inbox and environment news: Issue 476
November 29 - December 5, 2020: Issue 476
Goray'murrai—Warm and wet, do not camp near rivers
This season begins with the Great Eel Spirit calling his children to him, and the eels which are ready to mate make their way down the rivers and creeks to the ocean.
It is the time of the blooming of the Kai'arrewan (Acacia binervia) which announces the occurrence of fish in the bays and estuaries.
Acacia binervia, commonly known as the coast myall, is a wattle native to New South Wales and Victoria.
Cockatoo: Birds In Our Back Yard
Watch Out On The Pittwater Estuary Water Zones & Beaches: Seals Are About
Residents have filmed and photographed the seals living at Barrenjoey as far south as Rowland Reserve and over at Clareville beach in recent days and ask that people keep an eye out for them and ensure they are kept safe from boat strikes and dogs are kept off the beaches they're not supposed to be on.
Can You Help Restore Our Environment? R&R Grants Open
Bushcare In Pittwater
Where we work Which day What time
Angophora Reserve 3rd Sunday 8:30 - 11:30am
Avalon Dunes 1st Sunday 8:30 - 11:30am
Avalon Golf Course 2nd Wednesday 3 - 5:30pm
Careel Creek 4th Saturday 8:30 - 11:30am
Toongari Reserve 3rd Saturday 9 - 12noon (8 - 11am in summer)
Bangalley Headland 2nd Sunday 9 to 12noon
Winnererremy Bay 4th Sunday 9 to 12noon
North Bilgola Beach 3rd Monday 9 - 12noon
Algona Reserve 1st Saturday 9 - 12noon
Plateau Park 1st Friday 8:30 - 11:30am
Browns Bay Reserve 1st Tuesday 9 - 12noon
McCarrs Creek Reserve Contact Bushcare Officer To be confirmed
Old Wharf Reserve 3rd Saturday 8 - 11am
Kundibah Reserve 4th Sunday 8:30 - 11:30am
Mona Vale Beach Basin 1st Saturday 8 - 11am
Mona Vale Dunes 2nd Saturday +3rd Thursday 8:30 - 11:30am
Bungan Beach 4th Sunday 9 - 12noon
Crescent Reserve 3rd Sunday 9 - 12noon
North Newport Beach 4th Saturday 8:30 - 11:30am
Porter Reserve 2nd Saturday 8 - 11am
Irrawong Reserve 2nd Saturday 2 - 5pm
North Palm Beach Dunes 3rd Saturday 9 - 12noon
Catherine Park 2nd Sunday 10 - 12:30pm
Elizabeth Park 1st Saturday 9 - 12noon
Pathilda Reserve 3rd Saturday 9 - 12noon
Warriewood Wetlands 1st Sunday 8:30 - 11:30am
Norma Park 1st Friday 9 - 12noon
Coopers Point, Elvina Bay 2nd Sunday 10 - 1pm
Rocky Point, Elvina Bay 1st Monday 9 - 12noon
Gardens And Environment Groups And Organisations In Pittwater
Grants To Fund Innovative Re-Use And Recycling Projects
The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) is calling for innovative and new projects looking for ways to re-use discarded materials to make new products or for new uses, and for construction projects that want to re-use materials like construction waste, glass or plastic, to apply for new grants to help create a circular economy.
New intakes for the EPA’s Circulate and Civil Construction Market Programs are now open and aiming to divert valuable materials from landfill for re-use, recycling and industrial ecology projects.
The grant funding helps organisations including businesses, councils, not-for-profits, waste service providers and industry bodies, among others, design projects that promote the circular economy, instead of a disposable culture.
EPA Director Circular Economy Programs Kathy Giunta said these programs will provide grant funding to support industry to respond to the decision by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) this year to ban the export of certain wastes that have not been processed into value-added material.
“One of the ways to mitigate the effects of China’s National Sword policy and to prepare NSW for the waste export ban is to invest in projects that demonstrate innovative uses of recyclables,” Ms Giunta said.
“The Circulate Program provides grants of up to $150,000 for innovative, commercially-oriented industrial ecology projects. Circulate supports projects that will recover materials that would otherwise be sent to landfill, and to instead use them as feedstock for other commercial, industrial or construction processes.
“The Civil Construction Market Program provides grants of up to $250,000 for civil construction projects that re-use construction and demolition waste or recyclables from households and businesses such as glass, plastic and paper.”
