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Archive for March, 2019

Pauline Hanson’s $1.2 million payday

Pauline Hanson has garnered significant Senate support in NSW, especially in the closest coalition-held seats in outer-suburban, provincial and rural areas. Pauline Hanson puts media on notice on the Facebook page Pauline Hanson’s Please Explain. Photo: Facebook
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Nick Xenophon may well help decide who forms the next government. Photo: Paul Jeffers

Tony Windsor is running for the seat of New England as an independent against Barnaby Joyce.

Independent MP Rob Oakeshott. Photo: Andrew Meares

Derryn Hinch. Photo: Fairfax

 

Pauline Hanson’s One Nation party is on track to get almost $1.2 million in electoral funding from taxpayers.

The right-wing firebrand will get the cash no matter how many senators she ends up with and regardless of how much the party actually spent on campaigning.

The money will add to an estimated $6 million in public funding she and her party has received since first entering politics in 1996.

Under election rules, the Australian Electoral Commission pays parties and candidates $2.62 for every first-preference vote they get in each state or division in which they attract more than 4 per cent support.

Ms Hanson’s party got 9 per cent of the upper house vote in Queensland and just over 4 per cent in NSW.

As long as her NSW vote doesn’t dip below the threshold as counting continues she will get about $765,000 for her Senate vote.

Each of her 15 lower house candidates also got more than 4 per cent of the vote, giving her a further $400,000.

She is expected to benefit from the public funding more than any other party outside the Coalition, Labor and the Greens, whether she ends up with just two senators or as many as six.

The major parties are expected to get north of $20 million each from the AEC. The Greens are likely to get close to $6 million. The total cost to the taxpayer is expected to be around $60 million.

A number of unsuccessful independent candidates are also in line for a healthy payday.

Former crossbenchers Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott both attracted about 26,000 first-preference votes, meaning they will take home a little under $70,000 each. Mr Oakeshott only threw his hat into the ring a few weeks before polling day and has said he was running his campaign on the “smell of an oily rag”.

He has since said he spent about $50,000 on campaigning and he would keep the rest for his next campaign.

Television presenter James Mathison will get an estimated $23,000 for his roughly 9000 first preference votes in the Sydney seat of Warringah, which was retained by former prime minister Tony Abbott.

The only other minor party to come close to Ms Hanson’s total will be the Nick Xenophon Team. The populist’s 21 per cent upper house vote in his native state of South Australia will give him more than $400,000.

All 11 of his SA lower house candidates also cleared the threshold, as did four of his interstate candidates. That should net him another $500,000, taking his total to close to a million – up from $642,000 in 2013.

But Senator Xenophon says he won’t be able to follow through on his plan to pay back his main benefactor, Melbourne businessman Ian Melrose, who as revealed by Fairfax Media, donated $115,000 to the crossbencher.

Senator Xenophon says he did not do well enough in states outside SA. “It’s not going to work out. That’s the harsh reality,” he said.

Derryn Hinch’s strong showing in Victoria means he is in line for about $350,000 in election funding. Fellow Senate crossbencher Jacqui Lambie will get about $60,000 for her campaign.

The Sex Party will also get a piece of the pie. It managed to clear the threshold in both the ACT and NT, giving it about $30,000.

The vast majority of the election funding will be paid out by the end of the month.

The Greens want the law changed so the AEC only refunds actual campaign spending and candidates cannot make a profit.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Sue King had her identity stolen while she was holidaying in the US. Photo: Katherine Griffiths A fraudster gained access to Sue King’s Telstra account. Photo: Craig Sillitoe
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Sue King had her identity stolen. Photo: Katherine Griffiths

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Sue King was holidaying in the US when she received an odd email from Uber on her Wi-Fi connected phone saying she had just taken a short ride to the Sydney suburb of Canterbury.

That day in late May became stranger when her Facebook friends began asking her why she was requesting a reference for a loan. One pointed out her account may have been hacked.

Alarmed, she contacted her broadband provider Telstra, which told her an impersonator had passed all identity checks and gained access to her account, changing her Bigpond email password.

“All that person needed was my full name, date of birth and home address to get into my inbox and I’m concerned it’s just too easy,” said Ms King, a teacher from Lilyfield.

“I also have a feeling they stole my mail, because they gave Telstra my account billing number.”

The use of such simple identity verification processes is widespread, with information security experts saying big organisations are struggling to strike a balance between solid security and seamless customer experience.

Ms King managed to change her email password but the worst was yet to come. When she returned home, she couldn’t use her mobile phone because her Optus number had been transferred to another SIM.

She found out the fraudster had tried to mess with her details at Teachers Mutual Bank and enter her PayPal account.

Her Commonwealth Bank card was swallowed by an ATM because of irregularities. And she discovered $3800 was transferred over 10 days to a Surry Hills-based online merchant using her St George credit card.

A Telstra spokesman confirmed that as a minimum it verified a customer’s identity using their full name, date of birth and home address.

He said the telco considered its identification process as “adequate” and similar to that used by other business across many industries. It was constantly under review.

