Crown Resorts is today running a series of full-page advertisements to counter what it describes as “deceitful” reporting on alleged links with organised crime. The casino operator is reportedly outlaying at least $250,000 on the advertisements ($) contesting claims that it worked with tour operators backed by overseas crime syndicates. The Nine group, which broke the initial story, declined to run the advertisement and has instead provided a detailed response to Crown’s claims. On Wednesday evening the chief of the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, Michael Phelan, revealed that an investigation is under way into organised crime links with casinos, with state and federal police uncovering “insights into vulnerabilities ... within casinos located in Australia”. A separate probe will look into a Border Force official’s provision of protection for an international fugitive. Guardian Australia reports that Crown Resorts failed to meet a Victorian gambling regulator deadline to fix nine serious problems at its Melbourne casino, including money laundering risks.
An investigation by consumer group Choice has found that Australian funeral operators routinely provide misinformation and opaque prices to bereaved customers. Choice mystery shoppers found 14 out of 36 providers did not give customers an estimated cost within 48 hours, with some insisting people meet face-to-face to find out the price, only to provide lump sums instead of itemised bills for add-ons such as personalised sunflower seeds and “mourning stationery”. Quotes for the cheapest option, a direct cremation with no service, ranged in cost from $2400 to $5600. Of 548 funeral service customers surveyed, two-thirds said they did not think to negotiate the price.
Australia’s Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Alex Hawke, has dismissed calls from more than a dozen Pacific countries to stop counting emissions reductions from the Kyoto protocol towards future Paris agreement targets. “Yes, we are going to use carryover credits,” he said. “We've done more than other countries have in reducing emissions and I think that should be recognised.” Australia’s emissions have steadily risen since the repeal of the price on carbon in 2014. The Nadi Bay Declaration signed by Pacific leaders in Fiji on Tuesday evening calls on countries such as Australia to refrain from using carryover credits as an abatement, warning that some of their countries could be uninhabitable as soon as 2030.
Former rugby international Israel Folau today commences court proceedings for unfair dismissal against Rugby Australia and the NSW Waratahs. “Our conciliation before the Fair Work Commission did not resolve the matters between us,” Folau said in a video message on his website uploaded on Wednesday night. He wants an apology from Rugby Australia, financial compensation and the right to resume his career, according to The Australian ($). Folau’s contract was terminated after he posted homophobic messages to social media, with the case expected to establish a precedent for anyone who posts social media content in conflict with their employer’s code of conduct.