New law doubles maximum penalty for fine fraud to $11,000

Wear the initial fine … The new legislation doubles the maximum fines – from $5500 to $11,000 – for vehicle owners who shirk a penalty for speed camera and other camera-detected traffic offences by falsely nominating another driver. Photo: Adam McLean A NSW Police patrol vehicle … “Anyone who deliberately tries to defraud the system by falsely nominating another person risks being prosecuted and ultimately earning themselves a criminal record,” says Commissioner of Fines Administration, Stephen Brady. Photo: Supplied
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Drivers who falsely claim someone else was behind the wheel at the time of an offence could be slapped with an $11,000 fine under harsh new penalties introduced in NSW parliament on Tuesday.

The new legislation doubles the maximum fines for vehicle owners who shirk a penalty for speed camera and other camera-detected traffic offences by falsely nominating another driver.

Under the amended Fines Act 1996 and the Roads Transport Act 2013 individuals now face a $11,000 fine, up from $5500.

The maximum penalty for corporations has also doubled from $11,000 to $22,000.

“While the vast majority of people do the right thing, any doubtful nominations are checked against all available evidence, for example photographs taken at the time of the offence,” said the Commissioner of Fines Administration, Stephen Brady.

Mr Brady said the NSW Office of State Revenue (OSR) checks all driver nominations against RMS records for license details and immigration records to confirm the nominated person in the country at the time of each offence.

“Anyone who deliberately tries to defraud the system by falsely nominating another person risks being prosecuted and ultimately earning themselves a criminal record,” Mr Brady said.

Under the new legislation, people will be able to submit their nomination online, removing the formal requirement for a statutory declaration.

The OSR has issued more than 1400 fines to people for false nomination offences and has prosecuted more than 200 people relating to false nominations over the last eight years.

In 2006, hundreds of thousands of statutory declarations signed by motorists fighting traffic fines were investigated as part of a major fraud crackdown by the NSW government.

Kylie and Dannii Minogue perform together on TV for the first time in 30 years

Kylie and Dannii Minogue reunite for Christmas track, 100 Degrees. Photo: Channel Seven Dannii and Kylie have both been judges on the rival reality TV shows.
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Kylie Minogue and sister Dannii Minogue on Young Talent Time.

Winner revealed for X-FactorKylie’s Christmas album is a real thingHave Kylie and Dannii Minogue made the cheesiest Christmas song ever?

Kylie and Dannii Minogue have thrown back to the 80s with a thoroughly modern performance during the finale of X-Factor .

Whilst often seen at events together, the pair have not performed on television since Young Talent Time in 1986 when they performed Sisters Are Doing It’ For Themselves.

Dannii, who is a judge on the musical reality competition X Factor shared duet with sister Kylie on the latter’s upcoming Christmas album entitled 100 Degrees.

The sisters donned matching leotards taped with sparkling strips in pink and blue respectively as they sang the disco-inspired Christmas anthem about a hot n Yule.

They were joined by 10 male dancers in silver lurex shorts and Santa-themed capes.

Kylie’s album, which has the highly searchable title Kylie Christmas, also features a duet with legendary rocker Iggy Pop.

Other collaborators include British comedian and talk-show host James Corden on Yazoo’s 1982 classic Only You while technical wizardry has also been employed to team Minogue with Frank Sinatra on a version of Santa Claus Is Coming to Town.

Kylie will also perform, presumably alone, at the ARIA awards to be held on Thursday night where she is due to help Tina Arena be a ushered in to the ARIA Hall of Fame.

