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Energy company charges Queensland family $5,000 a year – even when no one was living in the house

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A family who were overcharged $16,900 for electricity over six years are warning others to check their power meters after being lumped with inaccurate charges.

Angela and Brett Beveridge were shocked to see their energy bill, usually between $600 and $700 a quarter, had jumped to $1,280 after moving to an acreage on the outskirts of Rockhampton.

A dodgy power meter was to blame for the increase but their provider, Ergon Energy, refused to offer assistance, the couple claimed.

Angela and Brett Beveridge (pictured) were overcharged thousands of dollars on their electricity bill due to a dodgy power meter

Angela and Brett Beveridge (pictured) were overcharged thousands of dollars on their electricity bill due to a dodgy power meter

Angela and Brett Beveridge (pictured) were overcharged thousands of dollars on their electricity bill due to a dodgy power meter

At first, the family began to turn off all their appliances when they were not using them, but the $5,000 per year bills kept rolling in – $3,000 above the national average.

Even when the couple moved out in 2015 after their home was partially destroyed by Cyclone Marcia, the exorbitant charges continued – receiving a $1,000 bill.

‘In that six month period we still got a very high power bill even though there was no power running to the house,’ Mr Beveridge told A Current Affair.

After realising the home was empty, Ergon Energy agreed to waive the bill, but did not take any steps to refund the couple for the previous years.

‘At no point did they offer to come out and investigate, replace the meter, do a meter test on it, every single time they just kept saying your bills were consistent,’ Mr Beveridge said.

‘I told them over and over again that something is wrong with the meter but they refused to have a look at it,’ Ms Beveridge said.

Eventually, the Beveridge’s had their old meter replaced without being notified.

A dodgy power meter (pictured, the replacement) was to blame for the sky high bills but, Ergon Energy, refused to offer assistance, the couple claimed

A dodgy power meter (pictured, the replacement) was to blame for the sky high bills but, Ergon Energy, refused to offer assistance, the couple claimed

A dodgy power meter (pictured, the replacement) was to blame for the sky high bills but, Ergon Energy, refused to offer assistance, the couple claimed

Their bills immediately halved from $500 to $250 per month, the couple said.

When they asked to have the old meter examined to prove it was faulty, Ergon Energy informed them it had been destroyed.

‘I think that’s disgusting and convenient that the meter was all of a sudden, disappeared or destroyed,’ Mr Beveridge said.

‘Ergon refused to listen to us, and I believe now they’re covering up the mistake that they’ve made,’ Ms Beveridge said.

The energy and water ombudsman investigating their complaint estimated the couple were overcharged $16,900 over six years, the couple claimed.

But because the ombudsman cannot investigate complaints dating back more than a year, Ergon Energy was only required to credit the Beveridge’s account $1,907 to cover the past 12 months. 

The Beverage's home was partially destroyed by Cyclone Marcia in 2015. Although no one was living in the house the family were still charged exorbitant bills

The Beverage's home was partially destroyed by Cyclone Marcia in 2015. Although no one was living in the house the family were still charged exorbitant bills

The Beverage’s home was partially destroyed by Cyclone Marcia in 2015. Although no one was living in the house the family were still charged exorbitant bills 

The ombudsman for Queensland’s energy and water sector warned faulty meters are ‘uncommon’, but do cause some problems – urging households to get in touch if a bill seems unusual.  

Daily Mail Australia contacted Ergon Energy for comment, but the company’s executive general manager Ayesha Razzaq said in a statement they can not provide any specific details on the matter due to privacy laws. 

‘We regret the situation that has resulted for this customer,’ he said.

‘Our priority is to always work with our customers to help them understand their energy use and find the best solutions to meet their energy needs. 

‘Ergon Retail has been working with this customer to resolve their complaint and was advised by the Ombudsman Thursday 18 June 2020 that the customer had accepted the resolution.’  

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Channel Ten records $227million loss funding new shows

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Channel Ten has reportedly recorded a loss of $227million in 2019.

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission lodged documents confirming the network’s owner ViacomCBS had made a loss, the Financial Review reported.

The loss occurred the same year Ten put funding into new programs including The Masked Singer, Dancing with the Stars and The Amazing Race.

Channel Ten recorded a loss of $227 million in 2019 after putting funding into Dancing with the Stars, The Masked Singer and The Amazing Race. Pictured host Beau Ryan

Channel Ten recorded a loss of $227 million in 2019 after putting funding into Dancing with the Stars, The Masked Singer and The Amazing Race. Pictured host Beau Ryan

Channel Ten recorded a loss of $227 million in 2019 after putting funding into Dancing with the Stars, The Masked Singer and The Amazing Race. Pictured host Beau Ryan

‘It was a year of investment at Ten as we bedded down our prime-time schedule and set up our sales team for success,’ a spokeswoman told the publication.

