Inbox and Environment News: Issue 477
December 6 - 12, 2020: Issue 477
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.
PITTWATER PATHWAYS DATA: Local Flooding 9 February 2020
Published December 2nd, 2020 by Pittwater Pathways
Moderately severe local flooding at Bayview, Narrabeen, Wakehurst Parkway and North Narrabeen.
New Northern Beaches Hospital cut off at Parkway.
This video made for data purposes.
More Trees Across Greater Sydney
December 1, 2020
New, green life will be breathed into Greater Sydney with more than 40,000 trees to be planted and a series of innovation projects delivered thanks to $10 million in NSW Government grants.
The Greening Our City program will provide grants to 30 councils and two partner organisations across two funding streams - Cooler Suburbs and Green Innovations.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the program would help reach her target to plant one million trees across Greater Sydney by 2022 and increase the proportion of homes in urban areas within 10 minutes’ walk of quality green, open and public space by 10% by 2023.
“This fantastic program will result in more than 40,000 trees being planted in the ground and will also see exciting innovation projects that protect native species and help to green urban spaces,” Ms Berejiklian said.
Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes said planting more trees would bring enormous environmental benefit while making public spaces more attractive.
“Our city is framed by parks – we know how valuable tree cover is for lowering heat, providing shade and enhancing our neighbourhoods,” Mr Stokes said.
“This program will see trees planted in more developed areas like Miranda and Parramatta and in growing areas like Camden, Blacktown, Campbelltown and Hawkesbury.”
Local Government NSW President Linda Scott welcomed the announcement and said the program was a great example of partnership between local and State Government.
“Councils take a lead role cultivating healthy and sustainable environments for local communities and funding support is always welcome,” Cr Scott said.
Under the Cooler Suburbs stream, 29 local councils will receive more than $8 million in funding, supporting 39 tree planting projects that will add more than 40,000 trees to Greater Sydney.
The 12 projects to receive funding in the Green Innovations stream include:
- Planting 500 genetically diverse Camden White Gum within the Nepean River corridor at Camden South, a species listed as vulnerable;
- Transformation of a Penrith carpark into an open, green space;
- Revegetation of native trees and grasses across Randwick;
- A new state-of-the-art research facility and demonstration site testing the growth and performance of 48 diverse native and exotic tree species in the Hawkesbury.
The grant program is being administered by Local Government NSW on behalf of the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment.
A list of successful applicants is available at the NSW.gov.au website on the Greening our city page.
Stream 1 - Cooler Suburbs: Northern Beaches Council: Green canopy – Condamine St, Manly Vale - $121,000
Fledgling Kookaburra At Elanora Heights
photos by Selena Griffith
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
New Parks Protecting Ancient Culture
December 1, 2020
The NSW Government is handing back more than 15,000 hectares of land to Aboriginal owners in the State’s central west which will be reserved to form the new Mt Grenfell National Park and the Mt Grenfell State Conservation Area.
The new National Park and State Conservation Area will add 15,285 hectares to the existing Mt Grenfell Historic Site effectively forming a protective ring around some of the most significant Aboriginal art and cultural sites in Australia.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said these new reservations mean the protected area at Mt Grenfell now covers nearly 17,000 hectares.
“This area is home to the renowned Ngiyampaa rock art galleries and a rich cultural landscape of immense significance to the Aboriginal community,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“Reserving these lands supports Aboriginal owners in maintaining their physical and spiritual connection to Country.“
Premier Gladys Berejiklian on site/on country
Environment Minister Matt Kean said the return of these lands to their traditional owners not only has immense cultural significance but an important environmental significance as well.
“These parks are irreplaceable and an important part of our commitment to add 400,000 hectares of national park to our network by the end of 2022,” Mr Kean said.
“The new parks build on existing protections, securing outback ecosystems including habitat for some 130 bird species and 12 threatened species.”
The new park will be Aboriginal-owned land held by Cobar Aboriginal Land Council and co-managed with the Mount Grenfell Board of Management and National Parks and Wildlife Service.
Kultarr. photo credit J. Val DPIE
The new Mount Grenfell National Park and adjacent Mount Grenfell State Conservation Area lies about 70 kilometres north-west of Cobar in the dry back Country of the Cobar Peneplain. They surround the Mount Grenfell Historic Site which was handed back to the Ngiyampaa Wangaaypuwan Aboriginal owners in July 2004 and leased back to the NSW Government for management as part of the national parks system.
In recognition of the Aboriginal cultural significance, ownership of these two new reserves is also to be handed over to the Traditional Owners and leased-back to the National Parks and Wildlife Service for co-management with the Mount Grenfell Board of Management.
