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"Heartbreaking": Teen dies after collapsing on badminton court

<p>Rising badminton star Zhang Zhijie has died after he collapsed in the middle of a match at the Badminton Asia Junior Championships in Yogyakarta, Indonesia on Monday.</p> <p>In an interview with the BBC,  Indonesia’s badminton association PBSI said that the  17-year-old athlete suffered a sudden cardiac arrest. </p> <p>The Chinese athlete was facing Japan’s Kazuma Kawano when he fell to the floor and appeared to convulse. </p> <p>He was stretchered off the floor and taken to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead after they failed to resuscitate him. </p> <p>Viral footage of the tragic incident has sparked fury on Chinese social media platform Weibo, after it showed that it took first medical responders more than 35 seconds to finally arrive and check his condition. </p> <p>According to a PBSI spokesman, medical teams were only following the rule where they needed to get the referee's permission before entering the court. </p> <p>“That is in accordance with the regulations and standards of procedure that applies to every international badminton tournament,” the spokesman said.</p> <p>The Badminton World Federation said it will investigate if the correct protocols were taken during the tragic incident.</p> <p>“Zhang’s death at the Badminton Asia Junior Championships in Yogyakarta, Indonesia is a tragic occurrence, and we are taking all necessary steps to thoroughly review this matter in consultation with Badminton Asia and Badminton Association of Indonesia,” they told <em>TMZ</em>. </p> <p>It is also reported that the medical responders did not have an AED machine to react to the cardiac arrest. </p> <p>Zhijie's death has been a trending topic on Weibo for days, with many outraged over the medical response. </p> <p>One person wrote: “Which is more important - the rules or someone’s life?” </p> <p>Another added: “Did they miss the ‘golden period’ to rescue him?”</p> <p>The badminton community have since paid tribute to the athlete, and they observed a moment of silence in memory of him at the championship on Tuesday. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">One minute of silence as we pay our respects to the late Zhang Zhi Jie.</p> <p>Rest in peace. <a href="https://t.co/DhP4actMDJ">pic.twitter.com/DhP4actMDJ</a></p> <p>— BAM (@BA_Malaysia) <a href="https://twitter.com/BA_Malaysia/status/1807601602460819621?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 1, 2024</a></p></blockquote> <p>The Badminton Association of Malaysia also held a moment of silence at tournament on Sunday, as seen in a video posted on X.</p> <p>“One minute of silence as we pay our respects to the late Zhang Zhijie. Rest in peace," they wrote. </p> <p>China’s badminton association also said that they were “deeply saddened” by the loss. </p> <p>“Zhang Zhijie loved badminton and was an outstanding athlete of the national youth badminton team,” they said in a statement. </p> <p>His parents have since travelled to Yogyakarta to retrieve his body. </p> <p><em>Images: Twitter/ Wide Awake Media</em></p>

Caring

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"Best speech ever": Roger Federer's hilarious address to graduates

<p>Roger Federer has gone viral for all the right reasons after giving a hilarious and inspirational speech to a group of graduates. </p> <p>The Swiss tennis legend addressed the 2024 graduating class at prestigious Ivy League university Dartmouth, where he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters for his charity and philanthropic pursuits since retiring from tennis in 2022. </p> <p>The 25-minute speech has been widely dubbed as "the best speech ever" online, as he quipped about the highlights of his illustrious career while sharing sage advice for the new grads.</p> <p>“Hello class of 2024, this is so exciting,” Federer began while wearing a college gown. </p> <p>“I’m so excited to join you today, really you have know idea how excited I am. Keep in mind this is literally only the second time I’ve ever set foot on a college campus. But for some reason you are giving me a doctorate degree."</p> <p>“I just came here to give a speech, but I get to go home as 'Dr Roger'. That’s a pretty nice bonus, 'Dr Roger' just has to be my most unexpected victory ever. Thank you.”</p> <p>After stating he will “try my best not to choke”, Federer went on to give a hilarious and heartwarming speech, complete with a number of life lessons.</p> <p>The 42-year-old shared that he left school at 16 and never went to college, but had recently “graduated tennis” with his retirement making international headlines. </p> <p>“I know the word is ‘retire’,” he said. “‘Roger Federer retired from tennis’. Retired. The word is awful."</p> <p>“You wouldn’t say you ‘retired’ from college, right? Sounds terrible. Like you, I’ve finished one big thing and I’m moving on to the next. Like you, I’m figuring out what that is." </p> <p>“Graduates, I feel your pain. I know what it’s like when people keep asking what your plan is for the rest of your life. They ask me ‘now that you are not a professional tennis player, what do you do?’ I don’t know and it’s OK not to know.”</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/C8FaLe5NGlt/?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/C8FaLe5NGlt/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Roger Federer (@rogerfederer)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Among his advice, Federer insisted that “effortless is a myth”, referring to a word that was often used to describe his appearance on court, and urged the graduates to prioritise working hard. </p> <p>“The truth is, I had to work very hard to make it look easy,” he said. "I spent years whining, swearing, throwing my racquet, before I learned to keep my cool.”</p> <p>He also spoke about one match in particular, perhaps the most memorable from his career.</p> <p>“I tried not to lose. But I did lose,” he said.</p> <p>"Sometimes big. For me, one of the biggest was the finals at Wimbledon in 2008. Me versus Nadal. Some call it the greatest match of all time. OK, all respect to Rafa, but I think it would have been way, way better if I had won."</p> <p>“Losing at Wimbledon was a big deal because winning Wimbledon is everything.”</p> <p>Before wrapping up his speech, the sporting legend ended with some practical tennis advice after he asked Dartmouth president Sian Beilock to pass him a tennis racquet.</p> <p>“OK, so for your forehand, you’ll want to use an eastern grip,” he said.</p> <p>“Keep your knuckles apart a little bit. Obviously, you don’t want to squeeze the grip too hard.</p> <p>“Switching from forehand to backhand should be easy. Also, remember it all starts with the footwork and the take-back is as important as the follow-through."</p> <p>“No, this is not a metaphor. It’s just good technique.”</p> <p>Federer then ended his address with a wholesome message for the graduates, saying, “I will never forget this day and I know you won’t either.”</p> <p>“You have worked so hard to get here and left nothing on the court. From one graduate to another, I can’t wait to see what you all do next. Whatever game you choose, give it your best. Go for your shots. Play free. Try everything."</p> <p>“And most of all, be kind to one another and have fun out there.”</p> <p><iframe title="YouTube video player" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/pqWUuYTcG-o?si=i4Pi8XY2JRYkyhd1" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p><em>Image credits: Instagram - Dartmouth</em></p>

