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National News Australia

Builders Respond to Latest Rise In Rates

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Builders Respond to Latest Rise In Rates

Responding to the rise in interest rates Master Builders Australia’s CEO Denita Wawn said “The Reserve Bank’s decision to further increase interest rates is more evidence of the need for monetary policy to return to more normalised settings to combat inflation.”

“However, while acknowledging the need to tackle the dire effects of inflation, we are concerned that a continuing regime of steep rate rises risks turning the economic dial too far in the opposition direction and stalling economic growth needed to for the continuing recovery from COVID,” she said.

“Time should be given to observe the impact of the monetary policy changes in the economy,” Denita Wawn said.

“Our industry is disproportionately affected by interest rises and a hard economic landingwould put at risk the viability of many building and construction businesses who have managed to come through the pandemic but whose resilience has been eroded by severe supply chain pressures. Many now lack the resilience to withstand more sharp economicshocks,” she said.

“The building and construction industry has shouldered much of the responsibility for underpinning the economic recovery. Suppressing construction activity would counteract the efforts of governments and the expenditure of billions in taxpayer’s funds to shepherd the economy through the worst of the pandemic and protect growth,” Denita Wawn said.

“Today’s decision reinforces the need for the Federal Government to ensure that its fiscal
policies, indeed all economic levers, must be tested against their ability to drive down inflation
and increase productivity,” Denita Wawn said.

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National News Australia

Victorian driver arrested twice during Operation Brushwood as rural crime-related offences targeted – Murray River

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Operation Brushwood

Victorian driver arrested twice during Operation Brushwood as rural crime-related offences targeted – Murray River

 

A Victorian man has been arrested twice in just over two days by officers targeting rural crime-related offences in the state’s Riverina.

Investigators attached to the Rural Crime Prevention Team (RCPT), established Operation Brushwood to target rural crime-related offences throughout Southern Region.

The five-day operation was conducted in the Murray River Police District between Thursday 28 March 2024 and Monday 1 April 2024.

It was about 3.30pm on Thursday that officers working under Operation Brushwood, arrested and charged a 25-year-old man after he was detected allegedly driving a ute west at 180km/h in a 100km/h zone on the Riverina Highway, Savernake, 100km from west of Albury.

Officers stopped the driver on Corcoran Street, Berrigan, and subjected him to a roadside breath and drug analysis, returning a positive drug test.

When the vehicle was searched, police allegedly seized a machete, and a substance believed to be an illicit drug.

The man, from Kerang in Victoria, was arrested and taken to Finley Police Station when he allegedly returned a positive secondary drug test; this has been sent for further analysis with charges pending on the outcome.

The man was issued an infringement notice for exceeding the speed over 45km/h, and a notice of suspension of authority to drive in NSW. He was issued with a Future Court Attendance Notice (FCAN) for drug possession, and a fine for possession of a machete found in the vehicle. The man’s ute was issued with a major defect notice.

About 10pm on Saturday (30 March 2024), police were patrolling Racecourse Road, Deniliquin, when they stopped the same man driving the same vehicle.

He was subjected to a roadside breath test which allegedly returning a positive reading. Police also allegedly located illegal drugs when the man was searched.

He was taken to Deniliquin Police Station, where he was subjected to a secondary breath analysis which returned a reading of 0.04; however, due to the man’s driving privileges being suspended, he was subject to special PCA limits.

A secondary drug test was also conducted which returned a positive result and the man was suspended from driving for a period of 24 hours.

The man was then charged with four offences:

  • Drive when driver visiting privileges are withdrawn
  • Possess prohibited drug
  • Special category driver drive with special range PCA, and
  • Breach of bail

The man was released on strict conditional bail; however, about 2.50am Sunday 31 March 2024, police were called to Deniliquin Racecourse due to a man driving a ute conducting burnouts. The same man was once again arrested and was taken to Deniliquin Police Station where he was charged with a further four offences:

  • Drive recklessly/prolong, sustain etc loss of traction –
  • Drive when driver visiting privileges withdrawn-
  • Use vehicle in contravention of major defect notice
  • Use registrable vehicle not – display authorised number-plates

He was refused bail and appeared in Wagga Wagga Local Court that day, where he was once again refused bail and remanded in custody to appear in Albury Local Court on 14 May 2024.

