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"Worst nightmare”: Great-grandma confronts violent home intruder

<p>A distraught great-grandmother has recounted the "nightmare" she endured when her home was targeted during a violent home invasion. </p> <p>Stella, 85, was woken up at midnight on Wednesday by a light shining from the kitchen of the Perth home where she has lived with her husband for close to 30 years.</p> <p>She got out of bed to inspect the noise and was met face-to-face with an intruder. </p> <p>Stella said she threw a radio at the stranger to defend herself and called out to her husband, who had not heard the commotion because his hearing aids were not in and he was sleeping in another room.</p> <p>“I got the long handle brush and ... I pushed it into him and that’s when he must’ve thought I better get out of here,” Stella told <em><a href="https://7news.com.au/news/shaken-grandmother-relives-nightmare-alleged-mandurah-home-invasion-c-15243511" target="_blank" rel="noopener">7News</a></em>. </p> <p>During the terrifying ordeal, Stella was both threatened and punched in the face, and is now nursing a cut, bruising and swelling.</p> <p>The great-grandmother said she was still shaken over her “worst nightmare”, saying, “We’ve been here since 1995. This is the first thing that has ever happened.”</p> <p>The canine squad was called in and arrested an 18-year-old male who was found under a car in a neighbour’s front yard.</p> <p>Police allege the teenager broke into Stella’s son’s caravan, which is parked at the back of her property, between 6.30pm and 7pm on Wednesday before coming back hours later and forcing his way into her home.</p> <p>The accused has been charged with home burglary and commit, stealing, aggravated home burglars, aggravated robbery, possession of stolen or unlawfully obtained property and unlicensed possession of ammunition.</p> <p><em>Image credits: 7News</em></p> <p class="css-1n6q21n-StyledParagraph e4e0a020" style="box-sizing: border-box; overflow-wrap: break-word; word-break: break-word; margin: 0px 0px 1.125rem; line-height: 25px; font-size: 1.125rem; font-family: HeyWow, Montserrat, 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; caret-color: #292a33; color: #292a33;"> </p>

Legal

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Former Home and Away star admits brutal attack on woman

<p>A former <em>Home and Away</em> star has admitted to bashing a woman during a suspected mental health crisis.</p> <p>Orpheus Pledger, 31, faced Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Monday via a video link from custody at Ravenhall Correctional Centre. </p> <p>Police prosecutor Fionnuala Kennedy said Pledger attacked the victim repeatedly over a three-month period at a home in Northcote, Melbourne, with one of the attacks captured on a motion-capture camera on March 25. </p> <p>Footage from the camera showed Pledger grabbing the woman's hair, pulling her to the ground and stomping on her head. </p> <p>The court was told that the woman called triple zero at 1.35am to raise concerns Pledger was suffering a “mental health episode", before the line disconnected right after she said “he’s coming.” </p> <p>Officers arrived 15 minutes later and found the woman lying on the floor of her home unable to get up, with Pledger nowhere to be seen.</p> <p>The woman was taken to hospital, where doctors noted that she had bruising on her forehead, a laceration to her cheek, bruising to her right hand and marks on her face and ear.</p> <p>The court was told that he was arrested the following day, but he was unable to be interviewed because of his "erratic behaviour". </p> <p>He was released in April for a court-ordered medical assessment due to concerns for his mental health, but he fled from the hospital on April 23 after a six hour wait. </p> <p>He then returned to the woman's home to collect his things and when asked to leave, he told her: “why, I haven’t done anything”. </p> <p>Police issued a public appeal before he was arrested two days later. </p> <p>Defence lawyer Jasper MacCuspie noted that during that time, his client was unable to get the mental health assessment he required, due to limited resources, saying that it was a widespread issue within the health system.</p> <p>The court heard that there is currently a shortage of ambulance and police resources, which Magistrate Justin Foster labelled as “outrageous”.</p> <p>““The only reason I bailed him at the time was because there was nothing available for him to be  … assessed in a prison setting. And there is no money in the hospital to have these important things assessed,” he said. </p> <p>“There’s a shortage of everything at the moment, it’s outrageous.”</p> <p>MacCuspie also said that his client had begun acting at the age of eight or nine but fell into the wrong crowd, and his drug use escalated in his late 20s when he was declined a role on US TV series <em>The 100</em>. </p> <p>“At the very last minute that fell through. It was a destabilising event,” MacCuspie said.</p> <p>“He aspires towards acting in future, but accepts by virtue of matter that’s a somewhat challenging prospect,” he added. </p> <p>Pledger will be assessed for a community corrections order, but has pleaded guilty to four assault-related charges, and will be sentenced on Wednesday. </p> <p><em>Images: news.com.au/ Channel Seven</em></p>

Legal

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Cheaper mortgages, tamed inflation and even higher home prices: how 29 forecasters see Australia’s economic recovery in 2024-25

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/peter-martin-682709">Peter Martin</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/crawford-school-of-public-policy-australian-national-university-3292">Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University</a></em></p> <p>Australia’s top economic forecasters expect the Reserve Bank to start cutting interest rates by March next year, taking 0.35 points of its cash rate by June.</p> <p>If passed on in full, the cut would take $125 off the monthly cost of servicing a $600,000 variable-rate mortgage, with more to come.</p> <p>The panel of 29 forecasters assembled by The Conversation expects a further cut of 0.3 points by the end of 2025. This would take the cash rate down from the current 4.35% to 3.75% and produce a total cut in monthly payments on a $600,000 mortgage of $335.</p> <p>The forecasts were produced <em>after</em> last week’s news of a higher than expected <a href="https://theconversation.com/australias-inflation-rate-jumps-to-4-putting-an-rba-rate-rise-back-on-the-agenda-233331">monthly consumers price index</a>.</p> <p>Several of those surveyed revised up their predictions for interest rates in the year ahead, while continuing to predict cuts by mid next year.</p> <p>Only two expect higher rates by mid next year. Only four expect no change.</p> <hr /> <p><iframe id="6eIe8" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/6eIe8/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>Now in its sixth year, The Conversation survey draws on the expertise of leading forecasters in 22 Australian universities, think tanks and financial institutions – among them economic modellers, former Treasury and Reserve Bank officials and a former member of the Reserve Bank board.</p> <p>Eight of the 29 expect the first cut to come this year, by either November or December.</p> <p>One of them is Luci Ellis, who was until recently assistant governor (economic) at the Reserve Bank and is now at Westpac. She and her team are forecasting three interest rate cuts by the middle of next year, taking the cash rate from 4.35% to 3.6%.</p> <h2>Reserve Bank a ‘reluctant hiker’</h2> <p>Ellis says inflation isn’t falling fast enough for the bank to be confident of being able to cut before November. But after that, even if inflation isn’t completely back within the bank’s target band but is merely moving towards it, a “forward-looking” board would want to start easing interest rates.</p> <p>Another forecaster, Su-Lin Ong of RBC Capital Markets, says in her view the bank should hike at its next board meeting in August after the release of figures likely to show inflation is still too high. But she says the bank is a “reluctant hiker” and keen to keep unemployment low.</p> <p>Although several panellists expect the Reserve Bank to hike rates in the months ahead, almost all expect rates to be lower in a year’s time than they are today.</p> <hr /> <p><iframe id="2xF3M" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/2xF3M/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>The panel expects inflation to be back within the Reserve Bank’s 2-3% target band by June next year, and to be close to it (3.3%) by the end of this year.</p> <p>Twelve of the panel expect inflation to climb further when the official figures are released at the end of this month, but none expect it to climb further beyond that. And all expect inflation to be lower by the end of the financial year than it is today.</p> <p>One, Percy Allan, a former head of the NSW Treasury, cautions that the tax cuts and other government support measures due to start this month run the risk of boosting spending and falling progress on inflation.</p> <hr /> <p><iframe id="LGJa7" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/LGJa7/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>The panel expects wages growth to fall from 4% to 3.5% over the year ahead, contributing to downward pressure on inflation, but to remain higher than prices growth, producing gains in so-called <a href="https://www.investopedia.com/terms/r/realincome.asp">real wages</a>.</p> <p>It expects wages growth to moderate further, to 3.2%, in 2025-26.</p> <hr /> <p><iframe id="iV7mZ" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/iV7mZ/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>Consumer spending is expected to remain unusually weak, growing by only 1.7% in real terms over the next 12 months, up from 1.3% in the latest national accounts.</p> <p>Mala Raghavan, from the University of Tasmania, said even though inflation was falling, previous price rises meant the prices of essentials remained high. AMP chief economist Shane Oliver expected the boost from the <a href="https://treasury.gov.au/tax-cuts">Stage 3 tax cuts</a> to be offset by the depressing effect of a weaker labour market.</p> <h2>Unemployment to climb modestly</h2> <p>The panel expects Australia’s unemployment rate to climb steadily from its present historically low 4% to 4.4%.</p> <p>Moodys Analytics economist Harry Murphy Cruise said although the increase wasn’t big, the effect on pay packets would be bigger. Employers were shaving hours and easing back on hiring rather than letting go of workers.</p> <hr /> <p><iframe id="SM8PI" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/SM8PI/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>Panellists expect China’s economic growth to slip from 5.3% to 5% and US growth to slip from 2.9% to 2.4%.</p> <p>Australia’s economic growth is expected to climb from the present very low 1.1% to 1.3% by the end of this year and to 2% by the end of next year. Although none of the panel are forecasting a recession, most of those who offered an opinion said if there was a recession, it would start this year when the economy was weak.</p> <p>Some said we might later discover that we have been in a recession if the very weak economic growth of 0.1% recorded in the March quarter is revised and turns negative when updated figures are released in September.</p> <hr /> <p><iframe id="3I49o" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/3I49o/1/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>Home prices are expected to continue to climb notwithstanding economic weakness. Sydney prices are expected to increase a further 5% in the year ahead after climbing 7.4% in the year to May. Melbourne prices are expected to rise a further 2.8% after climbing 1.8% in the year to May.</p> <p>Percy Allan said Sydney had fewer homes available than Melbourne, and Victoria’s decisions to extend land tax and boost rights for tenants had upset landlords, many of whom were offloading their holdings.</p> <h2>Home prices to climb further</h2> <p>Julie Toth, chief economist at property information firm PEXA, said rapid population growth was colliding with an ongoing decline in household size since COVID. At the same time, fewer new homes were being commissioned and long delays and high construction costs were also keeping supply tight.</p> <hr /> <p><iframe id="JzLaY" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/JzLaY/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>The panel expects non-mining business investment to continue to climb in the year ahead, by 5.2%, down from 6.9%.</p> <p>It expects the Australian share market to climb by a further 5.6%</p> <p><strong>Read the answers on <a href="https://cdn.theconversation.com/static_files/files/3350/2024-25_The_Conversation_AU_Forecasting_Survey.pdf">PDF</a>, download as <a href="https://cdn.theconversation.com/static_files/files/3351/2024-25_The_Conversation_AU_forecasting_survey.xlsx?1719478737">XLS</a></strong></p> <hr /> <h2>The Conversation’s Economic Panel</h2> <p><em>Click on economist to see full profile.</em></p> <p><iframe id="tc-infographic-1066" class="tc-infographic" style="border: none;" src="https://cdn.theconversation.com/infographics/1066/93fb29ba32e178ec2dcda111f014a50cf7ea1f49/site/index.html" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe><!-- 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/233244/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/peter-martin-682709">Peter Martin</a>, Visiting Fellow, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/crawford-school-of-public-policy-australian-national-university-3292">Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/cheaper-mortgages-tamed-inflation-and-even-higher-home-prices-how-29-forecasters-see-australias-economic-recovery-in-2024-25-233244">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Money & Banking