Retirement Life

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Charlise Mutten's mother flees court in tears

<p>Charlise Mutten's mother has broken down and fled the courtroom in tears after being accused of murdering her nine-year-old daughter.</p> <p>Kallista Mutten was grilled by her ex-fiancé Justin Stein's lawyer on Tuesday about her excessive methamphetamine use, including while pregnant with his child.</p> <p>The grilling began when Carolyn Davenport SC accused her by saying, "You shot and killed your daughter", to which Ms Mutten replied, "Are you serious?"</p> <p>She then burst into tears, crying out "I didn't even know where she was shot" before Ms Davenport added that Mr Stein "had seen you deliver the second shot".</p> <p>After being excused from the witness box, Ms Mutten ran out of the courtroom in tears, while the jury were temporarily sent out.  </p> <p>The dramatic moment came after Ms Mutten admitted taking methamphetamine even when her daughter came to visit.</p> <p>Ms Mutten was being cross-examined on day 12 of Stein's trial, who has been charged with Charlise's murder in January 2022. </p> <p>The 40-year-old admitted to having psychotic episodes while on using ice and had continued to take the drug despite her Charlise's visit during the summer school holidays in 2022.</p> <p>She denied she and Charlise were not getting along in the days before her death, or that she had been told to leave the Stein's Mount Wilson property, and instead left of her own accord.</p> <p>"I chose to leave because I didn't want to be there any more. Yeah, I was very hormonal, I was pregnant. Yeah, I was using, yeah. My emotions were very strong at the time," she said.</p> <p>Stein, 33, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Charlise, but has admitted to disposing the schoolgirl's body.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Daily Mail / Facebook / Nine News</em></p>

Legal

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Biggest winners and losers of the 2024-25 Federal Budget

<p>The unveiling of the federal budget by Treasurer Jim Chalmers was marked by a dual focus on addressing cost-of-living pressures and strategically investing in Australia's future – and was predictably met with <span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">both praise and criticism. </span></p> <p>Reflecting a delicate balancing act between providing immediate relief to vulnerable segments of society and ensuring long-term fiscal sustainability, the measures to alleviate cost-of-living pressures and support key sectors appear commendable, yet concerns persist regarding the adequacy of support for welfare recipients and the potential implications of immigration policies on international education. </p> <p>Read on for the high points, the low points, and all the biggest winners and losers of the federal budget for 2024-25.</p> <p><strong>BIGGEST WINNERS:</strong></p> <p><strong>Low and Middle-Income Earners:</strong></p> <p>At the core of the budget lies a commitment to alleviate the financial strain on low and middle-income earners. With the implementation of stage three tax cuts, Australians can anticipate a welcome increase in their take-home pay. These cuts, announced earlier in the year, are projected to inject an average of $36 per week into taxpayers' pockets by 2024-25. Notably, this initiative is expected to benefit 84% of taxpayers and 90% of women, signalling a targeted effort to support those most in need.</p> <p><strong>Parents:</strong></p> <p>In a move towards greater gender equality and financial security, the government has extended superannuation payments to parents on paid leave. This initiative aims to bridge the superannuation gap and provide approximately 180,000 families annually with additional financial support during crucial early parenting stages.</p> <p><strong>Households and Small Businesses:</strong></p> <p>Acknowledging the escalating energy costs, a $300 rebate on energy bills was announced for more than 10 million households. It was this facet of the budget that drew ire from Jacqui Lambie, Federal Senator for Tasmania, who was furious over the "bizarre" decision, which sees funds being spent on high-income earners such as herself at a time of rising inflation. 'We don't need $300, I can assure you,' she said to a post-budget panel on <em>ABC's Insiders</em> on Tuesday night. "That [funding] should have been passed forward. I find it bizarre."</p> <p>Additionally, small businesses stand to benefit from a $325 boost to alleviate power bill pressures. The extension of the instant asset write-off and the abolishment of 457 nuisance tariffs signal the government's commitment to supporting small businesses and fostering economic growth.</p> <p><strong>Aged Care Workers, Renters, Women, Last-Minute Travellers, Music Festivals, and PBS Patients:</strong></p> <p>The budget also addresses various sectors of society, including aged care workers, renters, women, last-minute travellers, music festivals and Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme patients. Measures such as wage increases, rent assistance, healthcare subsidies and support for cultural events underscore the government's multifaceted approach to addressing societal needs.</p> <p><strong>Students:</strong></p> <p>Recognising the financial challenges faced by students, the government has taken steps to ease the burden of student debt. By wiping out $3 billion in student debt and overhauling the indexation of HECS debt, thousands of Australian students stand to benefit. Moreover, the introduction of payments for compulsory work placements acknowledges the financial strain faced by students pursuing vocational and tertiary education.</p> <p><strong>BIGGEST LOSERS:</strong></p> <p><strong style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">International Students:</strong></p> <p>In response to concerns about housing shortages and migration pressures, the government has signaled a crackdown on the influx of international students. Universities will be required to match enrolment growth with adequate housing infrastructure, potentially limiting opportunities for international students seeking education in Australia.</p> <p><strong style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">Welfare Recipients:</strong></p> <p>Despite calls for a significant increase in JobSeeker and Youth Allowance payments, the budget falls short of implementing substantial changes in welfare support. While some targeted assistance is provided to individuals facing barriers to employment, broader calls for income support reform remain unaddressed.</p> <p><strong>High-Income Earners:</strong></p> <p>While the budget aims to provide relief to low and middle-income earners, high-income earners may experience a less substantial boost to their incomes compared to previous projections. This recalibration reflects the government's commitment to a fair and equitable distribution of resources.</p> <p><em>Image: ABC</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Beyond the spin, beyond the handouts, here’s how to get a handle on what’s really happening on budget night

