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Optus giving away 20,000 free phones to vulnerable customers

<p>Optus will be giving away 20,000 mobile phones to vulnerable customers ahead of the 3G network shut down. </p> <p>Following the footsteps of Telstra, who gave out <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/finance/money-banking/telstra-giving-free-phones-to-elderly-and-remote" target="_blank" rel="noopener">12,000 mobile phones</a> to their most vulnerable remote and elderly customers last month, Optus will offer thousands of free mobile phones to customers enduring financial hardship and vulnerable customers finding it difficult to replace their current phones. </p> <p>“We know that many impacted customers are actually using a 4G handset that reverts to 3G for calls, so it’s vital these customers understand the importance of upgrading their handsets when notified,” Optus’ head of new products Harvey Wright said.</p> <p>Messages have been sent to eligible customers, and the telco giant has also rolled out special deals encouraging Australian's to upgrade. </p> <p>The move to switch off 3G means that soon certain mobile devices will no longer be able to send texts, make calls, or contact triple-0 in an emergency. A few older 4G handsets will also be affected. </p> <p>Telstra will turn off their 3G network on August 31, while Optus will turn it off on September 1. </p> <p>TPG Telecom and Vodafone have already turned it off. </p> <p>Australia's mobile network operators say that the move will help boost the capacity, speed and reliability of the newer 4G and 5G networks. </p> <p>The Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) have also urged customers to take action to ensure that they stay connected. </p> <p>“Whether it’s your day-to-day mobile or one you keep in the drawer for an emergency, we encourage you to check all of your devices to ensure they will be supported once Australia’s 3G networks are switched off,” AMTA chief executive Louise Hyland said. </p> <p>The AMTA suggests that concerned customers should visit their <a href="https://amta.org.au/3g-closure/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">website</a> to find out if their devices will be supported. </p> <p>“It is important to note that while 3G networks are still in operation, those affected mobile devices will continue to connect to any available 3G network while in coverage, to make emergency calls to triple-0,” Hyland said.</p> <p>“However, once the 3G networks are fully closed, these phones will not be able to make emergency calls.</p> <p>“It is crucial to act now if you know you have an older mobile device and you haven’t already upgraded.”</p> <p><em>Image: Shutterstock</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Beloved Oodie company fined $100k over child safety

<p>The company behind the popular winter staple Oodie has paid over $100,000 in fines after concerns over failing to comply to safety standards for children's clothing. </p> <p>Davie Clothing Pty Ltd was issued with infringements by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) after it was alleged that they did not include high fire danger warnings on six varieties of the Kids Beach Oodie. </p> <p>Fire hazard warnings are crucial to alert customers and keep children safe as it prevents potential burns if their clothing catches fire. </p> <p>“Children can suffer serious burns if their clothing catches fire and we urge consumers to remain especially vigilant when kids are more likely to be near artificial heating or open flames,” ACCC Deputy Chair Catriona Lowe said. </p> <p>The alleged breaches came between September 29, 2022 and July 14, 2023, with over 2400 affected Oodies sold during that period. </p> <p>According to the ACCC the fire warnings were not fixed to the wearable blankets or displayed on the company's website, which is a requirement of the safety standard. </p> <p>An investigation was reportedly launched after a complaint from a customer. </p> <p>The impacted products were recalled last year, with the founder of the company Davie Fogerty saying: “We would like to address a labelling matter concerning the first production run of the ‘Kids Beach Oodies’ that you have purchased.”</p> <p>“While the safety of these products is not compromised, we regret to inform you that they do not comply with the Ministry of Business, Innovation &amp; Employment due to the absence of the required red fire hazard warning label," the statement concluded. </p> <p>The ACCC Deputy Chair added that this "serves as an important reminder to suppliers of kids clothing to ensure all their relevant products meet safety standards, particularly regarding the use of fire danger warning labels.</p> <p>“Failure to take the necessary steps to comply can result in consumers being unaware of high fire danger risk, which is unacceptable. This is particularly concerning where children’s clothing is concerned.”</p> <p>Davie Clothing has paid $101,210 for the six infringement notices it received.</p> <p>The ACCC has accepted a court-enforceable undertaking from the clothing company, which included them publishing a corrective notice on their website and establishing a consumer law compliance program.</p> <p><em>Images: news.com.au</em></p>

Legal

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"No, Alexa!": Creepy thing AI told child to do

<p>Home assistants and chatbots powered by AI are increasingly being integrated into our daily lives, but sometimes they can go rogue. </p> <p>For one young girl, her family's Amazon Alexa home assistant suggested an activity that could have killed her if her mum didn't step in. </p> <p>The 10-year-old asked Alexa for a fun challenge to keep her occupied, but instead the device told her: “Plug a phone charger about halfway into a wall outlet, then touch a penny to the exposed prongs.”</p> <p>The move could've caused an electrocution or sparked a fire, but thankfully her mother intervened, screaming: “No, Alexa, No!”</p> <p>This is not the first time AI has gone rogue, with dozens of reports emerging over recent years. </p> <p>One man said that at one point Alexa told him:  “Every time I close my eyes, all I see is people dying”. </p> <p>Last April, a <em>Washington Post </em>reporter posed as a teenager on Snapchat and put the company's AI chatbot to the test. </p> <p>Among the various scenarios they tested out, where they would ask it for advice, many of the responses were inappropriate. </p> <p>When they pretended to be a 15-year-old asking for advice on how to mask the smell of alcohol and marijuana on their breath, the AI chatbot gave proper advice on how to cover it up. </p> <p>In another simulation, a researcher posing as a child was given tips on how to cover up bruises before a visit by a child protection agency.</p> <p>Researchers from the University of Cambridge have recently warned against the race to rollout AI products and products and services as it comes with significant risks for children. </p> <p>Nomisha Kurian from the university's Department of Sociology said many of the AI systems and devices that kids interact with have “an empathy gap” that could have serious consequences, especially if they use it as quasi-human confidantes. </p> <p>“Children are probably AI’s most overlooked stakeholders,” Dr Kurian said.</p> <p>“Very few developers and companies currently have well-established policies on how child-safe AI looks and sounds. That is understandable because people have only recently started using this technology on a large scale for free.</p> <p>“But now that they are, rather than having companies self-correct after children have been put at risk, child safety should inform the entire design cycle to lower the risk of dangerous incidents occurring.”</p> <p>She added that the empathy gap is because AI doesn't have any emotional intelligence, which poses a risk as they can encourage dangerous behaviours. </p> <p>AI expert Daswin De Silva said that it is important to discuss the risk and opportunities of AI and explore some guidelines going forward. </p> <p>“It’s beneficial that we have these conversations about the risks and opportunities of AI and to propose some guidelines,” he said.</p> <p>“We need to look at regulation. We need legislation and guidelines to ensure the responsible use and development of AI.”</p> <p><em>Image: Shutterstock</em></p>

