Man dead after motorcycle crash in Palm Beach


A truck driver has been arrested after a fatal crash on Sydney’s northern beaches on Sunday morning.

Emergency services were called to the scene on Barrenjoey Road at Palm Beach about 9am following reports a motorcycle had collided with a truck.

The motorcycle rider, a man believed to be 46 years old, was thrown from the bike and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The truck driver was not injured and taken to Northern Beaches Hospital where he underwent mandatory testing.

The 29-year-old Queensland man was arrested at the hospital and taken to Manly police station for questioning.

Officers from Northern Beaches Police Area Command established a crime scene, which has been forensically examined.

Inquiries continue into the crash and a report will be prepared for the Coroner.

Anyone with information should contact Crime Stoppers, 1800 333 000.



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Delays on Pacific Motorway after serious multi-vehicle collision


Heavy delays are polluting a major motorway out of Brisbane, after multiple cars collided on Sunday.

Eleven people narrowly escaped serious injury, after seven cars collided on the Pacific Motorway at Springwood.

A spokesperson from Queensland Police said it was a nose-to-tail scenario and occurred in the northbound lanes of the highway.

Paramedics treated four people with minor injuries at the scene, with several others fortunate to walk away unscathed.

Three adults patients were transported to hospital in stable conditions.

The crash caused traffic chaos on the northbound lanes of the motorway and surrounding roads, with long delays expected into the afternoon.

The incident caused traffic to build up back to the Bryants Road exit, almost 9km from the scene of the crash.

Delays have stretched out to 20 minutes for motorists, as authorities continue the clean-up.



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Prime Minister Scott Morrison allegedly ‘gobsmacked’ about gender pay gap


Twitter has blown up after it was alleged Prime Minister Scott Morrison had no idea the gender pay gap existed in Australia.

During a panel discussion on Sunday morning’s Insiders ABC, the network’s political reporter Andrew Probyn claimed Mr Morrison was recently “gobsmacked” to learn gender pay equality was an issue across workforces.

“I think what we are witnessing, though, is the slow transformation of Scott Morrison from someone who didn’t understand it at all to someone who is getting some understanding,” Mr Probyn said.

“I’ve heard inside some of these (government) meetings Scott Morrison was gobsmacked there was even a gender pay gap, because he can’t understand why you would have women and men paid differently for doing the same job, and you’ve got some of his colleagues say, ‘Well, Prime Minister, that actually does happen’.

RELATED: Palaszczuk demands action on ‘huge issue’

“So you would have noticed that two weeks ago the Prime Minister actually started talking about the gender pay gap, but maybe a day or so before that he had no understanding that that actually happened.”

After the clip was shared on the program’s Twitter page on Sunday morning, it left many outraged, questioning how the PM had only just become aware of the gender pay gap.

“So, the head of the govt, the “leader” of Aust, who repeatedly claims to be working for “all Australians” has openly admitted he has no idea about issues that effort 51 per cent of the population despite being in govt for 7yrs, including time as Treasurer. Good govt starts here?” one person wrote.

“Sorry, but what utter nonsense. How can anyone of his age, and with his political and professional experience and standing not know this?” another person added, while a third wrote: “He didn’t know about an alleged rape two doors down the hall. Morrison “doesn’t know” a lot of things.”

Mr Probyn’s comments come after Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk requested for national cabinet to host a special summit to “address the ongoing economic and social inequality facing Australian women”.

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As well as the Women’s Cabinet Taskforce that was assembled in the reshuffle, she suggested a broader summit to deal with women’s economic security, the gender pay gap, superannuation and child care availability.

“Right now, I believe our nation is at a point in time where real and enduring action must be taken to address the economic inequality endured by Australian women for far too long,” she wrote in a letter titled “Dear Scott”.

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Mr Morrison agreed they would have not a big broad summit, but a special National Cabinet meeting at the end of July to look at this.

