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Australian News

Sydney barrister in fight over Lamborghini’s ‘offensive’ number plate


A top Sydney barrister has got into a legal battle of his own over the “offensive” number plate on his bright yellow Lamborghini, which reads: “LGOPNR”.

Peter Lavac said most people would never connect the dots and realise his number plate was cheekily saying “leg opener”.

But at least one person did, in fact, connect those dots, and soon Transport NSW was calling for his plates to be removed.

“Tough s***,” Mr Lavac unapologetically told The Sunday Telegraph.

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Transport NSW gave him 18 days to change his number plate, writing in a letter: “Transport for NSW determined that these number plates could be considered offensive and must be returned.”

From Palm Beach in Sydney’s northern beaches, Mr Lavac fought for his right to keep the number plate and challenged the letter in his local court on September 1.

He argued it was a free speech issue.

“I resent anyone who’s trying to violate my freedom of speech and expression,” the former Hong Kong crown prosecutor said.

“They (the number plates) are meant to be humorous, tongue-in-cheek, funny and entertaining.

“That is how most people find them when it’s explained to them.

“But how could you possibly construe recreational sex between two consenting adults as ever being offensive or demeaning in any way, shape or form?

“How many other little Aussie battlers who have similar bullying letters, have caved in and laid down and let (Transport NSW) walk all over them because they didn‘t have my resources or legal expertise to stand up to this and challenge them?”

In the end, Transport NSW backed down, which Mr Lavac believed was because they used an outdated section of the law.

Transport NSW safety, environment and regulation deputy secretary Tara McCarthy said that the department relies a lot on members of the public to report offensive plates, as many controversial number plates slip through the vetting process.

“If a member of the public finds a plate offensive they can report it to Transport for NSW which will investigate and the plate may then be recalled,” she said.



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Local News - Victoria

Tired of takeaway, Ocean Grove’s cafes prepare to plate up again


Under the new rules, the Driftwood Cafe will accommodate 20 people inside and 12 outdoors.

Mr Simons said the numbers would need to increase to about 50 per cent of normal capacity – which is about 100 patrons – for the venue to be financially viable without the support of JobKeeper.

But he is still excited to serve food on plates again.

“We’ve gone through an extraordinary amount of takeaway containers,” he said. “We want to use our plates again. We want people to sit down and enjoy themselves.”

Mr Simons, who is also president of the Ocean Grove Business Association, said he was working with traders and the council on a compromise arrangement to use some car parking and more footpath space for hospitality businesses in The Terrace shopping strip.

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But Ocean Grove Cellars manager Isaac Fryar took issue with the prospect of losing parking spots, fearing it may deter customers.

“We don’t want to lose access to our businesses,” he said.

Mr Fryar said parking on The Terrace was particularly important during the summer influx of visitors.

The Premier said on Wednesday that hospitality businesses would receive support to expand their outdoor capacity.

But concerns about parking access for retailers loom as a challenge that may need to be managed.

In the White Hart cafe, nestled in an arcade off The Terrace, owner Alisha Cogan was trying to determine whether her walkway tables were considered outdoors. She hoped restrictions would be eased further so she could open her tiny cafe at full capacity in coming months.

“Summer’s coming. We definitely hope to be at full capacity by then,” she said.

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Australian News

Sydney FC beaten 2-1 by Newcastle Jets as Sky Blues are made to wait to clinch the A-League Premiers’ Plate


Substitute Kosta Petratos has delayed Sydney’s charge to the A-League’s Premiers’ Plate with a late winner in Newcastle’s 2-1 away victory over the Sky Blues.

Sydney only need a point to secure a record fourth Premiers’ Plate and led for more than half an hour at Jubilee Oval.

But a spectacular equaliser from Nick Fitzgerald and a 20-metre stoppage-time strike from Petratos, his first A-League goal, earned the Jets a win.

It moved them up to eighth, three points behind sixth-placed Adelaide, who have a game in hand.

The Jets had 15 shots to five and controlled play for 40 minutes either side of half-time, despite falling behind.

It was an unconvincing performance by Sydney, who were forced to defend more than they have for most of the season.

“We weren’t good enough,” Sydney coach Steve Corica said.

“I thought they played well, had more chances than us and we looked quite heavy in the second half.”

A goalkeeper flies over a pack to punch the ball as a number of players duck for cover or watch on
Sydney FC goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne punches clear.(ABC News: Brendan Esposito)

Sydney took the lead with a beautifully constructed goal in the 25th minute, with Anthony Caceres sliding home from close range after Rhyan Grant and Alex Baumjohann combined.

But Sydney suffered a big blow after 31 minutes when Socceroos defender Grant was forced off with what appeared to be a groin or hamstring injury.

His marauding raids down the right were one of the features of the first half-hour and he featured in some fine one-touch moves, with his departure robbing Sydney of much of their attacking thrust.

It looked like Newcastle could go unrewarded when Roy O’Donovan watched his shot cannon off a post in the 51st minute, but a well-deserved equaliser came in the 58th minute, when Nick Fitzgerald spectacularly volleyed home a cross from Matt Millar.

Then came the grand finale, when Petratos stunned the small crowd by curling in a shot to give Newcastle a win in its first game in almost four months.

A goalkeeper stares wide-eyed at a ball in front of him. A Sydney FC player looks to have just completed a header
The Jets had the better of the game, but left it late to win.(ABC News: Brendan Esposito)

The Jets have won four of their last five and taken 14 points from seven matches under coach Carl Robinson.

“If that doesn’t give the players confidence I don’t know what will, because it wasn’t a smash and grab it was a terrific controlled performance, playing the way I want to play,” Robinson said.

“We weren’t clinical enough in the final third in the first half so I was disappointed with that and I let them know, and they took it on board.”

Corica made three substitutions on the hour, bringing on Trent Buhagier, Milos Ninkovic and Joel King in a bid to turn the game around and the trio did add some more urgency, as Sydney pressed for a winner.

In the first half, Newcastle had six more shots than Sydney but Sky Blues goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne was only forced into three saves.

AAP



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