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"No disrespect": Home and Away star's swipe at Robert Irwin's Logie nomination

<p><em>Home and Away</em> veteran Lynne McGranger has taken a savage swipe at Robert Irwin, who has earned his first Gold Logie nomination. </p> <p>The young wildlife warrior is among a group of Aussie TV old-hands in the running for the 2024 Gold Logie, with the 20-year-old being the youngest male ever nominated for the award. </p> <p>Also battling it out for the Gold is Larry Emdur, Andy Lee, Asher Keddie, Julia Morris, Sonia Kruger, and ABC's Tony Armstrong.</p> <p>The nomination comes hot on the heels of Irwin's TV debut as co-host of <em>I'm A Celebrity... Get Me out of Here!</em> alongside Julia Morris, as he took over from Dr Chris Brown for the 2024 season. </p> <p>After Robert's nomination was announced, despite how well the new season of <em>I'm A Celeb</em> was received, many wondered how someone with so little TV experience could find himself in the running for the award. </p> <p>One of those skeptics was <em>Home and Away</em> actress Lynne McGranger, who made a cheeky swipe towards Robert when commenting in support of her Channel Seven colleague Larry Emdur who is up for the award for the first time.</p> <p>"I'm sorry but ol'mate Irwin has been on telly for a bloody minute!! No disrespect intended. #Lazforgold 🫶🏾🥇😍" she wrote on Larry's Instagram post, with over 300 people liking the comment.</p> <p>The comment came after Larry shared a screenshot of a message he was sent, with someone congratulating him on the nomination but telling him they'd be voting for Irwin.</p> <p>Lynne's rogue comment was met with mainly support from people.</p> <p>"You said what everyone is thinking," one person said. "I agree 💯 #Lazforgold all the way! No disrespect intended for Irwin … Larry has my vote 🙌 he truly deserves to win 🥇," another commented.</p> <p>"You have my first vote ever today, only for you Larry, for the laughter that lights up my life!" another dedicated fan said.</p> <p>Lynne's comments weren't the first time someone called out Robert's nomination, after sister Bindi Irwin was quick to <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/lifestyle/family-pets/it-just-got-real-bindi-irwin-s-cheeky-swipe-at-brother" target="_blank" rel="noopener">tease</a> on Instagram. </p> <p style="font-size: 16px; box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1rem; caret-color: #212529; color: #212529; font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif, 'Apple Color Emoji', 'Segoe UI Emoji', 'Segoe UI Symbol', 'Noto Color Emoji';">Bindi took to social media to share a cheeky throwback post of her clutching her own Silver Logie in 2008, for Most Popular New Female Talent for her work in <em style="box-sizing: border-box;">Bindi the Jungle Girl</em>. </p> <p style="font-size: 16px; box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1rem; caret-color: #212529; color: #212529; font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif, 'Apple Color Emoji', 'Segoe UI Emoji', 'Segoe UI Symbol', 'Noto Color Emoji';">“Hey Australia, vote for my awesome brother so he can catch up to me 16 years later …” she captioned the post.</p> <p style="font-size: 16px; box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1rem; caret-color: #212529; color: #212529; font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif, 'Apple Color Emoji', 'Segoe UI Emoji', 'Segoe UI Symbol', 'Noto Color Emoji';">"At least mine's gold," Robert teased, to which Bindi replied "You haven't won it yet..." alongside a laughing emoji. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Instagram </em></p> <p> </p>

TV

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‘Sleep tourism’ promises the trip of your dreams. Beyond the hype plus 5 tips for a holiday at home

