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Why prices are so high – 8 ways retail pricing algorithms gouge consumers

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/david-tuffley-13731">David Tuffley</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/griffith-university-828">Griffith University</a></em></p> <p>The just-released report of the inquiry into <a href="https://pricegouginginquiry.actu.org.au/">price gouging and unfair pricing</a> conducted by Allan Fels for the Australian Council of Trades Unions does more than identify the likely offenders.</p> <p>It finds the biggest are supermarkets, banks, airlines and electricity companies.</p> <p>It’s not enough to know their tricks. Fels wants to give the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission more power to investigate and more power to prohibit mergers.</p> <p>But it helps to know how they try to trick us, and how technology has enabled them to get better at it. After reading the report, I’ve identified eight key maneuvers.</p> <h2>1. Asymmetric price movements</h2> <p>Otherwise known as <a href="https://www.jstor.org/stable/25593733">Rocket and Feather</a>, this is where businesses push up prices quickly when costs rise, but cut them slowly or late after costs fall.</p> <p>It seems to happen for <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0140988323002074">petrol</a> and <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S105905601730240X">mortgage rates</a>, and the Fels inquiry was presented with evidence suggesting it happens in supermarkets.</p> <p>Brendan O’Keeffe from NSW Farmers told the inquiry wholesale lamb prices had been falling for six months before six Woolworths announced a cut in the prices of lamb it was selling as a “<a href="https://pricegouginginquiry.actu.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/InquiryIntoPriceGouging_Report_web.pdf">Christmas gift</a>”.</p> <h2>2. Punishment for loyal customers</h2> <p>A <a href="https://theconversation.com/simple-fixes-could-help-save-australian-consumers-from-up-to-3-6-billion-in-loyalty-taxes-119978">loyalty tax</a> is what happens when a business imposes higher charges on customers who have been with it for a long time, on the assumption that they won’t move.</p> <p>The Australian Securities and Investments Commission has alleged a big <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-qantas-might-have-done-all-australians-a-favour-by-making-refunds-so-hard-to-get-213346">insurer</a> does it, setting premiums not only on the basis of risk, but also on the basis of what a computer model tells them about the likelihood of each customer tolerating a price hike. The insurer disputes the claim.</p> <p>It’s often done by offering discounts or new products to new customers and leaving existing customers on old or discontinued products.</p> <p>It happens a lot in the <a href="https://www.finder.com.au/utilities-loyalty-costing-australians-billions-2024">electricity industry</a>. The plans look good at first, and then less good as providers bank on customers not making the effort to shop around.</p> <p>Loyalty taxes appear to be less common among mobile phone providers. Australian laws make it easy to switch <a href="https://www.reviews.org/au/mobile/how-to-switch-mobile-carriers-and-keep-your-number/">and keep your number</a>.</p> <h2>3. Loyalty schemes that provide little value</h2> <p>Fels says loyalty schemes can be a “low-cost means of retaining and exploiting consumers by providing them with low-value rewards of dubious benefit”.</p> <p>Their purpose is to lock in (or at least bias) customers to choices already made.</p> <p>Examples include airline frequent flyer points, cafe cards that give you your tenth coffee free, and supermarket points programs. The purpose is to lock in (or at least bias) consumers to products already chosen.</p> <p>The <a href="https://www.accc.gov.au/consumers/advertising-and-promotions/customer-loyalty-schemes">Australian Competition and Consumer Commission</a> has found many require users to spend a lot of money or time to earn enough points for a reward.</p> <p>Others allow points to expire or rules to change without notice or offer rewards that are not worth the effort to redeem.</p> <p>They also enable businesses to collect data on spending habits, preferences, locations, and personal information that can be used to construct customer profiles that allow them to target advertising and offers and high prices to some customers and not others.</p> <h2>4. Drip pricing that hides true costs</h2> <p>The Competition and Consumer Commission describes <a href="https://pricegouginginquiry.actu.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/InquiryIntoPriceGouging_Report_web.pdf">drip pricing</a> as “when a price is advertised at the beginning of an online purchase, but then extra fees and charges (such as booking and service fees) are gradually added during the purchase process”.</p> <p>The extras can add up quickly and make final bills much higher than expected.</p> <p>Airlines are among the best-known users of the strategy. They often offer initially attractive base fares, but then add charges for baggage, seat selection, in-flight meals and other extras.</p> <h2>5. Confusion pricing</h2> <p>Related to drip pricing is <a href="https://www.x-mol.net/paper/article/1402386414932836352">confusion pricing</a> where a provider offers a range of plans, discounts and fees so complex they are overwhelming.</p> <p>Financial products like insurance have convoluted fee structures, as do electricity providers. Supermarkets do it by bombarding shoppers with “specials” and “sales”.</p> <p>When prices change frequently and without notice, it adds to the confusion.</p> <h2>6. Algorithmic pricing</h2> <p><a href="https://pricegouginginquiry.actu.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/InquiryIntoPriceGouging_Report_web.pdf">Algorithmic pricing</a> is the practice of using algorithms to set prices automatically taking into account competitor responses, which is something akin to computers talking to each other.</p> <p>When computers get together in this way they can <a href="https://www.x-mol.net/paper/article/1402386414932836352">act as it they are colluding</a> even if the humans involved in running the businesses never talk to each other.</p> <p>It can act even more this way when multiple competitors use the same third-party pricing algorithm, effectively allowing a single company to influence prices.</p> <h2>7. Price discrimination</h2> <p>Price discrimination involves charging different customers different prices for the same product, setting each price in accordance with how much each customer is prepared to pay.</p> <p>Banks do it when they offer better rates to customers likely to leave them, electricity companies do it when they offer better prices for business customers than households, and medical specialists do it when they offer vastly different prices for the same service to consumers with different incomes.</p> <p>It is made easier by digital technology and data collection. While it can make prices lower for some customers, it can make prices much more expensive to customers in a hurry or in urgent need of something.</p> <h2>8. Excuse-flation</h2> <p><a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2023-03-09/how-excuseflation-is-keeping-prices-and-corporate-profits-high">Excuse-flation</a> is where general inflation provides “cover” for businesses to raise prices without justification, blaming nothing other than general inflation.</p> <p>It means that in times of general high inflation businesses can increase their prices even if their costs haven’t increased by as much.</p> <p>On Thursday Reserve Bank Governor <a href="https://www.afr.com/policy/economy/inflation-is-cover-for-pricing-gouging-rba-boss-says-20240215-p5f58d">Michele Bullock</a> seemed to confirm that she though some firms were doing this saying that when inflation had been brought back to the Bank’s target, it would be "much more difficult, I think, for firms to use high inflation as cover for this sort of putting up their prices."</p> <h2>A political solution is needed</h2> <p>Ultimately, our own vigilance won’t be enough. We will need political help. The government’s recently announced <a href="https://treasury.gov.au/review/competition-review-2023">competition review</a> might be a step in this direction.</p> <p>The legislative changes should police business practices and prioritise fairness. Only then can we create a marketplace where ethics and competition align, ensuring both business prosperity and consumer wellbeing.</p> <p>This isn’t just about economics, it’s about building a fairer, more sustainable Australia.<!-- 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/223310/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/david-tuffley-13731"><em>David Tuffley</em></a><em>, Senior Lecturer in Applied Ethics &amp; CyberSecurity, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/griffith-university-828">Griffith 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/why-prices-are-so-high-8-ways-retail-pricing-algorithms-gouge-consumers-223310">original article</a>.</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Supermarkets, airlines and power companies are charging ‘exploitative’ prices despite reaping record profits