Gender pay equality continues to be a major issue within Australia, with a new report — The report, Gender Equity Insights 2021: Making it a Priority — revealing efforts to bring equality to the workforce is likely to take another 26 years.

The report, released by the government’s Workplace Gender Equality Agency and the Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre, found that the gender pay gap is worst in finance and insurance firms, at almost 28 per cent, versus 20 per cent across the workforce.

“This report reveals a worrying level of apathy and indifference among many Australian employers toward improving gender equality,” said WGEA chief Libby Lyons. “Expecting Australian women to wait a quarter of a century for the total remuneration gender pay gap to close is unacceptable.”

The findings, similarly to Ms Palaszczuk special summit request, come amid concern about the lack of safety, respect and equality for women in the workplace following revelations of a toxic male culture in Parliament House.

She said they also have to consider the effect that the COVID-19 pandemic may have on the outlook for women’s employment and workforce participation.

“This will remain unclear until we collect the data from employers in the coming months and release our next dataset later this year.”

Ms Lyons said employers “must act now” to embed gender equality in their organisations as a standard business practice.

“Not only will it drive better company performance, productivity and profitability but it will also deliver meaningful, systemic change that will close the gender pay gap faster and make our workplaces better, fairer and safer for both women and men.”





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Historic Qld coronavirus case linked to Brisbane, Byron Bay clusters


Another coronavirus case has been added to Queensland’s COVID-19 tally after it was revealed a woman who attended a party in Byron Bay last month tested positive.

Health authorities have been quick to assure the community the newly identified case poses no risk to the public, as the patient had been in self isolation.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced in a Twitter post on Sunday morning the case was linked to the cluster that emerged from the popular holiday spot

“Not at risk to the community and under investigation,” she wrote.

In a statement, the state’s chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young said the case was linked to the second outbreak from the Princess Alexandra Hospital, which sent greater Brisbane into a snap lockdown last month.

Cases were recorded across the border in NSW after several people from Brisbane attended a hen’s party in Byron Bay in late March.

Dr Young said the patient had returned four negative tests before a testing positive to the virus through a serology analysis.

“This case is linked to the second Brisbane cluster that originated from a Princess Alexandra Hospital nurse, taking the total number of cases linked to that cluster to 13,” she said.

“As this person had attended the party where COVID-19 spread to a number of people, they were placed into self-isolation at home and a testing routine commenced.

“I am very grateful to this person for following the advice and doing all the right things to protect the community.”

Dr Young said it was possible the patient only had a low level of the virus in her system but further investigations would be conducted.

“We are confident there is no risk to the community from this individual, which means there will be no contact tracing locations for this case,” she said.

Queensland recorded no new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, and active cases remain at 57.



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James Weir recaps Netflix’s upcoming Byron Baes reality show


Australia’s number one mission of destroying Byron Bay is almost complete.

We’ve been working tirelessly over the past few years to ravage the once-sleepy, surfy shire and this week’s news of a reality show about influencers in the bay means we’ll soon be able to kick back and admire the fruits of our labour.

Netflix describes the upcoming docu-soap Byron Baes as “a feed of hot Instagrammers living their best lives, being their best selves, creating the best content”.

So … it’s basically just Instagram Stories but on Netflix.

The streaming giant also labelled the yet-to-be-shot series as a “love letter to one of the world’s most perfect playgrounds”.

Of course, Byron Bay locals are not accepting it as a love letter. To them, it’s hate mail. And you better believe their mood rings have turned a murky shade of brown.

When we took this column on the road over summer to check out Australia’s most talked about hotspot, the locals were already fuming about the influx of influencers and had no issue articulating their thoughts and feelings.

To use influencer terminology, the feedback shared by these locals was #raw, #unfiltered and #BrutallyHonest.

“They’re spoiled brats,” Wreck Surf store owner Bert Reid said. “I think social media and Instagram … they’ve got a lot to answer for. It’s like, ‘Come to Byron and get ya photos!’ We’re, like, ‘Just be normal’.”

