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Local News

Changed traffic conditions and night work for the Woolgoolga to Ballina upgrade

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NSW Northern Rivers Local News & Events

Changed traffic conditions and night work for the Woolgoolga to Ballina upgrade

Motorists are advised of changed traffic conditions and night work on the Pacific Highway and local roads from Monday 7 to Sunday 13 June for the Woolgoolga to Ballina upgrade, weather permitting.

Roadwork on the Pacific Highway between Kew and the Queensland border will be minimal from 6am Friday 11 June to 6am Tuesday 15 June due to the high traffic volume expected for the long weekend.

From Monday, there will be four days of work next to the Pacific Highway between Pimlico and Wardell to carry out landscape maintenance. Motorists can expect lane and shoulder closures and traffic control at times between 6am and 6pm.

Also from Monday, there will be up to four days of work on the Pacific Highway between Broadwater and Devils Pulpit to install and remove signage, transport materials and carry out maintenance and finishing work. Motorists can expect lane and shoulder closures, traffic control, short stoppages and a reduced speed limit at times between 6am and 6pm.

Further south from Monday, there will be two days and one night of work on the Pacific Highway between Devils Pulpit and Jacky Bulbin Flat to carry out pavement maintenance. Motorists can expect lane closures, lane-width restrictions, short stoppages and a reduced speed limit at times between 6am and 6pm and 6pm and 6am. Northbound oversize and over mass (OSOM) vehicles wider than 3.5 metres are encouraged to avoid travelling through this area or seek an alternative route.

From Tuesday, there will be up to four days of work next to the Pacific Highway between Tyndale and Glenugie to carry out fencing and landscape and pavement maintenance. Motorists can expect lane and shoulder closures, traffic control and a reduced speed limit at times between 6am and 6pm.

Additional changes to local roads

From Monday, there will be up to four days of work on Broadwater-Evans Head Road and the Broadwater interchange, Broadwater to install boundary posts and continue building a shared pedestrian and cycle path. Motorists can expect lane closures and traffic control at times between 6am and 6pm.

Further south from Monday, there will be two days of work on Tuckombil and Gap roads at Woodburn to carry out line marking finishing work. Motorists can expect traffic control and short stoppages at times between 6am and 6pm.

From Tuesday, there will be three days of work on Hillside Lane at Wardell and both roundabouts at the Coolgardie interchange to install power poles and carry out finishing work. Motorists can expect lane closures, traffic control and short stoppages at times between 6am and 6pm.

From Wednesday, there will be two days of work on Redgate Road at New Italy to carry out finishing work. Motorists can expect lane closures and traffic control at times between 6am and 6pm.

From Thursday, there will be two days of work on both roundabouts at the Iluka interchange to carry out landscape maintenance. Motorists can expect shoulder closures, traffic control and a reduced speed limit at times between 6am and 6pm.

For the latest traffic updates download the Live Traffic NSW App, visit livetraffic.com or call 132 701.

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Local News

Veteran nurse debunks claims Tweed Hospital is ‘Falling over in a screaming heap.’

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Veteran nurse debunks claims Tweed Hospital is ‘Falling over in a screaming heap.’

Veteran nurse debunks claims Tweed Hospital is ‘Falling over in a screaming heap.’

Speaking to The Northern Rivers Times on the condition of anonymity, an experienced nurse at Tweed Hospital has moved to counter some media claims the hospital is falling apart.

The nurse said the belief “Tweed Hospital has no Covid diagnosis equipment” is simply not true with Rapid Antigen Tests continuing this week for patients.  Hospital staff were also being tested at Tweed hospital.

“They still do ‘rapids’, definitely, and the results are back in half an hour,” the nurse said.

The nurse was concerned media hype did not tell the everyday story of life on hospital wards, which the nurse said were generally well-staffed and if quiet, saw some nurses redeployed to other wards.  The nurse said it was not unusual to have staff shortages anyway at this time of year or staff doing paid overtime.

“Hospital administration is still allowing people to go on annual leave, if it was in dire straits, why aren’t all the hierarchy back, they would be back if it was so bad.”

“A & E (Accident and Emergency) is certainly stretched with Covid admissions who should be staying home .. but it certainly isn’t falling apart.”

The nurse said managers and nurse unions have had ‘plenty of time’ to prepare for covid emergencies like now, including ensuring fit-testing of N95 or P2 respirators, mandatory for all frontline staff and an area lagging at Tweed Hospital.

“They could’ve planned better for this,” the nurse observed, “ .. it should’ve been done earlier.”

The experienced nurse was quick to add that negative commentary was not helpful for staff morale at a time like this.

“What we need to do is boost people up, encourage them to keep going, that we will get through this.  It’s all too easy to criticise,” the veteran nurse said.

