Showing posts with label public health order. Show all posts
Showing posts with label public health order. Show all posts

Sunday, 10 January 2021

Two hyper-infectious COVID-19 strains now on Australian east coast


According to The Guardian on 7 January 2021: 


A Queensland hotel quarantine worker has contracted the highly infectious UK strain of Covid-19, prompting the state’s health authorities to send aged care homes in parts of greater Brisbane into lockdown. 


The cleaner, a woman in her 20s, was working at a hotel that contained patients with the strain, which has been found to be more infectious than previous strains. 


While The Sydney Morning Herald reported on 8 January 2021: 


Six returned travellers in Sydney have tested positive to the UK variant of the COVID-19 virus and four returned travellers are positive for the South African variant - both believed to be more contagious than earlier strains. 


NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant revealed the 10 people who arrived since November 30 had all been quarantined in special health accommodation - separate from the NSW Police-run hotel quarantine sites. 


A family of four learned they all carried the more infectious South African variant of the virus (known as B1.351) when their preliminary test results came back on Thursday night. All 16 people on their flight from South Africa to Sydney have been moved into the accommodation as a precaution, Dr Chant said. 


Then on 9 January 2021 ABC News reported that a woman;  flew to Brisbane on a Jetstar flight from Victoria and has tested positive for the highly contagious UK variant of coronavirus.


All four of the travellers in NSW with the South African variant of the virus have been discharged from the special accommodation as they were no longer infectious. The other two remain in quarantine in the facility. In an abundance of caution the Victorian woman who travelled to Queensland is also in quarantine.


The South African variant of the virus appears to have emerged in August 2020 while the UK variant was identified in November 2020.



This situation has resulted in changes to public health orders.




Northern NSW Local Health District, media release, 8 January 2021:


The NSW Government has put in place a new Public Health Order to ensure anyone who visits NSW from the Greater Brisbane area, or who has arrived in NSW from this area in recent days, must follow similar ‘stay at home’ rules as those being put in place by the Queensland Government.


Under the Order, anyone entering NSW by any mode of transport from the City of Brisbane, City of Ipswich, Lockyer Valley Region, Logan City, Moreton Bay Region, Redland City, Scenic Rim Region, and Somerset Region must go directly to their home or place of accommodation in NSW, and remain there until 6pm on Monday 11 January 2021.


The Order applies to anyone who has arrived in NSW from those areas since 12.01am on 2 January 2021. People who have arrived in NSW after transiting through Brisbane Airport will not be subject to the requirements of the Order, provided they have not been in the listed areas.


Once at their home or place of accommodation, Queensland arrivals are allowed to leave only for the purposes of obtaining food or essential shopping, taking exercise, work duties if they cannot be done from home, caring duties or medical care, until 6pm on Monday.


People coming to Greater Sydney (including Wollongong, the Central Coast and the Blue Mountains) from Queensland or elsewhere are also reminded of the need to wear face masks in certain situations, including while shopping, under a separate Public Health Order signed earlier this week.


In addition, from 6pm today all people arriving in NSW from Queensland by air must also complete a self-declaration form stating their name, address and where they stayed in Queensland, and dates of arrival and departure.


Enforcement officers will have the power to require information and identification documentation to assist in checking compliance.


Anyone who is travelling to NSW from Queensland, or has recently done so, is asked to monitor for even the mildest of symptoms and immediately get tested and isolate if any symptoms develop. Once tested, you must remain in isolation until a negative result is received, in line with the normal advice for all people in NSW.


Anyone who has been in the Greater Brisbane area since 2 January cannot visit people in aged care or health care facilities in NSW.


Genome sequencing has confirmed a Queensland case of COVID-19 has the more transmissible UK variant of the virus. NSW Health continues to closely monitor the situation and regularly updates its health advice.