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/sanjoy-paul-1141384">Sanjoy Paul</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-technology-sydney-936">University of Technology Sydney</a></em></p> <p>Australians have been hit by large rises in grocery, energy, transport, child and aged care prices, only adding to other cost of living pressures.</p> <p>While extreme weather and supply delays have contributed to the increases, an inquiry into what’s causing the hikes has confirmed what commentators and consumers suspected - many sectors are resorting to dodgy price practices and confusing pricing.</p> <p>Headed by the former Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC) boss, Allan Fels, on behalf of the ACTU, the inquiry found inflation, questionable pricing practices, a lack of price transparency and regulations, a lack of market competition, supply chain problems and unrestricted price setting by retailers are to blame for fuelling the increases.</p> <p>The inquiry, which released its <a href="https://www.actu.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/InquiryIntoPriceGouging_Report_web9-1.pdf">final report</a> on Wednesday, is one of four examining price rises. The other three are being undertaken by a Senate committee, the Queensland government and the ACCC, which has been given extra powers by the government.</p> <h2>Prices vs inflation</h2> <p>The inflation rate in Australia peaked at <a href="https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/economy/price-indexes-and-inflation/consumer-price-index-australia/latest-release">7.8%</a> in December 2022 and has been gradually dropping since then.</p> <p>While the inquiry found higher prices contributed to inflation, it reported that businesses claimed it was inflation that caused price rises - making it a chicken-or-egg kind of problem.</p> <p>However, many businesses made enormous <a href="https://theconversation.com/amid-allegations-of-price-gouging-its-time-for-big-supermarkets-to-come-clean-on-how-they-price-their-products-219316">profits</a> in 2022-23, which the inquiry said contributed to rising prices and inflation. In most cases, post-pandemic profit margins were much higher than before the pandemic.</p> <h2>How prices are set</h2> <p>Business pricing strategies had a big impact on product prices.</p> <p>In Australia, businesses often provided partial and misleading pricing information which differed from the actual price. For example, supermarkets were “<a href="https://www.afr.com/politics/federal/accc-warns-supermarkets-about-discount-claims-20240114-p5ex1s">discounting</a>” products by raising prices beforehand.</p> <p>These practices helped raise prices and were “exploitative”, the inquiry found.</p> <p>A lack of transparent pricing information caused a poor understanding by consumers of how prices were set. This was significantly worsened by a lack of competition. While market concentration was a major issue, the inquiry found prices in Australia are way higher than in many other less competitive markets.</p> <p>Large price increases occurred across many sectors:</p> <p><strong>AVIATION</strong></p> <p>While it is free to set any price for airfares, Australia’s largest and highest profile aviation company, Qantas, has been <a href="https://www.thenewdaily.com.au/life/2023/12/28/qantas-deceptive-conduct-accc">accused</a> of price gouging since the pandemic.</p> <p>According to the inquiry report, Qantas made a profit of $1.7 billion in 2023 - 208% higher than in 2019. At the same time, its reputation has been badly damaged by unreliable timetables, lost baggage and so-called <a href="https://www.9news.com.au/national/qantas-files-legal-defence-refutes-accc-case-and-ghost-flight-claims/9a6296c9-9238-4053-9f36-cc3cbf1f8a55">“ghost” flights</a> (selling tickets for a flight that’s been cancelled or doesn’t exist).</p> <p>Despite its huge profits and poorer service, Qantas passed on extra expenses to consumers in the form of higher airfares, the inquiry found.</p> <p><strong>BANKING</strong></p> <p>The banking industry has a long history of being tardy in passing on the Reserve Bank’s cash rate cuts to consumers. However, when the reserve raised the cash rates, banks immediately increased their standard variable rates and passed them on to customers. This practice keeps the bank’s profit margin higher.</p> <p>According to the inquiry report, the major banks’ average profit margins have been higher since May 2022 than in the 15 years before the pandemic. For 2022-23, the four big Australian banks’ profit margins were 35.5%, compared to an average of 32.4% from 2005 to 2020.</p> <p><strong>CHILDCARE</strong></p> <p>Australian households spent a good portion of their income on childcare, and for many of them, it was <a href="https://www.vu.edu.au/sites/default/files/mitchell-institute-assessing-childcare-affordability-in-Australia.pdf">unaffordable</a>.</p> <p>In Australia, the lack of availability and difficulty in switching services makes it even harder for working parents to find alternative options. This indicates parents are forced to pay more if the service providers raise prices.</p> <p>The inquiry found the childcare sector increased fees by 20% to 32% from 2018 to 2022. Accordingly, Australian households’ out-of-pocket expenses for childcare increased more than the rate of wage growth. For-profit childcare businesses have higher margins than not-for-profit centres.</p> <p><strong>ELECTRICITY</strong></p> <p>In recent years, electricity price increases have impacted all Australian households. The inquiry found both wholesale and retail electricity pricing strategies were responsible for these increased prices.</p> <p>It reported that wholesale price increases were mainly responsible for an estimated 9% to 20% increase in electricity bills in 2022-23.</p> <p>The report noted the “price bidding system” was largely responsible for increasing wholesale electricity prices.</p> <p>The inquiry was critical of the profit margin of AGL, a leading electricity retailer:</p> <blockquote> <p>It would seem that AGL needs to explain why consumers are paying $60.10/MWh more than seems to be justified by cost differentials. That is, for every consumer bill of $1,000 there is an apparent excess to be explained of $205.61 relative to prices charged to large business customers and not accounted for by genuine cost differences.</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>SUPERMARKETS</strong></p> <p>Supermarket prices have received the most attention recently with the main providers being accused of price gouging.</p> <p>As has occurred in other sectors, profit margins were well above pre-COVID levels. In 2023, the margin was more than 3.5% compared to less than 3% in 2017 and 2018.</p> <p>In Australia, <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/not-happy-little-vegemites-food-prices-rising-faster-than-inflation-20230522-p5da9w.html">food prices</a> also increased well above the inflation rate.</p> <p>According to the inquiry, the price increases for groceries between March 2021 and September 2023 varied between 19.2% and 27.3% for different categories, including cheese, bread, milk, eggs, dairy products and breakfast cereals.</p> <p>Farmers recently <a href="https://www.news.com.au/finance/business/retail/aussie-farmer-shipping-beautiful-melons-to-japan-rather-than-deal-with-coles-and-woolworths/news-story/bd685cd91f934f31c02c764097f496ae">accused</a> supermarkets of making too much profit from their crops.</p> <p>This was backed by the inquiry, which found the disproportionate market power held by supermarkets and food processors was of significant concern.</p> <p>The report noted that supermarkets increased prices when there was a shortage or cost increase, but the opposite did not happen easily when supplies were plentiful and prices were cheaper.</p> <h2>Issues common to all sectors</h2> <p>Among the issues common to all sectors were weak competition, a lack of price transparency, the difficulty consumers face switching between suppliers and providers, a lack of pricing policies and a lack of consumer awareness.</p> <p>While the price rises imposed by service providers and retailers were <a href="https://www.accc.gov.au/business/pricing/setting-prices-whats-allowed">not unlawful</a>, the increases in all sectors were significant and were hurting everyday Australians.</p> <h2>Fels’ recommendations</h2> <p>Many of the recommendations were sector-specific, but the one that applied to all areas related to the lack of regulation and pricing policies.</p> <p>The ACCC should be empowered to investigate, monitor and regulate prices for the child and aged care, banking, grocery and food sectors, the inquiry found. This was necessary to ensure businesses used fair and transparent pricing.</p> <p>A review of all existing policies was also recommended. For example, the government should use the current aviation review to remove international and domestic restrictions on competition. It was important aviation stakeholders, such as airlines and airports, were involved in the process.</p> <p>The report suggested the grocery <a href="https://www.accc.gov.au/business/industry-codes/food-and-grocery-code-of-conduct">code of conduct</a> should be mandatory for the food and grocery sector, and a price register for farmers should be created. This should be a government priority to protect farmers from unfair pricing by major supermarkets and food processors.</p> <h2>Change is needed</h2> <p>The current pricing practices for all business sectors must improve for greater transparency and to protect Australian consumers from unfair pricing.</p> <p>The inquiry report’s findings and recommendations are helpful in ensuring fair and transparent pricing policies and improving the current regulations for price settings.</p> <p>Implementing the recommendations will improve fair and transparent pricing practices and may help Australians get relief from the cost of living pressure in future.<!-- 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/222755/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/sanjoy-paul-1141384"><em>Sanjoy Paul</em></a><em>, Associate Professor, UTS Business School, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-technology-sydney-936">University of Technology Sydney</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/supermarkets-airlines-and-power-companies-are-charging-exploitative-prices-despite-reaping-record-profits-222755">original article</a>.</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Zimmerman founder sets new price record for Bondi home