<div class="theconversation-article-body"> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/charlotte-gupta-347235">Charlotte Gupta</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/cquniversity-australia-2140">CQUniversity Australia</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/dean-j-miller-808724">Dean J. Miller</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/cquniversity-australia-2140">CQUniversity Australia</a></em></p> <p>Imagine arriving at your hotel after a long flight and being greeted by your own personal sleep butler. They present you with a pillow menu and invite you to a sleep meditation session later that day.</p> <p>You unpack in a room kitted with an AI-powered smart bed, blackout shades, blue light-blocking glasses and weighted blankets.</p> <p>Holidays are traditionally for activities or sightseeing – eating Parisian pastry under the Eiffel tower, ice skating at New York City’s Rockefeller Centre, lying by the pool in Bali or sipping limoncello in Sicily. But “<a href="https://www.smh.com.au/traveller/inspiration/pillow-menus-and-sleep-gummies-the-new-hotel-trend-that-s-putting-guests-to-sleep-20230823-p5dyu5.html">sleep tourism</a>” offers vacations for the sole purpose of getting good sleep.</p> <p>The emerging trend extends out of the global wellness tourism industry – reportedly worth more than <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/rogersands/2023/11/17/the-global-wellness-tourism-sector-surpasses-814-billion-market-share/">US$800 billion globally</a> (A$1.2 trillion) and <a href="https://www.statista.com/statistics/1018497/global-market-size-of-the-wellness-tourism-industry/">expected to boom</a>.</p> <p>Luxurious sleep retreats and sleep suites at hotels are popping up <a href="https://www.countryandtownhouse.com/style/health-and-beauty/sleep-retreats/">all over the world</a> for tourists to get some much-needed rest, relaxation and recovery. But do you really need to leave home for some shuteye?</p> <h2>Not getting enough</h2> <p>The rise of sleep tourism may be a sign of just how chronically sleep deprived we all are.</p> <p>In Australia more than one-third of adults are not achieving the recommended <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352721816301292?via%3Dihub">7–9 hours</a> of sleep per night, and the estimated cost of this inadequate sleep is <a href="https://academic.oup.com/sleep/article/41/8/zsy083/5025924">A$45 billion</a> each year.</p> <p>Inadequate sleep is linked to <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.2147/NSS.S134864">long-term health problems</a> including poor mental health, heart disease, metabolic disease and deaths from any cause.</p> <h2>Can a fancy hotel give you a better sleep?</h2> <p>Many of the sleep services available in the sleep tourism industry aim to optimise the bedroom for sleep. This is a core component of <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4400203/?ref=askdoctorjad.com">sleep hygiene</a> – a series of healthy sleep practices that facilitate good sleep including sleeping in a comfortable bedroom with a good mattress and pillow, sleeping in a quiet environment and relaxing before bed.</p> <p>The more people follow sleep hygiene practices, the better their <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/08964280209596396">sleep quality and quantity</a>.</p> <p>When we are staying in a hotel we are also likely away from any stressors we encounter in everyday life (such as work pressure or caring responsibilities). And we’re away from potential nighttime disruptions to sleep we might experience at home (the construction work next door, restless pets, unsettled children). So regardless of the sleep features hotels offer, it is likely we will experience improved sleep when we are away.</p> <h2>What the science says about catching up on sleep</h2> <p>In the short-term, <a href="https://theconversation.com/is-it-possible-to-catch-up-on-sleep-we-asked-five-experts-98699#:%7E:text=We%20can%20catch%20up%20on,and%20we%20cannot%20resist%20sleep.">we can catch up on sleep</a>. This can happen, for example, after a short night of sleep when our brain accumulates “<a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/07420528.2012.675256">sleep pressure</a>”. This term describes how strong the biological drive for sleep is. More sleep pressure makes it easier to sleep the next night and to sleep for longer.</p> <p>But while a longer sleep the next night can relieve the sleep pressure, it does not reverse the <a href="https://jcsm.aasm.org/doi/pdf/10.5664/jcsm.26918">effects of the short sleep on our brain and body</a>. Every night’s sleep is important for our body to recover and for our brain to process the events of that day. Spending a holiday “catching up” on sleep could help you feel more rested, but it is not a substitute for prioritising regular healthy sleep at home.</p> <p>All good things, including holidays, must come to an end. Unfortunately the perks of sleep tourism may end too.</p> <p>Our bodies do not like variability in the time of day that we sleep. The most common example of this is called “<a href="https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/13/12/4543">social jet lag</a>”, where weekday sleep (getting up early to get to work or school) is vastly different to weekend sleep (late nights and sleep ins). This can result in a sleepy, grouchy start to the week on Monday. Sleep tourism may be similar, if you do not come back home with the intention to prioritise sleep.</p> <p>So we should be mindful that as well as sleeping well on holiday, it is important to optimise conditions at home to get consistent, adequate sleep every night.</p> <h2>5 tips for having a sleep holiday at home</h2> <p>An AI-powered mattress and a sleep butler at home might be the dream. But these features are not the only way we can optimise our sleep environment and give ourselves the best chance to get a good night’s sleep. Here are five ideas to start the night right:</p> <p><strong>1.</strong> avoid bright artificial light in the evening (such as bright overhead lights, phones, laptops)</p> <p><strong>2.</strong> make your bed as comfortable as possible with fresh pillows and a supportive mattress</p> <p><strong>3.</strong> use black-out window coverings and maintain a cool room temperature for the ideal sleeping environment</p> <p><strong>4.</strong> establish an evening wind-down routine, such as a warm shower and reading a book before bed or even a “<a href="https://theconversation.com/turns-out-the-viral-sleepy-girl-mocktail-is-backed-by-science-should-you-try-it-222151">sleepy girl mocktail</a>”</p> <p><strong>5.</strong> use consistency as the key to a good sleep routine. Aim for a similar bedtime and wake time – even on weekends.<!-- 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/231718/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/charlotte-gupta-347235">Charlotte Gupta</a>, Senior postdoctoral research fellow, Appleton Institute, HealthWise research group, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/cquniversity-australia-2140">CQUniversity Australia</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/dean-j-miller-808724">Dean J. Miller</a>, Adjunct Research Fellow, Appleton Institute of Behavioural Science, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/cquniversity-australia-2140">CQUniversity Australia</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/sleep-tourism-promises-the-trip-of-your-dreams-beyond-the-hype-plus-5-tips-for-a-holiday-at-home-231718">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Travel Trouble

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I’ve been given opioids after surgery to take at home. What do I need to know?

<div class="theconversation-article-body"> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/katelyn-jauregui-1527878">Katelyn Jauregui</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/asad-patanwala-1529611">Asad Patanwala</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/jonathan-penm-404921">Jonathan Penm</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/shania-liu-1433659">Shania Liu</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-alberta-1232">University of Alberta</a></em></p> <p>Opioids are commonly prescribed when you’re discharged from hospital after surgery to help manage pain at home.</p> <p>These strong painkillers may have unwanted side effects or harms, such as constipation, drowsiness or the risk of dependence.</p> <p>However, there are steps you can take to minimise those harms and use opioids more safely as you recover from surgery.</p> <h2>Which types of opioids are most common?</h2> <p>The <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0310057X231163890">most commonly prescribed</a> opioids after surgery in Australia are oxycodone (brand names include Endone, OxyNorm) and tapentadol (Palexia).</p> <p>In fact, <a href="https://bpspubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/bcp.16063">about half</a> of new oxycodone prescriptions in Australia occur after a recent hospital visit.</p> <p><a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0310057X231163890">Most commonly</a>, people will be given immediate-release opioids for their pain. These are quick-acting and are used to manage short-term pain.</p> <p>Because they work quickly, their dose can be easily adjusted to manage current pain levels. Your doctor will provide instructions on how to adjust the dosage based on your pain levels.</p> <p>Then there are slow-release opioids, which are specially formulated to slowly release the dose over about half to a full day. These may have “sustained-release”, “controlled-release” or “extended-release” on the box.</p> <p>Slow-release formulations are primarily used for chronic or long-term pain. The slow-release form means the medicine does not have to be taken as often. However, it takes longer to have an effect compared with immediate-release, so it is not commonly used after surgery.</p> <p>Controlling your pain after surgery is <a href="https://www.nps.org.au/assets/4811a27845042173-00a4ff09097b-postoperative-pain-management_36-202.pdf">important</a>. This allows you get up and start moving sooner, and recover faster. Moving around sooner after surgery prevents muscle wasting and harms associated with immobility, such as bed sores and blood clots.</p> <p>Everyone’s pain levels and needs for pain medicines are different. Pain levels also decrease as your surgical wound heals, so you may need to take less of your medicine as you recover.</p> <h2>But there are also risks</h2> <p>As mentioned above, side effects of opioids include constipation and feeling drowsy or nauseous. The drowsiness can also make you more likely to fall over.</p> <p>Opioids prescribed to manage pain at home after surgery are usually prescribed for short-term use.</p> <p>But up to <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35545810/">one in ten</a> Australians still take them up to four months after surgery. <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/msc.1837">One study</a> found people didn’t know how to safely stop taking opioids.</p> <p>Such long-term opioid use may lead to dependence and overdose. It can also reduce the medicine’s effectiveness. That’s because your body becomes used to the opioid and needs more of it to have the same effect.</p> <p>Dependency and side effects are also more common with <a href="https://www.anzca.edu.au/getattachment/535097e6-9f50-4d09-bd7f-ffa8faf02cdd/Prescribing-slow-release-opioids-4-april-2018#:%7E:text=%E2%80%9CSlow%2Drelease%20opioids%20are%20not,its%20Faculty%20of%20Pain%20Medicine.">slow-release opioids</a> than immediate-release opioids. This is because people are usually on slow-release opioids for longer.</p> <p>Then there are concerns about “leftover” opioids. One study found 40% of participants were prescribed <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0310057X231163890">more than twice</a> the amount they needed.</p> <p>This results in unused opioids at home, which <a href="https://www.anzca.edu.au/getattachment/558316c5-ea93-457c-b51f-d57556b0ffa7/PS41-Guideline-on-acute-pain-management">can be dangerous</a> to the person and their family. Storing leftover opioids at home increases the risk of taking too much, sharing with others inappropriately, and using without doctor supervision.</p> <h2>How to mimimise the risks</h2> <p>Before using opioids, speak to your doctor or pharmacist about using over-the-counter pain medicines such as paracetamol or anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen (for example, Nurofen, Brufen) or diclofenac (for example, Voltaren, Fenac).</p> <p>These can be quite effective at controlling pain and will lessen your need for opioids. They can often be used instead of opioids, but in some cases a combination of both is needed.</p> <p>Other techniques to manage pain include physiotherapy, exercise, <a href="https://theconversation.com/hot-pack-or-cold-pack-which-one-to-reach-for-when-youre-injured-or-in-pain-161086">heat packs or ice packs</a>. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist to discuss which techniques would benefit you the most.</p> <p>However, if you do need opioids, there are some ways to make sure you use them <a href="https://www.safetyandquality.gov.au/sites/default/files/2022-04/opioid-analgesic-stewardship-in-acute-pain-clinical-care-standard.pdf">safely and effectively</a>:</p> <ul> <li> <p>ask for <a href="https://associationofanaesthetists-publications.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/anae.16085">immediate-release</a> rather than slow-release opioids to lower your risk of side effects</p> </li> <li> <p>do not drink alcohol or take sleeping tablets while on opioids. This can increase any drowsiness, and lead to reduced alertness and slower breathing</p> </li> <li> <p>as you may be at higher risk of falls, remove trip hazards from your home and make sure you can safely get up off the sofa or bed and to the bathroom or kitchen</p> </li> <li> <p>before starting opioids, have a plan in place with your doctor or pharmacist about how and when to stop taking them. Opioids after surgery are ideally taken at the lowest possible dose for the shortest length of time.</p> </li> </ul> <h2>If you’re concerned about side effects</h2> <p>If you are concerned about side effects while taking opioids, speak to your pharmacist or doctor. Side effects include:</p> <ul> <li> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/health-check-what-causes-constipation-114290">constipation</a> – your pharmacist will be able to give you lifestyle advice and recommend laxatives</p> </li> <li> <p>drowsiness – do not drive or operate heavy machinery. If you’re trying to stay awake during the day, but keep falling asleep, your dose may be too high and you should contact your doctor</p> </li> <li> <p>weakness and slowed breathing – this may be a sign of a more serious side effect such as respiratory depression which requires medical attention. Contact your doctor immediately.</p> </li> </ul> <h2>If you’re having trouble stopping opioids</h2> <p>Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you’re having trouble stopping opioids. They can give you alternatives to manage the pain and provide advice on gradually lowering your dose.</p> <p>You may experience withdrawal effects, such as agitation, anxiety and insomnia, but your doctor and pharmacist can help you manage these.</p> <h2>How about leftover opioids?</h2> <p>After you have finished using opioids, take any leftovers to your local pharmacy to <a href="https://theconversation.com/health-check-what-should-you-do-with-your-unused-medicine-81406">dispose of them safely</a>, free of charge.</p> <p>Do not share opioids with others and keep them away from others in the house who do not need them, as opioids can cause unintended harms if not used under the supervision of a medical professional. This could include accidental ingestion by children.</p> <hr /> <p><em>For more information, speak to your pharmacist or doctor. Choosing Wisely Australia also has <a href="https://www.choosingwisely.org.au/resources/consumers-and-carers/patient-guide-to-managing-pain-and-opioid-medicines">free online information</a> about managing pain and opioid medicines.</em><!-- 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/228615/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/katelyn-jauregui-1527878">Katelyn Jauregui</a>, PhD Candidate and Clinical Pharmacist, School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine and Health, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/asad-patanwala-1529611">Asad Patanwala</a>, Professor, Sydney School of Pharmacy, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/jonathan-penm-404921">Jonathan Penm</a>, Senior lecturer, School of Pharmacy, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/shania-liu-1433659">Shania Liu</a>, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-alberta-1232">University of Alberta</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/ive-been-given-opioids-after-surgery-to-take-at-home-what-do-i-need-to-know-228615">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

