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"Pathetic": Council slammed after move against FREE health program

<p>A woman who runs a free mental health yoga program has been ordered to pay the council $10,000 because her classes at St Kilda beach in Melbourne have become too popular. </p> <p>The City of Port Phillip Council was slammed for their actions after they told Eliza Hilmer she must pay them hundreds of dollars  per session for her <em>Feel Good Flows </em>classes.</p> <p>Hilmer, who does not make a profit from the classes, said she started the program during the pandemic to help people manage their mental health. </p> <p>“I play by the rules as much as I can,”  Hilmer told <em>Yahoo News</em>, adding that she acquired personal trainer permit as requested by the council. </p> <p>“We’ve been operating as an outdoor gathering for mental health practices more than anything, and it’s been really incredible." </p> <p>The classes, which initially attracted a few people, has gained a bit of traction with around 50 to 80 regular attendees. </p> <p>Hilmer encourages her attendees to leave a donation and provides free hot drinks and a live musician at the biweekly sessions. </p> <p>Because of its popularity, the council have classified <em>Feel Good Flows </em>as a commercial event, as the classes exceed the number of people covered by Hilmer's personal training license, and she was ordered to pay $400 a session. </p> <p>Hilmer was also given the option to cap the sessions at 15 people a time, but she said that "this isn't an option" as “many vulnerable people” rely on the service.</p> <p>With Hilmer having to pay three months upfront to keep classes running, the total adds up to $10,000, and locals are furious. </p> <p>"Another pathetic decision by useless bureaucrats,” one wrote on social media. </p> <p>“This council is being very mean spirited. Leave her alone!!”</p> <p>“Keep on going love don’t bow to the council,” a third added. </p> <p>Despite the outrage and being asked to pay to host her free yoga sessions, Hilmer remains positive. </p> <p>“I don’t want to fight,” she said.</p> <p>“The council can be the solution”.</p> <p>Port Phillip Mayor Heather Cunsolo replied saying that while she was "delighted" to see so many taking part in yoga sessions, "the business needs to adhere to its Personal Training Licence" to "ensure our popular public spaces remain available, safe and enjoyable for everyone." </p> <p>“We encourage Feel Good Flows to look at hosting additional yoga sessions on the foreshore to support its growing popularity," the <span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">Port Phillip </span><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">mayor said. </span></p> <p>“Other businesses operating along the foreshore pay a licence fee for the use of public open space and adhere to the 15 person limit per session.</p> <p>"These capacity limits help provide fair access for many businesses operating with a Personal Training Licence, while minimising any potential disruption for visitors to our foreshore." </p> <p>She added that she has been in contact with  Feel Good Flows, and are happy to discuss details further. </p> <p>"If the petition is sent to Council the matter will be heard in the Council Chamber.”</p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

Legal

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Heartbroken parents of slain Melbourne doctor break silence

<p>Dr Ash Gordon's heartbroken parents have spoken out about the moment they found out their son had died. </p> <p>The Melbourne GP was allegedly killed after <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/news/news/major-update-in-tragic-death-of-young-melbourne-doctor" target="_blank" rel="noopener">confronting two teenage</a> boys who had allegedly broken into his home in Doncaster in the early hours on Saturday, January 13.</p> <p>Dr Gordon’s grieving mother Catherine, recalled the moment she was woken by the phone call no parent wants to receive. </p> <p>“He said that Ashley had gone. And I said gone where? He’s gone. He’s no longer with us,” Mrs Gordon told <em>A Current Affair </em>about the moment her son's housemate delivered the devastating news. </p> <p>“I said, ‘Don’t lie, you’re joking.‘ And I hung up on him."</p> <p>Holding back tears, Mrs Gordon also shared the denial she went through as she received the call from a detective. </p> <p>"Then the detective rang and I told him that I didn’t believe him, and he said 'how can I get you to believe?', I said 'until there is a police person in uniform in front of me, it's not happening'"</p> <p>"Well you don't want to believe do you?" <em>A Current Affair </em>host Ally Langdon replied, and both parents shook their heads. </p> <p>“We saw the police car coming up, and I just prayed to God they’d just keep going. I didn’t want them to turn into the driveway, but unfortunately, it happened.”</p> <p>Ally Langdon who was brought to tears during the interview added: “It’s a cruel contrast isn’t it? That Ash has dedicated his life to saving lives, yet his was taken in this horrible way." </p> <p>The 33-year-old doctor was found by police less than a kilometre from his home, but unfortunately he died at the scene. </p> <p>In the days following the incident, two 16-year-old boys with Dr Gordon’s murder as well as aggravated burglary and theft.</p> <p>Dr Gordon's family have since held a <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/caring/i-ll-see-you-again-one-day-sister-of-slain-doctor-s-emotional-tribute" target="_blank" rel="noopener">memorial service</a> for him to honour the slain doctor. </p> <p><em>Image: A Current Affair</em></p>

Family & Pets

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Major update in fatal stabbing of young Melbourne doctor

