“He’s coming home”: Borobi to return to the Gold Coast after legal stoush

The Gold Coast’s much-loved Commonwealth Games mascot Borobi is returning to his rightful home after being locked up in storage for over a year.

Our favourite blue Koala had been at the centre of a trademark dispute with the Commonwealth Games Federation since the Games wrapped up last year.

But after talks with the CGF this week, Borobi is being let loose again.

The CGF has allowed the city to use Borobi in a non-commercial way at community events across the Gold Coast.

The Mayor’s Christmas Carols is one event where Borobi is tipped to make an appearance.

“Nobody leaves Borobi in the corner, so he’ll be out dancing,” Tom Tate told Nine.

“He’s coming home!”

Borobi’s giant blue koala image was beamed into homes of 1.5 billion sports fans around the world during the Games while merchandise sold out.

It was announced in April that Borobi would be brought out of retirement to help teach indigenous languages at the Gold Coast’s Yugambeh Museum.

An animated Borobi was also incorporated in the Yugambeh Online Language program, which has been trialled in more than 18 schools and 36 early education centres in southeast Queensland.

“Everybody loves Borobi throughout the Commonwealth,” Mayor Tate said.

“This time we can take Borobi to the world.”


Big companies dodge tax – why can’t we?

End of financial year is almost upon us, which means it’s almost time for the ATO to start issuing its annual warnings urging us not to scam the taxman.

“Don’t log deductions for work expenses that weren’t entirely for the purpose of work,” they warn. “And we are cracking down on those work kilometres you’re all claiming!”

This is all well and good – it’s the ATO’s job to make sure we don’t over-claim for deductions we’re not entitled to.

But I can’t help but wonder… what if they took just a fraction of the attention they pile onto everyday wage earners, and redirected it to the corporates who are fleecing them dry?

Pharmaceutical companies alone – the headquarters behind some of Australia’s most well-known brands, including Band Aid, Centrum and ChapStick – are getting away with avoiding paying tax to the tune of hundreds of millions per year, according to Oxfam.

Oxfam’s report, Prescription for Poverty, found that in Australia, the four largest global pharmaceutical companies are estimated to have unfairly avoided paying $215 million in taxes a year between 2013 and 2015.

Oxfam Australia Chief Executive Helen Szoke says that these actions, whilst not illegal, are not in line with the spirit of the law.

“Australians expect that the best known and trusted pharmaceutical brands would be doing the right thing when it comes to paying their fair share in tax, yet Oxfam’s research shows these four companies seem to be doing the exact opposite,” she says.

Across nine wealthy countries (including Australia), Oxfam found that these four companies, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Merck & Co and Abbott, appear to have avoided $4.8 billion a year in tax revenues over the period.

“This report again highlights the broken global tax system… Shedding light on practices like these will help to hold companies to account, so that tax is paid where companies really make profit,” Szoke says.

Bottom line? These big businesses are leveraging unfair tax avoidance schemes to rake in massive profits.

It certainly makes me feel less guilty about the bordering-on-untrue uniform deductions I claimed last year…

FIRST GLIMPSE | Harry and Meghan finally show off Baby Sussex and reveal name!

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have named their son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.

Prince Harry and wife Meghan finally fronted the cameras overnight in St George’s Hall in Windsor Castle to show off their new bundle of joy, who they described as having the “sweetest temperament”.

“It’s magic, it’s pretty amazing. I have the two best guys in the world so I’m really happy,” The Duchess said.

“He has the sweetest temperament, he’s really calm.

“He’s just been the dream so it’s been a special couple of days.”

Harry said they were looking forward to spending some “precious times with him as he slowly, slowly starts to grow up.”

Harry and Meghan have broken with royal convention by deciding not to use a title for their baby boy. He will simply be known as Master Archie Mountbatten-Windsor.

He could have become Earl of Dumbarton or Lord Archie Mountbatten-Windsor but they decided against a courtesy title.

The couple also released a series of photos on their official Instagram account showing off the new royal.


Gold Coast dive site secures crucial State Government funding

A dive site off the Gold Coast has received a major boost with the State Government set to chip in half the estimated $5 million cost.

The State Government will dip into its Growing Tourism Infrastructure Fund after a successful submission from Council.

The dive site has long been on Mayor Tom Tate’s wish list as part of diversifying the Gold Coast’s tourism options.

Council released plans in March for a world-first pyramid dive site 30 metres below the sea, but the exact final design has yet to be decided.

Mayor Tate pushed ahead with the new plan after the Gold Coast missed out on securing the decommissioned warship HMAS Darwin.

The proposed dive site will be located 3.5 kilometres south-east of the Seaway and 2.5 kilometres offshore from Main Beach.

It’s predicted it will take less than 20 minutes by boat from the Broadwater to the site.

Assistant Tourism Minister and Gaven MP Meaghan Scanlon says it will be a wonderful boost to the Gold Coast’s tourism offerings.

“We, of course, know that diving is growing in popularity worldwide,” Ms Scanlon said.

“We know that having another world class attraction will attract more visitors to the Gold Coast and help grow the tourism industry.

“This new piece of tourism infrastructure is all about bringing more people to the Gold Coast but also about providing job opportunities for locals.”

The dive site is estimated to bring an extra 16,000 visitors to the city each year and inject more than $2 million dollars into the Gold Coast economy.

It’s expected to create 80 jobs during construction and 18 full-time jobs once it’s up and running.

Expressions of interest closed last month with the tender expected to be awarded in June.

Three companies have been shortlisted for the tender, including one from the Gold Coast, which Mayor Tom Tate is rooting for.

“I’m biased about local jobs, but we want the best outcome for all, so sharpen your pencil, and you know I hope the local wins.

“That’s the Gold Coast spirit,” Mayor Tate said.

Construction is tipped to start early next year with the dive site operational by mid-2021.

Prince Harry Meghan Markle

Meghan and Harry welcome baby boy!

Prince Harry and wife Meghan have finally welcomed their baby into the world after weeks of constant speculation.

Harry told reporters on Monday, the baby boy “is absolutely to die for”.

“It was amazing, absolutely incredible. As I say, I am so incredibly proud of my wife and, as every father and parent would ever say your baby is absolutely amazing, this little baby is absolutely to die for,” Harry said.

He said they hadn’t decided on a name for the child just yet and they will all make their first appearance together in a couple of days time.

A formal announcement on social media confirmed the news.

“Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex was safely delivered of a son at 0526hrs this morning,” the statement read.

“The baby weighs 7lbs 3oz (3.2kg).

“The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Lady Jane Fellowes, Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Earl Spencer have been informed and are delighted with the news.

“The Duchess’s mother, Doria Ragland, who is overjoyed by the arrival of her first grandchild, is with Their Royal Highnesses at Frogmore Cottage.

“Her Royal Highness and the baby are both doing well.”