“Byron Bay is basically a meme,” a skinny hipster named Snake said.

“(It’s) More like Bali’s Potato Head,” another local said.

JAMES WEIR RECAPS: The cashed and trashed rocking Byron

‘WE DON’T WANT ‘EM’: Byron’s celeb war fires up

The Byron Bay locals get wound up so easily, which is funny because when you drive into the town, there’s a sign that says, “Cheer up, slow down, chill out”. They’re all bitter and twisted over a couple of hot people taking selfies. Just imagine the collective conniption they’ll have when a rooftop bar eventually gets installed at the top of that dusty old lighthouse.

First came the Hemsworths. Then the influencers. A reality show was really the final stage in the evolution.

Resisting change only makes it harder. These disgruntled locals should just burn their incense, polish their magic crystals and channel the positive vibes they’re always crapping on about. They’ve got more in common with influencers than they care to admit. They both indulge in convenient spirituality, nonsense wellness products and just general self-absorption.

The town has absolutely nothing to worry about. Just look at all the other esteemed reality series set in iconic locations. Like Jersey Shore. Byron Bay would be lucky to have a Snookie or Pauly D representing the town on the world stage.

Same with those Real Housewives of Wherever. On Byron Baes, there’ll be countless opportunities to throw a green juice in someone’s face.

And we would be remiss not to mention Channel 10’s 2012 foray into the docu-soap genre with The Shire. I still remember the night it premiered. It was the worst thing ever. They should bring it back.

Netflix hasn’t revealed which influencers will star on Byron Baes but of course we have a wish list.

At the top of the list is that older less successful Hemsworth brother. It’s always great when a reality show tries to offer some star power by recruiting an offbeat relative of someone famous.

Elyse Knowles is obviously a no-brainer. All the best reality show contestants have a trademark catchphrase that they whip out during fights or other tense moments and Elyse locked hers in earlier this year. Wallah!

And if we’ve learnt anything from The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, it’s that you don’t even need to live in Beverly Hills to be on the show. Have you got an Instagram account and live in some crap shack on the Gold Coast? You’re now a Byron Bae! Welcome aboard.

As property prices started skyrocketing in Byron, it was amazing to hear of people buying in completely different towns but still saying they live in Byron. PSA: Kingscliff is not Byron. You’re barely even in New South Wales.

But adding these people from weird nearby towns to the cast will create a natural hierarchy of the influencers – and nothing fosters drama like a clash of power status. On a night out at the Beach Hotel, one of the top-tier influencers will have one too many frozen daiquiris and then publicly shame a low-level influencer for living in Tweed Heads.

It’s disappointing to hear influencer Ruby Tuesday Matthews has declined an invite to appear on the series. The Instagram star made national headlines last year when she got booed by a plane-full of Jetstar passengers after delaying the flight because she left the airport to go get oysters.

“Goodbye Byron, you are officially cooked. How embarrassing,” she slammed Byron Baes on social media.

It always stings when someone with no perspective offers perspective.

Twitter, Facebook: @hellojamesweir



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Two more men charged over alleged pack rape


Two more men have been charged over an alleged pack rape at Schoolies on the Gold Coast in 2019.

The Victorian men, now 19 and 20, were charged with one count each of rape with the latter appearing before the Southport Magistrates Court this week.

The case was adjourned with the two due to appear on May 4.

Another Victorian man was arrested just days after the alleged attack which took place on November 26, 2019.

This man was charged with one count of rape and making observations/recordings in breach of privacy, and his case remains before the courts.

None of the men can be named for legal reasons.



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Cairns man allegedly busted drink driving behind the wheel of a scissor lift


A Queensland man adorned in hi-vis and boardshorts has been allegedly busted cruising down the main street of Cairns atop a scissor lift shortly before 3am.

