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News and Reviews

PILOT PLAN TO RETURN INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

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Federal Government’s COVID-19 Disaster Payments

PILOT PLAN TO RETURN INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

A pilot plan that will see the phased return of fully vaccinated international students to NSW has been given the green light by the Commonwealth Government, with the first flight touching down by the end of this year.

Accommodation provider Scape has been confirmed to house the returning students for a 14-day quarantine in Redfern, at a building retrofitted to accommodate up to 650 students to COVIDSafe standards approved by NSW Health and NSW Police.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional New South Wales, Industry and Trade John Barilaro said the staggered return of students was stage one of a pilot that would slowly expand and evolve, as vaccination rates continue to rise in NSW and internationally.

“The international education sector sustains thousands of jobs across NSW, and I’m proud that NSW is leading the way with the return of international students to our shores,” Mr Barilaro said.

“The safety of the people of NSW is paramount and we are taking no risks. All participating students will be required to be fully vaccinated with a TGA-recognised COVID-19 vaccine, and strict quarantine protocols will be in place.

“Importantly, this plan will not come at the expense of any Australian citizen or resident wishing to return home.”

Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the program was vital to the State’s economic recovery, creating jobs and restoring growth.

“International education plays an important role in connecting NSW to the world,” Mr Perrottet said. “As we implement a range of efforts to reboot our economy, rebuilding the sector – which was worth $14.6 billion to NSW in 2019 – is a key part of our efforts.”

Education partners including Australian Catholic University, Macquarie University, The University of Newcastle, The University of Sydney, UNSW, UTS, University of Wollongong and Western Sydney University, plus independent providers the International College of Management Sydney, Kaplan, Navitas, RedHill and Study Group, have signed up to the industry-funded pilot plan.

Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said NSW was the top destination in Australia for international students.

“More than 57,000 students are currently overseas, with many desperate to return, resume their studies, part-time jobs, connect with friends and continue their journey in our world-leading institutions,” Mr Ayres said.

The first phase of the pilot plan is anticipated to bring back 500 international students to NSW on chartered flights, paid for by the students, by the end of the year.

Scape CEO Anouk Darling said the company was proud to be involved in the pilot.

“Our Scape team are proud to partner with the NSW Government and our world class education sector, here in NSW, to welcome our returning international students into our most advanced and COVID-safe student accommodation facility at Scape Redfern,” Ms Darling said.

The announcement was welcomed by the higher education sector with Professor Barney Glover AO, Governor of the NSW Vice-Chancellors’ Committee thanking the NSW Government.

“After over 18 months of planning, we are delighted that both the Australian and NSW Government are supportive of a pilot plan for an incremental reopening of our borders to our international students,” Mr Glover said.

Council of International Students Australia President, Belle Lim, welcomed the detailed planning and collaborative approach.

“We all want international students back on campus, enjoying the unique learning, work and life experience that only studying in Australia can deliver. We support the cautious approach and look forward to growing the number of students returning to NSW over time,” Ms Lim said.

CEO of Independent Higher Education Australia Simon Finn said the private higher education sector welcomes the pilot’s launch and commends the NSW Government’s unwavering focus on community safety, international student welfare and rebuilding the state economy.

“By working with the Independent Higher Education Australia (IHEA) on this pilot from the beginning, the NSW Government has demonstrated its commitment to supporting both the private and public education sector,” Mr Finn said.

Participating education providers will contact students to progress an expression of interest for the pilot plan.

Vision of international students can be found here.

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News and Reviews

The library is open online and for Click & Collect ONLY

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Richmond Tweed Regional Library

The library is open online and for Click & Collect ONLY

All Richmond Tweed Regional Library branches and the Mobile Library will be offering free Click & Collect and online services only from 11 October-1 December.
The Research & Family History Centre will remain closed until 1 December.
Library Management’s decision is based on a balance between meeting the requirements of the Public Health (COVID-19 General) Order 2021 commencing 11 October, and delivering quality services to library members.
Acting Regional Library Manager Lucy Kinsley said that, “it was a difficult decision to make, but one that provided the most equitable service to our community. This decision will be reviewed if the NSW Public Health Order is changed”.
During this period there will be no access to PCs, face-to-face programs are cancelled, printing services are unavailable, and there is no physical browsing of the collections.
Library members can access the free Click & Collect services by visiting the library website or app and placing reservations on items of their choosing, or alternatively, staff can select items on a particular theme, topic, or genre for you. Contact your local branch to arrange a Staff Selection or book a time to collect your Click & Collect items. The Online library is always open, providing access to thousands of eBooks, eAudiobooks, eMagazines, and more. Details on accessing Click & Collect and the online services are available from www.rtrl.nsw.gov.au or by phone.