Social media lapped the performance up, with many fans gushing over the reunion. OMG. Kylie & Danii look GREAT on #XFactor tonight! #XFGrandFinal#KylieandDannii— Migs Santillan (@migs_santi) November 24, 2015Kylie and Dannii had the best performance for tonight on #xfactorau#XFGrandFinal. Can we have an encore @thexfactor_au— Timothy Kandilis (@kandilistk) November 24, 2015

Returning Siddle plots Williamson’s downfall

Kane Williamson hits out during the first Test at the Gabba. Picture: Getty ImagesAUSTRALIA will try to bore New Zealand’s wonderchild Kane Williamson into submission in the day-night Test.
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New Zealand cricket icons Richard Hadlee and Martin Crowe believe Williamson will finish as the country’s greatest batsman.

Williamson, regarded by some pundits as the best batsman in the world, has certainly lived up to his reputation in the ongoing series.

The zen master has been calm and confident at the crease, waiting for the right ball to unleash a textbook cover drive.

Peter Siddle, set to be recalled for the third Test after being 12th man in Brisbane and Adelaide, preached the value of patience when asked about his plans for Williamson.

“That’s one thing he’s very good at and that’s one thing we can be slightly better at in our bowling – building pressure and getting them out that way,” Siddle said.

“You look at all the class players in world cricket, it’s worked hasn’t it?

“It worked against Sachin [Tendulkar]. It worked against KP [Kevin Pietersen].

“We’ve got to work hard here, put a lot of pressure on.”

Siddle dismissed Pietersen 10 times in his 104-Test career, more than any other bowler.

The former woodchopper did it more often than not by keeping things consistent, starving Pietersen of runs until he made an error.

Siddle has also trumped AB de Villiers six times in 12 Tests, wearing down the South African wizard with his work-rate and accuracy.

The 30-year-old is backing himself to achieve something similar with Williamson, who is less audacious than de Villiers but shares his incredible ability to keep the scoreboard ticking over.

“I’d like to hope so,” Siddle said. “I’ve had some good success against him in the past. I have troubled him and had some good battles with him.

“He’s been a class player these past 12, 18 months and he has been a handful this series . . . he’s got a lot smarter with how he plays.”

Siddle identified Ross Taylor as another crucial scalp after the former New Zealand skipper’s record-breaking knock of 290 at the WACA.

“They’re in good nick,” he said.

Siddle feared his international career was over before a call-up for the fifth Ashes Test.

The Victorian had six wickets and 17 maidens in that match, his strong showing a source of confidence after being overlooked in the first two home Tests of the summer.

“I know it isn’t that long since I came out and performed,” he said. “It gives myself a boost . . . [selectors] know that I can perform when called upon.”

● The SCG’s preparations for the January Test are back on track after Cricket deemed the ground’s playing surface fit to play.

Play will resume at the ground on Friday, when NSW take on Queensland in a Sheffield Shield clash. AAP

ABC TV launches 2016 programming with spotlight on local drama

Tasma Walton, star of new ABC TV drama Cleverman, with husband Rove McManus at the 2016 programming launch on Tuesday. Photo: Cole BennettsDavid Stratton returns to ABC Sarah Ferguson to replace O’Brien
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“District 9 meets the Dreaming.”

That’s the hugely ambitious description of Cleverman by ABC director of television Richard Finlayson on the ABC’s forthcoming drama set in a dystopian future, but then it’s a hugely ambitious and daring show.

Set to be one of the highlights of ABC’s programming for 2016, a full outline of which was revealed Tuesday night, the hotly-anticipated Cleverman is among a raft of local productions as the ABC aims for a target of boosting its local content to 60 per cent, with first-run n dramas to feature on screens every week during the next ratings year.

The mix for 2016 also includes Barracuda, based on the novel by Christos Tsiolkas that looks at the national obsession with sporting heroes. There will be new series of familiar favourites including The Code, Rake, Jack Irish, Janet King and The Doctor Blake Mysteries, coverage of the n of the Year Awards for the first time, plus a huge bent on comedy and digital exclusives on ABC iView.

Finlayson paid tribute to the ABC’s upcoming 60th birthday next year. “ABC strives to be the independent home of n stories, culture and conversations,” he said. “While the digital revolution sweeps the media and new competitors arrive, our audiences both young and old just keep telling us they want more original n shows and that’s what we’re working on.”

