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Distressing twist in sudden death of former MAFS groom

<p>Just days after the shocking death of former <em>Married At First Sight NZ</em> contestant Andrew Jury, shocking new details have emerged about his final weeks before his <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/health/caring/married-at-first-sight-groom-dies-at-just-33" target="_blank" rel="noopener">passing</a>. </p> <p>The 33-year-old Auckland-based builder passed away in recent weeks, as his untimely death was announced by two of his former <em>MAFS</em> contestants on Sunday.</p> <p>Now, Jury's father Roy confirmed to the <a href="https://www.nzherald.co.nz/entertainment/married-at-first-sight-nz-groom-andrew-jury-dies/47OQFBCORZHARPILFOEA65N7SE/" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>New Zealand Herald</em></a> that his son was on remand in Mt Eden Corrections Facility prison at the time of his death. </p> <p>Andrew had been just hours from a scheduled court appearance, where he was facing charges that included “assault with intent to injure, wilful damage and possession of an offensive weapon.”</p> <p>His father also told the publication that he’d been worried about his son’s mental state ahead of his court hearing, adding that his family were “bewildered” and “deeply saddened” by the tragic turn of events.</p> <p>Roy said that his son had been arrested on April 2nd and had told his relatives he was “struggling” in prison.</p> <p>“It should have been a red flag when Andy stopped communicating with family and friends,” he told the outlet.</p> <p>Andrew's death was announced by former <em>MAFS NZ</em> stars Brett and Angel Renall, and Benjamin Blackwell who wrote a joint statement to the <em>New Zealand Herald</em> to break the news of his passing. </p> <p>“It’s with the heaviest hearts we’ve come together to acknowledge the passing of Andrew Jury,” they said. “We had the absolute pleasure of filming and participating in a show which leaves us intricately linked for a lifetime."</p> <p>“Despite his struggles, Andrew was always friendly and the life of the party during our shared experience, and he really valued his time on the show."</p> <p>“At this time, our entire cast wishes to send our deepest condolences and love to his family.”</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1rem;"><em>Image credits: Instagram </em></p>

Legal

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Married at First Sight groom dies at just 33

<p>Former <em>Married At First Sight NZ</em> contestant Andrew Jury has died at the age of 33. </p> <p>The Auckland-based builder passed away in recent weeks, as his untimely death was announced by two of his former <em>MAFS</em> contestants. </p> <p>“It’s with the heaviest hearts we’ve come together to acknowledge the passing of Andrew Jury,” former <em>MAFS NZ</em> stars Brett and Angel Renall, and Benjamin Blackwell wrote in a joint statement, according to the <em><a href="https://www.nzherald.co.nz/entertainment/married-at-first-sight-nz-groom-andrew-jury-dies/47OQFBCORZHARPILFOEA65N7SE/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">New Zealand Herald</a>.</em></p> <p>“We had the absolute pleasure of filming and participating in a show which leaves us intricately linked for a lifetime."</p> <p>“Despite his struggles, Andrew was always friendly and the life of the party during our shared experience, and he really valued his time on the show."</p> <p>“At this time, our entire cast wishes to send our deepest condolences and love to his family.”</p> <p>On Sunday, Warner Bros Discovery, broadcaster of <em>MAFS NZ</em>, released a statement about the death.</p> <p>“WBD takes duty of care extremely seriously and has protocols in place regarding the wellbeing of cast and crew,” a spokesperson of the company said.</p> <p>"All <em>MAFS NZ</em> contributors have access to mental health professionals throughout the process, including pre-screening, during production and after broadcast."</p> <p>Jury appeared on the first season of <em>Married At First Sight NZ</em>, which aired in 2017. </p> <p>During his time on the show, he was matched with Vicky Gleeson-Stokes, but the pair were not a perfect fit and did not make it to final vows.</p> <p>Following his appearance on the show, Jury was heavily critical of the TV programme and urged others not to audition. </p> <p>The final straw for the builder, who was 26 at the time, was when local sex worker Lisa Lewis announced she had been short-listed to appear in the season after Jury’s.</p> <p>“It’s unethical how they’re going about these things,” he told the <a href="https://www.nzherald.co.nz/entertainment/married-at-first-sight-star-andrew-jury-bags-show-and-warns-other-kiwis-from-applying-after-lisa-lewis-announcement/QULDBF6S4SHDOEOBUSZIPY3FXU/#:~:text=%22It's%20unethical%20how%20they're,%22experts%22%20to%20match%20couples." target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>New Zealand Herald</em> </a>at the time. “You can’t get an escort on this show. You can’t do that to a guy.”</p> <p>The former contestant said he and his fellow participants were hopeful in finding love when going on the show, but he believed it was all a stitch-up from day one.</p> <p>“They [the contestants] are the most amazing people on the show, they put their hearts on the line and they all got burned,” he continued.</p> <p>“I make great TV, but my wife and me were not matched in the slightest. She’s a princess, I’m a bogan. How can they say it’s a legit process when you get the complete opposite of what you want?”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Instagram </em></p>

Caring

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Andrew "Twiggy" Forrest's major win over scam ads

