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COVID-19 Northern Rivers News

NSW latest Covid update as at 30 December

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NOTICE OF MEMBERS EXTRAORINDARY LAND DEALING MEETING

NSW latest Covid update as at 30 December

To Tuesday 28 December 2021 across NSW, 95 per cent of people aged 16 and over have received a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 93.5 per cent have received two doses.

Of the people aged 12 to 15, 81.5 per cent have received a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, and 78.1 per cent have received two doses.

The total number of vaccines administered in NSW is now 13,602,370 with 4,355,921 administered by NSW Health to 8pm last night and 9,246,449 administered by the GP network, pharmacies and other providers to 11.59pm on Tuesday 28 December 2021.

NSW Health encourages everyone who is eligible to book into a NSW Health vaccination clinic or another provider without delay through the COVID-19 vaccine clinic finder.

Booster doses of COVID-19 vaccine are now available for people aged 18 and over. We urge people to get their booster dose as soon as they are eligible, to best protect yourself, your loved ones and the community from the ongoing transmission of COVID-19. We also strongly recommend that people aged 12 years and over who are severely immunocompromised have a third primary dose of vaccine from two months after their second dose.

Sadly, NSW Health is today reporting the death of a woman in her 70s from the Central Coast who died at Wyong Hospital. She was a resident of the Hakea Grove Aged Care facility, where she acquired her infection. She was not vaccinated and had underlying health conditions. NSW Health expresses its sincere condolences to her loved ones.

There are currently 746 COVID-19 cases admitted to hospital, with 63 people in intensive care, 24 of whom require ventilation.

There were 97,201 COVID-19 tests reported to 8pm last night, compared with the previous day’s total of 157,758.

NSW recorded 12,226 new cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm last night.

Forty-three COVID-19 cases have been excluded following further investigation, bringing the total number of cases in NSW since the beginning of the pandemic to 166,184.
Northern Rivers COVID Cases

 

 

 

 

 

 

Testing capacity in NSW is currently under enormous pressure and the only people getting a PCR (nose and throat swab) should be those who have COVID-19 symptoms; live in a household with a confirmed COVID-19-positive case; or have otherwise been advised by NSW Health to get tested.

This applies to people who are fully or partially vaccinated, as well as those not vaccinated.

Rapid antigen testing can be an additional precaution that you can take if you are planning to socialise with large groups of people, particularly indoors, or interacting with people who are elderly or have serious health conditions. Information on how to use rapid antigen tests is available on the NSW Government website.

Around a quarter of people exposed to COVID-19 may still develop their infection after seven days. For the subsequent seven-day period, they should exercise caution and avoid high-risk settings and large indoor gatherings, and use a rapid antigen test if coming into contact with vulnerable people.

Of the 12,226 cases reported to 8pm last night, 2,229 are from South Eastern Sydney Local Health District (LHD), 2,085 are from South Western Sydney LHD, 2,042 are from Western Sydney LHD, 1,767 are from Sydney LHD, 1,310 are from Northern Sydney LHD, 708 are from Hunter New England LHD, 612 are from Nepean Blue Mountains LHD, 291 are from Central Coast LHD, 247 are from Illawarra Shoalhaven LHD, 244 are from Northern NSW LHD, 120 are from Mid North Coast LHD, 107 are from Southern NSW LHD, 73 are from Western NSW LHD, 72 are from Murrumbidgee LHD, eight are from Far West LHD, three are in correctional settings, and 308 are yet to be assigned to an LHD.

If you are directed to get tested for COVID‑19 or self-isolate at any time, you must follow the self-isolation rules.

If you have any COVID-19 symptoms, no matter how mild, get tested immediately and self-isolate until you receive a negative test result.