Cleverman, from the same producers behind The Sapphires and directors Wayne Blair and Leah Purcell, sees Aboriginal mythology mixed with a futuristic world in a “high-concept” drama featuring a cast including Iain Glen, Frances O’Connor, Deborah Mailman and Tasma Walton and special effects from the Weta Workshop.

Walton said she spent three hours a morning in make-up as a character based on the Yowie, the Aboriginal mythological characters. Despite the 3.15am starts to compensate for her physical transformation, she said it had been a fascinating production to work on.

“It’s that feeling you have when you know you’re working on something that is different,” Walton said. “It’s special and it’s exciting and it’s something that we don’t do often in – tackling that enormous multi-character, multi-storyline world.”

She said she hoped the show would be an “entertaining and thrilling” production, drawing parallels between issues faced in as well as the plight of refugees worldwide.

“Cleverman tries to illuminate what the reality and humanity is of these situations. It’s so easy in our technological world today to have a distance and a detachment from what is happening with people, but these are mums with babies, these are brothers and sisters, dads and sons. They’re like us and they are going through real horror.

“Hopefully, in some way the world of Cleverman will have those parallels and show those parallels in a compassionate and illuminating way.”

Richard Roxburgh is back with season four of Rake, promising the biggest storyline about the legal larrikin. “We did think that we would have to have a really strong idea and we came up with a fantastically fun arc,” he said.

Also joining him in the ABC stable next year is his wife, the actress and presenter Silvia Colloca, who will have a dinner party/cooking show affair with Silvia’s Italian Kitchen, where a collection of personalities will share recipes and stories.

“There’s going to be a very big communal table around which I gather with friends and talk about what’s the role of food in their lives, because in Italian culture food is an excuse to get together and celebrate life, [and talk about] heartbreak and death – it always revolves around food,” she says.

Digital exclusives will include the popular YouTube duo Kate McCartney and Kate McLennan’s The Katering Show, which skewers trends and food allergies.

Comedian Luke McGregor takes a raw look at sex with Luke Warm Sex and will also join with Celia Pacquola in Rosehaven, a comedy set in rural Tasmania.

Documentary content will include a profile by former prime minister John Howard on the longest-serving prime minister Robert Menzies, Howard on Menzies, and a spotlight on the healthcare system using 100 cameras filmed over 24 hours in Keeping Alive. 

And, also celebrating a birthday next year will be Play School, which reaches 50 years old, and which will see Miranda Tapsell joining as its 90th presenter.

‘Hunter City’ plan is for houses and jobs: poll

Planning minister Robert Stokes. Picture: Daniel MunozMAJOR housing and jobs growth would be concentrated into a combined regional centre dubbed ‘‘Hunter City’’, under new long-term blueprints for the area that the state government will officially unveil.
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Planning minister Rob Stokes will release on Wednesday, for public comment, a draft Hunter Regional plan and another about subset area ‘‘Hunter City’’.

They set out where growth is expected to occur over the next 20 years and the government’s goals for the region. By 2036, an extra 117,850 people would call the Hunter home.

Mr Stokes said the new ‘‘Hunter City’’ concept recognised the ‘‘benefits of coordinated planning for the area stretching from Lake Macquarie to Maitland and Newcastle’’.

It essentially combines existing large metropolitan areas, with a revitalised inner Newcastle to drive the creation of new jobs.

Investigation of new development areas is flagged. But the plan says enough land for new homes has already been released or identified to cater for expected growth, such as in the ‘‘inner west’’ of Wallsend, Glendale, Cardiff, Fletcher, Minmi and Cameron Park and along Maitland’s New England Highway corridor.

The plans eschew sprawling new suburbs along the Hunter Expressway, noting the road was built to provide a freight link to the Port of Newcastle.