We will continue to work closely with our colleagues in Queensland and other states and territories to ensure that appropriate public health measures are in place to protect the health and safety of people throughout Australia. [my yellow highlighting] 


Wednesday, 6 January 2021

Now is not the time for the NSW North Coast to be complacent about the COVID-19 pandemic


NSW Police, News, 4 January 2021:


A 27-year-old Cronulla woman has received two PINs in three days for failing to self-isolate as required under the Public Health Act. Officers from Tweed/Byron Police District attended a resort at Byron Bay about 8.30pm on Thursday (31 December 2020), after receiving information in relation a possible breach of public health orders. Police were told the woman had been notified she was a close contact of a positive COVID case but was not self-isolating and had not been tested. The woman was provided advice about testing facilities and self-isolation before being given PPE to assist with safe travel to the facility. Officers returned to the resort about 8pm the following day (Friday 1 January 2021), and found the woman was not self-isolating. The woman was issued a $1000 PIN for failing to comply with the direction under S7/8/9 of the Public Health Act. About 3.30pm yesterday (Sunday 3 January 2021), police were again called to resort after reports the woman was not self-isolating, instead swimming in the resort pool. Following inquiries, the woman was issued with another $1000 PIN for failing to comply with the direction under S7/8/9 of the Public Health Act.


Two people have been issued PINs after leaving their Northern Beaches home to holiday on the state’s north coast. On Saturday (3 January 2021), police were notified that a man and woman, both aged 32, had left their Collaroy home the previous day to travel to Yamba for a holiday. Officers from Coffs/Clarence Police District spoke with the pair and determined they didn’t have a lawful excuse for leaving their home and, in doing so, had breached the Public Health (COVID-19 Northern Beaches) Order. Both were issued an $1000 PIN.


Northern NSW Local Health District, media release excerpt, 5 January 2021: 


There have been no new confirmed cases of locally acquired COVID-19 reported in Northern NSW Local Health District residents since 25 July, 165 days ago. 


Two new case have been recorded in Lismore City Council area residents on 3 January who acquired their infection overseas. 


These two people are currently in hotel quarantine and will be released from isolation once health staff confirm that it is safe to do so.


Sunday, 3 January 2021

NSW Government update of COVID-19 public health restrictions effective from midnight Saturday, 2 January 2021


NSW Government update of COVID-19 public health restrictions, 2 January 2021:


Given the risk of COVID-19 transmission on the Northern Beaches and across Greater Sydney (including Wollongong, Central Coast and Blue Mountains), the following adjustments are being made.


From midnight tonight, the southern zone of the Northern Beaches will be subject to the same restrictions as Greater Sydney.


Restrictions for the northern zone of the Northern Beaches remain the same with stay at home orders in place until 9 January 2021;


  • No visitors to the home.

  • Five northern zone residents can gather outdoors (not at homes) for exercise and recreation, from within the same zone.

  • Non-essential businesses remain closed.


Given the general risk in Greater Sydney, new measures are required to reduce the transmission potential of COVID-19 while maintaining economic activity.


The following measures for Greater Sydney (including Wollongong, Central Coast and Blue Mountains) are effective from midnight tonight:


  • Face masks will be mandatory in the following indoor settings:

    • shopping (retail, supermarkets and shopping centres)
    • public/shared transport, indoor entertainment (including cinemas and theatres)
    • places of worship
    • hair and beauty premises.
    • Face masks will also be mandatory for all staff in hospitality venues and casinos and for patrons using gaming services.
    • Compliance will start from Monday, 4 January 2021 with $200 on the spot fines for individuals for non-compliance. Children under 12 are exempt but are encouraged to wear masks where practicable.
  • Gym classes reduced to 30 people.

  • Places of worship and religious services limited to 1 person per 4sqm up to a maximum of 100 people per separate area.

  • Weddings and funerals limited to 1 person per 4sqm up to a maximum of 100 people.

  • Outdoor performances and protests reduced to 500 people.

  • Controlled, outdoor gatherings (seated, ticketed, enclosed) reduced to 2,000 people.

  • Night clubs not permitted.


People are still encouraged to limit non-essential gatherings and reduce their mobility where possible to further minimise the risk of transmission in the community.


Whilst these measures do not apply to areas outside Greater Sydney (including Wollongong, Central Coast and Blue Mountains), we urge all residents and visitors across the State to practise COVID safe behaviours and get tested even if symptoms are mild.


Northern NSW Local Health District advice for those living in the NSW Northern Rivers region:


To help stop the spread of COVID-19:


  • If you are unwell, get tested and isolate right away – don’t delay. Remain isolated until you receive your test result.

  • Wash your hands regularly. Take hand sanitiser with you when you go out.

  • Keep your distance. Leave 1.5 metres between yourself and others.

  • Wear a mask when using public transport, rideshares and taxis, and in shops, places of worship and other places where you can’t physically distance. When taking taxis or rideshares, commuters should sit in the back.