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News and Reviews

REGIONAL HOUSING TASKFORCE FINDINGS RELEASED

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Federal Government’s COVID-19 Disaster Payments

REGIONAL HOUSING TASKFORCE FINDINGS RELEASED

An independent report reflecting the community’s experiences of housing and the planning system in regional NSW has been released by the NSW Government.

Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes said the Regional Housing Taskforce report details feedback from consultation with more than 500 people across regional NSW.

“The Regional Housing Taskforce’s report gives us a clear picture of the unqiue factors affecting housing in each regional community, and I want to thank every person who took part for their contributions,” Mr Stokes said.

“The report confirms COVID-19 has accelerated an existing trend of people moving from the city to the bush, and this has had an acute impact on regional housing markets.

“The findings tell us what regional communities need to better support their housing needs and I look forward to receiving the taskforce’s detailed recommendations in October.”

Chair of the Regional Housing Taskforce Garry Fielding said the taskforce would now prepare recommendations for the NSW Government to consider in October.

“The communty’s feedback will be used to develop recommendations outlining how the planning system can address housing needs and stimulate supply,” Mr Fielding said.

“I want to thank each person who gave us their time and ideas to help us prepare such a comprehensive report that identifies housing trends, what we’ve heard, detailed findings and the next steps.”

The key issues raised in the findings report include:

· Greater prioritisation on the coordination and delivery of infrastructure to support new homes;
· A need for collaboration between all levels of Government, the housing development industry and the community to develop the right type of housing where people need it;
· Calls to speed up planning processes and reduce duplication, particularly where opportunities to provide housing are time-critical; and
· Demand for more affordable and diverse housing in line with changing demographics, jobs growth, natural disasters, and migration trends.

To review the findings, visit: www.planningportal.nsw.gov.au/regional-housing.

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News and Reviews

ROYAL RANDWICK WELCOMES BACK FANS FOR THE EVEREST

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Federal Government’s COVID-19 Disaster Payments

ROYAL RANDWICK WELCOMES BACK FANS FOR THE EVEREST

The NSW Government has confirmed Royal Randwick will host 5,000 fully vaccinated spectators for The TAB Everest, Saturday 16 October, with the State on track to pass the 70 per cent double dose vaccination target.

Deputy Premier John Barilaro said welcoming fully vaccinated racegoers back to the track is only possible thanks to the vigilance of NSW residents during lockdown.

“Getting crowds back at major events is a big part of the NSW Government’s Reopening NSW roadmap, and after months of following the sport from the couch, I know fans are looking forward to cheering on the world’s fastest horses in the flesh,” Mr Barilaro said.

“In NSW we are hitting our vaccination targets ahead of schedule, which means The Everest will be Sydney’s first major sporting event with fans in attendance, as we emerge from lockdown.”

Minister for Better Regulation and Minister responsible for racing Kevin Anderson said the racing industry in NSW stood above the rest when it came to operating in a COVIDSafe way, contributing more than $3.5 billion annually to the NSW economy and acting as a significant employer for almost 14,000 people in metropolitan and regional NSW.

“Spring wouldn’t be spring without The Everest and the prospect of having crowds trackside at Royal Randwick for the world’s richest race on turf is very exciting,” Mr Anderson said.

“The Australian Turf Club brought a proposal to the NSW Government earlier this month to update us on how they will conduct the event in a COVIDSafe way and I know they are eager to welcome fans trackside with open arms.

“The thoroughbred industry stood tall throughout the worst of the pandemic, keeping thousands in work and even more entertained with some sensational racing already taking place this year.”

Australian Turf Club Chief Executive Jamie Barkley said the NSW Government has led the way in seeing vaccination rates substantially increase, allowing Sydney to prepare to open up major events such as The Everest again.

“The Sydney Racing Carnival is one of the biggest events on the spring sporting calendar and The TAB Everest is beamed to 66 countries around the world,” Mr Barkley said.

“The ATC greatly appreciates the support of the NSW Government to make The TAB Everest the first major event back with 5,000 spectators as we emerge from lockdown.

For the latest information on COVID-19, visit: nsw.gov.au/covid-19

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