Instead, they identify the need for new types of housing and ‘‘infill’’ development of existing urban centres, such as Broadmeadow.

The government would work with councils to increase single-lot developments and the supply of smaller dwellings sought by singles and couples, affordable housing and housing for groups such as students.

Other overarching targets include growing the economy, building the region’s resistance to floods and other natural hazards, better managing land-use conflicts, boosting tourism and sustaining regional habitat.

‘‘The Hunter region has a range of proud communities with a terrific lifestyle and a diverse natural environment,’’ Hunter parliamentary secretary Scot MacDonald said. ‘‘This draft plan is about building on the region’s advantages and creating opportunities for future generations.’’

The plans flag tighter monitoring of progress in delivering new housing and jobs, through annual reporting and a new regional plan coordination and monitoring committee set up within the government.

Public submissions can be made until February 28.

The X Factor 2015: Cyrus Villanueva Wollongong’s first reality TV superstar, winning the coveted crown

Cyrus wins The X Factor 2015 Cyrus performs on The X Factor . Picture: supplied
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Cyrus performs on The X Factor . Picture: supplied

Cyrus performs on The X Factor . Picture: supplied

Cyrus on The X Factor . Picture: supplied

Cyrus performs on The X Factor . Picture: supplied

First The X Factor audition. Picture: supplied

The X Factor grand finalists Louise, Jess, Matt and Cyrus. Picture: supplied

Cyrus performs on The X Factor . Picture: supplied

Cyrus performs at Wollongong’s Crown Street Mall.

Cyrus performs at Wollongong’s Crown Street Mall.

Cyrus performs at Wollongong’s Crown Street Mall.

Cyrus visited his old school Kanahooka High with Chris Isaak last week. Picture: SYLVIA LIBER

Cyrus visited his old school Kanahooka High with Chris Isaak last week. Picture: SYLVIA LIBER

Cyrus visited his old school Kanahooka High with Chris Isaak last week. Picture: SYLVIA LIBER

Cyrus visited his old school Kanahooka High with Chris Isaak last week. Picture: SYLVIA LIBER

Cyrus visited his old school Kanahooka High with Chris Isaak last week. Picture: SYLVIA LIBER

Cyrus visited his old school Kanahooka High with Chris Isaak last week. Picture: SYLVIA LIBER

Cyrus visited his old school Kanahooka High with Chris Isaak last week. Picture: SYLVIA LIBER

Cyrus visited his old school Kanahooka High with Chris Isaak last week. Picture: SYLVIA LIBER

Cyrus performs on The X Factor. Picture: supplied

TweetFacebookCyrus Villanueva’s new single “Stone”Take a look back at Cyrus’ X Factor journey:

Cyrus wins The X Factor 2015https://nnimgt-a.akamaihd上海龙凤论坛/transform/v1/crop/frm/35ns5Wme2fedmBqQ6qZE6iD/0d8d20e0-c1ec-4cea-9570-6a8e90c98aba.jpg/r3_136_1775_1137_w1200_h678_fmax.jpgNSW: Cyrus Villanueva the Illawarra’s newest superstar.Cyrus, X Factor, Crown, Wollongong, Chris Isaak2015-11-24T23:06:00+11:00https://players.brightcove上海龙凤论坛/3879528182001/default_default/index.html?videoId=4620626340001https://players.brightcove上海龙凤论坛/3879528182001/default_default/index.html?videoId=4620626340001Cyrus performs at Wollongong Crown Street Mall

News Now: new digital era for

YOUR Newcastle Herald switches on Wednesday to ground-breaking digital-first publishing technology that will also deliver a new look for the Hunter’s most-read newspaper.
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The NewsNow editorial system brings website and newspaper production into the same newsroom process for the first time.

It will allow Herald journalists to publish breaking news immediately at theherald上海龙凤论坛 and prepare exclusive local content for the next day’s print edition.