To find your nearest testing clinic visit https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/how-to-protect-yourself-and-others/clinics or contact your GP.


Friday, 1 January 2021

Right up to the last days of 2020 there were people who insisted on being COVIDIOTS


Qld Health


Well New South Wales COVID-19 cases were beginning to climb again by 31 December 2020 with 17 confirmed cases overnight - 51 new locally transmitted cases confirmed over the last 7 days of the year were linked to known infection clusters, another 6 cases in that period were still of unknown origin and 41 cases were of overseas origin. 


Known infected NSW residents have travelled as far north as South-East Queensland and those from designated hotspots have reached as far south as East Gippsland in Victoria. The NSW Avalon infection cluster total has now reached 144 infected people and the Berejiklian Coalition Government still insists that after 15 days its source is still unknown.


With instances of people acting irresponsibly also growing, this 17 December 2020 quote by well-known NSW resident, Prime Minister Scott Morrison, got old very quickly; “New South Wales is the gold standard. I don’t spend too much time worrying about New South Wales, because they’ve demonstrated why I don’t have to” .


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NSW Police, News, 28 December 2020:

Police have issued nine Penalty Infringement Notices (PINs) and will issue another three following a wedding reception that breached a Public Health Order in Sydney yesterday.


Officers from Sydney City Police Area Command were called to a venue on Pirrama Road, Pyrmont, about 5pm (Sunday 27 December 2020), after receiving information from Crime Stoppers in relation to possible breaches of a Public Health Order.


After speaking with staff and attendees, police recorded contact details for more than a dozen guests, who are Northern Beaches residents.


Following further inquiries and consultation with NSW Health, $1000 PINs for not comply with noticed direction s7/8/9-COVID-19 have now been issued to the following people;


- a man and woman, both aged 43, from Allambie Heights


- a 33-year-old woman from Narraweena


- a 27-year-old man from Frenches Forest, and


- three women – aged 19, 22 and 28 – and two men – aged 23 and 63 – all from Beacon Hill.


A further three PINs are expected to be issued to a 34-year-old man and a 36-year-old woman, both from Frenchs Forest, and a 26-year-old man from Beacon Hill.


Inquiries are continuing.


Police continue to appeal to the community to report suspected breaches of any ministerial direction or behaviour which may impact on the health and safety of the community.


Anyone with information regarding individuals or businesses in contravention of COVID-19-related ministerial directions is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au.


Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report information via NSW Police social media pages.


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28 December 2020


Police have issued 15 Penalty Infringement Notices (PINs) since Christmas Eve, including to 11 people at a house party at North Bondi on Saturday that breached the Public Health Order.

Just before 11pm (Saturday 26 December 2020), officers from Eastern Suburbs Police Area Command attended a home on Blair Street after receiving multiple noise complaints.

Police located at least 40 people at the party, with most running from the home when officers arrived.

Officers spoke with 11 people, including two residents and nine visitors, who remained at the property.

Two women – aged 24 and 26 – and nine men – aged 26, 28, 30, 31, 32, 34, and three aged 24 – were subsequently issued $1000 PINs for not comply with noticed direction s7/8/9-COVID-19.

The residents were also issued a 28-day noise abatement direction, while the visitors were directed to leave the area.

Inquiries are continuing to identify other partygoers who were in attendance.


In addition, a further two people and two businesses have been issued PINs since Christmas Eve.


About 7.40pm on Wednesday (23 December 2020), officers from Inner West Police Area Command attended a restaurant on King Street, Newtown, following reports of potential breaches of public health orders. On arrival, police noted a crowd on the footpath outside the restaurant and a large number of people inside. After speaking with the 45-year-old male owner, who stated he did not have a COVID Safe plan, officers determined there were 27 more people than allowed for the space. The owner was given an opportunity to reduce the number of people within the restaurant, however, the capacity was still exceeded. Following further inquiries, the following day the owner was issued a $5000 PIN for fail to comply with noticed direction in relation to section 7/8/9 COVID-19 -Corporation. A COVID Safe plan has since been submitted.


