The family of a delivery rider who died on the job is calling for a gig economy overhaul

It took more than three weeks before the family of Chow Khai Shien were finally able to lay him to rest in Malaysia. 

“My mom just cannot accept that he passed away in a foreign country, that he passed away alone,” his sister Kai Sing Chow told SBS News from Singapore. 

“We have not seen him for a year because of the pandemic, he had plans to return home to Malaysia next January.” 

Mr Chow, 36, died in late October after a crash in Melbourne’s CBD while he was delivering food on a motor scooter. 

He is one of five delivery riders who have died on the job in Australia in the past two months. The Transport Workers’ Union has described the spate of deaths as a “crisis of national importance”.  

Hampered by COVID-19 travel restrictions, Mr Chow’s family held a virtual funeral in Melbourne, organised by his lone relative in the country, a cousin.  His ashes were then sent to Malaysia. 

Mr Chow had dreams of owning a restaurant with his family and working as a chef.

He was already working as a chef at a Melbourne restaurant but lost his job when the pandemic hit and lockdown restrictions came into effect.   

“He needed to earn money, to get by. I remember asking him, are you sure you want to work as a delivery rider, I worried about his safety on the roads, but he told me it was safe.

“And now we have seen, that he has passed away just because of a few dollars of delivery. It makes my heart break.” 

Chow Khai Shien (left) with his family.


In Australia, most gig economy workers are classified as independent contractors, not employees.  

Independent contractors are not entitled to benefits such as minimum wages, superannuation, and workers compensation.  While some delivery companies do offer a level of cover, there is no legal requirement for businesses to do so. 

Jim Stanford, economist and director of the Centre for Future Work, said the characterisation of delivery riders as independent contractors was a “technological loophole”. 

“By hiring and firing people through an application, these digital businesses try to pretend these workers are not workers, that they are independent contractors, that is a technological fiction.

“In practical terms, that’s ridiculous.  These workers are clearly working for these digital platforms, performing relatively menial and often dangerous tasks for low pay. 

“I don’t think this loophole should mean that these workers are deprived of the rights that any other worker in the economy would have.” 

Mr Chow (left) had dreams of owning a restaurant with his family and working as a chef.

Mr Chow (left) had dreams of owning a restaurant with his family and working as a chef.


Since September, five delivery workers have died on Australian roads. Four of the deaths were in Sydney. 

The NSW state government recently set up a task force to investigate the deaths.

It will be led by SafeWork New South Wales and Transport for New South Wales and will examine whether any avoidable risks may have contributed to the deaths and whether there are improvements that need to be made to enhance safety.

Calls for more rights and protections 

Chow Kai Sing – Mr Chow’s sister – said she is speaking out because she hopes her brother’s death can spur changes that prevent similar fatalities in the future. 

She hopes that government regulation will mandate for all delivery companies to have personal accident insurance and to have more safety protocols for the protection of riders. 

“Many of these riders are the most vulnerable, they are on the lowest income and they are putting themselves out, exposing themselves during the COVID pandemic. 

“I know that many of them rush from order to order to make deadlines that are set out by the delivery companies, and they are dying in this line of work.” 

The Transport Workers Union has been advocating for the federal government to set up a tribunal to deal with the gig economy. 

“It needs to set up a tribunal that can then put in place appropriate protections for these workers and put in place obligations on these companies so they can’t run around like it is the Wild West.” 

Federal Industrial Relations Minister Christian Porter said the issue was largely a state and territory one, but committed to bringing it up at the next meeting of work health and safety ministries.

“Every worker, no matter how their employment arrangements are structured, has the right to a safe working environment and to come home to their families at the end of each day,” he said in a statement.

DoorDash, the company which Chow Khai Shien was working for, told SBS News in a statement that health and safety is its priority and that it has signed an agreement with the Transport Workers’ Union earlier this year to provide a broad range of protections for its drivers. 

