Wednesday, 27 July 2022

42 year old Perth resident Tobias Moran (formerly Tobias Suckfuell) arrested in relation to the 2005 murder of Simone Strobel in Lismore, NSW


Simone Strobel
Image: ABC News, 12 February 2014



NSW Police, News, 26 July 2022:


Man arrested following extensive investigations into 2005 homicide of German backpacker Simone Strobel


Tuesday, 26 July 2022 03:53:32 PM


A man has been arrested in Western Australia following an extensive investigation into the homicide of German backpacker Simone Strobel, on the Far North Coast more than 15 years ago.


Simone, aged 25, was last seen at the Lismore Tourist Caravan Park on Friday 11 February 2005, after a night out with her then-boyfriend and friends.


Her body was found six days later (Thursday 17 February 2005), concealed under palm fronds at a sportsground less than 100m from the caravan park.


At a coronial inquest in 2007, then-State Coroner, Paul McMahon, ruled there was insufficient evidence to lay charges over Simone's death.


Detectives from Richmond Police District established Strike Force Howea in February 2005 to investigate Simone’s murder – with assistance from the State Crime Command’s Homicide Squad, and their counterparts at the Wuerzburg Criminal Police and the Prosecutor´s Office in Wuerzburg.


In October 2020, the NSW Government announced a $1 million reward for information which leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for Simone’s homicide. The Bavarian Office of Criminal Investigation had also announced a 10,000 Euro reward for residents of both Germany and Australia back in 2014.


Following extensive inquiries, strike force detectives travelled to Western Australia, where – with assistance from Western Australian Police Force – a 42-year-old man was arrested at a home today (Tuesday 26 July 2022).


NSW detectives will apply for an extradition warrant.


Further information will be provided when available.


Strike Force Howea investigators are continuing to work with their international counterparts, with investigations continuing.


Anyone with information that may assist Strike Force Howea detectives is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report information via NSW Police social media pages.


Tuesday, 26 July 2022

The Legend In His Own Mind Skips Opening of the 47th Australian Parliament Today


 

Today, Tuesday 26 July 2022 the Australian Parliament begins sitting for the first time since it was dissolved in April ahead of the May federal election.


It will come as no surprise that former Australian Prime Minister and now just plain backbench Liberal MP for Cook, Scott Morrison, will not be in attendance,


He has very carefully made plans to be elsewhere – pretending to international audiences that he is a person of national importance.



He wasn't much believed when he was prime minister. I wonder if he will be believed now?

Then Australian Prime Minister Morrison
pictured at G7 Summit & COP26 Summit

IMAGES: Daily Mail UK, 26 Aug 2019 & 2 Nov 2021


News.com.au, 25 July 2022:


Where’s Scott Morrison?


The former Prime Minister has confirmed he won’t be rocking up when parliament resumes this week.


Instead, he will be enjoying his $211,250-a-year taxpayer funded salary while travelling in Japan, mingling with former prime ministers.


And can you believe it?


There’s a good chance he will be earning some extra cash on the speakers’ circuit while he’s overseas.


Depending on where he’s speaking or which event he is attending, the going rate for such events can be $50,000 or more plus some fancy air tickets.


Mr Morrison had barely packed away his passport and suitcase from his trip to the Asian Leadership Conference in Seoul a fortnight ago before jetting off again.


Meanwhile, the lights are on but nobody’s home at his new parliamentary office in Canberra.


There’s no answer in that office,’’ said the lovely lady on the parliamentary switchboard.


In a statement released on Monday afternoon, Mr Morrison confirmed he will visit Tokyo and return to parliament in August…..


Counting Dead Women: the ugly brutal statistic continues in July 2022

 

Counting Dead Women
IMAGE: Destroy The Joint


 


Violence against women and girls in Australia follows a distressingly predictable path in 2022.

By 20 July this year the number of women reported in the media as dying as the result of violent attack by another person stood at 25 dead.

That is roughly one woman being killed every 8 days.

This figure relies on media reports of such deaths, which often can mean a significant under reporting of the real number of women and girls who die at the hands of partners, former partners, family members, acquaintances or strangers over a given period.

Before going to a federal election this year the former Morrison Government drafted the fifth National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022-2032.


It's hard to imagine this particular draft plan when implemented making much difference to the violent related gender-based death toll, when the preceding four (beginning in 2010-2013) have failed to bring this century's femicide count down below that 'one-a-week' sticking point in Australia.