As part of proactive patrols, officers from Campbelltown City Police Area Command conducted a business inspection of a restaurant on Tindall Street, Campbelltown, about 7.45pm on Thursday (24 December 2020). Police spoke to the manager about the business’ COVID Safe plan and determined they had exceeded their capacity by at least 15 people. During the conversation, staff continued to seat more customers inside the restaurant and police issued a direction for no more people to enter the venue. Further inquiries revealed the restaurant had been given a formal warning earlier in the month for exceeding capacity by more than 65 people. Police subsequently issued a $5000 PIN for fail to comply with noticed direction in relation to section 7/8/9 COVID-19 -Corporation


About 11.15am today (Friday 25 December 2020), officers from Hawkesbury Police Area Command received information a Northern Beaches resident attended a home at Bligh Park in breach of the Public Health Order. Following inquiries, police attended the home on Porpoise Crescent and spoke to the 32-year-old Collaroy woman who confirmed she had travelled to Bligh Park in her car on Christmas Eve (Thursday 24 December 2020). She was directed to return to Collaroy and issued a $1000 PIN for fail to comply with noticed direction in relation to section 7/8/9 COVID-19.


A man has been issued with a PIN after a crowd of people gathered in Centennial Park on Friday night, in breach of the current NSW Health Directions (COVID-19). Officers attached to Eastern Beaches Police Area Command were called to Parkes Drive in Centennial Parklands about 8pm (Friday 25 December 2020), due to concerns of a large gathering. As police approached, the group immediately began dispersing; however, a 22-year-old man – who police allege had been moved on from the Bronte gathering earlier in the day – was issued with a PIN for failing to comply with a Public Health Order (COVID-19). When a 25-year-old man failed to comply with a move-on direction he was issued with an infringement notice.


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27 December 2020


Tweed/Byron Police District is urging visitors and locals alike to celebrate responsibly in the Byron Bay area this Christmas and New Year period.


The festive season has seen a continued influx of visitors to the area and an increase in large public gatherings around the Byron town centre, which have required significant clean-up efforts due to the amount of rubbish left behind.


Under the current restrictions, outdoor gatherings are limited to no more than 100 people in a public place including beaches and parks.


Police have conducted an extensive high-visibility operation, dispersing large crowds gathered at Apex Park, on Thursday 24 and Friday 25 (December 2020). The public are reminded this area is an alcohol-free zone, which effectively prohibits the consumption of alcohol in any public place.


In addition, police attended the National Park area at Tyagarah around midnight yesterday (Saturday 26 December 2020, where an illegally organised party was being held.


In the early hours of this morning (Sunday 27 December 2020), police again attended Apex Park after a large number of people gathered. Police moved on the group and ensured the alcohol they were consuming was tipped out.


Following this, police attended Main Beach and Belongil Beach after approximately 300 people gathered at each location. The parties were closed down by police and the crowd was moved on.


About 200 people were dispersed and music equipment seized with 73 parking infringements issued. Police are liaising with National Parks and Wildlife regarding further infringements for organisers/attendees.


Tweed/Byron Police District Commander, Superintendent David Roptell, is appealing for those involved to respect the environment and be mindful of the amount of rubbish that is being left behind.


It’s not fair for council workers and locals to have to clean the significant mess that is being left after each of these gatherings. I urge those who are intent on meeting in parks and beaches to not only do so safely but be respectful to the environment and those around you by cleaning up after yourself,” Supt Roptell said.


Superintendent Roptell added that police will continue to focus on maintaining a safe and fun atmosphere; however, officers will not tolerate anyone who risks their safety or the safety of others with foolish behaviour.


This year’s Christmas and New Year’s celebrations must be conducted in a COVID-safe environment,” Supt Roptell said.


In saying that, we have a very clear message to those choosing to come to Byron over the Christmas and New Year period – 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 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.” Supt Roptell said.


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24 December 2020


A woman from the Northern Beaches has been issued a Penalty Infringement Notice (PINs) over an alleged breach of the Public Health Act while travelling on the South Coast.


Officers from South Coast Police District commenced inquiries yesterday (Wednesday 23 December 2020), after receiving reports a woman from the Northern Beaches had collapsed at a pizza shop at Sanctuary Point the evening before and was treated at Shoalhaven Hospital.


Police were told the woman appeared to be experiencing symptoms – however declined to be tested – and left the hospital.


Following inquiries, police attended a home on Edmund Street, Sanctuary Point, and spoke with the 37-year-old woman and three other occupants. All parties were directed to self-isolate.


The Bilgola Plateau woman has since been issued a $1000 PIN for fail to comply with requirement of public health order – COVID-19.


