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Bride slammed for “absolutely ridiculous” dress code rules

<p dir="ltr">A bride-to-be has gone viral for all the wrong reasons after her exhaustive list of wedding day dress code rules has divided the internet. </p> <p dir="ltr">A wedding guest took to a wedding shaming facebook group to share the list of attire rules she received alongside her invitation to the nuptials, sparking a heated debate over the “absolutely ridiculous” dress code.</p> <p dir="ltr">The specific dress code nitpicks at colour, fabric, length, print, and even the “vibe” clothes give off.</p> <p dir="ltr">The invite read: “Dress code: Formal (non-black tie) wear. Suits (preferably dark blue or dark grey, no tuxedos), ties, and dress shoes for men. No need to get creative!”</p> <p dir="ltr">“Linen is better suited for our welcome party; please wear a traditional fabric for the wedding.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“For women, tea-length dresses are great. Knee-length also works, but make sure it is not too casual (no summer floral dresses, for example) and floor-length is fine but make sure it is not an evening gala gown.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“Avoid any outrageous necklines, cut-outs, or sparkles. The idea is to be formal and glam, but not like you are on the way to a black-tie gala. Solid jewel tones generally work better than florals. No black please!”</p> <p dir="ltr">“Most importantly, please make sure to cover your shoulders and back with a cardigan or light scarf!”</p> <p dir="ltr">The huge list sparked a debate online, with some people claiming the bride is “controlling” and “entitled”, while others defended the bride and groom. </p> <p dir="ltr">“When in the hell did we start telling guests what to wear?” one person commented, “This is utterly ridiculous and if I received this invitation, it would go directly into the bin.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Another person wrote, “What is 'traditional fabric'? Am I supposed to show up in undyed wool? If we're being pedantic here, linen is pretty much the most traditional fabric in terms of historic use.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“They should just pick a uniform for the guests,” another said, while one wrote, “I honestly don't know if this type of dress or outfit exists?”</p> <p dir="ltr">Some claimed they would go against the dress code on purpose, as one person wrote, “I'd show up in an above-the-knee black floral number with cold shoulder cut outs and a sparkling neckline. For fun, it would be made out of linen.”</p> <p dir="ltr">However, a few people were quick to defend the bride and groom.   </p> <p dir="ltr">“They could be getting married in a church, mosque, or synagogue - where this is a requirement. I would rather an invite tell me this than show up and not have known. Telling people gives people the opportunity to RSVP no if it's an issue,” one wrote.</p> <p dir="ltr">“To me this isn't exactly unreasonable,” another said. “It's not some huge list of dos and don'ts or very specific colours that must be adhered to or avoided. It helps guests who have no idea what to wear.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Facebook / Shutterstock</em></p>

Beauty & Style

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“Too chaotic for me”: Bride and groom slammed for “unreasonable” wedding rules

<p dir="ltr">A bride and groom has been slammed online for giving their wedding guests an extensive list of rules they must abide by on their big day.</p> <p dir="ltr">The list of 15 demands was shared on Reddit, where social media users tore the newlyweds to shreds with their “unreasonable” rules. </p> <p dir="ltr">The post racked up thousands of comments on the Wedding Shamers subreddit, with one person writing, 'If someone sent this to me, I would simply just not go.' </p> <p dir="ltr">The rules included that guests needed to remember their opinions on the wedding are “irrelevant” while also banning attendees from “sitting down all night” or making their own big announcements.</p> <p dir="ltr">The first rule urged guests to remember that this was the bride and groom's big day, “not yours”, while also telling guests, “Do not get in the photographer's way.” </p> <p dir="ltr">They also made a strict dress code, writing, “the attire is BLACK and/or GOLD not red, blue, green and definitely NO WHITE!”</p> <p dir="ltr">“Do not rearrange the seats, we have a seating chart for a reason.”</p> <p dir="ltr">The rules continued, “If you didn't put out any money for the wedding, keep your "should've, could've, would've" to yourself. Your opinion is irrelevant.”</p> <p dir="ltr">But the couple did not stop there as they also urged guests to pace themselves when drinking and banned “big announcements or proposals.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Next up, it read, “If you can't handle or dislike the music being played, simply go home. This is a celebration, not a funeral.”</p> <p dir="ltr">The lovebirds then instructed their friends and family to use their own personalised hashtag when posting photos on social media.</p> <p dir="ltr">Rounding out the demands, the final five read, “Do not sit down all night. No outside liquor. If caught, you will be escorted out.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“Refer back to rule number one. The bride and groom said what they said! Turn ALL the way up!”</p> <p dir="ltr">The post was soon flooded with comments with many insisting that the couple had taken it too far.</p> <p dir="ltr">One person wrote, “What kind of list is this? Too chaotic for me.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Another person added, “Yeah, I would not be going to that wedding. Sounds like too much drama.”</p> <p dir="ltr">On the other hand, there were a few commenters who understood the need for issuing such strict guidelines and defended the couple.</p> <p dir="ltr">One person wrote, “They're not asking for anything out of order. They're just stating what should be obvious, but they probably have seen from their family and friends past behaviour, that it NEEDS to be addressed.” </p> <p dir="ltr">“Is it a little tacky? Yes, but the only people that will be bothered by any of it are the ones that would have been an issue.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Reddit / Shutterstock</em></p>

Relationships

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Airbnb launches real-life "Up" house - and it actually floats!

<p>Airbnb is taking its latest listing to the sky - literally. </p> <p>The accommodation provider has announced a partnership that will see the iconic house from Pixar's hit film <em>Up</em> being lifted into the air, balloons and all. </p> <p>In their ongoing quest to redefine hospitality, Airbnb has launched a permanent category called “Icons,” which features partnerships with brands and celebrities that promise unforgettable experiences.</p> <p>Suspended over the New Mexico desert with the aid of a crane, the property looks like an exact replica of the home and contains adorable easter eggs from the film - including the Adventure Book. </p> <p>“Icons take you inside worlds that only existed in your imagination — until now,”  Airbnb CEO and co-founder Brian Chesky said in a statement.</p> <p>“As life becomes increasingly digital, we’re focused on bringing more magic into the real world … we’ve created the most extraordinary experiences on Earth." </p> <p>The house offers a stunning view of the desert, which you can enjoy while sitting on replica's of Ellie and Carl's chairs or have breakfast with a view in the kitchen. </p> <p>Alternatively, you could look at the stars while sitting on the front porch - but don't look down because the adventure is out there. </p> <p>Of course there are questions about the logistics of the stay, including plumbing and electricity, but the accommodation giant has assured that the house is “fully functional,” connected to generators and utilities that will be seamlessly managed before and after its flight.</p> <p>Other fantastical listings include a replica of the mansion from the “X-Men ’97” cartoon, a stay at the Ferrari Museum in Italy, and Prince's house that was featured in the legendary film <em>Purple Rain</em>. </p> <p>Check out the <a href="https://www.airbnb.com.au/rooms/1126185893236246260?_set_bev_on_new_domain=1715826165_M2NkZDdkODdhMjcy&amp;source_impression_id=p3_1715826166_A20M4770EGAtl8AV&amp;modal=PHOTO_TOUR_SCROLLABLE" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>Up</em></a> listing here, be warned the sweet listing may make you shed a tear or two. </p> <p><em>Images: Airbnb</em></p> <p> </p>

Real Estate

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“Entitled as”: Tesla driver mocked for creative parking