<p>Andrew "Twiggy" Forrest has had a major win against Facebook owner Meta, with a US court allowing him to continue to sue the platform over fake advertisements using his name. </p> <p>The scam Facebook ads show him promoting fake cryptocurrency and other fraudulent investments.</p> <p>The ruling means that the court will consider whether Meta breached its duty by publishing the advertisements, and whether they operated in a way that facilitated scam ads by using defective screening and review procedures.</p> <p>US District Judge Casey Pitts in San Jose, California, made the decision on Monday, and said that Forrest can try to prove Meta's negligence and whether his name and likeness was misappropriated by Meta, and not just by fraudsters behind the bogus ads.</p> <p>"Dr Forrest claims that Meta profited more from ads that included his likeness than it would have if the ads had not," Pitts wrote.</p> <p>"This is enough to adequately plead that the alleged misappropriation was to Meta's advantage."</p> <p>Forrest said that there were over 1000 ads scam ads using his name that appeared on Facebook in Australia between April and November 2023, leading to millions of dollars in losses for victims.</p> <p>The billionaire reportedly first raised the fraudulent advertisements with Meta back in 2014, but nothing happened, according to the <em>Herald Sun. </em></p> <p>This is the first time a social media company was unable to invoke Section 230 immunity in a US civil case over its advertising business. </p> <p>It's a significant move, as social media companies in the US are usually immune from liability in the US for content posted by third parties. </p> <p>"This is a crucial strategic victory in the battle to hold Facebook accountable," Forrest said.</p> <p>The billionaire is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. </p> <p><em>Image: Dinendra Haria/LNP/ Shutterstock Editorial</em></p>

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Steve Price fires up over Dan Andrews' special honour

<p>Steve Price has sparked a bitter row on-air with his co-hosts of <em>The Project</em>, as he spoke out against former premier Dan Andrews being named on the King’s Honours list this year.</p> <p>Andrews, the former premier of Victoria who saw the state through the Covid pandemic, has been recognised on the prestigious list for his “eminent service to the people and parliament of Victoria, to public health, to policy and regulatory reform, and to infrastructure development”.</p> <p>After the announcement of Andrews' upcoming recognition, Price let loose on <em>The Project </em>as he condemned the former premier. </p> <p>“It’s got to be some sort of sick joke,” he said as he began his rant.</p> <p>“Who would expect Daniel Andrews would get the highest honour that you can possibly get from the King? It’s the equivalent of a Knighthood! This is a bloke who locked Victoria up longer than anywhere else in the word. Apart from Covid, this bloke wasted 600 million dollars not holding the Commonwealth Games.”</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/reel/C8B5Ft8Pe0k/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/reel/C8B5Ft8Pe0k/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by The Project (@theprojecttv)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>He continued, “Every infrastructure project he’s [Andrews] ticked off on is either over budget or over time. And we give him an award? I mean it is pathetic!”</p> <p>“I have never heard people today so angry about something like this. Daniel Andrews should be run out of the State, not given an award. It’s pathetic!”</p> <p>As co-host Waleed Aly began to share his own thoughts on the matter, Price butted in to ask, “You’re not going to defend Andrews are you?”</p> <p>“Will you let me say something?” replied Aly awkwardly, as Price nodded his head.</p> <p>“Premiers usually get these awards, but they don’t usually get them this quickly,” continued Aly.</p> <p>“And the weird thing about this is that it isn’t for services to the State, it’s for services to health. And that makes it about the pandemic disproportionately. If this was happening in a few years, I don’t think we’d be having this conversation.”</p> <p>Despite Price's claims that many were angry with the decision to award Andrews with the honour, it turns out most of the outrage was directed towards Price himself as many condemned his "embarrassing" rant. </p> <p>“What criteria is <em>The Project</em> applying to Steve Prices opinion? The short man is a self serving blowhard that has no credible platform for his opinions. Surely in 2024 there are better options in Australia,” ranted one annoyed viewer.</p> <p>A second person commented, “If it makes Steve Price mad then it’s a great decision!!” with another replying, “Like anybody should give credibility to anything Steve Price says”. </p> <p>The onslaught of remarks didn’t end there, with another firing back, “Steve Price is jealous and miserable,” while a similarly annoyed viewer wrote, “Dan living rent free in Price’s head, embarrassing”.</p> <p><em>Image credits: The Project / AMES ROSS/EPA-EFE / Shutterstock Editorial </em></p>

TV

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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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"I believe he is alive": Father of young man who jumped off cruise ship speaks out

<p>The father of the young man who jumped off a cruise ship on its way to Florida has spoken out, saying he believes his son is still alive. </p> <p>While the Liberty of the Seas was travelling back from the Dominican Republic on its way to Florida, 20-year-old Levion Parker <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/caring/young-man-who-jumped-off-cruise-ship-identified" target="_blank" rel="noopener">jumped overboard</a>. </p> <p>The ship was reportedly about 90km off the southern most island of the Bahamas when the young man, who was allegedly under the influence of alcohol, jumped overboard in the early hours of the morning. </p> <p>Witnesses recounted the harrowing scene, describing how a young man took a spontaneous plunge from one of the ship's decks, despite the desperate pleas and helplessness of his father and brother who stood witness to the impulsive act.</p> <p>After days of searching, the US coast guard called off their search for the young man. </p> <p>Now, Legion's father Francel said he believes his son is still alive. </p> <p>“As soon as he went off the side, I prayed over him. I was confident the prayers I said over my son were heard. I stand on the word of God. I believe he is alive,” Mr Parker told local Florida paper, the <a href="https://www.yoursun.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>Daily Sun</em>, </a>on Wednesday.</p> <p>Francel went open to say that he threw six life rings off the ship in hopes of saving his son before the vessel was able to come to a stop about 20 minutes later.</p> <p>When news broke onboard of the tragedy, travellers reported that many people came out of their cabins to stare at the sea, hoping to be able to spot the young man in the water.</p> <p>Levion was reportedly “drunk” on the night of the incident, although details around this are unclear as the minimum age to consume alcohol on Royal Caribbean ships on voyages from North America or the Caribbean is 21.</p> <p>“We don’t drink,” Levion’s father Francel said. “I’d like to know how my son was served so much alcohol.”</p> <p>Francel, who owns an air-conditioning business, was invited, together with his family, aboard the ship as guests of Florida-based air-conditioning wholesalers Tropic Supply to mark the company’s 50th anniversary.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Facebook </em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Young man who jumped off cruise ship identified

