Gold Coast Suns Touk Miller

Touk Miller commits to Suns as he pushes for leadership role

TOUK Miller has signed a new contract with the Gold Coast Suns as he remains in the mix to take over the captaincy at the AFL club.

He inked a three-year extension on Thursday, keeping him on the Gold Coast until at least the end of the 2022 season.

With Tom Lynch and Steven May departing during last year’s trade period, Miller is considered one of the leading candidates to become the Sun’s newest skipper.

David Swallow and Jarrod Witts, who just signed new long term deals of their own, are also in the mix.

Miller admitted he was excited by the path that the club was on.

“I think we have all the right people and I had no hesitation in committing to the playing group and the program that the club has put in place,” Miller said.

“We’ve got a group of boys that are really tight and that’s definitely an environment I want to be around.”

“As a group we want to be playing strong consistent football and I think that everything the Gold Coast offers, gives us the perfect opportunity to do that.”

“The pre-season so far has been challenging, but it’s what we should expect, as a group we feel really well prepared for the AFL Season.”

“There has been significant change at the club, but our members and fans should be really excited by the level of commitment everyone is showing to help drive this club forward.” Miller said.

Townsville Flooding 30 Jan 2019

Queensland Flood Appeal: Here’s how you can donate

AS residents in North Queensland begin counting the cost of catastrophic flooding, fellow Queenslanders are being asked to ‘dig deep and donate’ to help their northern neighbours get back on their feet.

Premier Annastasia Palaszczuk today launched the official Queensland Flood Appeal with a $200,000 donation.

“North Queensland’s unprecedented, catastrophic and ongoing flooding event has seen people evacuated, homes and businesses damaged, roads, schools and childcare centres closed,” the Premier said.

“Sadly, two people have also lost their lives. While the flood waters recede, people are returning to their homes and the true extent of the damage is realised.

“First the flood, then the tears. North Queenslanders needs us now more than ever.”

The Premier said the generosity of people across the State would make a real difference in the lives of thousands of people impacted.

“The generosity of Queenslanders always shines through in times of disaster,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“Now is the time to dig deep and lend a helping hand to your fellow Queenslander.

“In the days and weeks ahead, I ask all Queenslanders to put yourselves in the shoes of North Queenslanders who will be dealing with this heartbreaking situation for a long time to come.”


For more information on how you can help residents affected by flooding, click here.


Man guilty of attempted murder of former Big Brother contestant

A man accused of shooting a former Big Brother contestant on the Gold Coast has been found guilty of attempted murder.

Anthony Soong shot Sam Wallace in the leg in a car park at Merrimac in December, 2015 in what was a case of mistaken identity.

Soong believed Wallace was his flatmate Joshua Milani who had recently started dating his ex-girlfriend Jhai Saric.

The trial heard Soong had become jealous and possessive over his former partner’s new relationship and attacked her in her home before demanding to meet with Mr Milani.

Wallace drove his housemate to a meeting point at Merrimac where Soong opened fire on Wallace’s vehicle with one bullet hitting him in the leg.

Soong had pleaded not guilty guilty to attempted murder and the lesser charge of grievous bodily harm with intent.

He attempted to plead guilty to assault occasioning bodily harm while armed with a gun but this was rejected.

On Tuesday, a jury found Soong guilty of the attempted murder charge.

He’ll be sentenced later this month.


Banks to blame for ‘greed-driven misconduct’ as Royal Commission report released

A scathing final report from the Banking Royal Commission has been released accusing banks of being driven by profit and greed and relegating customers to second place.

Royal Commissioner Kenneth Hayne has made 76 recommendations to better protect consumers including overhauling fees, regulation of the industry, restricting the sale of some products and changing the way banks deal with farmers during times of drought.

Mr Hayne has referred 22 entities to the corporate regulator for possible further action but stopped short of recommending criminal charges against any individuals.

He said blame for misconduct in financial institutions lay squarely with the industry.

“There can be no doubt that the primary responsibility for misconduct in the financial services industry lies with the entities concerned and those who managed and controlled those entities -their boards and senior management.”

The Federal Government has vowed to take action on all 76 recommendations.

“My message to the financial sector is that misconduct must end and the interests of consumers must now come first,” Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said.

“From today the sector must change, and change forever.”

Mortgage brokers are facing a major overhaul of the way they do business with Mr Hayne recommending a change to laws that force brokers to act in the best interests of the borrower.

The report also recommends that the broker is paid directly by the borrower, not the lender and that trail commissions on new loans be banned.

The Government has agreed to ban lender-paid commissions from 1 July 2020 and will conduct a review in three years of a borrower-pays scheme.

Unsolicited cold calls or “hawking” of superannuation and insurance products will be banned.

The report has also called for people to only have one superannuation account.

Financial advisers will be forced to renew ongoing fee arrangements annually following shocking revelations that dead people were being charged for services.

The Government has also agreed to establish a compensation scheme of last resort to be paid for by the industry.

Mr Hayne’s final report singled out the bosses of NAB for particular attention claiming they are unwilling to accept responsibility.

“Having heard from both the CEO, Mr (Andrew) Thorburn, and the Chair, Dr (Ken) Henry, I am not as confident as I would wish to be that the lessons of the past have been learned.”

“I thought it telling that Dr Henry seemed unwilling to accept any criticism of how the board dealt with some issues. I thought it telling that Mr Thorburn treated all issues of fees for no service as nothing more than carelessness combined with system deficiencies.”

Australian Banking Association CEO Anna Bligh says the industry accepts the findings and banks are determined to change their ways.

“Banks understand that these failures have caused deep hurt, suffering and heartache for far too many customers and they are sorry for the pain they have caused,” Ms Bligh said.

“Importantly, banks accept full responsibility for these failings and they know that they must now change to ensure this never happens again.”


Was the 10-year photo challenge a ruse?

Thank God that “10-year photo” social media challenge is over.

Let’s be honest: it was purely created as an opportunity to showcase ourselves at our very best 10 years ago.

Back then, we didn’t have filters and FaceTune to pretty up our images, but as we were 10 years younger, everyone has been all too happy to dig into the archives for a suitably hot shot.

It’s then generally paired with a filtered, FaceTuned pic from more recent times, and the shots are coupled up so as to illicit fawning responses from the crowd: “You haven’t aged a bit!”

I get it; it’s an ego boost. A pick-me-up. It’s harmless.

Or is it?

Wired magazine published an online report suggesting that the whole trend was perhaps designed to help Facebook finetune their facial recognition algorithms.

It all began when journalist Kate O’Neill tweeted:

“Me 10 years ago: probably would have played along with the profile picture ageing meme going around on Facebook and Instagram. Me now: ponders how all this data could be mined to train facial recognition algorithms on age progression and age recognition.”

In her Wired report, she confirmed that her tweet was initially intended to be “flippant” – but added that it wasn’t altogether crazy.

“I knew the facial recognition scenario was broadly plausible and indicative of a trend that people should be aware of,” she writes.

Facebook responded with an attempt to be witty, telling Wired, “This is a user-generated meme that went viral on its own. Facebook did not start this trend, and the meme uses photos that already exist on Facebook. Facebook gains nothing from this meme (besides reminding us of the questionable fashion trends of 2009). As a reminder, Facebook users can choose to turn facial recognition on or off at any time.”

That might be the case. But the fact remains, we’re all too willing to share so much of ourselves online, so freely and so publicly, without fully understanding the implications.

As Kate O’Neill commented in her report: “It’s worth considering the depth and breadth of the personal data we share without reservations… We should demand that businesses treat our data with due respect, by all means. But we also need to treat our own data with respect, too.”