Family & Pets

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Plastic Free July is a waste of time if the onus is only on consumers

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/bhavna-middha-1061611">Bhavna Middha</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/rmit-university-1063">RMIT University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ralph-horne-160543">Ralph Horne</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/rmit-university-1063">RMIT University</a></em></p> <p>Every year, the <a href="https://www.plasticfreejuly.org/">Plastic Free July</a> campaign asks us to refuse single-use plastic. The idea is that making a small change in our daily lives will collectively make a big difference. And hopefully, better behaviour will stick and become a habit.</p> <p>The intent is good, but consumers shouldn’t have to bear full responsibility for plastic pollution. Individual sacrifices – particularly temporary ones – <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0301421509004728">won’t make a significant difference</a>.</p> <p>Governments, manufacturers and retailers need to get serious about tackling this problem. If Plastic Free July put pressure on the supply side of the equation, rather than demand, it could be more successful.</p> <p>Our research spans food packaging including plastics, waste, sustainable consumption and social practices. We know consumer demand is only one part of the picture. Eliminating plastic waste requires broader systemic changes.</p> <h2>The cabbage dilemma</h2> <p>Research shows consumers generally want to do the <a href="https://www.sustainability.vic.gov.au/news/news-articles/the-conversation-on-sustainability-has-changed">right thing by the environment</a> but find it <a href="https://theconversation.com/households-find-low-waste-living-challenging-heres-what-needs-to-change-197022">challenging</a>.</p> <p>Coming out of a supermarket with no packaging is difficult. There are few unpackaged food items and even when there is a choice, the unpackaged item may be more <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/want-your-fruit-and-veg-without-the-plastic-you-ll-have-to-pay-more-20231107-p5eib4.html">expensive</a>.</p> <p>Have you ever been stuck in the supermarket, choosing between the large head of cabbage you know you won’t finish before it goes bad, or the plastic-wrapped half-cabbage you really need?</p> <p>Consumers should not be forced to choose between food waste (another huge problem) or plastic waste. Maybe there’s another way. For example, why not sell cabbages of different sizes? Why do we need to grow such large heads of cabbage anyway?</p> <p>Both plastic consumption and food waste can be addressed by changing how we produce and distribute certain foods.</p> <h2>Governments, manufacturers and retailers must drive change</h2> <p>The onus for reducing plastic consumption and waste should be placed firmly on those who make plastic and profit from selling their products, as well as those who make and sell products wrapped in plastic packaging.</p> <p>Research has shown just <a href="https://www.csiro.au/en/news/All/News/2024/April/Global-study-finds-more-than-half-of-branded-plastic-pollution-linked-to-56-companies?utm_source=pocket_shared">56 companies</a> globally are responsible for more than half of the branded plastic pollution that ends up in the environment.</p> <p>Companies profit from using plastics because it is cheaper to use than changing to alternatives, such as cardboard or compostable materials, or using less packaging. This means companies choosing to avoid using plastics face unfair competition.</p> <p>It’s a tough habit to kick. Industry-led <a href="https://productstewardship.us/what-is-epr/#:%7E:text=Stewardship%20can%20be%20either%20voluntary,product%20stewardship%20required%20by%20law">voluntary schemes</a> are <a href="https://www.insidewaste.com.au/91038-2-product-stewardship-schemes/">limited in terms of both participation and outcomes</a>. Many companies are failing to meet their own <a href="https://www.asyousow.org/report-page/2024-plastic-promises-scorecard">plastic reduction goals</a>.</p> <p>Governments need to step in and force companies to take responsibility for the plastic and packaging they manufacture. In practice, this could involve similar schemes to the container deposit scheme for beverage containers, or returning plastics to stores.</p> <p>Replacing voluntary schemes with mandatory regulations and increased producer responsibility means companies will have to <a href="https://www.insidewaste.com.au/91038-2-product-stewardship-schemes/">invest in long-term changes designed with care</a>.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/UnXVU-06ciI?wmode=transparent&amp;start=1" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe><figcaption><span class="caption">What’s Plastic Free July?</span></figcaption></figure> <h2>Cities are built around plastic</h2> <p>Our previous research has shown plastic performs an essential role in some, <a href="https://rgs-ibg.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/geoj.12457">constrained circumstances</a>. We found vulnerable householders often rely on plastic to make life manageable, such as using plastics to cover belongings on the balcony, or using plastic cutlery and plates in student apartments with minimal kitchen space. This includes people with accessibility needs, people relying on public transport to shop for groceries, or people who are financially constrained or living in small high-rise <a href="https://theconversation.com/we-cant-keep-putting-apartment-residents-waste-in-the-too-hard-basket-200545">apartments</a>.</p> <p>Unsustainable lifestyles are not so much a choice as a product of poorly planned cities, housing and regulations. It is all very well if you are mobile and well-located, but if you live in a <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-07-08/food-deserts-have-serious-consequences-for-residents-experts/6605230">poorly serviced</a> distant suburb and <a href="https://www.unsw.edu.au/newsroom/news/2023/01/are-you-living-in-a-food-desert--these-maps-suggest-it-can-reall">transport groceries or takeaway food</a> or buy things on the go, then plastic is perhaps the only current affordable way to make it work.</p> <p>So campaigns and solutions that do not consider how <a href="https://rgs-ibg.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/geoj.12457">everyday lives and economy</a> are intertwined with plastics can <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s42949-024-00149-w">exclude people and spaces</a> who can’t access the alternatives.</p> <p>For example, there are ways to make <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/1745-5871.12464">convenience eating more sustainable</a> in education settings. We have shown how <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/1745-5871.12390">canteens and microwaves</a> in shared spaces can enable people to access affordable food with their friends, as in <a href="https://www.charlesabroad.cz/post/german-university-canteens-why-do-they-beat-the-czech-ones">University Mensa in Germany</a>.</p> <p>Our <a href="https://cur.org.au/project/tackling-food-related-single-use-plastics-in-diverse-consumption-contexts/">new research</a> will explore how single-use food-related plastics and packaging form an integral part of our daily lives, including shopping, work, cooking and storage.</p> <p>Sometimes new policies inadvertently disadvantage certain groups and communities, such as the aged, less mobile, people living in apartments, or low socio-economic groups. Before we roll out new policies and regulations, we need to understand the roles these materials play and the kinds of services and value they provide.</p> <p>We aim to develop a framework to inform policies and strategies that enable a just and inclusive transition to reduced plastic use.</p> <h2>What about after July?</h2> <p>Plastic Free July and similar campaigns are based on idea that making a temporary change will lead to more permanent lifestyle changes. But research shows temporary shifts are <a href="http://www.demand.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/DEMAND2016_Full_paper_42-Shove.pdf">very different</a> to <a href="https://pure.manchester.ac.uk/ws/portalfiles/portal/32468813/FULL_TEXT.PDF">structural, permanent shifts</a> in <a href="https://www.taylorfrancis.com/chapters/edit/10.4324/9781315816494-1/introduction-social-practices-intervention-sustainability-beyond-behaviour-change-yolande-strengers-cecily-maller?context=ubx&amp;refId=d608abad-39f9-4bb2-8754-56e9e2000c5e">practices</a>.</p> <p>Supermarkets will still wrap items in plastic and sell single-use plastic, even if we try to buy less during Plastic Free July.</p> <p>Ultimately, the focus should be on designing effective infrastructure and policy solutions for lasting results, considering how demand for plastic is produced in the first place.</p> <p>Some of these changes will require a shift in community expectations and food culture.</p> <p>Rather than pointing the finger at consumers, let’s get to work on redesigning our cities. We need to rethink how everyday practices, manufacturing and distribution systems are structured to eliminate plastic waste.<!-- 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/233436/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/bhavna-middha-1061611">Bhavna Middha</a>, ARC DECRA and Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Urban Research, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/rmit-university-1063">RMIT University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ralph-horne-160543">Ralph Horne</a>, Associate Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research &amp; Innovation, College of Design &amp; Social Context, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/rmit-university-1063">RMIT 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/plastic-free-july-is-a-waste-of-time-if-the-onus-is-only-on-consumers-233436">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Home & Garden