‘The results of that investment are evident this year: audience and audience share growth, and TV ad market share growth.’

The loss included a $63.5million non-cash impairment against the network’s licence and a $45.7million impairment against non-current assets.

Coming soon! This comes after news Network Ten is launching a fourth television channel later this year

Coming soon! This comes after news Network Ten is launching a fourth television channel later this year

Coming soon! This comes after news Network Ten is launching a fourth television channel later this year

This comes after news Network Ten is launching a fourth television channel later this year.

The broadcaster already has three free-to-air channels including 10, Peach and Bold but its new channel will ‘appeal to the under 50s audience’ and will focus on general entertainment, reported TV Tonight.

A launch date hasn’t been announced, but the as-yet-untitled multichannel will be available before the end of the year.

The channel may include content from MTV, according to The Music Network.

Multichannel: The new channel will 'appeal to the under 50s audience', said ViacomCBS Australia content boss Beverley McGarvey (pictured)

Multichannel: The new channel will 'appeal to the under 50s audience', said ViacomCBS Australia content boss Beverley McGarvey (pictured)

Multichannel: The new channel will ‘appeal to the under 50s audience’, said ViacomCBS Australia content boss Beverley McGarvey (pictured)

A network spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia: ‘ViacomCBS Australia and New Zealand Chief Content Officer and Executive Vice President, Beverley McGarvey, today announced that Network 10 would unveil a fourth channel later this year.

‘Complementing 10, 10 Peach and 10 Bold, the fourth channel will appeal to the under 50s audience. Further announcements about the channel will be made in the coming months.’

She also acknowledged the ‘new normal in Australia is very different’ after COVID-19, viewers can still expect to see their favourite entertainment shows.

Good news: McGarvey also confirmed that Channel 10 was going ahead with its planned 2020 schedule despite widespread industry shutdowns. The Bachelor - which is on a production hiatus - will return this year, as will The Bachelorette. Pictured: The Bachelor's Locky Gilbert

Good news: McGarvey also confirmed that Channel 10 was going ahead with its planned 2020 schedule despite widespread industry shutdowns. The Bachelor - which is on a production hiatus - will return this year, as will The Bachelorette. Pictured: The Bachelor's Locky Gilbert

Good news: McGarvey also confirmed that Channel 10 was going ahead with its planned 2020 schedule despite widespread industry shutdowns. The Bachelor – which is on a production hiatus – will return this year, as will The Bachelorette. Pictured: The Bachelor’s Locky Gilbert

The Bachelor – which is currently on a production hiatus – will return this year, as will its sister show, The Bachelorette.

The Masked Singer is slated to begin production in Melbourne, but judge Lindsay Lohan will most likely be filming remotely from the U.S.

I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! is also rumoured to be going ahead for 2021, but probably won’t be filmed in South Africa due to travel restrictions.

Change of plans! I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! is rumoured to be going ahead for 2021, but probably won't be filmed in South Africa. Pictured: Julia Morris and Dr Chris Brown

Change of plans! I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! is rumoured to be going ahead for 2021, but probably won't be filmed in South Africa. Pictured: Julia Morris and Dr Chris Brown

Change of plans! I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! is rumoured to be going ahead for 2021, but probably won’t be filmed in South Africa. Pictured: Julia Morris and Dr Chris Brown

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Bill Shorten delivers Halal packages to residents locked in Melbourne public housing towers

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Former Labor Leader Bill Shorten has teamed up with a Melbourne butcher to deliver Halal care packages to residents locked in public housing towers.

Nine towers in Flemington and North Melbourne were locked down on Saturday in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus, with 3,000 residents unable to leave their apartments for any reason for at least five days.

Some residents locked in the towers have complained they haven’t received enough food and supplies, so Mr Shorten took it upon himself to deliver some on Monday.

The former leader of the opposition shared photos of himself and local butcher Macca Halal Foods delivering the food in Flemington.

