Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

Woolies under fire for “offensive” Christmas cake

<p>The controversy comes around every year during the holiday season, outraging citizens who claim that they’re unable to say the phrase “Merry Christmas” because of corporations caving into political correctness.</p> <p>And now, supermarket giant Woolworths has found itself at the centre of the controversy.</p> <p>Jason Morrison, a former host at 2GB, took to Twitter to share a photo of an Australian fruit cake currently being sold at Woolworths and put forth the claim that it was a “politically correct Christmas Cake”.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en-gb"> <p dir="ltr">Politically correct Christmas Cake at Woolworths: “Celebration Cake”. <a href="https://t.co/S5lVkgec3k">pic.twitter.com/S5lVkgec3k</a></p> — Jason Morrison (@JasonMorrisonAU) <a href="https://twitter.com/JasonMorrisonAU/status/1072223382098169862?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">10 December 2018</a></blockquote> <p>It didn’t take long for the post to gain traction, with outraged Aussies suggesting shoppers should “boycott Woolworths completely” and stop the “PC brigade” from running the show.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-lang="en-gb"> <p dir="ltr">The simple solution, let the 5% of the population offended by Christmas Cake buy it and the rest of us boycott Woolworths completely. This has gone too far to even be called a joke now.</p> — DavidMoffett47 (@DavidMoffett47) <a href="https://twitter.com/DavidMoffett47/status/1072259635921309696?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">10 December 2018</a></blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-lang="en-gb"> <p dir="ltr">I’m a lieutenant in the PC brigade and this is the first step in our 5 point plan to put a jihad on Christmas.</p> — Matt (@Matt2146) <a href="https://twitter.com/Matt2146/status/1072337941752700929?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">11 December 2018</a></blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-lang="en-gb"> <p dir="ltr">PC gone crazy. Christmas 🎄 is a beautiful time of the year. For those who are offended nobody is making you celebrate it just let those who do enjoy it.</p> — Alice (@Aliceh_1936) <a href="https://twitter.com/Aliceh_1936/status/1072347127802724352?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">11 December 2018</a></blockquote> <p>But despite the outrage, the energy it took for people to be up in arms over the entire incident was completely wasted, as the accusations aren’t true.</p> <p>South Australian food manufacturer The Yummy Kitchen are the ones behind the fruit cake, and the dessert has been titled “celebration cake” since 1997.</p> <p>It’s also an item that is sold throughout the year, rather than being a seasonal cake. The holiday favourite is sold at Woolworths as well as Coles and has never been marketed as a Christmas cake.</p> <p>Speaking to <a href="https://www.news.com.au/finance/business/retail/no-retailers-are-not-caving-to-political-correctness-with-this-humble-fruit-cake/news-story/200d50949bb6627b199942b123c8637e">news.com.au</a>, a spokesperson from Woolworths has confirmed that the supermarket has no plans to stop the Christmas festivities.</p> <p>“The spirit of Christmas is alive and well at Woolworths this year. You’ll find us proudly celebrating it throughout our stores, with Christmas trees, tinsel, team uniforms and in-store signage,” said the spokesperson.</p> <p>“And if you’re after a bit more Christmas cheer from Woolworths this year, just ask our team about Christmas Pop-Outs next time you shop. All characters are now available in store to help complete the collection.”</p> <p>So now that the bizarre conspiracy has been debunked, everyone can take a breather and kick start the holiday celebrations.</p>

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

Calls for Centrelink to increase the dole by $300 per fortnight

<p>New research has found that the dole needs to increase by nearly $300 a fortnight in order to reduce the poverty gap by 11 per cent.</p> <p>The study, undertaken by the Australian National University’s Centre for Social Research and Methods, has analysed five welfare payments and suggested how the government could restructure their values to reduce the poverty gap.</p> <p>The research found that income unity poverty could be reduced by 11 per cent if payment rates are adjusted within the current budget of $100 billion per annum.</p> <p>The analysis found that Newstart for unemployed should increase by $270 per fortnight, the Age Pension by $11 and rent assistance by about $10.</p> <p>These increases would be made possible by reducing Family Tax benefits by around $60 or more, and single parent payments by more than $30.</p> <p>These payment adjustments would reduce the poverty gap for households on allowances by 68 per cent, while single parents would face an increase in their poverty gap on average from $97 per year to $382.</p> <p>“The reductions for family payments suggests that these payments are currently paid to many households and income units that are either not in poverty or have low poverty gaps,” the research paper says.</p> <p>“FTB can go to families, admittedly at a tapered rate, with incomes over $100,000. From a poverty perspective, it is perhaps not as well targeted with respect to income as allowances and ­pensions.”</p> <p>The research follows a pledge from the Labor party to increase the “shamefully low” dole level if it wins the next election.</p> <p>If Labor wins the next election, Newstart recipients could expect a $75 increase.</p> <p>According to <a href="https://www.couriermail.com.au/"><strong><em style="font-weight: inherit;"><u>The Courier Mail</u></em></strong></a>, Labor is seeking to go further and deliver “a substantial increase to Newstart payments in the first term of an elected Federal Labor Government”.</p> <p>Currently there are 705,658 Aussies on the Newstart allowance across the nation.</p> <p>According to <a href="https://au.finance.yahoo.com/"><strong><em style="font-weight: inherit;"><u>Yahoo! Finance</u></em></strong></a>, single adults without children receive $275.10 a week. A $75 increase would mean recipients would instead get $350.10 a week. </p> <p>Do you agree with these dole increases? Let us know in the comments below. </p>

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

Coles' Little Shop Christmas collectibles hijacked by greedy shoppers: “You should be ashamed”

