p>The chore divide in same-sex relationships is generally found to be more equal, but some critique suggests equality may suffer <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/16/upshot/same-sex-couples-divide-chores-much-more-evenly-until-they-become-parents.html">once kids are involved</a>.</p> <p>This year give your mum (or mums) the gift of equal housework and childcare sharing – start by taking the most-hated tasks and then hold onto them… forever.</p> <p><a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/gwao.12727">Research</a> shows housework inequality is bad for women’s mental health. Undervaluing women’s housework and unequal sharing of the chores deteriorates <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11199-022-01282-5">relationship quality</a>, and <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0038038516674664">leads to divorce</a>.</p> <p>Housework and childcare take up valuable time to keep the family happy, harmonious and thriving, often at the expense of mum’s health and well-being.</p> <p>So, skip the chocolates and show mum love by doing the worst, most drudgerous and constant household chores (hello, cleaning mouldy showers!) and keep doing these… forever.</p> <h2>2. Initiate a mental unload</h2> <p>The <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/health/2017-09-14/the-mental-load-and-what-to-do-about-it/8942032">mental load</a> is all of the planning, organising and management work necessary to keep the family running.</p> <p>The mental load is often perceived as list making or allocating tasks to family members.</p> <p>But, it’s so much more – it is the <a href="https://theconversation.com/planning-stress-and-worry-put-the-mental-load-on-mothers-will-2022-be-the-year-they-share-the-burden-172599">emotional work</a> that goes with this thinking work.</p> <p>The mental load is the worry work that never ends and can be done <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13668803.2021.2002813">anywhere, anytime and with anyone</a> (in, for example, said mouldy shower).</p> <p>Because the mental load is performed inside our heads, it is invisible. That means we don’t know when we or others are performing this labour unless we really tune in.</p> <p>In fact, it is often when we tune in through quiet time, relaxation or meditation that the mental load rears its ugly head. Suddenly you remind yourself to buy oranges for the weekend soccer game, organise a family movie night and don’t forget to check in on nanna.</p> <p>Women in heterosexual relationships are <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0003122419859007">shown to do more</a> of the mental load with serious consequences for their mental health. But we don’t have a comprehensive measurement of how much women do it nor how it is allocated in same-sex couples.</p> <p>So, on this mothers’ day spend some time talking about, cataloguing, and equalising the family’s mental load.</p> <p>This isn’t just making a list about what has to be done but also understanding <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/health/2017-09-14/the-mental-load-and-what-to-do-about-it/8942032">how the mental load</a> connects to the emotional health of the family, and the person carrying this <a href="https://www.newamerica.org/better-life-lab/blog/making-the-mental-load-visible/">invisible labour, worry and stress</a>.</p> <h2>3. Speak up for your mum and all caregivers</h2> <p>Families alone cannot bear the brunt of the caregiving necessary to keep us thriving.</p> <p>Governments, workplaces and local communities also play a critical role. For this mothers’ day, pick an issue impacting mothers (for example, equal pay, affordable childcare or paid family leave) and do one thing to help move the needle.</p> <p>Write a letter to your boss, your local MP, or donate money to an advocacy organisation advancing gender equality.</p> <p>Or, role model these behaviours yourself – normalise caregiving as a critical piece of being an effective worker, create policies and practices that support junior staff to care for themselves, their families and their communities and use these policies.</p> <p><a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0891243216649946">Research</a> shows men want to be equal carers and sharers but often fear what taking time off for caregiving will signal to their employer despite evidence that fathers who request flexible work are perceived more <a href="https://academic.oup.com/sf/article-abstract/94/4/1567/2461609?login=false">favourably</a>.</p> <p>Appearing to be singularly devoted to work was shown to be impossible during the pandemic with kids, spouses, partners, and pets home all day long.</p> <p>Learning to create more care-inclusive workplaces and communities is critical.</p> <p>Paid parental leave, affordable and accessible high-quality childcare, flexibility in how, when and where we work and greater investments in paid sick leave, long-term disability support and aged care are just a few policies that would strengthen the care safety net.</p> <p>We will all be called upon to care at some point in our lives – let’s create the environments that support caregiving for all, not just mum.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/182330/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/leah-ruppanner-106371">Leah Ruppanner</a>, Professor of Sociology and Founding Director of The Future of Work Lab, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-melbourne-722">The University of Melbourne</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/dont-give-mum-chocolates-for-mothers-day-take-on-more-housework-share-the-mental-load-and-advocate-for-equality-instead-182330">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Family & Pets