The 31-year-old is alleged to have been riding down the north Queensland city’s streets on-board the construction vehicle not once but twice.

On two consecutive nights, at 2.50am on Thursday and 1.20am on Friday, police say the same man was caught riding two different scissor lifts.

On one of these occasions, the highly unusual activity was filmed from the body camera of a police officer who intercepted the joy ride.

“Dude, are you drunk?” the shocked policewoman can be heard asking.

The 31-year-old bluntly replied from the top of the lift: “No way, I’m sober as a judge.”

Police will allege the man took the scissor lift from The Esplanade and drove it along Shields Street to the intersection of Sheridan Street.

It will also be alleged he refused to exit the vehicle by holding onto its railing during the arrest.

The 31-year-old was charged with one count each of unlawful use of motor vehicle, drink-driving and obstruct police.

He is due to appear in Cairns Magistrate Court on April 23.



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Qld aged care worker given wrong second dose of COVID-19 vaccine


Queensland health authorities have confirmed that an aged care worker received the wrong second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The woman was given a Pfizer dosage for her first jab but received AstraZeneca for the second this week, not realising the error until she was given a pamphlet after the injection.

The employee of the Ipswich aged care facility, west of Brisbane, was monitored for an hour by healthcare professionals at the clinic before being sent home with an ice pack for a headache, 9 News reported.

She was told to watch for any adverse reactions and to call an ambulance if she became unwell.

On Friday afternoon, Queensland chief health officer Jeannette Young confirmed the woman had received the wrong dosage.

“I’m sure the place where it happened will look at how that occurred, but she’s fine today, which is very good news,” she told reporters.

The mix-up comes after the Prime Minister on Thursday night revealed new medical advice for the AstraZeneca jab, recommending Australians under 50 not receive the vaccine due to the rare possibility of blood clots.

Scott Morrison said the guidance was based on advice from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI).

The AstraZeneca vaccine will continue to be issued to those when the benefits outweigh the risks of the deadly virus.

Those include elderly Australians, who are more likely to become seriously ill from coronavirus than young people.

Administration of the Pfizer vaccine will not be affected.

ATAGI considered evidence from colleagues in Europe, where there were a small but concerning number of cases where people developed blood clots after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine.



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Ryan Andrew King charged over second ‘consensual’ castration surgery after frozen penis found


Almost a year after police allegedly found a severed human penis and testicles in a Brisbane tradie’s freezer while investigating a separate castration, the eunuch has been identified and fresh charges have been laid.

Ryan Andrew King, 28, has been charged with a second count of grievous bodily harm with intent to maim after police identified the 66-year-old victim of his first unauthorised castration surgery.

Police allege the saga began when King allegedly partially castrated a 26-year-old man he had met online in a “consensual surgery” in July 2020 despite having “no formal surgical qualifications.”

Police were called to a backpackers hostel in Brisbane after the younger man suffered complications. He was taken to hospital and King was initially charged with intent to maim.

On September 22, King’s charges were upgraded to grievous bodily harm with intent to maim.

While carrying out a raid at King’s West End home the day after the backpackers incident, police allegedly found medical tools, as well as a severed human penis and testicles in his freezer, news.com.au reported at the time.

No complaints were lodged about the set of severed male genitalia, but on Friday Queensland Police confirmed they had identified the man they belonged to.

A Queensland Police spokeswoman told NCA NewsWire a 66-year-old man had allegedly met King at a rental accommodation on the Pacific Highway in Loganholme on September 2, 2019.

“He is then alleged to have performed consensual surgery on the older man, despite having no formal surgical qualifications,” the spokeswoman said.

It’s alleged this was the second time King performed surgery on the 66-year-old, after having travelled to Melbourne in 2018.

Police confirmed King has been charged with grievous bodily harm with intent to main in relation to the older victim.

According to the Courier Mail, Queensland Police analysed King’s GoPro footage to identify the alleged victim.



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