<p>A Tesla driver's parking skills has sparked an online debate after pictures of the vehicle parked across two parking spots was posted on Facebook. </p> <p>The black Tesla Model Y was parked at the Orion Springfield shopping centre in Queensland, and most online commenters condemned the driver's actions. </p> <p>“Of course, it’s a Tesla owner. Entitled as mentality,” one wrote. </p> <p>“They should find somewhere else to charge it or go home," another commented. </p> <p>However, some commenters pointed out that the charging station could be the problem, and with an increase in drivers choosing electric vehicles, it sparked a few questions on the accessibility of the charging stations across the country. </p> <p>“Maybe that was the only way to reach the plug? EV owners should be allowed to fuel up just as we do," one commenter wrote. </p> <p>“The one at fault … is the silver car parked in the charging spot not on charge, so I guess they [the Tesla owner] had to park like that to charge up," another said. </p> <p>In another incident last April,  another Tesla driver was criticised for parking their Model 3 – with an attached trailer – over the kerb next to the charging bay. </p> <p>However, the photo also highlighted the accessibility issues as current charging stations for EV's do not accomodate to oversized vehicles, so drivers may have to come up with other ways to charge. </p> <p>A spokesperson for Standards Australia said that a charger reform is currently being discussed by all relevant regulators. </p> <p>"There's a lot of work going on right now as our vehicle fleet becomes more electric. This includes consideration of charging infrastructure, its placement, and matters of safety and amenity," the spokesperson told<em> Drive</em>. </p> <p>"Standards Australia is working with governments, industry and the community to identify what standards are needed for charging infrastructure and how they can be embedded in our communities."</p> <p><em>Image: Drive/ Facebook</em></p>

Legal

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New rules to crack down on dodgy taxi practices

<p>New technology is being rolled out on Wednesday, which will make it more difficult for taxi drivers to overcharge their customers. </p> <p>The country's largest taxi payment provider, Cabcharge, is introducing a new system which will link  cab drivers' payment terminals with their meters. </p> <p>The move has been made in attempt to crack down on dodgy taxi practices. </p> <p>Under the current system the two are not connected, so dishonest drivers may disregard the distance and fee on the meter and input a higher sum on their payment terminals, charging customers more money. </p> <p>The crack down has been approved Australia's most extensive taxi network which includes operators such as 13cabs, Silver Service and Black & White Cabs. They are also encouraged to display a sticker that says "We proudly accept Cabcharge."</p> <p>Speaking to<em> 2GB </em>on Monday, Nick Abrahim the CEO of NSW Taxi Council said that the technology was "welcomed news", which will help strengthen customer trust. </p> <p>"We want people, whether they're going to a sporting event or a concert or whatever it is, not even to worry about the transport issues. We want them to go out and make sure they're having a good time," he said. </p> <p>"The majority of drivers are out there, they want to do the right thing they want to look after passengers, but we know there are a handful of those drivers that unfortunately think they can flout the law and get away from it... [this] sends a strong message to that handful of drivers."</p> <p><em>Image: Shutterstock</em></p>

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Quiet beach town offering $450k job with free house and car

<p>A picturesque beach town in Western Australia has found a creative way to bring jobs to the area: by offering a range of enticing bonuses. </p> <p>The town of Bremer Bay, south-east of Perth, is desperate for healthcare providers to join the small town and have offered a range of persuasive perks to a doctor who would be willing to leave a big city for the job in the regional location. </p> <p>Bremer Bay is next to the Fitzgerald River National Park and nearly 40 minutes away from the closest town. Currently, they only have one temporary doctor; the next permanent GP is in Albany, almost 200 kilometres away, and the town is looking for the "Swiss army knife of doctors" to step up.</p> <p>According to the job listing on Seek, the successful applicant will be granted a rent-free five-bedroom house and a four-wheel drive, on top of a salary of up to $450,000 a year.</p> <p>"Live rent-free in a scenic location, experiencing the true essence of rural Australia," the advertisement reads.</p> <p>"We offer a competitive 70 per cent of Billings or a generous Salary, based on your preference. In addition, you'll enjoy the convenience of a beautiful new 5-bedroom home and 4X4."</p> <p>Applicants must be registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency and be willing to train as a rural generalist.</p> <p>According to the <a title="Australian Institute of Health and Welfare" href="https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/rural-remote-australians/rural-and-remote-health" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Australian Institute of Health and Welfare</a>, people living in rural and remote areas have higher rates of hospitalisations, deaths and injury compared to city-dwellers, while also having poorer access to primary health care services.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Dodgy tactic to keep driver's licence growing "out of control"

<p>A criminal lawyer has exposed an alarming trend, which has caused more and more people to seek legal advice. </p> <p>Over the past year, there has been an increase in the number of drivers off-loading their demerit points to strangers in exchange for cash, as Aussies desperately try to keep their licences. </p> <p>The illegal tactic is often advertised on social media, where users attract those looking for someone to falsely nominate and palm off their demerit points to. </p> <p>The price of one demerit point can go for $30-$150, and criminal lawyer Jahan Kalantar revealed that more people are seeking legal advice after getting involved in the trend. </p> <p>"This used to be a very tiny part of my practice, I do about eight to nine consultations a week on this," he told <em>7News Sunrise</em>. </p> <p>"This is becoming really out of control."</p> <p><a href="https://au.news.yahoo.com/dodgy-drivers-licence-tactic-used-by-millions-growing-out-of-control-044254123.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>Yahoo Australia</em> </a>shared a screenshot of a chat obtained from Facebook, which showed a person responding to an ad someone put up about selling their demerit points. </p> <p>"What fine is it?" the person advertising asked. </p> <p>"Speeding," the person replied. </p> <p>"Yeah I can sort it out for you," they said. </p> <p>When asked how it would work the advertiser replied: "If it's under 5 points it's $80 a point". </p> <p>There are tough penalties for those who choose to falsely nominate another driver, and for those who trade their demerit points for cash. </p> <p>In Victoria, offenders face fines of $9,000, while those in NSW and Queensland cop a maximum penalty of $11,000. </p> <p>In addition to hefty fines, imprisonment is also a risk, with one high-profile incident in 2006 landing former federal court judge Marcus Einfeld in prison after he was caught falsely declaring another driver for his speeding fine. </p> <p><em>Images: 7NEWS/ Facebook</em></p>

Legal

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“Is that Snoop Dog?!”: Man caught with fake passenger in carpool lane

<p>A US motorist has been handed a traffic infringement after police found him using a dummy to drive in the carpool lane. </p> <p>Not only did his hilarious attempt to bypass morning traffic with the fake passenger whose goatee was "just a little too sharp" get him fined, he helped authorities answer the common question: “If I have a mannequin in the passenger seat, does that count as a second occupant in the vehicle? </p> <p>"The answer is simple… NO."</p> <p>According to an Instagram post shared by the California Highway Patrol Santa Fe Spring, authorities stopped the unnamed driver for crossing a double line when they noticed the plastic passenger. </p> <p>"Officer Kaplan made an enforcement stop on this vehicle for crossing solid double lines only to realise the driver was the only occupant in the vehicle with their plastic friend," they wrote. </p> <p>The mannequin in question had a human-like mask, sported a hoodie and sunglasses, and was seated upright with his seatbelt buckled in just like any other passenger. </p> <p>And he would've gotten away with it too if it weren't for the fake facial hair. </p> <p>"The goatee was sharp … just a little too sharp," they shared. </p> <p>"We've gotta give it to them, the appearance is next-level modelling but at the end of the day ... plastic is plastic." </p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/C6K7Thkr2CO/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/C6K7Thkr2CO/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by CHP Santa Fe Springs (@chp_santa_fe_springs)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>The driver was issued with a number of citations for carpool violations, but many online commenters shared their amusement at the light-hearted nature of the traffic violation. </p> <p>"Is that snoop dog?!" wrote one commenter. </p> <p>"Leave Stevie wonder alone," joked another. </p> <p>"I really don’t see a problem here because most people are fake and have lots of plastic on them anyways," quipped a third. </p> <p><em>Image: Instagram</em></p> <p> </p>

