Deputy Chief Medical Officer slams behaviour of ‘Bunnings Karen’ in viral video

Australia’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer has hit out at ‘Bunnings Karen’, calling recent footage of a woman arguing with staff over face masks ‘disturbing’.

The video flooded social media channels over the weekend, after the woman filmed herself approaching staff at a Bunnings in southeast Melbourne.

Nick Coatsworth has this morning told the ABC it was disturbing footage, and has commended the Bunnings staff for their calm reponse.

“The vast majority of Australians will have been disturbed by that. This is a small minority.

“I would like to commend the staff member and the staff in Bunnings and I’m sorry they had to deal with that.

“There is no room for that behaviour in Australian society. It might be better placed elsewhere in the world.

“We see it happening in other countries, but not our own. We’re in this fight together against coronavirus and mandatory mask wearing is not an enormous ask.

“I don’t view it as a Human Rights or civil liberties issue. It is something that we need to do to help bend the curve and bring us down the other side,” Mr Coatsworth said.

In the Greater Melbourne area and the Mitchell Shire in Victoria, it has recently become mandatory for everyone to wear a face mask while out and about, with police given the powers to fine those caught breaking the rules.

But, in the video, ‘Karen’ tells the staff they are discriminating against her for asking her to wear a mask, sighting the 1948 Charter of Human Rights.

On arrival, a staff member asks the woman for a medical certificate because she isn’t wearing a mask, then also requests that the woman stop filming her.

“I actually don’t need a medical certificate if you refer to the — no I’m allowed to do this, and you’re discriminating against me.

When the staff member tries to assure the woman that ‘we’re all in this together, she responds “All in what together – I actually don’t”.

“And you’re not authorised by the Australian government to even question me about it,” she says.

Another staff member then lets the woman know that it is a condition of entry into the store that she wear a mask.

“Then that’s discrimination and I can have sued personally for discriminating against me as a woman,” the woman says.


Here we go again !! I’m led to belive this is the same lady who was stringing up the police in the videos we posted earlier. What is wrong with people. We are all in this together. Where’s the Bunnings guy human rights when he asked her to stop filming. .Unbelievable .Well done to the members that stood there ground at Bunnings.

Posted by CovidPete on Saturday, 25 July 2020

Gold Coast construction identity extradited over $17m tax fraud syndicate

UPDATE @ JULY 24 | A GOLD COAST construction identity has been extradited from Queensland to New South Wales overnight, to face charges over a multi million dollar tax fraud syndicate.

49-year-old George Alex was arrested in Surfers Paradise earlier this week, accused of heading up an elaborate syndicate operating across multiple states.

The group allegedly defrauded the commonwealth through labour hire and payroll companies, to the tune of $17 million.

Twelve people were arrested in total, following raids across Queensland, New South Wales and the ACT on Tuesday.

That included six Queenslanders, three of which were living on the Gold Coast.

The alleged leader of the group, George Alex, is expected to face a Sydney court on multiple charges today.

EARLIER @ JULY 22 | A GOLD COAST construction identity has been among twelve arrested in dawn raids over a multi-million dollar interstate tax fraud syndicate.

Australian Federal Police executed search warrants across 10 locations across south-east Queensland, Sydney and the ACT on Tuesday following a major investigation into the $17 million fraud operation.

The AFP began investigating the syndicate back in 2018 after they caught the attention of investigators who were looking into a number of other serious organised crime offences.

It’s alleged the group were using labour hire and payroll companies associated with the building and construction industry to defraud the Commonwealth out of millions of dollars.

A 49-year-old Surfers Paradise man, accused of being the ringleader of the operation, was taken into custody early on Tuesday morning. He has since been charged with one count of conspire with the intention of dishonestly causing a loss to the Commonwealth and one count of conspire to deal with proceeds of crime, money or property worth $1,000,000 or more. He faces a maximum penalty of 35 years behind bars for the two charges.

The construction identity’s primary co-conspirators included a mix of financial industry experts and former bankers, demonstrating the level of expertise required to operate and facilitate such a complex fraud.

A 58-year-old Hope Island man as well as two other men from Sydney are also facing identical charges.

A 69-year-old from Bonogin and a 30-year-old woman are also among the eight others charged over the syndicate.

They are all expected to face court over the coming days, with officers applying for their extradition to NSW to face the charges.

The AFP has also seized $21 million in assets including 12 properties, 17 vehicles, 65 bank accounts, a caravan and a boat. $1.3 million of that was money being held in Singapore bank accounts.

AFP Commander Investigations, Eastern Command, Kirsty Schofield said yesterday’s activity is the result of outstanding detective work by AFP investigators, who developed a unique approach to this syndicate, decimating what would have been a long-term income stream for organised crime.