Previous projects in the Circulate Program include Cross Connections’ Plastic Police, which supplied soft plastics to the Downer Group’s Reconophalt project, the first road surfacing material in Australia to contain high recycled content from waste streams, also including glass and toner, which would otherwise be bound for landfill or stockpiled.
Previous projects in the Civil Construction Market Program include supporting Lendlease’s use of recycled glass from Lismore Council in pavement concrete on three trial sites as part of the Woolgoolga to Ballina Pacific Highway Upgrade.
Applications will be open until Friday 12 February 2021.
For details of the grants and how to apply, visit epa.nsw.gov.au/circulate and epa.nsw.gov.au/working-together/grants/business-recycling/civil-construction-market-program-grants
ICAC Recommends Changes To Government Water Management In NSW After Years Of Focus On Irrigation Industry Interests
Friday 27 November 2020
The NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) has made 15 recommendations to the NSW Government to improve the management of the state’s water resources, after the undermining of the governing legislation’s priorities over the past decade by the responsible department’s repeated tendency to adopt an approach that was unduly focused on the interests of the irrigation industry.
In a report released today, Investigation into complaints of corruption in the management of water in NSW and systemic non-compliance with the Water Management Act 2000, the ICAC examined multiple allegations, over almost a decade, in two related investigations (Operation Avon and Operation Mezzo), concerning complaints of corruption involving the management of water, particularly in the Barwon-Darling area of the Murray-Darling Basin. Ultimately the Commission was not satisfied in relation to any of the matters it investigated that the evidence established that any person had engaged in corrupt conduct for the purposes of the Independent Commission Against Corruption Act 1988.
However, it did form an opinion that in many of the matters it investigated the evidence established that certain decisions and approaches taken by the NSW Government department with responsibility for water management over the last decade were inconsistent with the object, principles and duties of the Water Management Act 2000 (WMA) and failed to give effect to legislated priorities for water sharing.
The report notes that at a policy level, the investigation found that the development and implementation of the 2012 Barwon-Darling Water Sharing Plan represented a failure to adhere to the priorities set out in the WMA.
Specific failures in the administrative arrangements concerning water regulation and compliance also created an atmosphere that was overly favourable to irrigators. This was largely due to chronic underfunding, organisational dysfunction and a lack of commitment to compliance.
More generally, the irrigator focus of the Department of Primary Industries – Water (DPI-W) was entrenched in its approach towards stakeholder consultation, which focused on the irrigation industry, while restricting information available to other stakeholders, such as environmental agencies. As a result, the policy-making process became vulnerable to improper favouritism, as environmental perspectives were sidelined from policy discussions.
The Commission has made 15 recommendations to address these issues and to promote the integrity and good repute of public administration in relation to water management. Specifically, the recommendations concern the undue focus on irrigators' interests within water agencies and deal with the:
- lengthy history of failure in giving proper and full effect to the objects, principles and duties of the WMA, and its priorities for water sharing
- failure to fully implement water sharing plans and ensure they are audited
- need to fund independent scientific audits to determine the ecological health of rivers
- lack of transparency, balance and fairness in consultation processes undertaken by water agencies in relation to external stakeholders
- sidelining of public officials undertaking environmental roles within the NSW Government
- control weaknesses in the classification and handling of confidential and sensitive information
- flaws in the recruitment procedures used to engage a director of intergovernmental strategic stakeholder relations at DPI-W
- regulatory failures in the state’s water market
- lack of transparency and accountability in water account information.
The Commission is not of the opinion that consideration should be given to obtaining the advice of the Director of Public Prosecutions with respect to the prosecution of any individual.
The ICAC determined that it was not in the public interest to conduct a public inquiry in this matter. Instead, the Commission was satisfied that the matters investigated could be satisfactorily addressed by way of a public report pursuant to section 74(1) of the ICAC Act.
In making that determination, the Commission had regard to the following considerations:
- the Commission obtained and reviewed a significant amount of cogent evidence in the course of the investigation that indicated the possibility of corrupt conduct
- careful review of this evidence and of the submissions received from affected persons led to the conclusion that no corrupt conduct findings could be made
- a public inquiry would only duplicate the evidence already obtained and would not materially assist the investigation
- a public inquiry would risk undue prejudice to peoples’ reputations, given the Commission’s findings in relation to the majority of the allegations investigated
- a public inquiry would involve an unnecessary use of Commission resources.
