The Love of My Life

I can’t imagine my life without my Pooch, he’s an Australian shepherd and only 2 years old. Loves to hang outside and play fetch.


That smile is just to die for! xoxoxo



TO: Melbourne water customers at the following addresses:

Laden Road: 2272, 2262, 2252, 2247

Clarke Avenue: 856 and 868

Water has been shut off to your property to replace a fire hydrant in the area. Therefore, as a precaution once water service is restored, we advise that all water used for drinking, cooking, making ice, brushing teeth, or washing dishes, be boiled. A rolling boil of one minute is sufficient. As an alternative, bottled water may be used.

This precautionary boil water notice is expected to remain in effect until the required bacteriological survey shows that the water is safe to drink. You will be provided with a notification at that time.

If you have any questions, you may contact City of Melbourne Public Works & Utilities Administration office at (321) 608-5000 or the after-hours emergency number of (321) 255-4622.


TO: Melbourne water customers at the following address:

4000 N. Riverside Drive, Units 100 1010

4100 N. Riverside Drive

The precautionary boil water notice issued on March 7 is hereby rescinded following work to repair a broken water main in the area and the satisfactory completion of the bacteriological survey showing that the water is safe to drink.

If you have any questions, please call City of Melbourne Public Works & Utilities Administration office at (321) 608-5000, or the after-hours emergency number of (321) 255-4622.


TO: Melbourne beachside water customers at the following addresses:

N. Point Court: 373, 377, 385, 388, 384, 380, 376, 372

N. Waterway Drive: 456, 452, 448, 444, 440, 441, 445, 449, 453, 457, 461, 465, 469, 473

Water has been shut off to your property to relocate a water main in the area. Therefore, as a precaution once water service is restored, we advise that all water used for drinking, cooking, making ice, brushing teeth, or washing dishes, be boiled. A rolling boil of one minute is sufficient. As an alternative, bottled water may be used.

This precautionary boil water notice is expected to remain in effect until the required bacteriological survey shows that the water is safe to drink. You will be provided with a notification at that time.

If you have any questions, you may contact City of Melbourne Public Works & Utilities Administration office at (321) 608-5000 or the after-hours emergency number of (321) 255-4622.

Bushfires spark evacuation alerts in Victoria’s south-west

Updated March 18, 2018 02:20:08

Grassfire burns, turns night sky orange. Photo: Grassfire burning just west of Garvoc in south-west Victoria. (Supplied: Snapchat)

Emergency services issued evacuation alerts for four bushfires burning out of control in Victoria’s south-west in the early hours of Sunday morning.

As of 12:00am fires were burning in and around the towns of Gazzette, Garvoc, Gnotuk, Ayrford, Hawkesdale and Terang.

Residents in Gazzette were advised to leave the area if it was safe to do so as a fire travelled in a south-easterly direction towards Penshurst.

Residents in Garvoc were also advised to evacuate as a grassfire fire moves towards the town.

Emergency services said the fire at Hawkesdale was travelling in a south-easterly direction towards the town centre and residents were urged to seek shelter at the Arc Gymnasium Stadium on Caramut Road in Warrnambool.

Residents in Terang were being urged to seek shelter indoors because it was too late to leave the area.

An evacuation alert was issued for Gnotuk and its surrounding suburbs, while another alert was in place for a fire in burning in Ayrford that was expected to impact communities in the coming hours.

Residents who were unable to leave were advised to close all exterior doors, windows, vents and turn off cooling systems, and shelter in a room that had a door or a window to the outside.

A total fire ban was declared for the state’s south-west and central Victoria, including Melbourne and Geelong.


First posted March 17, 2018 23:42:47

Fifth person dies in rockmelon listeria outbreak

Updated March 16, 2018 11:33:40

A Victorian man in his 80s has become the fifth person to die in a listeria outbreak after eating contaminated rockmelons.

Three Victorians and two people from New South Wales have died after consuming fruit linked to a farm in southern NSW.

What is listeria?Listeria is a serious and sometimes fatal bacterial infection.Symptoms can include fever, headaches, cramps, aches and pains, nausea and diarrhoeaIt can be fatal in newborns, elderly people and people with a weakened immune system

Victoria’s deputy chief health officer, Dr Brett Sutton, said the latest death had only just been linked to the outbreak after test results came back.