It is understood the pizza store has closed for cleaning as a precaution.


Police continue to appeal to the community to report suspected breaches of any ministerial direction or behaviour which may impact on the health and safety of the community.


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Residents of other states are also not always following public health orders.....


Yahoo! News, 27 December 2020: 


The woman who fled mandatory hotel quarantine after arriving back in Australia warned authorities of her plan ahead of her escape in a series of disturbing posts to social media. 


Jenny Maree D'ubios was detained by WA Police Saturday evening after fleeing from the Pan Pacific hotel in Perth, where she was being quarantined after flying in from overseas. 


The 49-year-old left the hotel Saturday morning and was spotted walking down Adelaide Terrace in the CBD about 10.20am (local time) carrying a case and a number of bags. 


Police issued a public appeal following her escape, warning that anyone found to be helping her would be subject to heavy penalties. West Australian police revealed in an email on Sunday about 1.40am that Ms D'ubios, who was understood to have been living in Spain for several years, had been found. 


The self-proclaimed “world changer” shared multiple videos from her hotel room after arriving in the country, complaining that the carpet and curtains were giving her allergies. 


WA Police, News, 20 December 2020: 


A 42-year-old man has been arrested, charged and refused bail after failing to comply with a COVID self-quarantine direction upon arriving in Western Australia. The man was granted approval to enter Western Australia as a maritime worker via the G2G Pass system. He arrived at Perth Airport on Friday 18 December 2020, having travelled from Russia, and was issued a direction to self-quarantine for a period of 14 days at an approved accommodation location in Perth. Information was received that the man left his allocated room at the accommodation venue on two occasions on Saturday 19 December 2020. Police attended the scene and commenced an investigation into the claims. Evidence was identified which showed the man had breached his self-quarantine direction. The man was arrested and relocated to the Perth Watch House. A 42-year-old male Russian National has been charged with ‘Failed to Comply with a Direction’. He was refused bail and is due to appear in the Perth Magistrates Court today, Sunday 20 December 2020.


A 20-year-old man has been arrested, charged and refused bail after failing to comply with a COVID self-quarantine direction upon arriving in Western Australia. The man was granted approval to enter Western Australia on compassionate grounds via the G2G Pass system. He arrived at Perth Airport on Thursday 10 December 2020 on a flight from South Australia, and was issued a direction to self-quarantine for a period of 14 days at a nominated address in Northam. It will be alleged the man breached his self-quarantine direction by visiting Northbridge, where he was found about 1:10am on Saturday 19 December 2020. It was also identified he had been staying at a residence in Belmont. A 20-year-old man from Victoria has been charged with ‘Fail to Comply with a Direction’. He was refused bail and is due to appear in the Perth Magistrates Court today, Sunday 20 December 2020.


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Sunday, 8 November 2020

Rural & regional NSW needs practical support with QR codes to accommodate customers without smart phones and businesses with poor mobile coverage

 

Office of Labor MP for Lismore, media release, 5 November 2020:



Lismore MP Janelle Saffin has called on the Berejiklian-Barilaro Government to do more to help small businesses establish Quick Response (QR) code check-in systems in country areas where telecommunications remain sketchy.



Ms Saffin said she agreed with the general policy of rolling out QR code check-in systems to support COVID safety plans, particularly in the hospitality industry, ahead of the busy Christmas-New Year holiday season.



However, I am fed up with city-centric policies that do not take account of the reality of life in the country, including the fact that the Federal Government has yet to provide full mobile phone coverage in parts of the Northern Rivers and Northern Tablelands,” Ms Saffin said.



Many residents don’t own a smart phone but they still like to get out and socialise with family and friends at their favourite café, restaurant or pub.



These people might require a manual sign-in system and any statewide policy should be flexible enough to make some kind of allowance for this demographic.



The fact that the current policy is not inclusive makes the long-standing digital divide between city and country cousins even worse.”



Ms Saffin said the NSW Government should work with business owners in towns and villages located away from the coast to assist them to comply rather than wave a big stick by threatening them with fines or closure.



I have made representations to NSW Minister for Customer Service Victor Dominello on behalf of affected businesses in the Electorate of Lismore,” Ms Saffin said.



Business are trying their best to do the right thing so the Government needs to provide them with clear instructions, and in some cases, more hands-on assistance for those who are less tech-savvy.


