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Local News

KEEP UP THE MOMENTUM FOR ACTION ON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

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Janelle Saffin on ACTION ON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

KEEP UP THE MOMENTUM FOR ACTION ON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

 

By Janelle Saffin MP, Member for Lismore

I have fought for action on domestic violence for more than 40 years.

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Recent horrific cases of domestic violence murders have led to a public outcry and media campaigns for action. I welcome the Minns Government announcement of a $230 million emergency package for DV prevention and support.

BUT we must keep up this momentum and not go quiet on this issue.  I want to share with you this excerpt of what I said in the last session of Parliament. (Edited for length)

DOMESTIC AND FAMILY VIOLENCE

Ms JANELLE SAFFIN (Lismore) (20:16): Domestic violence must stop. We all know it. We all say it. Molly should not have died, and her death cannot be in vain. There is a willingness and mobilisation on behalf of the whole community that I have not seen in the more than 40 years I have been involved in advocacy around domestic violence. I thought when I came back to this place that I could do some other things—but I cannot. I absolutely have to re-engage with everyone on trying to stop domestic violence.

Domestic violence is more than the physical act of violence; it is a spectrum of behaviour. In sociological terms, the spectrum extends from circumlocution—the derogatory comments, the bad words, the put‑downs—to extermination, which is murder. Women experience domestic violence right across that whole spectrum. It is not just being a little bit scared; it is living with terror. That absolute terror dominates those women’s lives at the hands of someone who is supposed to be a loving partner—someone they love. It is “What do I wear? What do I think? What do I do? Who do I talk to? Who do I text, because my phone will be monitored?”. Family and friends are moved away, but the perpetrator makes it look like the woman is doing that. Every act is under subjugation.

For women in that situation, it is like living with a sometimes benevolent dictator. Everything they do is circumscribed. It is hard to imagine raising children in that environment. These things have happened for a long time. I set up the Far North Coast Domestic Violence Liaison Committee. I worked in a refuge for years. Earlier, I have been at the forefront of changes, including changes to the laws. There was a Crimes Act, but women were not seen as worthy of protection under that law.

I was looking at the headlines and I thought, I hope they do not disappear quickly like they often do on this issue. I will read some of those headlines: “We’re sick of living in terror”, “This has to stop”, “How many more women have to die?”, “It was murder waiting to happen”, ,,”Time to tackle this crisis in our community”, “‘You get ostracised in a small town if you speak out'”—if you are the domestic violence victim. We know that it can happen anywhere, but it happens to a greater degree in some of those smaller country towns. “Why country women are sitting ducks”, “Misogyny driving violence” “It’s time for men to get uncomfortable”, and “Bush in plea for more DV support”.

The headlines go on and on. (..) I note that in the package the Government has introduced we are looking at perpetrator behaviour. We have to do that. I wish I had 50 minutes, not 5 minutes, to talk about this.

Dr Hugh McDermott: Five hours.

Ms JANELLE SAFFIN: Yes, five hours. We need to open up. On International Women’s Day I said, “We’re so sedate. It’s so polite. We’re having these wonderful lunches. Aren’t we lovely?” I said, “We need to be on the street screaming.” That is what I am doing here.

Link to full speech here.

 

For more National Australia News, visit here.

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Local News

The Beauty of the Sugar Industry

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Harwood Sugar Mill Mural

The Beauty of the Sugar Industry

 

A recently completed mural at the entry to the 150-year-old Harwood Sugar Mill is stopping traffic and creating excitement in the little village with the oldest Australian owned sugar mill.

In the lead up to the 150-year celebrations, artist Nitsua, has created an artwork that reflects the blending of the cane growing and milling activities in the Northern Rivers, that exists thanks to the all-Australian partnership between the grower-owned NSW Sugar Milling Cooperative and family-owned Manildra Group.

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The artwork was commissioned by Sunshine Sugar as part of the preparations to celebrate the significant milestone of 150 years continuous manufacturing operation and Australian ownership – all on the same location on the bank of the mighty Clarence River.

As Sunshine Sugar CEO, Mr Chris Connors commented: “Not too many businesses in Australia can say they have achieved such a significant milestone, which is why we are making the effort to celebrate and promote the resilient industry we have here in NSW.”

