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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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Edition 80 The Northern Rivers Times

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139 STUDENTS ACROSS NSW ACHIEVE TOP RESULT IN 2021 HSC

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NSW Northern Rivers Breaking News

139 STUDENTS ACROSS NSW ACHIEVE TOP RESULT IN 2021 HSC

The students who have obtained first place in a 2021 Higher School Certificate course will be acknowledged today for their extraordinary academic achievement.

Premier Dominic Perrottet congratulated students on their outstanding results, achieved despite two challenging years.

“To top the state in an HSC course is an incredible achievement at the best of times; to do so today highlights even more so the grit, dedication and talent of the students being recognised,” Mr Perrottet said.

“Congratulations to all the exceptional young people who have achieved First in Course for the 2021 HSC. You should be very proud of your efforts.”

About 76,000 HSC students who sat at least one exam in 2021 will receive their results by SMS, email and online from 6am tomorrow.

Minister for Education Sarah Mitchell said 149 certificates will be presented to 139 students, with 9 topping more than one course.

“The future looks so bright for the inspiring young people who we will celebrate today, and for all HSC students who showed great perseverance and resilience in their final years of school,” Ms Mitchell said

“Combined with their abilities and skills, First in Course recipients have shown what can be achieved when there is a real commitment to learning – a quality which will hold them in good stead for the future.

“I am sure the Class of 2021 are already looking to the future and are ready to take on work, training and further studies.

“As always, my thanks goes to the experienced and dedicated NSW teachers who, along with family and friends, have supported and encouraged these young people to achieve at the top of their class.”

All Round Achievers, Top Achievers and Distinguished Achievers will be published on the NESA website on Monday at midday.

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Fear factor in fresh food supply

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Fear factor in fresh food supply

Fear factor in fresh food supply

A government report has revealed farmers are afraid to speak out on their dealings with the major supermarkets because of a “fear of retribution”.

NSW Farmers Dairy Committee Chair Colin Thompson said the disappointing findings from the inaugural Food and Grocery Code review vindicated the efforts to secure fairness in fresh food supply chains.

“The majority of pay rise negotiations were fruitless for farmers in 2021 and almost a third of major supermarket suppliers cited ‘fear of retribution’ as a reason for not raising issues under the Code,” Mr Thompson said.

“Something is clearly wrong when people are afraid of having their say, and it’s clear that many farmers won’t raise concerns or ask for improved pay arrangements because of how powerful these supermarkets are.”

While Mr Thompson commended Coles and Woolworths for complying with the Code’s voluntary reporting regime, he said there was clear room for improvement in fresh food supply arrangements.

“The perishability of their produce basically means farmers are price-takers and are in a vulnerable position in their supply chains,” Mr Thompson said.

“This dynamic can give rise to abuse of power by bigger players, such as wholesalers and retailers.

“However, we do need to recognise there was some positive feedback, particularly for Aldi.”

Mr Thompson said NSW Farmers had been pushing for change in this space and had a key breakthrough with the Perishable Agricultural Goods (PAG) inquiry and its subsequent findings in late 2020.

“NSW Farmers has advocated for intervention to make supply chains such as dairy, horticulture and poultry meat more equitable – essentially so that farmers can receive the pay they deserve for their produce,” Mr Thompson said.

“Our advocacy led to a Treasury-led ACCC inquiry, which confirmed power dynamics are likely to favour wholesalers, processors and retailers, and the ACCC made a suite of recommendations to help remedy this situation.

“We need firm commitments for legislative reforms to protect farmers from unfair trading practices.”

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