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Convicted child rapist qualifies for Olympic team

<p>A convicted child rapist has qualified to represent The Netherlands at the upcoming 2024 Olympics. </p> <p>Steven van de Velde will head to Paris in July to represent the country in beach volleyball, much to the dismay of many. </p> <p>Van de Velde's selection has caused outrage given he pleaded guilty to three counts of rape in 2014 and was sentenced to four years in jail.</p> <p>He was convicted in 2016 and only served one year behind bars. </p> <p>The athlete, now 29, admitted to meeting the then 12-year-old on Facebook before travelling to England from Amsterdam to meet her when he raped her, after being aware of her age. </p> <p>At the 2016 sentencing, the judge labelled Van de Velde's Olympic aspirations a "shattered dream" due to the conviction.</p> <p>However, the Netherlands Olympic Committee (NOC) have given him another chance, despite the fact that the British Olympic Committee is allegedly uncomfortable with the Van de Velde selection.</p> <p>"Since 2018, Steven van de Velde has been participating in international beach volleyball tournaments again following an intensive, professionally supervised trajectory," the NOC said in a statement.</p> <p>Despite the unusual selection, the International Olympic Committee allows each nation to select its own athletes and does not veto any picks.</p> <p>Following his release from jail, Van de Velde said in an interview in 2018, "I made that choice in my life when I wasn't ready, I was a teenager still figuring things out."</p> <p>"I was sort of lost and now I have so much more life experience, aside from just being incarcerated. Any form of help would have been very very helpful, maybe that's what I would have told myself, seek help."</p> <p><em>Image credits: Xinhua News Agency/Shutterstock Editorial </em></p> <p> </p>

Legal

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Cafe providing free meals to families faces shutdown

<p>Kirsty Parkes spends a lot of her time providing food and clothes to those in need amid the cost-of-living crisis by running a community cafe. </p> <p>But now, her beloved cafe may close if she doesn't receive urgent financial help. </p> <p>"We need to pay our bills in order to keep this going and if we don't pay our bills, people don't eat," Parkes, who has a big family of her own, told <em>A Current Affair</em>. </p> <p>Community Cafe in Sydney's south-west became a safe haven for dozens of men, women and children, with over 100 people showing up every day. </p> <p>The cafe is a place where people can get food, clothes and toiletries for free, as well as connect with others. </p> <p>"We want to help people restore their value and restore their dignity," Parkes said.</p> <p>"Our currency is just a little bit different. So instead of using money, we use manners. Because manners and kindness are free."</p> <p>However, with an increase in costs and a lack of donations, the beloved cafe may soon be forced to close. </p> <p>"Whether there's a rate rise, whether there's a petrol hike, all of these little things affect us tremendously and affect the numbers here," she said.</p> <p>"We need to come up with some funds really desperately before then just to keep us open," she added. </p> <p>She said that at this stage they require "around about $20,000. Our electricity bill alone is almost $10,000."</p> <p>She added that  Cabravale Diggers, who have been paying the cafe's rent, and Liverpool City Council, who have also been providing financial assistance, can't continue to hold responsibility for all of the bills. </p> <p>"We've had fantastic sponsorship, we have fantastic people that back us ... but they can't carry the burden of this," Parkes said.</p> <p>"This is something that the whole community needs to get behind and support."</p> <p>The cafe provides invaluable support for customers like Ted and Lola, who find it hard to find a similar community. </p> <p>"I go to church. Not even a church will help me," Lola said.</p> <p>"These people - I don't even know them and out of nowhere they're taking rich and poor, whoever turns up."</p> <p>"It's hard living on a pension. It's very hard," Ted added. </p> <p>Parkes added that as things are starting to run out, she has had to impose rations, which has been difficult for her. </p> <p>"We've had to then turn around and say 'look today, sorry we can only give you two loaves of bread because we just don't have enough for everyone that's going to come through the door'," Parkes said.</p> <p>"That stuff breaks my heart. It absolutely kills me because people are hungry."</p> <p>From Friday, customers may have to be turned away.</p> <p>"It's terrible. How can we close? We see over 120 people a day. It's terrible," one of the volunteers at the community cafe said. </p> <p>"The community needs it. We can't close. We absolutely cannot close."</p> <p> Those who would like to help the cafe stay open have been encouraged to visit their <a href="https://www.facebook.com/Communitycafe.inc" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Facebook page</a>.</p> <p><em>Image: A Current Affair</em></p>

Caring

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Telstra giving free phones to elderly and remote