Legal

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Woman fined after paid car park gets set up around her parked vehicle

<p>Josephine Williams had been leaving her car in a gravel clearing at Westgate in Auckland, alongside other commuters to catch the bus into the city for months. </p> <p>The New Zealand woman was left with a "nasty surprise" when she returned from work on Monday to find a NZ $85 ($77) fine sitting on her windshield. </p> <p>"To my unfortunate surprise - and many others - I was greeted by an $85 parking ticket for a breach and a flyer from Wilson Parking saying paid parking had started that day," Williams told <em>Stuff</em>.</p> <p>"But what breach exactly was made? How was I supposed to know paid parking started that day when there was nothing at all displayed anywhere in the car park?"</p> <p>Williams claimed that the Wilson Parking car park had been set up around her already parked car, even providing dash cam footage that showed her pulling into the gravel clearing at 7.45am, with no paid parking signs or Wilson branding in sight. </p> <p>By 6pm, a large red and white Wilson sign had been put up at the entrance, with "12 hours for $4" written on it. </p> <p>"Wilson deliberately put their sign up sometime after 9am and then took it upon themselves to fine every single car that was already parked there from the morning," Williams said.</p> <p>"$85 is a lot of money - it would have been two weeks' worth of grocery shopping for me," she added. </p> <p>"I'm lucky that I know the law and my rights, but some other people might not. What about students or the elderly or people who don't know English well?"</p> <p>She estimated that there was usually around 50 and 100 cars in the gravel clearing. </p> <p>Wilson argued that the carpark was always there and they had just added more signage, but have since waived Williams' fine after she lodged a request to have it reviewed by Parking Enforcement Services. </p> <p>Wilson Parking also said that they had started to set up the car park and installed a "clear signage" on April 22. </p> <p>"It was not set up around parked cars on 29 April as suggested," a Wilson spokesperson said.</p> <p>"Several payments were made by customers via the Parkmate app from 22 April proving that signage on the site was clear and effective," they said.</p> <p>They added that on April 29 more signs were added to all entry points of the car park. </p> <p>"In acknowledgment of the increased signage added on the 29th at the entry we've made the decision to refund all payments made until 30 April and waive any breach notices issued up to this date."</p> <p>They also denied issuing any breach notices before the signs were put up.</p> <p>"Payment options were available and signed from 22 April - but no infringement notices were issued prior to the 29th."</p> <p><em>Images: Stuff</em></p> <p> </p>

Legal

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Advocates slam "ageist" call for older drivers to undergo mandatory testing

<p>A fresh push to make older drivers undergo mandatory health checks every year has been labelled ageist by advocates. </p> <p>General Practitioners have reignited the debate to introduce annual assessments for drivers in Victoria aged 75 and over, to bring the state in line with standards in other states including NSW, Queensland, WA and the Australian Capital Territory. </p> <p>“This is not about discriminating against older people, but a recognition that the skills that are required to drive safely can be lost as we get older,” the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners Victoria chair Dr Anita Muñoz told <em>The Age</em>. </p> <p>"We do feel that having an annual assessment done for elderly drivers is a good thing," the college's Victoria co-deputy chair Dr Bindiya Sethi added. </p> <p>Victoria Police data obtained by <em>The Age</em> also showed that 145 people have died and 7080 have been injured in road incidents caused by people aged over 65. </p> <p>20 per cent of licence holders in Victoria are over 65, which has gone up from 16 per cent a decade ago. </p> <p>In the last financial year, there were 247 deaths and 16,265 injuries caused by crashes on Victorian roads, with drivers aged 65 and over responsible for around 10 per cent of these incidences. </p> <p>However, Chris Potaris, chief executive of the Council on the Ageing Victoria and Seniors Rights Victoria, has called the move "ageist". </p> <p>“We continue to support Victoria’s approach, which emphasises a driver’s behaviour and medical fitness to operate a motor vehicle,” he told the publication. </p> <p>“Driving should be based on ability, not on age.”</p> <p>Seniors Rights Victoria policy and advocacy manager Ben Rogers has also slammed the move. </p> <p>"We find it ageist and arbitrary ... It's targeting people that don't need to be targeted," Rogers said. </p> <p>MP Steve Dimopolous added that there was no evidence that an aged-based assessment model was any better than the existing rules. </p> <p>VicRoads also claimed that there is a lot of misinformation about older drivers, who are "usually more cautious, more experienced and more responsible" than younger drivers.</p> <p> </p> <p>"They are more likely to obey the law and are less likely to drink drive or speed," VicRoads said.</p> <p>However, a few others believe that mandatory assessments are a good move. </p> <p>"I think it's fair enough. Over a certain age, maybe 70 or so," local man Pat said.</p> <p>"I think the younger drivers are worse than the older drivers," another added. </p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

Legal

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Our housing system is broken and the poorest Australians are being hardest hit

