She’s ONE! Sea World’s adorable polar bear cub Mishka celebrates birthday

Can you believe it’s already been a year since Sea World’s super-cute baby polar bear Mishka entered the world?!

Yep, we’ve been treated to a whole twelve months of polar bear cub cuteness and today Mishka is celebrating her very first birthday.

In a party fit for none other than a polar bear of course, Mishka will be spoiled with a host of presents, toys, treats and a special fishy birthday cake!

Her world-class Polar Bear Shores exhibit will also be transformed into a celebratory birthday environment so that Mishka can really lap up the one day that’s all about her!

Happy 1st Birthday, Mishka!

More to come.

 

Kate Middleton

ROYAL BABY: Duke, Duchess of Cambridge welcome newborn son

UPDATE @ April 24, 6.00 AM | Celebrations are underway in the UK following the birth of the newest royal baby, a precious little boy.

The Duchess of Cambridge gave birth at St Mary’s Hospital in London at 11am UK time, with the Duke of Cambridge by her side.

“Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge was safely delivered of a son at 1101hrs,” the Royal Family said in a statement announcing the birth.

“The baby weighs 8lbs 7oz.

“The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Harry and members of both families have been informed and are delighted with the news.

“Her Royal Highness and her child are both doing well.”

Welcome to the family. Thank you everyone for your kind wishes.

A post shared by Kensington Palace (@kensingtonroyal) on

The smitten family greeted crowds outside the hospital, showing off their newborn son, before returning home to Kensington Palace with their two older children Prince George and Princess Charlotte.

The baby is fifth in the line of Succession after His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, His Royal Highness The Duke of Cambridge, His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge and Her Royal Highness Princess Charlotte of Cambridge.

Kensington Palace confirmed the name of the baby will be announced in due course.

Additional reporting by Shanee Dobeson.

EARLIER @ 23 April, 5.30 PM | Excitement is building in the UK with another royal birth imminent.

Kensington Palace has confirmed that the Duchess of Cambridge is in the early stages of labour.

She’s now being cared for in the maternity ward of St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington.

The Palace says she was driven to the hospital in the early hours of the morning with the Duke of Cambridge, Prince William.

The royal baby will be the couple’s third child and will become the fifth in line to the throne

William is expected to be there for the birth as he was for the birth of George and Charlotte.

Commonwealth Bank ATM

The banks’ pursuit of a crooked dollar

Can you imagine walking into a hairdresser, paying for your haircut, then walking out before a pair of scissors have come anywhere near your mane?

Or perhaps, pushing your trolley full of groceries to the checkout, scanning and paying for $300 worth of food, and then walking away without your goods?

It sounds ludicrous, paying for goods and services that you haven’t been able to use.

But this is precisely what has been happening under our banking system for years. Australian customers have been supremely ripped off, and half the time we didn’t even know about it!

Admittedly, I’d only been keeping half an eye on the Royal Commission. There is only so much corruption and mistrust one can process at any given time, and I guess I had already assumed (like most Aussies I suspect), that banks frequently engage in dubious customer behaviour. Why all the fuss now? They’ve been doing it for years…

But now that I’m catching up, I’m reeling. I already distrusted banks, but now my trust levels have plummeted to a new low.

In this day in age, with so much opportunity and scope for compliance, auditing and reputational management, I can’t believe the depths that a company will fall to, all in the pursuit of a crooked dollar.

For instance, I’ll recap AMP’s scenario for you:

1. AMP repeatedly charged customers, including everyday Aussies who earn ordinary incomes, fees for advisory services that were never delivered.

2. They knew about this practice but didn’t stop it, instead choosing to “preference the interest of shareholders over the interest of clients”.

3. They repeatedly lied to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) about this behaviour.

4. Though collectively, financial institutions have repaid more than $200m in fleeced fees to customers, AMP’s contribution to this has been less than $5m.

It’s little wonder that since their scurrilous actions came to light – resulting in around $1 billion being wiped from AMP’s sharemarket value – its CEO has resigned.