- Size: Mount Grenfell National Park is 9,189 hectares and Mount Grenfell State Conservation Area is 6,096 hectares.
- Aboriginal heritage: The reserves are an important part of ngurrampaa (Country) for Ngiyampaa Wangaaypuwan. They provide resources which are of importance in people’s lives: spiritually, as a physical connection to Creation stories and Creation beings; culturally, through providing opportunities for cultural practice; and physically, through the provision of food, water, shelter and resources. All these facets of Ngiyampaa Wangaaypuwan life is found in the one location. The reserves are rich in the physical evidence of Ngiyampaa culture including rock art, campsites and hearths associated with a waterhole, quarries, ochre pits, grinding grooves, artefact scatters and scar trees. Many other sites are yet to be discovered.
Bioregional significance: Mount Grenfell National Park and State Conservation Area make a contribution to a comprehensive, adequate and representative reserve system by:
- increasing the level of protection for the Cobar Peneplain bioregion from 2.61% to 2.82%
- Increasing the level of protection for the Barnato Downs subregion from 3.3% to 4.14%.
- protecting one landscape type (Mt Grenfell Ridges) that is currently not represented in any other reserve and another landscape (Barnato Wide Valleys) which is inadequately protected with only 20 hectares sampled in national parks system.
Ecosystems: The reserves:
- increase the protection of eight vegetation communities, including two communities that were not previously sampled in Mount Grenfell Historic site (Belah-Rosewood Open Woodland and River Red Gum - Poplar Box Riparian Woodland).
- support at least 234 native plant species, many of these traditional food and medicine resources for Ngiyampaa Wangaaypuwan. Those used for food include the seeds of a range of plants such as Yaama (kurrajong), Mithirr (miljee), nardoo, Kawanthaa (quandong), Wilkarr (wilga) and Yarrayipipan (rosewood), all of which were ground for flour and baked into johnny cakes.
Threatened species: The reserves provide a range of habitat types with varying structural complexity and floristic diversity which supports 195 bird and animal species. The most diverse groups of animals recorded are bats (13 species) and birds (134 species), including 12 threatened species. These include the kultarr, yellow-bellied sheathtail-bat, little pied bat, inland forest bat, Corbens long-eared bat. Other threatened mammals expected to use this habitat are the stripe-faced dunnart and bristle-faced freetailed-bat.
European heritage: The reserves provide an example of turn-of-the-century pastoral occupation in the Western Division of New South Wales.
Major Mitchells cockatoo - photo L. Copeland DPIE
Rare Numbats Reintroduced To NSW National Park
December 3, 2020
The numbat, one of Australia's most unique marsupials and a species rarer than the giant panda, has been reintroduced to a NSW national park for the first time.
NSW Environment Minister Matt Kean said the release of this incredibly rare marsupial into Mallee Cliffs National Park is part of a bold plan to save the species.
"Numbats had almost completely disappeared from NSW by the end of the 19th century and today the only remnant population not protected by predator proof fences are in south-west Western Australia," Mr Kean said.
"With this release we hope this will be a turning point in the right direction for this rare Australian native, and an important step to restoring biodiversity in our national parks."
With an estimated population of just 800 animals remaining, numbats are rarer than black rhinos or giant pandas, at one point their distribution stretched from south-western NSW to south-west Western Australia.
NPWS Deputy Secretary Atticus Fleming said the numbat had suffered a catastrophic decline, driven to the brink of extinction by foxes and feral cats.
"It is only by constructing large feral predator-free areas, using specially designed conservation fences, that species such as numbats can be returned to our parks," Mr Fleming said.
It is expected, with further reintroductions, this population is expected to grow to 270 and re-colonise the landscape, increasing the global populations by over 30%.
The release of numbats into Mallee Cliffs National Park follows the successful reintroduction of bilbies and greater stick nest rats, with further species to be introduced to return the landscape to resemble what it was like before the arrival of feral animals.
Numbat release (Myrmecobius fasciatus) Mallee Cliffs National Park Credit: DPIE
Volunteers Begin Sweeping Barrington Of 'Scotch Broom' Environmental Weed
December 3, 2020
Local volunteers have lent a helping hand to NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) during a 4-day blitz of environmental weeds in a newly launched program at Barrington Tops National Park.
NPWS and volunteers from the Australian Association of Bush Regenerators, local 4WD clubs and the local community, supported by Hunter Local Land Services, cleared roughly 35,000 square metres of Scotch broom, an invasive environmental weed.