There are more than 450 COVID-19 testing locations across NSW, many of which are open seven days a week. To find your nearest clinic visit COVID-19 clinics or contact your GP.
COVID-19 vaccination update
COVID-19 vaccination update

 

 

 

* to 11.59pm 28 December 2021

** Please note: The 12 to 15-year-old vaccination rate has dropped slightly as unvaccinated children move into the 12 to 15-year-old bracket and 16-year-olds move into the 16+ age bracket. This results in small movements in age cohorts.**COVID-19 vaccination doses administered by NSW Health

* notified from 8pm 28 December 2021 to 8pm 29 December 2021

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2022 Floods

Housing demand creates planning challenges

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NOTICE OF MEMBERS EXTRAORINDARY LAND DEALING MEETING

Housing demand creates planning challenges

The current lack of affordable and diverse housing for buyers and renters is a crisis which is confronting all levels of government.

A move to regional areas, limited government investment in social housing, a boom in short terms rentals, COVID-19, the recent floods and inflation have put great pressures on the property market.

While housing is primarily the responsibility of federal and state governments, Tweed Shire Council plays a key role as a determining authority/regulator for housing and planning law.

 

Council acts on unauthorised dwellings. Over the last 2 years, Council has contributed to an increased supply of affordable housing by encouraging diverse and affordable housing through the approval of more than 130 DAs involving secondary dwelling (granny flats) development controls, in addition to established dual occupancy controls.

In recognising the housing crisis, Council has worked collectively through the Northern Rivers Joint Organisation (NRJO) and Local Government NSW, to be an advocate for action on new social housing supply and affordability policies.

Over the last 2 years, Council has contributed to an increased supply of affordable housing by encouraging diverse and affordable housing through the approval of more than 130 DAs involving secondary dwelling (granny flats) development controls, in addition to established dual occupancy controls.

Attached dual occupancy dwellings are also possible in many rural areas, in addition to established urban areas.

More information can be found at tweed.nsw.gov.au/granny-flats-secondary dwellings

Additional dual occupancy information can also be found at tweed.nsw.gov.au/dual-occupancy

While Council provides a supportive approach to people affected by the housing crisis, it also has an important statutory responsibility to ensure that any land uses or building works provide a safe and secure housing.

Council recently resolved at its 7 July 2022 meeting to reinforce its role in undertaking compliance action on unauthorised dwellings.

General Manager Troy Green said Council had rescinded the resolution at Item 21.1 of the 2 June 2022 Confidential Council Meeting. The resolution sought to extend an initial moratorium from its 4 November 2021 meeting on taking compliance action on unauthorised dwellings up until 30 September 2022.

“After attending a workshop and gaining additional advice from staff, Councillors acknowledged there may be significant risks for Council to extend the earlier moratorium,” Mr Green said.

“In response to the potential risk and liability identified, it was agreed that a late report be submitted to the Extraordinary Council Meeting of 7 July 2022, seeking to rescind Council’s resolution from the 2 June 2022 meeting.

“Council also resolved that any new compliance matters would be subject to the current requirements of Council’s adopted Compliance Policy.”

Unauthorised building works carried out without required formal approval and certification can pose significant risk to life and property.

In other scenarios, unauthorised building works could also be poorly located on sites which are flood prone, bushfire prone, contaminated or landslip areas and thereby present similar life-threatening, public health and environmental hazards.

Council encourages people to undertake their land use activities with proper consent and approvals to avoid causing a nuisance or acting in breach of legislation.

Council has a compliance policy which guides the approach and response to a range of compliance issues.

However we also rely on the community to report unauthorised work and provide evidence to assist Council in taking action.

Compliance officers use their discretion when dealing with such matters, taking into account the evidence, cost to the community of any action, details of the case, public policy and legal precedent.