<p dir="ltr">The 16-year-old accused of stabbing a young Melbourne doctor to death had allegedly committed a similar crime just months prior. </p> <p dir="ltr">The teenager was allegedly involved in the home invasion of Dr Ash Gordon, which turned fatal after the doctor chased the intruders from his home, ending when Dr Gordon was stabbed and left for dead. </p> <p dir="ltr">As the teens now <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/news/news/major-update-in-tragic-death-of-young-melbourne-doctor" target="_blank" rel="noopener">face charges</a> for his death, an alleged previous victim of the same teenager has come forward, claiming the young man left him with serious head injuries after robbing his house in October. </p> <p dir="ltr">His alleged previous victims claim that the Victorian government has “blood on its hands” and that the boy should not have been released on bail.</p> <p dir="ltr">The victims told<a href="https://www.heraldsun.com.au/truecrimeaustralia/police-courts-victoria/we-feel-anxious-helpless-and-frustrated-with-the-broken-system-alleged-victims-speak-out/news-story/c05575a0908bf85f014217bb4fda7fa4"> <em>the Herald Sun</em></a> that Dr Gordon's death has left them traumatised and struggling to move on from their own terrifying encounter.</p> <p dir="ltr">In an emotional statement, the alleged previous victims pleaded with Victorian premier Jacinta Allan to reconsider the state's planned youth justice reform. </p> <p dir="ltr">“We are trying to move on with our lives, however, when a case on (alleged) teen crime is reported, we feel anxious, helpless and frustrated with the broken system," they told the publication.</p> <p dir="ltr">“The Allan government and the justice system have blood on their hands, and ultimately should be held accountable.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Under the terms of the 16-year-old’s bail, he was to adhere to a strict nightly curfew, but still managed to allegedly break into Dr Gordon's home shortly before 5:30am on January 13th. </p> <p dir="ltr">Ms Allan has faced increasing pressure to abandon Victoria's overhaul of the youth justice system which would see the age of criminal responsibility raised.</p> <p dir="ltr">The government has committed to raising the age that a child can be arrested, jailed or charged from 10 to 12 by the end of 2024, and again to 14 by 2027, with serious crimes such as homicide being exempt from these changes. </p> <p dir="ltr">Ms Allen however has insisted that the reforms are a key priority of her government and that they will help prevent future criminal ­activity.</p> <p dir="ltr">“There’s a huge amount of work that’s being undertaken by Victoria Police to work with those young people ... [and] that sort of prevention-based activity is the best way to address future youth crime,” she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“At the same time, when offences are made, Victoria Police have the tools and resources to deal with those.”</p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 12pt;"><em>Image credits: Facebook</em><span id="docs-internal-guid-deb8779e-7fff-f1a9-74f6-d47cadad48af"></span></p>

News

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"Wokeness gone mad": Steve Price slams AO Australia Day boycott

<p>Steve Price has slammed Australian Open organisers for choosing not to celebrate Australia Day for the second year in a row. </p> <p>The decision came after the Victorian government axed its Australia Day parade last year, amid growing backlash from athletes about celebrating on January 26. </p> <p>“This started last year and ended Australia Day celebrations, they used to feature fireworks, the playing of the national anthem and special musical events to mark the day at the tennis,” the Sky News host said. </p> <p>“So we have First Nations day, no drama from me about that, then the organisers have set aside a day for Australian Open Pride Day, an Australian Open All Abilities Day and an Australian Open Glam Slam for the LGBTI+ folk that will run across January 26 to 28.</p> <p>“You can’t make this stuff up.”</p> <p>Price also slammed the AO's decision to move the induction day for the tennis player who made it into this year's Australian Tennis Hall of Fame. </p> <p>The event normally takes place on January 26, but this year Lleyton Hewitt’s induction has been moved to the 24th of January. </p> <p>“This year it’s going to be Lleyton Hewitt – you couldn’t get a more Australian Australian than Lleyton Hewitt,” Price said. </p> <p>“They’ve changed the date of that event from Australia Day, when it used to be, to the 24th, two days earlier.</p> <p>“This is just crazy wokeness gone mad.</p> <p>“Can anyone at Tennis Australia defend this disgraceful snubbing of our national day by a tournament that carries the name of our nation," he ranted. </p> <p>Price then slammed the AO organisers for their decision. </p> <p>“It’s a pity the woke directors who run Tennis Australia don’t have the courage to drag the South African bloke running the organisation Craig Tiley into line and insist we recognise the great nation that lends its name to his tennis tournament," he said. </p> <p>A few others have agreed with Price, including Journalist Joe Hildebrand, who said that the decision is “counter-productive” in terms of making any meaningful difference. </p> <p>“The idea that these sorts of ridiculous virtue-signalling gestures are going to make any difference … is absolutely ridiculous – in fact, it puts people off even considering or wanting to address these issues,</p> <p>“This sort of stuff is what cost the Yes vote its victory … and it’s just so counter-productive, self-destructive, idiotic – you could use any name.”</p> <p>Radio Personality Tom Elliott, also called the move ridiculous. </p> <p>“If you’re going to call yourself the Australian Open and it happens that our national day takes place during the tournament, you have to acknowledge Australia Day,” he said. </p> <p>“Maybe the date will change down the track, but right now it’s January 26.”</p> <p><em>Images: Getty/ Sky News</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Major update in tragic death of young Melbourne doctor

<p dir="ltr">Two teenage boys have been charged with murder just days after the <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/health/caring/sister-of-slain-doctor-calls-for-killers-to-turn-themselves-in">death</a> of a Melbourne doctor. </p> <p dir="ltr">The 16-year-old boys allegedly broke into the home of 33-year-old Dr Ash Gordon on Saturday, when the doctor then pursued the intruders after they fled the house. </p> <p dir="ltr">The teens then became violent, allegedly stabbing Dr Gordon several times and leaving him to die a kilometre from his home. </p> <p dir="ltr">As his heartbroken family continue to grieve their loss, homicide detectives confirmed that the two 16-year-olds have been charged with murder, aggravated burglary and theft and will face a children’s court at a later date. </p> <p dir="ltr">Superintendent Janet Stevenson said police worked “tirelessly” to “apprehend those responsible for his tragedy”. </p> <p dir="ltr">“We know that Ash’s family and loved ones are grieving. This arrest will not take away the tragedy of this dreadful situation, but we hope that it will alleviate some of their distress,” she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“We will continue to provide all the support they require during this difficult time.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Tributes have poured in for the young doctor, with his sister Natalie describing the 33-year-old as her “world”.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I’m his older sister, but I looked up to him for so much, as did our other siblings. He’s the youngest, but we all looked up to him. Mum and dad would ring him for advice,” she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“He was just so sure of himself. Such a confident person and so willing to help anyone and everyone.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Friends have also flooded social media with their grief, sharing words of condolences for his loved ones while posting kind words about their fallen friend. </p> <p dir="ltr">“Thank you for the many unforgettable memories, you were one of a kind,” one friend wrote on Facebook.</p> <p dir="ltr">“You were definitely such an inspiration to others, you worked so hard to get where you are! Life’s just not fair.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Nine / Instagram </em></p>