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Robbie Fradd is using the expertise of former champion rider Jeff Lloyd to give his career another kick along in Queensland.

Robbie Fradd is enjoying a hot streak at the moment as he and his old adversary Jeff Lloyd go about teaching the young guns a thing or two in a blossoming new partnership.

Lloyd recently took up the management of Fradd after the pair spent many years competing against each other on the track in a number of countries.

Fradd has wound back the clock in November, riding a treble at Caloundra last Friday, a double at Doomben the following day and a winner from his only ride at Ipswich on Wednesday.

Fradd at one time was in the same stable as Lloyd being managed by Cameron Partington before joining the Glen Courtney team.

Fradd said he had no issue with Courtney, but wanted someone to more specifically concentrate on his rides and that’s when he approached Lloyd.

Lloyd took on the management of Sean Cormack some time ago, keen to see him secure more opportunities and he had no hesitation accepting the Fradd offer.

“I needed someone to concentrate on myself and Jeff is very good with his form and does track work as well,” Fradd said.

“It’s only been a short time, but he has been very good at picking rides for me.”

Lloyd managed his own rides for the last couple of years before retiring, priding himself on judging where horses can improve or are ready to win.

“He’s very good. He studies a lot,” Fradd said.

“We can go through the race together, discuss certain things, work out how we expect it to be run.

“Jeff rides work for Toby and Trent (Edmonds) most mornings and I go there on Tuesdays.

“It does help. We will gallop some together, other times he will work it out and let me know. He loves it.”

Fradd says the change has put a real spring in his step.

“I’m getting rides from people I’ve never got rides from before and winning on them,” he said.

“He’s done extremely well for me.”

Fradd has a good association with the Toby and Trent Edmonds stable, highlighted by this year’s Stradbroke with Tyzone and the combination has linked for three winners over the past two Saturdays.

They combine again on Saturday with Grey Missile in the Mooloolaba Cup.

“The grey horse galloped well Tuesday morning and I think the mile on the bigger track will suit him, because he will be in the first two where he likes to be,” Fradd said.


Jimmy Orman’s big summer hope might be bound for Hong Kong, but he still has an old favourite knocking on the door of another feature win at Caloundra on Saturday.

Orman piloted Command’n’conquer to a monster win first-up and the hulking gelding looked like being a potential summer star until news filtered through this week that Steve Tregea had accepted an offer to sell him to Hong Kong.

“It’s a bit disappointing, but Steve does what he’s got to do. It will be good to watch him race over there,” Orman said.

“I rate him pretty high. They don’t usually pick them up like he did the other day and he did it easily.”

Orman and Tregea link up with the old warrior Niccanova in the Mooloolaba Cup.

The trio almost pulled off this year’s Stradbroke after Orman put his body through hell to make the 53.5kg impost.

Niccanova subsequently had a fruitless trip to Sydney, before returning home and running a solid sixth in last week’s Keith Noud.

“The Sydney prep probably just took a bit of the sprint out of his legs and he found it too sharp last week,” Orman, who rode a treble at Beaudesert on Thursday, said.

“The mile will suit him now. I just have to get him relaxed in behind the speed. We don’t want him doing what he did in the Epsom and taking off.

“He goes good at the track. I should have won the Glasshouse on him last year and he was good again the last time he went there in January.

“I definitely think he can win.”

Meanwhile, Ben Thompson hopes Bleu Zebra can keep his winning run going when she resumes in Race 6.

“She gave me a great feel (in the trial). She has drawn a bit wide but it’s a very fair start and with the rail in the true position, I think she will get into a decent position,” he said.

“She has led her first two starts but she can be ridden with cover as well like she was in the trial when she finished off well.

“I will just try to get into a good position and hopefully she will be too good for them.”

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Trail rider with serious injuries rescued by chopper crew

A GROUP of trail bike riders activated an Emergency Distress Beacon in the Nymboida National Park near Newton Boyd today after one of their riders was injured.