Placeholder Content Image

“The spirit of Australia”: Rival airlines' actions praised after Bonza collapse

<p>Thousands of passengers were left stranded across the country when budget airline Bonza cancelled all their flights and announced that they have entered into voluntary administration. </p> <p>“Bonza has temporarily suspended services due to be operated today, as discussions are currently underway regarding the ongoing viability of the business,” CEO Tim Jordan said. </p> <p>“We apologise to our customers who are impacted by this and we are working as quickly as possible to determine a way forward that ensures there is ongoing competition in the Australian aviation market," he later told news.com.au.</p> <p>Rival airlines, including Jetstar, Qantas and Virgin have all stepped in to help passengers and staff affected by Bonza's sudden collapse. </p> <p>Jetstar and Virgin Australia sprung into action when one passenger, <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/travel/travel-trouble/not-good-enough-karl-takes-aim-at-airline-cancellation" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Tracy Hilbert</a>, revealed her devastation after her morning flight to Melbourne got cancelled on the day that she was planning to be with her family following her father's passing on Monday. </p> <p>The two airlines helped her get to her destination without charging her for a ticket.</p> <p>Jetstar, which is owned by Qantas, also released a statement on Tuesday and said:  “We understand today’s news about Bonza will have a significant impact on many people’s travel plans.”</p> <p>“For Bonza customers who are due to travel today or who are stuck away from home, Jetstar and Qantas will assist by providing flights at no cost where there are seats available.”</p> <p>Qantas also released a statement offering employment support to staff affected by the budget airline's collapse. </p> <p>“We extend our thoughts to our aviation industry colleagues and their families – from pilots and cabin crew to flight planners and operations controllers,” it read.</p> <p>“If Bonza employees would like to discuss recruitment opportunities within Jetstar and Qantas, particularly in specialised fields which are unique to aviation, we’ve set up a dedicated page on the Jetstar careers website.</p> <p>“For any customers with a cancelled Bonza flight on a route we operate, to make sure you’re not further out of pocket, you can fly with us at no cost where we have seats available.”</p> <p>Virgin Australia also extended its hand to staff seeking employment, and offered support to any passengers stranded mid-journey with complimentary seats, where available. </p> <p>“When Bonza started in Australia, we welcomed its launch because competition makes us all better and benefits consumers. We are saddened to hear of Bonza’s current situation and the impacts on its people, customers and partners,” the statement read.</p> <p>“We will do what we can to support Bonza’s employees by prioritising them for any current and future roles at Virgin Australia, and encourage them to contact our careers team at recruitmentteam@virginaustralia.com if they wish.”</p> <p>The three airlines' responses have been applauded by the aviation industry and Aussies alike with many branding it “the spirit of Australia”. </p> <p><em>Image: </em><em>Lachie Millard/ news.com.au</em></p>

Domestic Travel

Placeholder Content Image

What just happened to Bonza? Why new budget airlines always struggle in Australia

<div class="theconversation-article-body"> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ian-douglas-2932">Ian Douglas</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/unsw-sydney-1414">UNSW Sydney</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/seena-sarram-1469656">Seena Sarram</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/unsw-sydney-1414">UNSW Sydney</a></em></p> <p>The history of budget jet airlines in Australia is a long road <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/traveller/travel-news/grounded-five-of-australias-biggest-airline-failures-20221216-h28pzn.html">littered with broken dreams</a>. New entrants have consistently struggled to get a foothold.</p> <p>Low-cost carrier Bonza has just become the industry’s <a href="https://www.afr.com/companies/transport/bonza-flights-cancelled-as-aircraft-repossessed-20240430-p5fnjf">latest casualty</a>, entering voluntary administration on Tuesday after abruptly cancelling all flights.</p> <p>Losing the airline would be heartbreaking for the 24 regional Australian locations that were <a href="https://www.accc.gov.au/system/files/domestic-airline-competition-report-february2024_0.pdf">not connected directly</a> by any other airline. It would also mean even less competition in a heavily concentrated domestic air travel market. Over 85% of routes are operated by just <a href="https://www.accc.gov.au/system/files/domestic-airline-competition-report-february2024_0.pdf">three airline groups</a>.</p> <p>But Bonza hasn’t just fallen into this situation by chance. Strategic missteps likely played a key role from the very beginning.</p> <h2>What went wrong</h2> <p>First, running an airline is an expensive business – any cost savings airlines can find are extremely valuable.</p> <p>Bonza chose to enter the Australian market with a very small fleet of <a href="https://skybrary.aero/aircraft-family/b737-series">Boeing B737</a> jet aircraft. But these had no operating cost advantage over the B737s already flown by Qantas, Virgin and Rex. Bonza’s small fleet also lacked any scale advantage in scheduling aircraft or crew.</p> <p>Second, to sell tickets, Bonza adopted a radically different “<a href="https://flybonza.com/media/bonza-gets-wheels-up#:%7E:text=Bonza%20is%20the%20first%20airline,uniform%20including%20custom%20Bonza%20sneakers.">app first</a>” approach. The only place customers could search for and book tickets directly was the official Bonza app. But this meant potential customers using conventional search tools – such as search engines or booking websites – often couldn’t find Bonza flights.