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Local News

Program Artwork for the now-cancelled 2021 Byron Writers Festival

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Byron Writers Festival cancelled

SYDNEY’S COVID-19 OUTBREAK CLAIMS FIRST REGIONAL NSW FESTIVAL

The 2021 Byron Writers Festival has been cancelled in light of Sydney’s unpredictable COVID-19 outbreak.
Devastated organisers made the announcement this morning after an emergency meeting of the Byron Writers Festival board.
“It is with a heavy heart we have made the decision to cancel Byron Writers Festival 2021, which was scheduled to run from 6-8 August. We have come to this extremely difficult decision in light of the developing Covid-19 situation in NSW as well as border and travel restrictions,” an official statement from Edwina Johnson Festival Director and the team at Byron Writers Festival read.
Escalating case numbers, the virulence of the Delta strain and Byron Bay’s popularity as a destination for metro visitors were all factors considered in the decision.
“We have been following Covid developments in Greater Sydney and nationally very closely over the last few days. As positive cases continue to emerge and borders are closed to NSW, it has become clear that the current restrictions will push too close to the festival to make it feasible to proceed in early August. Especially given a large portion of participating writers are located in either Greater Sydney or interstate and are subject to travel restrictions. In addition, of course, is growing community hesitancy to travel in such volatile circumstances,” the statement added.
“Our primary and abiding concern is, as ever, the health of everyone involved in the Festival – presenters, attendees, volunteers, staff and of course the safety of the wider Northern Rivers community .. we believe cancellation is the only responsible course of action.”
In what was meant to be its 25th anniversary year of the festival, more than 150 authors, commentators, entertainers and powerful new voices were scheduled to appear at the 2021 Byron Writers Festival across 115 panels during the three day event.
According to the 2021 program, at the core of the festival is,
‘ .. the belief in the power of story as a means to connect, heal and make change,’ it read.
The 2021 Byron Writers may reschedule programming for later in the year, a decision is still pending.
Anyone with a ticket to Byron Writers Festival 2021 will automatically receive a refund within the next 14 days. Tickets to satellite events or festival workshops are asked for patience as refund arrangements are worked through with event partners and venues.
“We offer our sincere thanks for your support and please, stay safe.” Edwina Johnson Festival Director said.
It is the second time in two years Byron Writers Festival has been forced to cancel due to risks from Covid-19.
Photo: writers cancelled program
Caption: Program Artwork for the now-cancelled 2021 Byron Writers Festival
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The cancellation of Writers Festival comes as Regional NSW recorded its first case of COVID-19 in Goulburn in the Southern Tablelands, after a construction worker travelled from Sydney to work in a regional hospital.
The male worker was deemed an ‘essential’ worker permitting him to travel to the region.
NSW Chief Health Officer, Dr Kerry Chant, said Sydney workers can’t be complacent when working in regional areas and reminded all workers of the requirement to return to their accommodation straight after work,
“You can’t go to pubs, clubs, hospitality, anything else, you can only go there and do your essential work and get your essential food and groceries, the restrictions in greater Sydney apply to you.” Dr Chant said.

Local News

Two additional men charged over alleged conspiracy to murder plot – Strike Force Barralier

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NSW-Northern-Rivers-Breaking-News

Two additional men charged over alleged conspiracy to murder plot – Strike Force Barralier

 

Organised Crime Squad detectives have charged an additional two men over an alleged murder plot under Strike Force Barralier.

Strike Force Barralier was established in December 2023 by State Crime Command’s Organised Crime Squad to investigate an alleged conspiracy to murder a man residing in the Sydney metropolitan area.

Investigations identified a group of men as allegedly being involved in a plot to murder the 30-year-old.

Three have already been charged and remain before the courts.

Following further inquiries, about 10am today (Tuesday 9 April 2024), strike force detectives travelled to Coffs Harbour Police Station where two men – aged 27 and 29 – were transferred from a correctional centre in Clarence.