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How to buy a home: 7 tips for negotiating like a pro

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/park-thaichon-175182">Park Thaichon</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-southern-queensland-1069">University of Southern Queensland</a></em></p> <p>The main purpose of negotiation is to find a mutually acceptable solution for buyers and sellers. Good negotiations greatly improve relationships between buyers, sellers and agents. They also help avoid future problems and conflicts.</p> <p>Negotiating skills become even more important for home buyers in a “seller’s market”, where demand from buyers exceeds supply from sellers. That’s <a href="https://propertyupdate.com.au/australian-property-market-predictions/">currently the case</a> in all Australian capital cities and major regional cities such as Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and others.</p> <p>Many home buyers mistakenly believe negotiation only occurs during the signing of the sale contract. However, it involves distinct stages: <em>pre-negotiation</em> and <em>during negotiation</em>.</p> <p>So how can people maximise their chances of successfully negotiating a purchase in a seller’s market? I offer the following tips.</p> <h2>Be someone the seller’s agent wants to do business with</h2> <p>Buyers often communicate solely with the seller’s agent, rather than directly with the seller. It’s crucial to ensure the agent views the buyer positively. Ultimately, it’s the agent who presents offers to the seller for their decision.</p> <p>It’s important, then, to understand what might motivate the seller’s agent to choose your offer. The key performance indicator for the agent often revolves around closing a property sale at a reasonable price within a certain time.</p> <p>This means price is a crucial factor. However, other factors can influence the seller’s agent and seller.</p> <p>For example, having pre-approved finance can increase the agent’s confidence in the buyer. If the buyer appears serious, can make quick decisions and makes a good impression, the agent may be more motivated to push for them, even if their offer is slightly lower than others without pre-approved finance.</p> <h2>Be a big fish (for the seller’s agent)</h2> <p>The next strategy is to give the seller’s agent extra incentive to favour you and your offer. <a href="https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/MIP-09-2019-0489/full/html">Our research</a> in customer behaviour suggests businesses value customers who make frequent purchases or engage them for long-term services.</p> <p>For example, the agent would be pleased to learn that the buyer might be interested in buying another property in the near future or in using their rental service for the new property. You have an advantage if you can position yourself as someone who could provide them with extra business.</p> <h2>Point to competing options</h2> <p>In a positive manner, let the seller’s agent know you are considering two or three properties, and this specific property is among those you are inclined to make an offer on.</p> <p>In certain situations, it may stimulate competitive pricing when multiple properties of similar quality are available in the same area. Make it clear to the agent you will choose the property that offers you the best overall value.</p> <p>While this strategy might not necessarily lower the price in a seller’s market, it can prompt the agent to have a fuller discussion with you.</p> <h2>Think beyond price</h2> <p>The next set of tips focuses on the <em>during negotiation</em> stages. It can be challenging for buyers to negotiate a lower price in a market with low supply and high demand. You might have to “think outside the price box”.</p> <p>Buyers often have a specific price range or fixed budget in mind when they start discussions with a seller. However, other factors besides price can influence a property’s overall value.</p> <p>So if a seller won’t adjust the price, consider negotiating for other concessions that could reduce your expenses.</p> <p>These may include:</p> <p><strong>Settlement period</strong></p> <p>Consider the expenses associated with the settlement period. A shorter settlement period could enable buyers to move into the property sooner and save on rent. For example, if a buyer is paying $600 per week in rent, an early settlement could save them around $2,400 per month.</p> <p><strong>Insurance costs after contract signing</strong></p> <p>In many states, buyers’ <a href="https://www.finder.com.au/home-insurance/home-insurance-cost">home insurance cover</a> is required to begin from the date of contract signing. It’s reasonable for buyers to include a special condition requesting the seller to bear the insurance costs until settlement. On average, home insurance may amount to about $140 per month.</p> <p><strong>Cleaning expenses</strong></p> <p>Consider negotiating a condition stipulating that the seller must ensure the property is professionally cleaned by settlement. Failure to do so could result in a $500 adjustment in the buyer’s favour at settlement.</p> <p>In some states, like Queensland, sellers are not obligated to deliver a clean property. Based on typical end-of-lease cleaning charges, internal cleaning of a four-bedroom property could cost <a href="https://firstcallhomeservices.com.au/service-menu/bond-exit-end-lease-cleaning/">$455 to $590</a>.</p> <p><strong>Building and pest inspection costs</strong></p> <p>Buyers should always include a 14-day pre-purchase inspection clause for <a href="https://www.topdogpestcontrol.com.au/building-pest-inspections-gold-coast/">building and pest inspections</a> in their offer. Although they may cost $300 to $600, these inspections provide a clear report that could lead to negotiations after contract signing if they find any issues with the property.</p> <h2>Be careful with your first offer</h2> <p>Don’t present the first offer in writing. It can be challenging to negotiate down the price once it has been written in an offer document.</p> <p>Instead, the buyer should begin by testing the expected price of the property. As well as obtaining property reports from multiple banks, the buyer could talk with the seller’s agent in person about a price range that would be agreeable to the seller.</p> <p>You could include phrases like “a price that will make the seller happy” or “a price that will make the seller accept the offer”. While the agent might not provide a specific price, this talk can provide a guideline for the buyer. All properties up for auction or private sale should have an expected price set, which may or may not be discussed with potential buyers.</p> <p>It’s also advisable to consult a solicitor before submitting an offer or signing a contract. They can offer valuable suggestions to smooth the purchase process and identify any issues.</p> <h2>Use the power of 900</h2> <p>Buyers often submit offers with round numbers, such as $700,000 or $750,000. In a competitive seller’s market, aim to submit an offer with a number that stands out from the rest, yet remains within your budget.</p> <p>An example of such a number is $900. For instance, comparing $700,000 to $700,900, the extra $900 makes the offer feel closer to $710,000.</p> <h2>Write a personalised letter</h2> <p>It’s true the most important point of selling a house for many sellers is price. But they are human and have emotions. Finishing a purchasing offer with a personal letter to the seller can make a difference.</p> <p>Often that $3,000 to $20,000 could be a lot of money for a buyer, but it may not be as much for someone selling a house for $700,000 or $1,000,000. Write the letter to express your feelings about the property in a way that makes it clear you will care for it. Most people selling their home would prefer to have someone look after it well.<!-- 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/226237/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/park-thaichon-175182">Park Thaichon</a>, Associate Professor of Marketing, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-southern-queensland-1069">University of Southern Queensland</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-to-buy-a-home-7-tips-for-negotiating-like-a-pro-226237">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Money & Banking