<p>Furious parents and grandparents have criticised Coles after the supermarket sold out of its Little Shop Christmas edition just four days after it launched.</p> <p>Last month, Coles announced that it would be releasing a festive Little Shop collection in time for Christmas, however, just a week after it launched, it has run out of supplies.</p> <p>Many shoppers who missed out on the miniatures and matching cases have vented their frustration on social media.</p> <p>One Aussie grandma slammed Coles on a Facebook group for swapping Little Shop collectibles.</p> <p>The woman wrote: “You should be ashamed of yourselves. All I wanted was one folder for my granddaughter… what in the hell is going on?”</p> <p>“Now I see selfish money-hungry people selling them for $40. Wise up you stupid people.”</p> <p>The woman also expressed her disappointment that she wasn’t given one of the miniatures after one shop, despite spending the minimum $30 in store.</p> <p>According to Coles, customers receive a free mini at the checkout for every $30 they spend.</p> <p>The Little Shop Christmas edition includes mince pies, a pavlova, crackers, a gingerbread biscuit and a limited edition Coles gingerbread ice-cream.</p> <p>Another shopper said she was “over” the frustration of seeing people sell the collectibles for a profit.</p> <p>“Wrecking kids fun. Go get real jobs people, I bet you sell baby formula too,” she wrote.</p> <p>Other unhappy shoppers said they had been forced to fork out money to Little Shop sellers online.</p> <p>“Thumbs down in a big way to Coles Australia wide knowing that the first collectibles were a big hit for all then they bring out Christmas ones &amp; the folders don't last on the shelf for one day, what's going to happen when they bring out series 2 in 2019,” one person wrote on Facebook.</p> <p>Many shoppers who have been unable to purchase the case have instead downloaded the free version.</p> <p>A Coles spokesperson told <a href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk"><strong>Daily Mail Australia</strong></a> the supermarket had limited case sales to ensure fairness to all shoppers.</p> <p>“Coles' Little Shop special Christmas edition has taken Australia by storm, with our limited edition Christmas stocking collector cases selling at unprecedented levels,” the spokesperson said.</p> <p>“We limited sales to 3 per customer as we know many of our shoppers are families with several children.”</p> <p>Are you collecting the Little Shop Christmas edition? Let us know in the comments below.</p>

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

The cheapest supermarket for Christmas essentials revealed

<p>Consumer organisation CHOICE has revealed the supermarket that is offering customers the biggest savings in the lead up to Christmas.</p> <p>CHOICE found that ALDI was cheaper than its competitors, with the German retailer saving shoppers $30 or roughly 14 per cent.</p> <p>However, CHOICE did note the two Aussie-owned supermarkets had a bigger range, with some festive staples not being available at ALDI.</p> <p>The Christmas list that was compared between the supermarkets included a half leg ham, frozen turkey breast, smoked salmon, cooked prawns, brandy snaps, raspberries, cream, a wedge of creamy brie, wrapping paper and tinsel.</p> <p>At ALDI the shop totalled $175.16, Coles came in second at $205.24 and Woolworths totalled $207.30.</p> <p>CHOICE spokesman Jonathan Brown said: “CHOICE's team looked at comparable products across Coles, Woolworths and ALDI and found that the gap in price has closed a little bit this year.”</p> <p>According to CHOICE’s figures, ALDI’s shopping bill has been reduced by $2 each year, while Woolies has come down by $10 between 2017-2018 and Coles has increased by $5.</p> <p>“Last year there was a significant difference between ALDI and Woolworths and this year we’ve found the difference between Coles and Woolworths negligible,” Mr Brown told <a href="https://www.news.com.au/"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>news.com.au</strong></span></a>.</p> <p>CHOICE initially wanted to include candy canes and baubles on the list but they were removed from the basket as they are not sold at ALDI.</p> <p>While ALDI came out cheaper, Mr Brown said other factors may be more important to Christmas shoppers.</p> <p>“If you want to save some time and get online orders or delivery, Coles and Woolworths may be worth the extra expense and we did find a bigger range at them,” Mr Brown said.</p> <p>“While we didn’t test for quality, this is often a subjective measure — it’s important to remember that brands do impact how we perceive products. You never know, without the packaging, your kids might never know the difference.”</p> <p>A Coles spokesman told news.com.au the supermarket has lowered prices for “nine consecutive years”.</p> <p>“This year Coles has unveiled its biggest and most delicious Christmas yet, with more than 150 new and improved products to provide a new twist on the classic Christmas.”</p> <p>A Woolworths spokesman said they were focused on providing their customers with a wide selection of products.</p> <p>“We know every dollar counts and work hard to offer great value across our customers’ total shop.”</p> <p>CHOICE's Christmas basket</p> <p>•Half leg ham (closest to 5kg)</p> <p>•Turkey breast roast, frozen (1kg)</p> <p>•Smoked salmon (200g)</p> <p>•Australian tiger prawns, cooked (1kg)</p> <p>•Christmas pudding (700g)</p> <p>•Fruit mince pies (6 pack)</p> <p>•Brandy snaps (8 pack)</p> <p>•Raspberries, frozen (500g)</p> <p>•Thickened cream (600mL)</p> <p>•Brie (125g or closest)</p> <p>•Mixed nuts, dry roasted (375g or closest)</p> <p>•Mixed nuts in shell (550g or closest)</p> <p>•Chocolate coins (150g)</p> <p>•Favourites chocolates (320g)</p> <p>•Mars Celebrations Tub (692g)</p> <p>•Lindt balls or equivalent (150g or closest)</p> <p>•Christmas cards (10 pack)</p> <p>•Christmas gift wrap (single roll, 5m)</p> <p>•Tinsel (3m or closest)</p> <p>•Outdoor LED fairy/icicle lights (250 pack or closest)</p> <p>•Christmas crackers/bonbons (12 pack or closest)</p> <p>Which supermarket will you be shopping at this Christmas? Let us know in the comments below. </p>