<p>The young man who <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/travel/cruising/his-family-was-horrified-young-man-jumps-off-cruise-ship" target="_blank" rel="noopener">jumped overboard</a> from a Royal Caribbean cruise has been identified as 20-year-old Levion Parker. </p> <p>Parker, a former high school footballer from Florida, was onboard the Liberty of the Seas with his family when the incident occurred, as the vessel was making its way back to the US after a four-day cruise to the Dominican Republic. </p> <p>The ship was reportedly about 90km off the southern most island of the Bahamas when the young man, who was allegedly under the influence of alcohol, jumped overboard in the early hours of the morning. </p> <p>Witnesses recounted the harrowing scene, describing how a young man took a spontaneous plunge from one of the ship's decks, despite the desperate pleas and helplessness of his father and brother who stood witness to the impulsive act.</p> <p>A Royal Caribbean spokesperson told <a href="https://www.news.com.au/travel/travel-updates/incidents/20yo-who-went-overboard-royal-caribbean-cruise-ship-identified/news-story/ebeef7b2ed03d828b5a6efbd2a8ebfe1" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>news.com.au</em></a> the ship’s crew immediately launched a search and rescue effort alongside the US Coast Guard, who took over the search. </p> <p>“Our Care Team is providing support and assistance to the guest’s family during this difficult time. For the privacy of the guest and their family, we have no additional details to share,” the spokesperson said on Monday.</p> <p>Fellow travellers on the cruise were alerted to the tragedy during breakfast a few hours later, as many stood along balconies starring into the sea in the hopes of finding the man. </p> <p>A passenger took to Reddit to post about the heartbreaking incident said they became aware of the tragedy when the captain "announced it over the PA system while we were at breakfast and the entire room went silent.” </p> <p>Levion’s father Francel Parker, who owns an air-conditioning business, was invited, together with his family, aboard the ship as guests of Florida-based air-conditioning wholesalers Tropic Supply to mark the company’s 50th anniversary.</p> <p>The US Coast Guard has suspended its search for the missing young man.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Facebook</em></p>

Caring

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“Petty”: Steve Price’s bid to ban Dan Andrews called out

<p>It seems that golf, the sport known for its calm demeanour and leisurely strolls, is continuing to become a battleground for political disagreements. Move over, parliamentary debates; we've got a straight-up fairway feud on our hands.</p> <p>It all started when former Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews decided he wanted to swap the political arena for the green one. Little did he know that his membership application to the Portsea Golf Club would turn into a full-blown scandal, complete with threats to <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/travel/travel-trouble/i-ll-quit-steve-price-s-fairway-feud-with-dan-andrews" target="_blank" rel="noopener">tear up memberships</a> and accusations of petty behaviour.</p> <p>The took another turn on a recent episode of <em>The Project</em>, where hosts Waleed Aly and Sam Taunton found themselves caught in the crossfire of their co-star Steve Price's golfing fury.</p> <p>The dispute centres around the fact that more than 100 club members have written a strongly-worded letter, demanding that Andrews be rejected. </p> <p>Price, the self-proclaimed defender of fairways and greens, threatened to "tear up" his Portsea Golf Club membership if Andrews gets the green light. Aly, doing his best to keep the peace, questioned Price about the gravity of the situation.</p> <p>"But why is it a big deal?" he asked Price on the panel. "If he gets admitted, you don’t have to walk around the golf course."</p> <p>Price, however, had a different concern: "I have to go into the bar, and he might be having food." Ah, the horror of sharing a clubhouse with a former premier!</p> <p>Taunton, sensing the absurdity of the situation, almost called the whole debacle "petty" before wisely biting his tongue. But Price, ever the instigator, goaded him to finish his sentence, to which Taunton finally admitted, "No,  I was going to say it is petty. It was years ago, and at some point, don’t you move on? Why?"</p> <p>Price, standing firm as the guardian of golfing justice, declared, "No. Because we don’t want him there!" It seems the only thing harder to overcome than a water hazard is a political grudge.</p> <p>In the grand scheme of things, it's a bit bewildering that a golf club membership is causing such a ruckus. You'd be forgiven for thinking they were discussing nuclear disarmament, not whether Andrews should be allowed to practice his swing in peace.</p> <p>As the world anxiously awaits the fate of Andrews' golfing aspirations, we're left to wonder: will he get the coveted membership, or will Price be left tearing up his golf club card like a rejected love letter? Only time will tell if this golfing saga will go down in history as a hole-in-one or just another bogey.</p> <p><em>Images: Network Ten</em></p>

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“I’ll quit”: Steve Price’s fairway feud with Dan Andrews