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"I am the Bicycle Bandit": Terminally-ill ex-cop confesses to 20-year-old mystery

<p>In a startling twist to a 20-year-old mystery, 73-year-old Kym Allen Parsons, a terminally-ill former police officer and firefighter, has admitted to being the notorious "Bicycle Bandit" who terrorised South Australian banks and residents for a decade.</p> <p>Parsons' confession came just days after receiving approval for voluntary assisted dying (VAD) and being provided with a VAD kit by SA Health.</p> <p>Parsons, who has stage 4 cancer and who had previously denied the charges, changed his plea to guilty during a Supreme Court session on Monday, ending years of speculation and investigation. His sudden admission of guilt follows a plea bargain brokered by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and his counsel after the VAD approval was granted.</p> <p>In a tearful apology read to the court, Parsons expressed deep remorse for his actions, acknowledging that his behaviour was both irrational and without excuse.</p> <p>"I have no excuse for my behaviour," he told the court. "My reasoning was illogical and irrational over that time, and over the past 10 years I have tried to rehabilitate, seek help and forgiveness and demonstrate my shame in distressing actions.</p> <p>"I was fearful of confessing my past and destroying their [my wife and family's] love and trust in the person they knew.</p> <p>"I do not expect your forgiveness, and I humbly ask you accept my sincerest apology and deepest remorse."</p> <p>Despite Parsons' request for bail ahead of his sentencing, Justice Sandi McDonald deemed his crimes too severe for continued freedom and ordered his immediate custody. His access to the VAD kit while in custody remains uncertain.</p> <p>The courtroom was filled with Parsons' victims and their supporters, many of whom had worked at the banks he robbed. Some were victimised multiple times. One victim described the lasting impact of being robbed at gunpoint, detailing the immense trauma and the development of an auto-immune disease likely induced by stress. Other victims recounted struggles with PTSD, anxiety, depression, and ongoing trust issues.</p> <p>Parsons had been scheduled for trial in February on charges of armed robbery, attempted armed robbery, and firearms offences, with prosecutors alleging he stole over $250,000 from 11 banks between 2004 and 2014. DNA evidence was cited as a link to the crimes. His guilty plea and impending death are expected to ignite a legal battle over his $2.4 million estate, involving prosecutors, his heirs, and his victims.</p> <p>Previously, Parsons had been granted home detention due to his terminal stage 4 cancer diagnosis, after significant weight loss while in custody. His defence lawyer, James Marcus, stated that Parsons pleaded guilty to provide closure to the victims and their families.</p> <p>Parsons' sentencing is scheduled for June 28, marking the conclusion of a complex and emotional case that has gripped the state for years.</p> <p><em>Images: ABC News / SA Police</em></p>

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"While I was home": Goldie Hawn robbed twice in four months

<p>Hollywood star Goldie Hawn recently opened up about a harrowing experience she and longtime partner Kurt Russell endured: two home invasions within the span of just a few months.</p> <p>Hawn shared the details of these incidents during a candid conversation on Kelly Ripa's podcast, "Let's Talk Off Camera".</p> <p>The first robbery occurred while Hawn and Russell were out for dinner. "I went up the stairs, I walked into my closet, and I just lost it," Hawn recalled, describing the moment they returned home to find their house had been burglarised. The intruders had broken in from the balcony, targeting their bedroom and closets. "They completely knocked down my door, which is a safe door, so they're very, very sophisticated, and they got a lot of my goodies," she added.</p> <p>Following the initial invasion, Hawn believed the chances of a repeat incident were slim. However, just four months later, she faced another terrifying experience – this time while she was alone at home. "I hear this big thump upstairs, and I was alone," she reflected. Initially dismissing it as a sonic boom or some other unusual noise, she later discovered that intruders "were trying to get in my bedroom while I was in the house". </p> <p>The dual invasions profoundly impacted Hawn, prompting her to enhance her home security measures significantly. Despite the increased safety precautions, the traumatic events have left a lasting impression.</p> <p>In light of these experiences, Hawn expressed a desire to relocate to Atlanta, where her family resides. "It's so lovely there, I said, 'Hey, guys, why don't we all move there?'" she shared. The idea of a family compound has always been a dream for Hawn and her loved ones. "We've always said if one moves, we all have to move together. That's what we've always said." </p> <p><em>Image: Instagram</em></p>

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Beloved Home and Away star shares major health update

<p><em>Home and Away</em> star Georgie Parker has shocked her online followers by revealing she has undergone a major surgery. </p> <p>The actress, who plays Roo Stewart in the Channel Seven soap, is currently recovering from her second hip replacement and this week posted a series of pictures taken from her hospital bed after the operation.</p> <p>Now three weeks into her recovery, the 59-year-old is undergoing extensive rehabilitation.</p> <p>“I’ve been busy. Finishing a play and then straight into another theatre (get it) for a new hip,” she said on Instagram.</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/C7rI2iApE3K/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/C7rI2iApE3K/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by georgieparker (@georgieparker)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>“My second in six years, and thank god I had the same brilliant surgeon and his team."</p> <p>“I hate the drugs but love the rehab. I’m three weeks post op, recovery is going well and I’ve had the most brilliant support from my family, my workplace and my incredible friends.”</p> <p>She ended her post saying, “Practising patience now while I heal ... so I can get back to work baby.”</p> <p>Parker's famous friends took to the comments to wish her the best during her recovery, including fellow actor Hugh Sheridan who said, “Hip hip hooray!! We’ll be bending and stretching on play school together again in no time.”</p> <p>“Wishing you the speediest of recoveries Georgie!” actor Kat Stewart said.</p> <p>Parker previously spoke out about living with scoliosis, something she has suffered from since a child when she dreamed of becoming a dancer. </p> <p>“Every scoliosis is different, it’s like a fingerprint — but mine is all in the torso, I’ve lost about three inches (7.6cm) in height,” she told <a href="https://www.bodyandsoul.com.au/health/celebrity-profiles/how-the-home-and-away-stars-stay-healthy-all-year-round/news-story/a4072ec268f7e26cbc4926faf4e7fede" target="_blank" rel="noopener" data-link-type="article-inline"><em>Body + Soul</em> in 2020. </a></p> <p>“It impacts me on a daily basis and I just have to stay fit to keep my back as functional as possible.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Instagram </em></p>

Caring

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“Just return it”: Tragic appeal after grandma’s home robbed during her funeral