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/peter-martin-682709">Peter Martin</a>, <em><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>Three weeks from now, some of us will be presented with a <a href="https://budget.gov.au/">mountain</a> of budget papers, and just about all of us will get to hear about them on radio, TV or news websites on budget night.</p> <p>The quickest way to find out what the budget is really doing will be to listen to the treasurer’s speech, or to peruse online the aptly-named “<a href="https://treasury.infoservices.com.au/page/budget2023">glossy</a>” – a document that last year was titled “<a href="https://archive.budget.gov.au/2023-24/overview/download/budget_overview.pdf">Stronger foundations for a better future</a>”.</p> <figure class="align-right zoomable"><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/589444/original/file-20240422-23-vkinrm.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&q=45&auto=format&w=1000&fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/589444/original/file-20240422-23-vkinrm.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&q=45&auto=format&w=237&fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/589444/original/file-20240422-23-vkinrm.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&q=45&auto=format&w=600&h=848&fit=crop&dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/589444/original/file-20240422-23-vkinrm.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&q=30&auto=format&w=600&h=848&fit=crop&dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/589444/original/file-20240422-23-vkinrm.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&q=15&auto=format&w=600&h=848&fit=crop&dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/589444/original/file-20240422-23-vkinrm.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&q=45&auto=format&w=754&h=1066&fit=crop&dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/589444/original/file-20240422-23-vkinrm.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&q=30&auto=format&w=754&h=1066&fit=crop&dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/589444/original/file-20240422-23-vkinrm.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&q=15&auto=format&w=754&h=1066&fit=crop&dpr=3 2262w" alt="Cover of 2023 budget glossy" /></a><figcaption><span class="caption">Glossies are used to make each budget attractive.</span> <span class="attribution"><a class="source" href="https://archive.budget.gov.au/2023-24/overview/download/budget_overview.pdf">Commonwealth Treasury</a></span></figcaption></figure> <p>But they will tell you exactly what the government wants you to hear, exactly as it wants you to hear it.</p> <p>If you are looking instead for the truth – what the government is actually trying to achieve and what it is holding itself and its officials to, I would suggest something else, tucked away on about page <a href="https://cdn.theconversation.com/static_files/files/3225/8787.pdf">87</a> of the main budget document.</p> <p>It is required by the <a href="https://www.legislation.gov.au/C2004A05333/latest/text">Charter of Budget Honesty Act</a> introduced in 1998 by Peter Costello, the treasurer under Prime Minister John Howard.</p> <p>On taking office in 1996, Costello set up a <a href="https://webarchive.nla.gov.au/awa/20101119021633/http://www.finance.gov.au/archive/archive-of-publications/ncoa/execsum.htm">National Commission of Audit</a> to examine the finances he had inherited from the Hawke and Keating governments, presumably with an eye to discovering they had been mismanaged.</p> <p>But the members of the commission weren’t much interested in that. Instead, they decided to deal with something more fundamental.</p> <h2>Budget as you wish, but explain your strategy</h2> <p>Governments were perfectly entitled to manage money in whatever way they wanted, and they were perfectly entitled to spend more money than they raised (which they usually do, it’s called a <a href="https://www.investopedia.com/terms/d/deficit.asp">budget deficit</a>).</p> <p>What the commission wanted was for governments to make clear what they were doing, and to spell out the strategy behind it.</p> <p>Only part of it was about being upfront with the public. The commission also wanted governments to be upfront with themselves – to actually develop frameworks for what they were doing, rather than doing whatever they felt like.</p> <p>The commission recommended a <a href="https://webarchive.nla.gov.au/awa/20101119021633/http://www.finance.gov.au/archive/archive-of-publications/ncoa/execsum.htm">Charter of Budget Honesty</a>, which among other things requires officials to prepare independent assessments of the finances before each election, requires budget updates six months after each budget, and requires <a href="https://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/pubs/BriefingBook45p/TaxExpenditures">tax expenditures</a> (tax breaks) to be accounted for like other expenditures.</p> <p>And it requires the publication and regular updating of a <a href="https://cdn.theconversation.com/static_files/files/3227/CBH_Fiscal_strategy.pdf">fiscal strategy statement</a>.</p> <h2>Where treasurers hold themselves accountable</h2> <p>The <a href="https://cdn.theconversation.com/static_files/files/3225/8787.pdf">fiscal strategy</a> can be thought of as an exam question set by the student who is being examined – something along the lines of “this is what you say you want your budget to achieve, please set out the means by which you plan to achieve it”.</p> <p>It turns out to have been exceptionally effective in getting governments to organise their thoughts, make budgets at least try to achieve something, and let the rest of us know what they are trying to achieve.</p> <p>Every few years, treasurers change the strategy, as is their right. Treasurer Jim Chalmers says he’ll change it again this budget, to de-emphasise the fight against inflation and to more greatly emphasise the need to <a href="https://ministers.treasury.gov.au/ministers/jim-chalmers-2022/transcripts/press-conference-washington-dc-0">support economic growth</a>.</p> <p>His statement will tell us what’s behind his actions in a way the glossy words in his brochure and speech might not.</p> <h2>The strategy that has signposted 26 years</h2> <p>Previous statements have signposted all the important turns in what the budget is trying to do.</p> <p>The first, in <a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/589686/original/file-20240423-16-rncqg3.PNG">1998</a>, committed Costello and Howard to achieving a budget surplus on average over the economic cycle and whenever “growth prospects remain sound”.</p> <p>Making that commitment more difficult was another “not to introduce new taxes or raise existing taxes over the term of this parliament”.</p> <p>Two years later, after the government had won an election promising a new goods and services tax, that commitment was <a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/589692/original/file-20240423-18-q843xn.PNG">changed</a> to “no increase in the overall tax burden from its 1996-97 level”, a condition met by calling the GST a state tax.</p> <h2>Hockey and Morrison wound back spending</h2> <p>The Labor budgets from 2008 <a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/589702/original/file-20240423-18-mikx6f.PNG">loosened</a> the tax target to the <em>average</em> share of GDP below the reference year, which they changed to the higher-tax year of 2007-08.</p> <p>The first Coalition budget under Treasurer Joe Hockey in 2014 changed the target from tax to spending, pledging to bring down the ratio of <a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/589705/original/file-20240423-16-9spkdy.PNG">payments to GDP</a>, and pledging a surplus of 1% of GDP by 2023-24.</p> <p>Any new spending would be more than offset by cuts elsewhere, and if the budget did receive a burst of unexpected revenue it would be “banked” rather than spent.</p> <p>In 2018 Treasurer Scott Morrison reintroduced tax as a target, that he spelled out precisely. Tax was not to increase beyond <a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/589706/original/file-20240423-16-b7gj5d.PNG">23.9%</a> of GDP.</p> <h2>During COVID, Frydenberg spent big</h2> <p>In 2020, in the face of a COVID-induced recession and soaring unemployment, Finance Minister Mathias Cormann and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg pushed the old strategy to one side.</p> <p>They would spend big now to keep the economy afloat so they wouldn’t have to spend more bailing it out later, and they wouldn’t return to their old concern about the deficit until the unemployment rate was “<a href="https://cdn.theconversation.com/static_files/files/3228/fs2020.pdf">comfortably below 6%</a>”.</p> <p>So well did they succeed that in 2021 Frydenberg made the momentous decision to keep going, abandoning the promise to return to worrying about the deficit when unemployment fell below 6%.</p> <p>Instead he promised to keep spending big until unemployment was “<a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/589709/original/file-20240423-16-9pmpaf.PNG">back to pre-crisis levels or lower</a>”.</p> <p>The decision propelled unemployment down to a 50-year low of <a href="https://www.datawrapper.de/_/wPfXO/">3.5%</a>.</p> <p>Along with high iron ore prices, that one change of strategy has probably helped deliver Chalmers two consecutive budget surpluses – the one he announced last year for 2022-23, and the one he is set to announce this year for 2023-24. More of us have been in jobs <a href="https://www.finance.gov.au/publications/commonwealth-monthly-financial-statements/2024/mfs-january">paying tax</a>, and fewer have been out of jobs <a href="https://theconversation.com/half-a-million-more-australians-on-welfare-not-unless-you-double-count-227342">on benefits</a>.</p> <p>It’s a powerful demonstration of the real-world difference budget decisions can make, and the way in which the <a href="https://cdn.theconversation.com/static_files/files/3225/8787.pdf">fiscal strategy</a> tells the story.<!-- 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/228387/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/peter-martin-682709">Peter Martin</a>, Visiting Fellow, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/crawford-school-of-public-policy-australian-national-university-3292">Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/beyond-the-spin-beyond-the-handouts-heres-how-to-get-a-handle-on-whats-really-happening-on-budget-night-228387">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

