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Ballina Shire News

“Spare no expense”: Tamara Smith MP calls for further action to stamp out fire ants

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Fire Ants in Wardell

“Spare no expense”: Tamara Smith MP calls for further action to stamp out fire ants

 

Tamara Smith MP, Greens Member for Ballina, is calling on the Minister for Agriculture Tara Moriarty to take further action to eradicate red-imported fire ants in the Northern Rivers Region.

Fire ants were recently discovered by a local farmer in Wardell, just months after they were sighed in Murwillumbah further north.

Ms Smith is particularly concerned that construction materials, imported at increasing rates following the 2022 floods, have enabled more ways for fire ants to be quickly transported across long distances.

Residents who suspect they have seen fire-ants should call the Department of Primary Industries on 1800 680 244 or go to the DPI website for more information.

Fire Ants in Wardell

Tamara Smith MP is calling on Tara Moriarty to take further action to eradicate fire ants found in Wardell.

Tamara Smith MP, Greens Member for Ballina, said:

We must take urgent action to stamp out fire-ants and prevent a potential environmental catastrophe.

Since the floods, we’ve been transporting construction materials at record rates. That’s created a number of opportunities to spread fire ants across the region. It’s important that the NSW government inspects every post-flood inspection site to make sure fire ants have not spread further.

I’ve written to the Minister for Agriculture to express my concerns, and I will continue to raise this issue in Macquarie Street.

These ants can kill wildlife, kill pets, and devastate our local agriculture industry. We should spare no expense in stamping these ants out, or else we’re looking at much more expensive implications for the community down the road.

I’m confident Minister Moriarty will treat this issue with the urgency it deserves, and I look forward to working with the government on this issue.

 

For more local Ballina news, click here.

Ballina Shire News

Dementia Australia supports Ballina and Casino

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Dementia Australia is offering support in Ballina and Casino between 4 and 8 March.

Dementia Australia supports Ballina and Casino

 

Dementia Australia

Are you concerned about your memory or worried that someone you know may have dementia? Dementia Australia is offering support in Ballina and Casino between 4 and 8 March.

It is estimated there are more than 141,000 people living with dementia in New South Wales. Without a medical breakthrough this number is expected to increase to more than 252,000 people living with dementia by 2054.

These Dementia Australia sessions are an opportunity for people living with dementia, their carers, family, and friends to attend free education to better understand dementia and to discuss the support and services Dementia Australia can provide. Please note, bookings are essential.

Carer Wellness Program

This group session is designed to support positive health and wellbeing outcomes for a carer, family or friend of a person living with dementia.

  • Monday 4 March 9:30am-3pm in Lismore

Understanding Dementia

This session provides and introduction to dementia including an overview of different types of dementia, diagnosis, planning ahead and how to support someone living with dementia.

  • Tuesday 5 March 9:30am-12pm in Ballina

It Starts With You

If you are passionate about your local community and want to make it more dementia-friendly, then this session is for you.

  • Tuesday 5 March 1pm-1:30pm in Ballina

Consumer Engagement Information Session

This session will provide an overview of the three flagship Consumer Engagement programs available at Dementia Australia: Dementia Advocates, Connection Peers and Dementia-Friendly Communities.

  • Tuesday 5 March 1:30pm-2:30pm in Ballina

Considering Residential Care

This session provides information about the process of considering and preparing for residential care.

  • Tuesday 5 March 2:45pm-5pm in Ballina
Dementia Australia is offering support in Ballina and Casino between 4 and 8 March.

Dementia Australia is offering support in Ballina and Casino between 4 and 8 March.

Driving With Dementia

This program provides information about the impact of dementia on driving. It offers tips for recognising when dementia is impacting on someone’s ability to drive safely, the importance of planning ahead, and acknowledging the significance of retiring from driving.

  • Wednesday 6 March 9:30am-12pm in Ballina

Activities At Home

This practical session assists carers looking after someone at home to plan engaging activities. It promotes independence and wellbeing by focusing on what the person with dementia can still do.

  • Wednesday 6 March 1pm-2:45pm in Ballina

Communication and Dementia 

The session provides information on dementia, the way we communicate and how changes in communication can occur as a result of dementia.

  • Wednesday 6 March 3pm-5:30pm in Ballina

Understanding Changes in Behaviour

This session provides an introduction to dementia and changes to the brain, effects on behaviour and the impacts of changed behaviour. It will introduce problem solving models, including strategies to minimise and respond to changed behaviour.

  • Thursday 7 March 9:30am-12:30pm in Ballina and Friday 8 March 1:30pm-3:30pm in Casino

EDIE for Family Carers 

This session enhances knowledge of dementia through virtual reality technology that allows participants to see the world through the eyes of a person living with dementia.

  • Thursday 7 March 1:30pm-4:30pm in Ballina and Friday 8 March 9:30am-12:30pm in Casino

Bookings are essential. Visit here for details and to register. You can also call the National Dementia Helpline to register for this course on 1800 100 500. The National Dementia Helpline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

 

For more health news, click here.

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Ballina News

Ballina Shire Council Unveils Draft Housing Strategy for Public Review

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Ballina Shire Council Unveils Draft Housing Strategy for Public Review

Ballina Shire Council Unveils Draft Housing Strategy for Public Review

 

The Ballina Shire Council is pleased to present the Draft Housing Strategy for public review and feedback, aimed at addressing the housing needs within the Ballina Shire over the next two decades. Crafted to anticipate and respond to housing demand, this strategy is a proactive approach to ensuring the availability of suitable housing for residents.