News

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"Surely this is a prank": Council slammed for ridiculous parking restriction

<p>Melbourne City Council has been slammed online for offering free parking, but only for a measly 15 minutes. </p> <p>The new initiative, which was shared in a video to the City of Melbourne Instagram account, details how parking fees will be waived for drivers needing to run a quick errand in the CBD, as long as they return to their vehicle within 15 minutes.</p> <p>Drivers can park in a “green signed” parking space such as a ‘2P Meter’, and start a 15-minute session on the Easy-Park app to claim the offer.</p> <p>The council said they introduced the initiative for those who want to “run an errand, support a local business and take in city vibes”.</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/C0lApxrt35h/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;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/C0lApxrt35h/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by City Of Melbourne (@cityofmelbourne)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>The initiative, however, has been rinsed online, with many people pointing out that 15 minutes is not enough time to do anything, especially in the CBD.</p> <p>“Surely this is a prank?” one person questioned.</p> <p>“As if you can take in the vibes in 15min. And based where the carpark spots are, you’d barely make it to the shop or restaurant and back in 15,” said another.</p> <p>“15 mins? Such overwhelming generosity,” another commented. </p> <p>“How can you support any business in 15 minutes time? By sprinting to a shop and run back to the car only to find a ticket on the dashboard?,” wrote another person. </p> <p>Despite the negative feedback, City of Melbourne said more than 90,000 people had taken up the free parking offer since it was first introduced in the central city in July. </p> <p>"Drivers are embracing the flexibility of our new free 15-minute parking system, which is opening up the city by giving more drivers access to free parking outside more businesses and services,” Lord Mayor Sally Capp said in a statement in November. </p> <p>“Early data shows our parking improvements are working exactly as intended – keeping spaces turning over outside city businesses, while making it easier to find a park.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Instagram </em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Disabled woman slams bus driver who refused to let her onboard

<p>A disabled woman has taken aim at a bus driver who refused to let her onboard a busy bus. </p> <p>The 23-year-old, who relies on a mobility scooter, sparked an online debate after recalling how a driver wouldn't let her on the Melbourne bus, as the vehicle was filled to capacity. </p> <p>“I’m so sorry,” the driver told Anastasiia Berezikova as she tried to board the bus. </p> <p>“I can’t take you on at this stage. The next one shouldn’t be too long. The bus is full, I am only allowed to take 75 passengers. So I can’t kick them off and let you on, it would be unfair.”</p> <p>While filming the interaction, the woman asked the bus driver if he “understands there are priority seats” available for disabled people on public buses.</p> <p>“I understand, but there are other people who got on the bus before you, and I can’t kick them out,” he replied.</p> <p>Ms Berezikova claimed “able-bodied people” had been prioritised in this instance, as she addressed those on the bus and asked, “So none of the able-bodied people want to help a disabled person?”</p> <p>Posting the interaction to TikTok, Ms Berezikova was met with mixed responses from viewers, as some people sided with her, while others sided with the bus driver. </p> <div class="embed" style="font-size: 16px; box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; outline: none !important;"><iframe class="embedly-embed" style="box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border-width: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; width: 600px; max-width: 100%; outline: none !important;" title="tiktok embed" src="https://cdn.embedly.com/widgets/media.html?src=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tiktok.com%2Fembed%2Fv2%2F7303018244124708103&display_name=tiktok&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tiktok.com%2F%40seanympha888%2Fvideo%2F7303018244124708103%3Fembed_source%3D121355059%252C121351166%252C121331973%252C120811592%252C120810756%253Bnull%253Bembed_name%26refer%3Dembed%26referer_url%3Dwww.news.com.au%252Ftechnology%252Fonline%252Fsocial%252Fdisabled-woman-slams-melbourne-bus-driver-who-would-not-let-her-on-full-bus%252Fnews-story%252F085b4e9e53cb14a0e4b7e7709dfe934e%26referer_video_id%3D7303018244124708103&image=https%3A%2F%2Fp16-sign-sg.tiktokcdn.com%2Fobj%2Ftos-alisg-p-0037%2Fo0GXECFv58gXEkdZDBDAIfsxjfKAiCNI2wEafE%3Fx-expires%3D1701388800%26x-signature%3Dp2HoaXXYfdsIXHvvNvZLRcSoSbc%253D&key=59e3ae3acaa649a5a98672932445e203&type=text%2Fhtml&schema=tiktok" width="340" height="700" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></div> <p>“You’re prioritised a seat/space on the bus if there is a space on the bus, they can’t just kick someone off that’s on before you,” one user wrote.</p> <p>“On the bus you get priority seating, yes. But you don’t get priority to ride - if it’s full it’s full they can’t just kick people off,” a second commenter wrote.</p> <p>“I’m a wheelchair user also. In this situation he did nothing wrong. You’re assuming people are discriminating you when they’re not,” a third wrote.</p> <p>Others were adamant the people on the bus were in the wrong by not offering her a seat.</p> <p>“Bloody hell how rude & inconsiderate are people nowadays they only think about themselves. They should’ve moved & stood up from the priority seat,” one wrote.</p> <p>In follow-up videos posted to TikTok, Ms Berezikova claimed that other travellers had boarded the bus at her stop after pushing in front of her, and that she had pleaded with them to make space for her. </p> <p>She also chose to reveal her medical history, which included being in a 12-day coma in July 2021 due to cardiac arrests caused by Eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (EGPA) and subsequent motor skills, co-ordination, and speech issues.</p> <p>“I get it, it doesn’t matter to you that (myself) or others have special needs. What matters to you is that you get from point A to point B on time. I dont mind waiting for a second bus. Okay third. But fourth? Fifth?!” she wrote in the follow-up post.</p> <p>“And still face discrimination on the bus. If you think its okay to leave disabled people stranded that is NOT COOL ... I deserve to get on a bus like anyone else and infrastructure and society must allow that.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: TikTok / Getty Images</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Steve Price slams "buffoon" Kyle Sandilands over move to Melbourne airwaves