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COVID-19 Northern Rivers News

PEOPLE WITH DISABILITY URGED TO GET BOOSTER

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NOTICE OF MEMBERS EXTRAORINDARY LAND DEALING MEETING

PEOPLE WITH DISABILITY URGED TO GET BOOSTER

With a new wave of COVID-19 cases continuing to increase across the state, people with disability are encouraged to get the latest COVID-19 vaccine booster dose.
Minister for Families and Communities and Minister for Disability Services Natasha Maclaren-Jones said people with disability can be more vulnerable to the harmful effects of COVID-19.
“Protecting people with disability is vital as they can be at greater risk of developing serious illness if they become infected,” Mrs Maclaren-Jones said.
“Vaccination is readily available at GPs and pharmacies and we are urging everyone to book in without delay.”
COVID-19 booster doses are recommended for anyone 16 years and older who had their last dose of a primary course at least three months ago.
The COVID-19 vaccine can be taken at the same time as the influenza vaccine, which people with disability are also being urged to take.
While the free flu vaccination program in NSW ends on 17 July 2022, those considered to be at higher risk of severe illness from influenza remain eligible for a FREE flu vaccine beyond this date, under the National Immunisation program. This includes:
• Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from six months of age
• Children from six months to under five years of age
• People with serious health conditions (including severe asthma, diabetes, cancer, immune disorders, obesity, kidney, heart, lung or liver disease)
• Pregnant women
• People aged 65 and over.
The NSW Government is also providing up to 7.9 million rapid antigen tests (RATs) to people with disability and other vulnerable community members with the program recently expanded to 31 October 2022.
To find your nearest vaccination clinic, visit nsw.gov.au.

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COVID-19 Northern Rivers News

Royal Australian College of GPs COVID-19 antiviral treatment

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NOTICE OF MEMBERS EXTRAORINDARY LAND DEALING MEETING

Royal Australian College of GPs

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) has welcomed the expansion of COVID-19 antiviral treatment access.

It follows federal Minister for Health and Aged Care Mark Butler announcing that eligibility for lifesaving COVID-19 antiviral treatments will be widened. From today, access will be expanded under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme to the following patients who test positive to COVID-19:

  • all those aged over 70
  • people aged over 50 with two or more risk factors for severe disease
  • Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people aged over 30 with two or more risk factors for severe disease
  • immunocompromised people over 18 may also be eligible.

RACGP Vice President Dr Bruce Willett welcomed the expansion.

“This is a sound and timely decision that will make a real difference for many patients across Australia,” he said.

“In communities everywhere, we have high rates of community transmission of COVID-19, and we know that some patients are particularly vulnerable to severe effects. By expanding access to the antivirals, we can help keep people out of hospital, relieve pressure on the entire health system and save lives.”

Dr Willett said that once again GPs and general practice teams will be front and centre.

“General practice is the backbone of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, and we play an essential role getting people timely access to these potentially lifesaving antivirals,” he said.

“GPs are the key to safely prescribing these treatments. We have a strong and, in many cases, long-standing connection with our patients and understand their life circumstances including existing health conditions or other factors such as plans to become pregnant. We also have a comprehensive understanding of how these antivirals interact with other drugs and established systems such as telehealth, so GPs can speak with COVID-19-positive patients safely and prescribe the right antiviral without delay.”

The RACGP Vice President said that that more must be done to fight complacency and contain the harm caused by COVID-19.

“Expanding eligibility is vital; however, we must also enhance community awareness around antivirals and ensure that those patient groups most vulnerable to severe effects from the virus access these drugs. They can save your life if taken early enough,” he said.

“People who believe they are eligible for an antiviral should make an appointment with their GP now to plan how they can receive the drugs if they test positive. Because the drugs are listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, a GP will not be able to prescribe an antiviral until the patient actually has COVID-19. So, for those eligible – as soon as you get a positive rapid antigen test or a positive PCR test, call your GP and, if you can’t talk to them, leave a phone message to say you have tested positive and you need a prescription.

“The reason this is so important is that with these treatments we must act quickly. The antivirals have to be given within five days, and they become less effective as you get closer to day five. So, getting that message out there is essential, and I encourage everyone to have conversations with people in their life about these treatments.”

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