<div class="theconversation-article-body"> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/rachel-ong-viforj-113482">Rachel Ong ViforJ</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/curtin-university-873">Curtin University</a></em></p> <p>Just when we think the price of rentals could not get any worse, this week’s <a href="https://www.anglicare.asn.au/publications/2023-rental-affordability-snapshot/">Rental Affordability Snapshot</a> by Anglicare has revealed low-income Australians are facing a housing crisis like never before.</p> <p>In fact, if you rely on the <a href="https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/youth-allowance">Youth Allowance</a>, there is not a single rental property across Australia you can afford this week.</p> <h2>How did rental affordability get this bad?</h2> <p>Several post-COVID factors have been blamed, including our preference for <a href="https://www.rba.gov.au/publications/bulletin/2023/jun/new-insights-into-the-rental-market.html">more space, the return of international migrants</a>, and <a href="https://www.corelogic.com.au/news-research/news/2023/could-the-peak-in-interest-rates-signal-an-end-to-rising-rents">rising interest rates</a>.</p> <p>However, the rental affordability crisis pre-dates COVID.</p> <p>Affordability has been steadily declining for decades, as successive governments have failed to make shelter more affordable for low-to-moderate income Australians.</p> <h2>The market is getting squeezed at both ends</h2> <p>At the lower end of the rental sector, the growth in the supply of social housing persistently lags behind demand, trending at under <a href="https://povertyandinequality.acoss.org.au/data/annual-growth-rates-social-housing-stock-and-population-2011-2020/">one-third</a> the rate of population growth.</p> <hr /> <p><iframe id="OA0cS" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/OA0cS/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>This has forced growing numbers of low-income Australians to seek shelter in the private rental sector, where they face intense competition from higher-income renters.</p> <p>At the upper end, more and more aspiring home buyers are getting <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/03085147.2021.2003086">locked out</a> of home ownership.</p> <p>A recent <a href="https://www.ahuri.edu.au/sites/default/files/documents/2024-02/AHURI-Final-Report-416-Affordable-private-rental-supply-and-demand-short-term-disruption.pdf">study</a> found more households with higher incomes are now renting.</p> <p>Households earning <a href="https://www.ahuri.edu.au/sites/default/files/documents/2024-02/AHURI-Final-Report-416-Affordable-private-rental-supply-and-demand-short-term-disruption.pdf">$140,000</a> a year or more (in 2021 dollars) accounted for just 8% of private renters in 1996. By 2021, this tripled to 24%. No doubt, this crowds out lower-income households who are now facing a shortage of affordable homes to rent.</p> <h2>Why current policies are not working</h2> <p>Worsening affordability in the private rental sector highlights a housing system that is broken. Current policies just aren’t working.</p> <p>While current policies focus on supply, more work is needed including fixing <a href="https://theconversation.com/governments-are-pouring-money-into-housing-but-materials-land-and-labour-are-still-in-short-supply-205471">labour shortages</a> and providing greater <a href="https://theconversation.com/people-want-and-need-more-housing-choice-its-about-time-governments-stood-up-to-deliver-it-122390">stock diversity</a>.</p> <p>The planning system plays a critical role and <a href="https://theconversation.com/confusing-and-not-delivering-enough-developers-and-councils-want-new-affordable-housing-rules-139762">zoning rules</a> can be reformed to support the supply of more affordable options.</p> <p>However, the housing affordability challenge is not solely a supply problem. There is also a need to respond to the <a href="https://theconversation.com/home-prices-are-climbing-alright-but-not-for-the-reason-you-might-think-158776">super-charged demand</a> in the property market.</p> <p>An overheated market will undoubtedly place intense pressure on the rental sector because aspiring first home buyers are forced to rent for longer, as house prices soar at a rate unmatched by their wages.</p> <p>Yet, governments continue to resist calls for winding back the <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2024-02-15/ken-henry-australias-tax-system-in-worse-position-after-15-years/103465044">generous tax concessions</a> enjoyed by multi-property owners.</p> <p>The main help available to low-income private renters - the Commonwealth Rent Assistance scheme - is <a href="https://theconversation.com/1-billion-per-year-or-less-could-halve-rental-housing-stress-146397">poorly targeted</a> with nearly one in five low-income renters who are in rental stress deemed ineligible, while another one in four receive it despite not being in rental stress.</p> <h2>Can affordable housing occur naturally?</h2> <p>Some commentators support the theory of <a href="https://www.ahuri.edu.au/sites/default/files/documents/2022-09/Executive-Summary-FR387-Filtering-as-a-source-of-low-income-housing-in-Australia-conceptualisation-and-testing.pdf">filtering</a> - a market-based process by which the supply of new dwellings in more expensive segments creates additional supply of dwellings for low-income households as high-income earners vacate their former dwellings.</p> <p>Proponents of filtering argue building more housing anywhere - even in wealthier ends of the property market - will eventually improve affordability across the board because lower priced housing will trickle down to the poorest households.</p> <p>However, the persistent affordability crisis low-income households face and the rise in homelessness are crucial signs filtering <a href="https://cloud.3dissue.com/122325/122578/143598/WhyNewSupplyisnotExpandingHousingOptionsfortheHomeless/html5/index.html?page=1&amp;noflash">does not work well</a> and <a href="https://www.ahuri.edu.au/sites/default/files/documents/2022-09/AHURI-Final-Report-387-Filtering-as-a-source-of-low-income-housing-in-Australia-conceptualisation-and-testing.pdf">cannot be relied upon</a> to produce lower cost housing.</p> <h2>Location, location, location</h2> <p>Location does matter, if we expect building new housing to work for low-income individuals.</p> <p>What is needed is a steady increase of affordable, quality housing in areas offering low-income renters the same access to jobs and amenities as higher-income households.</p> <p>The <a href="https://treasury.gov.au/housing-policy/accord#:%7E:text=The%20Accord%20includes%20an%20initial,5%20years%20from%20mid%E2%80%912024.">National Housing Accord</a> aims to deliver 1.2 million new dwellings over five years from mid-2024. But it must ensure these are “well-located” for people who need affordable housing, as suggested in the accord.</p> <p>Recent <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02673037.2023.229051">modelling</a> shows unaffordable housing and poor neighbourhoods both negatively affect mental health, reinforcing the need to provide both affordable and well-located housing.</p> <h2>The upcoming budget</h2> <p>While the <a href="https://www.dss.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/05_2023/payments-cra_budget_fact_sheet_fa_0.pdf">15% increase</a> in the maximum rent assistance rate was welcomed in the last budget, the program is long overdue for a major restructure to target those in rental stress.</p> <p>Also, tax concessions on second properties should be wound back to reduce competition for those struggling to buy their first home. This would eventually help ease affordability pressures on low-income renters as more higher-income renters <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/1467-8454.12335">shift into homeownership</a>.</p> <p>The potential negative impacts on rental supply can be mitigated by careful design of tax and other changes that guard against market destabilisation concerns.</p> <p>Overall, housing affordability solutions have to be multi-faceted. The housing system is badly broken and meaningful repair cannot be achieved unless policymakers are willing to confront both supply and demand challenges.<!-- 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/228511/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/rachel-ong-viforj-113482">Rachel Ong ViforJ</a>, ARC Future Fellow &amp; Professor of Economics, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/curtin-university-873">Curtin 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/our-housing-system-is-broken-and-the-poorest-australians-are-being-hardest-hit-228511">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Money & Banking

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World's most expensive house up for sale

<p>A French chateau, once owned by a member of the Rothschild family and, later on, the King of Morocco, has gone up for sale with a £363 million (AU$699) price tag. </p> <p>Chateau d’Armainvilliers located at Seine-et-Marne, 48km east of the Eiffel Tower, is the world's most expensive home. </p> <p>Built upon the foundations of a 12th century castle, the sprawling mansion boasts 1,000 hectares of land, 100 rooms across 2,500 square metres of living space, a private lake, and plenty of sequoia trees - the largest trees in the world. </p> <p>Ignace Meuwissen, a self-acclaimed "real estate advisor to the global elite" described the property as a display of "opulence and grandeur".</p> <p>"It is the most expensive castle in France and perhaps in the world. The price of €425million is justified by the property itself but also by the 1,000 hectare land which offers numerous possibilities," he told Paris Match magazine. </p> <p>"An investor could build thousands of apartments there if he wanted."</p> <p>The chateau was first bought by the Rothschild banking empird in the late 19th century, before King Hassan II of Morocco bought it in the 1980s. </p> <p>He then made the chateau more fit for a king, adding a hammam spa, a beauty and hairdressing salon, and a fully-equipped medical and dental facility.</p> <p>The Moroccan King  also added a basement level, which has a network of tunnels, kitchens, cold rooms, storage spaces and staff quarters.</p> <p>The lucky owner will also find Moroccan mosaics and wall tiles decorating the home, and for any avid equestrians, the home also has a stable big enough for 50 horses. </p> <p>However, some luxury property agents have expressed their doubts on whether the property would sell with its nine-figure sum, with one saying it was an "unrealistic" price tag. </p> <p>"It doesn’t make sense, it’s absurd Properties of this type could sell for 20-25 million, or even 30 million if we really fall in love with them. I’m not even sure that Vaux-le-Vicomte (a Baroque French château), which has no marketing plans, would sell at this price," one agent told French real estate publication <em>Le Figaro Immobilier</em>.</p> <p>Others were unsure whether the changes made by the King in the 1980s would suit modern tastes. </p> <p><em>Images: Whisper Auctions</em></p>

Real Estate

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If you squat in a vacant property, does the law give you the house for free? Well, sort of