Former Labor Leader Bill Shorten has teamed up with a Melbourne butcher to deliver Halal care packages to residents locked in public housing towers

Former Labor Leader Bill Shorten has teamed up with a Melbourne butcher to deliver Halal care packages to residents locked in public housing towers

Former Labor Leader Bill Shorten has teamed up with a Melbourne butcher to deliver Halal care packages to residents locked in public housing towers

The former leader of the opposition took to Twitter to share photos of him and local butcher Macca Halal Foods (pictured) delivering the food in Flemington

The former leader of the opposition took to Twitter to share photos of him and local butcher Macca Halal Foods (pictured) delivering the food in Flemington

The former leader of the opposition took to Twitter to share photos of him and local butcher Macca Halal Foods (pictured) delivering the food in Flemington

Bill Shorten is seen at 120 Racecourse Road Commission flat housing in Flmeington after delivering care packages

Bill Shorten is seen at 120 Racecourse Road Commission flat housing in Flmeington after delivering care packages

Bill Shorten is seen at 120 Racecourse Road Commission flat housing in Flmeington after delivering care packages

‘Community at its best,’ Mr Shorten tweeted.

‘Thanks to local butcher Macca Halal Foods, these care packages have made it to the Flemington Towers.’  

Images show Mr Shorten wearing a face mask and carrying boxes of supplies to and from buildings.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in the towers have almost doubled, from 27 on Sunday to 53 on Monday from about 400 tests, as testing ramps up and police continue to patrol entrances and corridors.

The state government says it has distributed 3,000 meals, 1,000 food hampers and 250 personal care packs to residents.

Meanwhile charity FareShare has provided more than 3,000 prepared meals and 4,500 pastries.

The government is also delivering bread and milk to residents after the staples were missing from hampers on Sunday.

There are concerns thousands of residents locked in the towers still haven't received enough food and supplies, so Mr Shorten took it upon himself to deliver supplies on Monday

There are concerns thousands of residents locked in the towers still haven't received enough food and supplies, so Mr Shorten took it upon himself to deliver supplies on Monday

There are concerns thousands of residents locked in the towers still haven’t received enough food and supplies, so Mr Shorten took it upon himself to deliver supplies on Monday

Former leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten is seen talking to someone outside public housing towers in Flemington

Former leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten is seen talking to someone outside public housing towers in Flemington

Former leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten is seen talking to someone outside public housing towers in Flemington

Abdirahman Ibrahim, who lives in the Racecourse Road tower, told AAP his family is yet to receive a box of groceries, but they have received formula and one litre of milk.

Ahmed Dini, a resident of a North Melbourne tower and a social worker, told ABC News Breakfast some residents hadn’t received groceries as of Monday morning.

Residents have shared images on social media of out-of-date meals, food left on the floor and Muslim families given pork.

Victorian Council of Social Services CEO Emma King said she was concerned culturally appropriate meals were not being provided by the government.

‘We need to make sure we’re hearing directly from the residents on the estate around what they need and making sure we deliver on that,’ she told AAP.

A sign stuck to the window of a person trapped inside the housing commission flats in Flemington on Monday

A sign stuck to the window of a person trapped inside the housing commission flats in Flemington on Monday

A sign stuck to the window of a person trapped inside the housing commission flats in Flemington on Monday

Images show Mr Shorten wearing a face mask and carrying boxes of supplies to and from buildings on Monday

Images show Mr Shorten wearing a face mask and carrying boxes of supplies to and from buildings on Monday

Images show Mr Shorten wearing a face mask and carrying boxes of supplies to and from buildings on Monday

Police patrol the housing commission flats at 120 Racecourse Road in Flemington on Monday

Police patrol the housing commission flats at 120 Racecourse Road in Flemington on Monday

Police patrol the housing commission flats at 120 Racecourse Road in Flemington on Monday 

Ms King also noted residents were given copies of the public health orders or ‘detention directives’ on Sunday night, sparking confusion over the term of the lockdown which could last as long as 14 days.

‘Any of us, to have police on your doorstep, handing a detention notice we can’t understand, it would be really frightening,’ she said.

‘It is a very fine, precarious balance. We need to save lives first and foremost but we need to make sure people get the support that they need and they aren’t terrified through the process.’

Premier Daniel Andrews said he wanted to reassure everyone in the towers they would be looked after.

Angry tower residents place signs in their windows showing messages of despair amid a full and total lockdown of 9 housing commission high rise towers in North Melbourne and Flemington

Angry tower residents place signs in their windows showing messages of despair amid a full and total lockdown of 9 housing commission high rise towers in North Melbourne and Flemington

Angry tower residents place signs in their windows showing messages of despair amid a full and total lockdown of 9 housing commission high rise towers in North Melbourne and Flemington 

Towers in the suburbs of Flemington (pictured), Kensington and North Melbourne will be closed for five days

Towers in the suburbs of Flemington (pictured), Kensington and North Melbourne will be closed for five days

Towers in the suburbs of Flemington (pictured), Kensington and North Melbourne will be closed for five days

‘There are literally hundreds and thousands of people working – from police to social workers, to nurses and doctors, all the way through to people working in our supermarkets, people working in commercial kitchens … they are all doing their absolute best,’ he said.