Paula Newman, Council’s Manager Strategic Planning, underscores the significance of this strategy in aligning housing supply with the community’s evolving needs.

“The Draft Ballina Shire Housing Strategy 2024 serves as a blueprint, identifying critical gaps in housing supply and delineating Council’s pivotal role in facilitating and promoting housing options that cater to our diverse populace,” she states.

The strategy delineates 23 actionable items earmarked for implementation over the ensuing 20 years, all aimed at fostering a more inclusive and sustainable housing landscape.

Four overarching principles guide these actions:

  1. Accessibility for Local Workers and Residents: Prioritising housing availability for those who live and work within the community, ensuring equitable access to housing opportunities.
  2. Promotion of Housing Diversity: Advocating for an array of housing sizes and types to accommodate the diverse needs and preferences of residents, fostering inclusivity and choice.
  3. Creation of Walkable Neighbourhoods: Promoting the development of walkable neighbourhoods with proximity to essential amenities such as shops and services, enhancing community connectivity and quality of life.
  4. Enhancement of Housing Resilience: Ensuring new housing developments are resilient to natural disasters and capable of withstanding housing stress, safeguarding the welfare of residents and the integrity of communities.
Ballina Shire Council Unveils Draft Housing Strategy for Public Review

Ballina Shire Council Unveils Draft Housing Strategy for Public Review

Acknowledging the multifaceted nature of the housing system, Ms. Newman underscores the collaborative effort required for meaningful progress. “The housing landscape is intricate, influenced by an interplay of macro-economic policies, technological advancements, and stakeholder dynamics,” she affirms.

“While Council plays a pivotal role, effective resolution necessitates collective action, with landowners, developers, government entities, and community stakeholders each contributing to the solution.”

In the spirit of transparency and community engagement, Council conducted a series of consultation activities, including online surveys and face-to-face workshops, to gather insights and perspectives shaping this Draft Housing Strategy.

The Council invites community members to provide their valuable feedback on the Draft Strategy, underscoring the importance of community participation in shaping the future of housing within the Ballina Shire.

To contribute your insights and ideas, please visit here. Together, let us chart a course towards a more vibrant, inclusive, and resilient housing landscape for all residents of the Ballina Shire.

 

For more local Ballina news, click here.

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Ballina News

Changing up Australia Day

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A girl with an Australian Flag for tweed's Australia Day Awards and Citizenship Ceremony

Changing up Australia Day

 

By Sarah Waters

Tweed Shire Council bucked tradition and held their 2024 Tweed’s Australia Day Awards and Citizenship Ceremony on Thursday, January 25, last week – the day before Australia Day.

Council decided to change the date last year, after Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs Andrew Giles announced an update to the Australian citizenship ceremonies code.

Councils are now allowed to host ceremonies on any of the three days before or after January 26.

Mayor Chris Cherry said hosting Tweed’s Australia Day Awards and Citizenship Ceremony a day before the public holiday allowed invited guests to attend last Thursday’s event and then spend Australia Day with their family and friends.

It also saved council with costs by not having to pay staff overtime for working on a public holiday.

Tweed Councillor Nola Firth said that it was a win, win situation to have the awards and citizenship ceremony on a different day.

“While I personally believe Australia Day should be on another day than the one where Captain Arthur Phillip arrived and took possession of what was in fact Indigenous land, the timing of the citizenship ceremony, of which there are many during the year, was not intended to create controversy,” Ms Firth said.

Ms Firth said community members could still celebrate Australia Day as they wished on January 26, but it also allowed the award ceremonies to be held on a day which wasn’t so contentious to some people.

A girl with an Australian Flag for tweed's Australia Day Awards and Citizenship Ceremony

Councils now have more control over what they do for Australia Day

Meanwhile, Byron Shire Council, did not host any Australia Day celebrations or ceremonies this year.

Mayor Michael Lyon said council held the opinion quite broadly that there should be a different day to celebrate Australians, which is more inclusive.

“I think the way things are going, more generally in Australia, is to move away from having January 26 as Australia Day and certainly in this Shire we’ve felt that way for a long time,” Mr Lyon said.

Last year, Byron Shire Council held a citizenship ceremony on Australia day, but this year it was moved to January 29.

The Byron Shire also did not hold an Australia Day awards ceremony to celebrate its community members.

In 2022, it decided to celebrate its citizens or community members at a completely different time of the year, which now typically coincides with Local Government Week in August.

Survival Day was instead held again at Byron Bay last Friday, January 26, which celebrated the survival of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and culture.

Arakwal Bundjalung people of Byron, the Sisters of Reconciliation and the Cavanbah Reconciliation Group invited community members to the 20th annual Cavanbah (Byron Bay) Survival Day event at Main Beach, Byron Bay.

Thousands attended the event, which included Bundjalung and Djugun musicians and speakers who discussed the history of the British Invasion and colonisation of Bundjalung people.

Ballina Shire Council had no changes to its annual Australia Day Awards and Citizenship Ceremony with both celebrations held last Friday at the Lennox Head Cultural Centre.

The shire’s ceremony started with a Welcome to Country by Bundjalung elder Aunty Julia Paden, followed by a special citizenship ceremony and the much-anticipated Ballina Shire Australia Day Awards.

 

For more Tweed Shire news, click here.

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