Mobile Phone

ALERT: Australians warned of dangerous new “call-back” phone scam

Australians are being urged to remain wary of a dangerous new “call-back” phone scam currently doing the rounds.

Police issued the warning on Thursday, explaining that “two nights ago, Australians, including a Mackay police officer, started receiving calls all the way from Cameroon in Central Africa.”

Senior Constable Steve Smith said the phone scam cons victims out of money by getting them to return the missed call.

“The scammers establish themselves in locations where they can receive the highest possible yield for their international premium rate number,” Constable Smith explained.

“This means that the revenue made from your international call to their newly set up phone number is shared between the telephone company and the scammers.”

“The rates charged for these return international calls are the highest possible you could imagine.

“Prepaid users often find themselves with little to no credit left afterwards, other phone users only identify the damage incurred when they receive their next phone bill.”

Constable Smith warned that the scammers will try to do everything they can to keep you on the phone line for longer.

“To make it worse –  if you decide to call back this number, the person who answers your call will do every thing in their power to ensure you stay on the line for as long as possible.”

“People have been told in these call backs that they have won large sums of money, that a family member has died or has been seriously injured – they have even been exposed to conversations of a sexual nature, all in an effort to keep them on the phone for as long as possible – ever increasing the cost to the victim.”

Authorities fear a large number of these scam calls could be made and are urging people to remain extremely vigilant.

If you identify a number from Cameroon as a missed call on your phone DO NOT call it back.

To report a scam, visit the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network here.

Parliament House

Dual citizenship debacle claims another scalp but pollies flick calls for an audit of all MP’s

Senate President Stephen Parry will resign from Parliament tomorrow after authorities in London confirmed he is a dual British citizen by descent.

The Liberal senator for Tasmania, who was born in Burnie, was told by the UK Home Office that he inherited British citizenship from his father, who emigrated to Australia at the age of 10.

He is likely to be replaced for former Liberal minister Richard Colbeck.

Both sides of politics have rejected calls from the Greens for an audit of all MP’s, who would have to prove they don’t hold dual citizenship.

Acting Opposition Leader Tanya Plibersek said it’s not necessary.

“Maybe people should just follow the rules in the first place,” she said.

Acting Prime Minister Julie Bishop agrees.

“Each person can take responsibility to ensure they are eligible to be a member of parliament or a senator,” she said.

Artist's impression of GCA Hotel Pool

$50 million Rydges Hotel to open at Gold Coast Airport

A $50 million Rydges hotel, complete with a rooftop bar and viewing deck, is set to open at the Gold Coast Airport in 2019.

The four star hotel will include 192 rooms and suites over seven storeys with sweeping views over Kirra beach and across the runway to the hinterland.

As well as the rooftop amenity, the hotel will boast a restaurant, resort-style swimming pool, and function, conference and meeting facilities.

The hotel is being developed as part of the airport’s major terminal expansion project, with construction of both projects expected to start in the third quarter of 2018.

Gold Coast Airport CEO Chris Mills said the hotel would enhance the appeal of the growing airport precinct and add a new level of convenience for passengers. “This is a game changer not just for the airport, but for the southern Gold Coast,” he said.

“The hotel is an important part of the airport’s broader property strategy and we expect it will stimulate interest in a number of other exciting projects being considered for the precinct.

“Many of our customers have indicated they would welcome the convenience of an airport hotel to enable them to catch early morning flights after meetings or conferences.”

Artist's impression of GCA Hotel

Artist’s impression of Gold Coast Airport Hotel | PHOTO: Supplied by Gold Coast Airport

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, and Gold Coast MP Steven Ciobo welcomed the new airport hotel.

“The Gold Coast had almost five million domestic and international overnight visitors, injecting over $4.3 billion into our local economy last year, so this new investment is great news for the Gold Coast,” he said.

“Commencing construction after the Commonwealth Games, the hotel will help facilitate better access for domestic and international visitors wanting to explore the Gold Coast region.”

The hotel will be developed and managed by a newly created entity, Gold Coast Airport Hotel Pty Ltd, wholly owned by Trepang Services Pty Ltd which is led by experienced hotel developer and operator, John Robinson AO.

Mr Robinson said he was excited about the development and has complete confidence in its success based on his previous experience.

“I always put my money where my mouth is and am completely comfortable investing $50 million in this project. I have extensive experience in the development and operation of hotels and have been in the industry for the best part of 40 years. I have also developed and operated airport hotels, I have gained a strong sense of what people require in terms of accommodation when travelling, whether it be business or leisure,” he said.

“Everyone is time poor these days and certainty when it comes to travelling, time is crucial. An airport hotel provides comfort to the travelling public that they will be arrive at the terminal in time for their flights.”

For more information, visit:

Police Sign

Qld man accused of using false name to bet on harness racing events

THE Queensland Racing Crime Squad have charged a harness racing participant following a protracted investigation into alleged betting offences committed over a 10-year-period.

The 61-year-old, from The Gap, has been released on bail and will appear in the Brisbane Magistrates Court next month after being charged with offences against the ‘Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006’.

Police allege that the man opened an on line betting account in a false name to place bets on harness racing events in Queensland and Western Australia.

“There is no suggestion that these offences are in anyway linked to terrorism,” police stressed.

There are no further details available at this time.

Chris Gayle

Chris Gayle wins defamation case against Fairfax

West Indian Cricketer Chris Gayle has won his defamation battle against Fairfax Media after a New South Wales Supreme Court jury found the newspapers acted in malice.

The four-person jury, of three women and one man, also found  Fairfax did not establish that Chris Gayle intentionally exposed himself or indecently propositioned a woman in 2015.

Mr Gayle congratulated his legal team after the verdict saying “a win is better than any damages” and “I’m a good man”.

Earlier, Fairfax had defended the articles on two bases, including the allegations were true.

They pleaded the defence of qualified privilege, which requires a publisher to show defamatory articles were of public interest and argued it acted reasonably.

Damages are expected to be substantial.