WARNING – Effects of the budget
by Chloe Taylor
Joe Hockey has warned that people of the public will be affected during the process of repairing our budget.
According to treasury figures the budget would remain in deficit for the next decade if not checked and under Labor government responsibility.
Mr Hockey told reporters in Sydney on Monday, “Unless we take immediate remedial action in the budget then Australia will never have a surplus … we have to address this and address this fast.”
Mr Hockey warned that if debt were to increase, Australia’s living standards would be lowered. Everyone will have to help fix the budget he said.
Labor had left the government with large spending increases in foreign aid, defence and a poorly introduced National Disability Insurance Scheme. Mr Hockey told ABC radio, “If we don’t get on top of the proper management of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, not only would it not be sustainable, but it could end up as big a farce as the pink batts program or the $900 cheques program.”
The treasurer also said that the ageing population has placed heavier pressure on the budget. When Mr Hockey was asked if it was sustainable to give a part pension to those who posses more than a million dollars he said, “that’s something that obviously needs to be taken into account.”
Mr Hockey is due to receive the final report from the commission of audit into government spending on Monday. Although the government had to go through the details of the report, according to what he had told Sky News. He promised to realease it as soon as possible.
Drunken violence halved since new lockout laws
by C. J. Lane
The newly enforced 1:30 AM lockout legislation has halved violent drunken assaults in the Sydney CBD and Kings Cross area since it’s February 24th commencement, according to Assistant Commissioner Mark Murdoch.
A NSW Ambulance spokeswoman has also told associated press that there has been a 30 percent decrease in assault victims compared to the same period last year.
Yesterday the O’Farrell government increased penalties for misbehaving drunks with the implications now being fines of $1100 to those who don’t comply with the crackdown on alcohol-fuelled violence in the area.
The new lockout laws govern the aforementioned Kings Cross and CBD, as well as the Rocks, with a complete halt to drinks being served by 3AM. This is in addition to the state-wide legislation concerning bottle shops, which are now required to close at 10 PM.
Advanced technology for advanced banking
by Chloe Taylor
In the near future, Australians could be withdrawing cash from an ATM without using a card.
A smartphone app will be able to operate an ATM without touching it. The idea to remove the plastic cards and rely on our smartphones to get quick cash out of a machine removes the risk of hackers and skimmers.
Latest APCA figures show in the 2012/13 financial year there was about 68,800 transactions related to skimming on Australian-issued credit, debit and charge cards and thieves stole more than $25.27 million.
Chris Hamilton, chief executive of the Australian Payments Clearing Association said that innotavie technologies are continuing to expand and this type of new technology could be one the people of Australia soon use. Hamilton said, “There’s a lot of people trying to develop mobile phone based ways of allowing payment services … there’s no reason why this wouldn’t end up here.”
Recent research from the Commonwealth Bank found three out of four Australians believed mobile wallets would replace physical wallets in Australia by 2021.
The technology is being trialled in Ohio in the US by international ATM manufacturer Diebold and similar technology has already been witnessed in Spain.
The smartphone app requires users to download the company’s mobile wallet and register their debit card. It then allows registered members to control an ATM withdrawal through their smartphone. The transactions have no physical receipt. The user then scan a QR code that appears on the ATM screen to activate the dispensing of cash. There is no PIN number required but the customer must still prove themselves on their phone once at the machine.
Alan Shields, RFi director, a strategic relations firm said the use of cash in society in years to come would determine whether these new types of technoligies would arrive in Australia. Shields raised the question, “If we are moving away from cash, will the banks invest significant amounts of money into an ATM that dispenses cash?”
Chadian soldiers ‘Open fire on residents’
by Jasmine Vasarhelyi
Chadian soldiers ‘open fire on residents of the northern neighbourhoods [in Bangui]’ reports MISCA officials.
The incident occurred on Saturday when Chadian soldiers “were firing in all directions” causing panic as people tried to flee from the assault killing more than 20 and injuring more than 100 civilians.
Gendarmerie official, Jean-Pierre Sadou with the regional peacekeeping force, could not confirm the precise number of deaths and wounded, adding that the Chadian soldiers’ actions were a “legitimate defence” after their convoy was attacked.
A MISCA officer reported “We don’t know at present what led to the firing on the residents … but we are trying to gather information to find out what exactly happened,” adding that the number of dead and wounded could be higher.
Bangui has seen regular violence for nearly four months, with tensions mounting between peacekeepers and Christian militia fighters.
Eagles embarrass Demons
by Lachlan McGregor
The only downfall for the West Coast Eagles during Sunday’s 93 point thrashing against the Melbourne Demons at the MCG was a knee injury to star defender Shannon Hurn. The score ended 123-30 as the momentum was entirely in the Eagles’ favour as new coach Paul Roos and his struggling Melbourne side were no contest for the very strong-looking Western Australian team.
The standout in the goal kicking department for West Coast was star forward Josh Kennedy as he booted 4 goals, equivalent to the total amount of goals scored by the Demons all game. The Eagles’ forward has looked to be one of the best in the competition led by Josh Kennedy and their full-forward Jack Darling.
Sunday’s loss has resulted in Paul Roos’ biggest ever defeat as a coach. For his and the club’s sake, Melbourne will hope to get some wins in the near future while the Eagles face a far more difficult task as they fly back home to take on the St Kilda Saints who have also won their first two games to kick off the season for 2014.
Additional credit to Hugh Widjaya