<p>A family has been left "traumatised" after the home of their 81-year-old grandmother was broken into by heartless thieves on the day of her funeral. </p> <p>The house of 81-year-old Nola Bulkeley was targeted last Friday as her family and friends farewelled the mother of three and grandmother of 10, after she died from pancreatic cancer on May 27th. </p> <p>Nola's son Andrew recalled the moment they found out about the robbery, telling 2GB radio on Monday,  "Some of the children and grandchildren went back to the house and when they arrived, they discovered that someone had accessed the house and taken a range of things."</p> <p>"Not only was it very, very sad, but it was confronting. Was someone else still in the house? We just didn't know. [We were] a bit blown away and it brought the wake to a pretty quick end."</p> <p>Andrew went on to describe Nola as a "wonderful woman" and "special grandmother", as their family continue to grieve their loss.</p> <p>"Mum lived in that house for 42 years and not once did someone access it in that way, it's very disappointing," he said.</p> <p>"Mum didn't have a lot of expensive jewellery but she had a whole little range of items that over the years she talked about with the grandkids."</p> <p>"She'd talk about when she left Earth... she'd be pleased to see them have it."</p> <p>He urged those responsible to return the jewellery, saying, "Please, just return it ... just leave it on the front doorstep, or something like that."</p> <p>"It's really broken the family's heart. I thank God she was not there to experience this injustice. She would have been so upset."</p> <p>Nola's grandchildren, who had been staying at the house in Sydney's north-west, discovered the theft when they returned to the house after the wake following Nola's funeral.</p> <p>Nola's daughter-in-law Celine said her three children felt "traumatised" by the break-in, saying, "We feel she has been violated ... her special items have been taken."</p> <p>Police were called to the home and forensic experts carried out an examination to identify the thieves, with the investigation still ongoing. </p> <p><em>Image credits: 2GB </em></p>

Legal

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What happens if you want access to voluntary assisted dying but your nursing home won’t let you?

<div class="theconversation-article-body"> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/neera-bhatia-15189">Neera Bhatia</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/charles-corke-167297">Charles Corke</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a></em></p> <p>Voluntary assisted dying is now lawful in <a href="https://theconversation.com/voluntary-assisted-dying-will-soon-be-legal-in-all-states-heres-whats-just-happened-in-nsw-and-what-it-means-for-you-183355">all Australian states</a>. There is also <a href="https://nationalseniors.com.au/uploads/VAD-Report-correct-month-12.8.21.pdf">widespread community support</a> for it.</p> <p>Yet some residential institutions, such as hospices and aged-care facilities, are obstructing access despite the law not specifying whether they have the legal right to do so.</p> <p>As voluntary assisted dying is implemented across the country, institutions blocking access to it will likely become more of an issue.</p> <p>So addressing this will help everyone – institutions, staff, families and, most importantly, people dying in institutions who wish to have control of their end.</p> <h2>The many ways to block access</h2> <p>While voluntary assisted dying legislation recognises the right of doctors to <a href="https://theconversation.com/was-take-on-assisted-dying-has-many-similarities-with-the-victorian-law-and-some-important-differences-121554">conscientiously object</a> to it, the law is generally silent on the rights of institutions to do so.</p> <p>While the institution where someone lives has no legislated role in voluntary assisted dying, it can refuse access in various ways, including:</p> <ul> <li> <p>restricting staff responding to a discussion a resident initiates about voluntary assisted dying</p> </li> <li> <p>refusing access to health professionals to facilitate it, and</p> </li> <li> <p>requiring people who wish to pursue the option to leave the facility.</p> </li> </ul> <h2>Here’s what happened to ‘Mary’</h2> <p>Here is a hypothetical example based on cases one of us (Charles Corke) has learned of via his role at Victoria’s <a href="https://www.safercare.vic.gov.au/about/vadrb">Voluntary Assisted Dying Review Board</a>.</p> <p>We have chosen to combine several different cases into one, to respect the confidentiality of the individuals and organisations involved.</p> <p>“Mary” was a 72-year-old widow who moved into a private aged-care facility when she could no longer manage independently in her own home due to advanced lung disease.</p> <p>While her intellect remained intact, she accepted she had reached a stage at which she needed significant assistance. She appreciated the help she received. She liked the staff and they liked her.</p> <p>After a year in the facility, during which time her lung disease got much worse, Mary decided she wanted access to voluntary assisted dying. Her children were supportive, particularly as this desire was consistent with Mary’s longstanding views.</p> <p>Mary was open about her wish with the nursing home staff she felt were her friends.</p> <p>The executive management of the nursing home heard of her intentions. This resulted in a visit at which Mary was told, in no uncertain terms, her wish to access voluntary assisted dying would not be allowed. She would be required to move out, unless she agreed to change her mind.</p> <p>Mary was upset. Her family was furious. She really didn’t want to move, but really wanted to continue with voluntary assisted dying “in her current home” (as she saw it).</p> <p>Mary decided to continue with her wish. Her family took her to see two doctors registered to provide assessments for voluntary assisted dying, who didn’t work at the facility. Mary was deemed eligible and the permit was granted. Two pharmacists visited Mary at the nursing home, gave her the medication and instructed her how to mix it and take it.</p> <p>These actions required no active participation from the nursing home or its staff.</p> <p>Family and friends arranged to visit at the time Mary indicated she planned to take the medication. She died peacefully, on her own terms, as she wished. The family informed the nursing home staff their mother had died. Neither family nor staff mentioned voluntary assisted dying.</p> <h2>Staff are in a difficult position too</h2> <p>There is widespread community support for voluntary assisted dying. In a 2021 survey by National Seniors Australia, <a href="https://nationalseniors.com.au/uploads/VAD-Report-correct-month-12.8.21.pdf">more than 85%</a> of seniors agreed it should be available.</p> <p>So it’s likely there will be staff who are supportive in most institutions. For instance, in a survey of attitudes to voluntary assisted dying in a large public tertiary hospital, <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/imj.15285">88% of staff</a> supported it becoming lawful.</p> <p>So a blanket policy to refuse dying patients access to voluntary assisted dying is likely to place staff in a difficult position. An institution risks creating a toxic workplace culture, in which clandestine communication and fear become entrenched.</p> <h2>What could we do better?</h2> <p><strong>1. Institutions need to be up-front about their policies</strong></p> <p>Institutions need to be completely open about their policies on voluntary assisted dying and whether they would obstruct any such request in the future. This is so patients and families can factor this into deciding on an institution in the first place.</p> <p><strong>2. Institutions need to consult their stakeholders</strong></p> <p>Institutions should consult their stakeholders about their policy with a view to creating a “<a href="https://bmcpalliatcare.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12904-021-00891-3">safe</a>” environment for residents and staff – for those who want access to voluntary assisted dying or who wish to support it, and for those who don’t want it and find it confronting.</p> <p><strong>3. Laws need to change</strong></p> <p>Future legislation should define the extent of an institution’s right to obstruct a resident’s right to access voluntary assisted dying.</p> <p>There should be safeguards in all states (as is already legislated <a href="https://documents.parliament.qld.gov.au/tp/2021/5721T707.pdf">in Queensland</a>), including the ability for individuals to be referred in sufficient time to another institution, should they wish to access voluntary assisted dying.</p> <p>Other states should consider whether it is reasonable to permit a resident, who does not wish to move, to be able to stay and proceed with their wish, without direct involvement of the institution.</p> <hr /> <p><em>The opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Victoria’s Voluntary Assisted Dying Review Board.</em><!-- 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/183364/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/neera-bhatia-15189">Neera Bhatia</a>, Associate Professor in Law, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/charles-corke-167297">Charles Corke</a>, Associate Professor of Medicine, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/what-happens-if-you-want-access-to-voluntary-assisted-dying-but-your-nursing-home-wont-let-you-183364">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Caring

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Yoko Ono selling John Lennon's New York home for first time in 50 years

<p>For the first time in 50 years, the house where John Lennon and Yoko Ono lived in New York City has hit the market.</p> <p>The brick, bluestone and terra cotta structure at 496 Broome St. was the first home the pair bought together in New York City before they moved to the Upper West Side of Manhattan. </p> <p>Yoko Ono has held onto the property since she first bought it with the late Beatles member, and has now listed it with her son with JLL Real Estate, for an asking price of $US5.5 million ($8.23m AUD).</p> <p>“The building on Broome St. was sort of like a base for their artistic ventures,” Philip Norman, author of “John Lennon: The Life,” told the <em><a href="https://nypost.com/2024/05/21/real-estate/yoko-ono-lists-former-nyc-home-for-5-5m/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">New York Post</a></em>. “Bank Street was their salon, where people could just walk in.”</p> <p>First built in 1885, the two-storey building has an open-plan format, with a gallery-like ground floor space with 14.4-foot-high ceilings, an open kitchen and a lofted bedroom.</p> <p>On the second floor, there’s a live-work space and a recording studio.</p> <p>“496 Broome St. is both a unique piece of New York history and popular culture and a prime investment opportunity for the right buyer,” said Paul Smadbeck, who holds the listing.</p> <p>“Versatile zoning and its location in one of the city’s most desirable and trendsetting neighbourhoods offers an exciting opportunity to create a one-of-a-kind property.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Mediapunch / JLL Real Estate </em></p>