The NewsNow technology is being rolled out at mastheads in Fairfax Media’s regional, rural and suburban publishing division, n Community Media.

Designed to deliver journalism to digital and print audiences more effectively and efficiently, it is already producing almost 70 newspapers and their websites in Victoria, Queensland, southern NSW and South .

Wollongong’s lllawarra Mercury switched to the web-based system in September.

Fairfax’s flagship agricultural weekly The Land published its first edition in the new system last week.

This week, more than 150 years after its humble beginnings in Newcastle, a new-look Herald marks the start of a new era in digital news-gathering and news production in the Hunter.

‘‘Our region has always been at the forefront of change and innovation and the Herald is continuing that tradition this week,’’ Newcastle/Hunter group managing editor Chad Watson said.

‘‘From hot metal to computers, from black and white to colour, from broadsheet to tabloid, the Herald has always adapted and evolved, just as the audiences, advertisers and communities it serves have adapted and evolved.’’

As part of the latest change, Thursday’s edition of the newspaper will introduce a larger typeface size for body copy designed to make articles easier to read. Headline fonts will take on a bold contemporary styling.

Some sections of the newspaper have been redesigned.

Some regular content will have a new home within the paper, with sections colour-coded to help you find your favourite reading.

Watson said that while the look of the Herald was changing, its editorial mission would not.

‘‘The Herald has always been the Voice of the Hunter, and always will be,’’ he said.

Led by editor Heath Harrison and deputy editor Matthew Kelly, the Herald’s award-winning team of journalists and photographers would use their new tools and skills to tell the local stories audiences had come to expect, and to campaign for the people of the Hunter.

‘‘We’ll still be giving our readers the best variety of local news, sport, commentary and information, with fair-minded, independent journalism that asks the tough questions and sets the news agenda without fear or favour,’’ Watson said.

Abuser priest laughed at confession

THE paedophile priest fell to his knees as he sought absolution. Then he laughed.
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He had “taken out” the priest who heard his confession, knowing Father Philip O’Donnell could not break the seal of confession.

One of Father Victor Gabriel Rubeo’s victims had earlier confided in Mr O’Donnell and warned his abuser.

Rubeo turned up at 8am the next day, sat down and then dropped on his knees and went into confessional mode, Mr O’Donnell told the child abuse royal commission on Tuesday.

“I gave absolution, and as he walked out the door he laughed at me. In other words, he had made sure that I couldn’t speak to anyone,” said Mr O’Donnell, who left the priesthood in 1999.

“I felt totally entrapped by that situation; that he had found out that I’d been told, he came to me, put himself in a confessional situation that therefore took me out.

“My only joy was that he was convicted without me being involved.”

Rubeo pleaded guilty in 1996 to indecently assaulting two brothers, but died in 2011 on the day he was to appear in court on 30 new charges of abusing the same boys in the 1960s.

He’s one of 84 Melbourne priests who between them sexually abused 335 children in the Melbourne archdiocese from the 1950s.

The royal commission on Tuesday revealed 454 people had made child abuse claims against 188 offenders in the Melbourne archdiocese, 335 of which were against 84 priests.

The church has paid $16.8 million in compensation since 1980.

The church received four abuse claims against Father Peter Searson, who was never convicted of a sex offence.

Former altar boy BVD said Searson regularly abused him over six months in the 1970s and told him to keep quiet.

“Searson threatened me, saying I would go to hell if I told anyone, that the devil was punishing me for my sins and this is how he was doing it,” he said.

Coach backs Zac Guildford to conquer alcoholism

Waratahs signing Zac Guildford has vowed to stay off alcohol. Picture: Getty ImagesNSW Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson is leaning on experience gleaned from a family tragedy with alcoholism to help troubled former All Black Zac Guildford relaunch his Super Rugby career in Sydney.
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Guildford, who has a history of alcohol-related issues, admits drinking remained a problem for him after he cut short a stint with French club Clermont and returned to New Zealand this year.

