The Mehajer family’s latest diversion tactic involves balloons, babies and a party

Ibraham Sakalaki and Kat Mehajer married in August. Photo: Emilio B Photography & Mehajer Pty LtdIn a bid to become Australia’s answer to the Kardashians, the Mehajer family of Sydney’s western suburbs are instead resembling Jim Carrey at the height of his comedic fame. When the pressure from negative news gets too much, the knee jerk reaction is to pull on a happy mask and declare, “It’s party time!”
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P.A.R.T why? Because they gotta.

Days after the parents of former Auburn deputy mayor Salim – Mohamad and Amal Mehajer – declared themselves bankrupt just hours before they were due in court over a $10 million tax debt, the Mehajers banded together over the weekend and staged a glittery smoke screen this time in the form of a baby announcement and sex reveal party.

Just three months after celebrating at a lavish wedding that made a Baz Luhrmann film look like a community repertory production, Khadijeh ‘Kat’ Mehajer and her husband Ibraham Sakalaki have announced they are expecting their first child sometime next year.

Instead of a cryptic social media post, a laLara and Sam Worthington, the couple shared the news by opening up Kat’s usually restricted Instagram account and hosting a “gender reveal” party.

Photos and videos thanking caterers and a dress boutique for providing the mother-to-be with an Alex Perry frock plastered the family’s social media platforms, all except brother and budding Halal certified toiletries entrepeneur Salim, who has deleted his account.

It’s been a busy few months for the couple, who, due to their Muslim faith only began spending time alone together after their marriage back in late August.

“1 + 1 = 3. We are pleased to announce Baby IKS2017,” the new Mrs Sakalaki posted to Instagram in late November, along with a photograph of her cradling a baby bump.

At Sunday’s function it was revealed they have conceived a child that will carry the XY chromosome.

“Whatever it is let’s not be upset,” Ibraham said before popping a balloon filled with blue confetti.

The couple were reluctant to comment when approached by Fairfax Media to discuss the baby news. Instead prefacing an interview with a written statement.

“Ibraham and I are happy to answer these questions so long that we are assured no negative stories/stigma is attached to our story,” Mehajer said.


‘Get stuffed’: Trump’s likely message to Australia taxing US multinationals

KPMG tax partner Grant Wardell-Johnson says Trump would tell the world to “get stuffed” when it comes taxing US multinationals. Photo: Daniel MunozAustralia may have tougher laws aimed at recouping more tax from multinationals, but that won’t stop the incoming US President Donald Trump telling us to “get stuffed” in the fight for more revenue from US-based companies, a KPMG tax expert says.
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President-elect Donald Trump has two major changes affecting multinationals under his tax reform agenda. First, he wants to cut the corporate income tax rate from 35 per cent to 15 per cent.

Second, he wants to introduce a special corporate tax repatriation holiday rate whereby corporations with money stashed overseas would be able to pay a tax rate of just 10 per cent on that income in order to bring it back into the United States.

Such a move would benefit multinationals like Apple and Microsoft which currently have billions stashed overseas.

But it would not be great for Australia, said the leader of KPMG’s Australia Tax Centre, Grant Wardell-Johnson.

Mr Wardell-Johnson said if Trump gets his tax reform passed, it wouldn’t really matter how strong Australia’s laws, or those of other countries, are.

Trump would be likely to be of the view that they can “get stuffed”, he said.

The OECD’ plan aimed at ensuring profits are taxed where economic activity is earned, known as Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS), will be implemented by governments around the world over the coming years.

Tax experts have already warned this could usher in tax revenue wars.

This was highlighted in a recent case where the European Commission found Apple was not entitled to a special tax deal in Ireland.

Apple was ordered to pay up to €13 billion ($19 billion) in back taxes, plus interest, to Ireland after the Commission found the software giant had received “illegal state aid”.

Mr Wardell-Johnson said Trump’s proposed policies would increase the odds of such disagreements.

He said the United States had sided with Apple in viewing that decision as being “out-of-step, retrospective and quite extreme”.

Mr Wardell-Johnson said countries that do not cut their tax rates would be “outliers” and this would have a negative impact on their economy.