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/cathy-sherry-466">Cathy Sherry</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/macquarie-university-1174">Macquarie University</a></em></p> <p>Nothing excites law students like the idea of a free house. Or alternatively, enrages them. It depends on their politics. As a result, academics condemned to teaching property law find it hard to resist the “<a href="https://classic.austlii.edu.au/au/journals/MelbULawRw/2011/28.html">doctrine of adverse possession</a>”. The fact that a person can change the locks on someone else’s house, wait 12 years, and claim it as their own, makes students light up in a way that the Strata Schemes Management Act never will.</p> <p>The idea of “squatters’ rights” has received a lot of media attention recently amid the grim reality of the Australian housing market. It fuels commentators such as Jordan van den Berg, who <a href="https://www.instagram.com/purplepingers/">critiques bad landlords</a> on social media. Casting back to his days as a law student, <a href="https://www.sbs.com.au/news/the-feed/article/jordan-was-fed-up-with-australias-empty-houses-his-proposal-has-led-to-death-threats/stx6rv6fl">he’s promoting</a> the doctrine of adverse possession as a way of making use of vacant properties.</p> <p>As interesting as the doctrine is, it has little relevance in modern Australia. While it is necessary to limit the time someone has to bring legal proceedings to recover land – typically 12 or 15 years, depending on which state you’re in – most people don’t need that long to notice someone else is living in their house. If a family member is occupying a home that someone else has inherited or a tenant refuses to vacate at the end of a lease, owners tend to bring actions to recover their land pronto.</p> <p>So where did this doctrine come from, and what has it meant in practice?</p> <h2>Free house fetching millions</h2> <p>In unusual circumstances, people can lose track of their own land.</p> <p>Just before the second world war, Henry Downie moved out of his house in the Sydney suburb of Ashbury. Downie died a decade later, but his will was never administered. At the time of his death, a Mrs Grimes rented the house and did so for a further 50 years. Downie’s next of kin did not realise they had inherited the house or that they were Grimes’s landlord.</p> <p>Grimes died in 1998 and Bill Gertos, a property developer, saw the house was vacant. He changed the locks, did some repairs, then leased the house and paid the rates for the next 17 years. He then made an application under <a href="https://classic.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_act/rpa1900178/s45d.html">NSW property laws</a> to become the registered proprietor. At this point, Downie’s next of kin became aware they may have been entitled to the property and disputed Gertos’s claim.</p> <p>The <a href="https://www8.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/cases/nsw/NSWSC/2018/1629.html">court held</a> Gertos had been “in possession” of the property since the late 1990s. The next of kin had a legal right to eject him, but they had failed to do so within the statutory time limit of 12 years. Gertos had the best claim to the house. He <a href="https://www.domain.com.au/6-malleny-street-ashbury-nsw-2193-2015821514">promptly sold it</a> for A$1.4 million.</p> <p>Outrageous as this may seem, the law encourages caring for land. If you fail to take responsibility for your land, and someone else does, you can lose it.</p> <h2>An old English tradition</h2> <p>Gertos’s jackpot was unusual, and adverse possession has always been more relevant in a country like England.</p> <p>First, for much of English history, many people did not have documentary title (deeds) to their land. People were illiterate, parchment was expensive, and documents could disappear in a puff of smoke in a house fire. The law often had to rely on people’s physical possession of land as proof of ownership.</p> <p>Second, as a result of feudalism, vast swathes of England were owned by the aristocracy. They and their 20th-century successors in title, often local councils, had a habit of forgetting they owned five suburbs in London.</p> <p>In the post second world war housing crisis, thousands of families, and later young people and students, <a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/b017cfv4">squatted in vacant houses</a> owned by public and private landlords who lacked the means or motivation to maintain them.</p> <h2>A sign of the times</h2> <p>In contrast, in Australia, for most of our settler history, governments of all political persuasions actively prevented the emergence of a landed class.</p> <p>But now, courtesy of tax policies that <a href="https://www.quarterlyessay.com.au/essay/2023/11/the-great-divide">encourage investment</a> in residential real estate, we have a landlord class of Baby Boomer and Gen X investors. That has caused housing market stress as younger people cannot make the natural transition from being renters to homeowners. They are outbid by older, wealthier buyers whose tax benefits from negative gearing increase with every dollar they borrow to buy an investment property.</p> <p>Money flowing into the market then means that landlords’ greatest benefit is capital gain rather than income, and thanks to John Howard, investors pay <a href="https://theconversation.com/stranger-than-fiction-who-labors-capital-gains-tax-changes-will-really-hurt-109657">no tax</a> on half of that gain.</p> <p>Finally, an almost exclusive reliance by government on the <a href="https://australiainstitute.org.au/post/for-more-affordable-housing-we-need-more-public-housing/">private sector</a> to provide new homes – which it will only do if it is making a profit – has left many people in deep housing stress.</p> <p>While squatters in Australia are likely to find themselves swiftly subject to court orders for ejection, van den Berg’s rallying cry indicates just how inequitable the housing market has become. Baby Boomers and Gen X should be on notice – young people want their housing back. <!-- 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/227556/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><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/cathy-sherry-466"><em>Cathy Sherry</em></a><em>, Professor in Law, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/macquarie-university-1174">Macquarie University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/if-you-squat-in-a-vacant-property-does-the-law-give-you-the-house-for-free-well-sort-of-227556">original article</a>.</em></p>

Legal

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How much sport will you be able to watch for free under proposed new Australian broadcast rules?