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

Australia Post cut-off dates you need to know for Christmas card and parcel deliveries

<div> <div class="replay"> <div class="reply_body body linkify"> <div class="reply_body"> <div class="body_text "> <p>With only a few sleeps left till Christmas, Australia Post is busy sending last-minute cards and gifts to loved ones who live interstate or overseas.</p> <p>But while those working for the delivery service are working round-the-clock to make sure packages are being delivered on time, it is important for those sending parcels to plan ahead.</p> <p>In the lead up to Christmas, Australia Post will be delivering two million packages every day, and these weeks are considered the busiest of the year.</p> <p>Which is why Australia Post’s group chief operating officer Bob Black is advising those who plan to send gifts through the mail to get in as early as you can.</p> <p>“If you’re sending within Australia using regular mail, post your Christmas gifts before Monday, December 17, but if you’ve got a last minute gift, you can send your presents through our Express Post network as we will be delivering right up to Christmas Eve,” Mr Black told <em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.news.com.au/finance/business/retail/australia-post-reveals-the-cutoff-dates-for-christmas-card-and-parcel-deliveries/news-story/d4c6a59ed3aedd5061eb3c37364bfd75" target="_blank">news.com.au</a></em>.</p> <p>“The absolute latest you can send your parcel through our Express Post network for guaranteed next day delivery, which covers over nine million addresses, is Friday, December 21 – but check your address is covered first.</p> <p>“If you have loved ones overseas, we work with a host of international mail carriers to make international sending easy. To check the different delivery options and prices, talk to us in store or visit our website.”</p> <p>Mr Black also revealed that employees at Australia Post are “working around the clock” to make sure Christmas deliveries are sent out on time, with extended trading hours and weekend deliveries happening right up till Christmas Day.</p> <p>He went on to share his advice on making sure your package arrives safe and sound to the intended recipient.</p> <p>“When sending your gifts, make sure you use enough padding, that your recipient’s address if bold and clear, and you have included your return details,” said Mr Black.</p> <p>“If you’re posting something valuable, customers can choose to have their items sent with Signature On Delivery or take out insurance from $2.</p> <p>“For customers on the move this Christmas, you can sign up for free to MyPost Deliveries and have parcels sent to a 24/7 parcel locker or a post office that’s more convenient for you.</p> <p>“We are here to help, so if you’re not sure how to best send your gifts, please talk to our team in-store and take a look at our range of mailing boxes, mailing tubes and satchels.”</p> <p>Mr Black also reminded children to send their letters to Santa as soon as possible, as time was running out.</p> <p>“If you have loved ones writing to Santa, make sure you write your name and address on the back of the envelope and send your completed letters to Santa, North Pole, 9999,” he said.</p> <p>“So Santa can reply before the big day, we ask families to lodge their letters before Friday, December 14.”</p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div></div>

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

Inside Duchess Kate’s $3.5 million home before she became a royal

<p>The home Kate shared with her sister Pippa before she became the Duchess of Cambridge has been put up for sale for a cool $3.5 million.</p> <p>The three-bedroom apartment located in Chelsea, London, belongs to the Duchess’ parents, Michael and Carole Middleton, and according to <em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.thetimes.co.uk/" target="_blank">The Sunday Times</a></em>, they are expected to make a cool $2.1 million profit from the sale.</p> <p>The home was purchased by the Middleton’s for $1.4 million in 2002, and now with the Duchess residing in Kensington Palace and Pippa living in a $30 million luxury townhouse in London with her husband James Matthews and their baby boy, the home is no longer needed.</p> <p>After the birth of Prince George in 2013, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge moved into Apartment 1A. The beautiful home consists of 20 bedrooms and has a view of Hyde Park.</p> <p>Pippa Middleton isn’t doing too bad either, as her and her multi-millionaire husband James recently completed the renovations on their five-story London mansion, which had already featured a gym, an underground cinema, a lift, a “staff room” and six bedrooms.</p> <p>The renovations cost a total of $2.1 million.</p> <p>The Middleton family's apartment sits on a quaint street in Chelsea with the home consisting of three floors with a number of rooms, along with the three bedrooms.</p> <p>Also shown in photos is a small kitchen and a large dining area decorated with classic furniture and patterned curtains.</p> <p>Kensington Palace did not provide a comment on the home being put up for sale.</p> <p>Scroll through the gallery above to see all the photos of Kate’s home before she became the Duchess of Cambridge. </p>

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

The $25 ALDI bargain just in time for Christmas – but be quick!