Just before 5.30pm on Saturday the Westpac Rescue Helicopter was called into pick up the injured rider. It came from a request by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) to the activation of an Emergency Distress Beacon in the area west of Grafton.

Early details from the scene indicated it was activated by a party of four trail bike riders riding in the remote nation park in the vicinity of the Boyd River.

Using Digital Directional Finding Equipment on-board the Westpac Rescue Helicopter they were able to home into the location of the active beacon where the party of four trail bike riders were located.

The Westpac Rescue Helicopter was able to land near to the riders where the Critical Care Medical Team assessed a 41 year old male that had fallen from his bike and had suffered serious leg injuries.

The man was stabilised by the Critical Care Medical Team before being flown direct to the Lismore Base Hospital in a stable condition.

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Giro d’Italia rider Fernando Gaviria tests positive to coronavirus, as race faces uncertain fate

Colombian sprinter Fernando Gaviria has become the latest cyclist to withdraw from the Giro d’Italia after testing positive for the coronavirus as the race heads toward an uncertain conclusion this weekend.

A staff member for Team AG2R La Mondiale was the only other positive out of 492 tests carried out on Sunday and Monday to coincide with the race’s second rest day, organisers RCS Sport said.

The race is scheduled to end on Sunday in Milan, the capital of the Lombardy region, which is putting in place a nightly curfew beginning on Thursday because of a rising number of COVID-19 cases in an area already hit hard during the first wave of infections.

Two other stages in the final week of the race are also slated to ride through Lombardy.

Race director Mauro Vegni has said from the start that the race’s greatest achievement would be reaching the finish in Milan.

The three-week event was already rescheduled from its usual slot in May because of the pandemic.

Gaviria’s UAE Team Emirates said the rider “was immediately isolated following the test result and is feeling well and is completely asymptomatic”.

The team noted that Gaviria also had COVID-19 in March.

Gaviria has won five stages at the Giro during his career — four in 2017 and one in 2019, plus two stages at the 2018 Tour de France.

Overall contenders Simon Yates and Steven Kruijswijk had already been withdrawn from the race after testing positive, as had Australian standout Michael Matthews.

Yates’ Mitchelton-Scott team and Kruijswijk’s Jumbo-Visma team withdrew their entire squads last week following a series of positive results from the first rest day.

Team Emirates said all of its other riders and staff came back negative in the latest round of exams. The team added that its medical staff was “monitoring the situation closely and doing all they can to ensure that we can proceed safely”.


Italy added another 10,874 confirmed coronavirus infections to its official toll on Tuesday.

The Government has implemented new restrictions to curb nightlife and socialising in hopes of slowing the resurging outbreak.

Another 89 people died, bringing Italy’s official COVID-19 death toll to 36,705, the second highest in Europe after Britain.

A face-mask wearing cyclist in a pink jersey sprays champagne after a Giro d'Italia stage.
João Almeida still holds the leader’s pink jersey with five days left in the Giro d’Italia.(AP/LaPresse: Marco Alpozzi)

Portuguese rider João Almeida leads the race by 17 seconds ahead of Dutch rival Wilco Kelderman.

Team Bahrain-McLaren’s Jan Tratnik earned his first stage victory in a Grand Tour by winning the 16th stage, beating Australian rider Ben O’Connor by seven seconds at the end of the hilly 229 kilometre route from Udine to San Daniele del Friuli.

Neither of them had ever won a stage in a Grand Tour and both entered the final stretch together.

However, it was Tratnik who crossed the line first, with his arms outstretched and tears streaming down his face. O’Connor — riding for NTT Pro Cycling — thumped the handlebars in frustration.


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Top MTB Rider Jesse Melamed’s Epic Flow at Whistler Bike Park

This article originally appeared on and was republished with permission.

