Showing posts with label New South Wales. Show all posts
Showing posts with label New South Wales. Show all posts

Saturday, 28 March 2020

COVID-19 Pandemic 2020: NSW local government elections postponed for twelve months from September 2020

Shelley Hancock – Minister for Local Government, media release,  25 March 2020:

Local Government Elections

The NSW Government has made the regrettable decision to postpone the September local government elections for 12 months in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Local government elections are a vital part of the democratic process, ensuring local councils are accountable to their local communities.
Therefore, the decision to postpone them has not been taken lightly but is necessary to ensure the health and safety of voters, NSW Electoral Commission staff and election candidates.
The decision follows Parliament passing amendments to the Local Government Act to provide me with the power to postpone the elections.
The NSW Electoral Commissioner has also requested that the Government postpone the council elections.
This decision provides certainty for local councils, communities and election candidates.
The postponement of the next round of council elections will not change the future schedule of council elections, and the subsequent elections will still proceed in September 2024
Mayoral elections will still be held in 2020.

Monday, 23 March 2020

The risk of aggressive behaviour in supermarket aisles continues despite attempts to address shelf shortages

On 17 and 18 March 2020 first Woolworths and then Coles implemented a 7am to 8am shopping hour for the elderly and vulnerable.

Later in the day on Tuesday 17 March 2020 this happened at a Coles supermarket.......

Echo NetDaily, 19 March 2020:

About 3.30pm (Tuesday, 17 March, 2020), police received reports a man assaulted multiple people at a supermarket in a shopping centre on Uralba Street, Lismore. 

It is alleged, after becoming agitated when he was unable to find items he wanted to buy, the man pushed his trolley into two women, believed to be aged in their 70s, knocking one to the ground. 

He then allegedly pinned a 45-year-old female store attendant against the shelving and punched her in the face and chest. 

The store manager and a security guard approached the man and were also allegedly assaulted, before the man was removed from the premises. 

The 45-year-old woman sustained bruising and swelling to her left jaw, bruising and swelling to her left forearm, a small laceration to her left forearm, stiffness to her neck, bruising to her chest but declined medical assistance. 

The two older women left the store without leaving their details and it’s unknown if they were injured. 

Following a public appeal, a 63-year-old man was arrested by officers from Richmond Police District on Nimbin Road, North Lismore and taken to Lismore Police Station. 

 He was charged with affray, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and common assault. 

The man was refused bail and will appear at Lismore Local Court today (Thursday, 19 March, 2020).

Tuesday, 17 March 2020

Clarence Valley 2020: For the first time since WWII Maclean's Highland Gathering has been cancelled

On 16 March 2020 the organiser's of the Highland Gathering at Maclean NSW - due to be held on 10 & 11 of April - announced it will not be held this year due to national restrictions in place with regard to large groups during the the COVID-19 pandemic.

Secretary of the Lower Clarence Scottish Association Alister Smith told The Daily Examiner“We obviously have a lot of people within the particular age range that are susceptible. It’s a very difficult decision when you think the last time we’ve had to cancel the gathering was for World War II.”

Participating bands, solo players, stall holders and sponsors will be contacted in coming days to make arrangements for repayment of any fees.

In the Clarence Valley at least 17.5 per cent of the populaion are 70 years of age or older and, health authorities have identified the elderly as being more vulnerable to infection.

Sunday, 15 March 2020

COVID-19 virus spread in NSW is gaining pace in March 2020

11 Affected NSW Local Heath Districts, 14 March 2020

In the space of fourteen days the COVID-19 virus went from 6 cases in New South Wales to 91 cases.

To date 44.4% of all Australian confirmed COVID-19 cases are in this state.