<p>Let’s face it, as much as we love indulging in a drink or two throughout Christmas, the habit can turn out to be heavy on our pockets.</p> <p>But thankfully, ALDI has announced its range of alcohol which includes three magnums of wine at an affordable price.</p> <p>And wine aficionados will find the deals hard to resist with the 1.5L magnum of Rhombus Prosecco DOC Brut costing a mere $24.99.</p> <p>But if that doesn’t tickle your tastebuds then you have the option of ALDI’s La Mule Rose magnum, which is priced at $19.99.</p> <p>And if you’re someone who prefers to stick to tradition and enjoys a Christmas feast, then a red may be more up your alley. The German supermarket is selling a form of Merlot &amp; Malbec blend for $29.99 for 1.5L.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="width: 0px; height:0px;" src="/media/7822339/alcohol1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/5a5fe164a13e49e4a1e59793298af80f" /></p> <p>And it doesn’t end there, as also on offer are a range of spirits with a rosé gin pack, with a price tag of $39.99 and a 21-year-old Glen Marnock whiskey, priced at $89.99.</p> <p>Other options to choose from are speciality beers straight from the UK, which includes Monty Python’s Flying Circus IPA 500ml, costing an affordable $3.99 and Monty Python’s Holy Grail 500ml, also priced at $3.99.</p> <p>And if you prefer champagne then you would be pleased to know that ALDI will be selling a $25 Veuve Monsigny Champagne Premier Cru NV.</p> <p>The $25 bottle of Champagne is not only considered to be the real deal, but it also holds a ranking of Premier Cru – a title only 43 wine-making villages have had the honour of obtaining.</p> <p>It’s also an Aussie favourite, as the affordable bubbly has won countless awards including Top 100 Blue Gold and a trophy for best sparkling wine.</p> <p>The remarkable deals are a part of ALDI’s special buys and will go up for sale on December 12. The Merlot will be introduced to stores from December 19.</p> <p>Will you be trying out any of these drinks whilst entertaining over Christmas and new year? Let us know in the comments below.</p>

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

Woolies under fire for making staff work Christmas Day

<p>The NSW treasurer has put his foot down after Woolworths put in a request for 3500 staff members to be given permission to work on Christmas Day.</p> <p>The supermarket giant claims that workers are needed on the public holiday to stock shelves and make deliveries in order to be prepared for Boxing Day.</p> <p>With other states and territories allowing for shelves to be stocked on public holidays, businesses in NSW must seek permission from the government to run on restricted trading days such as Christmas and Anzac Day.</p> <p>Speaking to the media on Wednesday, Dominic Perrottet said Woolworths’ application is currently being looked over by the industrial relations agency within Treasury.</p> <p>“I personally don’t want people working on Christmas Day,” he said.</p> <p>“We’ve made that clear from the outset when we established the ability for retailers to open on Boxing Day, we’ve always said it’s about choice, it’s always up for people if they decide to work or not decide to work.</p> <p>“Applications have been made in the past and they have been rejected.”</p> <p>But according to Woolworths, their staff members have no qualms over the matter as they would be earning public holiday rates if they choose to work on Christmas Day.</p> <p>“We fully respect the right of team members to enjoy Christmas Day with loved ones and never compel anyone to work who doesn’t wish to do so,” a spokesman for the company told AAP in a statement.</p> <p>Leader of the opposition, Michael Daley, considers stores opening on Boxing Day a quick cash grab, saying there’s no reason for them to be in operation.</p> <p>“It’s all about corporate greed,” he said while attending a rally in Sydney on Wednesday.</p> <p>Do you think Woolies staff should have to work on Christmas Day? Let us know in the comments below.</p>

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

Single mums with up to 12 children claim their Centrelink benefits are not enough

<p>Single mums with up to 12 children are asking the government for more money, claiming they aren’t receiving enough from Centrelink.</p> <p>In an interview with <em style="font-weight: inherit;">A Current Affair</em>, the unemployed mothers said the amount they get per child should be increased because it isn’t enough to cover the cost of raising their families.</p> <p>However, many regard the Australian welfare system as one of the most generous in the world.</p> <p>One of the women revealed that she receives just under $2,000 a fortnight from her benefits but believes it should be increased to $2,700.</p> <p>Lisa, a mother of 11 children, also said she was struggling to survive by supporting her large family through Centrelink.</p> <p>Despite earning more money with every pregnancy, Lisa said it’s still not enough.</p> <p>The 41-year-old revealed that she receives an average of $183 from Centrelink for each of the five children who still live at home with her.</p> <p>Pointing to a list of names tattooed on her right arm, she said: “I don't get paid from Centrelink for these children anymore because they've all moved out of home and grown up.”</p> <p>While pointing to the other list of names printed on her left arm, she explained that she still receives benefits for those children.</p> <p>Lisa told <em style="font-weight: inherit;">ACA</em> that she can’t stop falling pregnant, despite trying “all different contraceptives”.</p> <p>“Nothing worked. I tried getting my tubes tied but they told me I was too young after having five children,” she said.</p> <p>Doctors recommended that Lisa be put on the waiting list for the surgery, however, she fell pregnant soon after.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="width: 500px; height:371.2480252764613px;" src="/media/7822319/2.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/14067e0e045b4d03890bb9bf110792a8" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Lisa outside her caravan</em></p> <p>The Channel Nine show filmed Lisa walking out from her caravan where she lives, with her belongings scattered on the ground.</p> <p>Wiping away tears, she said she desperately needed more money in order to help her and her children get by.</p> <p>Cally, who has 12 children between her and her partner, lives in a cramped home, which has the children’s bedrooms separated by curtains.</p> <p>She said she receives $1,948 a fortnight, with the family spending a third of the money on food.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="width: 500px; height:336.49289099526067px;" src="/media/7822320/3.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/187d8cf3bfb4424a9f973c367df86a0b" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>33-year-old Cally</em></p> <p>The 33-year-old wants to be paid $2,700 a fortnight, saying that the amount will allow for her and her children to “just survive”.</p> <p>Karen Francis, a single mother of nine children, told <em style="font-weight: inherit;">ACA</em> that she was in a bad financial situation when she fell pregnant.</p> <p>The 34-year-old has three of her children living with her, while the other five live with her mother.</p> <p>Centrelink pays Karen $1,000 a fortnight, while her mother receives $3,000.</p> <p>“Money doesn't last long. As soon as they know you got paid, they're all on you,” she said.  </p> <p>Agreeing with the other mums, Karen also believes her benefits should be increased.</p> <p>“I think they need to look at each family individually ... at first you're alright but as more kids come along it seems you struggle a bit more,” she told the program.  </p> <p>Do you think their Centrelink payments should be increased? Share your thoughts in the comments below. </p>