The younger man was charged with conspire and agree to murder any person, and knowingly/recklessly direct criminal group assist crime.

The older man was charged with conspire and agreed to murder any person and participate criminal group contribute criminal activity.

Both men were refused bail to appear in Coffs Harbour Local Court today.

Anyone with information that may assist investigators is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or visit here. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report information via NSW Police social media pages.

 

For more National Australia News, visit here.

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Coffs Harbour

F-35A LIGHTNING II AIRCRAFT TO FAREWELL COFFS HARBOUR AIRPORT AFTER COMPLETING REPAIRS

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F-35A LIGHTNING II AIRCRAFT

F-35A LIGHTNING II AIRCRAFT TO FAREWELL COFFS HARBOUR AIRPORT AFTER COMPLETING REPAIRS

 

A Royal Australian Air Force F-35A Lightning II aircraft will return to RAAF Base Williamtown following a short stay at Coffs Harbour Airport whilst undergoing repairs following a diversion.

The aircraft was participating in a Royal Australian Air Force training activity over the ocean off the NSW coast when it diverted to Coffs Harbour airport following an in-flight technical issue.

RAAF technicians have conducted repair works at the airport to ensure the aircraft was serviceable as soon as possible.

Residents are advised that an engine-run will be conducted at 2pm prior to the aircraft’s departure to ensure it is safe to return home to RAAF Base Williamtown.

Elevated noise levels will be associated with the engine-run activity, which is required prior to confirming the aircraft’s readiness for departure.

Strict security protocols are in place to safeguard the F-35A Lightning II aircraft whilst undergoing repairs.

The Royal Australian Air Force would like to thank Coffs Harbour Airport for their hospitality, and the local community for their ongoing support.

 

For more Coffs Harbour news, click here.

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Ballina News

New Ballina youth festival – Thrillfest – announced for Youth Week

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Thrillfest

New Ballina youth festival – Thrillfest – announced for Youth Week

 

A new youth festival, Thrillfest, will be held in Ballina for the first time during Youth Week, featuring a battle-of-the-bands, skateboarding workshops, and football drills – and free buses will ferry young people to the events.

The Ballina Youth Network is organising Thrillfest, and the not-for-profit organisation Social Futures is part of that network. The festival will be held on April 16, from 11am, at Missingham Park, Ballina with the support of Rotary Ballina, Cherry Street Sports Club, Ballina Shire Council, Hartley’s Fruit Shop and Ballina Buslines.

Social Futures Children Youth and Families Manager, Kiara McBeath said the Thrillfest lineup was a testament to the diverse interests and skills of the region’s young people.

“Thrillfest festivities kick off with the Battle of the Bands, where aspiring musicians will hit the stage to compete for amazing prizes,” Ms McBeath said. “Get ready to cheer for your favourites and witness the birth of the next big thing in music.

“You can also grab a board and join a skateboarding workshop run by Truckstop Skate School. It doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned skater or just starting, the Truckstop experts will guide you through techniques and tricks that’ll have you owning the pavement in no time.

“And for the sports enthusiasts, join in on our lively footy drills – a chance to show off your skills and maybe even learn a few new ones.

“The day is all about celebrating young people and their immense talents – from music to skateboarding to sport. And of course, it’s all about having fun!”

There will also be interactive games, and a free BBQ lunch.

“In an effort to make Thrillfest accessible to every teen in Ballina, there will be free transport on the day,” Ms McBeath said.

“Every bus network in Ballina is supporting this event by offering free transport to Tamar Street all day long for young people,” Ms McBeath said.

“Join us for an unforgettable day of fun, friendship, and fanciful feats. Ballina’s youth are the heartbeat of our community, and Thrillfest is here to celebrate that energy and creativity.”

National Youth Week, April 11-24, is a week-long celebration of the contribution that young people make to Australia. It is a joint initiative of the Australian, State and Territory Governments. Each year, all over Australia, events are planned and organised to celebrate and recognise the contribution of young people.

 

For more local Ballina news, click here.

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