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What to expect from the federal budget

<p>There's just three weeks left until Treasurer Jim Chalmers unveils the federal budget.</p> <p>With the cost of living crisis still a major issue across the country, we can expect to see some policies aimed at alleviating the pressure. </p> <p>Some policies, have already been announced and here are a few others that we can expect to hear from Chalmers on May 14. </p> <p>Stage 3 cuts announced in January, will form a key part of this year's budget, which will direct more benefit towards low- and middle-income earners – although Australians on high salaries will still receive a tax cut.</p> <p>The decision was made to alleviate the cost-of-living pressures and partly address the bracket creep. The cuts lower the threshold for the lowest two brackets (so they pay less tax on that income), and raise the threshold for the highest two brackets (so they need to earn more to be taxed at a higher rate). </p> <p>This means that someone with average income of around $73,000 will get $1504, but how much you actually receive will depend on your income. </p> <p>The new version of the stage 3 cuts will come into effect on July 1.</p> <p>Superannuation will be paid on government-funded parental leave, with the change due to kick in for parents with babies born after July 1, 2025.</p> <p>They will receive a 12 per cent superannuation on top of their government-funded parental leave, with around 180,000 families expected to benefit from it. </p> <p>The figures will be included in the May 14 budget. </p> <p>Although nothing has been officially announced,  there will likely be HECS-HELP debt relief for current and former students. </p> <p>"I think there's a range of areas where we need to do much better with the younger generation, and HECS is one of them," Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said on radio on April 18.</p> <p>"We've received a review of that... and what that has said is that the system can be made simpler and be made fairer.</p> <p>"We're examining the recommendations and we'll be making announcements pretty soon on that. We, of course, have a budget coming up."</p> <p>There have also been some hints from the government that energy bill relief will continue in this year's budget. </p> <p>"Our government understands that for small business – as for Australian families – energy bills remain a source of financial pressure," Albanese said, citing the existing policy that gives eligible families up to $500 off their power bills and eligible small businesses up to $650.</p> <p>"Our government understands that for small business – as for Australian families – energy bills remain a source of financial pressure," he said.</p> <p>"That's why the energy bill relief package I negotiated with the states and territories delivered up to $650 in savings for around 1 million small businesses, along with 5 million families.</p> <p>"And as we put together next month's budget, small businesses and families will again be front and centre in our thinking."</p> <p>Energy bills are also set to go down, or remain stable for the most part from July 1. </p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

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New details emerge in Sam Kerr incident

<p>Court documents have revealed that Sam Kerr was taken into custody was taken into custody and placed in a holding cell on the night she <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/sam-kerr-s-alleged-racial-comments-revealed-by-uk-paper" target="_blank" rel="noopener">allegedly verbally abused</a> a UK police officer. </p> <p>The Matildas captain has pleaded not guilty to the public disorder charge of using insulting, threatening or abusive words that caused alarm or distress towards a police officer in Twickenham, London, on January 30, 2023.</p> <p><em>The Sun </em>reported that Kerr allegedly vomited in a taxi, was involved in a dispute about the taxi fare, and allegedly called an attending police officer a “stupid white b*****d”, which her legal team have argued that she actually called him a "stupid white cop".</p> <p>Kerr was <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/sam-kerr-s-lawyers-request-police-station-cctv-footage-interview-be-retained-20240314-p5fc9w.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">reportedly</a> placed in a police custody suite inside a police station and was interviewed during that time.</p> <p>According to court transcripts, there were also numerous body cam clips filmed by police during the alleged incident, which will be used as evidence in court. </p> <p>Kerr's legal team have reportedly requested for video footage of the incident to be made available to them, and  last week they asked the Kingston Crown Court for any CCTV footage from outside a Twickenham station or from inside the custody suite to be provided to them.</p> <p>According to News Corp, her legal team is also yet to receive footage taken from two police body cam clips, and the transcript and audio from her interview while she was detained over the incident. </p> <p><em>The Daily Telegraph </em>reported that during her plea hearing, Kerr was also warned about delaying any decision to change her plea to guilty — should that change of plea occur.</p> <p>“Should there be any change in your position … the sooner you plead guilty to this matter, if that is your intention and your wish, the earlier you do that the better, do you understand?” Judge Judith Elaine Coello  said.</p> <p>“You will lose credit as time goes on and should you be convicted after trial; you will lose all credit you might otherwise have obtained. Are you clear on all of that?”</p> <p>Kerr is due to face trial in February 2025, and if found guilty could face up to six months in jail or an unlimited fine. </p> <p>Her lawyers are preparing to apply for the charges to be dismissed next month. </p> <p><em>Images: Getty</em></p> <p> </p>

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Former world champion cyclist to face court over Olympian wife's death

