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Class Action Lawsuits In Australia

Posted on the February 8th, 2017 under Friends by

Australian law has seen a total of 329 class actions brought before the courts since an amendment to The Federal Court Act Australia was made in 1992 effectively allowing this form of litigation. There have been some very large class action lawsuits in Australia since that time. The size of class actions was the very reason that the legislation was made in the initial instance. British courts could become overwhelmed by many similar individual lawsuits and the parliament in the 18th century recognized this as an issue and instituted group litigation.

However it was in the United States in 1833 when the supreme court declared that individual litigants did not have to be present for a group litigation or to proceed did large lawsuits become practicable under the new moniker of representative litigation.

By 1966 large litigation actions were becoming commonplace, with environmentalists, civil rights activists and consumer groups made full use of the group litigation laws to bring multinational corporations to court and face accusations of negligence and wrong doing that affected many everyday people.

In Australia class actions are still be used to bring the practice of large organisations under scrutiny. In a recent case IMP Australia initiated over 10 class against the major banks of Australia including the Commonwealth, ANZ, Westpac and NAB.

 


 

The grounds for the law suits was the allegation that Australian banks have routinely charged Australian consumers up to $45AU for late fees on account debits. IMP Australia alleges on the behalf of thousands of Australian consumers that 400 million dollars were syphoned from average Australians illegitimately. The power of a class action is clearly evident in this example. A single overdue fee, or even a few is simply not sufficient to go to the expense of engaging a litigation lawyer. However when you look at thousands of litigants with millions of dollars in fees then a class action becomes viable. In 2014 the Federal court awarded the case to the plaintiff, saying that the late fees were “extravagant, exorbitant, and unconscionable” and cited that on average processing a late payment cost the bank approximately 50 cents. The ANZ appealed the decision and it was over turned at a full sitting of the High Court.

The failure of this class action raised some concerns about the legitimacy of class actions in Australia.

The ruling certainly protected the interest of big banks and gave the average Australian consumer nowhere to go to redress late fees charged on accounts. However class actions are far from defunct. The ruling against Ausnet energy over the Black Saturday bushfires was the largest in the history of Australian Class actions.

Class actions are the only way that average Australians have the chance to act in a concerted fashion against large organisations that infringe their rights. Negligence on the part of Ausnet energy caused the death of 119 people in the Kilmore East Black Saturday bushfires and caused an estimated 4.4 Billion in damages. In fairness perhaps Ausnet got off lightly, for although it is a legal person, that a company is constituted as under law, a real person would have been charged for the deaths of those poor unfortunates caught in the blaze.

Having the provision in law to instigate class actions on the behalf of hundreds if not thousands of plaintiffs is an essential part of the Australian legal system. The checks and balances between corporate power and consumer rights is one that sometimes requires to use of large class actions to bring corporate powers to accountability.

If you believe that you have been the victim of a large corporation and wish to pursue the matter with one of our compensation law specialists please contact us here: Malfeasance Attorneys

Selecting A Local Tree Removal Specialist In Brisbane.

Posted on the December 11th, 2013 under Friends by

trees-city-brisbane

Brisbane is a rolling green and verdant city with a plethora of parks and gardens. In a subtropical paradise plants and trees will grow uncontrolled unless they are well maintained and controlled. Having large trees in your yard is a blessing during the long hot summer months providing deep shade to shelter in from the scorching sun. But these same trees that provide shade and beauty may also be a major threat to your home or the safety of the people that you care for.

An example of an overgrown tree.

An example of an overgrown tree.

Should your garden have gone untended for some time, there may be large over grown branches that encroach above your home and over hang the fence. It is possible to trim minor branches back yourself, and doing your own garden maintenance at this time of year is very important. But for large trees that may present a possible threat should be attended to by a trained tree lopping expert.

A Battle Of The Retail Giants In North Lakes Brisbane

Posted on the December 4th, 2013 under Friends by

westfield

“North Lakes began as a gazetted suburb back in 2006, since then it has expanded to an estimated 17,000 residents and boasts three schools in the suburb itself and has an additional three in close proximity. There is a sprawling Westfield shopping centre that boasts over 200 shops and is due for further expansion in 2014 should all the plans be approved.” OXMAR Properties.

Westfield has not been content simply to expand their holdings with a planned Ikea and cinema complex. Rather they have attempted to curtail other shopping centres in the area with aggressive legal tactics. Retail giant Westfield made a submission to the council against Costco, a co-operative based discount retailer known for their vast warehouses and against nearby Mango Hill Marketplace. On both occasions the retail giant has lost the appeal to council. In the case raised against Costco Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney stepped into the legal stoush brewing in North Lakes and used his ministerial call-in power to ensure that the development would go ahead and Westfield are unable to pursue legal proceedings.

 

Outrage Over Westfields Expensive Parking Monopoly!

From Daguerreotype To DSLR; A Brief History Of Photography.

Posted on the November 10th, 2013 under Friends by

Have you ever wondered why set shot poses for weddings seem so stiff?