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Business News NSW Northern Rivers

RENT RELIEF CONTINUES FOR SMALL BUSINESSES IMPACTED BY COVID-19

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RENT RELIEF CONTINUES FOR SMALL BUSINESSES IMPACTED BY COVID-19

RENT RELIEF CONTINUES FOR SMALL BUSINESSES IMPACTED BY COVID-19

Small businesses who are still doing it tough across the State will continue to benefit from rent relief until 13 January 2022, ensuring ongoing support for small businesses over the Christmas and New Year’s Period.
Treasurer Matt Kean said as the economic recovery continues, many small businesses are still not back at their pre-COVID turnover and rent is still one of their biggest fixed costs.

“Small business is the engine room of our economy and as we recover from the pandemic we need to make sure we leave no one behind and support impacted businesses as they continue to recover,” Mr Kean said.
“Continuing rent relief measures for impacted small businesses will provide a necessary buffer to allow businesses time to get back on their feet and begin to thrive again.”

The Retail and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19) Regulation 2021 rent relief provisions will continue for eligible businesses with a turnover of less than $5 million, a more targeted level of support from the previous turnover threshold of $50 million.
Minister for Finance and Small Business Damien Tudehope said landlords will still be required to negotiate rent relief with eligible commercial and retail tenants that are experiencing a turnover decline of 30 per cent or more.

“Lockdown may be over but there are still small businesses, particularly in our CBDs, that are facing a slower recovery and are continuing to do it tough,” Mr Tudehope said.

“As the State continues to transition out of lockdown, 97 per cent of NSW businesses will retain access to COVID-19 rent relief provisions if they continue to experience a significant decline in turnover.”

Small commercial and retail tenants that would have continued to meet the eligibility criteria for JobSaver or the Micro-business Grant, after ending on 30 November, will remain eligible for rent relief negotiations with their landlords.
Under the Regulation, landlords are required to negotiate rent relief having regard to National Cabinet’s Code of Conduct. As a starting point, rent relief should be proportionate with eligible tenant’s decline in turnover, with at least 50 per cent in the form a waiver, and the balance a deferral.
Landlords can access the Commercial Landlord Hardship Fund, which currently provides small commercial or retail landlords with a monthly grant up to the value of any rental relief provided, to a maximum of $3,000 per month per property.
Alternatively, land tax relief is available for eligible commercial landowners who have reduced their tenants’ rent due to COVID-19, between 1 July 2021 and 31 December 2021. The reduction in land tax payable is the lesser of:

  • the amount of rent reduction provided to an eligible tenant for any period between 1 July 2021 and 31 December 2021, or
  • 100 per cent of the land tax attributable to the parcel of land leased to that tenant.

For more information on rent relief visit: Commercial leases https://www.smallbusiness.nsw.gov.au/get-help/covid-19/commercial-leases-and-covid-19-faqs
For more information on COVID-19 assistance for commercial and residential landlords visit: https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/campaign/covid-19-help-businesses/covid-19-assistance-commercial-and-residential-landlords

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Health News

Pharmacists ready with Moderna boosters but services must be sustainable

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The Northern Rivers own newspaper

Pharmacists ready with Moderna boosters but services must be sustainable

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) welcomes the announcement that Moderna’s SPIKEVAX vaccine has been provisionally approved as a booster dose for Australians aged 18 years and above.

Yesterday, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) confirmed that a second vaccine will be available for the National Booster Program.

PSA National President, A/Prof Chris Freeman, acknowledged further enablement of the pharmacist workforce.

“With the National Booster Program well underway, this move is timely – one that provides Australians with greater vaccine choice in the lead up to early 2022 when the majority of the population becomes eligible for their booster dose.

“This announcement, coupled with Monday’s provisional approval of Pfizer for Australians aged 5-11 years, marks a week of significant progress in the pandemic response and PSA commends the Government’s approach to making these decisions.

“This development now means that the potential number of pharmacists offering booster vaccinations across Australia has more than doubled, accounting for those already participating in the Moderna program.

“However, it is imperative that pharmacists are paid fairly, and at least equally to other providers, otherwise the provision of this critical service is not sustainable. With 2.3 million children becoming eligible for vaccination, extra consultation time will be required to undertake appropriate assessment and consenting, placing further strain on service sustainability.

“Pharmacists have already administered over 2.5 million vaccinations to Australians, and as mass vaccination hubs continue to downscale their operations over the coming months, pharmacists will become an even more critical part of the vaccination strategy,” he said.

PSA is dedicated to supporting Australian pharmacist immunisers through the National Booster Program and will continue to work closely with the TGA and ATAGI to ensure pharmacists are equipped with the most up-to-date advice regarding vaccine safety and effectiveness.

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