48.7% as of 15 March 2020
45.2% as of 16 March 2020
46.6% as of 17 March 2020
47% as of 18 March 2020
45% as of 19 March 2020
41.7% as of 20 March 2020
40.6% as of 21 March 2020
39.36% as of 22 March 2020
41% as of 23 March 2020
44.6% as of 24 March 2020
42.4% as of 25 March 2020
43.5% as of 26 March 2020

Cumulative COVID-19 confirmed infection numbers since the outbreak began in New South Wales*
  • 15 January 2020 - 1 case
  • 25 January 2020 - 3 cases
  • 31 January to 28 February 2020 - 4 cases
  • 29 February 2020 - 6 cases
  • 2 March 2020 - 9 cases
  • 3 March 2020 - 15 cases
  • 4 March 2020 - 22 cases
  • 5 March 2020 - 25 cases
  • 6 March 2020 - 28 cases
  • 7 March 2020 - 36 cases
  • 8 March 2020 - 40 cases
  • 9 March 2020 - 47 cases
  • 10 March 2020- 54 cases
  • 11 March 2020 - 64 cases
  • 12 March 2020 - 77 cases
  • 13 March 2020 - 91 cases
  • 14 March 2029 -111 cases
  • 15 March 2020 - 133 cases
  • 16 March 2020 - 171 cases
  • 17 March 2020 - 210 cases
  • 18 March 2020 - 267 cases
  • 19 March 2020 - 307 cases
  • 20 March 2020 - 353 cases
  • 21 March 2020 - 436 cases
  • 22 March 2020 -533 cases
  • 23 March 2020 - 704 cases
  • 24 March 2020 - 818 cases
  • 25 March 2020 - 1,209 cases
  • 26 March 2020 - 1,219 cases
Conservative infectious disease models suggest that every person infected with COVID-19 has the potential to infect 4 other people.

On 1 February 2020 Australian Prime Minister & MP for Cook Scott Morrison announced a ban on direct travel from mainland China.

On 29 February 2020 Morrison imposed a ban on direct travel from Iran. However this was a case of closing the stable door after the horse had bolted.

On 5 March he announced a ban on travel from Korea and on 11 March from Italy. 

As of 14 March Morrison refuses to consider a ban on travel from the United States of America, even though more people who have entered Australia from the US have been diagnosed with the coronavirus than was the case with incoming flights from Iran.

By Saturday morning, 14 March 2020 there were 197 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Australia with 3 deaths and 27 fully recovered, according to an Australian Dept. of Health health alert on the same day. This left 167 confirmed active cases of COVID-19.

That figure changed later on Saturday, as New South Wales,  Western Australia and South Australia reported additional cases, bringing the national count to 223 confirmed cases with three deaths and 27 fully recovered.

As of midnight 14 March 2020 the national count stood at 250 confirmed COVID-19 cases.
As of 8:82pm 15 March 2020 the national count of COVID-19 cases is 251.
As of 11am 15 March 2020 the national count is 273 confirmed COVID-19 cases.
As of 15 March 2020 the COVID-19 national death toll has reached 5 persons.
As of 16 March 2020 the national count is 378 confirmed COVID-19 cases.
As of 17 March 2020 the national count is 450 confirmed COVID-19 cases.
As of 18 March 2020 the national count is 568 confirmed COVID-19 cases.
As of 19 March 2020 the national count is 681 confirmed COVID-19 cases.
As of 20 March 2020 the national count is 846 confirmed COVID-19 cases.
As of 21 March 2020 the national count is 986 confirmed COVID-19 cases. As of midnight on 21 March the national count was 1,073 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 7 deaths.
As of 22 March 2020 the national count is 1,354 confirmed COVID-19 cases. 
As of 23 March 2020 the national count is 1,717 confirmed COVID-19 cases.
As of 24 March 2020 the national count is 1,831 confirmed COVID-19 cases. 
As of 25 March 2020 the national count is 2,423 confirmed COVID-19 cases. 

As of 26 March 2020 the national count is 2,799 confirmed COVID-19 cases - the number of deaths has now reached 13.

If Victorian Dept of Health published data is any indication then exposure to this particular coronavirus is likely to occur at Australian airports, aboard domestic/international commercial airline flights, on metropolitan trains, at sporting events, in parks/ovals, at supermarkets, university campuses, hotels, cinemas, markets and medical practices, as well as at high schools.

During this last week, despite federal or state governments refusing to outright ban large gatherings of over 500 people (and only offering recommendations for many types of gatherings) and the prime minister encouraging people to turn up at sporting events, actual event organisers and businesses began to make their own decisions to either cancel events or run them without audiences.

