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Funerals, Death and Memoriam Notices NSW Northern Rivers



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Federal Government’s COVID-19 Disaster Payments


A pilot plan that will see the phased return of fully vaccinated international students to NSW has been given the green light by the Commonwealth Government, with the first flight touching down by the end of this year.

Accommodation provider Scape has been confirmed to house the returning students for a 14-day quarantine in Redfern, at a building retrofitted to accommodate up to 650 students to COVIDSafe standards approved by NSW Health and NSW Police.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional New South Wales, Industry and Trade John Barilaro said the staggered return of students was stage one of a pilot that would slowly expand and evolve, as vaccination rates continue to rise in NSW and internationally.

“The international education sector sustains thousands of jobs across NSW, and I’m proud that NSW is leading the way with the return of international students to our shores,” Mr Barilaro said.

“The safety of the people of NSW is paramount and we are taking no risks. All participating students will be required to be fully vaccinated with a TGA-recognised COVID-19 vaccine, and strict quarantine protocols will be in place.

“Importantly, this plan will not come at the expense of any Australian citizen or resident wishing to return home.”

Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the program was vital to the State’s economic recovery, creating jobs and restoring growth.

“International education plays an important role in connecting NSW to the world,” Mr Perrottet said. “As we implement a range of efforts to reboot our economy, rebuilding the sector – which was worth $14.6 billion to NSW in 2019 – is a key part of our efforts.”

Education partners including Australian Catholic University, Macquarie University, The University of Newcastle, The University of Sydney, UNSW, UTS, University of Wollongong and Western Sydney University, plus independent providers the International College of Management Sydney, Kaplan, Navitas, RedHill and Study Group, have signed up to the industry-funded pilot plan.

Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said NSW was the top destination in Australia for international students.

“More than 57,000 students are currently overseas, with many desperate to return, resume their studies, part-time jobs, connect with friends and continue their journey in our world-leading institutions,” Mr Ayres said.

The first phase of the pilot plan is anticipated to bring back 500 international students to NSW on chartered flights, paid for by the students, by the end of the year.

Scape CEO Anouk Darling said the company was proud to be involved in the pilot.

“Our Scape team are proud to partner with the NSW Government and our world class education sector, here in NSW, to welcome our returning international students into our most advanced and COVID-safe student accommodation facility at Scape Redfern,” Ms Darling said.

The announcement was welcomed by the higher education sector with Professor Barney Glover AO, Governor of the NSW Vice-Chancellors’ Committee thanking the NSW Government.

“After over 18 months of planning, we are delighted that both the Australian and NSW Government are supportive of a pilot plan for an incremental reopening of our borders to our international students,” Mr Glover said.

Council of International Students Australia President, Belle Lim, welcomed the detailed planning and collaborative approach.

“We all want international students back on campus, enjoying the unique learning, work and life experience that only studying in Australia can deliver. We support the cautious approach and look forward to growing the number of students returning to NSW over time,” Ms Lim said.

CEO of Independent Higher Education Australia Simon Finn said the private higher education sector welcomes the pilot’s launch and commends the NSW Government’s unwavering focus on community safety, international student welfare and rebuilding the state economy.

“By working with the Independent Higher Education Australia (IHEA) on this pilot from the beginning, the NSW Government has demonstrated its commitment to supporting both the private and public education sector,” Mr Finn said.

Participating education providers will contact students to progress an expression of interest for the pilot plan.

Vision of international students can be found here.

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COVID-19 Northern Rivers News

Tweed Byron enter 7-day lockdown Tuesday evening




QR codes, masks and tests please

Tweed Byron enter 7-day lockdown Tuesday evening

From 5pm Tuesday, September 21, 2021, residents of Tweed and Byron LGAs are ordered to stay-at-home for at least 7 days.

This order was confirmed by NSW Health Minister, Brad Hazzard, during a press conference in Sydney on Tuesday morning.
The orders also apply to any person who has been in either of these affected LGAs since September 18, or in the Kempsey LGA since September 14.

Ballina has escaped the order, although fragments of Covid-19 virus were detected in sewage in Ballina and Wardell overnight.

The lockdown order follows the arrival of a Covid-19 positive man into the Northern Rivers region from Sydney on the weekend. Northern NSW Local Health District advised the man was infectious in the Byron, Ballina and Tweed areas between Saturday, September 18 and Monday, September 20, after landing at the Ballina Byron Gateway Airport at 8:45am on Saturday direct from Sydney on Virgin flight VA 1141.

Hazzard said today the man had been authorised to travel to Northern NSW for work and was tested on arrival, however it was only after a second test health authorities discovered he was positive.

Everyone in Tweed and Byron LGAs must now stay at home unless for essential reasons including shopping for food, medical care, getting vaccinated, compassionate needs, exercise, and work/tertiary education if you can’t work or study at home.

People can attend an outdoor gathering of up to five people for exercise or outdoor recreation if all in the group aged 16 or older are fully vaccinated.

Geoff Provest, Member for Tweed, said a strong response to testing will be a key factor in determining if these stay-at-home orders are extended beyond a week.

“I encourage everyone with the mildest of symptoms to get tested immediately and isolate until a negative result is received,” he said.

An exasperated Byron Shire Mayor, Michael Lyon, said the situation was a joke and called for rapid antigen testing at the Ballina Byron Airport for anyone arriving in the Northern Rivers, to protect the region from Covid-19 arrivals, a view shared by Ballina MP, Tamara Smith.

“I cannot believe we’re in this situation, completely avoidable again, businesses shutting down again, school holidays ruined again, it beggars belief,” Mayor Lyons said.

The Queensland Government has not confirmed if Tweed and Byron LGAs are removed from the restored border bubble.
Lismore LGA remains in lockdown until at least Thursday, September 23, and is excluded from the border bubble arrangement until further notice.

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Northern Rivers Local News

Ice cream and lollies on hold – Muzza’s Milk Bar Evans Head




Muzza’s Milk Bar has been closed for deep cleaning. Courtesy Facebook

Ice cream and lollies on hold

By Samantha Elley
Owner of Muzza’s Milk Bar in Evans Head, Caroline Powell was gutted when she found out her business had become a venue of concern, after a positive covid case was detected in Goonellabah last week.
“Unfortunately, NSW Health didn’t get in contact with me until 10.30am, so I did find out over Facebook first, as someone sent me the NSW Health post,” she said.
“It’s pretty hectic, but I’ve been on and off the phone with NSW Health…going through everything that I have to do.”
During the most recent lockdown for the Richmond Valley Muzza’s had been kept busy delivering all types of lollies and sweets to the surrounding areas, a welcome distraction for many.
Many friends and clients have checked in on Caroline and her staff.
“The phone’s been ringing all morning,” she said.
“Customers checking in on me and family members calling.”
Caroline placed a post on Muzza’s Facebook page explaining the situation.
“We are just very thankful that the person checked in via QR code, so we know that they were definitely here,” she wrote.
“We will be closed until further notice as all our staff, including myself, have to get tested and isolate until further notice.”
The next step for Caroline is to do a deep clean of the premises.
“NSW Health has sent me through the paperwork on how to do a Covid Deep Clean,” she said.
“They want me to send it to whoever I get to do the deep clean and they have to wear full PPE.”

Muzza’s Milk Bar has been closed for deep cleaning. Courtesy Facebook

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