The Headlines: The Greens Are Calling Out VicRoads to Do Better

Ah, Wednesday, The most magical day of the week. And by magical, I mean it has special powers to drain you of all your drive. However, there’s a cure for the hump day blues. That’s right, it’s going through today’s headlines. But don’t quote me on that, I’m only a doctor in the Sims 2.

The Victorian Greens Wants a Licence Loophole to Be Closed

If you’ve had your personal information leaked, changing your driver’s licence number reduces the risk of your personal information being used to apply for credit cards or loans. Because of this, Tasmania and South Australia are now allowing individuals that have been impacted by the Optus hack to have their licence numbers reissued. 

The Victorian Greens are now asking VicRoads to do the same thing. 

The Leader of the Victorian Greens, Samantha Ratnam, wrote to the VicRoads Minister, Ben Carroll, discussing this issue.  As she penned, “I’m writing to the Minister today to urge him to close this licence loophole and extend the same protections to Victorians that people have in other states and territories.”

“In South Australia and Tasmania, people are able to change their licence number and get peace of mind that in a couple of months they won’t be shocked by a fraudulent credit card statement or personal loan account.”

Moreover, in the same letter, she expressed, “Data breaches are not new, and government agencies must have the policies and resources in place to protect their citizens.”

The Optus Hacker May Have Rescinded Their Threat

Speaking of the Optus hack, whoever’s behind this breach might’ve actually regretted taking this action. According to the tech journalist Jeremy Kirk, a hacker posted on an online forum, “We will not sale [sic] data to anyone. We cant if even we want to: personally deleted data from [the] drive. Sorry to 10,200 Australian[s] who’s data was leaked.”

“Australia will see no gain in fraud, this can be monitored,” the user additionally stated. “Maybe for 10,200 Australian[s] but rest of population [sic] no. Very sorry to you. Deepest apology to Optus for this. Hope all goes well from this.”

Moreover, Kirk believes that this post isn’t fake. “The Optus hacker sent me a private message from the account where the original three data samples were posted,” he noted. “The person sent a link to that new thread we are seeing. So yes, it appears to be legitimate as in done by the same person.”

He furthermore asserted, “If this holds and no more Optus customer data is released on this website, this is the best outcome.”

However, there are still some ongoing factors worth noting. As Kirk commented, “The original data samples are gone, but other people on that forum have copied the data and are distributing it.”

Sydney’s Toll Roads Are Crushing Everyday Aussies

A national discussion around Sydney’s toll road system has been sparked by the ABC. This is because they’ve reported that it’s not accessible and too expensive for a lot of people.

“Being an owner-driver, there’s enough economic stress managing everything else that goes into the business,” explained a Sydneysider named Sean O’Connor. “Then suddenly you have a toll bill that automatically goes up on set dates, that goes up every year regardless of what the current economic situation is.”

O’Connor also stated, “The margins are so tight all the way up the chain that at the end of the day, if I choose to take a toll, I wear it.”

Rod Sims, the former chair of Australia’s Competition and Consumer Commission, believes that this problem is due to one toll road company called Transurban having a monopoly on the market. He said, “The problem in NSW is there’s a lack of competition for building the toll roads.”

“Transurban almost has a monopoly, and that means you don’t get the benefit of competition, which means the tolls are higher than they otherwise need to be. The tolls could be lower if you had another player with its own stock of tolls roads bidding against Transurban,” Sims additionally asserted. “You’d get bidding tension and lower tolls.”

It’s worth noting that Sydney is one of the most tolled places in the world, it has way more tolls than either Brisbane or Melbourne.

Related: NSW State Budget Policies, Explained

Related: Transport for NSW, Stop Stealing My Money

The Queensland Government Is Upping Its Renewable Energy Commitments 

“GAME CHANGER,” wrote the Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, on Facebook. “We’re taking real action on climate change. Queensland’s energy supply will be 70% renewable by 2032.”

Palaszczuk then went on to write, “Previously we announced a target of 50% by 2030, but today we’re upping that target 70% by 2032.”

“I wanted to tell you this huge news before launching our Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan at CEDA State of the State. It’s about cheaper, cleaner, and secure energy for Queenslanders, powering good jobs in our regions.”

If any mint news comes out of her State of the State address, we’ll be sure to let you know.

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