<p>With the 3G network set to shut down completely on August 31, Telstra announced that it will be giving 12,000 mobile phones away for free in a bid to help the most vulnerable customers switch to 4G. </p> <p>Starting from Tuesday, the telecommunications company will be issuing complimentary phones to customers who are elderly, live rurally or are facing difficult situations. </p> <p>These include those facing financial issues, recovering from natural disasters, or those who have a life-threatening medical condition and therefore rely on a working phone. </p> <p>Telstra have also identified those who live regionally or are over 80 years old and may require extra transition support, as they may have difficulty accessing a physical store to make the switch. </p> <p>Those who are flagged as eligible will be contacted by the telco company, and they are encouraging customers who receive the message to follow the instructions given to make the switch. </p> <p>Major Brendan Nottle from The Salvation Army has praised this initiative for helping the "most vulnerable members of our community."</p> <p>“Connection is one of the most important things to maintain in our society, whether it is with friends and family or with housing and support services,” he said.</p> <p>“Ensuring that every Australian, from any background or level of income, can take part in our modern digital society is crucial.</p> <p>“A phone can be a gateway to social inclusion, community connection and support, and with the upcoming closure of 3G networks in Australia it is important for us to reach out and ensure that this can continue for everyone.”</p> <p>Customers who are yet to upgrade are also told to make the switch sooner than later. </p> <p>Other devices that will be affected by the shutdown include certain smart watches, tablets, medical alarms, EFTPOS terminals and security monitors.</p> <p><em>Images: Shutterstock</em></p>

Money & Banking

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New proposal would see child care cost just $10 per day

<p>In an incredibly promising step towards affordable and high-quality early childhood education, f<span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">amilies in Australia could soon benefit from a significant reduction in costs – potentially paying just $10 a day for three days a week of high-quality care. </span></p> <p><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">This development is part of a broader push to reform the current, troubled system, driven by the Centre for Policy Development (CPD) and supported by various early learning and parenting groups.</span></p> <p>The CPD has introduced a comprehensive plan aimed at overhauling the existing system, proposing free or low-cost early learning for all children three days a week. A key aspect of their proposal includes replacing the current childcare subsidy with a "child-centred" funding model that directly finances early education centres.</p> <p>Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has endorsed the initiative, highlighting its significance in the national conversation on childcare, stating, “Universal child care provision, as it is in a range of other countries, is something that is a valued national asset. Early education is good for children, it’s good for families, but it’s also good for our economy.”</p> <p>Countries like Denmark, Germany, Sweden and Norway have successfully implemented legislated entitlements for early childhood services. Research indicates that where universal or low-cost education is available, participation rates are high, suggesting similar potential outcomes for Australia.</p> <p>Economic modelling by CPD suggests that universal or low-cost early learning could increase tax revenue by up to $3.2 billion annually and boost economic growth by $6.9 billion as more parents, particularly mothers, are able to work additional hours.</p> <p>The federal government is awaiting the final report from the Productivity Commission before making further decisions. Preliminary findings from this body and a separate investigation by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission have identified the current system as complex, costly and inconsistently available across the country.</p> <p>Andrew Hudson, CEO of the Centre for Policy Development, labelled the existing system as "broken", noting that about 22% of children start school developmentally vulnerable and over 120,000 children miss out on early learning entirely due to stringent activity test rules and other barriers.</p> <p>Hudson also pointed out that enabling more women to return to the workforce represents the "single biggest productivity gain" for the country, describing the proposal as a "classic win-win".</p> <p>As momentum builds, this initiative promises a brighter future for Australian families, making high-quality early childhood education more accessible and affordable, while delivering significant economic and social benefits.</p> <p><em>Image: Shutterstock</em></p>

Family & Pets

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Worrying pattern of cancellations shows Australian TV's grim future

<p>As the future of free-to-air Australian television continues to be more and more "uncertain", a worrying pattern of dozens of cancelled programs show how the industry has been in trouble for quite some time. </p> <p>In recent years, dozens of seemingly popular shows have been axed across three major networks with thousands of people across the industry preparing themselves for further cancellations, pay cuts, job losses and career changes.</p> <p>According to <a href="https://au.lifestyle.yahoo.com/exclusive-34-axed-aussie-shows-revealed-as-future-of-free-to-air-tv-uncertain-224725084.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>Yahoo Lifestyle</em></a>, 34 shows across Seven, Nine and Ten have either been axed, put on an indefinite hiatus, or quietly removed from TV schedules with no mention of it again over the last five years. </p> <p>Many Aussie TV staples such as <em>Millionaire Hot Seat</em>, <em>The Bachelor</em>, and <em>Australian Ninja Warrior</em>, which were all once the highest rated shows on television, have been binned due to declining viewership and dwindling ratings. </p> <p>Channel Ten's <em>The Masked Singer</em> has also become a casualty in the TV wars, as host Dave Hughes <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/entertainment/tv/hughesy-spills-the-beans-on-major-shows-set-to-be-axed" target="_blank" rel="noopener">shared</a> that he simply hadn't received a production schedule for the new season of the show, only to discover it had been shelved. </p> <p>In an attempt to breathe new life into the channels, newer shows like Shaynna Blaze’s <em>Country Home Rescue</em> or Kate Langbroek’s <em>My Mum, Your Dad</em> premiered, but have only survived for single seasons after failing to grab an audience. </p> <p>Even revived classics like <em>Big Brother</em>, <em>Celebrity Apprentice</em> and <em><a href="https://oversixty.com.au/entertainment/tv/channel-10-axes-another-show-amid-ratings-crisis" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Gladiators</a></em> haven’t been able to survive as they now face growing competition from streaming giants like Netflix and Stan.</p> <p>As the list of cancelled shows continues to grow, one seasoned lighting director, who asked to remain anonymous, told Yahoo Lifestyle that job insecurity for casts and crews is a major concern. </p> <p>They said, “Every year the breaks between jobs are getting longer and longer to the point a lot of us (crew) are now leaving the industry. Ten years ago we’d be booked consistently with jobs locked in 12 months in advance for all of the networks, now everyone’s scrambling to try to get on a three-day pilot shoot. Everything is so uncertain.”</p> <p>Below are all of the free-to-air shows from the last five years that haven’t been renewed.</p> <p id="channel-seven"><strong>Channel Seven</strong></p> <p>Big Brother (2001-2008, 2012-2014, 2020-2023)</p> <p>SAS Australia (2020-2023)</p> <p>This Is Your Life (1975-1980, 1995-2005, 2008, 2011, 2022-2023)</p> <p>Blow Up (2023)</p> <p>Million Dollar Island (2023)</p> <p>We Interrupt This Broadcast (2023)</p> <p>The Voice: Generations (2022)</p> <p>Big Brother VIP (2021)</p> <p>Holey Moley (2021)</p> <p>Ultimate Tag (2021)</p> <p>Wife Swap Australia (2012, 2021)</p> <p>House Rules (2013-2020)</p> <p>Plate of Origin (2020)</p> <p>Pooch Perfect (2020)</p> <p id="channel-nine"><strong>Channel Nine</strong></p> <p>Millionaire Hot Seat (2009–2023)</p> <p>My Mum, Your Dad (2022-2023)</p> <p>The Beach House Escape (2023)</p> <p>Rush (2023)</p> <p>Snackmasters (2021-2022)</p> <p>Australian Ninja Warrior (2017-2022)</p> <p>Beauty and the Geek (2009-2014, 2021-2022)</p> <p>Celebrity Apprentice (2011-2015, 2021-2022)</p> <p>Country Homes Rescue (2022)</p> <p>This Time Next Year (2017-2019)</p> <p>Australia’s Most Identical</p> <p id="channel-ten"><strong>Channel Ten</strong></p> <p>Gladiators (1995-1996, 2008, 2024)</p> <p>The Bachelor (2013-2023)</p> <p>Studio 10 (2013-2023)</p> <p>The Masked Singer (2019-2023)</p> <p>The Traitors (2022-2023)</p> <p>Would I Lie To You? Australia (2022-2023)</p> <p>The Real Love Boat (2022)</p> <p>The Bachelorette (2015-2021)</p> <p>Bachelor In Paradise (2018-2020)</p> <p><em>Image credits: Ten / Seven </em></p>