NPWS Area Manager Anthony Signor said the removal of weeds from an area equivalent to almost five soccer fields will drive regeneration of native vegetation in the sub-alpine landscape after last season's significant bushfires.
"This invasive, noxious weed competes with native species and is compromising the post-bushfire recovery of native vegetation on Barrington Tops.
"We are thrilled and grateful for the response of the volunteers for this event. Despite very wet weather, more than 20 volunteers turned up to help us remove the weeds by hand. We couldn't have done it without them" said Mr Signor.
Hunter Local Land Services' Lyndel Wilson said the removal of these invasive weeds will also tip the balance in favour of native animals like the Tooarrana.
"Tooarrana is the Aboriginal name for the vulnerable broad-toothed rat. This chubby-cheeked native animal is restricted to wet alpine and sub-alpine heaths, and woodlands, and is a priority species for bushfire recovery," said Ms Wilson.
"The Tooarrana relies on the shelter of native snow-grass for food, nesting and protection from predators, so it's really important that our agencies work together to combat invasive weeds post-bushfire," said Ms Wilson.
Scotch broom (Cytisus scoparius) was listed as a Weed of National Significance in 2012.
NPWS and Hunter Local Land Services are currently planning more volunteer weeding events in the national park, which will be advertised on the NPWS website.
This project is supported by Hunter Local Land Services through funding from the Australian Government's National Landcare Program and NSW Government's State Bushfire funding.
Scotch Broom (Cytisus scoparius subsp. scoparius) Credit: Barry Collier/DPIE
Murray Cod Fishing Season Reopens
Recreational fishers will welcome the first day of summer by being allowed to cast their lines in search of the prized Murray Cod, Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall has announced.
The season reopens following the annual three-month breeding closure, and Mr Marshall today said there was great Murray Cod fishing to be had in many river systems and impoundments given recent inflows after the drought.
“The Murray Cod is Australia’s largest freshwater fish and an icon of our inland waterways, so this news will be eagerly welcomed by anglers,” Mr Marshall said.
“We have seen recent inflows into our river systems, creating much healthier environments for our native fish species. These are some of the best conditions we have seen in many years.
“During the last three months, the vast majority of anglers have respected the breeding closure period, which shows an appreciation within our community in the importance of protecting our valued populations.
“Now that Murray Cod have completed their breeding, fishing for this prized fish, in line with the general rules, can begin again.”
Mr Marshall reminded anglers that Fisheries Compliance Officers will be out on the water to ensure that legal bag and size limits, and other rules are abided by.
“A daily bag limit of two Murray Cod per person and a total possession limit of four applies when fishing in any inland waters applies,” Mr Marshall said.
“Fishers are also required to release Murray Cod which are smaller than 55cm, or bigger than 75cm, with the least possible harm.
“These rules are in place to ensure sustainable populations into the future, so that our more than one million annual fishers can enjoy their favoured pastime for generations.”
More Murray Cod fishing tips and rules are available on the NSW DPI website.
Information on legal fishing and marine invertebrate collecting is also available through the free FishSmartNSW App.
Anyone with information on suspected illegal fishing activity is urged to contact their local Fisheries office, call the Fishers Watch phone line on 1800 043 536 or report illegal fishing activities online.
Level 1 Water Restrictions Lifted In Greater Sydney
December 1, 2020
From 1 December 2020, Level 1 Water restrictions for Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains and the Illawarra will be lifted and replaced with Water Wise Guidelines.
Drinking water uses
Under the Water Wise Guidelines, you can use drinking water to:
- water lawns and gardens before 10am and after 4pm using a hand-held hose fitted with a trigger nozzle, sprinklers or standard water systems
- water new turf and gardens at any time for up to 28 days
- water lawns and gardens with drip irrigation systems or smart water systems at any time
- top up pools and spas to replace water lost through evaporation
- fill new or renovated pools and spas
- wash vehicles with a hand-held hose fitted with a trigger nozzle or high-pressure cleaning equipment
- clean buildings (including windows, walls and gutters) with a hand-held hose fitted with a trigger nozzle or high-pressure cleaning equipment
- cool down people or animals.
You will not be able to:
- allow water to run off onto hard surfaces
- leave taps and hoses running unattended
- allow pools or spas to overflow when being filled.
Exemption permits for household and business water use will no longer be required.
Minister for Water Property and Housing Melinda Pavey said people across Greater Sydney have done an outstanding job during water restrictions, collectively saving 77GI of water – the equivalent of 31,000 Olympic-size swimming pools.