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/hunter-fujak-290599">Hunter Fujak</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/david-rowe-16403">David Rowe</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/western-sydney-university-1092">Western Sydney University</a></em></p> <p>Watching sport on television and other screens is integral to the <a href="https://researchdirect.westernsydney.edu.au/islandora/object/uws%3A57259">cultural lives of many Australians</a>.</p> <p>This is why, in 1995, the anti-siphoning scheme was introduced to ensure sport “<a href="http://www.tandfebooks.com/isbn/9780203758397">events of national importance and cultural significance</a>” would not be captured exclusively by pay TV at the expense of free-to-air coverage.</p> <p>There have been enormous <a href="https://www.taylorfrancis.com/chapters/edit/10.4324/9780429402265-5/television-tony-bennett-modesto-gayo-david-rowe-graeme-turner">changes in television</a> since and this analogue-era legislation is increasingly out of step with the modern digital media landscape.</p> <p>Critically, under current definitions, streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon fall outside a scheme restricting subscription broadcasters like Foxtel.</p> <p>The federal government <a href="https://anthonyalbanese.com.au/media-centre/labor-will-support-local-tv-free-sport-in-the-streaming-age">promised</a> before its election in 2022 to review the anti-siphoning scheme. Its subsequent <a href="https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/Bills_Search_Results/Result?bId=r7132">Communications Legislation Amendment (Prominence and Anti-siphoning) Bill 2023</a> is designed to close the “<a href="https://theconversation.com/streaming-platforms-will-soon-be-required-to-invest-more-in-australian-tv-and-films-which-could-be-good-news-for-our-screen-sector-198757">regulatory gap</a>” that has emerged within media law since Netflix’s launch in Australia in 2015.</p> <p>The Senate referred the bill to its Environment and Communications Legislation Committee. Its report has just been released and will help shape Australians’ access to sport media content.</p> <h2>The importance of prominence</h2> <p>“Prominence” refers to the discoverability of individual media applications, such as Netflix or 9Now, on the user homepage of smart televisions.</p> <p>The federal government is troubled by overseas services like YouTube and Amazon being immediately visible on smart televisions through commercial licensing agreements, effectively “burying” Australian free-to-air TV.</p> <p>Public service broadcaster SBS, for example, <a href="https://www.9news.com.au/national/anti-siphoning-prominence-laws-australia-free-to-air-tv-channels/87bc8ddd-4120-4542-864e-2c84a781411e">claimed</a> during Senate hearings that one television manufacturer demanded both a placement fee and a 15% share of revenue to feature on the television’s homepage.</p> <p>Prominence is crucial in sport because anti-siphoning legislation is based on the principle that, although in <a href="https://www.thenewdaily.com.au/finance/finance-news/2023/03/06/tv-habits-australia">general decline</a>, free-to-air TV is still the most effective, <a href="https://accan.org.au/files/Reports/ACCAN%20Research%20Snapshot%20How%20Australians%20Watch%20TV.pdf">low-cost, readily-accessed</a> vehicle for delivering premium sport to a majority of Australian households.</p> <h2>Anti-siphoning</h2> <p>While often criticised by <a href="https://www.infrastructure.gov.au/have-your-say/anti-siphoning-scheme-review">subscription media companies and many sports</a> as anti-competitive, anti-siphoning legislation is significantly responsible for the continued abundance of free major sport on our televisions.</p> <p>In a portent of the risks ahead, <a href="https://www.cricket.com.au/news/3807634/amazon-prime-video-secures-icc-broadcast-rights-in-australia-t20-odi-world-cup-world-test-championship-2024-27">International Cricket Council</a> World Cups will disappear from free-to-air television between 2024 and 2027, after the world governing body signed an exclusive four-year deal with streaming platform Amazon.</p> <p>The <a href="https://www.theage.com.au/sport/afl/afl-boss-flies-to-us-for-talks-with-media-companies-20220425-p5ag16.html">AFL</a> also reportedly met Amazon in 2022 as part of its media rights negotiations.</p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/regardless-of-the-rules-sport-is-fleeing-free-tv-for-pay-and-it-might-be-an-avalanche-154640">Loopholes</a> in the scheme are also being increasingly exploited. This problem was exposed in 2018 when <a href="https://www.cricket.com.au/news/3296093/tvs-antisiphon-list-and-cricket-explained">Australian one-day international cricket matches</a> went behind a paywall, despite being listed as free-to-air events.</p> <p>As <a href="https://www.news.com.au/entertainment/tv/streaming/nrl-calls-for-technologically-neutral-overhaul-to-sport-broadcasting/news-story/31fc06ab986e12c7e6f720df33d23ad1">Foxtel</a> told the Senate hearing, both Nine (Stan) and Ten (Paramount+) are now hybrid networks, able to move acquired sports from free-to-air broadcast to behind a streaming paywall.</p> <p>At present, free-to-air networks cannot be compelled to acquire the rights to any sport, broadcast them if they do, or refrain from on-selling them to a pay platform.</p> <h2>What are the implications for sport and other viewers?</h2> <p>The majority Senate report broadly supported the federal government’s existing <a href="https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/rowland/media-release/exposure-draft-prominence-regulations-released">exposure draft</a>.</p> <p>Regarding prominence, this means free-to-air channel “tiles” will be highly visible when you turn on a new smart TV. A 12-month phased implementation of a prominence framework was recommended by the committee – and would only apply to new televisions.</p> <p>The committee also broadly accepted the draft bill’s anti-siphoning provisions, which will affect what and where sport is viewed by fans.</p> <p>First, the listed events will be expanded by 30% and incorporate more women’s and parasports. They include the AFLW and NRLW finals, NRLW State of Origin, and the Summer Paralympic Games.</p> <p>To provide counterbalancing benefits to subscription broadcasters, sport events not acquired by a free-to-air broadcaster will become more quickly available to subscription platforms (12 months before an event starts, rather than six months before). This provides subscription platforms with greater lead-in times to plan, organise and promote their content schedules.</p> <p>The most controversial recommendation related to the scope of anti-siphoning laws, affecting how Australian viewers can access sport in the medium term.</p> <p>It supported the government’s position, on grounds of excessive competitive advantage, that anti-siphoning should only apply to terrestrial broadcasting. This excludes digital rights for live streaming through broadcast video on demand apps such as 9Now, Seven+, iView and SBS On Demand.</p> <p>Commercial free-to-air broadcasters called this a “<a href="https://www.mediaweek.com.au/industry-reacts-to-prominence-and-anti-siphoning-findings/">nightmare scenario</a>”, as they <a href="https://www.freetv.com.au/access-to-local-tv-services-and-free-sport-under-threat-unless-laws-are-strengthened/">estimate</a> 50% of households will be watching TV online by 2027.</p> <p>For viewers without televisions connected to aerials, this could make major sport events on free-to-air TV unavailable. Although terrestrial TV is still the most <a href="https://intellectdiscover.com/content/journals/10.1386/jdmp_00098_1">universally available screen sport vehicle</a>, aerials are no longer routinely installed in new housing developments.</p> <p>Research by the <a href="https://www.acma.gov.au/television-research">Australian Communications and Media Authority</a>, though, indicates that free-to-air network claims about disappearing TV aerials are somewhat exaggerated. Nonetheless, as modernisation was a central justification for the anti-siphoning reforms, the strategic compromise over broadcast video on demand apps will inevitably be scrutinised.</p> <p>Notably, in a dissenting minority report, the Greens were unhappy the bill did not go far enough in either prominence or anti-siphoning. They reserved their right to reject it unless suitably amended to guarantee global corporations could not capture Australian sports rights.</p> <h2>What happens next?</h2> <p>The amended bill must pass through Parliament to become law, and its final shape and the fate of any amendments are as yet unknown.</p> <p>While it is widely, though not universally, acknowledged action is needed to protect free screen sport viewing, intense disagreement remains among competing interest groups over what is to be done now and in the future.</p> <p>To safeguard their viewing interests, Australian sport fans will need to watch these formidably technical debates as closely as their favourite sport contests.<!-- 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/226499/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/hunter-fujak-290599">Hunter Fujak</a>, Senior Lecturer in Sport Management, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/david-rowe-16403">David Rowe</a>, Emeritus Professor of Cultural Research, Institute for Culture and Society, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/western-sydney-university-1092">Western Sydney 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/how-much-sport-will-you-be-able-to-watch-for-free-under-proposed-new-australian-broadcast-rules-226499">original article</a>.</em></p>

TV

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Dad kicked off Jetstar flight for breaking cardinal rule

<p>A dad has been kicked off a Jetstar flight after snapping a picture of his family boarding the plane from the tarmac. </p> <p>Jimmy Mitchell was with his wife Pauline and their two children as they went to board their flight from Sydney to Brisbane, where they were embarking on a cruise. </p> <p>As the family were boarding the plane from the tarmac, Jimmy quickly took a picture of his kids and his wife who were walking up the rear stairs of the plane. </p> <p>According to Jimmy, who is a seasoned traveller, he didn't hear an announcement be made that passengers were prohibited from taking photos on the tarmac because the plane was refuelling. </p> <p>He was eventually able to board the flight after being confronted by cabin crew, but described the debacle as “one of the most traumatic experiences” he’s had.</p> <p>In a viral TikTok, he alleged that while he was taking the photo, a cabin crew member called him an “idiot”. He said that when she tried to get his attention to put the device away it left him embarrassed and shocked. </p> <p>“This is the worst experience I’ve ever had flying,” he said in the clip.</p> <p>“I try and get on the plane, I take a photo of my kids as they get on the plane, in flight mode, and the lady calls me an idiot,” he said.</p> <p>After he confronted the staff member, Mr Mitchell claims he was told he won’t be allowed to board the flight.</p> <p>“I turned around in disbelief because I was half way up the stairs at this point. I basically stormed over to her and I was like, ‘Are you serious? What did you just call me?’</p> <p>“She was basically saying ‘you can’t take photos on the tarmac, you can’t take photos on the tarmac’.”</p> <p>The pair allegedly went back and forth before the father-of-two, known for his travel content, was rejected from boarding the plane. </p> <p>“If she had literally just said anything else, like ‘get off your phone’, I would have done it.”</p> <p>“Apparently, they made an announcement, but I had noise cancelling headphones, Pauline (wife) told me after the fact – I didn’t hear it, there was no notifications about it, there was no signage, no nothing."</p> <p>“All she had to do was say something constructive. ‘Get off your phone,’ ‘you can’t have your phone out’ and I would have been like ‘sorry’, but she screams across the tarmac calling me an idiot.”</p> <p>“I can see how she maybe felt I was being intimidating because I am a big guy and I am a loud guy. She turns around to me and goes ‘you almost assaulted me, get off the tarmac, you’re not getting on this plane’.”</p> <p>Mr Mitchell then walked back inside the terminal where he awaited further instructions, and was later able to board the flight “after cooler heads prevailed” but wants the airline to apologise to him and his family over the “stressful” situation.</p> <p>“The way they treated Pauline and the kids and not allowing me to communicate with them what was going on, was completely unacceptable,” he said.</p> <p>The debacle has sparked a huge debate on his TikTok and Instagram over who is in the wrong.</p> <p>“Wow … that’s insane! So sorry that happened to you!” one person wrote.</p> <p>“Take it further and don’t let them get away with what they have done,” a second person said.</p> <p>However, others were quick to comment that as a seasoned traveller, Jimmy should've been well versed in the rules of not taking photos on the tarmac.</p> <p><em>Image credits: TikTok</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Australia's oldest person bids farewell to iconic beach house