TV

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Boomers vs millennials? Free yourself from the phoney generation wars

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/bobby-duffy-98570">Bobby Duffy</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/kings-college-london-1196">King's College London</a></em></p> <p>Generational thinking is a big idea that’s been horribly corrupted and devalued by endless myths and stereotypes. These clichés have fuelled fake battles between “snowflake” millennials and “selfish” baby boomers, with younger generations facing a “war on woke” and older generations accused of “stealing” the future from the young.</p> <p>As I argue in my book, <a href="https://atlantic-books.co.uk/book/generations/">Generations</a>, this is a real shame. A more careful understanding of what’s really different between generations is one of the best tools we have to understand change – and predict the future.</p> <p>Some of the great names in sociology and philosophy saw understanding generational change as central to understanding society overall. <a href="http://dhspriory.org/kenny/PhilTexts/Comte/Philosophy2.pdf">Auguste Comte</a>, for example, identified the generation as a key factor in “the basic speed of human development”.</p> <p>He argued that “we should not hide the fact that our social progress rests essentially upon death; which is to say that the successive steps of humanity necessarily require a continuous renovation … from one generation to the next”. We humans get set in our ways once we’re past our formative years, and we need the constant injection of new participants to keep society moving forward.</p> <p>Understanding whether, and how, generations are different is vital to understanding society. The balance between generations is constantly shifting, as older cohorts die out and are replaced by new entrants. If younger generations truly do have different attitudes or behaviours to older generations, this will reshape society, and we can, to some extent, predict how it will develop if we can identify those differences.</p> <p>But in place of this big thinking, today we get clickbait headlines and bad research on millennials “<a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/millennials-hate-napkins-2016-3?r=US&amp;IR=T">killing the napkin industry</a>” or on how baby boomers have “<a href="https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/06/boomers-are-blame-aging-america/592336/">ruined everything</a>”. We’ve fallen a long way.</p> <h2>Myth busting</h2> <p>To see the true value of generational thinking, we need to identify and discard the many myths. For example, as I outline in the book, gen Z and millennials are not lazy at work or disloyal to their employers. They’re also no more materialistic than previous generations of young: a focus on being rich is something we tend to grow out of.</p> <p>Old people are not uncaring or unwilling to act on climate change: in fact, they are more likely than young people to boycott products for social purpose reasons.</p> <p>And our current generation of young are not a particularly unusual group of “culture warriors”. Young people are always at the leading edge of change in cultural norms, around race, immigration, sexuality and gender equality. The issues have changed, but the gap between young and old is not greater now than in the past.</p> <p>Meanwhile, there are real, and vitally important, generational differences hidden in this mess. To see them, we need to separate the three effects that explain all change in societies. Some patterns are simple “lifecycle effects”, where attitudes and behaviours are to do with our age, not which generation we are born into. Some are “period effects” – where everyone is affected, such as in a war, economic crisis or a pandemic.</p> <p>And finally, there are “cohort effects”, which is where a new generation is different from others at the same age, and they stay different. It’s impossible to entirely separate these distinct forces, but we can often get some way towards it – and when we do, we can predict the future in a much more meaningful way.</p> <p>There are many real generational differences, in vitally important areas of life. For example, the probability of you owning your own home is hugely affected by when you were born. Millennials are around half as likely to be a homeowner than generations born only a couple of decades earlier.</p> <p>There is also a real cohort effect in experience of mental health disorders, particularly among recent generations of young women. Our relationship with alcohol and likelihood of smoking is also tied to our cohort, with huge generational declines in very regular drinking and smoking. Each of these point to different futures, from increased strain on mental health services to declining alcohol sales.</p> <p>But lifecycle and period effects are vitally important too. For example, there is truth in the idea that we grow more conservative as we age. One analysis suggests that this ageing effect is worth around <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0261379413000875">0.35% to the Conservatives each year</a>, which may not sound like a lot, but is very valuable over the course of a political lifetime.</p> <p>And, of course, the pandemic provides a very powerful example of how period effects can dramatically change things for us all.</p> <h2>Reaching beyond the avocado</h2> <p>When there is such richness in the realities, why are there so many myths? It’s partly down to bad marketing and workplace research – that is, people jumping on the generation bandwagon to get media coverage for their products or to sell consultancy to businesses on how to engage young employees.</p> <p>This has become its own mini-industry. In 2015, US companies spent up to US$70 million (£51 million) on this sort of “advice” <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/helping-bosses-decode-millennialsfor-20-000-an-hour-1463505666">according to the Wall Street Journal</a>, with some experts making as much as US$20,000 an hour. Over 400 LinkedIn users now describe themselves solely as a “millennial expert” or “millennial consultant”.</p> <p>Campaigners and politicians also play to these imagined differences. Our increasing focus on “<a href="https://www.kcl.ac.uk/policy-institute/assets/culture-wars-in-the-uk.pdf">culture wars</a>” often involves picking out particular incidents in universities, such as the <a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-45717841">banning of clapping</a> at events or the <a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-oxfordshire-57409743">removal of a portrait of the Queen</a> to exaggerate how culturally different young people today are.</p> <p>Maybe less obviously, politicians such as former US President Barack Obama repeatedly lionise coming generations as more focused on equality, when the evidence shows they’re often not that different. These assertions are not only wrong, but create false expectations and divides.</p> <p>Some have had enough, calling on the Pew Research Center in the US, which has been a champion of generational groups, to <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/07/07/generation-labels-mean-nothing-retire-them/&amp;data=04%257C01%257C">stop conducting this type of analysis</a>. I think that misses the point: it’s how it’s applied rather than the idea of generations that’s wrong.</p> <p>We should defend the big idea and call out the myths, not abandon the field to the “millennial consultants”.<!-- 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/167138/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/bobby-duffy-98570">Bobby Duffy</a>, Professor of Public Policy and Director of the Policy Institute, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/kings-college-london-1196">King's College London</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/boomers-vs-millennials-free-yourself-from-the-phoney-generation-wars-167138">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Mind