KPMG chairman Peter Nash said we could see “bidding wars” between nations to attract investment. “We would be very exposed should that [bidding] war erupt,” Mr Nash said.

On Friday it was revealed that almost 700 multinationals with operations in Australia paid zero tax in years gone by.

The corporate tax transparency report published by the Australian Taxation Office showed that more than a third of large public and private companies paid no tax in 2014-15.

The ATO says it is now fighting seven large multinationals for about $2 billion in revenue.

Follow Nassim Khadem on Facebook.


VIDEO: Youths damage police van in Mayfield rampage

SMASHED: A discarded pram is used to smash a window on the parked police van at Mayfield on Saturday night. Officers were able to identify some suspects and make arrests. Pictures: Supplied.IT was Newcastle’s own chapter of William Golding’s masterpiece about young men falling into a state of anarchy.
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Long-time Stagand Hunter publican Aaron Hogg saidhe was at a loss to explain thebehaviour of a group of out-of-control teens any other way after they smashed windows and kicked in panels of a police van and yelled obscenities at officers.

The youths are believed to have emerged from a house party in a nearby Mayfield street just before midnight on Saturday before unleashing their fury on the parked van as officers were away dealing with other unruly behaviour.

WARNING: Explicit languageA video shot by a witness on a smart phone shows several young men kicking and lashing out at the van, with several of them usinga discarded pram as a missilebefore it eventually smashes a large side window.

They run into the middle of Hanbury Street and Maitland Road, wildly congratulate each other and repeatedly yell “f— the police” before returning for some more flying kicks.

They even grab the pram for a second round, trying desperately to smashed the driver’s side front window before taking off again.

Mr Hogg said he could only compare it to scenes in William Golding’s 1954 novel Lord Of The Flies, about a group of British boys who fail to govern themselves on a deserted island.

“I have been here 13 years and have seen plenty, but this was just anarchy,’’ Mr Hogg said.

“There was probably about half a dozen of them, maybe a dozen at times, all having their own little Lord of the Flies moment.

“Nobody was wantingto belt anyone else, it was all just a big parade to show their disdain to the coppers.

“It was a complete disrespect for any sort of authority that I have neverseen before. It was extraordinary.’’

But the anarchy was restored when officers returned to their car and surveyed the damage.

KICKED: The vision shows several suspects kicking panels of the van as others encourage them while officers are busy dealing with a party.

A police statement said the officerssaw four people running east along Maitland Road and started tochase the suspects on foot.

Four teenage boys were arrested and taken to Newcastle police station were they were questioned and charged.

Two 14-year-old boys,and one 16-year-old youth, werecharged with destroying or damagingproperty in company and granted conditional bail to appear at a children’s court on December 19.

DAMAGED: The footage shows several youths returning to the parked van a couple of times to continue the rampage.

The fourth boy, a 16-year-old boy, was charged with destroying or damaging property in company and refused bail.

Investigations are continuing and any other witnesses are urged to contact police.


EDITORIAL: State government unveils light rail and university expansion plans

HIGH up above the city, at the top of the University of Newcastle’s futuristic NeW Space building, NSW Premier Mike Baird and his transport minister, Andrew Constance, are glowing withgoodwill about the benefits they say will flow from their Revitalising Newcastle program.
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Meanwhile, in the shade of nearby Civic Park, a crowd of about 40 people has gatheredto hear Save Our Rail founder Joan Dawson and other speaks determined to keepup the fight. To them, the Wickham transport interchange, the light rail line on Hunter Street and the promise of new university buildings at Honeysuckle are nothing more than a property grab by the government’s developer mates, paid for with taxpayer dollars. Even at this late stage of the debate, their mantra remains: “Bring back the track”. To be fair to Save Our Rail, they are not the only ones still questioningthe decision to opt for a hybrid light rail that runson the corridor between Wickham and Worth Place before moving out onto Hunter Street and Scott Street. Indeed, the Newcastle Herald has voiced suchconcerns. And the government has only invited criticism by refusing to release key documents related to the Newcastle light rail:especially the business case, which would surely quieten the critics if it turned out to be as strong as the government implies that it is.