</p> <p>The fact Bonza <a href="https://www.couriermail.com.au/business/qld-business/gold-coast-airport-sweetheart-deals-raise-concern-for-bonza/news-story/5ecdfe749b7c8a636cfe740ee0359ba3">struggled</a> to gain traction on its routes to Gold Coast airport, which handles a sizeable 250,000 domestic passengers each month, underscores this issue with the company’s approach.</p> <p>And third, although it served a unique range of locations, Bonza’s flight schedule across its network was far from optimal. In some cases, routes were flown only <em>once weekly</em>, compared to much more frequent gateway city services on Rex and QantasLink.</p> <p>For European airlines like easyJet or Ryanair, less-than-daily flights to smaller tourist destinations might be viable. But these airlines have the scale and connectivity to offer customers alternative pathways across their networks. Unlike Bonza, small regional routes are not at the core of their business model.</p> <h2>Making an airline succeed</h2> <p>Bonza isn’t the first Australian budget carrier to fail, and likely won’t be the last. Why are so many new entrants doomed to fail?</p> <p>Making a jet airline succeed hinges on optimising three key factors – market scale, airport access, and geography. For would-be budget airlines, Australia offers a brutal starting ground on all three.</p> <p><strong>Market scale</strong></p> <p><a href="https://www.icao.int/sustainability/Pages/Low-Cost-Carriers.aspx">Low-cost carrier</a> and ultra low-cost carrier airlines have successfully gained strong footholds in Europe, the US, and Southeast Asia. But these markets are orders of magnitude larger than Australia.</p> <p>The US, for example, offers airlines a market of <a href="https://www.statista.com/statistics/183600/population-of-metropolitan-areas-in-the-us/">large cities across a large area</a>. New York’s population is approaching 20 million, Chicago 9.6 million, Houston 7.1 million, and Miami 6.1 million.</p> <p>The population of the European Union is close to 450 million. And if you include the UK, there are over 30 cities in Europe with populations over 1 million. Australian carriers have only a handful of cities on that scale.</p> <p>Australia lacks both the population density of Europe, and the range of secondary airports that European low-cost carriers have leveraged to access nearby markets and to drive down operating costs.</p> <p>After more than a year of operation, Bonza had only achieved an overall market share of <a href="https://www.accc.gov.au/system/files/domestic-airline-competition-report-february2024_0.pdf">about 2%</a>.</p> <p><strong>Airport access</strong></p> <p>Airport access is the next key barrier facing low-cost and ultra low-cost market entrants. The main routes between large Australian cities are all in a corridor along the east coast, and the largest flow into Sydney.</p> <p>Use of Sydney airport is heavily constrained, both by the incumbent operators who <a href="https://australianaviation.com.au/2023/07/sydney-slot-system-a-threat-to-bonza-owner-hints/">hold most of the slots</a>, and by regulations that artificially limit the flow of aircraft at peak times to just 80 movements (take-offs or landings) per hour.</p> <p>In contrast, London Heathrow, another constrained two-runway airport, delivers a capacity of <a href="https://www.caa.co.uk/media/dwfgyk53/estimating-the-congestion-premium-at-heathrow.pdf">88 movements per hour</a>.</p> <p>Completion of the new Western Sydney Airport will provide some relief from this capacity constraint. But it will not alter the fact Sydney Airport operates under an imposed constraint on operations.</p> <p><strong>Geography</strong></p> <p>Geography is the third constraint in Australia. Unlike Europe, the US, or Southeast Asia, most of our major cities are in a line on the east coast. There is no hub to connect our major cities with smaller regional points.</p> <p>Towns that are too distant for convenient rail or road links often have populations that are too small to support viable – let alone frequent – flights to the larger centres.</p> <p>Some regional routes are successfully serviced by small “<a href="https://nbaa.org/business-aviation/business-aircraft/turboprop-aircraft/">turboprop</a>” aircraft. Operating these incurs a higher cost per passenger than the passenger jets connecting the major cities. But it makes no sense to fly larger aircraft on these routes if the planes are half empty.</p> <h2>A big loss for regional Australia</h2> <p>The combination of Australia’s small population, the capacity constraints imposed on Sydney Airport, the presence of strong incumbent airlines, and our linear east coast market make new entry difficult.</p> <p>Virgin Blue occupied the space created by the collapse of Ansett. But Impulse, Tiger, Air Australia, Ozjet, and two versions of Compass were unsuccessful market entrants. Even Air New Zealand – which has the fleet, brand strength, and market access to support entering the market – chooses not to operate domestically in Australia.</p> <p>Understanding why new entrants fail offers little consolation to underserved regional towns in Australia. But given Bonza’s small footprint, capital city travellers looking for more competition on the major east coast routes will hardly notice a change.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/228995/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ian-douglas-2932">Ian Douglas</a>, Honorary Senior Lecturer, UNSW Aviation., <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/unsw-sydney-1414">UNSW Sydney</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/seena-sarram-1469656">Seena Sarram</a>, Lawyer and Casual Academic, UNSW School of Aviation, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/unsw-sydney-1414">UNSW Sydney</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Bonza - PR Image</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/what-just-happened-to-bonza-why-new-budget-airlines-always-struggle-in-australia-228995">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Travel Trouble