Friday, 2 October 2020

A conga line of #COVIDIOTS - Part 6



NSW Police, News, 26-28 September 2020:

A man has been charged after allegedly attempting to travel across the NSW/Victoria border in a taxi yesterday.

About 4.30pm (Saturday 26 September 2020), police stopped a Victorian taxi at a checkpoint on the Hume Highway, Albury.

The passenger, a 26-year-old man, was asked to produce a permit; however, it was not valid.

When he was spoken to further, police will allege the man stated he wanted to go shopping in Albury.

He was arrested and taken to Albury Police Station, where he was charged with not comply with noticed direction re section 7/8/9 -COVID-19 and breach of bail.

He was refused bail to appear at Wagga Wagga Bail Court today (Sunday 27 September 2020).

Two people have been charged and eight infringements have been issued since the last COVID-19 update.

About 6.15pm yesterday (Sunday 27 September 2020), a 45-year-old woman attended Maitland Police Station, where she allegedly became aggressive while intoxicated before coughing on an officer. She was arrested and charged with not comply noticed direction re spitting/coughing - COVID-19, behave in offensive manner in/near public place, assault officer in execution of duty, and two counts of intimidate police officer in execution of duty without actual bodily harm. She was granted strict conditional bail and is due to appear in Maitland Local Court on Wednesday 18 November 2020.

- About 11am on 5 September 2020, police attended an unauthorised protest in Byron Bay. It’s alleged a 45-year-old man failed to move-on as directed by police. He was arrested and taken to Tweed Heads Police Station where he was charged with fail to comply requirement public health order – COVID-19.

- About 10pm yesterday (Sunday 27 September 2020), police attended a home on Bromide Street at Broken Hill after numerous noise complaints were received. Officers from Barrier Police District attended and issued the occupants a noise abatement direction. Police returned to the home later that evening after continuing to receive noise complaints. Officers seized the speakers before issuing two occupants a $1000 PIN for failing to comply requirement public health order – COVID-19.

- About 7.30am yesterday (Sunday 27 September 2020), police were called to Tyagarah Beach about complaints were received about a party that was taking place. Officers from Tweed/Byron attended and located more than 20 people at the party. Police were told approximately 500 people had attended the party earlier in the evening. Three people were issued $1000 PINs for failing to comply requirement public health order – COVID-19.

- About 12.20am on Saturday (26 September 2020), police stopped a car on the Sturt Highway at Hay. Police spoke with the occupants, who were from Victoria, and determined they didn’t have a valid permit to enter NSW. The three occupants were issued an $1000 PIN for not comply with noticed direction re section 7/8/9 COVID-19.

Anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or 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.

Monday, 28 September 2020

While the Northern NSW Nationals posture in the media about Queensland border restrictions and moves to protect the state's koalas, NSW Labor Member for Lismore is doing the hard yards



While Northern NSW Nationals Chris Gulaptis, Geoff Provest and Ben Franklin run to mainstream media outlets to huff and puff about Queensland's border restrictions and, Gulaptis in particular cries that the sky will fall if New South Wales koalas receive the protection they deserve, the NSW Labor Member for Lismore Janelle Saffin just gets on with the job of representing her electorate.

Office of the Member for Lismore, media release, 25 September 2020:

Saffin pushes for immediate and strategic support of regional economy

LISMORE MP Janelle Saffin is calling on the Berejeklian-Barilaro Government to deliver urgent financial support to businesses on the Northern Rivers and Northern Tablelands and to strategically establish a Special Activation Precinct to turbo charge the regional economy.

It will help our region climb out of COVID. We have projects ready, the collaboration and the will, but we need our share of New South Wales’ available resources, including the $1.75 billion owed to regional and rural NSW from Restart NSW, Ms Saffin said.

Ms Saffin has used a series of Notices of Motion to NSW Parliament to focus the Government’s attention on the Electorate of Lismore, still recovering from 2017’s major flood, drought, last year’s bushfires, this year’s COVID-19 lockdown and the Queensland-NSW border closure.

Ms Saffin said that while she had successfully lobbied for the Border Bubble to include the Lismore City, Byron Shire, Ballina Shire, Richmond Valley and Glen Innes Local Government Areas, many businesses were still hurting economically.

“NSW Business Northern Rivers estimates that businesses have been losing an average of $10,500 a week in revenue so there is still an urgent need for the Government to come good with a rescue package like the $45-million one it offered to NSW businesses near the Victorian border,” Ms Saffin said.