BACKGROUND


Violence against women and children in Australia is mostly perpetrated by men. Around four in five, family and domestic violence offenders are male. Men’s violence against women, including intimate, partner violence, is more prevalent, more often used repeatedly and more likely to lead to serious injury, disability or death. More than one in three Australians have experienced violence by a male perpetrator since the age of 15, compared to one in ten by a female perpetrator. While men can also be victim-survivors of family, sexual and domestic violence, men are more likely to experience violence from a stranger…..


Family, domestic and sexual violence also causes a huge economic impact with KPMG estimating this scourge costs Australia around $26 billion each year, 40 with victims and survivors bearing approximately 50 per cent of that cost.


Importantly, while sexual assault and other forms of sexual violence can occur in the context of domestic and family violence, it can also be perpetrated by other people known or unknown to the victim-survivor. In order to be effective, it is critical that our efforts to prevent, address, and respond to sexual violence recognise both the intersections and clear points of difference between domestic and family violence and sexual violence…..


Family, domestic and sexual violence also causes a huge economic impact with KPMG estimating this scourge costs Australia around $26 billion each year, with victims and survivors bearing approximately 50 per cent of that cost.

[Australian Government, (January 2022), “Draft National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022-2032, pp. 11-12, 15]


Monday, 25 July 2022

Welcome to the global pandemic that does what big pandemics do, just go on and on and on....

 

CSSE: Global COVID-19 Infections in the 28 days ending 2:20am
on 24 July 2021 
https://www.arcgis.com/apps/dashboards/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6

 


When thinking of global pandemics there are two historical events which spring to mind, spaced a little over five centuries apart – the Bubonic Plague which included an infection wave known as “The Black Death” and the Influenza Global Pandemic known at the time as “The Spanish Flu”.


When the Bubonic Plague first manifested itself across the Northern Hemisphere it lasted approximately three years in the mid-14th Century and became an unwelcome infectious presence during another four episodes of closely spaced, similar time periods before that century ended. By which time it was thought to have caused the deaths of at least 75 million men, women and children, around one third of the Northern Hemisphere population.


Bubonic Plague never went away as a highly infectious disease capable of reaching epidemic proportions and killing tens of thousands of people during outbreaks, however a better understanding of plagues and modern medicine has kept it relatively contained in recent centuries.


The Influenza Global Pandemic of 1918-1920 caused by the 1918 Influenza H1N1 virus was of shorter duration than the plague but appears to have come in three waves across the one event. It is estimated that about 500 million of the world’s population became infected with this virus resulting in est. 50 million deaths. There are similar Influenza A(H1N1) viruses in existence today.


Right now in 2022 the world is halfway through the third year of the COVID-19 Global Pandemic and, due to four significant and increasingly infectious variants of SARS-CoV-2 developing and spreading around the world, there appears no end in sight to its pandemic status in the near future.


According to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore USA, as of 4:20pm on Sunday 24 July 2022 there were 25,973,159 new COVID-19 cases recorded world-wide in the last 28 days with 55,140 deaths caused by the virus in the same period. That brings the total global cumulative infection count to est. 569,644,897 men, women and children including 6,383,484 deaths.


Again, according to CSSE, Australia recorded 1,103,009 new COVID-19 cases in the 28 days up to 4:20pm on Sunday 24 July 2022 with 1,490 deaths caused by this viral disease in the same period. That brings Australia’s cumulative infection number since 25 January 2020 to est. 9,103,321 men, women and children including 11,172 deaths.


When it comes to New South Wales, in the 28 days up to 4pm Friday 22 July 2022 NSW Health had recorded 157,460 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases (a deliberate under reporting as it only includes diagnoses by PCR omitting reported RAT results) including est. 497 deaths caused by this viral disease. Bringing the total cumulative infection number since 25 January 2022 to 3,091,157 men, women and children across the state, including 3,996 deaths.


Currently health authorities around Australia are warning that another wave of COVID-19 infections underway which is driven by the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants and, mainstream media is reporting that almost half a million people who had been infected with COVID-19 recently will possibly develop a post COVID-19 condition aka “Long Covid” in the coming months.


So when will this particular global pandemic end? When WHO identified the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron Variant B.1.1.529 in November 2021 the world seemed to feel quite confident that  we might see an end to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2023.


However, not only did Omicron spread swiftly it began to produce subvariants, including BA.1, BA.2, BA.3, BA.4, BA.5 and descendent lineages. The Omicron variant group also includes BA.1/BA.2 circulating recombinant forms such as XE. WHO emphasizes that these descendant lineages should be monitored as distinct lineages by public health authorities and comparative assessments of their virus characteristics should be undertaken


Given Australian federal and state governments appear to have lost the will to keep in place all public health measures which actively resist the spread of Omicron & its subvariants which now dominate the infection pool, it is difficult to be optimistic about any timeline for an end to the pandemic within Australian borders.