Placeholder Content Image

Australians are having fewer babies and our local-born population is about to shrink: here’s why it’s not that scary

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/amanda-davies-201009">Amanda Davies</a>, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-western-australia-1067">The University of Western Australia</a></em></p> <p>Australians are having fewer babies, so many fewer that without international migration our population would be on track to decline in just over a decade.</p> <p>In most circumstances, the number of babies per woman that a population needs to sustain itself – the so-called <a href="https://www.who.int/data/gho/indicator-metadata-registry/imr-details/123">total fertility rate</a> – is 2.1.</p> <p>Australia’s total fertility rate dipped below 2.1 in the late 1970s, moved back up towards it in the late 2000s (assisted in part by an improving economy, better access to childcare and the introduction of the <a href="https://theconversation.com/what-the-baby-bonus-boost-looks-like-across-ten-years-81563">Commonwealth Baby Bonus</a>), and then plunged again, hitting a low of <a href="https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/people/population/population-projections-australia/2022-base-2071#assumptions">1.59</a> during the first year of COVID.</p> <hr /> <p><iframe id="CHdqj" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/CHdqj/3/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>The latest population projections from the Australian Bureau of Statistics assume the rate remains near its present 1.6% for <a href="https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/people/population/population-projections-australia/2022-base-2071#assumptions">the next 50 years</a>.</p> <p>An alternative, lower, set of assumptions has the rate falling to 1.45 over the next five years and staying there. A higher set of assumptions has it rebounding to 1.75 and staying there.</p> <p>A comprehensive study of global fertility trends published in March in the medical journal <a href="https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(24)00550-6/fulltext#%20">The Lancet</a> has Australia’s central case at 1.45, followed by a fall to 1.33 by the end of the century.</p> <p>Significantly, none of these assumptions envisages a return to replacement rate.</p> <p>The bureau’s central projection has Australia’s population turning down from 2037 in the absence of a boost from migration.</p> <hr /> <p><iframe id="oi55c" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/oi55c/3/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>It’s easy to make guesses about reasons. Reliable contraception has been widely available for 50 years. Rents, mortgages and the other costs facing Australians of child-bearing age appear to be climbing. It’s still <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-12-17/career-or-baby-michelle-battersby-pregnancy-gender-/103186296">difficult to have a career</a> if you have a child, and data show women still carry the substantive burden of <a href="https://theconversation.com/mind-the-gap-gender-differences-in-time-use-narrowing-but-slowly-191678">unpaid work around the home</a>.</p> <p>The US fertility rate has fallen <a href="https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/children-per-woman-un?tab=chart&amp;time=1950..latest&amp;country=OWID_WRL%7EUSA%7EAUS">much in line with Australia’s</a>.</p> <p>Reporting on <a href="https://theconversation.com/us-birth-rates-are-at-record-lows-even-though-the-number-of-kids-most-americans-say-they-want-has-held-steady-197270">research</a> into the reasons, Forbes Magazine succinctly said a broken economy had “<a href="https://fortune.com/2023/01/12/millennials-broken-economy-delay-children-birthrate/">screwed over</a>” Americans considering having children.</p> <p>More diplomatically, it said Americans saw parenthood as “<a href="https://fortune.com/2023/01/12/millennials-broken-economy-delay-children-birthrate/">harder to manage</a>” than they might have in the past.</p> <h2>Half the world is unable to replace itself</h2> <p>But this trend is widespread. The <a href="https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(24)00550-6/fulltext#%20">Lancet study</a> finds more than half of the world’s countries have a fertility rate below replacement level.</p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/chinas-population-shrinks-again-and-could-more-than-halve-heres-what-that-means-220667">China</a>, which is important for the global fertility rate because it makes up such a large share of the world’s population, had a fertility rate as high as 7.5 in the early 1960s. It fell to 2.5 before the start of China’s <a href="https://www.scmp.com/economy/china-economy/article/3135510/chinas-one-child-policy-what-was-it-and-what-impact-did-it">one-child</a> policy in the early 1990s, and then slid further from 1.8 to 1 after the policy was abandoned in 2016.</p> <hr /> <p><iframe id="idC4X" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/idC4X/3/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>South Korea’s fertility rate has dived further, to the world’s lowest: <a href="https://time.com/6488894/south-korea-low-fertility-rate-trend-decline/">0.72</a>.</p> <p>The fertility rate in India, which is now <a href="https://www.un.org/development/desa/dpad/publication/un-desa-policy-brief-no-153-india-overtakes-china-as-the-worlds-most-populous-country/">more populous than China</a>, has also fallen <a href="https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.DYN.TFRT.IN?page=&amp;locations=IN">below replacement level</a>.</p> <p>Most of the 94 nations that continue to have above-replacement fertility rates are in North Africa, the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa. Some, including Samoa and Papua New Guinea, are in the Pacific.</p> <p>Most of Asia, Europe and Oceania is already below replacement rate.</p> <h2>A changing world order</h2> <p>The largest high-fertility African nation, <a href="https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/09/the-world-population-in-2100-by-country/">Nigeria</a>, is expected to overtake China to become the world’s second-most-populous nation by the end of the century.</p> <p>But even Nigeria’s fertility rate will sink. The Lancet projections have it sliding from 4.7 to <a href="https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(24)00550-6/fulltext#%20">1.87</a> by the end of the century.</p> <p>The differences mean the world’s population growth will increasingly take place in countries that are among the most vulnerable to environmental and economic hardship.</p> <p>Already economically disadvantaged, these nations will need to provide jobs, housing, healthcare and services for rapidly growing populations at a time when the rest of the world does not.</p> <p>On the other hand, those nations will be blessed with young people. They will be an increasingly valuable resource as other nations face the challenges of an ageing population and declining workforce.</p> <h2>An older world, then a smaller world</h2> <p>Global fertility <a href="https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(24)00550-6/fulltext">halved</a> between 1950 and 2021, shrinking from 4.84 to 2.23.</p> <p>The latest projections have it sinking below the replacement rate to somewhere between 1.59 and 2.08 by 2050, and then to between <a href="https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(24)00550-6/fulltext">1.25 and 1.96</a> by 2100.</p> <p>The world has already seen peak births and peak primary-school-aged children.</p> <p>In <a href="https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(24)00550-6/fulltext">2016</a>, the world welcomed about 142 million live babies, and since then the number born each year has fallen. By 2021, it was about 129 million.</p> <p>The global school-age population aged 6 to 11 years peaked at around 820 million in <a href="https://www.un.org/development/desa/dpad/publication/un-desa-policy-brief-no-152-population-education-and-sustainable-development-interlinkages-and-select-policy-implications/">2023</a>.</p> <p>The United Nations expects the world’s population to peak at 10.6 billion in <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/national/the-planet-s-population-will-get-to-10-4-billion-then-drop-here-s-when-we-reach-peak-human-20231213-p5er8g.html">2086</a>, after which it will begin to fall.</p> <p>Another forecast, produced as part of the impressive <a href="https://www.healthdata.org/research-analysis/gbd">Global Burden of Disease</a> study, has the peak occurring two decades earlier in <a href="https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)30677-2/fulltext">2064</a>, with the world’s population peaking at 9.73 billion.</p> <h2>Fewer babies are a sign of success</h2> <p>In many ways, a smaller world is to be welcomed.</p> <p>The concern common <a href="https://theconversation.com/a-long-fuse-the-population-bomb-is-still-ticking-50-years-after-its-publication-96090">in the 1960s and 1970s</a> that the world’s population was growing faster and faster and the world would soon be unable to feed itself has turned out to be misplaced.</p> <p>Aside from occasional blips (China’s birth rate in the <a href="https://www.jstor.org/stable/1973601">Year of the Dragon</a>) the fertility trend in just about every nation on Earth is downwards.</p> <p>The world’s population hasn’t been growing rapidly for long. Before 1700 it grew by only about <a href="https://ourworldindata.org/population-growth-over-time">0.4% per year</a>. By 2100 it will have stabilised and started to fall, limiting the period of unusually rapid growth to four centuries.</p> <p>In an important way, lower birth rates can be seen as a sign of success. The richer a society becomes and the more it is able to look after its seniors, the less important it becomes for each couple to have children to care for them in old age. This is a long-established theory with a name: the <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4116081/">demographic transition</a>.</p> <p>For Australia, even with forecast immigration, lower fertility will mean changes.</p> <p>The government’s 2023 <a href="https://treasury.gov.au/publication/2023-intergenerational-report">Intergenerational Report</a> says that whereas there are now 3.7 Australians of traditional working age for each Australian aged 65 and over, by 2063 there will only be 2.6.</p> <p>It will mean those 2.6 people will have to work smarter, perhaps with greater assistance from artificial intelligence.</p> <p>Unless they decide to have more babies, which history suggests they won’t.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/228273/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/amanda-davies-201009"><em>Amanda Davies</em></a><em>, Professor and Head of School of Social Sciences, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-western-australia-1067">The University of Western Australia</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: </em><em>Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/australians-are-having-fewer-babies-and-our-local-born-population-is-about-to-shrink-heres-why-its-not-that-scary-228273">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Family & Pets