<p>The radio waves have been rocked once again after Steve Price, a man with the subtlety of a sledgehammer, dubbed fellow radio shock jock Kyle Sandilands a "grubby buffoon".</p> <p>The saga unfolded as Sandilands and his radio partner-in-crime, Jackie O Henderson, inked a deal reportedly worth a staggering $200 million. Yes, you heard that right – $200 million. </p> <p>But the real kicker as far as Price is concerned? The show is expanding to Melbourne next year, leaving the current breakfast hosts, Jason Hawkins and Lauren Phillips, with a one-way ticket to radio oblivion.</p> <p>In a tearful farewell on their Melbourne morning show, Phillips lamented: "This is certainly not the way we wanted to bow out."</p> <p>Price, the unsolicited guardian of Melbourne's radio sensibilities, didn't hold back in his assessment of Sandilands, calling him a "grubby buffoon" and then backpedaling to settle on "just a grub". </p> <p>“Kyle’s a grubby buffoon," Price said to the bemused panel on a recent episode of <em>The Project</em>. "And I don’t think grubby buffoons work in Melbourne. I probably shouldn’t call him a grubby buffoon. He’s just a grub.”</p> <p>Price also predicted that Melbourne might not be ready for the explicit nature of the Kyle and Jackie O Show. “Some of the sexually explicit material is off-putting," he explained. "Sarah [Harris] would know better than anyone else that it’s school drop-off time for kids. You don’t want people talking about anal sex at breakfast time, in my view. That’s what they do on that show.</p> <p>"Melbourne people are not going to embrace that. Look, the company that is putting them on the air has a different view to that, and I may be proven to be completely wrong, but that doesn’t happen very often.”</p> <p>Despite Price's dire predictions, Sandilands remains unfazed, his ageless charm apparently defying the laws of time. Given that the $200 million deal extends for the next ten years, that would put Sandilands well into his sixties – quite a challenging age for a "shock jock" to remain relevant. </p> <p>“Can a 60-year-old be smutty?” Price was asked by the panel. “I don’t think they can, and that is part of the problem,” he replied. “But Kyle seems to be ageless. I don’t know how, with that unhealthy lifestyle he has. But he doesn’t seem to age much. So perhaps he can, at 62 . . . You can’t imagine he’s going to be appealing to the 18 to 28-year-old demographic that the radio station is paying him to drag in. I find that really puzzling.”</p> <p>So brace yourselves, Melbourne: the radio waves are about to get a whole lot grubbier, buffoonier and possibly more explicit. It's the Kyle Sandilands extravaganza, and no amount of Price's disapproval can stop the buffoonery.</p> <p><em>Images: KIIS FM / Network 10</em></p>

TV

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Dave Hughes mugged by "big man" on Melbourne street

<p>Comedian Dave 'Hughesy' Hughes has shared an incident on air about a harrowing encounter he had while grabbing dinner in Melbourne for his family on a Tuesday night.</p> <p>The 52-year-old radio host recounted the incident during his appearance on 2DAY FM’s morning show, "Hughesy, Ed &amp; Erin", with fellow comedian and stand-in host, Kate Langbroek.</p> <p>Hughes explained that he had ridden his electric bike to a nearby takeaway restaurant close to his residence to order dinner for his family.</p> <p>Unfortunately, upon his arrival, he discovered that the restaurant he had in mind was closed. Frustrated by the situation, he took out his phone with the intention of calling his wife to discuss alternative dinner plans when, suddenly, his phone was snatched from his hand.</p> <p>While recalling the incident, Hughes expressed how startled he was, saying, "I’m on the bike, and I put my phone up to my ear, and then all of a sudden, someone grabs my phone out of my hand, just grabbed it, yes, stole my phone."</p> <p>He went on to describe the thief as a "big man" who appeared to be under the influence of drugs, suspecting him to be a "meth head": “I look and it’s a man, a big man, and he is off his nut. I’m gonna say he’s a meth head, you know what I'm talking about.”</p> <p>The assailant's erratic behaviour didn't end with the phone theft. Hughes continued, "He tries to talk into the phone and he goes, ‘You weren’t even talking to anyone.’ Like it was my fault, like I was pretending to make a phone call."</p> <p>Rather than pursuing the thief on his bike, Hughes resorted to shouting, "Give me my phone back!"</p> <p>The situation eventually deescalated as the man threw the phone to the ground and stumbled away, eventually confronting a nearby vehicle. "He just staggered off and basically attacked a car,” said Hughes.</p> <p>Langbroek criticised Hughes for not immediately contacting the police after the unsettling incident, expressing concern about tolerating such dysfunction in society.  “I know that we’re all like, that’s sort of how it rolls," she said, "but when you start accepting dysfunction like that, then dysfunction will rule.”</p> <p>Hughes, who had lost his driver's license the previous month due to a series of minor traffic violations that resulted in the loss of his accumulated points, had been relying on his electric bike for transportation. </p> <p><em>Image: 2DAY FM</em></p>

Legal

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My Royal Melbourne Seniors Classic Adventure: A day on the greens (and in the bunkers!)