In the 28 days up to 4pm on 23 July 2022 a total of 2,721 people living across the 7 local government areas within the Northern NSW Local Health District (NNSWLHD) have been diagnosed with COVID-19. This is a significant under reporting as it only includes diagnoses by PCR omitting reported RAT results.


This aforementioned figure includes positive diagnoses by PCR testing in:

Tweed Shire – 1,104 cases

Ballina Shire – 613 cases

Lismore City – 347 cases

Clarence Valley – 293 cases

Byron Shire – 177 cases

Richmond Valley – 120 cases

Kyogle Shire – 35 cases

Tenterfield – incidence where there is a shared postcode which includes some Tenterfield residents within NNSWLHD not reported in relevant NSW Health statistical table for this period.


Sunday, 24 July 2022

Coming to grips with the reality of Clarrie Hall Dam in 2022 - Tweed Shire Council seeking community feedback on its draft water release strategy


 

Tweed Shire Council, media release, 21 July 2022:


Feedback invited on draft Clarrie Hall Dam Water Release Policy

Learn more about how water is released from Clarrie Hall Dam






Clarrie Hall Dam is the Tweed's main water storage facility. Council is seeking community feedback on its draft Water Release Policy, with an information session to be held in Murwillumbah on 10 August.



Tweed Shire Council has drafted a new policy to clarify and formalise Council’s operational practices in relation to water releases from Clarrie Hall Dam.


The Tweed’s main water supply is the Tweed River. Opened in 1983, Clarrie Hall Dam is located on Doon Doon Creek approximately 15 km south-west of Murwillumbah. The dam has a catchment area of 60 km² and holds up to 16,000 megalitres of water. Releases from the dam help keep the Tweed River flowing when water levels are low.


Clarrie Hall Dam was designed for the purposes of water storage for water supply only and it has an uncontrolled spillway. As such, Council cannot regulate or change the flow of water through the spillway, change the Full Supply Level (FSL) of the spillway, or maintain a surcharge above the spillway level.


Council’s Manager Water and Waste Water Operations Brie Jowett said the draft policy aims to explain Council’s operational practices when it comes to water releases from Clarrie Hall Dam.


Due to its design and purpose, Clarrie Hall Dam cannot be operated to release water ahead of rainfall events to provide any form of storage capacity for flood mitigation purposes,” Mrs Jowett said.


We know there is some misinformation within the community about water releases for flood mitigation and during floods at Clarrie Hall Dam and we want to clear that up.


We’ve put the draft policy on exhibition as we want to hear from all Tweed residents – especially those in flood–prone, downstream communities including Uki, Murwillumbah, Condong, Tumbulgum and Chinderah – to make sure they have all the information they need to understand how Council’s water release operations work.


It’s important our community understands that it’s not possible to use the dam for flood mitigation. There is no capability to regulate or change the flow of water through the dam’s spillway, nor change the full supply level of the spillway.


We are encouraging everyone to learn more about the dam’s design and how it is operated by reading the policy and let us know how to improve the policy to make it clearer.”


During a flood event, Council continuously monitors the safety of Clarrie Hall Dam and provides information to relevant authorities as per Council’s Dam Safety Emergency Plan.


You can review the draft and share your feedback by completing the online survey or attend the community information session on Wednesday 10 August at Murwillumbah Services Club from 4.30 pm. Registration is essential. For more details and to register visit yoursaytweed.com.au.


Submissions close on 16 August 2022.













The spillway at Clarrie Hall Dam does not allow for flood mitigation as there is no capability to regulate or change the flow of water through the dam's spillway.


Friday, 22 July 2022

The Australian multi-agency Tax Avoidance Taskforce is earning its keep in 2022

 

Simply put, the Australian multi-agency Tax Avoidance Taskforce has the role of ensuring multinationals and large businesses pay the right tax.


It can sometimes take decades to induce multinationals and foreign-owned businesses to admit additional tax liability and legal battles have been known to go all the way to the High Court – repeatedly in the case of at least one corporation


However there are now runs on the board.


In November 2018 ATO persistence saw the nominally Australian-based multinational BHP Group Ltd settle their longstanding transfer pricing dispute over the amount of Australian tax payable as a result of BHP’s Australian commodities sales through its Singapore marketing business. The agreed amount was calculated as approx. AU$529 million in additional taxes for the income years 2003 to 2018.