By Friday, after the general public discovered that at least one federal cabinet minister had tested positive for COVID-19, Scott Morrison altered his stance and advised all "non-essential, organised gatherings" of 500 people or more be cancelled from Monday to limit the spread of COVID-19

Mainstream media reported that Mr. Morrison refused to be tested for the virus and, extended this exemption to all of his ministers, stating none needed to be tested or needed to self-isolate.

It seems that there is one rule for the general population based on proven epidemiology protocols and one special rule for Scott Morrison and his political mates.

Luckily for the people of New South Wales someone in the Berejiklian Government had a different perspective on political privilege and, the Sydney offices used by Morrison and certain other cabinet ministers - along with various state /territory ministers and departmental staff - were promptly cleaned.


* Official numbers are not updated on Saturday or Sunday. However, looking at the exponential growth to date, by Monday 16 March 2020, the state of New South Wales may have entered the point of no return if it has not completely banned all large gatherings. 
See: for latest NSW statistics. Please be aware that the original statistics show 1 interstate resident diagnosed in NSW, who by protocol is listed under state of residence, so has been deducted by me from the NSW total. 
It appears that an est. 16,593 people in NSW have been tested for the virus to date, with 14,665 returning a negative result.

Sunday, 1 March 2020

Australian Forestry Industry: these future eaters need to be stopped

Australia is the world's smallest continent with a land area of 149,450,000 km2 completely surrounded by ocean.

It is not by accident that the vast majority of its est. 25.6 million strong population live along its fringes - that's where most of the forests and rivers are.

What you see on this map represented approximately 3 per cent of the world’s forests in 2016 and, globally Australia was the country with the seventh largest forest area.

It is estimated that when British-Europeans first came to Australia in 1788, forests covered one-third of the continent - a total of around 49,811,685km2

This had fallen to less than one-fifth or 19 per cent by 2006. At that time more than 16,500 plant and 3,800 animal species had been identified as forest-dependent.

Ten years later Australia​ had only 134 million hectares of forest remaining, covering 17 per cent of its land area. 

In the 228 years between 1788 and 2016 under the policies, legislation and regulations of successive federal, state and territory governments a total of 24,405,185km2 of predominately tall trees had disappeared under the forester's and farmer's axe, never to return.

The eating of Australia's future continues to this day as projections suggest that by 2030, another 3 million hectares of untouched forest will have been bulldozed in eastern Australia.

That's on top of the tree cover lost in the 2019-20 bushfire season when over 5 million hectares of forest and grassland burned - with 100 per cent of tree canopy lost in some areas of the vast firegrounds.

Combined forest burnt in New South Wales and Victoria this fire season has been estimated in one study as 21 per cent of Australia's entire remaining forest cover.

Yet despite what has been lost and the uncertainty surrounding what might regrow due to the continuing stressful heating and drying of the Australian continent caused by climate change, the forestry industry is pushing hard to expand its activities further into state forests, nature reserves and national parks.

The relentless, selfish greed of this industry needs to be called out for what it is - a collective madness.

If you would like to see the federal government and east coast state governments reign in this madness, please express your views to your local state & federal members of parliament and to the following:

The Hon. Scott Morrison MP, Prime Minister of Australia, PO Box 6022 House of Representatives Parliament House, CANBERRA, ACT 2600

The Hon. Sussan Ley MP, Minister for the Environment, PO Box 6022, House of Representatives, Parliament House, CANBERRA, ACT 2600

The Hon. Gladys Berejiklian MP, Premier of New South Wales, 
GPO Box 5341, SYDNEY, NSW 2001 

The Hon. Matt Kean MP, NSW Minister for Energy and the Environment, 
52 Martin Place, SYDNEY, NSW 2000 

The Hon Annastacia Palaszczuk MP, Premier of Queensland, 
PO Box 15185, CITY EAST, QLD 4002 

The Hon Leeanne Enoch MP, Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, 
GPO Box 5078 BRISBANE, QLD 4001 

The Hon. Daniel Andrews MP, Premier of Victoria, 
Office of the Premier, Level 1, 1 Treasury Place, EAST MELBOURNE, Victoria 3002 

The Hon. Lily D'Ambrosio MP, Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, 
Level 16 8 Nicholson Street, EAST MELBOURNE, Victoria 3002 

The Hon Peter Gutwein MP, Premier of Tasmania, 
Ground Floor, Public Building, 53 St John Street, LAUNCESTON, Tasmania 7250 

Roger Janesh MP, Minister for Environment and Parks, 
GPO Box 44 HOBART, Tasmania 7001

Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Open Letter from the NSW South Coast: Dear Mr Morrison

Excerpt from Nick Hopkins open letter published in The Canberra Times, 17 January 2020: 

Today I stand by the smouldering ruins of my beautiful home on the NSW South Coast. Since New Year's Day, climate change has suddenly become very personal for me.