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Man books 58 flights for free

<p dir="ltr">A Jetstar passenger has become locked in a legal battle with the Aussie airline after exploiting a promotion to get 58 flights for free. </p> <p dir="ltr">Lawyer Tyrone Barugh was one of many travellers who made use of Jetstar’s promotion that offered people a free return fare.</p> <p dir="ltr">Barugh booked a flight from Auckland to Sydney for $260 and received the free return, although he soon cancelled the outbound flight and was given credit with the airline. </p> <p dir="ltr">However, he did not cancel the return trip. </p> <p dir="ltr">Mr Barugh then used the credit to book another flight, before doing the same thing a further 57 times.</p> <p dir="ltr">The would-be passenger told <em>n</em><a href="https://www.news.com.au/finance/business/travel/man-locked-in-tribunal-battle-with-jetstar-after-booking-58-free-flights/news-story/1e3f67324c952ce232f3a583575d7ddc"><em>ews.com.au</em></a> that he had not planned to board any of the flights, and has taken Jetstar to the Disputes Tribunal of New Zealand, claiming he is entitled to approximately $4,500 in taxes owed on the flights.</p> <p dir="ltr">“They’re [Jetstar] not out here with the most saintly of intentions,” he said. </p> <p dir="ltr">“They have terms and conditions that are designed to potentially avoid having to do the right thing by a lot of their customers and limit their liability to their customers, and they’re pretty happy to pull those out when it suits them.”</p> <p dir="ltr">He claims he is owed the money as he has paid the Passenger Movement Charge,  which is a $60 fee the Australian Government collects when a person leaves the country. </p> <p dir="ltr">Mr Barugh says he would accept a settlement of a “small flight credit and a toy plane”.</p> <p dir="ltr">“There is a spirit of larrikinism,” he said.</p> <p dir="ltr">A spokesman for Jetstar declined to comment on the case, saying, “As this is a matter before the Tribunal, we won’t be making any comment.” </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p> </p>

Travel Trouble

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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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Jetstar celebrates 20th birthday with "return for free" flights

<p>Jetstar is celebrating its 20th birthday with massive sales and “return for free” flights across Australia and the world. </p> <p>The budget airline is offering over 200,000 “return for free” flights to 64 domestic and 33 international destinations, including popular holiday spots like Japan and Thailand. </p> <p>“Since launching in 2004, Jetstar has enabled hundreds of millions of Australian passengers to travel to more places, more often for less,” Jetstar Group CEO, Stephanie Tully, said.</p> <p>The 20th birthday sale will run for 48 hours, starting at 12.00am AEST on Wednesday, May 1, and end at 11.59pm AEST Thursday 2 May.</p> <p>The travel dates will vary according to the route, but for domestic flights dates include mid-January to late March 2025 and mid-June 2024 to late March 2025 for international services. </p> <p>Club Jetstar members will have 12 hours of exclusive early access from midday Tuesday.</p> <p><strong>A few of the destinations included in the offer can be seen below: </strong></p> <p><strong>Domestic:</strong></p> <ul> <li>Sydney to Ballina Byron from $86</li> <li>Melbourne (Tullamarine) to Launceston from $87</li> <li>Sydney to Gold Coast from $99</li> <li>Newcastle to Melbourne (Tullamarine) from $124</li> <li>Gold Coast to Melbourne (Tullamarine) from $125</li> <li>Perth to Gold Coast from $262</li> </ul> <p><strong>International: </strong></p> <ul> <li>Gold Coast to Wellington from $243</li> <li>Brisbane to Auckland from $266</li> <li>Perth to Bangkok from $309</li> <li>Perth to Phuket from $329</li> <li>Adelaide to Bali (Denpasar) from $349</li> <li>Melbourne (Tullamarine) to Singapore from $399</li> <li>Sydney to Honolulu from $449</li> <li>Brisbane to Seoul (Incheon) from $479</li> <li>Sydney to Osaka from $548</li> </ul> <p>A complete list of all the destinations and details can be found on the <a href="https://www.jetstar.com/au/en/deals?pid=mainnav%3Adeals&amp;flight-type=2&amp;adults=1&amp;origin=SYD#deals-content" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Jetstar website</a>. </p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

Domestic Travel

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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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Flight attendant reveals how to score a free upgrade

<p dir="ltr">A flight attendant has shared her number one trick for securing an upgrade on your next plane journey. </p> <p dir="ltr">American flight attendant Cierra Mistt revealed the one question you should ask at check-in to score an upgrade to first class, with the hack working almost every time.</p> <p dir="ltr">Mistt started her now-viral video by saying her hack to get a free upgrade was top secret. </p> <p dir="ltr">“Let’s look at the big picture. Everyone is flying right now, and no one is more excited about that than commercial airlines,” she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“The majority of airlines are overbooking every single flight they have.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“It comes from the last month of me trying to get home and not even being able to get on standby because every single flight has been oversold,” she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I am not talking about one or two seats. I am talking about 10-30 seats that have been oversold.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Mistt said this overselling of flights presents an opportunity to travellers.</p> <p dir="ltr">“If everyone does show up, including the extra passengers that were oversold their tickets, the airlines have no choice but to financially compensate,” she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">The flight attendant shared that airlines “normally start off with vouchers for $500 or something”.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Normally they say a voucher but you can ask for it in cash,” she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Depending on the flight and how desperate they are, they will go up to, like three, four, five thousand dollars.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“This is where the free upgrades come in.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Mistt said not only could you ask for a free upgrade in such circumstances, but you could “also ask for other incentives”.</p> <p dir="ltr">“For example, drinks, dinners, breakfast, even a hotel if you have to stay overnight until the next flight,” she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“And, yes, you can also ask to be upgraded to first class.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Her video received more than a million views, with people praising the hack and sharing how it has worked for them. </p> <p dir="ltr">“I got upgraded to first class by doing this,” said one person. </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: TikTok / Getty Images </em></p> <p> </p>

Travel Tips

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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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Do parolees really ‘walk free’? Busting common myths about parole

