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How trying to dodge a traffic fine could land you in jail

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South Cross University Dean of Law David Heilpern has delivered a paper calling for certain websites offering dodgy advice to get out of paying traffic fines to be shut down. He describes them as "the gateway drug" for extreme right wing beliefs.

How trying to dodge a traffic fine could land you in jail

 

By Tim Howard

A Northern Rivers legal expert has warned that people who take dodgy legal advice from certain websites to keep them from paying traffic fines could end up in jail.

Associate Professor David Heilpern, Dean of Law at Southern Cross University, presented his findings at a conference hosted by the University Technology Sydney on Friday.

Associate Professor Heilpern, who spent more than 20 years as a magistrate on NSW Local Court circuits, was worried at the increase in number of people fronting court using “legal gobbledegook” to defend themselves.

During his research for the paper for the The Pseudo law and The Administration of Justice conference, Associate Professor Heilpern signed up to for-profit websites peddling the false promise people could use legal loopholes and tactics to get out of traffic offences.

“Of most concern is that these websites and publications actually encourage subscribers to break the law in a manner that could lead them to prison,” he said.

One of the aims of Friday’s conference was to explore a range of issues associated with the troubling rise of the sovereign citizens movement.

Associate Professor Heilpern described the movement as a disparate group of conspiracy theorists and anti-government activists bonded by the idea that government law does not apply to them unless they provide consent.

He said the movement had its roots in the Southern USA among groups of people who had a deep hatred of parliamentary-style government.

“They’re an offshoot of the Klu Klux Klan who have pro-segregationist beliefs and an intense hatred of paying taxes and laws that rein in their rights to own guns,” he said.

“But we have our own versions of it here that grew during the 1950s, 60s and 70s.

“In Western Australia there was the Hutt River Province, where Prince Leonard I of Hutt, proclaimed he’d seceded and set up his own country.”

The fate of the Principality of Hutt River, as it came to be known, is a salutary lesson to those who give sovereign citizen ideas credence.

Between its establishment in 1970 and its collapse in 2020, the principality became a curiosity for its bizarre attitude to governments and the Australian Tax Office.

One judge described the legal arguments the province employed as “fatuous, frivolous, and vexatious.”

South Cross University Dean of Law David Heilpern has delivered a paper calling for certain websites offering dodgy advice to get out of paying traffic fines to be shut down. He describes them as "the gateway drug" for extreme right wing beliefs.

South Cross University Dean of Law David Heilpern has delivered a paper calling for certain websites offering dodgy advice to get out of paying traffic fines to be shut down. He describes them as “the gateway drug” for extreme right wing beliefs.

Perhaps the most bizarre occurred In 1977 when Prince Leonard declared war on Australia, but called it off a few days later.

The reasoning – if you could call it that – was that under the Geneva Treaty Convention of 1949 a government should show full respect to a nation that remained undefeated after a state of war.

A more likely explanation was it came a few months after the “Prince” failed to provide the ATO with certain documents.

It was a portent of the eventual fate of the principality, which fell apart when the ATO came calling.

On August 3 2020 the principality was formally dissolved with the ATO demanding the payment of millions in unpaid taxes across its 50-year history as well as the financial impact of Covid-19.

The principality’s land was sold off to settle the tax dispute.

Associate Professor Heilpern said the Hutt River example was a bizarre curiosity, but there was a dangerous “pointy end” to the sovereign citizens movement.

He said using these ideas trying to get out of a traffic fine, was a “gateway drug” into the more dangerous beliefs on the spectrum.

He said in the past 18 months there had been three incidents where people expressing sovereign citizen beliefs had been killed.

“There was the incident in Queensland last year when five people, including two police officers, were killed.

“This year there was the siege in Newcastle and and another in Lithgow where people either suicided or were killed by police

Associate Professor Heilpern expressed frustration more wasn’t being done to rein in the movement.