<p><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">Steve Price, </span>the Sky News shock jock and host of <em>The Project</em>, has threatened a full-scale membership mutiny of his hallowed Portsea Golf Club, turning Victoria's Mornington Peninsula into the stage for a golf-centric feud that looks set to make more divots than a toddler with a sand wedge.</p> <p>Price has vowed to unleash the ultimate golf club warfare if former Victorian premier Daniel Andrews dares to follow through on his ambition to become a member of his beloved club.</p> <p>Price declared on <em>Sky News Australia</em> that if Andrews is welcomed into the exclusive golfing enclave, he would take his membership and tear it into more pieces than a scorecard after a disastrous round.</p> <p>“This is the premier who stopped us playing golf for two years during Covid,” Price exclaimed in much the same way one would (<em>1 wood?</em> too much) if Andrews personally walked up and confiscated his seven-iron. “No way should that man come into the golf club.”</p> <p>Former pro golfer Mark Allen joined the chorus of disapproval, claiming that other golf clubs along the Mornington Peninsula were contemplating a similar blockade against Andrews. </p> <p>The uproar stems from the dark days of Covid when golfers in certain parts of the Mornington Peninsula were banned from fairways and greens, as well as a specific restriction that allowed certain parts of the peninsula to carry on playing, while others areas were banned altogether. Andrews, in his role as the "lockdown czar", earned the ire of golf enthusiasts who found solace only on the "wrong" side of the bay.</p> <p>“Remember one side of the peninsula they were able to play and get around, the other side of the peninsula, they were not allowed to play,” explained Allen.</p> <p>In a stunning display of commitment to the cause, golf clubs were allowed to reopen in September 2021, but toilets remained off-limits, prompting golf enthusiasts to question whether they were being punked by an elaborate <em>Candid Camera</em>-style golf course edition.</p> <p>Andrews, who recently announced his retirement from politics, now plans to spend more time with his family and on the golf course. However, the threat of being ostracised from the Peninsula's golfing elite looms large, like a shadow on the putting green.</p> <p>As the turf wars intensify, it's clear that the Mornington Peninsula is not just a geographical location; it's a battlefield, where the clash of golfing ideologies may rival the intensity of a Ryder Cup final day. Will Andrews dare to follow through on his membership application, knowing the potential fallout? Will Price stick to his membership-ripping threat, or will he ultimately decide that a day on the green is more important than a political greenhorn?</p> <p>In this gripping saga of fairways and fracas, the only certainty is that the Mornington Peninsula has become ground zero for a golfing soap opera that will have enthusiasts on the edge of their golf carts, eagerly awaiting the next putt-plot twist.</p> <p><em>Images: Sky News</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Slain St Andrew’s staffer identified

<p dir="ltr">The body of a female staff member at St Andrew’s College in Sydney has been identified, just hours after she was found dead in the school’s gymnasium. </p> <p dir="ltr">Lilie James, 21, was the water polo coach at the prestigious school, and was <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/news/news/young-female-staffer-found-dead-in-school-bathroom" target="_blank" rel="noopener">found dead</a> with serious head injuries just before midnight on Wednesday. </p> <p dir="ltr">Police are continuing their investigation into her alleged murder, while also searching for Ms James’ friend and colleague Paul Thijssen. </p> <p dir="ltr">Mr Thijssen, who is also a sports coach at the college, is wanted for questioning by police, as it is believed he could help with inquiries into her “apparent” homicide. </p> <p dir="ltr">On Thursday morning, police established a second crime scene near The Gap in Vaucluse that they believe is linked to Ms James’ death. </p> <p dir="ltr">Superintendent Martin Fileman said, “We don’t want to make any assumptions of the fact that that person may have taken his own life, but that’s just another line of inquiry we’re looking at at the moment.” </p> <p dir="ltr">Fileman also confirmed that the two school staffers were known to each other, saying, “There’s nothing to indicate that there was any domestic violence, any [apprehended violence orders] or anything between both of them,” he said.</p> <p dir="ltr">A post-mortem examination has yet to be conducted to formally determine the cause of the woman’s death.</p> <p dir="ltr">“From her injuries, it was apparent that she was a victim of homicide,” Fileman said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“As you can probably imagine, it’s an extremely daunting experience, a very sad time for everybody. Not only the families, the students also who are turning up today to be confronted by this.”</p> <p dir="ltr">The grim discovery was made after emergency services were called to the scene following reports of concern for the woman's welfare. </p> <p dir="ltr">The Superintendent went on to say the crime scene at the elite school was "confronting" for the officers who found the body.</p> <p dir="ltr">"Last night police from Sydney city police area command were responding to a welfare check and attended the school at St Andrew's cathedral where police located the body of a female in her early 20s in the gym area of the school," he said.</p> <p dir="ltr">"From her injuries it was apparent she was a victim of a homicide.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Facebook</em></p>

News

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AFL star’s wedding evacuated over emergency

<p>West Coast Eagles veteran Andrew Gaff's wedding celebrations took an unexpected turn on a sunny Sunday as an encroaching bushfire threatened the joyous occasion. The unexpected incident unfolded in the picturesque setting of Bold Park in City Beach, Perth, creating an alarming backdrop to what was meant to be a memorable day.</p> <p>According to 7Sport, the flames that ignited in Bold Park posed a severe threat to lives and homes in the surrounding area, prompting the swift intervention of emergency services. This meant that Gaff's wedding reception had to be evacuated promptly, disrupting the festivities and leaving guests in shock.</p> <p>Among the guests in attendance were Gaff's Eagles teammates, including Elliot Yeo and Jack Darling, as well as premiership-winning hero Scott Lycett. The abrupt evacuation was a stark reminder of the unpredictable nature of Australian bushfires.</p> <p>"We were just at a wedding, and the police came and said we've got to leave; there is a fire over the hill," recounted one startled guest. Another guest added, "We were dancing... I was busting a move," before they were rushed out of the venue by police.</p> <p>The bushfire outbreak triggered a "watch and act" warning for parts of City Beach, Floreat and Mount Claremont, underlining the gravity of the situation. Amid the chaos, the father of Gaff's new bride, Emma Van Woerden, was seen carrying the wedding cake away from the Quarry Amphitheatre, a symbol of the disrupted celebration.</p> <p>The cause of the fire was attributed to squatters, and it took the efforts of as many as 50 firefighters to bring the blaze under control. Thankfully, there were no reported threats to lives or homes after the situation was contained.</p> <p>Gaff is not the only footy star who has chose to either get engaged or tie the knot during the post-season. Carlton hero <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/lifestyle/relationships/all-the-footy-stars-are-getting-married" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Jack Silvagni, for example, wed Grace Phillips</a> in an intimate ceremony attended by family and friends. His teammates Patrick Cripps, Jack Martin and Sam Docherty were among the guests.</p> <p>In the world of rugby, NRL star Reuben Cotter married his new wife, Mackenzie Falco, the day after representing Australia against Samoa. Cotter's dedication to his country led him to cancel his own bachelor party, choosing to participate in the Pacific Championship instead. </p> <p><em>Images: Nine News / Instagram</em></p>