Basin Plan Delays Are Killing Our Rivers
November 26, 2020
New Queensland and ACT water ministers must hold firm against NSW and Victorian attempts to delay water recovery at tomorrow’s Murray-Darling Basin Ministerial Council meeting Conservationists have stated this week.
“NSW continues to drag its feet on proper measurement, metering and monitoring of irrigation in the northern basin, while downstream communities, traditional owners and native fish continue to suffer,” Nature Conservation Council Chief Executive Chris Gambian said.
“There are too many straws in the glass. The river ecosystems simply cannot sustain increasing extraction.”
Mr Gambian said regulation of floodplain harvesting in NSW must ensure environmental impacts of diversion works are assessed.
“If water cannot get to rivers, or too much water is taken from rivers, downstream communities will suffer. Rivers die from the bottom up,” he said.
”Minco must decide whether NSW floodplain harvesting licences will exceed statutory limits in the Basin Plan. Licensing water that doesn’t exist will only exacerbate the problems with the Basin Plan.
“Environmental ‘offsets’ of projects like the Menindee Lakes water-saving project will not deliver real water savings and will kill the largest living wetland in the middle of the Murray-Darling Basin, contravening several international conventions.
“Minco ministers must put more emphasis on preservation of ecosystems under threat of changing climate and unbridled growth in extraction.
“We are facing extinction level events across multiple species and unless we support our lifeblood, keep our rivers healthy, we will create a basin which no longer supports life.
“We also have a duty to protect our environment for all our futures. We will be watching very closely and hoping the Ministers choose action, not more delays.”
100 Experts To Shape Design Across NSW
November 26, 2020
A panel of 100 leading design experts will be charged with improving the quality of the built environment across NSW.
Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes said the new State Design Review Panel pool has been appointed to provide independent expert advice on State Significant development and infrastructure projects and precincts.
“Iconic buildings and structures like the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge put Sydney on the map and it’s so important that we maintain design excellence with our new projects,” Mr Stokes said.
“The new State Design Review Panel will build on the great work of the pilot program launched in 2018, which guided the development of more than 100 public and private projects worth almost $9 billion.
“A survey of participants in the pilot program found the Panel provided greater certainty, stronger design outcomes and in many cases sped up the process. This panel, alongside the soon-to-be-released Design and Place SEPP, will ensure strong design principles are considered every step of the way.
“NSW residents will also be relieved to note that the Treasurer Dom Perrottet has not been selected for the Design Review Panel.”
NSW Government Architect Abbie Galvin said the expanded panel will play a vital role in shaping the design of the State at a critical time.
“The unprecedented investment in infrastructure and the Government’s commitment to create greener places and great public spaces create an exciting climate for panel members to play a role,” Ms Galvin said.
“It’s fantastic to see such a diverse panel with a wide range of skills and expertise, including six Aboriginal design and cultural experts who will help ensure Aboriginal culture and heritage are integral to the design of places in NSW.”
The panel is made up of 88 independent members with expertise across a range of areas including architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, Aboriginal and European heritage and sustainability, and 12 State Government design champions.
For more information visit www.governmentarchitect.nsw.gov.au
Battle To Save The Pilliga Is Not Over Yet
November 25, 2020
Conservation groups have vowed to continue the campaign to stop the Narrabri gas project despoiling the largest temperate forest in NSW.
Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley yesterday approved the project that will convert the Pilliga into an industrial gas field.
Nature Conservation Chief Executive Chris Gambian said: “This is a terrible project at a terrible time. It will cause carbon emissions in a world that urgently needs to decarbonise.
“It will also wreck the rare and precious Pilliga forest and the farms around it.
“The Federal Government’s approval is short sighted and opportunistic at a time when we desperately need thoughtful leadership.”
Santos proposes to sink 850 coal-seam gas wells in the Pilliga forest and surrounding farmland despite significant environmental risks and more than 20,000 public submissions in opposition to the project.
“The Pilliga is the largest temperate forest we have left in the state and is home to many threatened plants and animals,” Mr Gambian said.
“Turning this priceless wilderness into an industrial gas field will poison groundwater, carve up the forest with roads and pipelines, endanger koalas and other threatened species, and increase the risk of wildfires.
“It will also release millions of tonnes of potent climate pollution during mining and when the gas is finally burned.
“More than 23,000 people have already made submissions opposing this project. It has virtually no public support and we will not rest until it is stopped.