During the operation, officers conducted 60 random breath tests, issued 11 traffic infringement notices, conducted seven inspections of licensed premises, made three drug detections, as well as multiple vehicle and person searches, fishing licence and firearm inspections, and campsite inspections at Werai National Park and Murray Valley National Park.

 

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National News Australia

Man charged following aggravated break and enter – Port Kembla

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Port Kembla break and enter

Man charged following aggravated break and enter – Port Kembla

 

A man will front court today, charged with an aggravated break and enter in Port Kembla the Illawarra region.

Police were called to Hixson Street, Port Kembla around 10am (Saturday 6 April), following reports of a break and enter.

Officers attached to Lake Illawarra Police District, spoke to a 51-year-old man who told them three firearms – all registered to the man – were allegedly stolen and an amount of cash.

A crime scene was established and an investigation commenced.

Following inquiries, about 11.45am yesterday (Wednesday 10 April 2024), officers attached to the Lake Illawarra Police District executed a search warrant at a home in Culgoa Crescent, Koonawarra.

A vehicle was seized for forensic examination.

A 36-year-old man was arrested at the scene and taken to Lake Illawarra Police Station.

He was charged with aggravated break and enter – persons home, possess unauthorised firearm.

He was refused bail to appear in Wollongong Local Court today (Thursday 11 April 2024).

Inquiries are continuing.

Anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or visit here. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report information via NSW Police social media pages.

 

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Two men in Nigeria charged over alleged sextortion which led to Australian boy taking his own life

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Two men in Nigeria charged over alleged sextortion

Two men in Nigeria charged over alleged sextortion which led to Australian boy taking his own life

 

Two males have been arrested and charged in Nigeria over an alleged sextortion offence which led to an Australian boy taking his own life last year.

In 2023, police commenced an investigation into the alleged sextortion of a teenage boy, who is believed to have taken his life as a result of the threats.

Initial inquiries revealed the boy was engaging with an unknown person online, who threatened to share personal photos of the boy with his family and friends if he did not pay $500.

The matter was initially investigated by local police before being referred to State Crime Command’s Cybercrime Squad.

Cybercrime Squad detectives traced the accused to Nigeria, before requesting assistance from the Australian Federal Police to pursue them further.

Investigators from the AFP-led Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) and the Joint Policing Cybercrime Coordination Centre (JPC3) worked with their dedicated Cybercrime Liaison Officer based in South Africa to share intelligence with the Nigerian authorities.

Last month, detectives were informed that two young males – located in a slum in Nigeria with a population of 25 million people – had been arrested and charged over the alleged sextortion offences.

The males will be dealt with locally, where authorities have the power to prosecute for Australian based offences.

Commander of State Crime Command’s Cybercrime Squad, Detective Superintendent Matthew Craft, said the message to young people everywhere is you don’t need to suffer in silence.

“We’ve seen a huge spike in sextortion cases, which are up nearly 400% in the last 18 months – but the good news is people are reporting it and there are steps we can take to help you before it goes too far.

“We want young people to continue to report these cases, and to never be embarrassed to talk to police. Sextortion is a very real crime that we can take serious action against,” Det Supt Craft said.

“These arrests in Nigeria show just how far police are willing to go to seek justice on behalf of our young community.”

AFP Commander Helen Schneider commended the work of NSW Police, ACCCE and JPC3 and said the arrests showed what could be achieved when law enforcement worked together to fight a global problem.

“The sextortion of children is a borderless crime, as these arrests show,” Commander Schneider said.

“The partnerships between law enforcement here in Australia and around the world are vital as we work together to protect children online.”

For more information on sextortion, head to the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) website or visit eSafety Commissioner website.

 

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