“Sadly, the investigation has also confirmed that a miscarriage has also been linked to the outbreak,” Dr Sutton added.

Victoria’s health department would not provide further details about the victim, including the date of his death.

Eight people in Victoria have been affected with listeria from the melons four men and four women, all from high-risk groups.

Cases have also been reported in Queensland, New South Wales and Tasmania.

Warning for pregnant women, elderly

Listeria infection is particularly dangerous for pregnant women, their unborn babies, the elderly and people with compromised immune systems.

It starts with flu-like symptoms such as fever, chills, muscle aches, nausea, and sometimes diarrhoea.

Symptoms of infection in pregnant women may be mild and include a temperature before or during birth.

The outbreak has been traced to Rombola Family Farms near Griffith.

In a statement on Thursday, the business said it was working with the NSW Food Authority to “identify, quarantine and remedy” the source of the listeria.

“As a family business we are all too aware of the impact the outbreak is having on fellow growers and the wider industry,” the statement said.

“We remain ever vigilant to food safety and contamination risks and are focused on working to achieve a resolution for all stakeholders.”

All affected melons, also known as cantaloupes, have been withdrawn from sale and distribution.

The NSW Food Authority said rockmelons currently on the shelf are safe to eat.

The authority is also considering imposing additional regulation on the rockmelon industry to ensure compliance with food safety.

Farmers have described the outbreak as a national disaster that will take the industry years to recover from.


First posted March 16, 2018 09:41:14

Worker protest continues as Exxon admits tax break

By Emma Field Posted March 15, 2018 15:36:23

Robert Dunsmuir stands in a shipping container which is part of the picket line near the Esso gas plant at Longford Photo: Robert Dunsmuir has been on the Longford picket line for almost eight months. (ABC Gippsland: Emma Field)

Former Esso Gippsland workers who have been in a pay dispute for almost nine months say if parent company Exxon is not paying tax in Australia, Esso can afford better conditions for workers.

Oil and gas giant ExxonMobil Australia revealed at a Senate inquiry yesterday it will not pay any corporate tax in Australia until 2021, despite earning billions in revenue.

The Senate inquiry revelations came as maintenance workers at the company’s Longford plant in East Gippsland, Victoria continued their picket line, which has been running for almost nine months.

Exxon told the inquiry in Melbourne it had not paid any tax since 2013 because of legitimate write-offs from invested capital, debt costs and a lower income.

Earlier this year the Australian Tax Office revealed the company paid no tax on its $6.7 billion income in 2015-16, including on its Esso Gippsland basin operations.

Exxon tax manager Stuart Brown said the company was not likely to pay any tax until 2021.

“It does depend a lot on foreign exchange rate and crude prices,” he said.

“Once we start paying we expect to be paying around $600 million a year, by the early 2020s.

Esso has ‘serious questions to answer’, union says

The Gippsland worker dispute started in June last year when existing workers refused to accept a pay deal from Esso contractor UGL, which slashed pay by 30 per cent, and reduced annual leave and other conditions.

Gippsland Trades and Labour Council secretary Steve Dodd, who helped organise the picket at Longford, said Esso had serious questions to answer.

“We are protesting about Esso not paying any corporate tax, but at the same time they are trying to slash and burn workers’ wages and conditions,” he said.

Longford worker Robert Dunsmuir has been out of work since the dispute started, despite trying to find another job.

He was standing with his former colleagues to fight the pay deal and increase awareness in the local community about the company’s behaviour.

“Even if we don’t win this dispute and we don’t go back to work, we have highlighted Esso have paid no tax,” he said.

Workers on the picket line have been struggling to make ends meet.

Former Esso rigger and scaffolder Shawn Fullerton, who was on the picket line this week, said the longer the dispute went on the harder it was on his young family.

“My other half has gone back to work and unfortunately this still isn’t making our mortgage,” he said.

“We have saved well but we are struggling at the moment to make ends meet.”

Protesting for next generation

Another former Esso worker, Rob Sedman, said he was protesting to maintain fair wages for the next generation.

His daughter Jessie Sedman said she supported the cause and often stayed out at the protest site with her father, but it was hard without his income.

“Sometimes I have had to stop doing certain things, such as my musical instrument lessons,” she said.