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

Christmas recall: Target removes product over choking fears

<p>Target has recalled a popular children’s toy following concerns it may be a choking hazard to young children.</p> <p>The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is advising anyone who has purchased the Young Ones My First Sand and Water table to return it immediately.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="width: 351.7811704834605px; height:500px;" src="/media/7822295/1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/7ee7c411a86b4128b71f836d6ac5941a" /></p> <p>The toy was sold at Target and Target Country stores around the country between April 1, 2014 and November 29, 2018.</p> <p>The recall was issued because a small part on the watering nozzle is able to detach from the spout and could be a choking hazard to young children.</p> <p>The toy can be returned to Target for a full refund.</p> <p>Target’s notice explained: “We recommend you stop using the product and return the product to a Target or Target Country store as soon as possible, where our team members will provide you with a full refund. A receipt is not required to obtain a refund.”</p> <p>For further information, customers can contact the Customer Support Centre on 1300 753 567 or visit <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="https://www.target.com.au/help/contact-us">https://www.target.com.au/help/contact-us</a></strong></span>.</p> <p>Does one of your grandchildren have this toy? Let us know in the comments below. </p>

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

Barnaby Joyce’s difficult divorce decision

<p>National backbencher Barnaby Joyce has revealed the tough decision he has made in the hope of freeing up cash for his divorce settlement.</p> <p>The former deputy prime minister is selling his rural NSW farmland with coal-seam gas potential to fund his divorce from his wife of 25 years, Natalie.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="width: 333.3333333333333px; height:500px;" src="/media/7822281/image_.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/cea3293bcbc149078ed4a611e563b2e0" /></p> <p>The 1015ha land, located in Gwabegar in northern NSW, has been listed with an asking price of $878,000.</p> <p>The land has a coal-seam gas exploration license held by resources company Comet Ridge.</p> <p>Mr Joyce bought the land for $572,000, after joining two separate blocks together.</p> <p>The politician vowed to sell the land five years ago after acknowledging the “conflict of interest” created by the petroleum exploration license.</p> <p>Mr Joyce, who is selling the land through Rural Property NSW agent Michael Guest, said he was unaware of the exploration license when he purchased the land.</p> <p>The property includes numerous dams, eight paddocks and has a creek that runs through it.</p> <p>The politician admitted that he was selling the property for the divorce settlement.</p> <p>“The unfortunate breakdown of the relationship means there has to be the necessary settlement to secure Natalie’s position,” he told <em><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="https://www.theaustralian.com.au/">The Australian.</a></strong></span></em></p> <p>Earlier this year, Mr Joyce made headlines across the country when it was announced that he had left his wife for former staffer Vikki Campion.</p> <p>In April, Ms Campion gave birth to their son Sebastian.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="width: 0px; height:0px;" src="/media/7822283/1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/726725bd7de84618b760947b649e5210" /></p>

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

CHOICE reveals the best supermarket products of 2018 – priced from just $1.30!

