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Seniors told they don't need to vote in Batman bi-election

The by-election for the federal seat of Batman was marred by a last-minute scandal on Saturday, with reports elderly voters received phone calls telling them they did not have to vote.

In response, Labor launched a phone call and SMS blitz urging senior voters to attend polling centres.

A campaign spokesman decried the move.

"Lying to elderly people is as low as it gets," he said.

"We're encouraging all Batman residents to ignore these dirty tricks and exercise their right to vote."

The electorate has a high proportion of elderly voters, who are traditionally more supportive of Labor.

Labor has declared victory in the Batman by-election, upsetting the Greens who were the favourites to win the inner-Melbourne seat and have now conceded defeat.

Former ACTU president Ged Kearney was on track to defeat the Greens' Alex Bhathal, with the ALP winning back voters from the Greens in the southern part of the electorate.

The by-election was triggered by the resignation of David Feeney, who was unable to find documents proving he was not a foreign citizen.

The seat in Melbourne's inner-north takes in trendy suburbs such as Northcote and Clifton Hill, and stretches to Preston and Reservoir further north.

It was once a Labor heartland, but gentrification has changed the demographics of the area.

The Greens campaign focused on Queensland's Adani coal mine project and Australia's refugee policies, however Ms Bhathal told ABC radio housing was the number one concern of voters across the electorate.

Her campaign had been marred by internal party leaks, alleging bullying.

The Australian Electoral Commission says more than 16,500 people cast an early vote, with another 14,500 registering for a postal vote.

Source: ABC

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Gold Coast seniors to enjoy free dog registration

Gold Coast seniors can cross off having to pay a registration fee for their pup every year, with Mayor Tom Tate today announcing free dog registration for pensioners.

Mayor Tate said the annual dog registration fee has been a concern for a number of seniors.

“My annual City Budget survey is underway and I’ve heard from many seniors that their annual dog registration fee is an issue they’d like to have reconsidered from 2018-19,’’ he said.

“Today, I announce an end to dog registration fees for seniors, from the next financial year onwards.

“Our seniors deserve some financial assistance and I’m sure all Councillors will join me in formalising this arrangement during the upcoming 2018-19 budget discussions.’’

It’s understood the initiative will cost the annual City budget around $225,000 with 10,256 dogs registered across the city to owners that hold a pensioner concession card.

A typical dog registration is $29.50 annually per pet* (*Applies to Senior Card Holders and Disability Card holders).

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Social Services discussed in WA for Seniors

More than 250 seniors from across Rockingham attended a forum and afternoon tea hosted by Brand MHR Madeleine King at the Gary Holland Community Centre last Tuesday.

Also in attendance at the seniors’ forum was Shadow Human Services Minister Linda Burney and representatives from Centrelink.

Ms Burney spoke about how long waiting times were a cause of frustration for many pensioners and said the agency was understaffed and under-resourced because of government cuts.

Ms King said she was happy to host the event, which included a presentation about ways seniors could engage with Centrelink.

“There was a fantastic turnout... and I am very happy so many seniors could come along to this forum,” she said. “People had an opportunity to raise issues that are of concern to them as well as hear directly from Ms Burney and Centrelink.”

 

source: West Australian

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Star of Australian Stage and Screen, Michael Caton talks about Marriage Equality.

Michael Caton is an Australian television, film and stage actor, Comedian,and television host, best known for playing Uncle Harry in the Australian television series, The Sullivans, playing Darryl Kerrigan from 1997's low budget hit film The Castle and playing Ted Taylor in the popular Packed to the Rafters.

He is married to Helen Esakoff. Caton has been inducted into the Australian Film Walk of Fame in honour of his work in Australia's cinema and television industries.

He is now talk in out about the current Marriage Equality Postal Survey, telling us all about his progression to knowing LGBTQI people and the impact this vote will have on him and his friends.

A heart wrenching and touching description of why voting is so important can be watched by clicking here.

 

 

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Seniors attacked with Petrol Bomb

An Adelaide couple has narrowly escaped a house fire after being attacked with two Molotov cocktails in the space of a week.

Husband and wife John and Jelena, who did not give their last name, watched a man throw a petrol bomb into their home on York Place, Woodville North, at 2.30am today, newspaper, Adelaide Now has reported.

Jelena, who singed her hair trying to put out the fire, said they were lucky to be alive.

"If my husband was asleep in the bedroom [he'd be] burning," she said.

The Serbian couple, who are in their 60s, fought the fire using buckets and a garden hose before Jelena called emergency services.

It is the second time a Molotov cocktail has been thrown at the house this week after the first bounced back into the yard.

Jelena said shots were fired at the house in March, breaking a window.

She said they had lived in the house 27 years and did not know why they had been targeted.

Fire investigators said the fire bomb caused at least $150,000 worth of damage after burning the front bedrooms.

A neighbor who asked not to be identified said the attacks were shameful.

"They are parents and grandparents, how can someone think to do that, knowing they were home," they said.

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