In one of the glaring examples uncovered as part of his work, a company was providing advice on how to provide a false statutory declaration – itself an offence – which would not absolve the driver in any event.

“I cannot believe that various federal and state consumer protection agencies have not shut these scam sites down given that they encourage serious criminal offences, and advise readers to use claims, tactics and legal arguments that have never worked in any court in Australia,” he said.

He said existing laws were sufficient for the task, if the will was there to police them.

Associate Professor Heilpern said he had also experience encouraging signs over the years.

He recalled a case in Grafton Local Court where an accused, Robert Sudy, sought to defend a matter using pseudo-legal arguments.

“I spent some time with Mr Sudy explaining how none of the arguments he presented had any basis in law,” he said.

He said Mr Sudy had changed his mind on this matter and gone on to set up a website, the Freeman Delusion, which had become one of the largest repositories of information debunking sovereign citizen beliefs.

For more, see here.

 

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Grants Propel Housing Delivery in Regional NSW

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Regional Housing Strategic Planning Fund

Grants Propel Housing Delivery in Regional NSW

 

Nearly $3 million in funding from the NSW Government is set to expedite the delivery of almost 24,000 new regional homes, with 16 councils securing grants under the second round of the Regional Housing Strategic Planning Fund. Ranging from the North Coast to the Central West and the Riverina, these councils will receive grants of up to $250,000 each.

The objective of these grants is to accelerate the delivery of new homes in regional areas through various strategies, including the formulation of housing plans, infrastructure preparation, and amendments to local environmental plans to facilitate the construction of diverse and affordable housing options.

As more individuals opt for regional NSW living, the demand for homes has increased, leading to rising prices and a shortage of available properties. Hence, bolstering regional housing supply is paramount.

These grants are part of a broader set of initiatives aimed at boosting regional housing supply, including the expansion of the Government’s Urban Development Program, the Regional Housing Flying Squad, the Regional Housing Fund, and the Accelerated Infrastructure Fund.

Together, these initiatives aim to streamline the planning process, support necessary infrastructure development, and aid regional councils in their housing-related endeavours.

Regional Housing Strategic Planning Fund

16 councils securing grants under the second round of the Regional Housing Strategic Planning Fund.

In Round 1 of the Regional Housing Strategic Planning Fund, $3.85 million was allocated to 20 projects across 19 councils. Notable projects include the Raymond Terrace Sub-Precincts Master Plan collaboration between Port Stephens Council and Homes NSW, aimed at expediting affordable housing supply.

Another project by Port Stephens Council focused on addressing development barriers such as drainage and flooding resilience in the Shoal Bay Precinct.

Armidale Regional Council, another recipient of Round 1 funding, successfully developed and implemented its Local Housing Strategy.
For further details on the councils receiving funding and their respective projects, interested parties can visit the NSW Planning website.

Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Paul Scully emphasised the importance of supporting regional councils in expediting housing delivery for their communities. He highlighted the crucial role of regional NSW in the state’s housing supply landscape and underscored the government’s commitment to ensuring housing targets are met while also addressing future hazards.

 

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AI: Transforming Real Estate in Four Ways

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AI Transforming real estate

AI: Transforming Real Estate in Four Ways

 

In a world where AI reigns supreme, the real estate industry is undergoing a revolutionary transformation. Gone are the days of manual property searches and mundane tasks. AI is reshaping the landscape, empowering professionals, and enhancing customer experiences like never before.