In December 2019 the ATO announced that it had managed to retrieve an extra $481.5 million in taxes from Google Australia after an audit investigated its tax practices between 2008 and 2018 and, that it joined the likes of Microsoft, Apple and Facebook who have all publicly stated that they have settled their tax affairs with the ATO and we welcome their transparency. This result brings the increased collections made against taxpayers in the ecommerce industry to around $1.25 billion cash.


Apple Australia reportedly owed $28.5 million in back taxes when it received the ATO bill in 2012.


While Microsoft in Australia is said to have paid AU$39 million during the 2017 financial year to settle its outstanding tax bill.


U.S. multinational Facebook Inc. was obliged to meet a bill of AU$31.3 million in additional taxes reaching as far back as 2009 according to one media report.


In October 2021 U.S. based ResMed Inc. annnounced it had settled its tax dispute with the ATO for the equivalent of US$381.7 million and locked in future tax certainty.


Then came this announcement concerning a mining corporation which asserts that half its assets are situated in Australia…...


Australian Taxation Office (ATO), media release, 20 July 2022:


The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) can confirm a settlement has been reached with Rio Tinto Ltd (Rio). The settlement brings an end to all tax disputes including long standing disputes in relation to Rio’s Singapore marketing hub. The settlement brings Rio’s total payment in relation to the disputes to almost $1 billion.


Deputy Commissioner Rebecca Saint said that the settlement represented one of the largest settlements in Australia’s tax history.


This settlement is a very good outcome for the Australian tax system,” Ms Saint said.


Even prior to this settlement, Rio has been one of Australia’s largest payers of income tax for many years, with a strong track record of engaging with the ATO in relation to its tax affairs, albeit with some areas of dispute.


Rio have announced that the settlement agreed to has secured approximately $1 billion for the Australian community for past years, over and above their tax returns originally filed. Perhaps more importantly, the settlement locks in future tax outcomes, providing certainty going forward.


This means that additional profits from the sale of Rio’s Australian owned commodities will be taxed in Australia in the years to come.


The resolution of these matters means that ordinary Australians can have confidence that even the biggest companies are held to account to pay their tax due,” Ms Saint said.


This result was delivered through the expertise of the ATO’s Tax Avoidance Taskforce. Many ATO staff have worked for the best part of a decade on these audits to deliver an outcome for the Australian community that strengthens the tax system.”


The compliance programs funded by the Tax Avoidance Taskforce, together with robust tax laws provide an important foundation for the ATO to be able to scrutinise activities to address multinational tax avoidance, often involving investigations over many years.


This settlement reinforces the importance of Australia’s world leading anti-transfer mispricing rules and a tax administrator properly resourced with the capabilities to deal with this type of dispute. The complexity of properly understanding the global affairs of multinationals, and the true drivers of profitability, can take years of rigorous investigation. This is the case even when the multinational is fully engaged, shares information and is motivated to resolve the issue, such as with this settlement.”


The broader impact of the Taskforce in the market has been to reduce the proliferation of profit shifting and transfer mispricing. ATO intervention has resulted in taxpayers shifting their tax position and increasing their revenues being taxable in Australia.


The Tax Avoidance Taskforce has a focus on the energy and resources sector, including commodity exports and marketing hub arrangements.


The Rio settlement follows the announcement by BHP in November 2018 that they had settled their marketing hub dispute with the ATO. These announcements provide confidence that Australia’s largest iron ore exporters are meeting their income tax obligations and that profit is being retained in Australia,” Ms Saint said.


As of 30 April 2022, the Tax Avoidance Taskforce has helped the ATO raise $26.3 billion in tax liabilities and collect $14.9 billion in cash.


Australia has one of the best tax performance rates in the world overall, but in particular in the large market. The success of the Tax Avoidance Taskforce has helped us ensure that compliance rates in the large market have reached 92% of tax paid voluntarily, and 96% after compliance activities.” Ms Saint said.


Background

Details of the settlement are covered by confidentiality provisions and the tax secrecy requirements of the taxation law. However, all our large corporate settlements are reviewed by former Federal Court judges to ensure a fair and reasonable outcome for the Australian community.


ATO settlement practices are subject to significant external scrutiny, with the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) finding that our practices are effective. The ANAO also indicated we have more transparency over large market settlements than any other jurisdiction.


The efforts of the Taskforce have seen several significant taxpayers publicly state that they have settled their affairs with the ATO, promoting unprecedented transparency. This includes the likes of Google, BHP, Apple, ResMed, and Microsoft.