He added halal meals have been handed out by the Victorian Trades Hall in partnership with social enterprise Moving Feast.

Sikh organisations have also set up outside the towers, offering hot vegetarian meals to residents.

Sikh Volunteers Australia vice president Manpreet Singh said they were serving fresh vegetarian meals, bringing about 650 serves from their Cranbourne base.

‘Nearly 400 meals we have already served (by about 7pm),’ he said on Sunday.

The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre has been preparing 2,000 culturally appropriate meals it plans to hand out in the coming days. 

Food supplies are delivered to the Flemington Towers Government Housing complex on Monday amid complaints from those trapped inside

Food supplies are delivered to the Flemington Towers Government Housing complex on Monday amid complaints from those trapped inside

Food supplies are delivered to the Flemington Towers Government Housing complex on Monday amid complaints from those trapped inside 

Protestors holding signs in protest gathered outside commission flats in lockdown on Monday

Protestors holding signs in protest gathered outside commission flats in lockdown on Monday

Protestors holding signs in protest gathered outside commission flats in lockdown on Monday

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Woman is denied treatment for a broken finger as she refuses to wear a mask inside a hospital

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Footage shows the moment a mother is denied treatment for a suspected broken finger after refusing to wear a mask while inside a hospital. 

The video, shot by Letitia Montana from Toronto, Ontario, shows a heated interaction between herself and the staff of the Emergency Department at St Joseph’s Hospital in the city after she refuses to wear a mask.

Ms Montana, who is hooked up to an ECG machine whilst in the waiting room with her young son, can be heard stating: ‘You’re going to deny me service if I don’t wear a mask’. 

To which a member of medical staff replies: ‘Yes you have to wear a mask, we are asking you to wear a mask’.

Medical staff at St Joseph's Hospital, Toronto, who insist Ms Montana must comply to the Ministry of Health's policy

Medical staff at St Joseph's Hospital, Toronto, who insist Ms Montana must comply to the Ministry of Health's policy

Medical staff at St Joseph's Hospital, Toronto, who insist Ms Montana must comply to the Ministry of Health's policy

Medical staff at St Joseph's Hospital, Toronto, who insist Ms Montana must comply to the Ministry of Health's policy

Medical staff at St Joseph’s Hospital, Toronto, who insist Ms Montana must comply to the Ministry of Health’s policy

Ms Montana, an Insurance and Investment Advisor, then continues talking to the camera: ‘I am in St Joseph’s Hospital they are telling me that if I don’t wear a mask they won’t assist me they want me to leave.’

The staff remind her that the policy is enforced by the Ministry of Health, brought in to prevent the spread of covid-19.

However Ms Montana refuses to comply, later telling her Twitter followers that she was ‘asked to leave’ before staff ‘immediately called three security guards to escort me out’.

The video, shot by Letitia Montana from Toronto, Ontario, (pictured) shows a heated interaction between herself and the staff of the Emergency Department at St Joseph¿s Hospital in the city

The video, shot by Letitia Montana from Toronto, Ontario, (pictured) shows a heated interaction between herself and the staff of the Emergency Department at St Joseph¿s Hospital in the city

The video, shot by Letitia Montana from Toronto, Ontario, (pictured) shows a heated interaction between herself and the staff of the Emergency Department at St Joseph’s Hospital in the city

On July 2 Ms Montana shared an image of herself with journalist Dan Dicks at a protest against the measures taken to control covid-19

On July 2 Ms Montana shared an image of herself with journalist Dan Dicks at a protest against the measures taken to control covid-19

On July 2 Ms Montana shared an image of herself with journalist Dan Dicks at a protest against the measures taken to control covid-19

The video shared by Ms Montana to her Twitter has received mixed reviews with 4.2million views and thousands of retweets

The video shared by Ms Montana to her Twitter has received mixed reviews with 4.2million views and thousands of retweets

The video shared by Ms Montana to her Twitter has received mixed reviews with 4.2million views and thousands of retweets

The self-professed 'freedom lover' and 'truther' has made her anti-mask views clear on Twitter

The self-professed 'freedom lover' and 'truther' has made her anti-mask views clear on Twitter

The self-professed ‘freedom lover’ and ‘truther’ has made her anti-mask views clear on Twitter

The self-professed ‘freedom lover’ and ‘truther’ has made her anti-mask views clear on Twitter stating: ‘The few times I put a mask on I could hardly breathe especially with the hot summer heat.