<p>Simone Zimmerman has set a new home price record for Bondi, and she didn't even need to take out a mortgage. </p> <p>The fashion guru and founder of Zimmermann has splurged $30 million for her four-bedroom, three-bathroom home just moments away from the iconic Bondi Beach. </p> <p>“This ocean front executive residence is tucked away in a quiet street only moments to the iconic Bondi Beach and all it has to offer,”  the listing for the beachside home read. </p> <p>According to property records, the home - which is located just behind the popular Bondi to Bronte walk - last sold for $5.75m in June 2008.</p> <p>The fashion mogul is reported to have bypassed local real estate agents, purchasing the home directly from a local investor. </p> <p>No major changes have been made to the home since, but prior to Zimmerman's purchase it was being rented out at $4,400 per week. </p> <p>According to PropTrack the median house price for Bondi is around $3.75m, which went up by 4.7 per cent over the past year. </p> <p>The stunning home features 4 double bedrooms, all with large built-in wardrobes and a separate study perfect for the business-woman. </p> <p>It also has a gourmet kitchen with a stainless-steel benchtop and large open dining room. </p> <p>The lounge room opens onto a large deck with beautiful ocean views and plenty of natural lighting. </p> <p>This comes after the luxury womenswear label sold a majority stake in its company to private equity investors in August last year. </p> <p>Sisters Simone and Nicky Zimmerman are founders of the brand, which initially began as a stall in Sydney’s Paddington market, before the sisters opened their first local shop in Darlinghurst. </p> <p>It now operates across 58 global destinations in the USA, UK, Europe and China, with the sisters now having an estimated net worth of around $1bn each. </p> <p><em>Images: Realestate.com.au</em></p>

Money & Banking

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"Wokeness gone mad": Steve Price slams AO Australia Day boycott

<p>Steve Price has slammed Australian Open organisers for choosing not to celebrate Australia Day for the second year in a row. </p> <p>The decision came after the Victorian government axed its Australia Day parade last year, amid growing backlash from athletes about celebrating on January 26. </p> <p>“This started last year and ended Australia Day celebrations, they used to feature fireworks, the playing of the national anthem and special musical events to mark the day at the tennis,” the Sky News host said. </p> <p>“So we have First Nations day, no drama from me about that, then the organisers have set aside a day for Australian Open Pride Day, an Australian Open All Abilities Day and an Australian Open Glam Slam for the LGBTI+ folk that will run across January 26 to 28.</p> <p>“You can’t make this stuff up.”</p> <p>Price also slammed the AO's decision to move the induction day for the tennis player who made it into this year's Australian Tennis Hall of Fame. </p> <p>The event normally takes place on January 26, but this year Lleyton Hewitt’s induction has been moved to the 24th of January. </p> <p>“This year it’s going to be Lleyton Hewitt – you couldn’t get a more Australian Australian than Lleyton Hewitt,” Price said. </p> <p>“They’ve changed the date of that event from Australia Day, when it used to be, to the 24th, two days earlier.</p> <p>“This is just crazy wokeness gone mad.</p> <p>“Can anyone at Tennis Australia defend this disgraceful snubbing of our national day by a tournament that carries the name of our nation," he ranted. </p> <p>Price then slammed the AO organisers for their decision. </p> <p>“It’s a pity the woke directors who run Tennis Australia don’t have the courage to drag the South African bloke running the organisation Craig Tiley into line and insist we recognise the great nation that lends its name to his tennis tournament," he said. </p> <p>A few others have agreed with Price, including Journalist Joe Hildebrand, who said that the decision is “counter-productive” in terms of making any meaningful difference. </p> <p>“The idea that these sorts of ridiculous virtue-signalling gestures are going to make any difference … is absolutely ridiculous – in fact, it puts people off even considering or wanting to address these issues,</p> <p>“This sort of stuff is what cost the Yes vote its victory … and it’s just so counter-productive, self-destructive, idiotic – you could use any name.”</p> <p>Radio Personality Tom Elliott, also called the move ridiculous. </p> <p>“If you’re going to call yourself the Australian Open and it happens that our national day takes place during the tournament, you have to acknowledge Australia Day,” he said. </p> <p>“Maybe the date will change down the track, but right now it’s January 26.”</p> <p><em>Images: Getty/ Sky News</em></p>

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Amid allegations of price gouging, it’s time for big supermarkets to come clean on how they price their products