“I thought it was important for me to advocate for our region through a combination of Notices of Motion, Questions on Notice to Ministers and direct reps to Ministers, and at next week’s meeting with Regional Development Australia-Northern Rivers, we can flesh this out in more detail.

“Having a Special Activation Precinct here on the Northern Rivers, and all of the extra government support that comes with these precincts, would give real teeth to my earlier calls for a Regional Jobs Plan.

“Another major issue is that the NSW Government has introduced a Whole of Government Procurement Policy for collecting waste from Health, TAFE and caravan parks on Crown reserves, squeezing out our local regional companies in favour of the big multinationals, and killing off local jobs.”

Ms Saffin has moved Notices of Motion on the need to develop and fund a Regional Jobs Plan; expanding Special Activation Precincts to the region; supporting small businesses impacted by the Queensland-NSW border closure; unlocking Restart NSW funding; and fairer Procurement Policies.

On a Regional Jobs (Employment Development) Plan, Ms Saffin moved that the Lower House:

1. Notes the Regional Development Australia’s Remplan Report estimates 15,471 jobs have vanished from the Northern Rivers regional economy between February and May 2020, with accommodation/hospitality and retail sectors hardest hit.

2. Notes job losses are similar in the New England North West Region.

3. Notes the Government needs to develop and fund a Regional Jobs Plan, coordinated by the NSW Department of Regional Development and enlisting the expertise of Regional Development Australia, Business NSW, local chambers of commerce, local government councils through joint organisations, business leaders, trade unions and all local Members.

On Special Activation Precincts, Ms Saffin moved that the Lower House:

1. Notes the Government established Special Activation Precincts in Parkes, Wagga Wagga, Snowy Mountains, Moree and Williamtown to turbo charge these regional locations to become thriving business hubs through infrastructure investment, Government-led studies, Government-led development and business concierge services.

2. Recognises the need to expand the network of Special to the Northern Rivers region, home to many cutting-edge entrepreneurs in its stated range of industries, including freight and logistics, defence, advanced manufacturing, renewable energy and tourism.

On Queensland-NSW Border Closure – Small Business Support, Ms Saffin  moved that the Lower House:

1. Notes the Government moved quickly to provide a $45-million rescue package for New South Wales small businesses adversely impacted by its decision to close the NSW-Victorian border to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

2. Notes there is an urgent need for the Government to extend a similarly generous grant program to all local small businesses in Northern NSW, which, having endured drought and bushfires, are now really struggling to cope with the Queensland-NSW border closure.

On Restart NSW Funding, Ms Saffin moved that the Lower House:

1. Notes the Government has failed to deliver the legislated commitment to allocate 30 per cent of Restart NSW funds to regional and rural New South Wales in any year since its inception, delivering only 18.9 per cent of $3 billion instead of $4.75 billion from 2012 to 2019.

2. Calls upon the Premier and the Deputy Premier to deliver the promises Restart NSW funding of 30 per cent each year and to pay the debt of $1.75 billion owing to the people of regional and rural New South Wales.

On Procurement Policies, Ms Saffin moved that the Lower House:

1. Notes the Government’s Expression of Interest (EOI) for NSW Whole of Government Waste Management for Health, TAFE and caravan parks on Crown Reserves favours large operators and squeezes out small and medium size Australian-owned regional companies because the EOI effectively makes redundant the Government’s Small and Medium Enterprise and Regional Procurement Policy.

2. Recognises the need for an urgent review of these procurement policies and consultation with small and medium size regional companies to ensure that they still have a seat at the tendering table and are not disenfranchised to the point that their revenue streams can be reduced by a third, leading to job losses in Northern NSW during an economic recession.

Ms. Saffin gave notice of the aforementioned motions in the NSW Legislative Assembly on the following dates:

17/10/2019 RESTART NSW FUNDING 
15/09/2020 QUEENSLAND-NEW SOUTH WALES BORDER CLOSURE - SMALL BUSINESS SUPPORT 
17/09/2020 REGIONAL EMPLOYMENT DEVELOPMENT 
24/09/2020 SPECIAL ACTIVATION PRECINCTS 
24/09/2020 PROCUREMENT POLICIES 

I note that there appears to have been no motions or speeches specifically on these matters in the same timespan by either Chris Gulaptis, Geoff Provest or Ben Franklin.