“It is hard to think of a more iconic environmental battle in our times than the campaign to protect the Pilliga.”
Narrabri Precinct Investigation
November 24, 2020
The NSW Government has today released a strategic statement outlining its ongoing support for the domestic gas industry, as a driver of new jobs and industry opportunities in regional NSW.
The release of the Strategic Opportunities for Gas in Regional NSW statement coincides with the government’s commitment to investigate a potential Narrabri Special Activation Precinct (SAP), which would streamline planning processes, create new jobs and fuel regional economic development.
Deputy Premier John Barilaro said with the recent Independent Planning Commission’s approval of the Narrabri Gas Project and investment around the Narrabri Inland Port, now is the right time to investigate a Narrabri precinct.
“Today we are releasing the NSW Government’s statement of support for the future growth of the gas industry, backing investments like the Narrabri Gas Project that will provide a $3.6 billion economic boost and create around 1500 new jobs,” Mr Barilaro said.
“This gas project opens up a wide range of industry growth opportunities in manufacturing everything from plastics to fertiliser and construction materials.
“This is great news for the local economy, and it is why the government will now start investigating a potential Special Activation Precinct in Narrabri.
“We want to create a thriving energy hub in Narrabri focused on value-added production and manufacturing to power long-term job opportunities across the region.”
The NSW Government will work closely with Narrabri Shire Council and local stakeholders on its investigations into a potential Narrabri precinct.
Narrabri Shire Council Mayor, Cr Ron Campbell, said the Narrabri Gas Project gives the potential Narrabri precinct a clear point of difference.
“This commitment is a great win for our region – a Special Activation Precinct would give potential investors confidence to commit to Narrabri and be innovative with the opportunities available here to do business with the world,” Cr Campbell said.
The NSW Government’s Strategic Opportunities for Gas in Regional NSW statement outlines the government’s support for the domestic gas industry, with a comprehensive Future of Gas Strategy to be delivered in 2021.
More Foreign Workers Approved As First Flight Arrives From Fiji
November 25, 2020
The NSW Government has provided approval for a further 160 critical workers to arrive from either the Soloman Islands, Tonga or Vanuatu to assist the labour-intensive tomato industry, Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall announced today.
The 160 workers are in addition to the 350 skilled workers announced last month to help fill a labour shortage in the State’s abattoirs.
Mr Marshall said the NSW Government was doing everything it could to help facilitate the arrival of foreign workers to minimise supply chain disruption caused by labour shortages due to COVID-19 international travel restrictions.
“The first group of foreign workers arrives today from Fiji and will immediately enter strict hotel quarantine,” Mr Marshall said.
“Once they have completed quarantine, they will be able to travel to our regional centres and take up their roles in our abattoirs.
“As we come into the festive season, we know there will be strong demand for fantastic NSW meats.
“By helping to facilitate the arrival of these foreign workers, we are helping to take pressure off the supply chain to make sure everyone can enjoy a Christmas roast.
“Similarly, once Commonwealth approval is secured, the extra 160 foreign workers will be able to give us a hand to harvest our tomato crop.
“The tomato industry is worth more than $50 million to the State’s economy, so by providing support to the sector we also give also our rural communities that rely on its success a boost.
“We will continue to work hand in glove with the agriculture sector to explore other opportunities,” Mr Marshall said.
The facilitation of foreign workers is in addition to implementing the National Agricultural Workers’ Code and launching the Help Harvest NSW portal to connect domestic labour supply with demand.
The charter flights and quarantine arrangements are funded by industry.
Fishers Given Greater Input Into Harvest Strategies
November 24, 2020
The State’s fishing industries will benefit from greater certainty and transparency in fisheries management decisions, with the NSW Government today launching a draft policy and guidelines to steer the development of harvest strategies.
Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall today encouraged commercial fishers, industry members and stakeholders to review and provide their feedback on the draft policy and guidelines.
“The NSW Government wants to work in direct partnership with the fishing industry to provide commercial, recreational and Aboriginal fishers what they need to be sustainable and profitable into the future,” Mr Marshall said.
“In June this year I announced the NSW Government would provide fishers greater certainty and transparency in fisheries management decisions, through the development of tailored harvest strategies, and today is the first step towards that.
“This is a critical part in the development of tailored harvest strategies for each fishery, and for giving all stakeholders a clear understanding of how, when and why fisheries management decisions are made.