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/sanjoy-paul-1141384">Sanjoy Paul</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-technology-sydney-936">University of Technology Sydney</a></em></p> <p>With inflation driving up the cost of living, many are dreading not just the hassle of a big grocery shop, but also the bruising cost.</p> <p>But while Australians struggle with their budget and spending, several major supermarkets made large profits in 2022–23. Coles and Woolworths, for example, made net profits of <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/business/2023/aug/23/woolworths-posts-162bn-profit-with-dramatic-lift-in-margins-despite-cost-of-living-crisis">A$1.1 billion and A$1.62 billion</a>, respectively.</p> <p><a href="https://www.news.com.au/finance/money/costs/coles-and-woolworths-chief-executives-to-face-senate-inquiry-into-supermarket-price-hikes/news-story/0f74b6d4cac20ee65b818642f4f554ba">Allegations of price gouging</a> by Australian supermarkets have even led to a <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-12-03/greens-move-to-establish-senate-inquiry-into-supermarkets/103179656">Senate inquiry</a> into supermarket pricing.</p> <p>Coles chief executive Leah Weckert has <a href="https://www.colesgroup.com.au/media-releases/?page=coles-group-statement-on-senate-inquiry-into-supermarket-prices">promised</a> to appear at the inquiry, saying the company “works hard to keep prices affordable for Australian households […]” and is ready to “engage in an informed discussion on the factors that influence supermarket pricing.”</p> <p>Woolworths Group chief executive Brad Banducci, meanwhile, <a href="https://www.woolworthsgroup.com.au/au/en/media/latest-news/2023/woolworths-group-confirms-ceo-will-appear-at-senate-inquiry-on-s.html">said</a> he welcomes the chance to explain to the Senate “how we are working to balance the needs of our customers, our team and our suppliers in the context of economy-wide inflationary pressure”.</p> <p>But why wait until a Senate inquiry to explain all that? There’s an opportunity <em>now</em> for the big supermarkets to be more transparent about how they decide what prices to put on products.</p> <h2>Allegations of price gouging</h2> <p>It’s not just <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-12-03/greens-move-to-establish-senate-inquiry-into-supermarkets/103179656">politicians</a> and <a href="https://au.finance.yahoo.com/news/woolworths-photo-exposes-everything-wrong-with-supermarkets-002726485.html">customers</a> complaining about supermarket prices.</p> <p>Australian farmers have also accused Coles and Woolworths of price gouging for <a href="https://www.news.com.au/finance/business/retail/aussie-farmer-shipping-beautiful-melons-to-japan-rather-than-deal-with-coles-and-woolworths/news-story/bd685cd91f934f31c02c764097f496ae">fruits and vegetables</a>, claiming supermarkets profit too much from their crops.</p> <p>The National Farmers’ Federation has <a href="https://www.freshplaza.com/oceania/article/9583132/farmers-call-for-price-transparency-beyond-supermarket-inquiry/">called</a> for greater transparency from the supermarkets on how they decide prices.</p> <p>A recent <a href="https://www.freshplaza.com/oceania/article/9583132/farmers-call-for-price-transparency-beyond-supermarket-inquiry/">survey</a> by AUSVEG (the peak industry body for the Australian vegetable and potato industries) found 34% of vegetable growers are considering leaving the industry in the next 12 months as they <a href="https://www.news.com.au/finance/business/retail/aussie-farmer-shipping-beautiful-melons-to-japan-rather-than-deal-with-coles-and-woolworths/news-story/bd685cd91f934f31c02c764097f496ae">struggle</a> to turn a profit.</p> <p>When asked about calls for more transparent pricing, a Woolworths spokesperson told The Conversation:</p> <blockquote> <p>We publish both our average gross margin and EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) margin transparently in our public financial reports.</p> <p>Supply chain costs are different for every product and they are constantly fluctuating, as are our buying costs in the case of fresh food like fruit and vegetables.</p> <p>Shoppers are very savvy. We operate in a highly competitive industry and we know our customers will – and do – shop around to find the best value.</p> <p>As we start to see the rate of inflation ease, we will continue to focus on delivering savings to our customers.</p> </blockquote> <p>Coles was also contacted for comment but did not reply before publication deadline.</p> <h2>Factoring in many costs</h2> <p>When a retailer buys products from their suppliers, it involves a supply chain that includes supply, manufacturing, transportation and distribution, warehouse and storage.</p> <p>There are several costs – such as product costs, transportation fees, labour, rent, inventory and more – involved at every step of the process.</p> <p>The supermarket must factor in all costs, as well as its profit margin, when it sets the selling price for a product.</p> <p>Organisations usually have these cost breakdowns as part of their internal decision-making – but they don’t typically disclose these calculations to their customers.</p> <h2>Not disclosing the cost breakdowns</h2> <p>The problem for supermarkets is that when they don’t disclose details such as their buying price or supply chain costs, it can contribute to anger among customers and suppliers.</p> <p>Apple and Pear Australia Limited – the national peak industry body for apple and pear growers – has <a href="https://apal.org.au/retailers-need-to-demonstrate-greater-price-transparency/">called for</a> retailers to demonstrate greater price transparency, saying, “frustration at the behaviour of the major retailers has again angered many growers”.</p> <p>Of course, supermarkets use several pricing strategies to win customer support – such as locking in prices for a certain period of time, everyday low prices on key products, specials, price-matching and discounts.</p> <p>Supermarkets spend millions of dollars on these price-related advertisements, but perhaps they would get more community support by simply disclosing cost breakdowns on their websites and in-store to show their commitment to transparent and fair pricing.</p> <h2>Transparent and fair pricing</h2> <p>Research shows price transparency helps businesses build trust with their <a href="https://fastercapital.com/content/The-Importance-of-Price-Transparency-in-Pricing-Psychology.html">customers</a>.</p> <p>Many major retailers already have this information for internal decision-making, so could display this online and in stores.</p> <p>Yes, prices change constantly due to factors outside their control – such as fuel prices, shipping problems or even supply chain issues linked to global conflict. But being more open with customers about these issues could help repair relationships and their public image.</p> <p>Perhaps there may even be a role for government, which could collaborate with supermarkets and retailers to develop policies for transparent and fair pricing.</p> <p>Everyday Australians deserve to be treated fairly and given the information they need about how major supermarkets price their products, so they can make informed decisions at the checkout.<!-- 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/219316/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/sanjoy-paul-1141384"><em>Sanjoy Paul</em></a><em>, Associate Professor, UTS Business School, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-technology-sydney-936">University of Technology Sydney</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/amid-allegations-of-price-gouging-its-time-for-big-supermarkets-to-come-clean-on-how-they-price-their-products-219316">original article</a>.</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Three-bedroom home on the market for unbelievably cheap price

<p>A three-bedroom home located on the border of Victoria and South Australia is up for sale for just $65,000. </p> <p>But there is a catch to future homeowners who want to experience the “quiet and cheap country living”, as they might need to be handy with a hammer. </p> <p>“If you’re a handyman and willing to put some elbow grease into it, then this one might be for you,” the listing read. </p> <p>The home itself is located on two plots of land measuring 2,100m2 in Serviceton, Victoria, and is only 16 minutes away from Bordertown, South Australia. </p> <p>“Being on two titles, you can utilise both or sell the vacant allotment as all the dwellings are on one,” the listing read. </p> <p>It also features a large lounge room with wood-fire heater, and a centrally located bathroom with a bath and vanity. </p> <p>There's plenty of room to cook in the massive kitchen, despite it needing a lot of work, it features a formal dining area that has a sliding servery window which connects to the lounge room.</p> <p>Outside, the future homeowner can find a large shed, rain water storage, and a gate that opens up to a park. </p> <p>“It went under contract ... an hour and a half (after it was listed),” Ray White agent Hayden Obst told<em> 7News</em>. </p> <p>The condition of its electrical, plumbing and appliances are unknown, but people are still expressing their interest.</p> <p>Despite this, many people from different parts of the country and a few investors are still calling the real estate agent, just in case the contract falls through. </p> <p><em>Images: 7News.com.au</em></p>