Like thousands of others, Nick Hopkins and Heike Sutherland are dealing with the loss of their family home. Picture: Supplied
You have said you understand my grief. I have heard you are a religious man. My fervent hope is that your God grants you the humility to admit that you do not understand me at all. You have stood by as members of your party have insulted, belittled and ignored people like me when we urged you and your predecessors to take climate change more seriously.
You took no action when my Deputy Prime Minister called people like me a raving lunatic when we dared to link the bushfire emergency to climate change. By your silence you are complicit. May your God grant you the wisdom to understand that my rage at you and your predecessors is an entirely rational response to a set of present and oncoming unnatural disasters from which you have failed to protect me.
You have said you understand my suffering. My heartfelt desire is that your God grants you the ability to see how hollow and insincere that feels to me when you (and Labor) continue to promote the thermal coal industry, which is fanning the flames of intense suffering of humans and animals worldwide. Australian coal is out there in the world being burnt every day and night. Please Mr Morrison, if only for God's sake, join the dots.

If you come to console me in my time of grief, I will not shake your hand until you and your colleagues promise to refuse donations from all fossil fuel companies. I would dearly like to be consoled by you, but I am choking on the hypocrisy of your actions. Until you get serious about political donation reform, your pronouncements will always be tainted by the stench of your largest donors.

You will not earn my respect until you and your colleagues dare to take the Australian public on a journey to transition away from thermal coal mining and exports. Tobacco farmers in the US transitioned away from their industry when the link between cigarettes and cancer become public. And when the link between asbestos and mesothelioma was understood, we left all known reserves in the ground. However, now that the link between the burning of coal and disastrous weather events is well established, both you and the opposition have thrown your support behind opening up the Galilee Basin, starting with the Adani mine.....

Read the full letter here.

Thursday, 2 January 2020

Latest NSW Rural Fire Service summary of infrastructure losses across the state as of 1 January 2020

By 3.30pm on the afternoon of 1 January 2020 the NSW Rural Fire Service had announced that the day before 170 additional houses had been destroyed by fire in the state.

Taking the toll of houses lost to at least 1,086.

That number is expected to climb.

Monday, 25 November 2019

NSW Northern Rivers bushfire victim: "If only I'd prayed more. Sorry ScoMo"

More than 600 homes have been destroyed by bushfires in NSW this fire season - with 503 of these burnt down in the last two weeks.

Since October six lives have been lost in the fires - two of these in the Clarence Valley.
A Northern Rivers family which lived in one of about 80 houses lost to bushfire in the Nymboida area left highly visible messages in the ashes of their home for that closet climate change denier, Australian Prime Minister and Liberal MP for Cook Scott 'thoughts & prayers' Morrison.

These images should come as no surprise nor their message:

"No climate catastrophe? F. U. ScoMo"

"Quiet Aussies lead to homes on fire"

"If only I'd prayed more Sorry ScoMo"

"Thoughts & Prayers vs Action!! ScoMo = SloMo"

"Noisy Australian PROUD OF IT!"

One of the characteristics of Northern Rivers communities has always been their willingness to take the fight straight to the those in political power who they believe threaten their families, their way of life and the land on which they live.

The Mackay family demonstrated this after the blaze ripped through Nymboida leaving two of its members with only the clothes on their backs.

*Images found at 7 News.

Sunday, 10 November 2019

In 2019 the NSW Police have been in the news and not for the best of reasons

With NSW Police being the subject of negative media reports this year concerning conduct while on duty, perhaps now is the time to look at how matters concerning allegations of police misconduct are handled by government agencies.