Placeholder Content Image

"It loses its value": Calls for the Last Post to be canned from Anzac Day footy

<p>A radio host has called for the Last Post to be canned from the majority of Anzac Day football games, saying it has lost its meaning over the years, leaving people with "bugle fatigue". </p> <p>An Anzac Day AFL match has taken place every year at the MCG on Anzac Day since 1995, with Collingwood and Essendon going head to head year after year.</p> <p>It was the brainchild of then Essendon coach Kevin Sheedy who had also served in the Australian Army during his playing days for Richmond.</p> <p>The game started as a one off-match, which quickly snowballed into an entire round of games, while the NRL also joined in and created their own Anzac Day matches.</p> <p>Traditionally, each game starts with a ceremony of recognition of our veterans and a performance of the Last Post. before the game kicks off. </p> <p>The addition of the several extra games, all which begin with the Last Post, prompted radio host Greg 'Marto' Martin from Brisbane's <em>Triple M Breakfast with Marto, Margaux & Dan</em> to call for The Last Post to be scrapped from all matches, except the annual fixture between Essendon and Collingwood. </p> <p>"Football has now turned [The Last Post] into a gimmick," he said.</p> <p>"Back in 1995 when Kevin Sheedy, the coach of Essendon, he said, 'Let's have an Anzac Day clash at the MCG,' I reckon it's the most… spine tingling three minutes or so." </p> <p>"97,000 at the MCG… not one person yelling out while that's being played and, the honour that they give to all serving soldiers and returned soldiers is quite extraordinary."</p> <p>"But now what's happened, as football always does, and I'm not just talking AFL I'm talking rugby league as well, they've taken a wonderful thing and they've gone, 'Oh that's good —'"</p> <p>Margaux interrupted saying: "How can we capitalise!"</p> <p>Marto continued, "So what's going to happen this week in all eight games of the AFL and all eight games of the rugby league… every single one of them will play this [The Last Post] and you'll get ANZAC - you'll get bugle fatigue."</p> <p>"We have to stop it somewhere."</p> <p>Margaux said, "It gets saturated, so it loses its value. They all think they are doing the right thing, but all they are doing is turning it into a mockery."</p> <p>The AFL has confirmed that all nine matches across round seven will hold special Anzac observance ceremonies ahead of each game, with AFL General Manager Commercial Peta Webster saying, "Anzac Day is one of our country's most important national occasions so I'd encourage all fans attending matches throughout the round to arrive early to soak up the atmosphere and pre-match formalities that will no doubt be another moving tribute to the sacrifices of our past and present service men and women."</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p>

Travel Trouble

Placeholder Content Image

“Makes me proud”: Coles applauded for Anzac Day display

<p>An impressive Anzac Day display at a Coles supermarket has received a flood of attention, with many quick to praise the supermarket for the tribute. </p> <p>The display, situated at the entrance of the Annandale Coles store in Townsville, Queensland, features a large statue of a veteran surrounded by poppies and a “Lest We Forget” flag, and countless packets of Anzac biscuits for customers to enjoy. </p> <p>The worker who created the display said the tribute was in honour of her father: a war veteran. </p> <p>The Queensland store is also situated opposite the Lavarack Barracks in Townsville, the largest army base in Australia.</p> <p>A photo of the display was posted online by a Coles shopper and quickly went viral. </p> <p>“Coles Annandale Townsville. Huge display right as you walk in, brilliant!” the shopper wrote.</p> <p>“Take note, Woolworths.”</p> <p>The comments are in reference to <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/pauline-hanson-slams-woolies-controversial-anzac-day-decision" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Woolworths</a> saying they are not doing anything special for Anzac Day this year, other than selling charity pins for the RSL and selling Anzac biscuits, which are available all year round. </p> <p>Many social media users were elated by the display, sharing their comments to praise the supermarket's efforts. </p> <p>One person said, “Bloody well done Coles - too much Aussie stuff being constantly eroded," while another wrote, “Great respect for our Diggers Thank you Coles Annandale Townsville.”</p> <p>One more added, “That is great. As a veteran it makes me proud.”</p> <p>Despite Woolies announcement about this year's lack of Anzac Day fanfare, shoppers said that they’d seen similar displays at other supermarkets around the country.</p> <p>“My local Woolies has Anzac biscuits and all the Anzac badges on a big display just as you walk in the door,” said one.</p> <p>Another added, “Woolies Maryborough has a similar display!”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Facebook</em></p> <p class="css-1n6q21n-StyledParagraph e4e0a020" style="box-sizing: border-box; overflow-wrap: break-word; word-break: break-word; margin: 0px 0px 1.125rem; line-height: 25px; font-size: 1.125rem; font-family: HeyWow, Montserrat, 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; caret-color: #292a33; color: #292a33;"> </p>