Relationships

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Harry Potter star's delightful baby name has fans enthralled

<p>Bonnie Wright, renowned for her role as Ginny Weasley in the 'Harry Potter' film series, has welcomed a baby boy with husband Andrew Lococo. The 32-year-old British actress joyfully shared the wonderful news with her fans via Instagram, expressing the overwhelming love she and Andrew feel for their newborn son.</p> <p>Elio Ocean Wright Lococo, the couple's pride and joy, made his entrance into the world at home on Tuesday, September 19th. Bonnie marked the occasion by posting an endearing picture of their newborn, along with the heartwarming caption:</p> <p>"Say hello to Elio Ocean Wright Lococo," wrote the proud new mum. "Born at home on Tuesday 19th September. We’re all healthy and happy. Andrew and I are so in love with our sun 🌞!</p> <p>"So grateful for our birth team that have held our hands throughout and made the journey so joyous and expanding. Birth is the wildest experience! Our perfect and loving midwives Tiffany and Taylor @dosmidwifery our wise and wonderful doula Patti @umamother our doctor Phabby if we had needed to transfer @phabulouscare 🕊️</p> <p>"During these healing postpartum days we’ve been visited by some angels thank you @meaghan_snider_ @motherbees and @themilkywaymamas 🕊️ and thank you @ccmeyer for your incredibly informative course I took in the early weeks of pregnancy. Birth workers are amazing 🕊️ !</p> <p>"Lastly thanks to Andrew my rock throughout birth quite literally as I squeezed onto you so tight and you never wavered. Elio has the most tender loving papa. Ok hormonal emotional extra long caption over!"</p> <p>Prior to welcoming their bundle of joy, Bonnie and Andrew took some time to relax and enjoy a babymoon in Laguna Beach, California. Bonnie cherished these moments, captioning one of her posts, "Our last quiet holiday as just two".</p> <p>Throughout her pregnancy, Bonnie proudly displayed her growing baby bump in various photos, captioning one of them, "A summer of growth".</p> <p>Bonnie Wright and Andrew Lococo exchanged vows in a heartwarming ceremony in March of the previous year. Reflecting on their special day, Bonnie shared her happiness with a caption beneath a picture of their wedding rings, writing, "Yesterday was the best day of my life 💙, Thanks to my husband!!"</p> <p>Many well-wishes poured in, including a heartfelt message from Tom Felton, known for his portrayal of Draco Malfoy, Harry Potter's rival at Hogwarts. The 34-year-old actor wrote, "Congratulations B x."</p> <p>Bonnie Wright's journey in the world of entertainment began at the age of 11 when she made her on-screen debut in the first Harry Potter film, <em>Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone</em>, released in 2001.</p> <p>In recent years, Bonnie has garnered recognition for her passionate environmental activism – a definite nod to the "Ocean" element of her newborn's name. She now resides in San Diego, having moved there in February 2020 to be with her now-husband, Andrew Lococo.</p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

Family & Pets

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Mining tycoon's father dies aged 95

<p>Andrew "Twiggy" Forrest's father, Donald Forrest, peacefully passed away at their ancestral Western Australian home at the age of 95 on a Sunday morning.</p> <p>In a heartfelt obituary, the Forrest family shared, "Don passed away peacefully in his sleep, knowing he was with people and places he loved."</p> <p>“We all wish him well in his onward journey.</p> <p>“He goes with the love, deep affection and enduring memories of all those whose lives his 95-year history has embraced.</p> <p>“His legacy will be cherished by all who knew him.”</p> <p>Donald was remembered as a “loving husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, stepfather, uncle and patriarch”.</p> <p>The family will host his funeral on Sunday October 1 “at his beloved Minderoo Station”, which has been in the family for four generations and is located in WA’s Pilbara region.</p> <p>A memorial service will be held in Perth afterwards for family and friends unable to attend his funeral. </p> <p>The Forrest patriarch is survived by his wife Marie, sons David and Andrew and daughter Jane.</p> <p>The sad news comes just two months after Andrew announced his <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/lifestyle/relationships/australia-s-richest-couple-call-it-quits" target="_blank" rel="noopener">shock split</a> from his wife of 31 years, Nicola. </p> <p>Andrew and Nicola, who are known as Australia's richest couple, have <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/lifestyle/relationships/the-real-reason-behind-australia-s-richest-couple-s-split" target="_blank" rel="noopener">insisted </a>that the divorce won't affect the direction of their mining empire or philanthropic interests. </p> <p><em>Image: Getty </em></p>

Caring

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"He leaves a broken state behind him": Aussies react to Dan Andrews' resignation