<p>Rohan Dennis, the husband of former Olympic cyclist Melissa Hoskins, will face court after allegedly causing her death. </p> <p>Dennis, a former world champion cyclist, was arrested in January and charged with  causing death by dangerous driving, driving without due care and endangering life.</p> <p>It is alleged that he recklessly struck his wife with his car in front of their home in Medindie in Adelaide on December 30.</p> <p>Hoskins was rushed to the Royal Adelaide Hospital but died later that night. </p> <p>The pair share two children together, and Dennis is due to appear at the Adelaide Magistrates Court today.</p> <p>If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison. </p> <p>The Australian cycling community were devastated when news of Hoskins' death first broke. </p> <p>"Melissa described her team pursuit gold medal at the 2015 world championships as the highlight of her career but for the rest of us, the highlight was just having her around," AusCycling chief executive Marne Fechner said at the time.</p> <p>"Although she retired in 2017, her presence as an alumnus of the sport has been felt and appreciated by many in the cycling and riding community."</p> <p>Hoskins competed in the 2012 Summer Olympics as a member of the Australian track cycling team pursuit, that finished fourth place. </p> <p>She also competed at the 2016 Olympics for the same team, and was in the squad that won the 2015 world title in the event. </p> <p>The Olympian was laid to rest in her hometown, Perth, in January with a public memorial service held in Adelaide during what would've been her 33rd birthday a month later.</p> <p>Dennis, who has been on bail since January, attended both ceremonies. </p> <p><em>Images: Getty</em></p>

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"Who cares?": Kyle Sandilands backs Sam Kerr

<p>Kyle Sandilands has weighed in on Matildas captain Sam Kerr's court battle, after it was alleged that she called a police officer in London a <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/sam-kerr-s-alleged-racial-comments-revealed-by-uk-paper" target="_blank" rel="noopener">"stupid white b*****d"</a> during a dispute over a taxi fare.</p> <p>Sandilands was quick to defend the Matildas captain during the <em>Kyle And Jackie O show </em>on Tuesday and insisted that calling someone that didn't warrant a criminal conviction. </p> <p>"It's not even a big deal. She call some guy 'white b*****d'. Who cares?" the 52-year-old shock jock said.</p> <p>"White b******s don't care about that. That's for the other races to worry about," he added, before newsreader Brooklyn Ross quickly changed the topic. </p> <p>Kerr, 30, is preparing to face a four-day trial next February, following the incident that occurred after a night out in Twickenham on January 30, 2023.  </p> <p>The football star appeared in a London court on Monday after she was accused of using insulting, threatening or abusive words that caused alarm or distress to the officer.</p> <p>Kerr has maintained her innocence, pleading not guilty to the charges brought against her.</p> <p>Her legal team hope to have the case thrown out when they return to court next month.</p> <p>In response to the controversy, the sport's governing body Football Australia (FA) said that while they were aware of the legal proceedings, they didn't know about the charges laid against Kerr. </p> <p>"As this is an ongoing legal matter, we are unable to provide further comment at this time. Our focus remains on supporting all our players, both on and off the field. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide support as appropriate," they said in a statement. </p> <p><em>Images: Kyle and Jackie O show/ Getty</em></p>

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"I was shocked": Lisa Wilkinson's text messages shown in court

<p>A series of explosive texts revealed in court have shown how Lisa Wilkinson's controversial Logies speech led to her untimely dismissal from <em>The Project</em>. </p> <p>The texts are contained in an affidavit that Wilkinson and her lawyers have submitted to the Federal Court in relation to a dispute over who will pay her million-dollar legal fees after being sued by Bruce Lehrmann for defamation. </p> <p>In an affidavit to the Federal Court, Wilkinson said she was shocked when she found out she was being let go from <em>The Project</em>, after she discovered her agent Nick Fordham had a meeting with Network Ten CEO Beverley McGarvey.</p> <p>“I was shocked, embarrassed and deeply disappointed by Ms McGarvey’s decision to remove me from <em>The Project,</em>” she said.</p> <p>“At that time, my most recent contract as co-host of The Project had only been signed 11 months before and still had more than two years to run.”</p> <p>Speaking of her agent's meeting, she said, “He told me that Ms McGarvey had informed him that Ten was doing a ‘rebrand’ of <em>The Project</em> with a number of hosting changes. He told me that she had said that those hosting changes included me."</p> <p>“He also told me that she had said that, because there had been too much heat on me in the months since the Logies speech – and, as a result, too much ‘brand damage’ – it was best that I be removed from my hosting role on <em>The Project</em>.”</p> <p>When she said farewell to <em>The Project</em> in 2022, Wilkinson blamed the “targeted toxicity” of sections of the media.</p> <p>“The last six months have not been easy,” Wilkinson told viewers of the panel show when she announced she would be leaving the show. </p> <p>“And the relentless, targeted toxicity by some sections of the media has taken a toll not just on me but on people I love."</p> <p>“I have had a ball,” she said. “But for me right now it’s time for a change. To be clear. I’m not leaving Ten and we’re looking at some very exciting work ideas ahead.”</p> <p>In the affidavit, she says that Ms McGarvey approved Wilkinson’s on-air explanation for her departure and suggested that they “sound very authentic”.</p> <p>“I said to her that this decision to remove me from <em>The Project</em> would result in yet more negative publicity for me, for <em>The Project</em>, and for Ten, particularly if my sudden departure was without explanation,” Wilkinson said.</p> <p>Ms McGarvey told Wilkinson in texts “Perfect delivery, you spoke from the heart.” </p> <p>“It was a beautiful sentiment and you are so generous to your colleagues. Thank you. The media should all be kind, you deserve it.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p>

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Jumping castle operator in court over Hillcrest tragedy

<p>A jumping castle operator who was charged over the 2021 <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/news/news/children-killed-in-hillcrest-tragedy-identified-amid-overwhelming-support" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Hillcrest Primary School tragedy</a> is expected to face court for the first time.</p> <p>Six children, Peter Dodt, Jye Sheehan, Jalailah Jayne-Maree Jones, Zane Mellor, Addison Stewart and Chace Harrison, were killed when the inflatable castle was lifted into the air on December 2021. </p> <p>The students were enjoying the end-of-year celebrations with their classmates on the oval of the school in Devonport in Tasmania's northwest, when the tragic incident occurred. </p> <p>Rosemary Anne Gamble, the operator who worked for Taz-Zorb - the company who supplied and set up the castle - was charged in November after failing to comply with workplace health and safety requirements. </p> <p>It is alleged that the castle was tethered at four of its eight anchorage points and the pegs  recommended by the manufacturer, or a suitable alternative, weren't installed properly. </p> <p>According to court documents, seven students were on the castle when it became dislodged and airborne due to a "significant" weather event, causing them to fall from a height of about 10 metres.</p> <p>A few others were <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/news/news/heartbreaking-detail-as-mother-of-jumping-castle-victim-speaks" target="_blank" rel="noopener">reportedly</a> injured, with one nearby student being struck by the blower attached to the castle. </p> <p>It is alleged that Gamble failed to ensure the anchorage system was sufficient to prevent the castle from lifting, and failed to ensure there were pegs at each anchor point as per the manufacturer's instructions. </p> <p>It is also alleged that Gamble failed to provide adequate information, including manufacturer's operating manual to the two workers she was in charge of at the time. </p> <p>She is expected to face the Devonport Magistrates Court for the first time on Friday. </p> <p>Preparations for the coronial <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/caring/update-on-inquest-into-hillcrest-primary-deaths" target="_blank" rel="noopener">inquest</a> was put on hold because of the criminal charges. </p> <p><em>Image: Twitter/ ABC News</em></p>