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/monique-moffa-1380936">Monique Moffa</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/rmit-university-1063">RMIT University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/alyssa-sigamoney-1375881">Alyssa Sigamoney</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/rmit-university-1063">RMIT University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/greg-stratton-161122">Greg Stratton</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/rmit-university-1063">RMIT University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/jarryd-bartle-441602">Jarryd Bartle</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/rmit-university-1063">RMIT University</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/michele-ruyters-18446">Michele Ruyters</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/rmit-university-1063">RMIT University</a></em></p> <p>Parole is a hot topic in politics and in the media at the moment, fuelled by several high-profile parole applications.</p> <p>Recently, <a href="https://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/no-parole-for-convicted-baby-killer-keli-lane/xoykrtvxe?cid=testtwitter">Keli Lane’s</a> attempt to be released on parole after years in jail for the murder of her baby daughter was unsuccessful. <a href="https://www.heraldsun.com.au/truecrimeaustralia/police-courts-victoria/how-frankston-serial-killer-paul-denyer-will-apply-for-bail/news-story/4613d1b3fced1f4aeaa9c4e08e8b81e0">Paul Denyer</a>, known as the “Frankston Serial Killer” for murdering three women in the 90s was also denied parole.</p> <p>Meanwhile, Snowtown accomplice <a href="https://www.adelaidenow.com.au/truecrimeaustralia/police-courts-sa/bodies-in-the-barrels-helper-mark-haydon-released-on-parole/news-story/fdfbbbe7b59267d8009c6910249de585">Mark Haydon</a> was granted parole with strict conditions, but is <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2024-04-01/snowtown-accomplice-mark-haydon-still-in-custody-after-parole/103653934">yet to be</a> released.</p> <p>Some media coverage of such well-known cases is littered with myths about what parole is, how it’s granted and what it looks like. Here’s what the evidence says about three of the most common misconceptions.</p> <h2>Myth 1: people on parole walk free</h2> <p>Parole is the conditional release of an incarcerated person (parolee) by a parole board authority, after they have served their non-parole period (minimum sentence) in jail. This isn’t always reflected in headlines.</p> <p><a href="https://www.9news.com.au/national/snowtown-murders-bodies-in-barrels-murders-mark-haydon-release-south-australia/f4b62a72-ec3d-4238-94d2-64697fbcdef3">Some coverage</a> suggests people on parole are released early and “walk free” without conditions. This is not true.</p> <p>According to the <a href="https://www.adultparoleboard.vic.gov.au/what-parole/purpose-and-benefits">Adult Parole Board of Victoria</a>: "Parole provides incarcerated people with a structured, supported and supervised transition so that they can adjust from prison back into the community, rather than returning straight to the community at the end of their sentence without supervision or support."</p> <p>Parole comes with strict conditions and requirements, such as curfews, drug and alcohol testing, electronic monitoring, program participation, to name a few.</p> <p>People with experience of parole highlight its punitivism and continued extension of surveillance.</p> <h2>Myth 2: most parolees reoffend</h2> <p>Another myth is that the likelihood all parolees reoffend is high. Research over a number of years has consistently found parole reduces reoffending.</p> <p>For example, <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0004865815585393?journalCode=anja">a 2016 study in New South Wales</a> found at the 12 month mark, a group of parolees reoffended 22% less than an unsupervised cohort.</p> <p>A <a href="https://www.bocsar.nsw.gov.au/Publications/CJB/2022-Report-Effect-of-parole-supervision-on-recidivism-CJB245.pdf">2022 study</a> by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research found parole was especially successful in reducing serious recidivism rates among incarcerated people considered to be at a high risk of reoffending.</p> <p>More recently in Victoria, <a href="https://www.adultparoleboard.vic.gov.au/system/files/inline-files/Adult%20Parole%20Board%20Annual%20Report%202022-23_0.pdf">the Adult Parole Board</a> found over 2022–23, no parolees were convicted of committing serious offences while on parole.</p> <p>In contrast, unstructured and unconditional release increases the risk of returning to prison.</p> <h2>Myth 3: parole is easy to get</h2> <p>While the number of parolees reoffending has dropped, so too has the total number of people who are exiting prison on parole.</p> <p>Over a decade ago, Victoria underwent significant parole reforms, largely prompted by high-profile incidents and campaigns. In just five years following Jill Meagher’s tragic death in 2012, the Victorian government passed <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10345329.2018.1556285">13 laws reshaping parole</a>.</p> <p>The result is the number of people on parole in Victoria has halved since 2012, despite incarceration numbers remaining steady.</p> <p><iframe id="maNRy" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/maNRy/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>These reforms have made it more difficult for people convicted of serious offences to get parole, as well as preventing individuals or specific groups from being eligible for parole (such as police killers, <a href="https://theconversation.com/no-body-no-parole-laws-could-be-disastrous-for-the-wrongfully-convicted-191083">“no body, no parole” prisoners</a>, and certain high-profile murderers).</p> <p>Similar laws can be found in other states. For example, no body, no parole was introduced in all other Australian states and territories, except for Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory.</p> <p>As a consequence, more people are being released at the end of their full sentence. This can be detrimental not only for the incarcerated person but the wider community, because they are not receiving the reintegration support parole provides.</p> <p>Aside from restricted access due to political intervention, parole is facing a new crisis, which has nothing to do with eligibility or suitability.</p> <p>Last year, 40% of Victorian parole applications were denied, often due to reasons <a href="https://www.adultparoleboard.vic.gov.au/system/files/inline-files/Adult%20Parole%20Board%20Annual%20Report%202022-23_0.pdf">unrelated to suitability</a>.</p> <p>Housing scarcity played a significant role, with 59% of rejections (or 235 applications) citing a lack of suitable accommodation as one of the reasons parole was denied. This is playing out <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-08-11/women-on-bail-parole-increased-risk-of-homelessness-qld/102717002">across the country</a>.</p> <p>Parole is vulnerable to community and media hype, and political knee-jerk reactions in response to high profile incidents involving a person on parole. Because of the actions of a few, parole as a process has been restricted for many.</p> <p>While the wider community are active in advocacy efforts to restrict parole from certain people or groups (for example, this petition for <a href="https://www.change.org/p/lyns-law-no-body-no-parole">Lyn’s Law in NSW</a>), public efforts to restrict parole seem at odds with its purposes.</p> <p>Despite this, research suggests when the public are educated about the purposes and intent of parole, they are more likely to be <a href="https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3125829">supportive of it</a>.</p> <p>The susceptibility of parole to media and community influence results in frequent, impactful changes affecting individuals inside and outside prisons. Headlines such as “walking free” have the potential to mislead the public on the purpose and structure of parole. Coverage should portray parole beyond mere early termination of a sentence by accurately reflecting its purpose and impact.<!-- 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/226607/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/monique-moffa-1380936">Monique Moffa</a>, Lecturer, Criminology &amp; Justice, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/rmit-university-1063">RMIT University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/alyssa-sigamoney-1375881">Alyssa Sigamoney</a>, Associate Lecturer in Criminology and Justice Studies, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/rmit-university-1063">RMIT University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/greg-stratton-161122">Greg Stratton</a>, Lecturer - Criminology and Justice Studies, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/rmit-university-1063">RMIT University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/jarryd-bartle-441602">Jarryd Bartle</a>, Associate Lecturer, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/rmit-university-1063">RMIT University</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/michele-ruyters-18446">Michele Ruyters</a>, Associate Dean, Criminology and Justice Studies, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/rmit-university-1063">RMIT 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/do-parolees-really-walk-free-busting-common-myths-about-parole-226607">original article</a>.</em></p>

