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Mary and Salim Mehajer quiet on charity ball with $15k seats

13/03/2019 | 成都桑拿 | Permalink

Charity event organisers are usually crying out for publicity to raise awareness and funds for their chosen cause, but not Salim Mehajer and his younger sister, Mary.
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Persistent calls and emails by Fairfax Media this week about the pair’s The Sparkle of Hope Charity Ball to take place at Paradiso in Fairfield, Sydney, on Sunday night were met with silence.

Mary, 18, otherwise known as Miss Lebanon , is organising the ball in aid of the Sydney Children’s Hospital Foundation (SCHF) and the Ren?? Moawad Foundation(RMF) in Lebanon with help from her sibling, 30, the disgraced former deputy mayor of Auburn, in promoting the event.

They promise an “amazing night with special guest speakers, entertainers, topped by a glamorous fashion show” with a “strictly glitz and glam” dress code.

To attend alongside the controversial family, who are known for their OTT soirees, does not come cheap. A sponsorship package costs up to $15,000, while individual seats are priced between $120 and $160. The family have promised “100% of the proceeds will go towards charity”.

To encourage patrons to dig deep, Mother Theresa is quoted on the ball’s designated website: “Do small things with great love.”

It seems that collecting funds in aid of “children who are less fortunate” in the name of the SCHF and RMF was more important for the Mehajers than getting the mandatory legal authorisation to do so first.

On March 13, Salim took to Instagram to reveal that half of the 350 tickets on offer were already sold. A week later Mary approached the SCHF, when she took a tour of the Sydney Children’s Hospital in Randwick, and was given the relevant authority to fundraise application form.

On March 31, she was granted the authorisation to raise funds on behalf of the SCHF – at least two weeks after she was already doing so. Mary did not specify how much they endeavoured to raise, but a spokesperson for the SCHF said “that’s not uncommon for first-time events”.

A number of esteemed, high-profile people have helped raise funds for the SCHF in the past, including Skye Leckie, Karl Stefanovic, Lisa Wilkinson, Delta Goodrem, Jesinta Franklin and Sonia Kruger.

It was put to the SCHF if they felt comfortable aligning themselves with Salim, who in the past week alone was charged with assaulting a taxi driver and a Seven News reporter; and was mentioned in a pretrial for allegedly lodging false documents in a bid to rig the Auburn Council election in 2012.

“Our contact is with Mary Mehajer, who has shown a genuine concern for the children in the hospital,” a spokesperson for the SCHF told Fairfax Media.

While the SCHF is entitled to authorise a fundraising appeal in their name in NSW, the Ren?? Moawad Foundation is not, according to a spokesperson from NSW Fair Trading.

Multiple attempts by Fairfax Media to contact the RMF, whose mission is to “promote social, economic and rural development in Lebanon”, were unsuccessful.

“Boards of charities have responsibility for a charity’s most treasured resource – its reputation and the trust of the community. They should consider how fundraising activities will affect their charity’s reputation,” a spokesperson for the n Charities and Not-for-profits Commission said.

Flat Chat: Alarm as fireys levy sparks strata fears

13/03/2019 | 成都桑拿 | Permalink

The 21 new strata laws all NSW apartment residents need to know aboutChange to NSW strata laws to give apartment owners power to turn buildings into gold minesNew NSW strata laws, same old tricks
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A wave of panic has run through StrataLand in the past couple of weeks – hardly a tsunami but more than a ripple – with the news that the Fire and Emergency Services Levy (FESL) was going to be removed from insurances and added to your council rates.

More than one reader thought this mean that they would be paying more, based on the government’s literature which was (as usual) mostly about houses.

“I understand that from July 1st, the annual fire services levy will be collected via council rates rather than via buildings insurance,” says Kendall on the Flat Chat Forum.

“It is stated by Treasury NSW that this will amount to a saving for homeowners. However we pay $85 per unit. The average cost to individual ratepayers from July 1st is being quoted as anything from $180 to $450.

“Either way, it seems to me that if you live in a strata scheme you are going to be paying a lot more. Has anyone got further information on this?”

Well, yes, we have, but let’s take it back to basics.

The Fire and Emergency Services Levy is currently attached to a number of insurance premiums, from home and contents to car and motorbike policies.

The idea is if you have something worth insuring, you’d probably rather it didn’t go up in flames in the first place, rather than claiming for it afterwards.

“Hang on,” thought one pointy head in the government. “Doesn’t that mean that people who take the trouble to insure their goods and chattels are paying for the fire brigade and SES people to attend the homes of slackers who don’t?”

A better way to share the load was to add the levy to your rates rather than your insurance because more people pay the former than the latter.

So, from July 1, the load will be spread more evenly across a broader slice of the populace, being roughly defined as “home owners who would quite like the fireys to turn up when there’s a fire”.

It seems much fairer but, as in everything, there will be winners and losers. The winners will be renters who will no longer have to pay the levy on their insurance and won’t have to pay the increased rates (because that goes to the landlord).