Exxon chief financial officer Craig Hardgrove told the hearing the company paid out $266 million in Petroleum Resources Rent Tax in 2016, and most people did not understand Australia’s complex taxation rules.

UGL declined to comment.


As it happened: Banking royal commission hears thousands of mortgages fall outside lending guidelines

Updated March 14, 2018 16:59:58

Map: Australia

NAB says 15 per cent of its mortgages involve a policy waiver, where the loan does not meet all its standard criteria for valuation, serviceability and document verification.

External Link:Banking royal commission live blog day two Topics:banking,royal-commissions,consumer-finance,consumer-protection,housing-industry,australia,melbourne-3000

First posted March 14, 2018 09:51:15

Groping complaints upheld against former Melbourne mayor

Updated March 13, 2018 18:21:33

Doyle complainant Cathy Oke says she's ashamed she didn't speak up soonerVideo: Doyle complainant Cathy Oke says she’s ashamed she didn’t speak up sooner(ABC News)

An independent report has found the conduct of Robert Doyle, Melbourne’s former lord mayor, could constitute sexual harassment and gross misconduct, making four adverse findings against him as part of an investigation into alleged sexual misconduct.

Councillor Cathy Oke and former councillor Tessa Sullivan accused Mr Doyle of sexually inappropriate behaviour.

Mr Doyle resigned from council in February, about six weeks after Ms Sullivan made allegations against him and resigned from her job.

He has publicly and repeatedly denied the accusations against him.

Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle Photo: Robert Doyle resigned as mayor in February after allegations of sexual harassment. (774 ABC Melbourne: Simon Leo Brown)

An independent investigation by Ian Freckelton QC found Mr Doyle deliberately placed his hand on Ms Sullivan’s breast while the lord mayor’s driver was taking them both home one night.

It also found he repeatedly put his hand in a sexually inappropriate manner on the thigh of Cr Oke, and on another occasion tried to kiss her.

The investigation found Mr Doyle had consumed substantial amounts of red wine on each occasion.

The summary report found investigators were not sufficiently satisfied in relation to some other matters raised by Ms Sullivan, but did not detail what these were.

The full report will not be made public, but a summary report was given to councillors at a special meeting this afternoon.

It found the council was not a safe workplace for the two women involved, and Mr Doyle’s conduct could constitute sexual harassment and gross misconduct.

Council would have been forced to take action

The report identified a lack of a complaints process as a weakness, and called for a review of council policy allowing alcohol to be consumed at Tuesday night meetings.

The investigation was not a judicial process, and set a standard of proof lower than the criminal standard of being proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

In a statement, Melbourne City Council CEO Ben Rimmer said if Mr Doyle had not resigned it would undoubtedly have been necessary for the council to consider further action, based on the investigation’s findings.

“Those findings are very serious,” he told a special council meeting.

“They relate to conduct that is inconsistent with the values of the organisation and the city.”

Melbourne City Councillor Cathy Oke. Photo: The report found Mr Doyle had tried to kiss Cr Oke and put his hand on her thigh in a sexually inappropriate manner. (ABC News: James Hancock)

A third woman also made allegations against Mr Doyle in his capacity as lord mayor while at a public event but that investigation has been suspended until he is able to respond.

Mr Doyle was hospitalised due to ill health, which delayed the investigation.

However the council said he attended a meeting with investigators to respond to the allegations and his lawyers made a 15- page submission.

An investigation into allegations against Mr Doyle in his role as chairman of Melbourne Health is continuing.

Doyle continues to deny allegations

In a statement, Mr Doyle’s wife, Emma Page-Campbell said her husband remained “extremely unwell” and on medical advice had been unable to review or respond to the report.

“He is currently in hospital. Robert continues to deny all allegations made against him,” she said.

“This finding [regarding Ms Sullivan] is not accepted by Robert.”

Ms Page-Campbell said given the “significant detrimental effect” of the investigation it remains “clearly unfair” for him to be denied the opportunity to address all the evidence given about his alleged conduct.

“Despite numerous requests, Robert was never provided with sufficient detail of the evidence provided to the investigation such that he could effectively defend himself.

“In particular, he was not provided with any written material setting out the evidence given by Councillor Oke.”