Sunshine Sugar and the NSW sugar industry have a line-up of community events and activities happening at Harwood (near Yamba) in August. The celebrations with culminate in a massive outdoor community event to be held at the Harwood Cricket Oval on Sunday 25th August.

Find out more at: 150th Harwood Mill Landing Page – Sunshine Sugar

 

For more rural news, click here.

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Kyogle News

Services Australia’s Mobile Service Centre “Golden Wattle” to Visit Northern Rivers Region

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Golden Wattle

Services Australia’s Mobile Service Centre “Golden Wattle” to Visit Northern Rivers Region

 

Services Australia’s Mobile Service Centre, Golden Wattle, is set to visit towns in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales, providing easy access to Centrelink, Medicare, National Disability Insurance Scheme, and Department of Veterans’ Affairs services.

Golden Wattle will visit:

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  • Nimbin: Wednesday, 17 July, opposite the neighbourhood centre, Cullen Street (9:30 am to 4:00 pm)
  • Urbenville: Thursday, 18 July, near Captain Cook Park, Urben Street (9:30 am to 3:30 pm)
  • Woodenbong: Friday, 19 July, in front of Woodenbong Hall, Unumgar Street (9:30 am to 4:00 pm)
  • Kyogle: Monday, 22 July and Tuesday, 23 July, in the Kyogle visitor centre car park, Summerland Way (9:00 am to 4:00 pm)
  • Bonalbo: Wednesday, 24 July, in front of Bonalbo Hall, Koreelah Street (9:30 am to 4:00 pm)
  • Tabulam: Thursday, 25 July, opposite the hotel, Court Street (9:30 am to 3:00 pm)

About Mobile Services Centres: Mobile Services Centres are 20-tonne trucks operated by Services Australia staff, providing regional and rural Australians with friendly, face-to-face service and tailored support. On this trip, staff can assist with:

  • Centrelink claims
  • Medicare registrations
  • Accessing online services

Additionally, information about the National Disability Insurance Scheme and Department of Veterans’ Affairs programs and support services will be available.

For more information, visit the Services Australia website.

 

For more local news, click here.

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Lismore News

Saffin Secures $30,000 Grant for Youth Crime Prevention

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Lismore MP Janelle Saffin with North-Tracks Works Chair Patrick Higgins, Secretary/board member Kevin Bell and Mr Bell’s working dog Maezzie. - Youth Crime Prevention

Saffin Secures $30,000 Grant for Youth Crime Prevention

 

Lismore MP Janelle Saffin has successfully secured a $30,000 grant for North-Tracks Works, a Lismore-based organisation dedicated to empowering vulnerable young people. This funding will enable the expansion of their life-changing programs to engage more youth in Goonellabah, Coraki, and Casino.

Ms. Saffin expressed her gratitude to NSW Minister for Police and Counter-terrorism Yasmin Catley for approving the grant following her advocacy on behalf of North-Tracks Works. She praised the organisation, which operates out of a shed in South Lismore, for its impactful work with young people aged 11 to 18, offering one-on-one support, mentoring, and practical learning opportunities.

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“I previously secured a $44,000 Local Small Commitments Allocation grant to help North-Tracks purchase equipment and materials for skill-building,” Ms. Saffin said. “This additional grant will allow North-Tracks to employ youth workers and expand their proven youth program, which is supported by Richmond Police District Commander Superintendent Scott Tanner.”

Patrick Higgins, Chair of North-Tracks Works and a local real estate agent, thanked Ms. Saffin for her efforts in securing the additional funding from Minister Catley. “We don’t fit in the box for normal funding. Our approach is about creating a sense of belonging and purpose through our skills program and training working dogs. It’s the work with the dogs that bridges the gap,” Mr. Higgins explained.

“At North-Tracks, we spend 10 percent looking back, 10 percent at where you are now, and 80 percent looking forward. We help them chase their dreams and goals,” he added. “Our team has three basic goals: keep them safe and alive, keep them out of jail, and help them move forward to live a full and productive life.”

This funding is set to sustain and expand North-Tracks Works’ impactful initiatives, providing more opportunities for at-risk youth to gain essential skills and find a sense of purpose and for Youth Crime Prevention.

 

For more local Lismore news, click here.

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