And those of us who own our homes and are insured to our eyeballs will also benefit from a lower levy on our rates than we pay on our insurance.

The losers will be the great uninsured home owners as well as landlords who will take at least one rent rise cycle before they can shift the load to their tenants.

As for strata residents, a nice young man from Treasury assures me that some unit owners will pay a little more and some a little less but it won’t be anything too dramatic, either way.

We shall see. There’s more official information on this here. And you can tell us which way your charges go on flat-chat苏州夜总会招聘.au/forum.

A dying man’s wish: ‘We’ve been 2nd class citizens for 50 years’

13/03/2019 | 成都桑拿 | Permalink

SAT/SHD NEWS: gay marriage. (L-R) Peter Bonsall-Boone and Peter de Waal, gay couple who marched in first Mardi Gras. Bonsall-Boone is very ill with cancer and will likely die in coming weeks. It was his last wish to marry the man he has loved all his life and it is now clear that wish won’t come true. Photograph by Edwina Pickles. Taken on 7th April 2017. Photo: Edwina PicklesWhen Peter de Waal and Peter Bonsall-Boone went on their first date in the spring of 1966, they never conceived they might one day tie the knot. They fought to have homosexuality struck off the Crimes Act and removed from the manual of mental illnesses but marriage was on nobody’s mind.
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“It was just beyond our imagination that the subject would ever be broached,” says Mr Bonsall-Boone, known as Bon.

In their 50 years together, the two Peters have seen almost every barrier of discrimination against them collapse. But the last one – the one that seemed impossible to the two Balmain boys all their lives – now sits tantalisingly close and yet tragically out of reach.

Bon, 78, was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer two years ago that has proven impenetrable to two rounds of chemotherapy and other drugs. He is already on borrowed time, having been given months to live in November, and is now preparing to die without his last wish being granted.

“For us, it’s a really urgent matter,” says Mr de Waal. “We’ve been second-class citizens for all of the 50 years we’ve been together. I would feel pretty awful if Bon were to die as a second-class citizen.”

The two men say they haven’t given up hope of the winds changing in Canberra and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull moving to allow a free vote on same-sex marriage but they concede it seems ever more unlikely.

Mooted attempts to bring the issue to the fore within the Liberal Party have twice been abandoned this year, including a proposed letter-of-demand to the PM that would have been signed by upwards of a dozen MPs.

Supportive Liberal MPs stress the timing has to be right for any push. But for couples like Peter and Bon, time is fast running out.

“In looking forward to dying, one of my sorrows is that I’m not taking Peter with me,” Bon says in a video to be published by the Equality Campaign this week. “I am going to miss him like crazy. Marriage for Peter and me would be a great sort of fulfillment of many years of association and love.”

Mr Turnbull and other ministers who support marriage equality have frequently argued gay weddings would already be taking place if the Labor opposition (plus Greens and crossbenchers) had not blocked the government’s planned plebiscite on the issue, which had been slated for February 11.

But Peter and Bon are far from bitter about the plebiscite’s demise. Having been at the forefront of the gay rights movement for 50 years, including the famous 1978 protest that became the Sydney Mardi Gras, they say they have a reasonable idea of the “hate and misinformation” that would accompany a public campaign.

“The plebiscite, to us, was absolutely horrific,” Peter says. “We’ve lived through all those eras and we know what it is like.”

Instead, the two men are pinning their hopes on a change of heart.

“It should just be waived straight through,” says Bon. “It is so insignificant on the whole, but absolutely vital to people like us.”

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Man at scene of underworld shooting caught trying to leave country with thousands in cash

13/03/2019 | 成都桑拿 | Permalink

One of several men involved in a violent gunfight that sparked Sydney’s ongoing underworld feud tried to flee the country with tens of thousands of dollars stashed in his shoe.
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Steven Fawaz Elmir was one of up to a dozen people involved in the heated and eventually fatal confrontation outside A Team Smash Repairs in Condell Park last April.

His brother-in-law Safwan Charbaji was shot dead during the midday melee between members of his family and the notorious Ahmad crew.

As police worked to piece together who played what role that Saturday afternoon on April 9, Elmir boarded an Emirates business-class flight to Dubai.

The 29-year-old has yet to return but was fined in his absence in the Downing Centre Local Court last month for failing to declare he was taking more than $10,000 cash out of the country.

Alarm bells rang when Elmir presented his passport to border control at Sydney Airport on April 13.

He had been identified as someone potentially present at the fatal shooting days earlier and NSW Police placed a border alert on his name.

The alert was triggered and n Border Force (ABF) officers whisked the Picnic Point man away to search him and his bag.

They found $20,000 cash stashed in one shoe, according to a statement of facts tendered in court.

In his carry-on bags, the officers uncovered $11,950 and a Westpac cheque for $14,002.85.

Quizzed about the cheque, Elmir claimed it came from a stroke of good luck on the pokies at the Revesby Hotel.

His lawyer Leonie Gittani told the court there was no “good reason” as to why her client didn’t declare the money – more than $45,000 in total.