“In this instance, it appears the customer’s identity was obtained fraudulently as the scammer provided the necessary verification information … also providing the account billing number,” he said.

Ms King has since swapped from paper bills to email and changed her passwords. She said the police were also investigating her case.

Mail theft and identity fraud has been on the rise, with organised crime syndicates taking advantage of Sydney’s apartment boom and targeting the clusters of letter boxes.

Identity crime costs governments, private industry and individuals upwards of $1.6 billion each year, according to Attorney-General’s Department.

James Turner, an advisor at Intelligent Business Research Services, which counts Telstra as a client, said security teams at companies were working hard to strengthen identity verification procedures, but this had to be balanced with customer experience.

He said while identity checks, such as that used by Telstra, were common, it was important to note signatures – “the weakest biometric ever” – were still being used.

“We’re dealing with the area of risk. It’s not a binary situation of ‘They must have done more’,” he said.

“I know the heads of security of all these large organisations and they are genuinely concerned and constantly trying to raise their capabilities so the easy way is the secure way. That’s the end game,” he said.

“It’s like turning an oil tanker, when you’ve got marketing people saying: ‘No, no, we need to make this as fast and friction-less as possible’.”

David Lacey, founder of Australia’s only free helpline for victims of identity fraud IDCARE, said companies should place greater focus on the way they help victims who in some cases feel like they’re treated as criminals.

“If you’re not harmed by the crime itself, you almost certainly will be by the response [of the telcos and other service providers],” he said.

He said the number of calls to the hotline has been doubling every three months. He said a criminal begins abusing a person’s identity within 48 hours of it being stolen.

“You don’t ever get your identity back once it’s stolen. They have a life sentence, because the problem can re-appear in the future,” he said.

An Optus spokesman said it verifies identity using security questions, including personal details and account information.

“Optus also provides customers the opportunity to add a PIN to their account which can be used to help verify identify,” he said.

A Vodafone spokeswoman said if a customer can’t provide account details and a PIN, they proceed to a set of questions.

“If we are not satisfied, we may ask the caller to provide further evidence to authenticate their identity and their claim to the account or direct them to a retail store with appropriate identification,” she said. Protect your identity (credit: IDCARE)Ensure all devices have the newest available security updates and run weekly anti-virus and malware protection software.Never open or click on links from emails you don’t know.Never provide your personal or security details in response to any email, even if it looks legitimate.Where available use two-step authentication – such as SMS codes to your mobile.Regularly change your passwords and PINs and be careful about selecting your passwords.Never communicate personal details on social media sites.Ensure you have a secure letterbox for postal deliveries.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Tangle: Bulldog Lin Jong is tackled by Richmond captain Trent Cotchin at Etihad Stadium.WESTERN BULLDOGS  3.3      5.9      6.11      12.13     (85)RICHMOND 3.1      6.2      8.6      11.9     (75)GOALS Western Bulldogs: Stringer 4, Redpath 2, Bontempelli 2, Smith,  Johannissen,  Suckling,  Dickson. Richmond: Castagna 2,  Riewoldt 2, Edwards 2, BEllis, Griffiths, McBean, Lloyd,  Cotchin.BEST Western Bulldogs: Bontempelli, Stringer, Macrae, Boyd, Suckling, Wood. Richmond: Martin, Cotchin, Castagna, Markov, Hampson, VlastuinUMPIRES Chamberlain,  Farmer,  Bannister.CROWD 39,679 at Etihad Stadium.
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Richmond coach Damien Hardwick had effectively drawn a line through his side’s top eight prospects after last weekend’s loss to Port Adelaide. But midfielder Anthony Miles said on Friday that his team hoped to shape the logjammed top eight in the final two months of the season.

They very nearly did that at the first attempt, with only four second-half goals from Western Bulldogs livewire Jake Stringer – including the last two of the game – preventing another round 16 upset.

For much of the night, the Dogs looked directionless going forward, beaten 13-5 in contested marks, badly missing Tom Boyd, and being challenged by a Tigers side spurred by the promising performances of teenagers Jason Castagna and Oleg Markov. But with his team behind by a point at the 23-minute mark of the last quarter, Stringer converted a set shot, adding another four minutes later to secure the four points.

The Dogs had six more inside 50s in the first term but used it poorly both on entry and in front of goal. For the second night in a row, the game’s first score came from a player who had made headlines during the week. But where Kieren Jack had converted, Lin Jong sprayed his kick to the right, displaying one of the reasons why he had been in and out of the Luke Beveridge’s side.

Marcus Bontempelli hit the post, before Matt Suckling kicked the game’s first major, spearing the ball home from 45 metres. But the Dogs’ goals were being scrounged rather than created. Their second came about after David Astbury picked out Clay Smith, who duly guided the ball to Jack Redpath in the pocket. Their third was fortuitous too, as Easton Wood’s kick to the goal square ricocheted off the fingertip of Dustin Martin, and into the lap of an eager Smith.

The Tigers were classier going forward. Ben Griffiths got their opener with a neat set shot from 50 metres. It was soon bettered by the effort of skipper Trent Cotchin, who silkily goaled on the run from the arc. Castagna then capitalised on a spilled Jason Johannisen mark, and the margin was just two points at quarter time.