Caring

Placeholder Content Image

Two-up, Gallipoli and the ‘fair go’: why illegal gambling is at the heart of the Anzac myth

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/bruce-moore-291912">Bruce Moore</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/australian-national-university-877">Australian National University</a></em></p> <p>Two-up is an Australian gambling game in which two coins are placed on a small piece of wood called a “kip” and tossed into the air. Bets are laid as to whether both coins will fall with heads or tails uppermost. It is one of the core activities of Anzac Day celebrations - and a beloved tradition.</p> <p>The word <a href="https://www.britannica.com/topic/ANZAC">ANZAC</a> was created in 1915 as an acronym from Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. By 1916 it was being used emblematically to reflect the traditional view of the virtues displayed by those in the <a href="https://www.britannica.com/event/Gallipoli-Campaign">Gallipoli campaign</a>, especially as these are seen as national characteristics. This cluster of national characteristics includes mateship, larrikin daredevilry, anti-authoritarianism, and egalitarianism.</p> <p>The game of two-up became indicative of these qualities. Mateship was evident in the way the game brought together people of disparate backgrounds. Larrikinism was evident in the defiant rejection of authority and convention.</p> <p>Two-up was always illegal, because the game is an unregulated form of gambling (although from the 1980s it became legal in most Australian states on Anzac Day). But in spite of the illegality, it was widely regarded as the fairest of gambling games, and at the time of the First World War the verbal command for the coins to be spun was not “come in spinner” (as it is now) but “fair go”. Indeed, the important Australian concept of the “fair go” was in part cemented by its role in the game.</p> <p>Two-up was the common pastime of the urban working-class man, and it feeds into the elements of egalitarianism and anti-authoritarianism that are central to both the Anzac myth and the Australian myth.</p> <figure class="align-center zoomable"><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/458543/original/file-20220419-17-6mgarp.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/458543/original/file-20220419-17-6mgarp.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/458543/original/file-20220419-17-6mgarp.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=466&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/458543/original/file-20220419-17-6mgarp.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=466&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/458543/original/file-20220419-17-6mgarp.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=466&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/458543/original/file-20220419-17-6mgarp.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=585&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/458543/original/file-20220419-17-6mgarp.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=585&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/458543/original/file-20220419-17-6mgarp.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=585&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="" /></a><figcaption><span class="caption">Two original 1915 Australian pennies in a kip from which they are tossed.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Roland Scheicher/ Wikimedia</span></span></figcaption></figure> <h2>Two-up and wartime life</h2> <p>From the very early period of the First World War, two-up assumed great importance among the Australian troops. Soldiers reported that two-up was played on the battlefield during the Gallipoli campaign, even when under shellfire. As the war dragged on, numerous stories were told about Australian soldiers’ obsession with playing it.</p> <p>In 1918 the <a href="https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/P10676229">war correspondent Charles Bean</a> studied the daily life of a company of Australian soldiers stationed at a brewery in Querrieu in northern France.</p> <p>He places great emphasis on two-up, writing in his diary in 1918: "Two-up’ is the universal pastime of the men. … It is a game which starts in any quarter of an hour’s interval or lasts the whole afternoon. The side road outside becomes every evening a perfect country fair with groups playing these games in it - a big crowd of 70 or 80 at the bottom the street, in the middle of the road; a smaller crowd of perhaps twenty on a doorstep further up. … The game is supposed to be illegal, I think; but at any rate in this company they wink at it."</p> <p>Two-up was important not just in taking soldiers’ minds off the realities of the war, but also in creating a strong sense of community. Photographs from the war that show the men playing two-up reveal how it brought them together physically in a communal activity.</p> <p>This helps explains why men, who in civilian life may have had little or no interest in gambling, joined in the camaraderie and fun of the two-up fair, and by so doing blotted out the boredom, isolation, and loneliness of much wartime experience.</p> <h2>Anzac Day and tradition</h2> <p>Playing two-up became an integral part of the diggers’ memories of the experience of war, especially when commemorated on Anzac Day. By the 1930s the playing of two-up outdoors after the Anzac Day march had become an entrenched tradition.</p> <p>As the ranks of diggers from the two world wars declined, so the structure of Anzac Day changed in emphasis. In recent years the Dawn Service has increased greatly in popularity, while the Anzac Day march has <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-04-07/concern-over-australias-dwindling-number-of-world-war-veterans/10911602">suffered from dwindling numbers</a> of veterans. The streets of Sydney and similar cities are no longer dotted with two-up games in the afternoon. The games have shifted to pubs and clubs, and they are largely played by people with no experience of war.</p> <p>Those people who play the game on this day do so not for any deep-seated gambling impulse or because they would love to play the game on every other day of the year. They play two-up because it has become part of the meaning of Anzac Day.</p> <p>Anzac Day has always combined solemnity and festivity. The Dawn Service commemorates the landing at Gallipoli, and the sacrifices that ensued. Its mood is solemn.</p> <p>In the past, returned soldiers reminisced, told war yarns, drank, and played two-up. The soldiers have passed on, but their larrikinism survives in the tradition of the game they have bequeathed to their descendants.</p> <p>We should not underestimate the significance of rituals of this kind—the playing of two-up is a way in which Australians can become not just observers of, but participants in, their history and their myths. Two-up is a ritual that links the present with the past on this one day of the year.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/181337/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/bruce-moore-291912">Bruce Moore</a>, Honorary Associate Professor in the School of Literature, Languages, and Linguistics, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/australian-national-university-877">Australian National University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image </em><em>credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/two-up-gallipoli-and-the-fair-go-why-illegal-gambling-is-at-the-heart-of-the-anzac-myth-181337">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