“This approach is world’s best-practice, and I’m pleased to see it jointly driven and adopted by the industry and government in partnership for the benefit of our commercial fishers, consumers of NSW seafood and the wider community.”
The NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) has developed the draft policy and guidelines, supported by the Ministerial Fisheries Advisory Council, NSW CommFish, RecFishNSW and the Aboriginal Fisheries Advisory Council.
Harvest strategies will be drafted by working groups comprised of an independent chair, independent scientist and independent economist, along with representatives from the commercial, recreational and Aboriginal fishing sectors, as well as DPI.
Working groups for the Trawl Whiting and Rock Lobster fisheries have already been established.
Harvest strategies are a key deliverable under the NSW Marine Estate Management Strategy 2018-2028.
The draft policy and guidelines are available for review on the NSW DPI website.
Tick Population Booming In Our Area
Residents from Terrey Hills and Belrose to Narrabeen and Palm Beach report a high number of ticks are still present in the landscape. Local Veterinarians are stating there has not been the usual break from ticks so far and each day they’re still getting cases, especially in treating family dogs.
To help protect yourself and your family, you should:
- Use a chemical repellent with DEET, permethrin or picaridin.
- Wear light-colored protective clothing.
- Tuck pant legs into socks.
- Avoid tick-infested areas.
- Check yourself, your children, and your pets daily for ticks and carefully remove any ticks using a freezing agent.
- If you have a reaction, contact your GP for advice.
Shorebird Identification Booklet
The Migratory Shorebird Program has just released the third edition of its hugely popular Shorebird Identification Booklet. The team has thoroughly revised and updated this pocket-sized companion for all shorebird counters and interested birders, with lots of useful information on our most common shorebirds, key identification features, sighting distribution maps and short articles on some of BirdLife’s shorebird activities.
The booklet can be downloaded here in PDF file format: http://www.birdlife.org.au/documents/Shorebird_ID_Booklet_V3.pdf
Paper copies can be ordered as well, see http://www.birdlife.org.au/projects/shorebirds-2020/counter-resources for details.
Download BirdLife Australia's children’s education kit to help them learn more about our wading birdlife
Shorebirds are a group of wading birds that can be found feeding on swamps, tidal mudflats, estuaries, beaches and open country. For many people, shorebirds are just those brown birds feeding a long way out on the mud but they are actually a remarkably diverse collection of birds including stilts, sandpipers, snipe, curlews, godwits, plovers and oystercatchers. Each species is superbly adapted to suit its preferred habitat. The Red-necked Stint is as small as a sparrow, with relatively short legs and bill that it pecks food from the surface of the mud with, whereas the Eastern Curlew is over two feet long with a exceptionally long legs and a massively curved beak that it thrusts deep down into the mud to pull out crabs, worms and other creatures hidden below the surface.
Some shorebirds are fairly drab in plumage, especially when they are visiting Australia in their non-breeding season, but when they migrate to their Arctic nesting grounds, they develop a vibrant flush of bright colours to attract a mate. We have 37 types of shorebirds that annually migrate to Australia on some of the most lengthy and arduous journeys in the animal kingdom, but there are also 18 shorebirds that call Australia home all year round.
What all our shorebirds have in common—be they large or small, seasoned traveller or homebody, brightly coloured or in muted tones—is that each species needs adequate safe areas where they can successfully feed and breed.
The National Shorebird Monitoring Program is managed and supported by BirdLife Australia.
This project is supported by Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authority and Hunter Local Land Services through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program. Funding from Helen Macpherson Smith Trust and Port Phillip Bay Fund is acknowledged.
The National Shorebird Monitoring Program is made possible with the help of over 1,600 volunteers working in coastal and inland habitats all over Australia.
The National Shorebird Monitoring program (started as the Shorebirds 2020 project initiated to re-invigorate monitoring around Australia) is raising awareness of how incredible shorebirds are, and actively engaging the community to participate in gathering information needed to conserve shorebirds.
In the short term, the destruction of tidal ecosystems will need to be stopped, and our program is designed to strengthen the case for protecting these important habitats.
In the long term, there will be a need to mitigate against the likely effects of climate change on a species that travels across the entire range of latitudes where impacts are likely.
The identification and protection of critical areas for shorebirds will need to continue in order to guard against the potential threats associated with habitats in close proximity to nearly half the human population.