<p>Victorian premier Dan Andrews has announced he will be resigning from his role after nine years in the job, prompting a very mixed response from Aussies. </p> <p>Andrews made the announcement on Tuesday, describing his time as premier as the “honour and privilege of my life”.</p> <p>For many Aussies, the news of his resignation came as a shock, with the announcement prompting a wave of mixed responses. </p> <p>Victorian Opposition Leader John Pesutto had one of the strongest reactions to the news, saying Mr Andrews had “trashed Victoria’s reputation”.</p> <p>“I wish Daniel Andrews well. But we have to face the facts. He’s leaving because Victoria, under his leadership, is falling apart,” he said. </p> <p>Shadow Immigration Minister Dan Tehan also had little nice to say about the outgoing premier, claiming he made the state of Victoria “poorer” while in the top job.</p> <p>“I think he’ll be remembered as a very good politician, very good at politics, but I think, sadly, over time, his legacy is going to be one in which he made the state of Victoria poorer, and he made Victorians poorer,” Mr Tehan said via <em>Sky News Australia</em>.</p> <p>“While we wish him and his family well, the sad reality is it’s Victorians who are going to have to pick up the pieces of his nine years in charge of this state.”</p> <p>Throughout his time as premier, Andrews attracted his fair amount of controversy, particularly around his harsh stance on Covid lockdowns, which saw Melbourne go through one of the longest continuous lockdowns on the planet.</p> <p>One of Mr Andrews’ biggest critics, <em>3AW</em> host Neil Mitchell, was also thrilled to bid the premier farewell, telling him, “Let’s hope we don’t see you in public life again”. </p> <p>He told <em>3AW</em> Mr Andrews had done “enormous damage to Victoria” and claimed to have been predicting his resignation for months. </p> <p>“I reckon he’s been thinking for some time. He’s been out of sorts for months. He’s been making unusual political errors. He’s seemed disinterested, he’s snappy at press conferences. I’ve said on air for some months, ‘he’s thinking about getting out’,” Mitchell said, adding “It’s time for him to go”.</p> <p>Liberal Party powerbroker Michael Kroger argued that Mr Andrews had over the years “got away with murder”, politically speaking.</p> <p>“Record debt. Small businesses are still broken and have not recovered from these extreme measures during the lockdown,’’ Mr Kroger told <em>Sky News</em>.</p> <p>“He leaves a broken, bankrupt state behind him. That’s his legacy. The financial recklessness of Daniel Andrews is unprecedented. And will take a generation to recover from."</p> <p>“Victoria will be better for Daniel Andrews having left today.”</p> <p>Despite many harsh words from his critics, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese was quick to praise Andrews' time as premier. </p> <p>He wrote in a lengthy post on Facebook that it had been a pleasure working “alongside an old friend”. </p> <p>“Daniel Andrews is a person of deep conviction, great compassion and fierce determination and he brought all those qualities to his time as Premier of Victoria,” Mr Albanese said. </p> <p>“As Prime Minister, it was a pleasure for me to work alongside an old friend – and a leader of such vision and ambition. It made a huge difference to sit at the National Cabinet table with someone who believed so deeply in the power of government to change lives for the better."</p> <p>“Nearly nine years as Premier is a remarkable achievement. Dan Andrews can be proud that he didn’t waste a minute. I wish Dan, Cath and their children all the very best for their future together.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

Legal

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Andrew O’Keefe breaks down in court

<p dir="ltr">Andrew O’Keefe has broken down in court after promising the magistrate he would steer clear of drugs. </p> <p dir="ltr">The embattled TV host and his lawyer fronted court to make an unexpected guilty plea, after he was arrested for allegedly breaching an AVO. </p> <p dir="ltr">On August 19th, police were called to a unit in Point Piper and took O’Keefe to Waverley Police Station where he was charged with contravening a restriction of prohibition of an apprehended violence order.</p> <p dir="ltr">He was then refused bail in Parramatta Bail Court the following day, with the matter set down for August 30th.</p> <p dir="ltr">However, O’Keefe’s solicitor Sharon Ramsden fronted court on Friday for an unexpected mention where she told Magistrate Greg Grogin her client would be entering a plea of guilty.</p> <p dir="ltr">Ramsden told the court that O’Keefe was at the apartment, which he was prohibited from attending, to collect some of his belongings. </p> <p dir="ltr">“There was no contact between the parties, and she returned to the property at 11:45pm having been on a walk,” Ms Ramsden said.</p> <p dir="ltr">Ms Ramsden asked the Magistrate to consider sentencing O’Keefe to a conditional release order without a conviction, to which the police prosecutor Michael Cleaver did not oppose.</p> <p dir="ltr">Magistrate Grogin then addressed O’Keefe directly, asking if the former television presenter could abstain from drugs which aren’t prescribed by his doctors.</p> <p dir="ltr">“One thing I don’t do, I don’t try to set people up to fail … can you fulfil that obligation?” the magistrate asked.</p> <p dir="ltr">O’Keefe responded: “Your Honour, I can guarantee that will be my sincere endeavour.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Mr Grogin sentenced O’Keefe to a conditional release order with no conviction, to which O’Keefe thanked the magistrate through tears.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Mr O’Keefe, on a personal basis you have been through some hard times,” the magistrate said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“You’re going to have good days and bad days and you’re going to go forward and go back, you must comply with court orders … the leniency will not be extended forever.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

Legal

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Andrew O'Keefe back behind bars