Australia outraged over one woman's callous Bondi remarks

<p>A conservative commentator has caused widespread outrage for her "disgraceful" comments over the recent stabbing in Bondi Junction Westfield, which resulted in the deaths of six people. </p> <p>On Thursday, the shopping centre held a <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/health/caring/bondi-junction-westfield-reopens-after-stabbing-tragedy" target="_blank" rel="noopener">community reflection day</a> in which locals were invited to attend the reopening of the shopping centre and pay their respects to this impacted by the tragedy. </p> <p>Shops remained closed for the occasion, while Westfield operator Scentre Group's Chief executive Elliott Rusanow said the day of reflection was intended to help people feel comfortable returning to the site.</p> <p>Despite hundreds of people showing up for the emotional day, commentator Kobie Thatcher shared her wildly unpopular opinions on the matter, saying the day of reflection was "woke virtue signalling", adding that those affected by the tragedy have "had days to mourn".</p> <p>"Bondi Junction will reopen tomorrow for a 'Community Reflection Day'," Ms Thatcher wrote in a post on social media on Wednesday. </p> <p>"No retail trade. What kind of woke nonsense is this?"</p> <p>"Surely the last few days when the shopping centre was closed and people were leaving flowers were enough time for reflection. Let businesses reopen.'"</p> <p>The post was met with a furious wave of backlash, with former Lord Mayor of Sydney Lucy Turnbull saying the day had nothing to do with wokeness. </p> <p>"Nope. It is respectful and empathetic," Ms Turnbull said.</p> <p>Another called on Ms Thatcher to "have some compassion" for those affected, with one person writing, "You weren't there. You weren't directly affected by what happened."</p> <p>"Let those who were there decide what is the best method to deal with the trauma that they faced on the day."</p> <p>Further commenters also defended the day of reflection, saying it was an important step in healing. </p> <p>"Is it letting businesses reopen or forcing workers to return to a massacre site when they're still concerned for their health and well-being?"</p> <p>"So, Kobie, business is more important than the loss of innocent human lives and some time to mourn for them."</p> <p>Another simply said, "Kobie is disgraceful."</p> <p><em>Image credits: Facebook / Getty Images </em></p>

News

Placeholder Content Image

Brothers' epic journey across Australia to raise money for cancer

<p>Brothers Stefan and Lachlan Lamble have firsthand experience on how devastating cancer can be.</p> <p>The brothers, both in their 20s, lost their grandmother to breast cancer eight years ago, and recently had their other grandmother pull through a difficult cancer battle. </p> <p>After being inspired by their family's hardships, the Lamble brothers have set out on an epic adventure to cross Australia by foot in just 100 days. </p> <p>Stefan and Lachlan began their journey in Perth in February, and have spent 66 days so far battling difficult conditions while pushing their bodies to the limit. </p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/C5fNETERB0s/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/C5fNETERB0s/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Lambros (@lambrosarmy)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>The pair are just days away from reaching Adelaide, and have had some trying times on their momentous journey so far. </p> <p>"One day reached 46 degrees and the soles of our shoes literally melted," Lachlan told <a href="https://www.9news.com.au/national/brothers-tackle-momentous-100day-cross-country-challenge-for-cancer-research/bcf7f2f5-482a-4ef3-9ca2-f4a0412beed9" target="_blank" rel="noopener">9News</a>. </p> <p>Their unwavering commitment to raising money for cancer research has garnered widespread support, with a legion of fans across the country cheering them on. </p> <p>"It gives us a bit of hope that there might be some new research, and that's all we can really hope for," she said.</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/reel/C5z-9LaJtqS/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/reel/C5z-9LaJtqS/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by 9News (@9news)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>The brothers aimed to raise $100,000 before they reach their final destination of Melbourne, but with the help of their dedicated supports, they reached their financial goal just after their halfway mark. </p> <p>Now, the brothers have their sights set on a new goal: $1 million before the end of the year. </p> <p>"We are doing it for everyone back home that has been impacted by cancer, so please find it in your hearts to donate at <a href="https://www.acrf.com.au" target="_blank" rel="noopener">ACRF</a> (Australian Cancer Research Foundation)," Stefan said.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Nine News</em></p>