<p>In a heartwarming tale that speaks to the enduring love for cherished places and the passing of generational torches, Marija Ruljancich, Australia's oldest person, has bid farewell to her beloved holiday retreat.</p> <p>The Sorrento pile, nestled on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, has found new hands, marking the end of an era and the dawn of a promising new chapter.</p> <p>Marija, who reached the remarkable milestone of 110 years in 2023, has been the guardian of this beachside haven for countless years. With its origins tracing back to 1960, when it was designed by the esteemed architect Daryl Jackson AO for local businessman Robert Riley, the house has stood as a testament to timeless design and cherished memories.</p> <p>The sale of this iconic property has not only captured the attention of locals but also stirred the hearts of many across the nation. Despite its undisclosed transaction sum, it's understood that the sale falls within the property's estimated range, a fitting exchange for a home steeped in history and affection.</p> <p>What truly warms the soul is the buyer's commitment to honouring the legacy of Riley House. With plans to restore the dwelling to its original glory, there's a palpable sense of joy and relief within Marija's family. The Melbourne-based buyer, driven by a passion for preserving architectural heritage, sees beyond the bricks and mortar; they envision a continuation of the house's story, enriched by their own memories and experiences.</p> <p>As Liz Jensen of Kay & Burton Portsea recounts the emotional journey of the sale, it's evident that this isn't merely a transaction; it's a celebration of life, love, and the power of preservation. </p> <p>"Congratulations to Australia’s oldest living person," Liz wrote on Instagram, "as today she successfully sells her long-held and much loved Sorrento mid century beachside family holiday home designed by Architect Daryl Jackson AO."</p> <p>The buyer's dedication to retaining even the smallest details, such as the built-in speaker nestled within the dining room cupboard, speaks volumes about their reverence for the past and their vision for the future.</p> <p>Amid whispers of demolishing the home, the decision to uphold its structure stands as a testament to the enduring spirit of community and connection. For those who walked through its halls during inspections, the house isn't just a property; it's a repository of memories, a canvas upon which stories of old Sorrento are painted with every creaking floorboard and whispering breeze.</p> <p>For Marija and her family, and for all those who have been touched by its charm, the legacy lives on – a timeless reminder of the beauty found in preserving the past while embracing the promise of tomorrow.</p> <p><em>Images: Instagram | </em><em>Kay & Burton Portsea</em></p>

Real Estate

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"Exciting news": MKR couple Carly and Tresne share heartwarming update

<p><em>My Kitchen Rules</em> couple Carly Saunders and Tresne Middleton have shared that they are expected a baby boy. </p> <p>The couple endured the worst when their daughter, Poppy Grace, passed away in February 2023 at just 20 months old after battling leukaemia. </p> <p>Just five months after Poppy's death, the couple were dealt another blow as they announced they had suffered a miscarriage.</p> <p>Now, a year on from Poppy's tragic passing, the women have shared some joyous news with their followers, sharing that they are expecting a new addition to their family.</p> <p>Posting the pregnancy announcement to their shared Instagram page, they wrote that their baby boy is due on August 24th this year: just one day before Carly's birthday.</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/C4-FyQ6RJLe/?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/C4-FyQ6RJLe/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Carly Tresne (@carlyandtresne)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>“We have some exciting news! Poppy Grace is going to be a big sister! 🎉” they said on Tuesday.</p> <p>“We’ve been battling with the right time to share this news, as we always want to be sensitive to those who have been going through their own challenges with cancer and fertility treatment. But this bump is getting too big to hide!”</p> <p>Carly continued writing of the challenging journey she and Tresne had gone through, both undergoing IVF while dealing with the grief of losing Poppy Grace.</p> <p>“We both struggle with visiting the hospital due to the difficult memories of our 17 months living in hospital with Poppy Grace," she wrote. </p> <p>"This darling little boy is something very positive for us to look forward to. Thank you to the people who have continued to be in our corner."</p> <p>"We want to give this sweet little boy the best possible chance, and we know that our beautiful Poppy will be excitedly looking down on us with happiness dancing in her heart. 🩵"</p> <p>The announcement prompted a flood of well wishes and congratulations for the couple, with one overjoyed fan writing, "Oh I’m so happy for you all. A beautiful little boy sent from above by their big sis."</p> <p><em>Image credits: Instagram </em></p>

Family & Pets

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Why do airlines charge so much for checked bags? This obscure rule helps explain why