Real Estate

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Fed up farmer blasts major supermarkets for price gouging

<p>In a heartfelt plea captured in a viral video, Ross Marsolino, a Victorian farmer and owner of Natural Earth Produce, expressed his frustration with major supermarkets and their pricing strategies for fruits and vegetables.</p> <p>Marsolino, who specialises in growing zucchinis, tomatoes and eggplants in Victoria's Goulburn Valley, said that the profit margins imposed by supermarkets are crippling farmers, adversely impacting consumers, and driving growers out of business.</p> <p>“We’re going to walk away from 80 acres today,” Marsolino said in his video posted to social media. “We’re not retailing the right price to be able to keep the product moving and selling. Plain and simple. The supermarkets are making too much profit out of our crops. We can’t survive. As growers we can’t afford to pay the workers, 50 people are going to be out of the system looking for work.”</p> <p>The crux of Marsolino's argument lies in the claim that supermarkets are engaging in price-gouging, purchasing produce from growers at a considerably lower price and then selling it at a steep markup. He highlighted the stark contrast between the $1.80 per kilo that supermarkets allegedly pay to farmers and the retail price of $4.99, stating that this disparity is unsustainable for growers.</p> <p>The consequence, as Marsolino outlined, is a domino effect on the entire supply chain. Farmers, unable to cover their costs, are forced to reduce the quantity of product they sell, leading to both financial losses for growers and higher prices for consumers.</p> <p>That is why, in his case, Marsolino is saying he is prepared to abandon his 80-acre zucchini crop, estimating the loss at a staggering $2 million. This decision, he said, is a result of the unsustainable economics of the industry.</p> <p>Marsolino's argument goes beyond his personal struggle; he contends that the high retail prices set by supermarkets are ultimately detrimental to consumers and the agricultural industry as a whole. He believes that if prices were lowered to a more reasonable level, consumers would be more inclined to purchase the produce, resulting in increased sales for growers and a healthier industry overall.</p> <p>The plea from Marsolino has also sparked a call for government intervention. He urged authorities to scrutinise the pricing practices of supermarkets, demanding transparency in their transactions with growers. Marsolino's desire is for someone to hold the major supermarket chains accountable for the prices they set and to ensure that they are fair and reasonable.</p> <p>In response to Marsolino's claims, representatives from Woolworths and Coles <a href="https://www.news.com.au/finance/business/retail/fed-up-farmer-abandons-80acre-zucchini-crop-blaming-high-markups-at-supermarkets/news-story/30c5ebbaa296e74b8c12c1da356696cd" target="_blank" rel="noopener">defended their pricing structures</a>. They argued that the prices paid to suppliers are influenced by various factors, including processing, transport, labour, packaging and market conditions. Both companies emphasised their commitment to fair pricing and their efforts to balance the interests of suppliers and consumers.</p> <p>Marsolino's plea serves as a reminder of the delicate balance required to sustain both the agricultural sector and the affordability of fresh produce for consumers. As the debate continues, it remains to be seen whether there will be a shift towards a more equitable pricing structure that benefits all stakeholders in the industry.</p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Kyle Sandilands leaves brutal voicemail for Steve Price

<p>In the latest episode of "Australia's Got Voicemails", shock jock extraordinaire Kyle Sandilands unleashed a verbal tempest upon fellow broadcaster Steve Price. What sparked this war of words? Apparently, Price had the audacity to <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/entertainment/tv/steve-price-slams-buffoon-kyle-sandilands-over-move-to-melbourne-airwaves" target="_blank" rel="noopener">label Sandilands a "grubby buffoon"</a> on national television. And you thought your family gatherings were awkward.</p> <p>Let's rewind to the moment when Price, with all the subtlety of a kangaroo in a china shop, decided to throw some shade on <em>The Project</em>. With the finesse of a wordsmith, Price declared, "I don't think grubby buffoons work in Melbourne." Ouch. Melbourne, known for its coffee, culture, and now apparently, a grubby buffoon ban.</p> <p>In response, Sandilands, not one to be outdone in the art of verbal gymnastics, left Price a voicemail that would make a sailor blush. "Hey, you piece of sh*t," Sandilands began, setting the tone for a heartfelt exchange of pleasantries, "we’ve spoken before, last time you forgot that you’re not allowed to mouth off about me.</p> <p>“Steve, it’s Kyle obviously, there is probably a long list of people who ring you.</p> <p>“Again just surprised at your feigned reaction on The Project, can’t you just be yourself? Can’t you just say your true thoughts? I can’t wait to see you face-to-face buddy, it’s been too long.</p> <p>“It’s disappointing that as you’ve gotten older you have turned into a real piece of sh*t. Feel free to play this on tonight’s Project because that’s the last gig you will ever have.</p> <p>"See you mate, by the way love the alcoholic nose, bye bro.”</p> <p>Despite the verbal thrashing, Price seemed unconcerned. "I described him as a grubby buffoon, and that's it," <a href="https://www.heraldsun.com.au/entertainment/page-13/pieceofsh-radio-war-of-words-between-steve-price-heats-up-with-veiled-threats/news-story/ed616773a1064b8e8afd8e448977b40b" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Price retorted</a>, probably sipping tea and counting the days until the next headline-grabbing voicemail. It's all in a day's work for a grizzled commentator who's clearly impervious to verbal beatdowns.</p> <p>In the grand tradition of radio feuds, this clash of titans unfolded after Sandilands and his partner-in-crime, Jackie 'O' Henderson, inked a jaw-dropping $200 million deal live on air.</p> <p>As the radio waves settle from this tempestuous encounter, we can't help but marvel at the drama that unfolds in the seemingly mundane world of talk radio. Who needs reality TV when you have Australian broadcasters providing this level of entertainment?</p> <p>In the end, whether it's a buffoon's brawl or a radio roast, one thing's for sure – the Australian airwaves are never short of surprises. Tune in next time for another episode of <em>He Said, He Said</em>, where words are sharper than claws, and feuds are settled with voicemails, not handshakes.</p> <p><em>Images: Network Ten / KIIS FM</em></p>

TV

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Steve Price slams "buffoon" Kyle Sandilands over move to Melbourne airwaves

