News in 5: Masterchef star homeless; Socceroos out of World cup; Ex-AFL star jailed.

-With AAP

1. Masterchef star Dani Venn loses $250,000 in hacking scam.

Former Masterchef contestant Dani Venn and her family lost $250,000 when the company handling their conveyancing was hacked.

The cook, who has gone on to work in TV and start her own businesses, has been left homeless after the proceeds of her home’s sale were stolen. Dani, her husband Chris and their two children cannot afford to settle their new property.

Speaking to A Current Affair, Dani said she feared this could happen to anyone.

“This is our life savings here, we’ve got two small children, a four-and-a-half-month-old, and a three-and-a-half-year-old.”

Dani and their kids have moved in with her mother and Chris is living in a caravan while they try to sort their situation out.

But it’s looking bleak.

Wow!!! We are completely blown away by your generosity. We have received almost 15k in one day and we are incredibly grateful for your support, whether it’s through funds, offering a place to stay, a heart felt message or sharing our story. We can not thank you enough and the money raised so far is amazing. You have bought some sunshine back into our lives! We hope through this campaign that one of the parties involved in this situation other than our friends, family, the general public and ourselves can give us back our money unconditionally and so that we can refund your kind donations immediately. It just isn’t right, but by donating to us, we feel you are voting for us and standing by what you think is right, so thank you. If you haven’t already realised this issue will also affect you as from October in Victoria and SA and 1 July in NSW you will have no choice but to use this software platform to settle your property as e-conveyancing is becoming mandatory. If you are worried about this, please share our story and raise your voice and concern to government to stop this from happening as the platform is clearly not ready. However alarmingly the shareholders of PEXA are the State Governments (Qld, Vic, SA, NSW) and they are set to receive up to 1 billion dollars later this year as PEXA is planning to go public with on the ASX. But at whose expense?? Thanks once again, Dani, Chris, Harlow and Oscar ps – for more info link in profile ????

A post shared by Dani Venn (@thewholeheartedcook) on

The couple need to find the $120,000 to settle their property by the end of the week or they’ll lose their deposit and the home.

The theft occurred when Property Exchange Australia (PEXA), the online platform their conveyancers were using was targetted by hackers who created a fake username under their PEXA account. This allowed new bank details to be added, so Dani’s family’s money was moved to the fraudster’s accounts.

A Current Affair reports PEXA was warned they were at risk of attack before it happened.


But their CEO said only that the “conveyancer approved bank account details that were incorrect”.

Dani’s bank has been able to recover $138,000 of the stolen funds, but $110,00 is not able to be recovered.

2. Former Socceroo slams Australia’s efforts after the nation’s team drops out of World Cup.

Overnight Australia dropped out of the World Cup after going down to Peru 2-0 – and former Socceroo Craig Foster was not happy about it.

Foster, who is now a soccer analyst for SBS, said after the match ended that Australia had failed to learn anything from our last World Cup turn, where the Socceroos lost all three matches.

“In my view, we haven’t learnt from the last four years and we’ve come here and … according to the style of play, the guys executed it extremely well, but Australia’s capable of more.”

He’s predicted all involved in Australia’s national team would “dust ourselves off and learn very little, if anything, and then move on to the next campaign.”

Australia had needed both a win against Peru and for France to defeat Denmark to progress to the round of 16. Neither transpired.

Australia’s tournament ended at the group stage for the third-straight occasion and they leave Russia winless.

But van Marwijk delivered a last message to Australians: “Heads up.”

“In all three games we gave a good performance and this team has really improved since the day I started working with them, he said.

“In all three games we couldn’t really make a difference in goals and that is something the squad is missing at this level.


Tim Cahill made a belated entry to the tournament, and with it, notched an appearance at a fourth World Cup, but the 38-year-old’s arrival could not bring Australia the desired result.

Van Marwijk is stepping down as head coach after a five-month contract following Ange Postecoglou’s resignation. Graham Arnold will become Socceroos coach with January’s Asian Cup in his sights.

3. Police hunt for driver who allegedly caused CBD three-car pile up and injured pedestrian.

A driver is on the run after hitting a pedestrian in Melbourne’s CBD in an allegedly stolen car.

Police say the Toyota Camry hit three cars and a man on A’Beckett Street, shortly after police tried to intercept it on Flinders Street at about 5pm on Tuesday.

The driver of the car and a passenger, both of whom were men, abandoned the vehicle on A’Beckett Street and fled on foot.

The struck man, aged in his 20s or 30s, was taken to the Alfred Hospital with serious injuries.

Police do not believe the incident is terror-related but have urged people to avoid the area.

Witness Troy Naismith said he watched from his balcony as a car hit at least one other vehicle and a traffic light within about 20 seconds on A’Beckett street, before its driver fled.

“He ping-ponged into this car here, into the traffic light, knocked the traffic light over, and then hopped out the car and ran off up the road,” he told reporters at the scene.

Police had believed another crash on Market Street was connected to the A’Beckett incident, but have since determined it was totally separate.


In that crash, two pedestrians were assessed by paramedics after a car hit a traffic pole, and did not wish to be taken to hospital.

4. Ex-AFL star Shannon Grant jailed over jealous assaults of ex partner.

Former AFL star Shannon Grant has been jailed for jealously assaulting his girlfriend a number of times as he struggled with alcohol issues.

Grant, 41, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to several assaults on the woman, including stomping on her bare foot after she got out of a bath at a Victorian resort.

He was jailed for six months by a Melbourne magistrate but spent only two hours in custody as he immediately appealed the sentence and was released on bail.

The North Melbourne premiership midfielder admitted assaulting the woman at his Highett home, at a suburban beach and at a Yarra Valley resort in 2017.

During the incident at Balgownie Estate, Grant also knocked the woman to the ground and fell on her, causing her to hit her head and elbow on the hard floor.

“She was crying, explaining that her elbow was in a lot of pain,” police prosecutor Dale Andrews told Moorabbin Magistrates Court.

The woman, who subsequently left Grant, had bruising on her foot, elbow and face and had ongoing physical injuries as well as psychological trauma and fatigue.

“I felt manipulated, betrayed and unable to feel safe,” she said in her victim impact statement, read by police prosecutor Dale Andrews.

“My left foot took several months to heal. I was unable to exercise for two months due to the pain.”


She also cut her head when Grant had forcefully shrugged her off as they struggled over her mobile phone outside the ex-Kangaroo’s home.

Grant had on each occasion tried to snatch the woman’s phone away, suspecting she had been texting other men.

5. Crash victim koala returning to the wild.

After being struck by a car in Victoria’s southwest seven months ago, things were not looking good for a koala named Ernie.

But you would not have known the four-year-old had suffered a grisly cut to his back, nor fractured a piece of his femur, by the way he took to a tree near the state’s Brisbane Ranges National Park last week.

Zoos Victoria say Ernie was released in a private property near the park, marking his return to the wild just in time for breeding season.

He had been in care since being hit near Hamilton in November, prompting a surgery rarely performed on the native species to install two metal screws into his femur.

That was followed by months of rehabilitative care by local wildlife shelter operator Marilyn Blankley and Werribee Zoo veterinary experts.

A video of Ernie’s release, distributed by Zoos Victoria, shows the koala taking a look over his shoulder while sitting below a tree before confidently hopping onto its trunk and climbing upwards.

Ms Blankley said it was a “wonderful sight”.

“He looked so strong and he just totally reverted back to being an animal in the wild in an instant,” she said in a statement.

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