<p dir="ltr">G'day to all past, present, and emerging golf enthusiasts!</p> <p dir="ltr">If you're a senior golfer like me, hunting for inspiration, adventure, and authentic golf yarns — this is for you.</p> <p dir="ltr">Picture this: a crisp August morning, and sixty-two senior golfers gathered on Royal Melbourne's West Course for the Vic Seniors Classic 2023. Here's the story of how it all went down...</p> <p dir="ltr">Before anything else, I mustered the guts to jump in. Ever heard of "imposter syndrome"? Trust me, I was its best mate. But the requirements were clear: age 55+ (I'm a proud 65-year-old), GA Handicap under 24.5 (18.5), and a $225 entry fee. Wait, $225? Given that Royal Melbourne's green fees dance around $1000, caddy fee included, it was a no-brainer.</p> <p dir="ltr">Fueled by the temptation of playing a top-notch course for a quarter of the fee, I submitted my application without hesitation. Before I knew it, my name adorned the list of players.</p> <p dir="ltr">As the day approached, I was geared up to tackle the Royal Melbourne challenge.</p> <p dir="ltr">The 8 am shotgun start meant groups teed off from various holes. I found myself at the 11th tee, flanked by two fierce competitors: Peter (Daily Handicap 1) and Damian (12). Yours truly? A modest 20.</p> <p dir="ltr">Standing over the ball, knees a tad wobbly, I swung that driver. The ball sailed gracefully, landing centre fairway, while their shots had taken a wilder route into the rough. The lesson? 'How near,' not 'how far'.</p> <p dir="ltr">Now, let's talk about those Royal Melbourne greens. Rumour had it, they were "super fast". Super fast? Imagine sliding a ball across your kitchen's polished tiles — yep, that rapid.</p> <p dir="ltr">Around the course, bunkers became my stern mentors — big, deep, and oh-so unforgiving.</p> <p dir="ltr">Post 18 holes, scorecards were in, followed by the triumphant crowning of winners over lunch.</p> <p dir="ltr">Rodney Ware (75 gross) and Kevin Naismith (81 gross) led in men's gross, while Wayne Moon (72 net) and Craig Lonsdale (73 net) dominated the net division. Melinda Crawford (16, scratch stableford) and Louise Yuen (29 handicap points) shone in the women's.</p> <p dir="ltr">Kudos to winners, fellow players, Royal Melbourne and Golf Australia for the unforgettable day.</p> <p dir="ltr">By the way, can you see yourself on those hallowed Royal Melbourne greens? If your inner golfer nods, I'm your cheerleader. Consider joining me for the 2024 Royal Melbourne Seniors Classic.</p> <p dir="ltr">And as I wrap up, let me leave you with the timeless words of the legendary Peter Thomson: "Golf is a game of how near, not how far".</p> <p dir="ltr">Until next time, keep those swings buttery, putts steadfast, and steer clear of those tricky bunkers.</p> <p dir="ltr">PS: My result? T43rd (net) among the 48 male players. Next time I'll be swinging even better.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong><em>About the Writer: Mike Searles is a Melbourne retiree who's living the golfing dream.</em></strong></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

Domestic Travel

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Princess Diana’s twin nieces' major announcement

<p dir="ltr">Lady Amelia and Lady Eliza Spencer have announced that Australia’s most prestigious race wear event, Fashions on the Field will go global for the first time ever. </p> <p dir="ltr">The competition will be open to international fashion-lovers as they will be accepting digital entries, with a new category allowing them to compete for the Best Dressed and Best Suited awards. </p> <p dir="ltr">The international winners will then be flown to Flemington during Cup Week to experience the glitz and glam of the races, and compete in person during the live final against Australian state and territory finalists on Thursday November 9. </p> <p dir="ltr">Princess Diana's twin nieces championed the prospects of international entries to the prestigious event and worked together with the Lexus Melbourne Cup trophy to make it a reality. </p> <p dir="ltr">"Racewear fashion really is its own fashion category and I know there will be some amazing international entries for the Melbourne Cup Carnival Fashions on the Field competition," Lady Eliza said.</p> <p dir="ltr">"It was great to discover some wonderful Australian labels at our Melbourne Cup Carnival Fashions on the Field shoot in London and I can't wait to see the style and creativity of entrants this year,"  Lady Amelia added. </p> <p dir="ltr">Victoria Race Club Chairman Neil Wilson also shared his excitement for opening up the event to internationals. </p> <p dir="ltr">"Fashion is a universally appreciated expression of people's individual style and we look forward to racing enthusiasts across the globe showcasing their unique take on race wear on track at Flemington or virtually, which will include the new international competition for the first time," he said. </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Victoria Racing Club</em></p>

Beauty & Style

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How air travellers can cut their door-to-door emissions right now – by as much as 13% on the Sydney-Melbourne route

