Australia News: Queensland Stadium, Resale Rules, Fraud Charges & More

– Queensland Country Bank Stadium

Queensland Stadium Getting New Name
The new North Queensland Stadium in Townsville will open as Queensland Country Bank Stadium in February. 
Stadiums Queensland struck a six-year deal with Queensland Country Credit Union, which will transition from a credit union to a member-owned bank in 2020. 
The 25,000-seat venue cost A$293.5 million (US$205.6 million). Its first music event is Elton John Feb. 29.
Inaugural Drip World Delayed Again
The inaugural four-city Aussie hip-hop festival Drip World cancelled a second time. 
It was set for August 2019 with Migos, Akon and French Montana at all editions, but visa issues involving “key artists” first saw it pushed to January. 
Now “unforeseen circumstances and artist availability” forced organizers to offer refunds with promises to reschedule once again.
Government To Tighten Resale Rules
Australia is planning legislation that requires ticket resale sites to disclose stubs’ original face value and to note when they are not the primary seller. 
Assistant treasurer Michael Sukkar said it would “(make) it easier for Australians to make informed choices about their purchases” – a sentiment shared by Live Performance Australia’s chief executive Evelyn Richardson and Ticket Brokers Associations of Australia president Josh Gladwin in their responses.
Reselling sites were in the news this past month when 400 fans were denied entry to nine Elton John shows for invalid tickets. 
Viagogo also pulled entries for Melbourne International Comedy Festival shows after it was warned mark-ups on its platform could breach consumer laws which ban resales at over 10% face value.  
Stubs for Lizzo’s mid-January theatre shows originally priced under A$100 (US$70.05) were asking for A$19,000 ($13,309).
Two Charged With Fraud Over Nashville Singer
A 44-year old man and a 41-year old woman from the Sunshine Coast were charged with five counts each of fraud involving an aspiring country music singer. 
According to police, they collected A$900,000 (US$631,170) in 2014 from friends, claiming to invest in the singer’s career in Nashville, and paying dividends as her career developed. 
Police claimed the pair used the money for their restaurant. The 23-year old singer, now back in Australia, was unaware of the alleged scheme.

Two States Trial Drug Amnesty Bins
New South Wales (NSW) and Western Australia (WA) began offering drug amnesty bins at festivals as alternatives to pill-testing labs. 
The bins are overseen by health authorities, “with no questions asked,” said NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian. Sydney’s 12-month trial began with NYE In The Park (Dec. 31), Falls Festival Byron Bay (Dec. 31 to Jan. 2) Field Day (Jan. 1) and FOMO (11).
Police were told to keep away from the bins so as not to scare pill-dumpers. But anyone thinking this signified a softening of enforcement were proved wrong. 
At Field Day – which drew 27,000 attendees – officers and sniffer dogs were out in force. There were 169 arrests, mostly for possession and two for supply. Four patrons collapsed from suspected overdoses.
WA’s trial began at Origin (Dec. 31 and Jan. 1). Police were initially reluctant to support the bins: a trial in 2019 at Origin saw only 12 out of 18,000 attendees use them.