<p>The radio waves have been rocked once again after Steve Price, a man with the subtlety of a sledgehammer, dubbed fellow radio shock jock Kyle Sandilands a "grubby buffoon".</p> <p>The saga unfolded as Sandilands and his radio partner-in-crime, Jackie O Henderson, inked a deal reportedly worth a staggering $200 million. Yes, you heard that right – $200 million. </p> <p>But the real kicker as far as Price is concerned? The show is expanding to Melbourne next year, leaving the current breakfast hosts, Jason Hawkins and Lauren Phillips, with a one-way ticket to radio oblivion.</p> <p>In a tearful farewell on their Melbourne morning show, Phillips lamented: "This is certainly not the way we wanted to bow out."</p> <p>Price, the unsolicited guardian of Melbourne's radio sensibilities, didn't hold back in his assessment of Sandilands, calling him a "grubby buffoon" and then backpedaling to settle on "just a grub". </p> <p>“Kyle’s a grubby buffoon," Price said to the bemused panel on a recent episode of <em>The Project</em>. "And I don’t think grubby buffoons work in Melbourne. I probably shouldn’t call him a grubby buffoon. He’s just a grub.”</p> <p>Price also predicted that Melbourne might not be ready for the explicit nature of the Kyle and Jackie O Show. “Some of the sexually explicit material is off-putting," he explained. "Sarah [Harris] would know better than anyone else that it’s school drop-off time for kids. You don’t want people talking about anal sex at breakfast time, in my view. That’s what they do on that show.</p> <p>"Melbourne people are not going to embrace that. Look, the company that is putting them on the air has a different view to that, and I may be proven to be completely wrong, but that doesn’t happen very often.”</p> <p>Despite Price's dire predictions, Sandilands remains unfazed, his ageless charm apparently defying the laws of time. Given that the $200 million deal extends for the next ten years, that would put Sandilands well into his sixties – quite a challenging age for a "shock jock" to remain relevant. </p> <p>“Can a 60-year-old be smutty?” Price was asked by the panel. “I don’t think they can, and that is part of the problem,” he replied. “But Kyle seems to be ageless. I don’t know how, with that unhealthy lifestyle he has. But he doesn’t seem to age much. So perhaps he can, at 62 . . . You can’t imagine he’s going to be appealing to the 18 to 28-year-old demographic that the radio station is paying him to drag in. I find that really puzzling.”</p> <p>So brace yourselves, Melbourne: the radio waves are about to get a whole lot grubbier, buffoonier and possibly more explicit. It's the Kyle Sandilands extravaganza, and no amount of Price's disapproval can stop the buffoonery.</p> <p><em>Images: KIIS FM / Network 10</em></p>

TV

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

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

Legal

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Young woman jailed for 7 years for swapping price tags at supermarket

<p>A Russian court has convicted an artist to seven years in jail  for swapping supermarket price tags with antiwar messages. </p> <p>Sasha Skochilenko, 33, was arrested in St Petersburg and charged with spreading misinformation about the military when she replaced price tags with ones against Russia's invasion of Ukraine.</p> <p>"The Russian army bombed an arts schools in Mariupol. Some 400 people were hiding in it from the shelling," one read. </p> <p>"Russian conscripts are being sent to Ukraine. Lives of our children are the price of this war," the other said. </p> <p>Her arrest is part of the latest crackdown on free speech, and she was arrested after a customer at the supermarket found the slogans and reported her to authorities. </p> <p>Skochilenko's arrest comes one month after authorities adopted a law that criminalises any public expression about the war that deviates from the official Kremlin line.</p> <p>The legislation is used to crackdown on opposition politicians, human rights activists and ordinary citizens that are critical of the Kremlin. </p> <p>The 33-year-old has not denied replacing the price tags but has rejected the accusation of knowingly spreading false information. </p> <p>She also claimed that she didn't want to criticise the military but wanted to stop the fighting. </p> <p>"She is a very empathetic, peace-loving person. To her, in general, the word 'war' is the most terrible thing imaginable, as is the suffering of people," her lawyer Yana Nepovinnova told <em>The Associated Press</em> last week. </p> <p>"She is a very empathetic, peace-loving person. To her, in general, the word 'war' is the most terrible thing imaginable, as is the suffering of people," Nepovinnova added. </p> <p>According to the Russian independent news site Mediazona, Skochilenko said that the case against her was "weird and ridiculous" in her final statement in court and that even the officials where she was detained at  "open their eyes widely and exclaim: 'Is this really what people are being imprisoned for now?'"</p> <p>While addressing the judge in a courtroom full of supporters, Skochilenko also reportedly said that: "Everyone sees and knows that it's not a terrorist you're trying. You're not trying an extremist. You're not trying a political activist, either. You're trying a pacifist."</p> <p>Mediazona also reported that her supporters applauded her and chanted her name when she was led away after the verdict. </p> <p>Nearly 750 people have face criminal charges for their antiwar stances, and over 8100 had petty charges for discrediting the army, which is punishable by a fine or short time in jail.</p> <p><em>Images: BBC News</em></p> <p> </p>

Legal

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

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

Travel Trouble

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Eye-watering price tag for "remarkable" first class Titanic menu

<p>A first class dinner menu from the Titanic has been found and sold at an auction in England for £84,000 (around $162,000 AUD) on November 11. </p> <p>The water-stained menu was dated April 11, 1912 just three days before the ship hit an iceberg, ultimately meeting it's ill-fated end causing over 1500 deaths. </p> <p>Wealthy passengers at the time were spoiled with choice, with oysters, salmon, beef, squab (baby pigeon), spring lamb among other dishes on the menu, and that's not including dessert. </p> <p>Auctioneers Henry Aldridge &amp; Son said it was unclear how the menu made it off the ship intact, but the slight water damage suggests that it was recovered from the body of a victim. </p> <p>The rare artefact, which is over 111 years old belonged to amateur historian Len Stephenson, from Nova Scotia, Canada, who passed away in 2017. </p> <p>No one knew he had it, including his family, who only discovered it after going through his belongings following his death. </p> <p>“About six months ago his daughter and his son-in-law, Allen, felt the time was right to go through his belongings,” auctioneer Andrew Aldridge said. </p> <p>“As they did they found this menu in an old photo album.</p> <p>“Len was a very well thought-of historian in Nova Scotia which has strong connections with the Titanic. The body recovery ships were from Nova Scotia and so all the victims were taken back there.</p> <p>“Sadly, Len has taken the secret of how he acquired this menu to the grave with him.”</p> <p>Stephenson worked at a post office and would talk to people, collect old pictures and write letters for them, which might be how he got the rare artefact. </p> <p>According to the auctioneer, no other first class dinner menus dated April 11, 1912 have been recovered from the titanic making this “a remarkable survivor from the most famous Ocean liner of all time”.</p> <p>“There are a handful of April 14 menus in existence but you just don’t see menus from April 11. Most of them would have gone down with the ship,” Aldridge said. </p> <p>“Whereas with April 14 menus, passengers would have still had them in their coat and jacket pockets from earlier on that fateful night and still had them when they were taken off the ship," he added. </p> <p>A few other items recovered from the Titanic were also sold, including a Swiss-made pocket watch recovered from passenger Sinai Kantor which fetched £97,000 (around $187,000 AUD). </p> <p>A tartan-patterned deck blanket, which was likely used during the rescue operation also sold for £96,000 (around $185,000). </p> <p><em>Images: Henry Aldridge &amp; Son of Devizes, Wiltshire</em></p> <p> </p>

Cruising

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Waleed Aly and Steve Price clash over damning Voice letter