‘This has lead me to do research on them & what I learned from the science is that they do compromise your health in more ways than one.’

The video shared by Ms Montana to her Twitter has received mixed reviews with 4.2million views and thousands of retweets – many of whom branded her a ‘Karen’.

The name ‘Karen’ has been used to describe entitled middle-aged women in modern slang, but can apply to people who use their privilege to exert power in oftentimes unnecessary instances.

The name 'Karen' has been used to describe entitled middle-aged women in modern slang, but can apply to people who use their privilege to exert power in oftentimes unnecessary instances - here Twitter users liken Ms Montana to a 'Karen', which she disputes

The name 'Karen' has been used to describe entitled middle-aged women in modern slang, but can apply to people who use their privilege to exert power in oftentimes unnecessary instances - here Twitter users liken Ms Montana to a 'Karen', which she disputes

The name ‘Karen’ has been used to describe entitled middle-aged women in modern slang, but can apply to people who use their privilege to exert power in oftentimes unnecessary instances – here Twitter users liken Ms Montana to a ‘Karen’, which she disputes

The pop culture phrase has skyrocketed in recent months after several ‘Karen’ incidents were shared online, including one incident when Amy Cooper of New York City falsely reported to police that a black man was attacking her in Central Park after he asked that she leash her dog.

In this case, the term ‘Karen’ has been used as a catch-all moniker to target a number of Americans who now refuse to wear face masks in public during the coronavirus pandemic.

Doctor Michelle Cohen tweeted in response: ‘Glad to see the hospital I trained at has their priorities straight: Protecting vulnerable patients from those who think infection control doesn’t apply to them. Enforcing health privacy regulations by not letting you film a hospital.’

Sharing a picture of the nurse who stood arms folded as Ms Montana refused to wear a mask she added: ‘And whoever this nurse is: congrats on being a total boss.’ 

Doctor Michelle Cohen tweeted in response: 'Glad to see the hospital I trained at has their priorities straight' before praising the nurse for her actions

Doctor Michelle Cohen tweeted in response: 'Glad to see the hospital I trained at has their priorities straight' before praising the nurse for her actions

Doctor Michelle Cohen tweeted in response: ‘Glad to see the hospital I trained at has their priorities straight’ before praising the nurse for her actions

Democrat and candidate for US House of Reps, Rob Anderson, sarcastically thanked Ms Montana for sharing the video

Democrat and candidate for US House of Reps, Rob Anderson, sarcastically thanked Ms Montana for sharing the video

Democrat and candidate for US House of Reps, Rob Anderson, sarcastically thanked Ms Montana for sharing the video

A cancer patient who had worn a mask for five hours during chemo treatment last week tweeted in response to the video

A cancer patient who had worn a mask for five hours during chemo treatment last week tweeted in response to the video

A cancer patient who had worn a mask for five hours during chemo treatment last week tweeted in response to the video

Screen writer Randi Mayem Singer made the point of how hospital policies are put in place for good reason

Screen writer Randi Mayem Singer made the point of how hospital policies are put in place for good reason

Screen writer Randi Mayem Singer made the point of how hospital policies are put in place for good reason

Twitter user Dan Legris tweeted in support of Ms Montana saying that people don't realize that a mask is 'about social conditioning and nothing to do with health or a virus'

Twitter user Dan Legris tweeted in support of Ms Montana saying that people don't realize that a mask is 'about social conditioning and nothing to do with health or a virus'

Twitter user Dan Legris tweeted in support of Ms Montana saying that people don’t realize that a mask is ‘about social conditioning and nothing to do with health or a virus’

While a cancer patient who had worn a mask for five hours during chemo treatment last week tweeted: ‘I wore a mask for five hours straight while attached to machines monitoring my vitals. 99 per cent oxygen the whole damn time. Wear a damn mask and stop being a child.’

On July 2 Ms Montana shared an image of herself with journalist Dan Dicks at a protest against the measures taken to control covid-19. 

She tweeted: ‘Proud to have been on Parliament Hill today together with thousands of patriotic Canadians taking a stand for our freedoms! Here with the one & only Dan Dicks of Press for truth. #canadiansforfreedom #TrueNorthStrongAndFree #HappyCanadaDay2020 Check out my YT for footage tmr! :)’

Speaking at the protest Ms Montana told crowds: ‘Everyone of us matters, the controllers that are trying to impose this inhumane agenda on all of us are counting on the fact of us not speaking up and not standing in our power.

‘They want people to be compliant little sheep and that serves their agenda.’  

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