“He left with some urgency,” she said.

Magistrate Susan McIntyre acknowledged that Elmir, who had a criminal record a “mile long”, wasn’t in court.

“Mr Elmir is not here, which is not particularly encouraging but hopefully he will be back at some time to meet his obligations,” she said.

Elmir, who is understood to still be in Dubai, was fined $3500 in his absence.

Elmir, who is the son of fugitive Fawaz Elmir, 48, turned up at A Team Smash Repairs, owned by rival crime figure Walid “Wally” Ahmad, to settle a lucrative dispute last April.

A war of words played out between the two sides before guns were drawn in the middle of Ilma St.

Elmir’s relative, Mr Charbaji, 32, was killed after being shot in the head and chest.

Wally’s younger mate, Abdullah El Masri, was shot in the jaw but survived after weeks spent in a coma.

The shooting, involving multiple guns and players from south-west Sydney’s powerful families, was the beginning of a bloody string of tit-for-tat violence.

During the past 12 months, there have been multiple shootings, including four deaths, potentially linked to animosities between a handful of well-known crime figures.

Elmir was one of many people who fled in the days following the Condell Park shootout.

Among them was Elmir’s father, Fawaz, who has a warrant out for his arrest.

Police initially suspected he might have been hiding out in Melbourne.

Wally’s brother, Mahmoud “Brownie” Ahmad, boarded a flight for Lebanon last April, returning only this month.

As soon as he touched down in Sydney, he was arrested and charged with murder.

Four days after his brother-in-law was shot dead, Elmir left Sydney for Dubai, which police say is becoming the holiday destination of choice for many n underworld figures.

Dutch backpacker ‘raped in Surry Hills laneway’ speaks of her miracle escape

13/03/2019 | 成都桑拿 | Permalink

A Dutch backpacker who was allegedly raped in a Surry Hills laneway last Friday has described how she miraculously escaped by pretending to play along with her attacker.
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The 19-year-old woman, who cannot be identified legally, was allegedly attacked by a stranger as she walked home from the bus stop just before midnight on March 30.

On Wednesday, police charged 22-year-old Jerome Mundine, from Waterloo, with aggravated sexual assault – deprive liberty, and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Mr Mundine, who once featured in a news article on how boxing was helping to steer him away from petty crime, allegedly “had sexual intercourse with [the victim] without consent [and] deprived the liberty of the victim for a period of time before the commission of the offence,” according to a police charge sheet.

The backpacker has told Fairfax Media of her terrifying ordeal, saying it happened close to her home so her flatmate was able to hear her screams.

She had only been in Sydney for a few weeks as part of a gap year after finishing high school in Holland.

After a night out in Newtown, she caught the bus to Surry Hills and had to walk about 15 minutes home via Cleveland Street and Marlborough Street.

Along the way, she realised a man was walking about two metres behind her.

After a few minutes, he caught up beside her and asked: “What are you up to tonight? Do you have a boyfriend?”

She said “yes” and kept walking. He then allegedly grabbed her by placing one hand on her throat and one hand on her mouth, saying “shut up or I will kill you, I will rape you”.

He allegedly dragged her down Christie Lane and pressed her up against a parked car and began to kiss and touch her.

“I was thinking, ‘I could stab you right now’ because I had my house key already out in my hand,” she said. “But I thought maybe that’s a stupid thing because he’s stronger than me.”

She then decided to play along in an attempt to get him to relax and let go of her throat so she could scream for help.

He fell for the ploy and asked if she would go home with him, to which she replied, “yes, why not?”

However, as soon as they walked down the laneway, he grew suspicious and again grabbed her by the throat and allegedly threw her to the road, leaving her with a large gash on her knee.

“I screamed the lungs out of my body,” she said.

Her flatmate heard and ran outside, scaring off her attacker.

Police were able to take DNA from the woman’s neck that allegedly matched Mr Mundine’s, resulting in his arrest less than a week later.

“I was so lucky,” she said. “I didn’t know if he had a knife, I was so lucky I was close to home.”

“I felt guilty because I didn’t want to kiss him back, it was a disgusting feeling. But after I spoke to the police and a psychologist, they said it was the best idea you could have had.”

She said she has had continual nightmares and has been on edge in public places but is trying to keep a positive attitude.

“I’ve accepted it, I just want to move on and enjoy the rest of my time here,” she said.

Aboriginal Legal Aid solicitor Luke Noonan did not apply for bail for Mr Mundine and it was formally refused in Central Local Court on Thursday.

In 2012, Mr Mundine featured as a participant in the widely-lauded Clean Slate Without Prejudice program, aimed at helping vulnerable youths in Redfern through boxing with police officers.

In 2013, he featured in another article as a participant in a local program to rehabilitate young Aboriginal men by helping them complete short skills courses.

In the article, he spoke of how proud he was to be a cousin of Tony Mundine, the Redfern boxing legend and father of boxer and former rugby league star Anthony Mundine.