As things stand, the community is compelled to take the government on trust.Andtrust is in short supply when it comes to the public and politicians. But there is nothing in it for the government to come here and destroy the place. Having truncated the old heavy rail line, it now needs to make this venture work. Keolis-Downer, which will run the bus, ferry and light rail services, has a contract in which itsincentives are based around patronage. The more passengers it has, the more it will be paid. This alone should be incentive enough to design a public transport system that people want to use.

In the meantime, therewill be delays while the light rail tracks are installed. And the protests will continue, although Keolis-Downer says the usual response in cities that have received light rail is for the protests to be replaced by calls for track extensions. For the time being, though, Monday’sannouncements mark a major milestone on the road to the city’s reinvention. There will be no turning back, as Newcastle embraces its destiny, whatever that may be.

ISSUE: 38,412


Fetch TV launches Australia’s first 24-hour eSports and gaming channel

International team OG, which recently added Australian player Ana (right), won their third Boston Major against up-and-coming Greek team Ad Finem. eGG talent: Pinda Rika, Faisal Ariffin, Natasha Hidayah, Abdul Mu’adz, Danelie Purdue and Faraz Shababi.
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Australian eSports stars are stepping onto the world stage, as our country’s first 24/7 eSports and gaming network has begun live coverage of multi-million dollar international gaming tournaments.

The local launch of the Malaysian-based eGG “Every Good Game” network arrived on Fetch TV just in time for the finals of the Dota 2 Boston Major over the weekend, the first event of the 2016/17 Dota 2 championship season. Three Australian gamers were in the mix as 16 international teams competed for a slice of the $4 million prize pool, playing Valve’s super-popular team-based arena game.

It was an appropriate time for the channel’s launch as OG — the team that would go on to win Sunday’s $US1 million grand final — has an Australian as one if its members. Anatham Pham, who goes by the name “Ana”, became the first Australian to have ever won a Valve-sponsored event.

While competitive gaming is traditionally associated with South Korea and China, it has a growing following in South East Asia including Australia, says eGG’s Australian co-host and eSports commentator Danelie Purdue.

“eSports in Australia doesn’t always get the attention it deserves,” Purdue says. “It has a lot of passionate followers but unfortunately it tends to fly under the radar even though there are plenty of tournaments in Australia.”

“Sometimes it feels like Australian eSports fans have resigned themselves to the fact that it won’t go mainstream but I don’t think that’s true – it perhaps needs a bit of a kickstart and hopefully eGG coming to Australia can play a part in that.”

One of three Australian eSports casters on the eGG network, Purdue works alongside former competitive Call of Duty player Toby “TobiWan” Dawson and Australian eSports promoter David “GoDz” Parker who was one of the first eSports casters to offer English coverage of the Asian Dota 2 scene.

The network offers coverage of international eSports tournaments covering games such as Dota 2, League of Legends, Call of Duty: Black Ops, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void. Along with live coverage of tournaments and highlights packages, eGG also focuses on gaming culture including game reviews, coverage from gaming conventions and couch-based talk shows similar to traditional sports networks.

Competitive gaming is attracting significant audiences around the globe, with 36 million fans watching the 2015 League of Legends world championships streamed live online. While the tournament was streamed on YouTube, twitch.tv and Azubu, with a peak audience of 14 million concurrent viewers during the final, traditional broadcaster BBC also streamed live matches within the United Kingdom.

Purdue moved from Australia to Malaysia last year to become a commentator with eGG. A passionate amateur eSports caster, she took a year off from studying games art and design at Perth’s Murdoch University to move to Malaysia in the hope of landing work as a professional commentator and was offered the job with eGG only a week before she was due to return to Australia.

“It was a big gamble for me, moving to Malaysia to build my connections in the eSports world, but it paid off — it’s a huge opportunity and I really believe Malaysia has the potential to be the eSports capital of South East Asia,” she says. “That could be great news for Australian eSports — we have a couple of players on the world stage but they’re playing for different foreign teams and we’re yet to see an Australian team in there.”

“Right now I’m not sure there’s enough local talent to produce an Australian team but, as with many sports, once a few Aussie players find international success it opens the doors for others to play and train overseas and builds a foundation for a future on the world stage.”

With Tim Biggs