And today comes the news that Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan (QE) is investigating a class action against AMP. As Damian Scattini, Partner at QE, notes: “Customers were charged for services AMP has admitted they never received, all so executives could make hefty bonuses.”

To be clear, it’s not just AMP that has been caught up in this dodgy web. As far back as 2012, Deloitte warned the CBA that at least $700,000 in ongoing service fees were being charged to customers even though their financial planners had left the business. Other CBA financial planners admitted to charging dead people fees.

It boggles the mind, truly.

If the Financial Services Royal Commission teaches us nothing else, it still teaches us this: Customers will always come second.

And here’s the honest to God truth: the only way you will EVER come on top when dealing with a bank, is to buy shares in it.

Harriet Brown from Northcliff Surf Life Saving Club

Australian Surf Life Saving Championships to return to Gold Coast next year

The Gold Coast will once again be home of the Australian Surf Life Saving Championships, with competition set to take place at two of the city’s beaches in 2019 and 2020.

Surf Life Saving Australia have announced the Masters and Open competitions will be held at Broadbeach Surf Life Saving Club, while the Youth competition will take place at North Burleigh Surf Life Saving Club.

It will be the first time the Broadbeach Surf Life Saving Club has ever hosted The Aussies, despite the Championships being held on neighbouring beaches many times in the past.

Wayne McLennan, President of Broadbeach SLSC, said the club could not be prouder.

“This means a lot for our club and for the local community. The Aussies is a great way to bring more people into the area and showcase everything the Gold Coast has to offer,” he said.

“Some of the world’s best male and female surf sports athletes have had their competitive start on this beach and we’re delighted to host the next crop of Australian champions.”

More than 7,000 competitors are expected to travel to the Gold Coast to attend the Championships next year from 311 surf clubs around the nation.

City of Gold Coast Mayor, Tom Tate said it makes sense that the championships are returning to the city as “surf lifesaving is quintessential Gold Coast”.

“It’s wonderful news that The Australian Surf Life Saving Championships are returning to the Gold Coast. This news confirms again that we are way ahead as the home of events,” he said.

For more information on the upcoming 2019 Australian Surf Life Saving Championships visit: sls.com.au/aussies-2019/

Woman annoyed in car

Surprising ways you can be fined when driving

Nothing puts you in a foul mood in quite the same way that receiving a fine does.

I know this from bitter, bitter experience. In fact, I blew off steam earlier this year on this very website when I was slapped with a $126 fine for having bald tyres.

“This is pure revenue raising!” I ranted, before begrudgingly handing over the cash. I shared the story publicly in the name of education. I wanted to help others avoid the same fate.

Now, in that same spirit of community sharing, I want to let you in another little-known road rule that could strip you of your hard-earned cash.

It’s the “slow down to 25km/hour when you’re passing an emergency vehicle” rule.

It’s a rule that cost one Adelaide driver over $1000 and a ban on driving for 6 months!

The driver was unaware that in South Australia, you must slow to 25km/hour when passing an emergency service vehicle (ESV) with flashing lights. In Canberra and New South Wales, the official ‘passing ESV’ speed limit is 40km/hour.

Here on the Gold Coast, well, there are no official rules around this.

But, police are putting pressure on the Queensland government to introduce laws that will force motorists to pump the brakes around emergency vehicles.

To be honest, I’m not sure it’s entirely necessary – if you’ve ever been stuck on the M1 after a traffic accident, you’ll be familiar with the habit Gold Coasters seem to have of rubber-necking for a good 2km either side of the incident.

That said, it’s good practice to be aware of other drivers on the road, particularly considering our appalling local record: Queenslanders have recently been slapped with around $90m in fines for “slow speeding” over a 12 month period.

The breaches were issued for low range speeding, which is less than 13 km/h over the limit.

Copping a fine for being 7km over the speed limit? Now that would put me in a bad mood!

And as RACQ spokesperson Renee Smith says, “It’s a waste of money frankly – and it does little to get you to your destination any quicker.”