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Income tax gets lower, fairer: treasurer

by admin on 18/08/2019

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says lower income earners will get more under the government’s tax plan.Workers are being reassured by the federal government their income tax is going down, after Labor used new budget analysis to argue the economy is not working in the interests of middle ns.
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People earning low-to-middle incomes will be hardest hit by rising average tax rates over the coming decade, the analysis released by the Parliamentary Budget Office found.

But Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says under the government’s tax plan, low and middle income earners are receiving up to $530 in immediate relief each year.

“Our personal income tax plan is making income tax lower, fairer and simpler for all ns,” he told AAP.

The budget office’s analysis found tax rates will go up largely because as wages rise, people will pay more tax on their increased income.

It noted the government’s tax cuts will slow the process.

Mr Frydenberg said the government’s move to lift tax brackets is also designed to protect ns from the phenomenon, known as “bracket creep”.

Labor spokesman Jim Chalmers said the budget office’s report showed the government is not managing the economy for middle ns.

“At a time when wages are growing at record lows and households are struggling to keep pace with the cost of living, now is not the time to be prioritising tax relief at the top end,” he said.

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said strong economic and employment growth will mean people’s pay packets get heavier in time.

“Of course wages over time are expected to go up, and it’s not just our view, that is also the view of the Reserve Bank governor and that is the orthodox view of how wages evolve,” he told Sky News on Friday.

The economy in 2017/18 expanded at its fastest annual pace in the latest quarter since the mining boom six years ago, figures released on Wednesday showed.

Buckley backs returning Pies for AFL final

by admin on 18/08/2019

Tyson Goldsack’s marking ability will be a big positive for the Magpies’ defence against West Coast.Nathan Buckley admits Collingwood’s decision to pick Tyson Goldsack, Adam Treloar and Jeremy Howe for Saturday’s AFL qualifying final against West Coast is a gamble.
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But the Magpies coach is adamant the recently-injured trio will provide the right mix to conquer the Eagles at their Optus Stadium fortress.

Key defender Goldsack’s senior return comes just six months after the 31-year-old underwent a knee reconstruction, while Treloar has missed the past nine games after suffering a highly unusual double-hamstring injury.

Howe hasn’t played at any level in six weeks after copping a nasty cork to his thigh which required minor surgical intervention.

“Given that Tyson hasn’t played for a while, Adz has missed a bit of footy and Howie has missed our last five or six weeks, there’s some form of question mark in regard to that,” Buckley told reporters at Melbourne Airport on Friday.

“But if you had all the information and you’d seen the block of training these guys have put in, all three of them, you wouldn’t be concerned about their capacity to do what they need to do.

“Finals intensity goes up but that’ll be a test for all 44 players.”

The trio won recalls at the expense of Jack Madgen, Nathan Murphy and Adam Oxley who were all dropped for the trip to Perth to meet an Eagles side bolstered by the return of spearhead Josh Kennedy from a five-match absence because of a fractured shin.

Goldsack’s return is a shock considering his time on the sidelines but few teams have been able to stop the fearsome tandem of Kennedy and Jack Darling, and the growing likelihood that Kennedy would play reinforced Buckley’s convictions.

“We’re coming up against a side that’s got some real strength in the air,” he said.

“We’ve existed with a back six with some aerial capabilities but Goldy definitely strengthens that and so does Howie.

“That’s probably a part of our make-up that we feel like we’ve strengthened with these selections and it’s going to be an important part of getting the job done.”

West Coast also recalled speedster Lewis Jetta, while Oscar Allen and Will Schofield were omitted.

The Eagles’ uncontested marking and ability to retain possession has been a trademark this season but Buckley noted they were also capable of moving the ball at speed and supplying their dangerous small forwards.

He was also quick to rubbish talk of the Magpies’ preparations being thrown into “chaos” after a group of 13 early-departing players had a lengthy flight delay on Thursday night.

“I had a couple of red lights on the way here as well … everything seems to be against us,” a deadpan Buckley said.

“We’ll see if we can get over it and find a way.”

Companies fined over Hungry Jack’s death

by admin on 18/08/2019

Hungry Jack’s and two rubbish contractors have been fined after a man was fatally crushed by a bin.The death of an elderly man who was crushed by a bin outside a Melbourne Hungry Jack’s store has cost the fast food chain and its rubbish contractors $275,000 each.
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Rex Haysom, 86, was killed and his wife Moira injured in March 2013 as they crossed the Mill Park store’s car park, past a loading bay where a rubbish truck was emptying a recycling bin.

A Visy Paper driver, contracted by Veolia, had lifted the bin over the top of the truck to empty it and was placing it back on the ground at the front of the loading bay outside the store, just after midday on March 8.

He had checked his surrounds and not seen the couple as they crossed in front of the truck.

They were both struck by the bin and taken to hospital, where Mr Haysom later died.