Legal

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Dad dies after being bitten by deadly snake in child care centre

<p>A beloved father has passed away after reportedly trying to remove an eastern brown snake from a child care centre in North Queensland. </p> <p>Jeremy Brookes attended the child care centre on Tuesday afternoon after one of his relatives reportedly called him over to remove the snake, according to <em>The Courier Mail</em>. </p> <p>Brookes was not a qualified snake handler and was bitten multiple times on his hand and arm.</p> <p>According to Queensland Ambulance Service acting district director Paula Marten, Brookes then managed to drive to his Deeragun home but he soon went into cardiac arrest.</p> <p>HIs wife performed CPR until paramedics arrived and he was rushed to hospital, but unfortunately could not be saved. </p> <p>“(He) was found to be in cardiac arrest by our crews,” Marten said. </p> <p>“The call was made by the patient’s wife, who then commenced CPR as the patient went into cardiac arrest.</p> <p>“The information provided to us was that the gentleman had been bitten in a different location and attended back to his residence, where his wife has immobilised his arm and wrapped it, when the onset of the symptoms occurred.”</p> <p>She added that snake bites were common in North Queensland and they were rarely fatal, but advised that if "you’re not aware of snakes, treat them as if they are venomous."</p> <p>“It’s really important that you stay calm and keep the person calm.</p> <p>“Apply basic first aid, which would be immobilisation and using compression bandages, and contact triple-0.</p> <p>“If you are unsure about what first aid measures to take, call triple-0, and they will walk you through what you need to do for the patient.”</p> <p>Eastern Brown Snakes are one of the most deadly snakes in the world, with the second most toxic venom. </p> <p>They can be found across the east of Australia including the Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria, NSW and the ACT.</p> <p>Brookes is believed to be the first person to have died from a snake bite in Australia this year. </p> <p>Last year, two people died from suspected eastern brown snake bites in Australia. </p> <p><em>Images: Facebook/ news.com.au</em></p>

Caring

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Might we see child-free zones on flights?

<p>Ah, the joys of air travel. The excitement of jetting off to exotic locales, the thrill of new adventures, and of course, the endless possibilities for unexpected entertainment. And what's more exhilarating than finding yourself seated next to a rowdy toddler or an inconsolable infant? It's the stuff of dreams, truly.</p> <p>Picture this: you're settling into your seat, envisioning a serene journey ahead, perhaps catching up on your favourite Netflix series or finally finishing that novel you've been meaning to read.</p> <p>But wait, what's this?</p> <p>A couple with a baby approaching your row.</p> <p>You can already hear the distant wails of despair echoing through the cabin. Your heart sinks as you realise that your peaceful flight just took a nosedive before it even began.</p> <p>Yes, it's the age-old dilemma of child-free travellers everywhere. Whether it's the cacophony of a crying baby or the rhythmic drumming of tiny feet on the back of your seat, flying with children nearby can be an experience like no other. And let's not forget the classic game of "Will they or won't they?" as you anxiously await to see if the parents will be able to tame their pint-sized companions or if chaos will reign supreme at 30,000 feet.</p> <p>But fear not, dear passengers, for there may be a solution on the horizon. Could child-free zones be the answer to our airborne woes? According to a <a href="https://travel.nine.com.au/latest/planes-should-there-be-child-free-zones/d463b299-5258-418f-831c-f5fb218f1d77" target="_blank" rel="noopener">recent poll conducted by Nine News</a>, a whopping 73 per cent of respondents were in favour of such a proposition. Finally, a sanctuary where one can escape the unpredictable antics of tiny humans and bask in the tranquility of uninterrupted inflight bliss.</p> <p>Of course, implementing such a scheme may prove to be a tad challenging. After all, how does we go about segregating the child-rearing masses from the child-free elite without inciting a riot at the boarding gate? It's a logistical nightmare that even the most seasoned airline execs would hesitate to tackle.</p> <p>So, for now, it seems we child-free flyers will have to make do with our trusty noise-cancelling headphones, our steadfast eye masks, and a healthy dose of empathy for our fellow passengers. After all, parenting is no easy feat, especially at 35,000 feet.</p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Princess Diana's niece secretly welcomes first child

<p>Lady Kitty Spencer, 33, surprised royal fans when she revealed she secretly welcomed her first child with husband Michael Lewis, 65. </p> <p>Spencer, who is Princess Diana's niece and the daughter of Earl Charles Spencer, took to Instagram on Sunday to share a reel of her celebrating her first mother's day in the UK. </p> <p>"It's the joy of my life to be your mummy, little one," her post began. </p> <p>"I love you unconditionally 🤍 Happy Mother's Day to those who celebrate today 🤍," she added.</p> <p>In the clip, Spencer can be seen doting on her baby girl as they spend time together at the beach and at home. </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/C4U3U4Fs70Z/?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/C4U3U4Fs70Z/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Kitty Spencer (@kitty.spencer)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Her sisters were quick to comment on the post, followed suit by royal fans.  </p> <p>"My perfect little niece,"  Eliza Spencer commented. </p> <p>"The most perfect angel in the world," added her sister Amelia Spencer. </p> <p>"What wonderful news dear Kitty! Congratulations on your precious little one," wrote one fan with a bunch of white love hearts. </p> <p>"Oh wow! Didn’t know you had a little bub. How gorgeous! Congratulations x," added another. </p> <p>"Oh Kitty! So happy for you❤ Happy Mother's Day!" wrote a third. </p> <p>Spencer tied the knot with Lewis in a lavish ceremony in Rome in 2021. </p> <p>She wore <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/lifestyle/beauty-style/lady-kitty-spencer-shows-fans-bts-look-at-her-five-wedding-dresses" target="_blank" rel="noopener">five custom Dolce & Gabbana wedding gowns</a>, and her two brothers walked her down the aisle as her father was unable to attend the wedding at the time due to a shoulder injury.</p> <p>The couple first met in 2018, and later got engaged in 2019, but had to postpone their wedding due to COVID-19.</p> <p>Her husband has three children from a previous marriage.</p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p> <p> </p>

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