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Twist for cop accused of killing Clare Nowland

<p>Senior Constable Kristian James Samuel White, 33, who was accused of killing 95-year-old Clare Nowland <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/caring/family-horrified-by-police-statement-on-tasering-of-clare-nowland" target="_blank" rel="noopener">with a taser</a> at an aged care home in Cooma, regional NSW has been deemed a “flight risk”. </p> <p>White was charged with recklessly causing grievous bodily harm, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and common assault over the alleged “excessive use of force”.</p> <p>It is alleged that Nowland was using a walker and holding a serrated steak knife at the time of the incident, when the 33-year-old said “stop, just … nah bugger it” before allegedly tasering her. </p> <p>The great-grandmother fell backwards and fractured her skull, causing an inoperable brain injury that unfortunately led to her death just days later. </p> <p>Just last week, White's charges were upgraded to include an additional charge of manslaughter on advice from the Director of Public Prosecutions.</p> <p>White appeared in court on Wednesday, for the first time since his charges were upgraded, and received two new bail conditions. </p> <p>The Constable was required to surrender his passport and not leave the country due to the upgraded charges. </p> <p>However, prior to his bail conditions being approved, Magistrate Roger Clisdell criticised both Crown prosecutor Victoria Garrity, and White's defence lawyer Warwick Anderson for negotiating the new terms of bail without his input. </p> <p>“I make the decision,” he said.</p> <p>“I would have thought my last explosion would have caused you to be more sensitive to my position.”</p> <p>This comes after the prosecutors failed to tell the Magistrate that they had agreed to allow White to appear in court via video link in May, without the court's consent.</p> <p>The Crown prosecutor defended her actions by saying that she asked him to surrender his passport to mitigate the risk of flight. </p> <p>“With the more serious charge now being faced, there is a heightened risk that he would leave the jurisdiction and not face court,”  she explained. </p> <p>“Those two new conditions are now appropriate.”</p> <p>While the police officer's defence lawyer added that “He has no intention of fleeing the jurisdiction," and agreed to the additional bail conditions “to facilitate the speedy resolution”. </p> <p>White will return to court in February next year. </p> <p>Nowland's family members released a statement via their lawyer after the proceedings on Wednesday. </p> <p>“The family does not wish to comment further on the criminal process at this time given the extremely serious nature of the charge against Mr White, who continues to be a sworn NSW police officer,” the statement read. </p> <p>NSW Police confirmed that White remained suspended from duty with pay.</p> <p><em>Images: ABC News South East NSW: Floss Adams/ News.com.au</em></p>

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"Shame on you!" Robert De Niro's courtroom outburst

<p>Robert De Niro has lost his temper in court, as his former assistant accused him of being abusive. </p> <p>The Oscar-winning actor is being sued by Graham Chase Robinson, who worked as his assistant from 2008 until several months into 2019, for millions of dollars after claiming he was abusive when they worked together. </p> <p>Robinson, 41, seeks $US12 million (approximately AUD$18 million) in damages for emotional distress and harm to her reputation, that she claims has left her jobless and unable to recover from the trauma of working for De Niro.</p> <p>The jury is also considering evidence pertaining to a lawsuit De Niro filed against Robinson in which he claimed that she stole things from him, including five million points that could be used for airline flights.</p> <p>De Niro is countersuing his former employee, seeking the return of three years of Robinson's salary.</p> <p>Robinson's attorney Andrew Macurdy interrogated the actor over some of his questionable behaviour, including allegations that he spoke to Robinson while he was urinating, and claims that he called her a "b***h" to her face.</p> <p>De Niro admitted that while he "got angry" at his former assistant, he was "never abusive".</p> <p>Growing frustrated with the line of questioning, he exclaimed, "You got us all here for this?" </p> <p>Eventually, he angrily looked toward Robinson and shouted, "Shame on you, Chase Robinson!"</p> <p>De Niro was also asked by Macurdy if he he sued Robinson before she sued him because he wanted publicity.</p> <p>"It draws attention to me. It's the last thing I wanted to do," De Niro said.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

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Jubilant scenes as High Court hands down judgment against Qantas

<p>In a landmark decision that saw former employees pumping their fists in celebration inside the courtroom, Qantas has issued a formal apology to its workforce after the High Court declared its actions unlawful when it terminated the employment of over 1,700 ground crew members during the COVID-19 pandemic.</p> <p>The court upheld two prior rulings from the Federal Court that deemed the airline's outsourcing of baggage handlers, cleaners and ground staff to be in violation of the law.</p> <p>The judgment delivered by Justices Susan Kiefel, Stephen Gageler, Jacqueline Gleeson, and Jayne Jagot underscores that taking "adverse action against another person for a substantial and operative reason of preventing the exercise of a workplace right by the other person contravenes (part of section 340 of the Fair Work Act) ... regardless of whether that other person has the relevant workplace right at the time the adverse action is taken."</p> <p>In essence, Qantas could not evade the law by taking such actions before the employees possessed the specific workplace rights the airline sought to obstruct.</p> <p>Australian Council of Trade Unions secretary Sally McManus, who was there for the judgment's announcement, posted a celebratory photo on social media, declaring, "The workers win against Qantas in the High Court. We will always have the backs of workers, well done ⁦@TWUAus"</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">The workers win against Qantas in the High Court. We will always have the backs of workers, well done ⁦<a href="https://twitter.com/TWUAus?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TWUAus</a>⁩ <a href="https://t.co/wvZr7ouULX">pic.twitter.com/wvZr7ouULX</a></p> <p>— Sally McManus (@sallymcmanus) <a href="https://twitter.com/sallymcmanus/status/1701749294947291564?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 13, 2023</a></p></blockquote> <p> </p> <p>This legal battle began when the Transport Workers' Union brought a case against Qantas in the Federal Court, asserting that the airline had violated the Fair Work Act by outsourcing its ground operations to circumvent enterprise bargaining rights. Qantas, which had laid off workers in 2020, suffered significant financial losses due to the pandemic's severe impact on the aviation sector.</p> <p>In its response to the High Court's decision, Qantas clarified that it made the decision to outsource its remaining ground handling function in August 2020, at a time when borders were closed, lockdowns were widespread, and COVID-19 vaccines were not yet available.</p> <p>The airline stated, "The likelihood of a years-long crisis led Qantas to restructure its business to improve its ability to survive and ultimately recover."</p> <p>Qantas then expressed deep regret for the adverse personal impact this decision had on the affected employees and offered an apology:</p> <p>"As we have said from the beginning, we deeply regret the personal impact the outsourcing decision had on all those affected and we sincerely apologise for that.</p> <p>"A prior decision by the Federal Court has ruled out reinstatement of workers but it will now consider penalties for the breach and compensation for relevant employees, which will factor in redundancy payments already made by Qantas."</p> <p>The airline outsourced the positions of baggage handlers and cleaners at ten airports in response to a drastic decline in business, citing sound commercial reasons as the motivation, as its operations had plummeted by over 90 percent.</p> <p>However, the Transport Workers' Union argued that Qantas had also sought to preempt industrial action once business returned to normal, contending that the dismissals were in violation of the Fair Work Act, which prohibited actions impeding workers' rights.</p> <p>After losing twice in the Federal Court, Qantas escalated the case to the High Court, which was tasked with determining whether the workers possessed the rights claimed by the union at the time of the outsourcing decision. The unanimous decision of the High Court now paves the way for the workers to pursue compensation.</p> <p>Images: Twitter (X)</p>