Judge Trevor Wraight said Mr Haysom’s death had a profound effect on the man’s family, including his daughter who gave the court a victim impact statement.

The driver also made a statement about the severe depression he’d suffered since the incident.

He has been hospitalised several times as a suicide risk and continues to have nightmares.

Judge Wraight said steps had been taken since to reduce the risks, including arranging rubbish pick-up closer to the store opening time to avoid having trucks manoeuvring around the confined car park space during high pedestrian periods.

He said while he believed the incident was reasonably foreseeable, it was on the outer limits.

Hungry Jack’s, Visy Paper and Veolia were each found guilty at trial of failing to ensure a person other than an employee is not subject to risk, under occupational health and safety laws.

Each was fined $275,000.

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Andrew James Benn plans to appeal against severity of maximum 40 year jail term

by admin on 18/08/2019

PREDATOR: After pleading guilty to 21 counts of rape, Andrew James Benn was jailed for a maximum of 40 years in Newcastle District Court. He has lodged an intention to appeal against the severity of the sentence to the CCA.SADISTIC rapist Andrew James Benn intends to appeal against the length of his maximum 40-year jail term, the Newcastle Herald can reveal.
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Benn, 29, who raped or sexually assaulted 14 young women and teenage girls who he met through Facebook, Tinder or Snapchat between 2012 and 2017, filed a notice of intention to appeal against the severity of his jail term to the Court of Criminal Appeal on August 28, less than two weeks after he was jailed for at least 30 years in Newcastle District Court.

The appeal does not yet have a hearing date in the Supreme Court.

Fundamentally, Benn’s defence, led by solicitor John Anthony, will have to prove the sentence was “manifestly excessive” in order to reduce his jail term.

Benn is the Hunter’s worst serial rapist and will have spent more than half his life behind bars when, at the age of 57, he first becomes eligible for parole in 2047.

During Benn’s sentencing on August 16, Judge Ellis read out his “indicative sentences” for each of the 33 counts, including 21 counts of rape, which he said, if imposed, would have totaled an “American Style number” of 169-and-a-half years in jail.

Instead, Judge Ellis imposed an aggregate sentence of 40 years, with a non-parole period of 30 years.

It is believed to be longest sentence that Judge Ellis, the experienced Chief Judge of Newcastle’s District Court, has ordered during his time on the bench.

The public gallery in Newcastle District Court was packed with victims and their supporters as Judge Ellis read his lengthy judgement which detailed Benn’s depraved acts, which included repeatedly raping women, forcing himself on girls using “extreme violence”, sex with girls as young as 15, blackmailing and threatening victims that the “Hells Angels” would “make them disappear” if they went to police and laughing in the face of desperate and crying victims. “The treatment of the many victims was nothing short of despicable,” Judge Ellis said. “His conduct over the four-year period was evil.He left a path of emotional and physical damage for the victims.The sentence I impose is unlikely to the mitigate the harm for the victims, but hopefully it provides some sort of closure.”

In interviews with theHerald six of the women revealed the profound impact the attacks had on them and encouraged other women who are the victims of rape or sexual assault to come forward and speak out.

The women who spoke to the Herald described the effects Benn’s attacks had on them, which included suffering PTSD, living in “constant fear”, losing or having to leave their jobs and their homes, moving out of the Hunter andcontemplating or attempting suicide.

Kavanaugh steers clear of Trump criticism

by admin on 18/08/2019

Some critics have expressed concern Brett Kavanaugh could be a rubber stamp for Donald Trump.US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh says he believes the judiciary has broad authority to check the power of the White House, but has refused to criticise the man who selected him, President Donald Trump.
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In a second day of testimony, Kavanaugh declined to comment on Trump’s criticism of the judiciary or offer praise of the president’s character.

Democrats at Kavanaugh’s Senate confirmation hearing also pressed the conservative federal appeals court judge over newly-released emails highlighting his views on abortion and racial issues after a partisan fight over the public release of the documents.

The documents released on Thursday dated from Kavanaugh’s service in the White House under Republican President George W. Bush more than a decade ago. Democrats had objected to an earlier decision by the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Republican leadership not to make the emails public.

The third day of the confirmation hearing again was repeatedly interrupted by protesters hostile to Kavanaugh. The nominee, enduring back-to-back days of lengthy questioning, remained in good humor, making no gaffes that were likely to derail his confirmation in a Senate narrowly controlled by Trump’s fellow Republicans, despite the efforts of Democrats opposed to him.

Some critics have expressed concern Kavanaugh could be a rubber stamp for Trump and protect him from lawsuits and investigations.

Asked by Democratic Senator Cory Booker whether he was picked because of an expectation of loyalty to Trump, Kavanaugh responded: “My only loyalty is to the Constitution. I’m an independent judge.”

Kavanaugh refused to say whether he had “the greatest respect” for Trump, a phrase Booker said he had used when describing Bush.