Have you ever wondered why set shot poses for weddings seem so stiff?

 

Have you ever wondered why set shot poses for weddings seem so stiff? It is not a common question, but the cultural origins for the structured set shot originate with the developing technology of image capture.

The earliest method of capturing an image was with the use of a camera obscura, essentially a darkened space lit by a single aperture, an archaic word for hole or gap from the Latin apertura.  When the light thrown from this aperture was exposed against a flat surface at the correct distance there would be an inverted image of the landscape outside. Aristotle was the first western philosopher to notice the phenomenon of image projection with scattered light by observing the image of a partial eclipse in the dappled shade of a leafy tree. Yet it was in the philosophical writings of Mozi of China during the 5th century BCE were the first ever to describe the phenomenon.

I’m A Lumber Jack And I’m Ok.

Posted on the October 28th, 2013 under Friends by


old-lumberjackThe term lumberjack conjures up images of heavily hirsute men wearing checked shirts and wielding overly large axes. These hard drinking, hard swearing, hard living men would ply their trade in the wilds of the world far from home and all the comforts of family and the feminine.

Whilst the time of the Lumber Jack may have passed us by with the advent of modern logging machinery such as the chainsaw, the stump grinder and the feller buncher, there are still vestiges of this logging culture that remain present in our modern world. Perhaps the most obvious would be the large number of Hipster boys wearing plaid shirts and sporting bristling beards. I am personally puzzled by the amount of pampered college graduates who have never suffered the harsh conditions of the turn-of-the-century logging industry, choose to emulate this look. Is it an exercise in Irony? I’m not truly sure why Brisbane hipsters will wear heavy plaid shirts and jackets in sub-tropical heat. Perhaps they are trying to emulate the hazards of tree lopping in an Avant guard way?

On Skid Row?

Another vestige of the world of tree removal around the turn of the century is the term Skid Row. Today we associate the term with places where the poor and homeless gather (possibly also hipsters trying to increase their social capitol or to find a discarded plaid shirt). Yet the term was originally associated with the logging industry and described the dedicated path or corduroy road that logs were skidded down. In Seattle one such street was named Skid Row. After many years the street became populated with homeless folk (and possibly hipsters seeking an authentic homeless experience). And so the term Skid Row became associated with poverty and homelessness. Not to be confused with the ‘80’s rock band of the same name.

Another term popularised by the early logging industry was the term Punk. More specifically Whistle Punk. This was a job usually filled by the oldest or youngest member of the logging crew and was responsible for communicating to the teams of lumberjacks deep in the forest. The etymology of the term does not stretch back further than the turn of the 20th century and will generally mean the lowest, most menial or least valuable person or thing.

Lumber Jack Hipster!

Lumber Jack Hipster!

The overwhelmingly manly image of the lumberjack has been parodied in various forms, not the least by effeminate hipsters, but certainly most popularly by the Monty Python crew in their song and dance number – “I’m a Lumberjack and I’m ok.” In which the outwardly manly Lumberjack confesses to wearing suspenders and a bra. Perhaps not the most masculine of attire, hence the delightful irony.

Yet modern day Hipsters have taken this irony a step further and are taking these traditional images of masculinity and disassociating them from violence, raping and making a living from killing other things and making them synonymous with intelligence, creativity and peace.

Changing Industry.

Tree lopping, tree removal and all the associated industries have changed radically since the time of cross saws and hand cutting. Vast swathes of trees are felled with a minimum of manpower, and what was once one of the most dangerous professions on earth has been tamed and sanitized.

Thankyou for reading this article on tree removal, no hipsters were harmed in the writing of this article!

For all of your Tejas Tree Lopping Brisbane North or Evergreen Tree Pruning Brisbane Visit TejasTreeservicesBrisbane.com/professional-tree-lopping-services-brisbane/

Historical Footage of Early Modern Tree Removal

 

Plumbing The Past: A Tour Of The Sewers Of History

Posted on the September 30th, 2013 under Friends by

Civilizations have strived, flourished and thrived or faded, withered and perished with the tides of their sewerage systems.

You may scoff at this bold statement. But, see how long you remained civilized should your neighbour refuse to fix their broken sewer pipe that leaks.

The neighbour should do the right thing and call an emergency plumber, but it does illustrate a point, that when waste is not managed life quickly gets uncivilized.

Some civilizations unable to cope with the population increase have produced more waste than their sewerage systems could manage, thus allowing breeding grounds of pests and disease causing wide spread plague and death amongst the populace, as with the Justinian Plague of Constantinople where up to ten thousand citizens died daily from the horrible bubonic plague.

Plumbing has also allowed for the greatest of achievements, where the humble trade of plumbing is raised to the rarefied air of high Art. If only we were still able to ramble about the ramparts of Babylon and gaze upon the Hanging Gardens, which were fed an estimated 37,000 litres of water each and every day up to a garden that soared up to 170 feet in the air. We would have witnessed one of the greatest wonders of the ancient world and all made possible through the amazing art of Plumbing.