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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>

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Officer charged with fatal tasering causes chaos in court

<p>A magistrate has expressed his "absolute disgust" after the NSW police officer charged with the fatal tasering of a 95-year-old failed to show up in person for court. </p> <p>Kristian White, 33, appeared via audiovisual link in Cooma Local Court on Wednesday after being charged with discharging his weapon at Clare Nowland, a dementia patient at an aged care facility in Cooma, who fell backwards from the tasering and sustained fatal injuries.</p> <p>As the virtual court began, Magistrate Roger Clisdell blasted the crown prosecutor’s decision to allow the suspended police officer to appear via a video link. </p> <p>“Who runs this court, Ms Stuart? You or me?” he asked crown prosecutor Sally Stuart in a raised voice.</p> <p>He said he felt “absolute disgust” that the decision had blindsided him, which meant that “dumbo here sitting on the bench just has to suck it up.”</p> <p>The magistrate went on to note that the court had employed several extra security personnel “at great expense” in anticipation of the highly publicised appearance, given the media storm surrounding Ms Nowland's death. </p> <p>There was no reason given as to why Mr White didn't show up for court in person, given he is currently living in the community under no restrictions. </p> <p>In a confusing move, Ms Stuart asked the court to impose a condition which would compel him to appear in court in future.</p> <p>Mr Clisdell blasted the hypocritical application, asking, “You excused him today, so why should I put him at your beck and call, not mine?”</p> <p>Ms Stuart eventually conceded that police should have imposed bail conditions on Mr White when he was charged with the serious offences. </p> <p>“It is probably something that should have been considered at the time but that decision was made by police,” she said.</p> <p>Mr White’s lawyer Warwick Anderson opposed the request for his client to be placed on bail, telling the court it had no “meaningful efficacy”.</p> <p>Despite the magistrate's previous outrage, he agreed and branded the crown application an attempt to placate anyone who might be “upset” about the officer’s lack of restrictions. </p> <p>He declined to impose bail on the 33-year-old and said he would be excused from attending court on the next occasion.</p> <p>Mr White maintained a blank face as he listened to the Magistrate’s tirade from an undisclosed location. </p> <p>The matter will return to court in September and it will be managed by the DPP.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Nine News / Facebook</em></p> <div class="media image" style="caret-color: #000000; color: #000000; font-style: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust: auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; text-decoration: none; box-sizing: inherit; display: flex; flex-direction: column; align-items: center; width: 705.202209px; margin-bottom: 24px; max-width: 100%;"> </div>

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Roger Federer breaks royal protocol with Kate Middleton

<p dir="ltr">Roger Federer is being scrutinised by royal watchers after an awkward moment with the Princess of Wales was caught on camera at Wimbledon.</p> <p dir="ltr">Kate had welcomed Federer and his wife to the Royal Box to watch the match between Elena Rybakina and Shelby Rogers on Tuesday.</p> <p dir="ltr">It was when Federer greeted Kate to a standing ovation in front of the packed crowd, that he had made the controversial mistake of putting his arm around Kate as he said hello.</p> <p dir="ltr">Royal watchers have accused the eight-time Wimbledon champion of breaking royal protocol, as they believed this action caused Kate to “flinch”, and claimed that Federer was “overstepping”.</p> <p dir="ltr">As part of the royal protocol, it is improper for someone to touch a member of the royal family unless they offer their own hand in greeting.</p> <p dir="ltr">This extends to the royal children, who are expected to bow and curtsy to their own parents when in public, which prompted further questions for Federer’s actions.</p> <p dir="ltr">Despite people finding fault in Federer’s actions, the pair of good friends had laughed and enjoyed their time throughout the game.</p> <p dir="ltr">“It did seem that Kate and Roger were getting along pretty well,” <em>Seven News Europe </em>Bureau Chief Hugh Whitfield told <em>Sunrise</em>.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Some might say that Roger, overstepped, the mark stepped, across the fault line by putting his arm, around Kate. They’ve known each other for a long time.</p> <p dir="ltr">“There’ll be questions about whether he broke royal protocol. I think most people were just happy to see them enjoy the day.”</p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

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Kate Middleton takes on Roger Federer in astounding match