She said Mr Doyle now recognises his “cheerful and oftentimes animated personality and manner towards people may no longer be appropriate by today’s standards”.

‘Take this situation seriously’

Cr Oke addressed a special council meeting dealing with the report and said she was ashamed she did not speak up sooner.

She said she had a “real fear” of talking to powerful people about the matter, believing it could lead to a “media smear or attack [on] my reputation”.

She pleaded with the organisations tasked with supporting the local government sector to get their heads out of the sand and “take this situation seriously”.

“It might sound ridiculous to some but that fear was real and paralysing,” she said.

“This isn’t about stopping attacks on policy or political foes. It’s not about attacking me on bicycle lanes.

“It’s about ethics and it’s about what is right and wrong.”

Melbourne City Council said it “deplored violence” against women in all its forms and expressed “deep concern” about the findings.

“As a council, we are united in ensuring such behaviour does not occur again,” it said in a statement.

“It is important that all women are encouraged to speak out and that councillors have a workplace where they are safe to do their jobs.”


First posted March 13, 2018 16:27:05

Asylum seeker family ‘whisked away without warning’ in central Queensland

Updated March 12, 2018 17:03:26

An asylum seeker couple and their two Australian-born children were taken from their central Queensland home and flown to the Broadmeadows detention centre in Melbourne, the Tamil Refugee Council (TRC) says.

The TRC said Australian Border Force officers, police and Serco guards visited a Biloela home at dawn last week, taking the husband and wife from Sri Lanka and their two Australia-born children into custody.

Nadesalingam and Priya, and their children aged two years and nine months, have lived in Biloela for several years.

Numerous Biloela locals have taken to social media to try and bring the family back, with Nadesalingam reportedly working at the Biloela meatworks.

TRC spokesman Ben Hillier has condemned the early morning visit.

Mr Hillier said the action was heartless.

“To be whisked away like this without any warning beggars belief that the Australian Government could be so callous in its actions, could be so inhumane in its treatment of a family that is raising their children, who were both born in this country, in such a way,” he said.

“Priya’s husband was separated from his wife and children and Priya, in her van, was separated from her children and not allowed to sit with them, despite the children being obviously distressed.”

The ABC understands there was an issue because Priya wanted to hold her baby in the car, but the children needed to be placed into car seats and Nadesalingam travelled in separate vehicle because they could not all fit in the one car.

“The visit came just a day after their bridging visa expired, but the couple was told an extension would be sent, Mr Hillier said.

It is understood their visas expired between January and February.

Family don’t meet Australia’s protection obligations

In a statement, the Department of Home Affairs said the family’s case had been comprehensively assessed over many years but they had consistently been found not to meet Australia’s protection obligations.

The department said all detention and removal operations were carried out in a way that ensured the safety and security of detainees.

It said appropriate consideration had been given to the needs of any children involved.

The two children of asylum seekers Nadesalingam and Priya. Photo: The two children were born in Australia. (Supplied: Tamil Refugee Council) Neighbour witnessed removal

The family’s neighbour, Maricar Gruspe, said she had never seen anything like that before.

“Early morning, around maybe six o’clock because my husband is going to work, and then I just grab the key because he is going and then I saw two cars, a police car over there and lots of people and I said ‘Oh, what’s happening over there’,” she said.

“One police officer came to us here and said that their visa is expired and they need to leave here and that’s it.

“Then after that the police officer [went] next door over there.

“The wife is crying out loud and I feel sad, because you know the feeling when you stay here and then suddenly they said that ‘You need to move, go back to your place’ or something like that.

“They are friendly but we don’t talk too much just say ‘Good morning’ and say ‘Hi’.”

Ms Gruspe said it was sad, but it had not been an aggressive situation.

“The police officers are all friendly over there waiting for them,” she said.

People of Biloela express ‘dismay, confusion’

Biloela residents have taken to social media to support the family.

“I am from Biloela and know this family and I am so embarrassed by how the Australian Government has treated them. They didn’t just turn up here last month! They have been a part of our town and community for years! Let them come home!” Brenda Lipsy posted on Facebook.

Veronica Gibson also wants the family to be able to return.

“This family is a part of our wonderful community & are such lovely people. This should not be happening, they are in my thoughts & prayers. Here’s hoping they’re able to return back here to Biloela where they belong,” she posted on Facebook.