<p>Waleed Aly and Steve Price have clashed over an anonymous letter from Yes campaigners, condemning those who opposed the Voice to Parliament. </p> <p>On Sunday night, a lengthy and unsigned letter was shared by activists associated with the Uluru Dialogue group, as the letter slammed No voters for committing "a shameful act" by contributing to the Voice defeat. </p> <p>On <em>The Project</em>, Price was quick to slam the author of the letter, who addressed the message to the Prime Minister and all federal members of parliament, saying they did not have "the guts" to sign it. </p> <p>"It seems to me the Yes campaign hasn't learned anything about the result that happened Saturday two weeks ago," he said on Monday night. </p> <p>"The public voted 60 (per cent) No, 40 (per cent) Yes and yet, they pen a letter that they then send to the Cabinet and Prime Minister calling people who voted No as doing a shameful act, suggesting No voters are racists."</p> <p>"If you are going to do that, at least have the courage to put your name to it."</p> <p>Aly then leapt to the defence of those who wrote the anonymous letter, saying, "I don't think they said all No voters were racist."</p> <p>"They said racism was a big part of the campaign and the vote, they are inextricably bound up."</p> <p>Aly admitted that while he did not agree with everything in the letter, it was "hard to have a simple response to it".</p> <p>"They must be so hurting. I can't deny them that. Whether we agree or not," he said.</p> <p>The open letter claims to be "the collective insights and views of a group of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders, community members and organisations who supported Yes".</p> <p>The published letter said, "The truth is that the majority of Australians have committed a shameful act whether knowingly or not, and there is nothing positive to be interpreted from it. We needed truth to be told to the Australian people." </p> <p><em>Image credits: The Project</em></p>

Legal

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"Dad would be stoked": Robert Irwin chokes up over Australia Zoo breakthrough

<p>Robert Irwin has choked up in an emotional video, sharing a major milestone for Australia Zoo that had special meaning to his late father. </p> <p>The wildlife warrior shared the exciting video to Instagram, holding a tiny baby turtle that he was about to release into its enclosure for the first time.</p> <p>Dressed in his Australia Zoo khakis, Irwin explained the moment was “one of the highlights of my entire life, and one of the most special moments ever here at Australia Zoo,” as the turtle is an “Elseya Irwini,” a species of turtle first discovered by Robert’s father Steve Irwin in the early 1990. </p> <p>Some 30 years later, Robert explained that this is the first of this particular species hatched in any zoological facility or captivity, anywhere in the world.</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/reel/CyYGqjfPL11/?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/reel/CyYGqjfPL11/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Robert Irwin (@robertirwinphotography)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>"This is so surreal. All the stories from dad about how beautiful they are... I don’t get emotional about much,” Irwin said, choking back tears as he released the tiny turtle into its pond.</p> <p>“You tearing up? Your dad would be really proud, mate,” a voice could be hear telling Irwin off-camera. </p> <p>“Dad would be stoked with that... we did it,” he said.</p> <p>The video has racked up hundreds of thousands of views, with people flocking to comments to share how proud Steve would be of his wildfire warrior children. </p> <p>One person wrote, "Steve is looking down and crying tears of joy.. His heart is proud of not only the turtle, but with the fact that his legacy continued with same path he envisioned for his kids."</p> <p>Others were quick to encourage Robert and Bindi Irwin to keep carrying on their father's legacy with their conservation work at the zoo, while others said that they should "Name the baby turtle Steve". </p> <p><em>Image credits: Instagram</em></p>

Family & Pets

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Princess Di's black sheep jumper sells for 14 times over asking price

<p>Princess Diana's famous "black sheep" jumper has sold at auction for more than $1.1million.   </p> <p>The iconic red and white (and one tiny bit of black, of course!) jumper fetched precisely $1,143,000 at Sotheby's in New York - making it the most expensive piece of clothing owned by the former Princess of Wales to sell at auction, as well as the most expensive jumper to ever be sold at auction. </p> <p>There were a total of 44 bids within the final 15 minutes of a two-week online bidding process for the famous item of clothing - during which the bidding leapt from $190,000 to $1,143,000, which ultimately pushed the sale to a staggering 14 times over the initial asking price of $80,000.  </p> <p>The woollen jumper was worn by Lady Di to a polo match in Windsor in June 1981, just one month before she married the then-Prince Charles. </p> <p>Soon after Diana wore the garment, it was returned to Sally Muir and Joanna Osborne, founders of the label Warm & Wonderful because of a tear at the cuff.</p> <p>It was sent back to the designers along with a note from Buckingham Palace, requesting that the jumper be either repaired or replaced.</p> <p>A new jumper was knitted for Diana, with Osborne believing the original garment had been lost after the replacement was sent to the Princess of Wales, which she wore to another polo match in 1983. </p> <p>However, Osborne later discovered the jumper, which had been preserved underneath an old cotton bedspread, while searching her attic looking for an old pattern. </p> <p>She got in touch with Sotheby's auction house which gave the garment an auction estimate of around $80,000 - $120,000.</p> <p>Speaking to <em>The Telegraph UK</em>, Osborne said, "We didn't think we had any of the original sheep jumpers, because at the time, we were so desperate to complete orders that we never owned one ourselves, so I couldn't believe I'd found the original Diana sheep jumper."</p> <p>"It took a while to sink in. And we're so lucky it's not fallen to pieces."</p> <p>Sotheby's said of the now-iconic design, "The Black Sheep sweater is one of the most iconic pieces worn by Princess Diana to ever come to market."</p> <p>"The cultural impact of this moment from the 1980s is exemplified by the head of Rowing Blazers, Jack Carlson, who in 2020, requested to partner with the original designers and license the sheep design to be reproduced for his own fashion line."</p> <p>"Since stumbling upon the sweater ... we have been reliving the fond memories of Princess Diana appearing on the front pages of every newspaper in 1981, wearing our very own sweater.  </p> <p>"While we are forever indebted to her for the impact this had on our business, our deepest appreciation lies in the knowledge that she shared a unique connection to the black sheep design. We are thrilled that this cherished sweater has now found a new home, carrying with it the enduring legacy of Princess Diana."</p> <p><em>Images: Getty</em></p>

Beauty & Style

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Eye-watering price tag for Melissa Caddick's penthouse

<p>A penthouse formerly owned by fraudster Melissa Caddick is on the market for an estimated $5.5 million.</p> <p>The apartment, which was previously occupied by her parents Ted and Barbara Grimley, was listed for auction on October 10 and boasts stunning panoramic views of the city skyline.</p> <p>“Spacious throughout and stylishly presented with understated contemporary finishes, this is the perfect opportunity for downsizers, executives and families who seek undeniable quality and convenience,” read an online listing.</p> <p>Viewings for the apartment located in Eastpoint Tower at Edgecliff are only available through appointments, according to managing agents Richardson and Wrench.</p> <p>Liquidators hope that the sale of the penthouse will help recover some of the money Caddick stole from over 50 investors as part of her ponzi investment scam.</p> <p>The 49-year-old lived a life of luxury after stealing up to $30 million from the investors, many of whom were reportedly her close friends and family.</p> <p>Jones Partners, the accounting firm in charge of liquidating Caddick's former assets, have already recouped $3 million to investors after the sale of her share portfolio and Dover Heights cliff-top mansion.</p> <p>At the time, Jones Partners principal Bruce Gleeson said that it wasn't rare for investors to not get anything back from ponzi schemes.</p> <p>However, he has said that the sale of the Edgecliff apartment in Sydney's eastern suburbs, would allow for further significant distributions to investors.</p> <p>Caddick disappeared in November 2020, just days after her home was raided by ASIC investigators.</p> <p>She is believed to be dead after her badly decomposed right foot was found washed up on a beach in the south coast of NSW on February 2021, but the rest of her body has not been found.</p> <p><em>Images: </em><em>Richardson &amp; Wrench </em></p>