Here in Australia, the place where these birds grow up and spend most of their lives, continued monitoring is necessary to inform the best management practice to maintain shorebird populations.
BirdLife Australia believe that we can help secure a brighter future for these remarkable birds by educating stakeholders, gathering information on how and why shorebird populations are changing, and working to grow the community of people who care about shorebirds.
To find out more visit: http://www.birdlife.org.au/projects/shorebirds-2020/shorebirds-2020-program
Aussie Bread Tags Collection Points
Truffle Munching Wallabies Shed New Light On Forest Conservation
Alliance Of Four NSW Universities To Deliver Game Changer In Education
Changes In Fire Activity Are Threatening More Than 4,400 Species Globally
Old Buses At Mona Vale Public School 100 Years Celebrations In 2012
Older Australians Locked Out Of The Workforce Rely On Covid-19 JobSeeker Supplement
- Be Connected website: www.beconnected.esafety.gov.au
- Be Connected Helpline: 1300 795 897
Anxiety Associated With Faster Alzheimer's Disease Onset
The Conquest Of The Prickly Pear: 1936
COVID-19 Support Line Extended And Expanded
- wellbeing checks
- information about COVID-19
- advice to vulnerable people
- travel restrictions
- access to new, or queries about existing, home care services.
Free General Admission To Upgraded Australian Museum
'Schoolies 2020 - But We Must Be COVID-Safe': Police Warn School Leavers Ahead Of End Of School Celebrations
‘This year is different, this is not schoolies as you know it’ – that’s the message from senior officers at Tweed/Byron Police District ahead of 2020 end of school celebrations.
School leavers from across NSW and interstate are due to arrive in Byron Bay and other parts of Northern NSW from today (Friday 20 November 2020), and are expected to stay into December.
While there are no formal events associated with ‘Schoolies 2020’ occurring in the Byron Bay area, police are expecting thousands of school leavers to descend on the coastal town to mark the end of their 13 years of schooling.
In anticipation for the large crowds, Tweed/Byron Police District will conduct an extensive and high-visibility operation for the duration of the ‘schoolies’ period, assisted by the Richmond Police District and other Northern Region commands, the Public Order and Riot Squad, Northern Operational Support Group officers, the Mounted Unit, the Police Dog Unit, Traffic and Highway Patrol, and the Youth Command and PCYC.
Tweed/Byron Police District Commander, Superintendent Dave Roptell, said this year’s celebrations must be conducted in a COVID-safe environment, with officers to enforce all current Public Health Orders and conduct regular business compliance checks.
“We know this has been an extremely tough year for HSC students, and we appreciate that school leavers want to have a memorable time. However, these are not normal times, so we ask anyone coming to the far North Coast to be respectful – we have come this far in managing COVID-19 in our regional communities, let’s not undo all our hard work now,” Supt. Roptell said.
“With the NSW and Queensland border now re-open to regional NSW, Byron Bay is included in that zone. And with the border between NSW and Victoria to re-open early next week, we are expecting thousands of school leavers to come to our area.
“The NSW Police Force continues to work closely with health officials and other government agencies, businesses and the community to manage the COVID-19 crisis and minimise the spread of the virus.
“In saying that, we have a very clear message to those choosing to come to Byron in 2020 – this year is very different, there will be no large gatherings, no dance parties in the park. Social distancing is the new normal, and we all have to do our bit to stop the spread.
“The risk of community transmission is still present here in Australia, and with people from interstate expected to come to Byron, school leavers need to be extremely aware of the dangers of COVID-19.
“Public Health Orders currently state that no more than 20 persons can be inside a home at any one time – this includes short-stay accommodation. The orders also state that up to 30 people can be gathered in a public space at any one time, this includes places such as parks, beaches, etc.
“While we will be enforcing the Public Health Orders, police want to remind school leavers that we aren’t here to ruin the fun – our officers are here to protect you and keep you safe; approach police or authorities if you are in danger, if you feel threatened or you are a victim of any type of crime.
“Not only will police be ensuring Public Health Orders are being followed, but officers will be targeting drug and alcohol-related crime, as well as anti-social behaviour.
“Drugs and alcohol impairs your judgement and can lead to risky behaviours or choices which can impact the rest of your life. Know your limits and look out for your mates.
“With the increase in activity in the Byron town centre, we are urging all visitors and locals alike to plan ahead; those not joining in the celebrations are asked to watch out for increased pedestrian activity and keep an eye out on the roads.