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/rico-merkert-90253">Rico Merkert</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/david-li-1460445">David Li</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a></em></p> <p>Our climate is changing, and airlines are under pressure to reduce emissions from air travel. For many of us, especially in Australia, flying is an essential form of transport, so how can we reduce its environmental impact? Getting to and from the airport is an overlooked aspect of air travel that offers an immediate way to cut total carbon emissions from the trip by a surprisingly large amount.</p> <p>Our newly published <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1361920923002468">research</a> shows for an average economy passenger flying from Sydney to Melbourne, the carbon emissions from using a fossil-fuelled car to get to and from the airports make up a staggering 13.5% of the total door-to-door emissions. At a global scale, this number reaches 12.1% for long-haul flights and up to 22.8% for short-haul air journeys.</p> <p>For comparison, in the International Air Transport Association’s <a href="https://www.iata.org/en/programs/environment/roadmaps/">2050 net-zero emission roadmap</a>, 13% of global airline decarbonisation will come from electric and hydrogen propulsion. A further 65% is to come from mass adoption of sustainable aviation fuel. This is fuel produced from non-petroleum-based renewable sources such as some municipal solid waste, woody biomass, fats, greases and oils.</p> <p>Each of these big lifters requires a mammoth level of investment and technological breakthroughs, and comes with limitations and risks. Some solutions might make air travel prohibitively expensive. Airlines are moving mountains to decarbonise, but there are increasing concerns their net-zero plans might not stack up.</p> <p>In contrast, a 13.5% emission reduction on a Sydney-Melbourne door-to-door journey today may sound like a dream. Yet our research shows it’s easily achievable if travellers can be persuaded to change how they get to and from the airport.</p> <h2>So how can travellers be convinced to switch?</h2> <p><a href="https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/agricultural-and-resource-economics-review/article/future-of-carbon-labeling-factors-to-consider/FDBC62244F2ACA29A7602886085B4A91">Research</a> has shown carbon “labelling” helps shift consumer behaviour towards greener choices. It’s a bit like how the nutrition label on the back of our cereal box helps us choose healthier options.</p> <p>For instance, when searching for a flight on online travel platform Skyscanner, all flight options are displayed with carbon emissions, so consumers can make a more informed choice.</p> <p>Two <a href="https://escholarship.org/uc/item/5n53672m">recent</a> <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/03611981211046924">studies</a> at the University of California, Davis, suggest showing consumers the emission outcomes of different gate-to-gate flight choices, such as aircraft types and transit stops, can prompt them to choose greener flights, reducing emissions by up to 3.8%.</p> <p>But air journeys don’t start or end at airports. They start at home and end at destinations, or vice versa. Our air-travel carbon emissions are divided into ground and air segments and counted as airport and airline emissions respectively. While airlines focus on gate-to-gate decarbonisation through future technologies, the door-to-door emissions produced by travel to and from airports can be reduced immediately.</p> <p>Let’s look at an example of a Sydney-to-Melbourne trip. Say you travel from North Sydney to Sydney Airport by car, then fly to Melbourne Airport and catch a taxi to the city centre. That trip emits 82 kilograms of CO₂ door-to-door. But if you use a train, bus or electric vehicle (charged from a renewable source) to travel to and from the airport, the emissions from your trip drop to 71kg: a 13.5% fall door-to-door.</p> <p>Although travel platforms are increasingly communicating gate-to-gate emissions to consumers, we’re not aware of any that are including door-to-door emissions. Helping climate-conscious consumers understand the door-to-door carbon impact of airport ground connections could drive them to choose greener options such as public transport and electric vehicles.</p> <figure class="align-center zoomable"><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/541364/original/file-20230807-15-mp3dlr.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/541364/original/file-20230807-15-mp3dlr.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&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/541364/original/file-20230807-15-mp3dlr.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=464&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/541364/original/file-20230807-15-mp3dlr.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=464&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/541364/original/file-20230807-15-mp3dlr.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=464&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/541364/original/file-20230807-15-mp3dlr.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=583&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/541364/original/file-20230807-15-mp3dlr.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=583&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/541364/original/file-20230807-15-mp3dlr.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=583&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="Google Flights chart of air travel options showing emissions and cost" /></a><figcaption><span class="caption">Travel aggregator search platforms are now labelling carbon emissions when offering flight options.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Google Flights</span></span></figcaption></figure> <h2>Give airlines an incentive to inform passengers</h2> <p>Governments and airports have long collaborated in driving consumers towards greener ground transit options. For instance, Transport for NSW has set a 50% emission-reduction <a href="https://www.future.transport.nsw.gov.au/sites/default/files/2022-09/Future_Transport_Strategy_2.pdf">target</a> for 2030.</p> <p>However, consumer adoption of these options has remained low. <a href="https://www.ttf.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/TTF_Accessing_Sydney_Airport.pdf">Most airport trips</a> in Australia today are still made by conventional car.</p> <p>As consumers, we have relationships with airlines that we don’t have with airports. When it comes to flying, we choose our airline carefully. Yet we rarely think about how we get to the airport.</p> <p>Airlines are experts in customer communication and engagement. They operate some of the largest frequent-flyer programs in the world. Last time we checked, Qantas had <a href="https://www.finder.com.au/frequent-flyer/qantas">15 million</a> program members and Virgin had <a href="https://newsroom.virginaustralia.com/release/velocity-frequent-flyer-soars-11-million-members">11 million</a>.</p> <p>Through these channels, airlines learn about us and how we tick when it comes to making flying choices. This puts them in an ideal position to keep us informed about door-to-door travel and drive the transition towards greener airport ground-connection options. To give them an incentive to do so, their efforts should be recognised through emission accounting.</p> <h2>A cost-effective way to cut emissions</h2> <p>Travellers using the Sydney Airport train station must pay an <a href="https://www.opal.com.au/en/opal-fares/airport_station_access_fee/">access fee</a>, which adds <a href="https://airportlink.com.au/trip-information/price/">A$15.74</a> to the cost of the journey. As our <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1361920923002468">paper</a> highlights, the average customer using the airport train removes 2.7kg of CO₂. Achieving the same amount of decarbonisation during the flight using more sustainable aviation fuel – which is more expensive – would cost the customer about the same: between $10 and $16.</p> <p>So there is an opportunity for airlines to highlight this decarbonisation outcome as a way to persuade travellers to reconsider driving a car or catching a taxi, and instead take the airport train or bus. Airlines could also consider collaborating with airports to build airport charging facilities for electric vehicles as uptake in Australia approaches a <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2023/jul/31/australian-electric-vehicles-ev-sales-rise-increase">double-digit share</a> of new vehicle sales.</p> <p>This overlooked opportunity to cut door-to-door emissions from air travel has a substantial upside. It deserves far more attention from airlines, airports and consumers.<!-- 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/211099/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/rico-merkert-90253">Rico Merkert</a>, Professor in Transport and Supply Chain Management and Deputy Director, Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies (ITLS), University of Sydney Business School, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/david-li-1460445">David Li</a>, PhD Candidate, Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</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/how-air-travellers-can-cut-their-door-to-door-emissions-right-now-by-as-much-as-13-on-the-sydney-melbourne-route-211099">original article</a>.</em></p>