"Water restrictions have helped curtail demand by around 65ML each day, taking pressure off the filtration plant to provide clean water from Sydney’s dams which have been impacted by bushfires and heavy rainfall,” Mrs Pavey said.
Find out more about the Water Wise Guidelines
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
Published December 2nd, 2020 by Barrenjoey High School
Drowning Schoolie Saved In Brave Rescue By NASA Member- Avalon Beach SLSC Bronze Holder
“I didn’t think anyone was coming.”
Lachlan Arnold says it chills him to the bone to recall those words, spoken by the teenage girl lying on the beach waiting for the Ambulance to arrive.
Luckily for the young schoolie from Taree, Lachlan and his son Max happened to be on the unpatrolled Boomerang Beach that day and had the courage and the skills to save her life, reaching the drowning girl with just seconds to spare.
Max Arnold is just 16 years-old but has been involved with his local surf club since he was a six-year old Nipper and is a member of North Avalon Surfriders Association. Completing his Bronze Medallion just a year ago, he has been actively patrolling at Avalon Beach, yet his deep understanding of the ocean and ability to act quickly under pressure is a tribute to himself, his club and his family.
On Thursday 26 November Max and his dad Lachie were surfing and enjoying the sunshine at the southern end of Boomerang Beach on the NSW lower-north coast. The beach is a popular tourist destination – even more so in 2020 with traditional schoolies destinations out of reach due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Lachlan recalls the beach being busy that day with people on the sand and in the water right along the unpatrolled 1500m stretch.
South Boomerang Beach looking North, photo by Lachlan Arnold
“We were sitting on the beach and this young guy came running up yelling, ‘my girlfriend has been pulled out in a rip, can you help?’”.
When the boy pointed out his girlfriend, Lachlan was shocked to see she was over 150 metres from shore. In the rough conditions, the boyfriend recognised he was unable to help by attempting to rescue her himself.
“We watched as he ran towards us, asking people if they could help as he made his way down the beach,” said Lachlan “but no one he asked could help.”
Lachlan and Max were staying at a house just a couple of hundred metres from where they were sitting on the beach. Immediately Max ran up to the house to grab a foam surfboard. A strong swimmer and surf lifesaver himself, Lachlan began to swim out towards the girl.
“Max and I got to the girl at about the same time. I was holding her up in the water and she was gone. She was probably 30 seconds from going under,” said Lachlan. “She was in the worst condition I’d ever seen anyone out in the water.”
Max had done an incredible job to sprint to get the board and complete the long paddle out so quickly to meet his dad. The pair were able to get the girl onto the board and Lachlan began paddling the girl back to shore while Max swam alongside.
“Miraculously we caught this wave that took us all the way to the beach – it really was the magic wave and the most welcome one I’ve ever caught,” recalls Lachlan.
Back on shore, the girl was completely exhausted so Max and Lachlan carried her up the beach where they called an Ambulance and performed checks of her condition.
“She could barely talk,” said Lachlan “and she said to me when she got her breath back, that she felt like she was breathing water.”
The proud dad said he had complete confidence in his young son throughout the rescue effort. “He knew exactly what to do and when to do it. He’s only 16 and he was just so calm and just having done his Bronze Medallion, it’s amazing.”
Lachlan said the surf life saving training and the family’s love of the ocean meant he wasn’t once worried for his son’s safety. “Max paddled out on the board and the surf was rough, but I didn’t once think he couldn’t do it,” he said.
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.
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Additional $132.2 Million For Aged Care Covid Response
- $35.5 million to provide access to Medicare subsidised individual psychological services under the Better Access to Psychiatrists, Psychologists and General Practitioners through the MBS (Better Access) initiative until 30 June 2022 and to evaluate Better Access.
- $12.1 million for additional individual allied health sessions under Medicare chronic disease management plans.
- $15.7 million for allied health group services for residents living in facilities affected by COVID-19 outbreaks.
- must be a designated member of the nursing staff which has completed (or initially is in the process of completing) an identified IPC course;
- is employed by the Approved Provider and reports to the Approved Provider, which retains overall responsibility for IPC in accordance with its obligations under the Aged Care Act 1997;
- observes, assesses and reports on IPC of the service, and assists with developing procedures/provides advice within the services; and
- must be engaged onsite for each facility and dedicated to that facility; and may have a broader role within the facility and could be an existing member of the nursing staff.
- Ongoing assessment of the preparedness of aged care providers.
- Auditing of State and Territory emergency response capabilities and planning for the standing up of joint health aged care emergency responses.
- Prioritisation of additional face-to-face infection prevention and control training for residential aged care providers.
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