“As always, if you’re planning on drinking – you need a Plan B to get yourself home,” Supt. Roptell said.
The NSW Police Force continues to work closely with the Schoolies Safety Response agencies, which include Byron Youth Service and Red Frog volunteers, alongside all health officials and other government agencies, businesses and the community to minimise disruption and maintain a COVID-Safe environment.
For all information related to schoolies during COVID-19, visit the website: https://www.schoolies.com/covid-19-faq
Anyone who has information regarding individuals or businesses in contravention of a COVID-19-related ministerial direction is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report crime via NSW Police social media pages.
Byron Bay Lighthouse, Beach and Hinterland Aerial Shot by K Pravin
Program Helps Skill Up School Leavers Over Summer
The NSW Government's Skilling for Recovery program offers fee-free training places for school leavers, young people and job seekers.
Hundreds of fee-free training courses are now available for school leavers, young people and job seekers, as part of the NSW Government’s Skilling for Recovery initiative.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the courses came from the $320 million committed to delivering 100,000 fee-free training places across the state.
“There are more than 100,000 fee-free training places available for people in NSW as the workforce looks to reskill, retrain and redeploy in a post-COVID-19 economy,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“It doesn’t matter if you are a school leaver or looking for a new career path, I encourage everyone impacted by the pandemic to see what training options are available to them.”
Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education Geoff Lee said enrolments were now open for in-demand skills leading to career pathways in areas such as aged care, nursing, trades, IT, community services, logistics and accounting.
“We are not training for the sake of training, we are training for real jobs with real futures and equipping the people of NSW with the skills they need to thrive in a post-pandemic economy,” Mr Lee said.
“There are hundreds of providers right around NSW who are ready to deliver this important training.”
As part of this Skilling for Recovery initiative, school leavers have the unique opportunity to experience a range of skills to find out what suits their passions using the Summer Skills program.
Minister for Education Sarah Mitchell said some Year 12 school leavers were still deciding what they wanted to do next.
“In designing the Summer Skills program, the NSW Government has ensured the training on offer is aligned to local industry needs,” Ms Mitchell said.
“We need to provide opportunities that help the 2020 Year 12 school leaver cohort to find their feet during these uncertain times. That’s why we’re delivering practical, bite-sized and fee-free training opportunities this summer.”
The Summer Skills offered will cover a range of industries including agriculture, construction, conservation, fitness, engineering, coding, communication and digital literacy.
Sydney Harbour Bridge 80th Anniversary (2012)
Video depicting the journey through the ages covering the highlights, major events and milestones of the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge.
NUW Energy Project To Find Better Energy Solutions For All Australians
- Integrated network technology to address future energy demands
- Close cooperation between researchers and industry to ensure NSW is at the forefront of the development of advanced energy solutions
- Opportunity to undertake high quality research underpinned by the needs of the energy sector that drives global best practice and offers enhanced educational opportunities for industry and students.
When Hoarding Becomes A Health Problem
- Avoid arguments and seek their permission: Never threaten the person, have a heated argument with them or discard things without their permission. Massive clean-ups cause huge distress to the person and they generally will start hoarding again if everything is forcibly removed.
- Be prepared for ambivalence: Many people with hoarding problems are unmotivated or ambivalent about seeking treatment and some lack insight into their situation.
- Focus on harm reduction through education: Emerging treatment programs encourage relatives to start a conversation with the person who is hoarding about minimising health and safety risks linked to their habits. Safety is an important goal of intervention – achieving a perfectly clean house might be impossible. For example, bring attention to fire hazards, blocked toilets or covered electrical outlets. This education can occur while a person is seeking help for their hoarding.
- Minimise and discourage accommodation or enabling: Well-meaning family or friends can sometimes do things to prevent distress in the person who is hoarding, but they actually contribute to the problem – for example, driving the person to a car boot sale, dropping off charity donations at their house, or giving them unwanted things like magazines or newspapers. So, tell the person doing the enabling that their actions are inadvertently feeding into the problem.
- Be aware of comorbidities: People who hoard often have co-existing physical and/or mental health problems – for example, physical disability, chronic fatigue, arthritis, obesity, depression or anxiety. This is where evidence-based treatment programs can help to address these challenges in conjunction with the hoarding problem.
Disclaimer: These articles are not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Pittwater Online News or its staff.