Domestic Travel

Placeholder Content Image

Former SAS Australia contestant recalls terrifying Ozempic overdose

<p>Former SAS Australia contestant Roxy Jacenko has opened up on the terrifying experience she had after overdosing on Ozempic. </p> <p>Jacenko was desperate to lose 15kg of extra weight, which she gained as a result of taking Tamoxifen - a hormone therapy drug she took for her breast cancer for seven years.</p> <p>“The Tamoxifen made me put on 15kg,” she said during  a special <em>7NEWS Spotlight TV</em> investigation into the drug. </p> <p> “And whilst to other people, they didn’t look at me and go, 'Oh well, she’s put on a lot of weight,' I didn’t feel comfortable.</p> <p>“And I tried everything. I tried the fad diets. I tried starting at a gym, doing workouts. I tried not eating much and I couldn’t shake the weight. I just wanted to fix it, and this seemed like the way. Ozempic seemed like the easy answer.”</p> <p>Weight loss is one of the side effects of the medication, which is usually used to help adults with Type 2 diabetes control their blood sugar. It is this side effect that has millions wanting to use it for weight loss. </p> <p>Despite Novo Nordisk - the pharmaceutical company supplying Ozempic -  advising the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration that supplies throughout 2023 and 2024 will be limited and it should only be prescribed by doctors to diabetics, people have found other ways to obtain it.</p> <p>Jacenko revealed that despite her local GP telling her she didn't meet the criteria for the injection, she bought it on the black market in Nowra, NSW and ordered an Uber to collect it for her. </p> <p>“It was about $2,500 for the drive there and back, and then it was another $700 for the two pens,” she said. “I was actually like a junkie. I look at it now and I was like a junkie.”</p> <p>She recalled how she took more than the recommended amount in a desperate attempt to lose weight. </p> <p>“I took four times the amount in one hit,” she revealed.</p> <p>“I felt OK at that point in time. The aftermath of it was I think I’m going to die.</p> <p>She added, “in the morning, I was driving to work. I was sweating. I was so hot and then I just kept vomiting nonstop. What not to do? One milligram of Ozempic.”</p> <p>“That night, I ended up in hospital. They had never seen this before. This was the first they had seen of an Ozempic overdose. Like the shaking, my whole body was shaking, I couldn’t control my legs. It’s like I had no control of my body.</p> <p>“My arms and legs were like this. And then in addition to that, they just start pumping you full of fluid. You can rest assure I came out skinny, but it didn’t last for long. Literally, I truly thought this is it. I’ve been sick in my time. Cancer was a walk in the park compared to how bad I felt for those three days.</p> <p>As a result, Jacenko no longer takes the the medication and has since stopped drinking and started following a healthy diet. </p> <p>"And if anyone asks me, “Would you do it again, Ozempic?” No freaking way. I literally thought, “This is it. I’m going to die.”</p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

Body

Placeholder Content Image

Give the gift of sustainable luxury this Mother’s Day

<p dir="ltr">With Mother’s Day around the corner, it’s time to celebrate the most important women in our lives with affordable luxury that doesn’t cost the earth. </p> <p dir="ltr">To spoil the mums in your life this year, discover the ideal gift to honour and celebrate your most treasured moments together with L’Occitane’s limited edition Mother’s Day collections. </p> <p dir="ltr">You can feel good about gifting these organic and sustainably sourced products to your loved ones, as L’Occitane have created these little luxuries while  respecting and caring for everything the ground grows for us and beyond. </p> <p dir="ltr">By sourcing fair-trade and organic shea butter from women’s collectives in Burkina Faso and recently in Ghana, L’Occitane are dedicated to helping the local ecosystem and supporting the community. </p> <p dir="ltr">The L’Occitane group celebrates the official B Corp certification, demonstrating that as a business, they’re not just about beauty; they believe in Cultivating Change to create a fairer, more equitable and regenerative planet.</p> <p dir="ltr">This Mother’s Day, L’Occitane has something for everyone, with gift packs available for every budget, ranging from just $34 to the ultimate gift set priced at $280. </p> <p dir="ltr">From hand creams, body lotions and washes, to fragrances and luxury skin care, these limited edition gifting packs have exactly what you need to give the gift of indulgence this Mother’s Day. </p> <p dir="ltr">L’Occitane presents a superb range that embodies the essence of gratitude, showing appreciation through thoughtfully selected gifts that not only pamper, but also reflect a commitment to sustainable practices. </p> <p dir="ltr">It’s more than a gift; it’s a gesture that acknowledges the importance of those who have shaped our lives.</p> <p dir="ltr">L’Occitane’s Mother’s Day collection is available now both <a href="https://au.loccitane.com/mothers-day.html">online</a> and in-store. </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Supplied / Getty Images</em></p>

Beauty & Style

Placeholder Content Image

Survey unveils Aussies thoughts on tourism tax

<p>Earlier this year, Bali launched a controversial tourism tax, which meant that every traveller entering the island would have to pay a $15 fee, which the Indonesian province have said will be used for environmental and cultural projects. </p> <p>Now, Aussies have shared their thoughts on introducing a similar system here, and survey results have revealed that many are keen for the tourism tax to be introduced here. </p> <p>Travel provider InsureandGo conducted the survey and found that 60 per cent of Australians would support the government introducing a tax to combat the rising environmental toll of tourism.</p> <p>"Tourist taxes are a relatively new concept, but as travel demand swells, we are seeing more countries adopt the levy," InsureandGo Chief Commercial Officer Jonathan Etkind said. </p> <p>"What's heartening is that only a minority of 37 per cent of respondents don't support tourism taxes, demonstrating just how many Australians support the concept of sustainable travel."</p> <p>The response comes amid increased sustainability concerns on our flora and fauna, which are being threatened by over-tourism. </p> <p>The tax is particularly supported by younger Aussies aged between 18 to 30, with 73 per cent of them saying yes to tourism taxes. </p> <p>Etkind said that this may be because younger Aussies are typically more aware of the environmental impacts of travel compared to the older generation, who may be less accustomed to the tax. </p> <p>Along with Bali, other cities and countries have started introducing similar fees to combat overtourism,  with Venice set to charge day-trippers a fee of 5 Euros ($8.20) per visit. </p> <p>Amsterdam, Netherlands has the highest tourism tax in Europe, with the former 7 per cent hotel tourist levy rising to 12.5 per cent this year. </p> <p>New Zealand also charges international visitors excluding Aussie citizens and permanent residents $25 levy ($32.64 AUD) to address the challenges created by tourism in its conservation areas. </p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

International Travel

Our Partners