<p>Andrew O'Keefe, the once-celebrated television personality, has found himself under fresh legal scrutiny after an alleged incident on Saturday evening in a residential unit located in the serene eastern districts of Sydney.</p> <p>O'Keefe is now slated for a prolonged stay behind bars, as a result of his arrest on charges of reportedly violating the terms of an apprehended violence order.</p> <p>The 51-year-old was apprehended at a residence in Sydney's eastern suburbs, with his subsequent hours spent within a police holding cell.</p> <p>Law enforcement intervened in response to a situation at an address on Longworth Avenue in Point Piper, an enclave within Sydney's eastern quarters, at approximately 11:45 pm on Saturday.</p> <p>Appearing via remote video link at Parramatta Local Court on Sunday, the former host of <em>Deal or No Deal</em> was formally charged with violating the terms of the restraining order.</p> <p>According to a statement from New South Wales police: "Officers attended a unit on Longworth Avenue, Point Piper, following reports that a 51-year-old man was at the unit in breach of an Apprehended Violence Order. The man was arrested and taken to Waverley Police Station where he was charged with one count of contravene restriction/prohibition in AVO (domestic)."</p> <p>Bail was denied, and he will remain in custody until his upcoming appearance at Downing Centre Local Court on August 30.</p> <p>O'Keefe's legal woes extend to multiple charges stemming from previous incidents, encompassing accusations of resisting arrest, drug possession, and domestic violence-related assault in connection to a purported event at Point Piper in September 2021.</p> <p>Charges related to an alleged occurrence in January 2022 at his Sydney CBD residence were dropped in February after the sole witness and alleged victim, the prosecution's key source, left the country.</p> <p>According to police, O'Keefe was accused of choking a 38-year-old woman and subsequently assaulting her within his Sydney CBD dwelling in January 2022.</p> <p>O'Keefe, who previously practiced law and is the son of former NSW Supreme Court justice Barry O'Keefe, maintained that his actions were grounded in self-defense.</p> <p>Earlier this year, police prosecutor Michael Cleaver withdrew charges of intentional choking without consent, common assault, and assault causing actual bodily harm.</p> <p>In June 2021, O'Keefe managed to evade a domestic violence conviction, as charges were resolved under the purview of the NSW Mental Health Act.</p> <p>In May 2022, he was conditionally released to attend a rehabilitation facility for a period of up to 12 months, aimed at addressing his struggles with cocaine, methamphetamine, and cannabis misuse.</p> <p>In April, O'Keefe encountered charges after purportedly operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs in Sydney's eastern suburbs, arising from a routine roadside test in Point Piper in January.</p> <p><em>Images: Seven News</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Unseen photo of Dan Andrews slammed after gas ban fury

<p>Dan Andrews has come under fire after a photo emerged of him cooking on a gas stove, just weeks after announcing a state-wide ban on natural gas in new homes. </p> <p>The Victorian premier has been slated online after Liberal MP for Mornington Chris Crewther shared a photo of Mr Andrews cooking on a gas stove inside his home during Covid-19 lockdown in April 2020.</p> <p>“I agree with what Dan does: cooking with gas. It’s much better!” the Liberal MP wrote alongside the photo.</p> <p>“But I don’t agree with what Dan says: banning gas cooking in new homes from next year. Future cooking quality is going to go downhill!”</p> <p><iframe style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FCrewtherChris%2Fposts%2Fpfbid0cbvPq9wQyCJXLcfBXyPj9fucoxTvNUiaRnTYXtS35m3G1xmSPaGcyWqgGu1Q6rcJl&show_text=true&width=500" width="500" height="658" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>Angry Victorians were quick to slam the premier in the comments of the photo, which has racked up over 6,000 comments. </p> <p>One person on Facebook said it was “proof we are truly living in a socialist dictatorship”.</p> <p>Another described Mr Andrews as a “menace”, while someone else asked “Why can’t we just have a Dan ban?”</p> <p>Slamming the new initiative, one commented wrote that “homeowners should be free to have the choice of gas or electricity”.</p> <p>The photo comes just weeks after Dan Andrews announced that from January 1st 2024, no new homes or residential subdivisions requiring a planning permit in Victoria would be connected to gas. </p> <p>The state government is dubbing the move as a measure to reduce cost of living pressures, claiming households will save up to $1,000 off their annual energy bills while reducing household emissions.</p> <p>The all-electric requirement would also apply to all new government buildings which have not yet reached design stage, including schools, hospitals, police stations and public housing.</p> <p>Despite the public backlash of the initiative, the Energy Efficiency Council applauded the decision.</p> <p>CEO Luke Menzel said “all-electric homes are all-good for Victorian families. They are cheaper to run, healthier to live in, and help lower emissions.”</p> <p>“Given the upfront costs of building an all-electric home are comparable to building a home with a gas connection, that makes going all-electric a no-brainer,’’ he said.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Facebook / Getty Images</em></p>

Legal

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“You’re a flop!” Kyle Sandilands hits back at Dan Andrews’ controversial new policy

<p dir="ltr">Kyle Sandilands has called out Dan Andrews and the Victorian government, as they move to ban all new homes in the state from using gas.</p> <p dir="ltr">The state government is dubbing the move as a measure to reduce cost of living pressures, claiming households will save up to $1,000 off their annual energy bills while reducing household emissions.</p> <p dir="ltr">Upon hearing the news of the proposal, the KIISFM radio host branded the Victorian Premier “a flop” and the policy “some bull***t.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“I’m sick and tired of everyone thinking we’re idiots,” he said on <em>The Kyle &amp; Jackie O Show</em>. “These laws are for idiots. Losers are doing these jobs.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“They will be banning Bic lighters next, we will be rubbing two sticks together to get a cigarette lit.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“That government sucks ass. That wandering eyed flop down there can’t have the Commonwealth Games because he can’t budget, now he thinks ‘’Oh, I’ll get the woke losers to vote for me by getting rid of gas’. You’re a flop!”</p> <p dir="ltr">From January 1st 2024, planning permits for new homes and residential subdivisions will only connect to all electric networks.</p> <p dir="ltr">To encourage new homeowners to go all-electric and abandon gas, eligible new home builders, as well as existing homeowners and renters, can access $1,400 solar panel rebates and interest free loans of $8,800 for household batteries. </p> <p dir="ltr">All Victorian households and businesses are also eligible for gas to electric rebates to upgrade heating and cooling and hot water heaters.</p> <p dir="ltr">Minister for Energy and Resources Lily D’Ambrosio said getting Victorians on more efficient electric appliances would lead to big savings on bills, while also helping to reduce emissions. </p> <p dir="ltr">“We know that with every bill that arrives, gas is only going to get more expensive,” she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“That’s why we’re stepping in to help even more Victorians get the best deal on their energy bills.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“Reducing our reliance on gas is critical to meeting our ambitious emission reduction target of net zero by 2045 and getting more Victorians on more efficient electric appliances which will save them money on their bills.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Getty Images / KIISFM</em></p>