<p>With so many products available on supermarket shelves, it can be hard for shoppers to discern which item provides the best value for money.</p> <p>Now, consumer watchdog CHOICE has revealed the most trusted products you can purchase at the shops.</p> <p>To help you buy the best products in the lead up to the festive season, here are CHOICE’s top picks.</p> <p><strong>Best laundry detergent</strong></p> <p>CHOICE tested 82 laundry detergents and found that Coles Ultra Front, which retails at $4, came out on top.</p> <p>The brands were tested against stains such as oils, tomato and starches.</p> <p>The product that came in second place was Omo Ultimate Front for $21.99 and ALDI’s $5.69 Trimat Advanced Laundry Powder Regular Top.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="width: 500px; height:300.15797788309635px;" src="/media/7822248/1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/a19db86fe4bb44d8947a814258a26e67" /></p> <p><strong>Best dishwasher detergent</strong></p> <p>CHOICE assessed 34 dishwasher detergents, including different gels, powder and tablets. Earth Choice All in One Dish Tablets, available for $16.30, were voted the most effective. Coming in second was Miele Dishwasher Ultra Tabs Multi, which retail at $24.95, followed by Coles Ultra with Active Oxygen Tablets for $6.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="width: 500px; height:266.1927330173776px;" src="/media/7822249/2.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/e40fb0d43b4e4043bbd5cd29f78d1ed8" /></p> <p><strong>Best suitcase</strong></p> <p>If you are looking to invest in new luggage any time soon, CHOICE recommends the American Tourister Curi, which retails for $239. After testing popular carry-on luggage for water resistance, durability and stability, this brand came out in the first place. In second place was Kmart’s soft lightweight case for just $49.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="width: 307px; height:434px;" src="/media/7822250/3.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/9e3f124d741340ecaa538671f7e5986a" /></p> <p><strong>Best peanut butter</strong></p> <p>Peanut butter is a staple that most families have tucked away in their pantry. The consumer watchdog found that the best rated spread was Bramwells Peanut Butter, available at ALDI for $2.39. Following in second place was Kraft’s Peanut Butter Smooth for $5.98.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="width: 500px; height:308.0568720379147px;" src="/media/7822251/4.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/9524b917d12f4cd4bb8eb09935f92f79" /></p> <p><strong>Best toilet cleaner</strong></p> <p>When CHOICE tested 31 toilet cleaning products, there were three that all came in at first on 75 per cent.</p> <p>ALDI’s $2.19 Power Force Bright &amp; Clean Oxy Thick Toilet Gel, Janola Power Clean Toilet Bleach Gel for $4.50 and White King Premium Bleach for $2.49, all finished at the top of the ladder.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="width: 500px; height:471.56398104265406px;" src="/media/7822252/5.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/a619885e45be4a6598b4eb57bb748f23" /></p> <p><strong>Best multi-purpose cleaner</strong></p> <p>The watchdog consumer also tested 27 multi-purpose cleaning sprays.</p> <p>“Lab experts put each multipurpose cleaner to the test by soiling white ceramic tiles with oily grime,” CHOICE said.</p> <p>“Using a scrubbing apparatus with a sponge attached, the tiles are scrubbed 40 times.”</p> <p>The product that scored best was Easy-Off Bam Power Cleaner Grease &amp; Sparkle for $5.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="width: 278.58439201451904px; height:500px;" src="/media/7822254/6.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f63c8338474d44f197fd5bbb6201a16d" /></p> <p><strong>Best Greek yoghurt</strong></p> <p>Greek yoghurt is a healthier alternative to normal yoghurt, so CHOICE conducted a test based on taste, fat levels and protein levels.</p> <p>The product that is recommended by CHOICE is Coles Greek Style Natural Yoghurt, which retails at $3.90. This yoghurt was followed by $5 Farmers Union Greek Style All Natural Yoghurt.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="width: 500px; height:452.60663507109007px;" src="/media/7822255/7.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/d682ec00d50348818e7d9addb4236197" /></p> <p><strong>Best toilet paper</strong></p> <p>After testing 39 popular brands, Quilton Shea Butter in Gold 4 Ply was named the best toilet paper, retailing at $5 for a six pack.</p> <p>The brand scored an impressive 86 per cent overall and 100 per cent for softness. Kleenex Luxury Collection Aloe Vera Soft and Gentle came in second.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="width: 500px; height:266.1927330173776px;" src="/media/7822256/8.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/8a24c67fd89945df9e3c27bf212f5fd4" /></p> <p><strong>Best facial tissues</strong></p> <p>CHOICE also rated tissues, scoring them on softness, puncture and absorption. The winner of this category was Kleenex’s Tissues To Go 4 Ply, which retails at $5.56 for 100.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="width: 500px; height:262.2432859399684px;" src="/media/7822257/9.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/a028838e2acf481388bad0f4806bdb5b" /></p> <p><strong>Best stain remover</strong></p> <p>Stain removers can work like a charm when clothes are ruined by different foods and liquids. </p> <p>To make sure you are purchasing an effective stain remover, CHOICE tested 23 supermarket products. The best one was Coles’ Ultra PreWash Stain Remover, priced at $1.30. In second place was ALDI’s $1.25 Di San Pre Wash Stain Remover Ultra Degreaser With Enzymes.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="width: 307px; height:371px;" src="/media/7822258/10.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/ded0ccc5723744f8bd92612d59be94f7" /></p> <p>Do you use any of these products? Let us know in the comments below. </p>

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

ALDI releases top-selling Christmas item: “Best $100 I’ve spent”

<p>ALDI has impressed loyal shoppers once again by selling one Christmas item that is selling out across the country.</p> <p>The German retailer’s $99 pre-lit Christmas tree has already sold out in a number of Australian stores.</p> <p>Not only does the tree save shoppers the hassle of buying lights, the tree also has a range of coloured baubles and themed ornaments for decoration.</p> <p>Australian mums who’ve purchased the tree have praised ALDI for offering a great tree which folds down easily and also looks great.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="width: 296.90431519699814px; height:500px;" src="/media/7822243/1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/5c2be0705ac940b98ae1cd926d4df01a" /></p> <p>One mother said photos didn’t do justice to the beauty of the tree.</p> <p>She asked: “Has anyone else setup their ALDI Christmas tree? I'm loving mine, photos don't do it justice.”</p> <p>Another said they’ve owned their ALDI Christmas tree for three years and still love it.</p> <p>“So easy to put up as branches are all attached. Just fold out and it already has the lights built in! Can't get any better!”</p> <p>Another shopper gushed about their Christmas purchase, saying it was the best $100 they’ve spent.</p> <p>“Omg, so good. Bought mine last year and am very happy with it. Best $100 addition.”</p> <p>Another added: “Love ours! We got it a year or two ago. Saves untangling lights and the lights can be coloured or white or both.”</p> <p>On social media, many customers complained that they were unable to get their hands on the top-selling product.</p> <p>“I know a few people have found them,” wrote one, “would be lucky to get though I think.”</p> <p>Last month, ALDI released their Christmas range, which also includes $12 Champagne, $26 turkeys and wreaths for as little as $24.99.</p> <p>Do you own an ALDI Christmas tree? Let us know in the comments below. </p>