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/jay-l-zagorsky-152952">Jay L. Zagorsky</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/boston-university-898">Boston University</a></em></p> <p>Five out of the six <a href="https://www.oag.com/blog/biggest-airlines-in-the-us">biggest U.S. airlines</a> have <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2024/03/05/delta-is-the-latest-airline-to-raise-its-checked-bag-fee.html">raised their checked bag fees</a> since January 2024.</p> <p>Take American Airlines. In 2023, it cost US$30 to check a standard bag in with the airline; <a href="https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/airline-news/2024/02/20/american-airlines-bag-fees-mileage-earning/72669245007/">today, as of March 2024, it costs $40</a> at a U.S. airport – a whopping 33% increase.</p> <p>As a <a href="https://www.bu.edu/questrom/">business school</a> <a href="https://www.bu.edu/questrom/profile/jay-zagorsky/">professor who studies travel</a>, I’m often asked why airlines alienate their customers with baggage fees instead of bundling all charges together. <a href="https://www.vox.com/2015/4/16/8431465/airlines-carry-on-bags">There are</a> <a href="https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/columnist/2023/06/21/bag-fees-will-stay-a-while-cruising-altitude/70338849007/">many reasons</a>, but an important, often overlooked cause is buried in the U.S. tax code.</p> <h2>A tax-law loophole</h2> <p>Airlines pay the federal government <a href="https://www.ecfr.gov/current/title-26/chapter-I/subchapter-D/part-49/subpart-D">7.5% of the ticket price</a> when <a href="https://www.pwc.com/us/en/services/tax/library/aircraft-club-nov-2023-air-transport-excise-tax-rates-for-2024.html">flying people domestically, alongside other fees</a>. The airlines dislike these charges, with their <a href="https://www.airlines.org/dataset/government-imposed-taxes-on-air-transportation/">trade association arguing</a> that they boost the cost to the consumer of a typical air ticket by around one-fifth.</p> <p>However, the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations <a href="https://www.ecfr.gov/current/title-26/chapter-I/subchapter-D/part-49/subpart-D/section-49.4261-8">specifically excludes baggage</a> from the 7.5% transportation tax as long as “the charge is separable from the payment for the transportation of a person and is shown in the exact amount.”</p> <p>This means if an airline charges a combined $300 to fly you and a bag round-trip within the U.S., it owes $22.50 in tax. If the airline charges $220 to fly you plus separately charges $40 each way for the bag, then your total cost is the same — but the airline only owes the government $16.50 in taxes. Splitting out baggage charges saves the airline $6.</p> <p>Now $6 might not seem like much, but it can add up. Last year, passengers took <a href="https://www.transtats.bts.gov/Data_Elements.aspx?Data=1">more than 800 million trips on major airlines</a>. Even if only a fraction of them check their bags, that means large savings for the industry.</p> <p>How large? The government has <a href="https://www.bts.dot.gov/topics/airlines-and-airports/baggage-fees-airline-2023">tracked revenue from bag fees</a> for decades. In 2002, airlines charged passengers a total of $180 million to check bags, which worked out to around 33 cents per passenger.</p> <p>Today, as any flyer can attest, bag fees are a lot higher. Airlines collected over 40 times more money in bag fees last year than they did in 2002.</p> <p>When the full data is in for 2023, <a href="https://www.bts.dot.gov/baggage-fees">total bag fees</a> will likely top $7 billion, which is about $9 for the average domestic passenger. <a href="https://viewfromthewing.com/the-real-reason-airlines-charge-checked-bag-fees-and-its-not-what-you-think">By splitting out the cost of bags</a>, airlines avoided paying about half a billion dollars in taxes just last year.</p> <p>In the two decades since 2002, flyers paid a total of about $70 billion in bag fees. This means separately charging for bags saved airlines about $5 billion in taxes.</p> <p><iframe id="88MYD" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/88MYD/2/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>It seems clear to me that tax savings are one driver of the unbundling of baggage fees because of a quirk in the law.</p> <p>The U.S. government doesn’t apply the 7.5% tax to <a href="https://www.ecfr.gov/current/title-26/chapter-I/subchapter-D/part-49/subpart-D/section-49.4261-3">international flights that go more than 225 miles</a> beyond the nation’s borders. Instead, there are fixed <a href="https://www.airlines.org/dataset/government-imposed-taxes-on-air-transportation">international departure and arrival taxes</a>. This is why major airlines charge $35 to $40 <a href="https://www.aa.com/i18n/travel-info/baggage/checked-baggage-policy.jsp">for bags if you’re flying domestically</a>, but don’t charge a bag fee when you’re flying to Europe or Asia.</p> <h2>Do travelers get anything for that money?</h2> <p>This system raises an interesting question: Do baggage fees force airlines to be more careful with bags, since customers who pay more expect better service? To find out, I checked with the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, which has been <a href="https://www.bts.gov/content/mishandled-baggage-reports-filed-passengers-largest-us-air-carriersa">tracking lost luggage for decades</a>.</p> <p>For many years, it calculated the number of mishandled-baggage reports per thousand airline passengers. The government’s data showed mishandled bags peaked in 2007 with about seven reports of lost or damaged luggage for every thousand passengers. That means you could expect your luggage to go on a different trip than the one you are taking about once every 140 or so flights. By 2018, that estimate had fallen to once every 350 flights.</p> <p>In 2019, the government <a href="https://www.bts.gov/topics/airlines-and-airports/number-30a-technical-directive-mishandled-baggage-amended-effective-jan">changed how it tracks</a> mishandled bags, calculating figures based on the total number of bags checked, rather than the total number of passengers. The new data show about six bags per thousand checked get lost or damaged, which is less than 1% of checked bags. Unfortunately, the data doesn’t show improvement since 2019.</p> <p>Is there anything that you can do about higher bag fees? Complaining to politicians probably won’t help. In 2010, two senators <a href="https://www.nj.com/business/2010/04/us_senators_present_bill_to_ba.html">tried to ban bag fees</a>, and their bill went nowhere.</p> <p>Given that congressional action failed, there’s a simple way to avoid higher bag fees: <a href="https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/packing-expert-travel-world-handbag/index.html">travel light</a> and <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2023/07/08/opinion/carry-on-packing-airlines-lost-luggage.html">don’t check any luggage</a>. It may sound tough not to have all your belongings when traveling, but it might be the best option as bag fees take off.<!-- 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/225857/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/jay-l-zagorsky-152952">Jay L. Zagorsky</a>, Associate Professor of Markets, Public Policy and Law, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/boston-university-898">Boston University</a></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/why-do-airlines-charge-so-much-for-checked-bags-this-obscure-rule-helps-explain-why-225857">original article</a>.</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Homeowner fined just $667 over fire that killed six people

<p>A homeowner has been slapped with a fine for smoke alarm failure after a house fire killed six people. </p> <p>The 61-year-old woman has been forced to pay just $667 for failing to install legally required and compliant smoke alarms, after a father and his five children died in the property due to a deadly house fire. </p> <p>Donna Rose Beadel was the owner of the home on Russell Island where Wayne Godinet, 34, and his five sons were residing in August 2023. </p> <p>The house was engulfed in flames, also destroying two neighbouring homes and leaving several people needing treatment for minor burns and smoke inhalation, while the children's mother Samantha Stephenson, and another woman survived the blaze. </p> <p>Cleveland magistrate Deborah Vasta handed down the maximum fine of $667.25 to Ms Beadel for failing to comply with smoke alarm legislation, saying, "It seems a pittance, however it's not for me to comment on the laws."</p> <p>"It's absolutely no excuse that she failed to keep abreast of the laws required of an investment property owner in having the premises legally wired with smoke detectors after January 2022," Vasta said.</p> <p>The fine comes just weeks after the children's grandmother claimed her daughter had "begged" their landlord to <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/major-claim-in-investigation-into-deadly-house-fire-that-killed-five-children" target="_blank" rel="noopener">fix</a> the smoke alarms in the house.</p> <p>When Ms Beadel was charged for her involvement in the tragedy, Rebecca Stephenson claimed that her daughter had spoken to the landlord about updating the smoke alarms in the property just one week before the fire. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Nine</em></p>

Legal

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Police share wild seatbelt pic after fining driver for bizarre DIY fix

<p>A driver has copped a $387 fine over their bizarre seatbelt fix during a random stationary test at Richmond in Sydney's northwest. </p> <p>A photo shared by NSW Police Traffic and Highway Patrol showed the shocking state of the driver's seatbelt, which was tattered and held together by duct tape. </p> <p>The police department have warned other drivers to make sure their seatbelts are in good condition, otherwise they too might cop a fine and demerit points.</p> <p>"Seatbelts help to save lives, except for this one...."  they wrote in a Facebook post on Wednesday. </p> <p>"Hawkesbury Highway Patrol were recently conducting random stationary testing on Londonderry Road at Richmond when they spoke with a driver about his seatbelt.</p> <p> "Not only was the seatbelt not being worn, an inspection of the seatbelt found it to be dangerously defective," they added. </p> <p>"He was issued a defect notice and infringement in the amount of $387 and three demerit points. Please ensure your seatbelts don't look like this."</p> <p><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2024/03/SeatbeltNSWPolice.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="720" /></p> <p>Many commenters were baffled as to how the vehicle passed the eSafety check, also known as a pink slip inspection, which is required for vehicles over five years old in NSW to be deemed roadworthy. </p> <p>"And who passed the Pink Slip? That’s where I’d be heading,"  one wrote. </p> <p>"I wonder who did the rego check on this vehicle," another added. </p> <p>"How does it even get to that stage," a third questioned, while others agreed that the seatbelt was no longer safe. </p> <p><em>Images: Getty / Traffic and Highway Patrol Command, NSW Police Force</em></p>

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