Richmond didn’t have to wait long though to hit the lead. Shane Edwards belied his height to take a contested mark in the pocket, before coolly converting. Hitherto quiet, Jack Riewoldt had two shots within minutes, the latter of which was a goal. Sam Lloyd added another, and Richmond found themselves in front by 12 points.

The Dogs needed a spark, and they found it from Bontempelli, clearly their best player in the first half. Providing rare danger in the Dogs’ forward line, he goaled. Soon after Tory Dickson soccered home from close range, and the Dogs went to half-time with the most slender of advantages.

But they were dealt a blow moments before the siren when Tom Liberatore – who had been lively in the second term – copped a knee to his rib cage. He fell to the ground in agony before eventually making his way to the bench, but his night was over, wheeled away into an ambulance.

Richmond started strongly when the sides returned. Brandon Ellis sprung into action with seven third-quarter disposals, including the term’s first goal. Then Castagna grabbed his second  and again the Tigers led by two goals. With Redpath battling, the Dogs were forced to play Bontempelli forward, robbing them of another key onballer. Martin continued his excellent night, finding the ball 11 times in the term.

But perhaps searching for one fend-off too many, he was caught deep in defence by Stringer. The much-hyped forward had been extremely underwhelming, but  took his chance, and added the Dogs’ sixth. Richmond wasted opportunities as the quarter wore on, and while Smith missed a gilt-edged chance off the ground, the door was open at the final change – the gap just seven points.

The last quarter was chaotic. The Dogs looked on track to prevail when Jason Johannisen and Stringer put through the first two goals. But Riewoldt spotted Liam McBean deep – the young forward finding a fine time to kick the first goal of his fledgling career.

Redpath at long last marked inside 50 but bizarrely played on and failed to score. The Tigers made him pay, with Riewoldt slotting another, before Edwards snapped brilliantly from the pocket. But Redpath made amends, levelling the scores. Stringer’s final acts – after being earlier dragged for a missed tackle – were still to come.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Canterbury Bulldogs run down Wests TigersAs it happened: Bulldogs v TigersEXCLUSIVE: Eels star allegedly given cash in car park
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The Wests Tigers were forced to apply to the NRL for a salary cap exemption to hand a first grade debut to teenage hooker Jacob Liddle, who is unlikely to feature in the top squad for the rest of the season.

The Tigers’ hooking stocks have been the subject of much debate this season, but coach Jason Taylor revealed his club was forced to apply to League Central for a second tier exemption given Robbie Farah was on State of Origin duties to compound the injuries to Matt Ballin and Manaia Cherrington.

Liddle, 19, put the Tigers ahead early in the second half with an opportunistic try before the Bulldogs wore down the top eight fringe dwellers for a 32-22 win at ANZ Stadium on Saturday night.

Taylor conceded Liddle was unlikely to feature in the top grade again this season in a scenario reminiscent of the Luke Brooks wrangle in late 2013.

“For salary cap reasons he probably won’t play any more part,” Taylor said. “That’s disappointing. We can’t do anything about it and that’s how it works.”

The NRL only agreed to the Tigers’ application given their hooking stocks were so depleted for the pivotal clash against the Bulldogs. Cherrington will be available for the Tigers’ clash against the Dragons after the bye.

Taylor spoke at length in the Tigers’ dressing room to the gathering of about 20 family and friends who had come to watch Liddle, a Wyong junior, make his NRL bow.

The mad surfer said he had no idea about the salary cap jigsaw he had been caught up in, but said it was worthwhile after embracing his tearful mum Kellie over the ANZ Stadium fence at full-time.

“This has been a great opportunity and I’ll just keep developing as a player and hopefully get a run next season,” Liddle said. “We’ll just see how we go.

“It was an unbelievable experience. I didn’t know what to expect to come into it and it would have been good to come away with the win on debut, but you can’t ask for much more than that.”

Liddle made making his NRL debut over playing for the NSW’s under-20s side in the annual State of Origin clash on Wednesday night.

Taylor said Liddle, who is under contract at the Tigers until the end of 2018, didn’t put a foot wrong on debut.

“He didn’t look out of place for a second against a team with those big guys and his defence was superb,” Taylor said. “He did a really solid job. Early in the week we knew that was the way we were going to go.”

The Tigers’ missing State of Origin trio of skipper Aaron Woods, James Tedesco and Farah might have added greater composure late in the game, but the Bulldogs always looked the more likely.

Canterbury coach Des Hasler said his side would have to improve to trouble premiers North Queensland, who he regards as the competition favourites, when they return from the bye before heading to Townsville.

“I think we might have only dropped one game in the Origin period and it’s a testament to the way this side has handled itself during a difficult period,” Hasler said.

“There was a fair bit of adversity we had to overcome, but we were patient and when we got our opportunities we capitalised on them. We need to play better and we can play better, particularly in a fortnight’s time when we play the favourites in Townsville.”

Brett Morris bagged a double to make it a stunning seven tries in only three matches back from injury as the Bulldogs stretched their winning streak to four to cement a place in the top four.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.