Real Estate

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Home and Away star's secret split

<p>Ada Nicodemou has reportedly split from her partner Sydney businessman Adam Rigby, after eight years of dating. </p> <p>According to <em>The Daily Telegraph</em>, the actress quietly parted ways with her partner at the end of last year. </p> <p>“Everything is amicable,” a close friend of the couple told the publication. </p> <p>“They remain friends but decided to go their separate ways.”</p> <p>Nicodemou, known for her role as Leah on <em>Home and Away</em>, first met Rigby at a work event in 2016, who had no idea who she was as he never watched the iconic soap. </p> <p>The two then debuted their relationship at the Logie Awards in 2018.</p> <p>Although the actress has been protective and private about her personal life, she had previously gushed about Rigby and how he was a great stepdad to her son Johnas, who she shares with her ex-husband Chrys Xipolitas.</p> <p>“Adam and Johnas adore each other; he’s such a great stepdad and has really stepped up,” she told <em>TV Week</em> at the time. </p> <p>“For a man to come into my world and love a child as if he were his own – and love me like I’ve never been loved before – is incredibly special.”</p> <p>She had also featured Rigby on her Instagram a few times. </p> <p>News of the split comes weeks after Nicodemou's co-star and onscreen husband James Stewart split from his wife former <em>Home and Away </em>actress<em> </em>Sarah Roberts. </p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

Relationships

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Stamp duty is holding us back from moving homes – we’ve worked out how much

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/nick-garvin-1453835">Nick Garvin</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/macquarie-university-1174">Macquarie University</a></em></p> <p>If just one state of Australia, New South Wales, scrapped its stamp duty on real-estate transactions, about 100,000 more Australians would move homes each year, according to our <a href="https://e61.in/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Stamp-duty-effects-on-purchases-and-moves.pdf">best estimates</a>.</p> <p>Stamp duty is an unquestioned part of buying a home in Australia – you put your details in an online mortgage calculator, and stamp duty is automatically deducted from the amount you have to contribute.</p> <p>It’s easy to overlook how much more affordable a home would be without it.</p> <p>That means it’s also easy to overlook how much more Australians would buy and move if stamp duty wasn’t there.</p> <p>The 2010 Henry Tax Review found stamp duty was <a href="https://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2019-10/afts_final_report_part_2_vol_1_consolidated.pdf">inequitable</a>. It taxes most the people who most need to or want to move.</p> <p>The review reported: "Ideally, there would be no role for any stamp duties, including conveyancing stamp duties, in a modern Australian tax system. Recognising the revenue needs of the States, the removal of stamp duty should be achieved through a switch to more efficient taxes, such as those levied on broad consumption or land bases."</p> <p>But does stamp duty actually stop anyone moving? It’s a claim more often made than assessed, which is what our team at the <a href="https://e61.in/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Stamp-duty-effects-on-purchases-and-moves.pdf">e61 Institute</a> set out to do.</p> <p>We used real-estate transaction data and a natural experiment.</p> <h2>What happened when Queensland hiked stamp duty</h2> <p>In 2011, Queensland hiked stamp duty for most buyers by removing some concessions for owner-occupiers at short notice.</p> <p>For owner-occupiers it increased stamp duty by about one percentage point, lifting the average rate from 1.26% of the purchase price to 2.27%.</p> <p>What we found gives us the best estimate to date of what stamp duty does to home purchases.</p> <p>A one percentage point increase in stamp duty causes the number of home purchases to decline by 7.2%.</p> <p>The number of moves (changes of address) falls by about as much.</p> <p>The effect appears to be indiscriminate. Purchases of houses fell about as much as purchases of apartments, and purchases in cities fell about as much as purchases in regions.</p> <p>Moves between suburbs and moves interstate dropped by similar rates.</p> <p>With NSW stamp duty currently averaging about <a href="https://conveyancing.com.au/need-to-know/stamp-duty-nsw">3.5%</a> of the purchase price, our estimates suggest there would be about 25% more purchases and moves by home owners if it were scrapped completely. That’s 100,000 moves.</p> <p>Victoria’s higher rate of stamp duty, about <a href="https://www.sro.vic.gov.au/rates-taxes-duties-and-levies/general-land-transfer-duty-property-current-rates">4.2%</a>, means if it was scrapped there would be about 30% more purchases. That’s another 90,000 moves.</p> <h2>Even low headline rates have big effects</h2> <p>The big effect from small-looking headline rates ought not to be surprising.</p> <p>When someone buys a home, they typically front up much less cash than the purchase price. While stamp duty seems low as a percentage of the purchase price, it is high as a percentage of the cash the buyer needs to find.</p> <p>Here’s an example. If stamp duty is 4% of the purchase price, and a purchaser pays $800,000 for a property with a mortgage deposit of $160,000, the $32,000 stamp duty adds 20%, not 4%, to what’s needed.</p> <p>If the deposit takes five years to save, stamp duty makes it six.</p> <p>A similar thing happens when an owner-occupier changes address. If the buyer sells a fully owned home for $700,000 and buys a new home for $800,000, the upgrade ought to cost them $100,000. A 4% stamp duty lifts that to $132,000.</p> <p>Averaged across all Australian cities, stamp duty costs about <a href="https://e61.in/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Stepped-on-by-Stamp-Duty.pdf">five months</a> of after-tax earnings. In Sydney and Melbourne, it’s six.</p> <h2>Stamp duty has bracket creep</h2> <p>This cost has steadily climbed from around <a href="https://e61.in/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Stepped-on-by-Stamp-Duty.pdf">six weeks</a> of total earnings in the 1990s. It has happened because home prices have climbed faster than incomes and because stamp duty has brackets, meaning more buyers have been pushed into higher ones.</p> <p>Replacing the stamp duty revenue that states have come to rely on would not be easy, but a switch would almost certainly help the economy function better.</p> <p>The more that people are able to move, the more they will move to jobs to which they are better suited, boosting productivity.</p> <p>The more that people downsize when they want to, the more housing will be made available for others.</p> <p>Our findings suggest the costs are far from trivial, making a switch away from stamp duty worthwhile, even if it is disruptive and takes time.<!-- 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/225773/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/nick-garvin-1453835">Nick Garvin</a>, Adjunct Fellow, Department of Economics, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/macquarie-university-1174">Macquarie University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/stamp-duty-is-holding-us-back-from-moving-homes-weve-worked-out-how-much-225773">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Money & Banking

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Home and Away star accused of "stomping" on woman's head

<p>A former <em>Home and Away</em> star, who has been accused of "stomping" on a woman's head during a violent altercation, was cast to appear on Seven's reality show <em>SAS</em> while battling “declining mental health and escalating drug use” according to court documents. </p> <p>Orpheus Pledger has been accused of the violent alleged assault that took place on March 25th, and was arrested on Thursday following a three-day manhunt by police after he absconded from a Melbourne hospital on Tuesday while on remand.</p> <p>At a bail application that lasted two days, the court heard details of Pledger's years-long deterioration of his mental health, in addition to his alleged prolonged and increasing drug use.</p> <p>A police statement submitted to the court alleged that Pledger was dealing with “declining mental health and escalating drug use” between February 2021 and his alleged attack in March this year. </p> <p>Court documents also alleged that Pledger has been “refusing to engage with mental health services and appears to spend his Centrelink payments on drugs” and had been known to police for many years. </p> <p>During a difficult period with his mental health and drug use, Pledger was cast on Seven's reality show <em>SAS</em>, before he abruptly quit after just two episodes over concerns of his "erratic behaviour". </p> <p>At the bail application, documents alleged the accused is at an “extreme risk of further assaulting” the alleged victim, although Pledger’s lawyer Jasper MacCuspie argued his client’s mental health would deteriorate if he were to remain in custody.</p> <p>Pledger’s matter will be heard again by the Melbourne Magistrates Court in May, where he will face the charges of assault. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Seven </em></p>

Legal

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Outrage after grandma beaten at home by fake officers