Top-ranked Enduro World Series rider Jesse Melamed is a master of flow. To prove that point, let the video above serve as Exhibit A.

Last week, Melamed laid down a few hot laps during Closing Day at Whistler Bike Park. With a little bit of snow and whole lot of flow, the Whistler-native gave a proper send-off to his hometown bike park’s last day of the 2020 season.

Here’s what Melamed had to say about the ride: “2 weeks off the bike and we were all feeling a bit sketchy! Nothing like some primo dirt and the best jumps in the world to get back to though!”


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Commonwealth Bank and St George held accounts for Options Rider investor scam, FinCEN files show

A friend recommended Carmelita Roque invest her savings in Options Rider.

Options Rider’s use of Australian banks gave the US Army officer comfort her money was safe.

“Seeing the money that I would be wiring would be going to a country like Australia, in my mind that was convincing enough that that company was legitimate,” Ms Roque said.

She deposited thousands of dollars into Options Rider’s Australian bank account and watched it grow to nearly $100,000 on its online platform.

Then the website stopped loading — it was a scam ripping off thousands of investors around the world to the tune of at least $8 million in one year.

“The heaviest part of it was when I kept beating myself up about how stupid I was getting into that ordeal,” she said.

A leak of highly secretive US Treasury documents reveals new details of the scam’s American and Canadian victims, who wired thousands of dollars to a company used by Options Rider with accounts at Australia’s Commonwealth Bank and St George Bank.

In mid-2015, a suspicious activity report (SAR) filed by the Bank of New York Mellon in the US raised concerns about Fund Options Australia, one of the companies that received money for Options Rider.

It said it was one of multiple SARs previously filed about the scheme.

SARS are documents banks use to raise concerns with regulators, and are not necessarily evidence of wrongdoing.

One of the concerns was based on information sent from the Commonwealth Bank (CBA) about Fund Options Australia, stating: “It did not know the nature of business that the entity was involved in and did not know what the purpose of its transactions were.”

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) began investigating Options Rider in mid-2015 and eventually restrained funds in 37 different bank accounts at various Australian banks and financial institutions.

“It’s a Ponzi scheme, it’s a scam. We saw no evidence of any actual trading being performed, any actual investing. It was simply: ‘Give us your money.’ They collected that from victims and sent it offshore,” said AFP agent Matt Oliveiro.

The ABC can reveal the alleged controller of the syndicate behind Options Rider in Australia — Kristijan Krstic — fled the country before the AFP investigation, but was arrested by Serbian police in July over further investment scams.

How the scheme used Australia’s banks to give an air of legitimacy

Options Rider claimed to be an online binary-options-trading scheme based in New Zealand and managed in Australia that used expert traders and specialised software to provide big returns.

The high-risk speculative investments try to predict whether the price of an asset, commodity or index will trade above or below a specific price at a specific time.

Binary options can be legitimate and legal, but many are also unlicensed, with authorities issuing multiple scam warnings over the last few years.

More than 2,500 victims of Options Rider sent funds to Australia from around the world, including from the United States, Philippines, Switzerland, Austria, Bulgaria, Canada, Romania and Russia.

It used US-based managers to promote the scheme internationally and an Australian-based syndicate to set up shell companies and bank accounts.

The scheme counted on mum-and-dad investors recommending it to others, selling them on the Australian financial system.

“The managed fund is in Australia. WHY? Because Australia is the 2nd best and safest banking system in the world … the U.S. is the 13th!” marketing material read.

“A variety of financial institutions … were used, however the big four banks were used most commonly as they are suspected to have presented a greater air of legitimacy to the syndicate’s operations,” Mr Oliveiro said.

American ‘felt comfortable’ depositing into Commonwealth Bank

Ms Roque was serving in the US Army in Pakistan when she got involved in Options Rider.

She said she sent two payments of $3,000 in late 2015, with at least one of those going to Bankwest, owned by the Commonwealth Bank.