Domestic Travel

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"I didn't do anything. I love them": Woman who cooked meal with deadly mushrooms speaks out

<p>A Victorian woman who cooked the meal that resulted in the suspected mushroom poisoning,  which left three elderly family members dead and one fighting for his life has tearfully broken her silence. </p> <p>Erin Patterson, 48, served the lunch to four people at Leongatha on July 29, including her former in-laws Don and Gail Patterson, who after falling sick later that evening, passed away from symptoms consistent with death cap mushroom poisoning.  </p> <p>Gail's sister Heather Wilkinson also passed away, with Heather’s husband, Ian in a critical condition at Melbourne’s Austin Hospital after suffering from the suspected poisoning. </p> <p>"I didn't do anything. I love them," Erin told  <em>A Current Affair. </em></p> <p>A clearly distraught Erin confused Don for Ian, who is currently being treated for his symptoms. </p> <p>"I'm devastated that they're gone and I hope with every fibre of my being that Don pulls through."</p> <p>“I’m so devastated by what’s happened, by the loss of Don, Don is still in hospital, by the loss of Ian and Heather and Gail," she repeated. </p> <p>“They were some of the best people I’ve ever met.</p> <p>“Gail was like the mum I didn’t have because my mum passed away four years ago, Gail had never been anything but good and kind to me,” she added.</p> <p>“Ian and Heather were some of the best people I’d ever met. They never did anything wrong to me.</p> <p>“I’m so devastated about what’s happened and the loss to the community and to the families and to my own children. They've lost their grandmother," she said, and added that she felt "so sorry" that they lost their lives.</p> <p>Erin was interviewed by police and later on released. Officials had also removed her two children from her care as a “precaution”. </p> <p>Homicide Squad Detective Inspector Dean Thomas also added that police are still determining whether this was an accident or a crime. </p> <p>“We’re working to determine what has gone on, to see if there is any nefarious activity that has occurred or if it was accidental.”</p> <p>“We have to keep an open mind,” he said.</p> <p>Police were also still unsure where the mushrooms were sourced from, and that it was a "complex case". </p> <p><em>Image: A Current Affair</em></p>

Legal

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Three centenarians share their secret to longevity

<p>Reaching 100 years old is quite an achievement, especially for anyone hitting the milestone now. Back in 1916 the average lifespan for a man was 55, the average lifespan for a woman was 59 and the likelihood of making it to 100 was one per cent.</p> <p>Times have changed and now we have a raft of seniors around Australia hitting triple digits. To celebrate this incredible milestone, a group of centenarians have been honoured to a special morning tea at Government House in Melbourne.</p> <p>In an interview with <em>ABC Online</em> they shared some of their secrets to longevity. Follow this advice and we reckon anyone has a chance of making it to 100 years old.</p> <p>Jean Hills believes family is the key to success, telling <em>ABC Online</em>, "[I'm] thankful that I had so many marvellous relatives. Often people say they don't have anything to do with their relatives. It was the relatives that saved me and my family during the depression and gave us the opportunity to really achieve something."</p> <p>Jean also adds, “Don't go near the TV.”</p> <p>Stasys Eimutis on the other hand attributes his longevity to his passions and insistence to cut out drinking and smoking, “I have a workshop and I'm doing many things. I'm not going to bed in the night time, [I'm] always doing something. Mostly woodwork. I make musical instruments and organise a music group and I'm still playing. I'm the leader."</p> <p>For Annie Bernstein however, it all comes down to hard work, "I'm getting all the pleasure now from my daughter, my granddaughter and my grandsons and my great granddaughter.</p> <p>"They're lovely."</p> <p><em>Images: Getty</em></p>

Retirement Life

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Chris Hemsworth eyeing out Melbourne apartment development

<p>Aussie actor Chris Hemsworth has been spotted checking out a potential Melbourne bolthole, where ex-Socceroo Harry Kewell could be his neighbour.</p> <p>According to<em> The Herald Sun</em>, the Hollywood great was seen eyeing out the construction site of the 103 Beach St, Port Melbourne, apartment development, set to be completed in September 2024.</p> <p>While he hasn’t purchased anything yet, it is understood that Hemsworth is working with a representative to inspect properties for his first Victorian base.</p> <p>The Marvel star is originally from Melbourne and spent his adolescence in Phillip Island but has no known property assets in the state.</p> <p>He and his wife Elsa Pataky currently own an incredible $30 million mansion in Byron Bay, boasting a gym, steam room, media room, games room and 50m rooftop infinity pool with ocean views.</p> <p>Hemsworth is also an avid Bulldogs supporter and has been seen in the past watching his AFL team play at Marvel Stadium.</p> <p>It comes after about a third of the luxury Beach St apartments were swiftly taken from the plan, with those remaining available ranging from $2.7 million up to $18.5m for the penthouse suites.</p> <p>Industry sources claim former Socceroo and Liverpool player Kewell has also engaged a buyer’s agent from Sydney to inquire about the project.</p> <p>Marshall White Projects director Leonard Teplin declined to comment on the identities of prospective buyers but revealed the complex had attracted interest from “some pretty high-profile people” across Australia, including some well-known business personalities who have already purchased.</p> <p>“It’s one of the more popular apartment projects we’ve had,” he said.</p> <p>“The day we went live there were over 400 registrations of interest … and in the first 72 hours it had 83,000 (website) impressions, which is massive.”</p> <p><em>Image credit: Getty / Realestate.com.au</em></p>

Real Estate

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"I'd ban their whole operation": Tiny sticker highlights huge crisis