Here are four ways AI is revolutionising real estate:

  1. Enhanced Customer Satisfaction: AI-powered assistants engage with clients, address queries, and provide personalised recommendations, offering round-the-clock support. This frees up professionals’ time to focus on high-value tasks, leading to unparalleled customer experiences.
  2. Empowered Property Search: AI algorithms analyse vast amounts of data to deliver accurate insights and personalised recommendations, streamlining the property search process. Buyers and professionals can make more informed decisions quickly, aligning with customer demands.
  3. Better Data for Investors: AI simplifies property valuation and risk assessment by analysing real-time data and identifying patterns. Investors can make informed decisions based on predictive analytics, ensuring profitable investments in a dynamic market.
  4. Simplified Property Management: AI-driven smart home technologies automate routine tasks, monitor energy consumption, and detect maintenance issues in real-time. This streamlines property management, reduces costs, and optimises property performance.
AI Transforming real estate

In a world where AI reigns supreme, the real estate industry is undergoing a revolutionary transformation.

AI is not only transforming real estate operations but also propelling the industry into predictive analytics. By leveraging historical data and market trends, AI algorithms forecast future property prices and demand, empowering professionals to seize profitable opportunities and stay ahead of the curve. With AI, the future of real estate looks promising.

 

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2024 Toyota LandCruiser Prado Unveiled: A Powerhouse Upgrade Ready to Conquer Australian Roads

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2024 Toyota LandCruiser Prado

2024 Toyota LandCruiser Prado Unveiled: A Powerhouse Upgrade Ready to Conquer Australian Roads

 

By Jeff Gibbs

Toyota Australia is gearing up for the highly anticipated launch of the 2024 Toyota LandCruiser Prado, set to hit the market with a range of new features and enhancements aimed at solidifying its position as a top contender in the SUV segment. With a mid-year launch on the horizon, the automaker has revealed key details about the upcoming Prado, including its variant line-up and advanced drivetrain specifications.

The new Prado will boast five distinct grades, catering to a wide range of preferences and driving needs. From the entry-level GX to the top-tier Kakadu spec, buyers can expect a comprehensive selection of options. Notably, the line-up will introduce an all-new ‘Altitude’ variant, specially designed for off-road enthusiasts seeking enhanced performance and rugged capabilities.

  1. “Toyota Takes the Lead: 2024 Toyota Prado Firming Up for Mid-2024 Launch”
  2. “Hybrid Heartache: All-New Toyota LandCruiser Prado to Stick with Diesel Until 2025″
  3. “2024 Toyota Prado Pioneers Off-Road Innovation: A Challenger to the 4×4 Throne?”
2024 Toyota LandCruiser Prado Interior.

2024 Toyota LandCruiser Prado Interior.

Under the hood, the 2024 Prado will feature a formidable 2.8-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder powertrain, equipped with innovative 48-volt assistance technology. This cutting-edge drivetrain, shared with the face lifted HiLux, delivers robust performance with 150kW of power and 500Nm of torque, paired with an efficient eight-speed automatic transmission. Furthermore, Toyota assures drivers of exceptional towing capability, with the Prado capable of handling a 3500kg braked trailer.

In terms of design and technology, each Prado variant comes packed with an array of premium features aimed at maximising comfort, convenience, and driving pleasure. LED headlights, a 12.3-inch multimedia screen with wireless smartphone connectivity, and a 10-speaker audio system are just a few highlights available across the range. Additionally, specific grades offer luxurious touches such as heated and ventilated seats, a refrigerated console box, and advanced driver assistance systems for enhanced safety and control.

2024 Toyota LandCruiser Prado

2024 Toyota LandCruiser Prado

Toyota Australia’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Sean Hanley, expressed excitement about the upcoming release, emphasising the Prado’s longstanding legacy of reliability and performance. He highlighted the vehicle’s versatility in catering to diverse lifestyles and adventures, reaffirming Toyota’s commitment to delivering top-tier SUVs that meet the evolving needs of Australian consumers.

With pricing details yet to be announced, anticipation is high for the arrival of the 2024 Toyota LandCruiser Prado. As drivers prepare to embark on new journeys and conquer challenging terrains, Toyota’s latest offering promises to set a new standard for excellence in the SUV market. Stay tuned for more updates and information as the launch date approaches.

Details will be confirmed closer to the Prado’s launch in mid-2024.

 

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