“It’s exciting in the beginning when you see your money grow [on the Options Rider platform], especially at that rate … when I last saw my account it was almost close to $100,000. For me that was massive — if that was for real,” Ms Roque said.

Soon after, the website went down, no-one answered her emails and she never got her money back.

Fellow American Jeff Carley said he deposited $10,000 into Fund Options Australia’s account at the Commonwealth Bank — which was used by Options Rider — thinking it was an interesting new investment.

“When I saw I was sending my money to Australia, I looked into it and it was a big, highly reputable bank in Australia … so I felt comfortable it was going to a big bank,” he said.

He got his money back after fighting the scheme and complaining to US authorities, but he said many others did not.

“It was really sad, a lot of folks put their life savings into it,” he said.

‘Commonwealth Bank should have understood’

The Options Rider scam began around March 2015.

A SAR shows people were sending funds to Fund Options Australia’s account at the Commonwealth Bank since at least April 2015.

It said Fund Options was suspicious because it appeared shell-like, wires were sent in repetitive round-dollar amounts and the CBA said it did not know the purpose of its transactions or the nature of the company’s business.

The SAR shows transactions coming into the Commonwealth account in April and May, including one with a reference stating “live account at Options Rider” — linking the company with the scheme.

By mid-May, Federal Court documents show Fund Options had already received more than $3.7 million in more than 2,200 separate deposits into its CBA account and it did not carry an Australian Financial Services licence.

Anti-money laundering consultant John Chevis said the CBA should have discovered Fund Options and Options Rider were unlicensed in its due diligence to understand the nature of the business being carried out at the bank.

“Ideally to comply with the [anti money-laundering] rules, Commonwealth Bank should have understood that Fund Options was operating as some sort of financial services entity requiring a licence and then asked for that licence to ensure they’re not facilitating some sort of crime,” Mr Chevis said.

The liquidator was appointed in May and asked that debits be frozen, but deposits be allowed to continue.

It continued to receive more than $150,000 until early July.

Fund Options also received more than $500,000 between June and August 2015 into an account at the St George Bank.

A man showing his screen.
American Jeff Carley posted YouTube videos about how Options Rider was ripping off victims.(Supplied)

The AFP started investigating in late June that year after being provided information from the FBI.

Ms Roque agrees the banks should have frozen accounts when the funds started flowing in.

“If they have to stop, if they have to freeze first, then they should have done that. That would have alleviated more and more people getting scammed,” she said.

“I’m just hoping something can be done to protect the small people like me when it comes to investment scams like this.”

The Commonwealth Bank, St George Bank, the AFP and the regulator, AUSTRAC, were unable to say whether the banks filed suspicious matter reports about Fund Options in the lead-up to the police investigation, citing legal restrictions.

The CBA told ABC Investigations it was unable to comment on individual matters: “We work closely with law-enforcement bodies that are involved in regulating and enforcing laws relating to financial crime.”

It said it was committed to ensuring it took appropriate steps to identify, mitigate and manage money-laundering risks.

Westpac, which owns St George Bank, also said it could not comment on individual matters and interactions with law-enforcement and regulatory agencies.

“We are determined to continuously uplift our Financial Crime standards, comply with our obligations and uphold our customer, community, and regulatory expectations,” it said in a statement.

AUSTRAC also could not comment on specific matters but in a statement said banks “must take steps to identify a customer, checking they are who they say they are and reporting suspicious matters”.

It also requires the businesses to monitor customer transactions, perform ongoing customer due diligence and “conduct enhanced customer due diligence by collecting additional information or doing additional checks”.

Mr Chevis said if the Commonwealth Bank and other banks were filing suspicious matter reports to AUSTRAC, early steps to restrict funds should also be considered to prevent further harm to victims.

“Where they can’t refute those suspicions, then they should be making moves pretty quickly to prevent further transactions, either by rejecting them when they come in or restricting the account or closing the account,” he said.