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

Fill up your tank today! Petrol prices plummet to $1.12 a litre

<p>Experts have encouraged Aussie motorists to fill up their tanks as petrol prices have taken an impressive 14.6 per cent plunge following last month's decade-high prices. </p> <p>In October, Melbourne fuel prices hit a 10-year high, while Sydney reached a staggering $1.75 a litre and Adelaide hit an average of $1.67 a litre. </p> <p>However, a strong Aussie dollar and a global increase in oil production has seen some petrol stations in Sydney offer just $1.12 a litre. </p> <p>On Tuesday, petrol in Sydney dropped to an average of $1.25 a litre, Melbourne to $1.30 a litre and $1.34 a litre in Queensland. </p> <p>Speaking to <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Fairfax</strong></span></a>, CommSec chief economist Craig James said motorists could save $69 a month with the decreased prices. </p> <p>"Compared with the highs for petrol prices in October ... it equates to a quarter per cent rate cut on a $450,000 mortgage over a 25-year term," he said. </p> <p>"The national pump price has only fallen by just under 23 cents, implying a further fall of around 3 to 5 cents a litre over the next fortnight, subject to the vagaries of the retail petrol price discounting cycle."</p> <p>The sufficient drop in petrol has followed the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russia increasing the output of oil supplies globally, reported Fairfax.</p> <p>Drivers have been advised to fill up and be wary that a spike in price could occur at any moment. </p> <p>Mr James believes prices will increase as Christmas approaches. </p> <p>According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), the best days for motorists to fill up are Monday, Wednesday or Friday. </p> <p>The decreased petrol prices follows the increased pressure that has been placed on Prime Minister Scott Morison to "substantially reduce" the fuel tax.</p> <p>The tax, which adds an extra 40 cents to the cost of every litre, is used to repair roads and fund infrastructure projects. </p> <p>While speaking to K Rock 95.5, Mr Morrison called for the ACCC to take action.</p> <p>"I want some answers out of the ACCC," he said. </p> <p>"They're the cop on the beat, they're the ones we fund to go out there and monitor why prices are moving up and down and how they're timed."</p> <p>Have you filled up your tank since the petrol price drop? Let us know in the comments below. </p>

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

Coles' big news: "Little Shop is back for Christmas!"

<p>It sent Australia into a frenzy and now, the Coles Little Shop collectables are coming back for round two, just in time for the festive season.</p> <p>Speaking to <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.news.com.au/finance/business/retail/leaked-email-appears-to-reveal-limited-christmas-edition-launching-next-week/news-story/834262fb3c8ddab9b90dc4b2abbaa004" target="_blank"><em>news.com.au</em></a>, a spokesman for Coles confirmed the Christmas-themed collection, which consists of mince pies, pavlova, bon bons, a gingerbread biscuit and gingerbread ice-cream.</p> <p>“Customers will receive one free Christmas mini collectable for every $30 they spend in store from December 7,” said the spokesman.</p> <p>“There will also be a limited number of special-edition Christmas stocking collector cases available for purchase for $4.”</p> <p>Once confirmed, an email made the rounds on Little Shop swap groups on Facebook which stated the campaign will be returning next week for a special “Christmas edition”.</p> <p>“We have some BIG news team! Little Shop is back for Christmas!” the email reads.</p> <p>“From Friday December 7, for every $30 spent at Coles supermarkets and Coles Online, customers can collect a FREE mini collectable – with a total of 5 minis to collect.</p> <p>“Little Shop Christmas Edition will delight customers this festive season!”</p> <blockquote 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);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/BqovtDdhzxN/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <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> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BqovtDdhzxN/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank">• Coles Little shop • Available from December 7th. Anyone else excited to add to their little shop collection? Only 5 to collect this time. All Christmas theme. Spend $30 to receive one. Album $5 Will you be collecting them?</a></p> <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 post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/bek.mummyoftwo/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank"> ✨ Rebekah ✨</a> (@bek.mummyoftwo) on Nov 26, 2018 at 12:21am PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>A photograph of the full collection shows a brand-new logo which consists of a gingerbread man and a Christmas tree to reflect the holiday cheer.</p> <p>Earlier in the year, Coles introduced its Little Shop campaign, which included 30 miniature-sized versions of popular grocery items such as Weet-Bix, Vegemite and Nutella.</p> <p>The initiative proved to be insanely popular, with shoppers attempting to collect all 30 by spending $30 or more in store.</p> <p>Will you be collecting the new Christmas-themed Little Shop collectables? Let us know in the comments below.</p>

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

Australia’s most trusted brands revealed – and the winner will surprise you

<p>With Aussie’s around the country shopping up a storm for the upcoming holiday season, a new survey shows which retailers have the trust of consumers and the four that have lost trust from customers.</p> <p>According to results of the <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.roymorgan.com/findings/7755-net-trust-score-general-brands-201811200006" target="_blank">Roy Morgan Net Trust Score</a> survey, there has been a “big shake up” since July, as the list of top 10 most trustworthy retailers may have the same two companies taking first and second spot, but there are four companies removed from the list completely.</p> <p>ALDI and Bunnings have the right to celebrate, as the two companies have remained first and second, with Qantas and the ABC taking out third and fourth place respectively.</p> <p>NRMA dropped down two spots since July, as they moved down to seventh place from their previous fifth position. With Bendigo Bank creeping down to ninth place from seventh place.</p> <p>The four companies that have lost their customers' trust include Samsung, Myer, RACQ and IGA, with the major brands being booted from the list altogether.</p> <p>Taking their spots was Aussie favourite Kmart (5th), ING (6th), Toyota (8th) and Target (10th).</p> <p>With the rising popularity of Kmart and Target, it comes as no surprise that they’ve made their way onto the top 10, with a massive following behind them.</p> <p>The survey is conducted by asking a panel of 600,000 consumers about which retailers they trust and distrust. The list is then compiled once the results are finalised.</p> <p>The companies that were ranked the most untrustworthy were AGL, AMP, ANZ, CBA, Coles, Facebook, NAB, Shell, Telstra and Westpac.</p> <p>The industries that received the lowest ratings were Banking, Media and Mining and Petroleum.</p> <p>The highest scores were given to Retail, Consumer Products and Supermarkets.</p> <p>“Trust is vital to the success of any business, but the key message of the Roy Morgan Net Trust Score survey is that growing distrust can be a disaster, leading to customer churn, loss of market share and in some cases a long slide into oblivion,” said Michele Levine, CEO of Roy Morgan, in a statement.</p> <p>“Trust is not just a ‘marketing’ or ‘comms’ issue – it goes to the heart of corporate culture and governance for every company.</p> <p>“Whether it’s Facebook, the big banks or our major utilities, directors and their management teams need to think about the social drivers of trust and distrust – ethics, believability, integrity and transparency.”</p> <p><strong>Australia’s most trusted brands:</strong></p> <ol> <li>ALDI</li> <li>Bunnings</li> <li>Qantas</li> <li>ABC</li> <li>Kmart</li> <li>ING</li> <li>NRMA</li> <li>Toyota</li> <li>Bendigo Bank</li> <li>Target</li> </ol> <p>Do you agree with this list? Who would make your top 10? Let us know in the comments below.</p>