<p>Undoubtedly one of the best tennis players of all time, Swiss star Roger Federer may have just met his match with the Princess of Wales.</p> <p>While Federer has 20 grand slam titles to his name, the Princess managed to get a shot past the star, which was met with his response, “I think it was on the line. Amazing!”</p> <p>Kate also took the opportunity to grab some coaching advice from the former world No. 1.</p> <p>“Any tips on my serve at the same time would be very helpful,” she asked.</p> <p>However, Federer seemingly had no advice to offer the Princess, responding, “The serve looks good.”</p> <p>The duo were playing a doubles match on No. 3 Court – where Federer won his first match on the way to earning his first Wimbledon title in 2003 – to acknowledge the hard work of ball boys and girls at the tournament.</p> <p>A clip of their encounter surfaced on YouTube and tennis enthusiast Kate is heard saying, “It’s so good to see you, Roger,” before stepping out onto the court ahead of their match.</p> <p>After she got her shot past the tennis legend, who retired from the sport in 2022, Kate gave a celebratory pat on the shoulder to her doubles partner Joel Eboewe, a coach with the Wimbledon Junior Tennis Initiative, which offers free lessons to local children.</p> <p>During their visit earlier in June, the pair accompanied the ball boys and girls in training for the 2023 tournament which commences Monday, 26 June.</p> <p>Federer himself started out as a ball boy in Basel in 1993 at just age 12, but it seemed as though he may have forgotten a thing or two about what goes on beyond playing the game.</p> <p>As tennis balls bounced around at his feet, Federer – with an estimated net worth of $820 million – asked, “Is that supposed to be me picking them up?”</p> <p>Kate also appeared slightly confused, with the royal being told that she was not allowed to catch a ball until it had bounced off the back wall.</p> <p>Every year, about 1,000 children aged 11 to 13 from schools near Wimbledon participate in training sessions, with a lucky quarter of them selected to take part in the tournament.</p> <p>For those being tested, Kate had a message to share, “With all the discipline and everything you’ve learned, you’ll be able to take it into so many other parts of your life; things like confidence and that feeling of pride with being on any of the courts is such a big moment.”</p> <p>Kate and Federer were due to participate in a charity tennis day in 2022, but the Princess pulled out after the Queen’s funeral.</p> <p>Federer has become friends with the Royals and the Middletons, with the tennis legend even spotted at the wedding of Kate's sister Pippa to James Matthews in 2017.</p> <p>He has also visited Prince William and Princess Kate at their home in Anmer Hall in Norfolk and has given Prince George a private tennis lesson.</p> <p>Wimbledon ball boys and girls manager Sarah Goldson said, “We’re proud of the young people who dedicate so much time and effort to their role which plays an integral part in delivering successful championships.”</p> <p>As patron of the All England Club, Kate will present the trophies to the winners of Wimbledon 2023.</p> <p><em>Image credit: Getty</em></p>

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Hunter Valley bus driver faces court

<p dir="ltr">The driver behind the wheel of the bus that overturned on a Hunter Valley roundabout, <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/news/news/more-than-we-can-bear-hunter-valley-bus-crash-victims-identified">claiming the lives of 10 and injuring dozens more</a>, has faced Cessnock Local Court. </p> <p dir="ltr">Brett Andrew Button was reportedly emotional as he was charged with 10 counts of dangerous driving occasioning death, as well as one count of negligent driving.</p> <p dir="ltr">Strict bail conditions were imposed on the 58 year old, with Magistrate Robyn Richardson noting that Maitland local Button had significant connections to the area, while acknowledging the emotional weight now upon his shoulders. Additionally, she said that there was a strong prosecution case for the 11 charges.</p> <p dir="ltr">Prosecutor Broom opposed an application for bail on the grounds that Button may not attend future court appearances and might interfere with witnesses, stating that 10 had already given evidence to police officials regarding Button’s “prolonged behaviour and dangerous driving, where he said ‘fasten your seatbelts’.” </p> <p dir="ltr">“Bail is strongly opposed,” she said. “It is conceded he has [a] limited traffic record.</p> <p dir="ltr">“There are seven offences over some 30 years of driving and no criminal record. This is a serious motor vehicle collision that resulted in the death of 10 persons. </p> <p dir="ltr">“There are currently 14 victims in hospital, two in ICU, and the injuries range in variety - some include grievous bodily harm.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Broom went on to inform the court that there was a “high likelihood” of further offences being laid before him, and of him serving full time custody.</p> <p dir="ltr">However, Magistrate Richardson did grant bail, explaining that bail shouldn’t be denied as a punishment, and drew attention to the man in question, who she believed to be suffering in the wake of the tragedy. </p> <p dir="ltr">“Mr Button has sat in court head down throughout these proceedings and it is clear to the court he suffers, along with the rest of his family,” she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Button is deeply linked to his community and has support here today … I note the stringent proposed bail conditions.”</p> <p dir="ltr">In accordance with those conditions, Button must abide to a curfew of 8 pm to 6 am unless he is with certain members of his family, report to the police three days each week, surrender his passports, remain at least 5 km from any international departure point, and refrain from applying for any travel documents.</p> <p dir="ltr">Additionally, he had to put forward $10,000 surety for his bail, avoid both drugs and alcohol, and keep well away from the driver’s seat of any motor vehicle.</p> <p dir="ltr">Before bail was granted, Acting Assistant Commissioner David Waddell shared that law enforcement would allege Button had been driving “too quick” for the conditions at the roundabout that night.</p> <p dir="ltr">"He entered that roundabout driving in a manner that was inconsistent with the conditions," he said. "The speed was too quick for him to negotiate that roundabout, causing the vehicle to fall onto its left side and cause those injuries."</p> <p dir="ltr">He went on to note that many of the officers who had been at the scene had been left “visibly distraught”, and that while there had been reports of fog in the area, he would not comment on whether or not visibility had been a factor. </p> <p dir="ltr">"The whole conditions will be examined as part of the investigation," he said. "So, it will be about how the driver drove in relation to the conditions."</p> <p dir="ltr">Button’s lawyer, Chris O’Brien, argued for both Button’s bail and his release, citing a number of medical conditions - including mental health concerns - though further information was not provided. He added that if the case were to go to trial, there was a chance it would see “long delays”. </p> <p dir="ltr">Button is currently scheduled to face Newcastle Local Court on August 9. </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: 9News / Nine</em></p>

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AFL star released on bail following burglary charges

<p>Richmond AFL premiership player Marlion Pickett has been granted bail after allegedly stealing more than $380,000 during a series of burglaries of commercial properties.</p> <p>The athlete faced Perth Magistrates Court on June 12 for at least 12 separate charges, including aggravated burglary, criminal damage and stealing.</p> <p>The charges relate to a string of alleged incidents which police claim occurred between December 2022 and January 2023, during the AFL off-season.</p> <p>Pickett was arrested by WA Police on June 11, just hours after helping his team score a 15-point win over the Fremantle Dockers at Perth Stadium.</p> <p>He was freed from custody the following day after securing $50,000 bail and depositing a further $50,000 surety.</p> <p>Pickett has over 70 games with the Richmond Tigers under his belt following his debut in the 2019 AFL Grand Final, the first player to have done so in almost 70 years.</p> <p>The Richmond Football Club told the <em>ACB</em> in a statement that it “would continue to support Marlion and his family while these matters are dealt with”.</p> <p>Pickett’s Perth-based manager Anthony Van Der Wielen told the broadcaster that the AFL giant intended to fight the charges.</p> <p>“Due to the ongoing legal nature of the proceedings, Marlion, or myself will not be able to provide any further details, comment or clarification about the matter at this stage,” he said in a statement.</p> <p>“We understand and respect the public’s interest in this matter, but we also implore all to respect the presumption of innocence until proven otherwise, and to allow the legal proceedings to follow their due course without prejudice.”</p> <p>Pickett is due to face the same court in August.</p> <p><em>Image credit: Getty</em></p>

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