Real Estate

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Shoppers lash out at Aldi for “ridiculous” price hikes

<p>A group of Aldi shoppers have lashed out at the supermarket chain after its series of "ridiculous" price hikes. </p> <p>Aldi, which consistently ranks as Australia's cheapest major supermarket, received some criticism this week after the store's popular skinless salmon fillets was hit with a $4 price increase seemingly overnight. </p> <p>“So explain to me, Aldi Australia, how do you justify a 28.5 per cent overnight increase on fresh salmon?” one outraged customer wrote on the Aldi Australia Facebook page.</p> <p>“This is outrageous. Last week, it was $13.99 for four pieces, this week $17.99. Guess where it stayed? On your shelf, NOT in my trolley.”</p> <p>The post triggered a wave of fury, with many threatening to abandon the German retailer and shop at competitor supermarkets. </p> <p>“Everything is so expensive at Aldi now might as well shop at Coles and Woolies,” one shopper wrote. </p> <p>“Well why did a can of baked beans price rise by nearly 50% and the same with small tins of tuna?? Ripping us off — not happy with the excessive price rises!! I think it my be time to shop elsewhere,” fumed a second.</p> <p>“Not impressed by Aldis price increases, a big frozen box of lasagne was $8.99 now $11.99, cheese was $8.99 now $11.99, whisky $34.99 now $36.99, cooking bacon $5.99 now $6.99. I can justify a small increase, but $3 … time to look around,” commented a third. </p> <p>The supermarket chain has responded to the criticism, acknowledging the price hikes, while insisting that they are committed to providing Aussies with great value products. </p> <p>“Aldi’s entire business model is oriented around saving customers money to ensure that we continue to lead as Australia’s lowest-price supermarket," an Aldi spokesperson said.</p> <p>"We always aim to cut unnecessary costs and pass these savings directly onto customers.</p> <p>“We know that the price of essential goods has never been more important to Australians, so we remain absolutely committed to delivering the best value for our customers while also supporting our supplier partners by maintaining fair pricing at all times," they concluded. </p> <p>Last month, Aldi ranked first as Australia’s favourite supermarket. </p> <p>It is the only brand to rank five stars for overall satisfaction, value for money, freshness of produce, quality of private label products and availability of deals/specials, according to the Canstar Blue <span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">survey for its </span><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">annual Supermarket Satisfaction Ratings. </span></p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Coles and Woolies branded "price gougers" by disgruntled shopper

<p>It's no secret that while millions of Aussies are struggling to put food on the table during the ongoing cost of living crisis, supermarket giants Coles and Woolworths are raking in record-breaking profits. </p> <p>While the unreasonable inflation of grocery prices is endlessly frustrating, it seems as though there's nothing everyday shoppers can do to avoid the price increases. </p> <p>But that didn't stop one frustrated Aussie from making a statement against the supermarket chains. </p> <p>The man from Sydney shared a video of him targeting Coles and Woolies shops in the Eastern Suburbs, as he chose to rephrase their taglines.</p> <p>Heading to a Woolies Metro in Bondi Junction, he printed on the logo, "The price gouge people", playing on their slogan of "The fresh food people".</p> <p>He then went to Coles in Rose Bay, reprinting their logo of the pointed down hand with the phrase, "Down, down, morality down", referencing the "down, down, prices are down" jingle.</p> <p>The posted a video of his antics to Instagram, captioning his antics, "So over this bull***t duopoly that Australia just puts up with for some reason. Using inflation as a smoke screen to rake in billions by price gouging people during a cost of living crisis."</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/CwbFvB4hX0-/?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/reel/CwbFvB4hX0-/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by NOTNOT (@notnotcamscott)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>"There’s a reason why Coles and Woolworths make double the profit margins of other supermarkets in comparable markets overseas. 2/3 domination of our market leaves battlers with no time to seek out alternatives, no choice but to give into their greed."</p> <p>The video was quickly met with a flood of support, with one person writing, "When you inevitably get a fine for this, please put up a GoFundMe on Reddit and I will donate to cover part of the cost. Thanks for doing something more people should be doing!"</p> <p>Another person wrote, "I love how you can hold some tools and wear high-vis and nobody blinks and eye in this country", while several more commenters dubbed the man a "legend". </p> <p>Speaking to <a href="https://au.news.yahoo.com/disgruntled-shopper-sabotages-woolworths-and-coles-signs-the-price-gouge-people-072137676.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>Yahoo News</em></a>, Woolworths confirmed that the new signage had been removed from their Bondi store, and said they are committed to helping families during the cost of living crisis.</p> <p>"We're acutely aware of the pressure that's being placed on Australian families through cost of living increases, whether they are our customers or our team members," a spokesperson said.</p> <p>"And we're doing more everyday to help customers spend less with us."</p> <p>A spokesperson for Coles also told <em>Yahoo</em>, "We know cost-of-living pressures are front-of-mind for our customers and are always looking for ways to help their dollars stretch further. This week, Coles announced it will bring down the price of more than 500 products for at least three months."</p> <p>"We value feedback from our customers, and encourage them to let us know about their shopping experience through our normal feedback channel – Tell Coles – or through our dedicated customer care team."</p> <p><em>Image credits: Instagram </em></p>

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Bindi and Robert remember Steve on the anniversary of his death

<p>Bindi and Robert Irwin have paid tribute to their late father Steve on Father's Day, just 24 hours before the 17th anniversary of his death. </p> <p>Robert began the emotional homage on Sunday as many celebrated Father's Day in Australia, sharing a series of throwback clips from his childhood with Bindi. </p> <p>Accompanying the video, the 19-year-old wildlife warrior wrote, "Today is Father’s Day here in Australia. Days like this are filled with so many different emotions, but above all, I choose to make it a happy day to remember the best moments with the best Dad ❤️".</p> <p>The post quickly racked up hundreds of thousands of likes and comments, with his sister Bindi writing on the post, "Dad is SO. PROUD. OF. YOU. He’s always with us. Love you."</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/Cwtcmzoh7yz/?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/reel/Cwtcmzoh7yz/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Robert Irwin (@robertirwinphotography)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>On Monday morning, the 17th anniversary of Steve Irwin's death, Bindi also shared a throwback photo with her late father, with a simple love heart as the caption. </p> <p>The post boasted tens of thousands of likes in just hours, with many commenting that her father would be proud of the work she has done as a wildlife warrior and a young mother. </p> <p>Fans of the Irwin family also wasted no time cherishing Steve's legacy and comforting the Irwin children with messages shared online.</p> <p>"If you think he loved animals, take a look at his face when he was with all of you," one person wrote. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Instagram</em></p>

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