<p>From advertisements to artwork there’s no escaping stickers on street poles, but one that was spotted in Melbourne has made waves, calling out a glaring issue that is impacting so many Australians.</p> <p>The sticker in question was stuck to a traffic light in Melbourne and appears to take aim at homeowners who are worsening the national housing crisis by listing their properties as short-term Airbnb stays rather than long-term rentals.</p> <p>The sticker, shared to social media reads, “You wouldn’t open an Airbnb in a housing crisis” a spoof of the mid-2000s ‘Piracy. It’s a crime.’ public service announcement that was played before movies.</p> <p>Images of the sticker have been shared across a number of social media platforms, with many people quick to praise the “genius” DIY PSA and requesting copies to stick around their suburbs on lockboxes in their own apartment complexes.</p> <p>While some found the funny side of the message, others were more critical of the sticker calling out landlords and Airbnb.</p> <p>“You wouldn’t incentivise opening an Airbnb by making it less onerous and more profitable than renting out your property,” someone said.</p> <p>“Course they would,” another responded. “The ‘f**k you, got mine’ mindset is getting stronger.”</p> <p>“If I had my way I’d ban their [Airbnb] whole operation overnight.”</p> <p>The issue of short-term holiday letting and the growth of Airbnb across the country is that it's eating up potential long-term rentals, which is a</p> <p>The calls come amid the rental crisis in Victoria, with vacancy rates reaching a record low of 0.8 per cent in Melbourne in April 2023, which is one of the better rates recorded across Australia as new rental listings dropped by 18.9 per cent.</p> <p>The only capital city to have rental vacancy above one per cent is Canberra, at 1.6 per cent. While Adelaide holds the tightest rental market with a mere 0.3 per cent vacancy. Perth is close behind at 0.4 per cent.</p> <p>Sydney’s new listings fell by 17 per cent in April 2023 and 5.1 per cent in the past year while Melbourne dropped by 20.8 per cent in the span of a month, and 17.9 per cent in the past year, according to PropTrack.</p> <p>The NSW government introduced regulations to limit the time a property could be on the market to 180 days a year. The Victorian Greens have called on the Andrew’s government to strip it to 90 days.</p> <p>A similar, “tourism tax” has been introduced to cities overseas, where a small payment is added to the guest’s bill in certain tourism hot spots each night in a big to funnel money back into local communities’ infrastructure.</p> <p>Airbnb told <em>The Age</em> that a statewide tourism levy was the preferred way to regulate the industry as it is more consistent than a council-by-council approach.</p> <p>“We believe tourism levies are a fair and sustainable way to raise revenue for local communities, especially in areas of high tourism, as they broaden the revenue base without imposing an additional burden on local ratepayers or businesses,” Airbnb Australia and New Zealand’s head of public policy Michael Crosby told the outlet.</p> <p>Speaking to <em>news.com.au</em>, Airbnb's country manager for Australia and New Zealand Susan Wheeldon said the platform had proposed a series of measures to “help build stronger communities, foster sustainable tourism growth, and equip governments across Australia with tools to help address important issues, such as housing affordability and amenity”.</p> <p>It included a statewide registration scheme to document new listings, introducing consistent Codes of Conduct for guests, hosts, and communities, as well as support for government reviews of eviction protections.</p> <p>“Airbnb is keen to work together with a broad range of stakeholders and help play a part in helping to provide meaningful solutions and tackle the issue of housing supply and affordability,” Wheeldon said.</p> <p>“While short term rentals generally comprise a tiny proportion of the overall property market, we’re keen to keep finding ways that we can make a positive contribution to this important issue.”</p> <p><em>Image credit: Reddit</em></p>

Real Estate

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Several children to undergo amputations after Melbourne school bus crash

<p>Seven school children are in serious condition - with one reportedly in intensive care - in the wake of a horror bus crash in Melbourne. </p> <p>Their nightmare began when their school bus collided with a truck on its way back from Exford Primary School, rolling when it should have been dropping the 45 kids onboard home. </p> <p>And when Royal Children’s Hospital Chief Executive Officer Bernadette McDonald provided an update for those following the story, she noted that she was surprised all of the children had survived - though their struggle was far from over. </p> <p>They were taken to the Royal Melbourne hospital, all of them aged between the years of five and 11. Two were discharged, but seven remain, with each of their conditions serious. </p> <p>“The children have suffered multiple and traumatic injuries,” she explained, “including partial and complete amputations of arms, multiple crushed limb injuries, severe lacerations to head and body, head injuries, glass shard injuries and three patients are currently receiving spinal support.</p> <p>"Some of these patients will require returns to theatres and multiple surgeries in the coming days and coming weeks."</p> <p>Specialist surgeons - vascular and microplastic - had been called in to help treat the children, McDonald added, as “you would understand with these sorts of injuries very small vessels need to be repaired and reattached.”</p> <p>McDonald went on to note that they were working hard to provide trauma support and care to the families and children, and that “the parents are obviously traumatised. </p> <p>“They had to wait until the early hours of the morning to be reunited with their children."</p> <p>Natalie Hutchins, Victoria’s Education Minister, also spoke out to say counsellors were being arranged for the school, and that their thoughts were with all those involved, “especially those students who were injured and the families this tragedy has touched.</p> <p>"We acknowledge the response from the principal and staff at Exford Primary School, who all attended the scene and ensured every child involved was supported and looked after.</p> <p>"During this difficult time, we request that the community respect the privacy of the school community and all those affected within it."</p> <p>In contrast to the children - who face a long and difficult road to recovery - the bus driver suffered only minor injuries. </p> <p>As for the truck driver, the 49 year old stopped at the scene and is assisting police with their inquiries, with the Major Collision Investigation Unit’s detectives leading the case.</p> <p>So far, Victoria’s Police Superintendent Michael Cruse has revealed that the bus was reportedly trying to turn right at an intersection when the truck collided with its rear, and that “significant” damage was caused in a scene he described as nothing short of “chaotic”. </p> <p><em>Images: 9News / Nine</em></p>

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