The 26-year-old accepts his contract with The Waratahs represents a final opportunity and has vowed to stay off alcohol.

“This is the last-chance saloon for me, and if I stuff it up, it’s game over,” Guildford told New Zealand’s TV One, acknowledging he was an alcoholic.

“I’ve had so many problems with alcohol. Look, I’ve still made mistakes this year, to be honest.

“I don’t blame anyone else but myself.”

Gibson is supportive and understands the battle ahead for Guildford after the new NSW coach lost his sister Kiri to alcoholism this year.

Guildford linked with the Waratahs last week as they began pre-season training.

Gibson said he had been one of the side’s best trainers.

“The pleasing thing is Zac is trying to be a better man, to make better choices,” Gibson said on Tuesday.

“In terms of rules and so forth it is a bit like a pre-nuptial. Zac knows very clearly of the boundaries we have set for him, making sure that he protects the team at all times.

“He is very aware of that and so far he has been brilliant.”

Gibson was encouraged by Guildford’s honesty.

“He has made a bold, courageous statement that he wants to stay away from the drink,” Gibson said.

“I have been personally touched by addiction. I lost my sister to alcoholism, and she was only 44.

“I really understand what he is going through, just how devastating addiction is in terms of the ups and downs and the families and people close to them go through.

“The great thing about Zac is that he is an honest person.

“He has come out and shown everyone, ‘This is what I want to do,’ and I want to support him.”

Guildford said he had used his father’s death due to a heart attack while watching him play in the under-20s world championship as an “excuse” for his drinking.

It has contributed to his disciplinary issues.

“I know how hard it’s going to be [not drinking], but I don’t want to live the life I’ve been living for the last six years, because it’s been pretty average,” he said. AAP

Anonymous perks submission refused

Councillor Brad Luke was amazed that a member of the public could have such intimate knowledge of the lord mayor’s office. Picture: Jonathan CarrollTHE mystery ratepayer who wanted to shower Newcastle’s lord mayor and councillors with the likes of business class flights and free dry cleaning has not been granted his wish.
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The council voted unanimously on Tuesday night to adopt only minor changes to the benefits and expenses policy that applies to councillors, although economy flights are out and premium economy flights are in.

As previously reported, the council’s revised policy attracted only one submission when it was put on public exhibition several months ago. The submission contained an eye-opening array of proposals focused mainly on the lord mayor’s office.

The council said that privacy laws prevented it from identifying the author. Lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes denied any knowledge of the submission, but former general manager Ken Gouldthorp threw fuel on the fire by saying that all but one of the proposals contained in the submission had been raised with him by the lord mayor during his tenure.

If the submission had been made by any connections of the lord mayor or councillors, it fell flat on Tuesday night when it was unanimously voted down in favour of a staff recommendation.

The only comment during debate came from Liberal councillor Brad Luke, who said he “found it amazing that a member of the public would have such an intimate knowledge of the lord mayor’s office”.

“I am absolutely startled that a member of the public would come up with this without any assistance,” he said.

“I completely agree with you,” Cr Nelmes responded.

Meanwhile, Greens councillor Michael Osborne has been re-elected as Newcastle’s deputy lord mayor for a further three months after the council held an election for the fourth time in less than a year.

Cr Osborne had held the position since March after a tumultuous five months in which a string of deputy lord mayoral elections were held.

In August 2014, Labor’s Stephanie Pozniak was elected into the job by her colleagues, knocking out the incumbent, Liberal Brad Luke. Cr Pozniak only lasted in the job for three weeks before councillors held another election and replaced her with independent Andrea Rufo. Cr Rufo served up until Cr Osborne’s election in March this year.

Cr Osborne’s re-election on Tuesday night will extend his tenure by a mere three months, or just two full council meetings, and expire on February 23. Then, yet another deputy lord mayoral election will be held.