Legal

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"Gross exaggeration": Sporting officials slam Dan Andrew's Comm Games spending

<p>Dan Andrews has been the subject of a blistering attack by sporting officials just hours after announcing the 2026 Commonwealth Games would not go ahead. </p> <p>The Victorian premier broke the news in a press conference on Tuesday, saying the <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/finance/money-banking/i-m-not-here-to-apologise-dan-andrews-fires-up-as-comm-games-is-scrapped" target="_blank" rel="noopener">event has been cancelled</a> due to ongoing funding issues. </p> <p>He shared that the event, which was due to be held in numerous regional Victorian towns and was first expected to cost $2.6 billion, would now blow the budget out to a whopping $7 billion. </p> <p>However, following Andrews' announcement, Commonwealthh Games Australia Executive Officer Craig Phillips said the premier's cost update doesn't add up, with the $7 billion figure being a "gross exaggeration". </p> <p>“Beyond disappointing for us,” he said on Tuesday. </p> <p>“It’s a comprehensive let-down for the athletes, the excited host communities, First Nations Australians who were going to be at the heart of the Games and which millions of fans that would have embraced the sixth home Games in Australia.”</p> <p>Phillips also accused Andrews of telling misinformation surrounding the process in which the government put its hand up to host the event. </p> <p>After being confirmed to host in April 2022, planning documents showed the intentions were to establish hubs in Geelong, Bendigo, Ballarat and Gippsland, each with an athlete’s village.</p> <p>Shepparton was also planned to host events, and the MCG would have hosted the opening ceremony.</p> <p>In a statement released on Tuesday afternoon, Phillips made bombshell claims government officials ignored advice to save costs by moving events to existing stadiums and facilities in Melbourne. </p> <p>Phillips also said Commonwealth Games Australia was not notified about the changed budgetary estimates until the government had already made its decision.</p> <p>He said, “The detailed budgetary implications announced today have not been sighted or discussed with the CGF or CGA ahead of being notified of the Government’s decision." </p> <p>“The stated costs overrun, in our opinion, are a gross exaggeration and not reflective of the operational costs presented to the Victoria 2026 Organising Committee board as recently as June."</p> <p>“Beyond this, the Victorian Government wilfully ignored recommendations to move events to purpose-built stadia in Melbourne and in fact remained wedded to proceeding with expensive temporary venues in regional Victoria."</p> <p>Many were up in arms over the Games being cancelled, including Victorian opposition senator Anne Ruston, who has called on prime minister Anthony Albanese to “take responsibility” for Victoria’s decision to cancel the Commonwealth Games, arguing it has dented Australia’s international reputation.</p> <p>“I say to the prime minister: Australia’s reputation has been damaged today and you should be very worried about the damage this does to Australia’s international reputation,” Ruston said. </p> <p>“This is a terrible decision for Australia but it is also very disingenuous and I think as we dig into the decision this morning, which we will do through our Senate inquiry, you will see that the Victorian government is hiding its incompetence behind a smokescreen of saying this is a budget blowout.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p> </p>

Legal

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"I'm not here to apologise": Dan Andrews fires up as Comm Games is scrapped

<p dir="ltr">Dan Andrews has fired up at disappointed journalists after making the shock announcement that the 2026 Commonwealth Games would be cancelled.</p> <p dir="ltr">The Victorian premier shocked the nation with the announcement during a press conference on Tuesday, saying the event would not go ahead due to funding issues.</p> <p dir="ltr">He said the government had considered “every conceivable option” to still hold the games, but new budgets revealed the event, which was originally tipped to cost $2.6 billion, would likely blow out the budget to $7 billion.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I’m not here to apologise for not spending $7bn to deliver an event,” he said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“It’s about, do you deliver it at any cost or not? And the answer is we’re not.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Journalists then quizzed Andrews on what the cost of abandoning the event would be, which he refused to answer but assured the costs would be “fully accounted for” at a later date.</p> <p dir="ltr">While he said he would not “speculate” on discussions, he confirmed “very little costs had been incurred to this point”.</p> <p dir="ltr">Regional Victoria were awarded the rights to host the 2026 event last year after no other countries in the Commonwealth Games Federation volunteered.</p> <p dir="ltr">The Games were set to be held from March 17th to 29th in the regional towns of Geelong, Bendigo, Ballarat, Gippsland and Shepparton.</p> <p dir="ltr">Andrews went on to say the state could benefit much more from allocating the hefty multi-billion budget to other areas.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Today it’s not about finding fault with those cost estimates,” Mr Andrews said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I will not take money out of hospitals and schools in order to fund an event that is three times the cost as estimated and budgeted for last year.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Mr Andrews said he had informed the Commonwealth Games authorities the state would seek to terminate the contract and said the subsequent meetings had been “amicable and productive”.</p> <p dir="ltr">In lieu of the Games, Mr Andrews announced the government would deliver the legacy benefits of the “housing, sporting infrastructure and tourism” benefits through other policies, using funds from the allocated $2.6 billion budget.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

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