<p>The quiet neighbourhood of Girrawheen, Perth, has been rocked by a vicious assault perpetrated by three assailants disguised as police officers. The aftermath of this cowardly act has left an older couple traumatised and the community reeling with shock and outrage, with police releasing a graphic image of one of the victims in an attempt to help bring the perpetrators to justice.</p> <p>The victim of this brutal attack, 73-year-old Nannette, bore the brunt of the assailants' aggression, enduring a savage beating while her husband, Phillip, was bound and left traumatised inside their own home. The assailants, described as having olive complexions, fled the scene after ransacking the house and stealing jewellery of significant value.</p> <p>The image released by Western Australia Police, with Nannette's approval, was a stark portrayal of the brutality inflicted upon her. Police Commissioner Col Blanch condemned the attack in the strongest terms, expressing his disgust at the violence perpetrated against innocent civilians in their own home. “I saw the photo of the victim this morning, and it made me sick to my stomach,” Blanch said. “To have people at home suffer that type of attack is a disgrace.”</p> <p>Detective Inspector Gary Butler, visibly disturbed by the severity of the incident, highlighted the need for the community to come together to support the investigation and ensure that justice is served. "Violence of this nature is unacceptable, and it will not be tolerated," he said.</p> <p>The daughter of the victims also spoke out, shedding light on the harrowing ordeal her parents endured. She described her mother as a resilient individual who had recently battled cancer and was in the process of recovering. The attack has not only left physical scars but has also shattered their sense of security in their own home. “They tied my dad up, in their own home," she said. "So it’s not safe to come back.”</p> <p>Nannette, reportedly traumatised and in pain, requires medical treatment for her injuries. The psychological toll of such a traumatic experience is immeasurable, not only for the victims but also for their loved ones and the wider community.</p> <p>In the wake of this despicable act, Inspector Butler issued a plea for information, urging anyone with knowledge of the incident to come forward. "We will not stop until these offenders are apprehended and placed before the courts," he said.</p> <p>Anyone with information can contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.</p> <p><em>Images: WA Police | Nine News</em></p>

Caring

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“Kick in the face”: Why not everyone's happy that Molly’s going home

<p>The recent decision to <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/lifestyle/family-pets/molly-the-magpie-is-going-home" target="_blank" rel="noopener">return Molly the magpie</a> to a Gold Coast couple and their two dogs Ruby and Peggy has sparked a contentious debate, which one wildlife advocate <a href="https://au.news.yahoo.com/molly-the-magpie-decision-labelled-a-kick-in-the-face-for-wildlife-carers-040736042.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">described to Yahoo News</a> as "a kick in the face". Queensland Premier Steven Miles' announcement has divided opinions, stirring anger among wildlife volunteers while receiving overwhelming praise from a vast portion of the public, particularly followers of the popular social media pages featuring Molly.</p> <p>Molly, the magpie turned social media sensation, has captured the hearts of over two million followers on platforms like Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. However, her rise to fame was marred by allegations of being taken from the wild without proper authorisation. The decision to return Molly to Juliette Wells and Reece Mortensen, the couple behind the Peggy and Molly pages, has left wildlife advocates concerned about the message it sends regarding the treatment of wildlife and the enforcement of regulations.</p> <p>Despite the concerns raised by wildlife advocates, the decision to return Molly appears to have widespread public support. Premier Miles' Facebook post announcing Molly's return garnered significant positive feedback, with many expressing joy at the news. However, some questioned the delay in the decision-making process and criticised the handling of the situation by the Department of Environment and Science and its staff.</p> <p>The saga surrounding Molly's return unfolded amid public pressure, fuelled by social media campaigns and posts from Wells herself, <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/lifestyle/family-pets/i-miss-my-bestie-new-appeal-after-molly-s-family-left-in-the-dark" target="_blank" rel="noopener">expressing frustration at the lack of response</a> from government officials.</p> <p>The controversy surrounding Molly's return raises broader questions about wildlife rehabilitation, human-animal interactions, and the role of social media in shaping public perception. While Wells maintained that Molly was cared for in a manner consistent with fostering her natural instincts, authorities expressed concerns about the potential negative impact of human habituation on the bird's ability to thrive in the wild.</p> <p>Critics argue that Molly's return sets a dangerous precedent, potentially encouraging others to take wild animals into captivity for social media fame. The financial gains associated with Molly's social media presence certainly raise ethical questions about the commodification of wildlife for entertainment purposes.</p> <p>Amid escalating tensions surrounding the case, calls for civility and respect have been made, urging individuals to engage in constructive dialogue rather than resorting to hostility and abuse. None more powerful than the message coming directly from Molly's adoptive carers:</p> <p>"NO AGGRESSION," Juliette Wells repeatedly said to her followers on Instagram. "Be kind - remember what these 3 best friends have shown the world: Love & acceptance in differences. We all have differences in opinions let’s just voice them in a positive way for this Famous Magpie Molly."</p> <p>While Molly's return may be celebrated by some, it reignites discussions about the ethical treatment of wildlife and the responsibilities of both individuals and authorities in safeguarding native species. </p> <p>But the last word again goes to Wells, who has clearly endured a great deal throughout this entire ordeal – including being "harassed, defamed & bullied"<span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">:</span></p> <p>"What a journey to get here," wrote Wells, following the news of Molly's impending return. "Having a hole in our hearts that we never thought would heal. Constantly thinking about this little magpie who was full of life and personality sitting in a cage lost and alone. Our hearts breaking Watching our girls looking around for Molly or out the window for hours waiting to see their best friend again.</p> <p>"Being forced by a certain media outlet to make the announcement before we were ready to deliver it in a mindful way to our millions of supporters.</p> <p>"We have become a meme, an interview question & the topic of conversation around the world.</p> <p>"We have be Harassed, defamed & bullied by a small minority of people.</p> <p>"Suddenly being plunged onto the world stage after the QLD premier stepped in. Constantly Hitting brick walls trying to get answers from the dept about Molly & his whereabouts.</p> <p>"We want to thankyou you the people for your voices , for standing by us & making this happen . The messages , emails , phone calls & thousands of signatures on petitions . The love , support and sheer determination for a cause is what you have done & is what has kept us going . We have shown the world what can be achieved when we work together . We have shown the world this can be achieved with persistence without aggression."</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-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/C5mEBBbSY2g/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/C5mEBBbSY2g/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Peggyandmolly (@peggyandmolly)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

Family & Pets

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Molly the Magpie is going home!

<p>Molly the magpie, who captured the hearts of thousands with her unlikely friendship with Peggy the English Staffy, is set to be reunited with her former carers. The saga that ensued following Molly's removal from her home on the Gold Coast <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/lifestyle/family-pets/outcry-after-authorities-seize-internet-famous-magpie-from-queensland-family" target="_blank" rel="noopener">sparked outrage and activism</a>, ultimately leading to this joyous moment.</p> <p>The story began when wildlife officials removed Molly from the residence of Reece Mortensen and Juliette Wells on March 1, citing complaints of illegal possession. This decision triggered a wave of support from the community, who were moved by the bond shared between Molly, Peggy, and another dog, Ruby. Videos and photos showcasing the trio's companionship had gained significant attention on social media platforms, turning Molly into an online sensation.</p> <p>Premier Steven Miles initially voiced his support for Molly's return, acknowledging the unique circumstances and the strong emotional bond between the animals. However, as Mortensen and Wells struggled to navigate bureaucratic hurdles in their quest to bring Molly home, frustration mounted. Despite assurances from the Premier, their attempts to seek further assistance <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/lifestyle/family-pets/i-miss-my-bestie-new-appeal-after-molly-s-family-left-in-the-dark" target="_blank" rel="noopener">seemed to fall on deaf ears</a>, leaving them feeling abandoned.</p> <p>But just when hope seemed to be dwindling, a surprise announcement came from Premier Miles on Wednesday morning. He revealed that Molly would indeed be returning to her former carers, citing advice from the Department of Environment and Science and Innovation. The necessary arrangements for securing the appropriate license were underway, ensuring that Molly could come home "very soon".</p> <p>“This morning the Department has advised me that the couple can secure the appropriate licence. The team will work with them now to do that,” Miles said in a statement. “It’s good news and means Molly can come home very soon. I’d like to thank everyone who has written to me to share their concerns and advocate for Molly’s return.”</p> <p>This development marks a victory for animal advocacy and grassroots activism. Over 154,000 Australians had signed an online petition calling for Molly's reunion with Peggy, reflecting widespread concern for the emotional wellbeing of both the dog and the magpie. Many saw the situation as an example of "bureaucracy gone mad".</p> <p>As Molly prepares to spread her wings once more in the familiar company of Peggy and Ruby, we cannot wait to see and hear the footage of their upcoming reunion!</p> <p><em>Images: Instagram | Wiki Commons</em></p>

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