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

Urgent safety recall: BIG W reissues warning for dangerous Christmas decoration

<p>BIG W has reissued an urgent recall for one of its Christmas decorations over safety fears.</p> <p>The item, a Christmas wreath candle holder, <span>“could catch fire and remain alight longer than permitted”, the discount retailer confirmed – </span>which could result in “potential burns or fire causing property damage, serious injury or death”.</p> <p>A BIG W spokeswoman told <a href="https://finance.nine.com.au/2018/11/21/16/49/big-w-reissues-recall-for-christmas-wreath-candle-holders-over-fire-fears">9Finance</a> that the reissue of the product recall was not related to a new incident.</p> <p>"I can confirm there have been no reported incidents with this product, however, we have reissued the recall due to the fact that the 2017 Christmas wreath design was not included in the 8 November recall," they told 9Finance.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 381.459px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="/media/7821887/1-big-w-recall-notice.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/c513e48a71f14e2683f2b06208fbf25c" /></p> <p>The discount department store posted the a “<a href="https://www.bigw.com.au/medias/sys_master/root/h5e/hfc/12507381628958.pdf">Product Safety Recall</a>” message on its website on November 8: “BIG W takes product safety seriously and wishes to advise customers of a product recall on the following product: Pink and gold candle holder. Green and silver candle holder.”</p> <p>Now the recall includes four colours: Pink and gold (689023), green and silver (689054), white and green (609304) and red and green (609303).</p> <p><img style="width: 395px; height: 303px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="/media/7821888/1-big-w-pink-xmas-candle-wreath.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/20a1c2d9eadd494cb56afd84c825d5d4" /></p> <p>The company explained in the original safety notice that the defect could “catch fire and remain alight longer than permitted by the Consumer Protection Notice No.12 of 2011”, which could result in “potential burns or fire causing property damage, serious injury or death”.</p> <p><img style="width: 396px; height: 298px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="/media/7821889/1-big-w-green-xmas-candle-wreath.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/43371f0df72d4b22b0fe579a1b50721c" /></p> <p>The discount chain has urged customers to take immediate action, stating: “Customers should immediately cease using the candle and return it to any BIG W store for a full refund. No proof of purchase is required.”</p> <p>The original notice ended, “BIG W apologises to its customers for any inconvenience caused by this recall.”</p> <p>The Christmas decoration was sold at BIG W in-store and online across Australia from September 21, 2018 to November 7, 2018.</p> <p>If you or someone you know has purchased this Christmas candle wreath from BIG W, please contact 1300 244 999 for further information or visit <a href="http://www.recalls.gov.au">www.recalls.gov.au</a>.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p>

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

Get in first: ALDI to launch massive sale on appliances

<p>ALDI has unveiled the home appliance range that will feature in this week’s Special Buys sale.</p> <p>The German budget supermarket will offer an impressive range of home products at an affordable price.</p> <p>The sale, which launches on November 24, includes a fridge and a washing machine, both priced at $299, and a bagless vacuum cleaner for $44.</p> <p>To help loyal fans transition into the summer weather, ALDI is also selling a $599 split system air conditioning unit and a $299 free-standing freezer.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="width: 500px; height:281.25px;" src="/media/7822055/image_.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/bb700408189849d68c7b383dd1d95154" /></p> <p>The Special Buys sale will allow customers to purchase the products at almost half the price of leading brands.</p> <p>ALDI’s upright $299 fridge has a 239L capacity, five glass shelves, a crisper and reversible door.</p> <p>In comparison, a 240L single-door fridge from Westinghouse is currently being sold at Harvey Norman for $679.</p> <p>By shopping at ALDI, shoppers could save an impressive $380.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="width: 487px; height: 238px;" src="/media/7822052/3.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/16964fbb579449889e466cdbe5a4275c" /></p> <p>For those who are looking to purchase a new bagless vacuum cleaner, the sale will include ALDI’s new cyclonic 2000 watt version, priced at $44.95.</p> <p>ALDI is also selling a $299 six kilogram top loader washing machine, which is $300 cheaper than LG’s 6.5 kilogram top loader.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="width: 480px; height:243px;" src="/media/7822053/4.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/c5b66b1d320547abbabe1925564ae2d1" /></p> <p>The supermarket chain is also offering a 20L microwave oven for $49.99, a $399 electric upright cooker and a $299 BBQ.</p> <p>Will you be making a trip to ALDI this weekend for the sale? Let us know in the comments below.</p> <p> </p>

Money & Banking