“You would hope that the Commonwealth Bank’s systems were robust enough to detect that sort of offending early on and prevent further offending. 2,200 deposits and $3.7 million sounds like a fairly significant amount of offending … which might be indicative of Commonwealth Bank not having those robust systems and procedures in place.”

Alleged controller continued scamming after leaving Australia

Mr Oliveiro told the ABC “all the evidence” pointed towards Mr Krstic as the alleged controller of a “well-resourced, well-organised syndicate”.

“He fled the country before the AFP became aware of the investigation and he convinced associates of his to set up shell companies,” Mr Oliveiro said.

As the AFP identified and shut down bank accounts, the syndicate would get victims to send money to new accounts, leading to a cat and mouse chase with investigators.

Since fleeing Australia, Mr Krstic is suspected of continuing to run investment scams overseas until his arrest by the Serbian police in an FBI-led investigation in July.

It’s too little, too late for the thousands of Options Rider victims who never saw their money again, Ms Roque said.

“Five years … the timeline is too long for someone to be captured … how many more people were scammed in that time before the arrest?”

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Jockey Hugh Bowman cops six-week ban over race fall that saw horse euthanised, fellow rider hospitalised

Well known jockey Hugh Bowman has been suspended for his part in a race-day drop that compelled a horse to be euthanised and still left a rival jockey hospitalised with a number of broken bones.

Bowman, who piloted Winx to many of her victories, was banned for six months for careless using aboard Clever Impression at the last conference of the 2019-20 period at Rosehill.

Bowman was attempting to angle off the fence on Good Picture around the 300-metre mark to position himself outdoors the heels of the chief, Mr Colourful, ridden by Glyn Schofield.

As he shifted, he designed weighty make contact with with Andrew Adkins’ mount Incredibly hot ‘N’ Hazy, which clipped heels and fell.

The horse was euthanised, when Adkins broke the two bones in just one of his legs, fractured his shoulder and experienced seven damaged ribs.

He underwent surgical procedures on his injuries, which include acquiring a rod placed in his leg, a plate in his collar bone and had to have a chest tube inserted to ease a collapsed lung.

Jockey Andrew Adkins was left with severe accidents and horse Scorching ‘N’ Hazy was set down right after the drop.(AAP: Bianca De Marchi)

Bowman preserved his posture that he took because of treatment aboard Intelligent Graphic and other variables contributed to the scrimmage.

Bowman mentioned the social media response to his purpose in the raceday slide experienced taken a toll on him and his relatives, and before the hearing explained he would “like that to be deemed” in any penalties.

He pleaded not responsible to the demand of careless using and stated although head-on footage showed there was inadequate room for his horse among Mr Colorful and Very hot ‘N’ Hazy, the rear angle introduced a diverse scenario.

Bowman did admit his timing could have been slightly out since he had not ridden in a race for 5 weeks and also expressed regret at the consequences suffered by Adkins and Very hot ‘N’ Hazy.


“Unfortunately, the injuries sustained to Andrew, they are not everyday living-threatening but they’re substantial,” Bowman reported.

“I have been observed careless and inspite of the fact of pleading not guilty, I am remorseful the incident occurred.

“I comprehend what we do is hazardous and break up-2nd selections can convert out to have undesirable outcomes, as a single has in this situation.”

Stewards typically use a careless-using template to decide penalty but that was thrown out the window because of to the seriousness of the incident.

Presiding stipe Wade Birch explained their setting up position was a a few-thirty day period ban, but specified Bowman’s exceptional basic safety record — he has been suspended as soon as for careless driving in the past 12 months — and the amount of characteristic race conferences he will pass up, the penalty was lessened to six weeks.

Bowman has not taken rides at Randwick on Saturday and will begin his suspension promptly.

He will miss the very first Group One race of the Sydney year, the Winx Stakes on August 22, and will return for a carnival conference at Rosehill on September 12.


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