Law Enforcement Conduct Commission 2018-19 Annual Report gave this overview with regard to the last financial year:

furnished 11 reports to the NSW Parliament;
assessed 2547 complaints;
conducted 207 investigations, comprising 85 preliminary enquiries, 73 preliminary investigations and 49 full investigations. The number of full investigations almost doubled for the financial year, up from 28 in 2017-18;
conducted 78 private examinations;
monitored 32 new NSWPF critical incident investigations, of which 27 critical incidents were attended by Commission staff. Commission staff also continued to monitor 31 existing critical incident investigations from the previous financial year;
reviewed 1221 and monitored 16 misconduct matter investigations as part of the Commission’s oversight function;
visited Dubbo, Nowra, Forster, Taree, Kempsey, Maitland, Port Macquarie, Casino, Broken Hill, Wilcannia, Newcastle, Wagga and the greater Sydney region as part of the Commission’s community engagement program; and
presented to solicitors and community organisations at a range of forums including the Law Society of New South Wales, Gosford Court open day, the Aboriginal Legal Service, Community Legal Centres quarterly conference, multiple domestic violence services, Red Cross Young Parents program, Koori interagency meeting and Legal Aid Cooperative Legal Service Delivery groups around the state, amongst others.

In 2018-19 there were 1,384 (93.7%) complaints received from the general public, 94 (6.3%) from people identified as police officers, 4 (0.2%) from the NSW Crimes Commission and 63 (4.07%) from the NSW Independent Commission against Against Corruption.

During 2018-19 the LECC worked on 207 investigations, comprising 85 preliminary enquiries, 73 preliminary investigations and 49 full investigations. Of these, 104 matters were completed and 103 were ongoing at 30 June 2019.

Of these full investgations 2 were referred to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions for consideration of prosecution, 5 resulted in a dissemination of information to the NSW Police Force and 2 that resulted in information being disseminated to other law enforcement agencies (LEA).

According to The Sydney Morning Herald the 49 full investigations last financial year only represented 2% of the 2,457 assess complaints received.

One of these 2,2457 assessed complaints became the subject of an ABC News online article containing distressing footage of a young mother being arrested after a traffic stop. 

On 23 September 2019 the LECC issued a media release announcing a public hearing with regarding the strip search of an underage female at the Splendour in the Grass music festival at North Byron in July 2018 by NSW Police, and strip search practices more generally.

A report from a formal investigation into strip searching is not yet available.

In October 2019 the LECC published a Report in relation to its investigation in Operation Trieste which dealt with the stopping of a vehicle being driven by a 24 year-old woman with her stepmother as the only passenger. Body cam video footage formed part of the evidence and it was found that 2 police officers “engaged in serious misconduct during the relevant traffic stop in that they breached s 7 of the Police Act, breached the NSWPF Code of Conduct and Ethics and breached the provisions of LEPRA.”

The LECC recommended that consideration be given to the taking of action against Officer 1 pursuant to s 173 of the Police Act...”

In October 2019 the LECC also published The New South Wales Child Protection Register: Operation Tusket Final Report - 2019 which stated in part that:

The Commission’s investigation has established that there have been problems with the Register for 17 years. Significant errors in the application of the CPOR Act started occurring as early as 2002. These errors have included incorrect decisions by the NSW Police Force about which persons should be included on the Register, and incorrect decisions about how long persons were legally required to make reports of their personal information to police under the CPOR Act (their ‘reporting period’).

Some of these errors have resulted in child sex offenders being in the community without being monitored by the NSW Police Force as required by the CPOR Act. The Commission reviewed one case in which a person reoffended while unmonitored. Other errors have caused the NSW Police Force to unlawfully require people to report their personal information to police for a number of years. As a result, people have been wrongly convicted, and even imprisoned, for failing to comply with CPOR Act reporting obligations, when in fact those obligations did not apply to them at the relevant time. Two persons were unlawfully imprisoned for more than a year in total.

The NSW Police Force has been aware for a number of years that there were significant issues with the Register. In 2014 the NSW Police Force Child Protection Registry (the Registry), the specialist unit in the State Crime Command responsible for maintaining the Register, started filing internal reports warning of systemic issues causing inaccuracies in the Register. Multiple reports from the Registry prompted the NSW Police Force to review 5,749 Register case files. This review was started in 2016 and took two years to complete. In October 2018 it concluded that 44 per cent (2,557) of those Register case files had contained errors.