Sister Beryl Matheson said they were “a beautiful family, everybody loved them”.

“Very sad they were just taken like that, they will be missed very much,” she said.

“It’s sad to think that people … good people … they’ve never done any harm here.”

She said Nadesalingam had worked at the local St Vincent de Paul Society before he got a job at the meatworks.

“There’s no compassion, I have prayed for them,” she said.

“When they first came to Biloela I was probably the first person to meet them.

“I used to visit them when they moved down to that house, they were happy there.”

Mr Hillier said the couple was not allowed access to a telephone and were told they would be separated unless they signed deportation document in Melbourne.

“This was a family that was known, this is a family that was liked loved by their neighbours, and they’ve been picked up by an early morning raid and taken.”

Mr Hillier said the council would seek an injunction to try to prevent the family’s deportation.

“A lawyer who’s been engaged and we’re attempting an injunction firstly on any moves to deport the family, or also to ensure the visa process is looked at again so that consideration can be made to allow the family to return to their home [to Biloela],” he said.

The family remains in custody in Melbourne.


First posted March 12, 2018 12:57:19

Former VicRoads worker illegally supplied information from agency’s database

Updated March 05, 2018 17:06:20

A former VicRoads employee illegally supplied personal information from the agency’s database to friends of his father, including a “self-employed money lender” and a former lawyer now in prison for fraud, a court has heard.

Peter Kassinidis, 28, pleaded guilty in the Melbourne Magistrates Court to four charges, including misconduct in public office, unauthorised modification of data to cause impairment and unauthorised access to restricted data.

His actions were uncovered during a lengthy investigation by the Independent Broad-based Anti-Corruption Commission (IBAC) codenamed Operation Barron which included accessing text messages and records of telephone calls, and raids on a number of properties.

A prosecutor told Magistrate Duncan Reynolds that Kassinidis had illegally accessed some information and passed it on to his father, Theo Kassinidis, who then provided it to an associate named David Graer.

Business advisor and self-described forensic accountant David Graer Photo: Information passed on to Kassinidis’ father was then passed on to David Graer (pictured). (ABC News)

The ABC revealed last year that Mr Graer, who has described himself as a “forensic accountant”, was linked to a Melbourne property developer who allegedly avoided paying more than $1 million in tax by directing money out of the developer’s company into entities connected to Mr Graer before the developer’s company was liquidated.

A Hampton house next door to that owned by the property developer Kevin Mingarelli, was then targeted in a late-night drive-by shooting.

Police and neighbours believes the attack was aimed at Mingarelli’s house.

The court heard that in March last year, Mr Graer’s business in Braeside was searched by investigators, and a mobile phone was seized.

The phone showed that Mr Graer texted Theo Kassinidis a month earlier asking him for the address of a man named Anton Beckerath, who Mr Graer was in a business dispute with.

The prosecutor told the court Theo Kassinidis had told IBAC investigators he received requests for information from both Mr Graer, and a man named Denis Angeleri, a former lawyer now jailed for his role in a multi-million scam involving fake car loans.

Mr Graer has allegedly bragged to people he can access addresses and other personal information from the VicRoads database.

Angeleri emerged into the public eye in 2010, when he publicly accused cricket great Shane Warne of sending sexually explicit texts to his wife.

Accused had ‘intellectual limitations’

The court heard Peter Kassinidis has also admitted entering the VicRoads database to remove evidence of defect notices on a car owned by an associate, and of helping another associate of his father’s track down the son of a family friend.

The prosecutor told the court in the latter case, Kassinidis said “as long as he doesn’t get killed, I don’t care” when discussing accessing the information.

Kassindis’ lawyer, Sam Norton, told the court his client had “intellectual limitations” and that his father’s influence on him had been “difficult”.

Mr Norton said Kassinidis had “scraped through” Year 11, and by the time he was 15 he was was working in McDonalds and handing his entire pay packet over to his family.

Mr Norton said the comment about hoping somebody was not killed was clearly made in jest, and the transcript of the phone calls showed Kassinidis was laughing when he said it.

Magistrate Reynolds described Kassinidis’ conduct as “serious and disturbing”.

He convicted Kassinidis and sentenced him to a community corrections order.


First posted March 05, 2018 17:02:45