“Transnational and serious organised crime groups are evolving. No longer do they target any specific crime type or commodity, they adapt to their environments by recruiting professional enablers to provide experience in the financial, legal or any other field they feel can earn them money. This investigation is just one example of how the AFP stays ahead of these groups, formulating innovative techniques to combat the complex and rapidly changing environment of Organised Crime in Australia” she said.

“The AFP is always looking to out-smart these organised crime groups – we make sure we have investigators with specialist skills and look to work with partner agencies and private industry to counter a broader range of criminal offending. We will continue to target organised crime at their most vulnerable, namely when they try and legitimise their illegally-obtain proceeds of crime.”

ATO Assistant Commissioner Aislinn Walwyn, who leads the agency’s operational activity under the SFCT, said that these arrests show that the taskforce is well equipped to deal with the most serious cases of financial crime.

“A common theme of serious financial crime is a business that may appear legitimate on the surface, but once you peel back the layers, you discover a web of well-organised syndicated activity, like phoenixing, which causes real harm to people’s livelihoods and lines the pockets of people who abuse the system,” she said.

“The SFCT is focused on pursuing people who deliberately try to rip off the country by evading their taxes. Not complying with tax obligations is not a victimless crime – the whole community is impacted by this behaviour. Revenue loss is a significant injury suffered by all Australians.”

“Together, we have pieced together a very complex set of arrangements involving members of a syndicate allegedly engaged in fraud, phoenix activity and tax evasion. The debt recovery actions we have taken ensure we can claw back as much of the money illegally obtained by these groups and direct it back to the community where it belongs.”

An ASIC spokesperson said this investigation highlights the importance of ASIC’s position as a member of the SFCT to conduct joint agency work into serious financial crime and illegal phoenix activity, which continues to be a priority for ASIC.

“ASIC views seriously any attempt by individuals to facilitate or conceal illegal phoenix activity and other related contraventions of the law. Illegal phoenix activity is unacceptable and together with our SFCT member agencies, we will work to ensure any persons suspected of engaging in such activity, including directors who breach their duties, are held to account.”

Australia braces for biggest budget deficit since WW2

An historic day for Australia today, with the federal treasurer to reveal an unprecedented level of debt due to the coronavirus crisis.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg is due to hand down an economic statement today, which is tipped to paint a pretty bleak picture of Australia’s future.

It’s predicted to be around $200 billion dollars in the red, which is roughly four times higher than what we saw during the Global Financial Crisis.

It’ll be the highest level of debt since World War Two, with future generations having to pay off the crisis for years to come.

Almost $300 billion has been spent in response to the crisis so far, in stimulus and support measures which saved millions of jobs and businesses.

While, tighter restrictions in Victoria alone have slashed around $3 billion from the national economy already.

Net debt is tipped to sit around the $500 billion mark.

The treasurer will provide an economic and fiscal update today, which will include budget estimates and forecast, but the full budget won’t be handed down until October.

Josh Frydenberg says he’s confident the economy will bounce back, despite admitting budget figures will be shocking.

He told Nine yesterday that it won’t be all doom and gloom.

“We remain optimistic about what the Australian economy can do and is doing to recover from this unprecedented economic shock,” he said.

Body of Megan Gale’s brother found in bushland, WA

Supermodel Megan Gale’s brother has been found dead in bushland in Perth, after going missing a week ago.

The body of Jason Gale was located at Karragullen yesterday, following a massive police search.

The 49-year-old was last seen driving a 1999 Honda CR-V sedan on Tuesday July 14, with family members raising the alarm.

The car was sighted by a member of the public yesterday, before police scoured the nearby area.

Sadly, Mr Gale’s body was found in dense bushland nearby. Police say they’re not treating the death as suspicious.

While Megan Gale has released a statement through her manager overnight, thanking people for their support.

“The Gale family thank everyone for their support especially Jason’s neighbours, close friends and work colleagues who have been assisting,” the statement reads.

QAS Emergency Response Vehicle responding

Seven people hospitalised following separate car crashes, Gold Coast

Seven people have been hospitalised overnight, as a result of two crashes on the Gold Coast.

Paramedics were first called to a two car crash along Worongary Road in Worongary around 7.30pm.

Five people were assessed at the scene, before being taken to hospital for further treatment.

A short time later, emergency crews responded to another two car crash along Foxwell Road in Coomera, reported around 8.30pm.

Two people were assessed there, both needing to be taken to hospital.

A woman in her 30s had suffered lower limb injuries, and a man in his 20s sustained upper and lower limb injuries.

All seven people are believed to be in stable conditions at the Gold Coast University Hospital.