Harrapan Hydration.

Harrapa was an ancient city situated in what is now Pakistan. The Indus Valley was the cradle for this very advanced civilization, comparable to the Egyptians of the time, with a few exceptions. The one that is of interest in this article is the high level of sophisticated plumbing the Harrapans had access to.

Harrapa was an ancient city situated in what is now Pakistan.

Harrapa was an ancient city situated in what is now Pakistan.

Copper piping was discovered during digs conducted by the British in the 1920’s. Dating methods estimate the tubing to be around 5,500 years old, which makes it the old copper tubing in the world. Further excavation by archaeological anthropologists discovered a great deal of evidence that the Harrapan people revered water and rivers as a God, or perhaps Gods, depending on the theory. Over 700 finely crafted wells were discovered, and houses had relatively advanced plumbing systems, utilizing fired clay pipes that had flanges to assist with seam less joining. These flanged clay pipes were connected with pitch to seal the sewerage in and transport it to central cess pits that would have been cleared periodically. Drinking water was carried through a completely different set of piping and was separated from any effluent that was also carried around the city in an extensive pipe network.

The great bath-house

The great bath-house

Perhaps the most impressive of the Harrapan constructions was the great bath-house. This enormous public bath was 40 metres long and thirty metres wide and was carved an incredible eight metres deep in to the bedrock. The great bath was lined with fired clay bricks and set with gypsum plaster acting as a mortar. The entire surface was covered with bitumen to seal it and ensured no seepage. A façade of bricks was said to cover the bitumen that were finely crafted and decorative in purpose.

It is still unknown why this great civilization faded in the desert, some anthropologists believe the warlike Aryans from the north whittled them away, others believe that internal unrest was the final demise of this ancient culture.

However they were to have passed into distant memory, the artifacts that remain show us a people whose veneration of water enabled them to be master plumbers far ahead of their time.

For more modern day plumbing or for your local Plumber Brisbane Southside or Emergency Plumber Brisbane Southside visit the website by Clicking here.

 

Harappan Civilization – Indus Valley Civilization

 

 

Jamie Grant.

Further reading http://www.crystalinks.com/induscivilization.html

Weird And Wonderful Facts About Magic

Posted on the September 2nd, 2013 under Friends by

Magic is the perception of something as it is not, not as it is.

 

We often think of stage magic as only light entertainment, mere trickery that may fool the eye but not the mind. Stage magic is seen by many as suitable only for making young children gasp at the tricks of a birthday magician. Yet magic is a powerful medium. The secrets of magic have halted conflict and inspired wisdom. Magic has made men rich beyond compare and driven powerful men crazy. In this article I will explore the weird and wonderful world of magic.

The Patron Saint of Illusionists.

 

Saint John Bosco or Don Bosco was born in a tiny hamlet in the north of Italy called I Becchi. His early life was saddened with the passing of his father when he was but two years old. Yet it was not the absence of a father figure or even his mother’s deep faith that had him dedicate his life to the love and caring of orphans. Rather it was a series of prophetic dreams in which the young John Bosco saw a group of boys cursing and blaspheming. John went to strike at the blaspheming boys, but an older man stepped in and told him “Do not hit them, but with kindness and love, you must win over these your friends.” John then aged but nine years old dedicated his life to the principles of Reason, Religion and Loving-kindness.

To win over the many orphans in his diocese John learnt simple stage magic and tricks that the children loved to see. He would use the tricks to teach the children and to help them. He created an orphanage where many orphan boys would learn trades and be safe from the depredations of street life. Even today in many of the Salesian schools performance and magic is taught. Whilst Saint John Bosco is not the official saint of Illusionists, he is venerated on a holy day where priests who practice gospel magic will give performances to venerate their treasured Saint.

The Magician who stopped a War

 

Robert Houdin, from whom Harry Houdini based his name

Robert Houdin, from whom Harry Houdini based his name

Robert Houdin, from whom Harry Houdini based his name, is well known as the father of modern magic. Single handed Robert Houdin took magic from the street corners and gypsy fairs to the parlour rooms and noble houses of the European aristocracy. The son of a watchmaker, Houdin was fascinated with mechanical apparatus and fashioned many incredible illusions incorporating clock work marvels. The most famous of which was the Orange Tree illusion. Yet his greatest feat was not to be accomplished until after he had retired.

 

There was insurrection brewing the Algiers district that the French Monarchy could not contain. The local Marabout shaman who claimed to possess great spiritual power were fomenting the rebellion. Accounts of what exactly occurred in Algiers differ in many points save this one. A great Marabout warrior was chosen by Houdin and challenged to lift a small box. Houdin claimed that he could remove the warrior’s strength and no matter how mighty his effort the warrior was unable to lift the box. Afraid that Houdin would also steal their strength the Marabout ceased sewing seeds of discontent and Robert Houdin returned to Paris a hero.

Thankyou for reading this article about Magic.

Should you need a magician Brisbane or a corporate Magician Brisbane  please contact Astonishinc   Jamie Grant