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News and Reviews

UPDATE: Fatal single-vehicle crash – Lane Cove

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UPDATE: Fatal single-vehicle crash – Lane Cove

 

A driver has died following a single-vehicle crash in Lane Cove on Sydney’s Lower North Shore this morning.

Just after 4am (Tuesday 9 April 2024), emergency services responded to Epping Road, Lane Cove, after reports of a single-vehicle crash.

The Mitsubishi Mirage appears to have lost control and hit multiple traffic lights at the intersection of Mowbray Road before spinning and flipping a number of times.

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The male driver and sole occupant of the vehicle, died at the scene. He is yet to be formally identified.

Officers from North Shore Police Area Command established a crime scene which has since been examined by specialist officers attached to the Crash Investigation Unit.

An investigation is underway into the circumstances surrounding the crash and a report will be prepared for the information of the coroner.

Anyone with information about this incident 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.

 

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Supermarket Loyalty Programs Seen as Unfair by Consumers, CHOICE Survey Finds

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Supermarket Loyalty Programs Seen as Unfair by Consumers, CHOICE Survey Finds

 

According to new research from CHOICE, an overwhelming majority of consumers believe it is unfair for supermarkets to charge higher prices to customers who are not members of their loyalty programs. The survey, which included responses from over 8,000 CHOICE supporters, revealed that 4 in 5 respondents view member-only pricing schemes as inequitable.

This sentiment is particularly pronounced during Privacy Awareness Week (6-12 May), which this year promotes the theme ‘power up your privacy.’ The findings highlight consumer discomfort not only with the cost implications of loyalty schemes but also with the privacy implications associated with the extensive data collection practices involved.

Rafi Alam, CHOICE Senior Campaigns and Policy Advisor, criticised the practices of the supermarket giants Coles and Woolworths. “While these companies promote the benefits of their loyalty programs, our research suggests that loyalty doesn’t always pay off. It’s discriminatory to force consumers to exchange their personal data for discounts, especially on essential items,” Alam stated.

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The survey also found that nearly half of the respondents are concerned about how their data is handled, noting that information gathered through loyalty programs is often shared beyond the supermarkets themselves, encompassing sectors like insurance, credit cards, and other subsidiary businesses.

In response to these findings, CHOICE is calling on the Federal Attorney-General to strengthen the Privacy Act to enforce fairer use of consumer data by businesses. Additionally, CHOICE advocates for the prohibition of member-only pricing on essential grocery items to ensure that all consumers can access necessary goods without compromising their privacy.

Alam emphasised the broader implications of these practices, stating, “It’s crucial that businesses face stronger obligations to prevent consumers from having to compromise their privacy for affordability. The necessity to protect personal information should not prevent anyone from accessing their basic needs.”

For more insights and details on the survey, visit CHOICE’s website.

 

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SAFETY REVIEW LEADS TO SPEED ZONE CHANGES ON NEW ENGLAND HIGHWAY NORTH OF TENTERFIELD

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SAFETY REVIEW LEADS TO SPEED ZONE CHANGES ON NEW ENGLAND HIGHWAY NORTH OF TENTERFIELD

 

Following a tragic incident earlier this year, where a teenager lost his life at an intersection on the New England Highway north of Tenterfield, calls for safety improvements prompted a thorough safety review. As a result of this review, Significant changes are being implemented to enhance safety measures and speed zone changes on New England Highway.

A spokesperson from Transport for NSW emphasised the profound impact of road fatalities on families, friends, and communities, reiterating the commitment to preventing such tragedies. In response to safety concerns and the intersection’s crash history, safety improvement works commenced on May 13th.

The speed limit on the New England Highway will be extended by 3.2 km to the north, covering both the Old Ballandean Road and Bruxner Way intersections, with the speed limit reduced to 80 km/h on Old Ballandean Road. Electronic message signs will be installed along the highway to inform motorists of the new speed limit, remaining in place for several weeks after the speed zone change.

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Moreover, Give Way signs at both intersections will be replaced with Stop signs, and all intersection warning signage will be upgraded, alongside refreshed line marking for improved visibility.

While the existing 80 km/h speed limit on Bruxner Way remains suitable and will be retained, the review process involved collaboration with Tenterfield Shire Council and NSW Police, adhering to the NSW Speed Zoning Standard. It’s essential to recognise that speed limits are integral to a broader speed management framework aligned with the Safe System approach to road safety.

The speed zone review, a meticulous process encompassing site inspections, analysis of road conditions and crash data, and consideration of traffic volumes, underscores the commitment to comprehensive road safety measures.

Importantly, anyone, including Council, Police, or residents, can propose a speed zone review through the Safer Roads portal.

 

For more Tenterfield news, click here.

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$3.8 MILLION TO HELP NORTHERN RIVERS COMMUNITY HEAL AFTER 2022 FLOODS

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$3.8 MILLION TO HELP NORTHERN RIVERS COMMUNITY HEAL AFTER 2022 FLOODS

 

RESEARCHERS at Southern Cross University have been awarded more than $3.8 million to help Northern Rivers locals affected by the devastating 2022 floods.

In a world-first approach, the researchers will implement a stepped care model to support over 200 people left with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after the floods.

To date, there have been very few clinical trials focused on recovery from disaster-related PTSD. None have focused on a stepped care model.

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Stepped care is an evidence-based system for treating mental health, involving a hierarchy of treatments, from least to most intensive.

The stepped care treatments in this clinical trial will include an arts-based group compassion program and group-based MDMA-assisted therapy. It is hoped the findings will provide additional treatment options for those impacted by future disasters.

People can register their interest in participating in the clinical trial by emailing compassiontrial@scu.edu.au

The Albanese Government is providing these funds as part of the 2022 Clinical Trials Grant Activity, with funding commencing from March 2024.

Grants totalling $62 million were awarded to 26 recipients as part of the grant opportunity.

The Albanese Government has committed a total of $750 million for the Clinical Trials Activity Initiative over ten years.

Quotes attributable to Federal Minister for Health Mark Butler MP:

“Supporting the mental health of Australians is a key priority for the Albanese Government.

“In a country often ravaged by bushfires, floods and cyclones, the world-first research by Southern Cross University will look for new and innovative ways to help communities recover following natural disasters.

“We hope that this research project will help the Northern Rivers community to recover following the flood tragedy.

“Our Government is proud to support this groundbreaking research through the Medical Research Future Fund.”

Quotes attributable to NSW Parliamentary Secretary for Disaster Recovery and State Member for Lismore Janelle Saffin MP:

“This project not only offers innovative evidence-based practices for trauma relief, but also means something positive can come out of our local experience. This research will add to the body of knowledge around trauma and post-traumatic growth.

“James Bennett-Levy has an international reputation for innovative mental health approaches and a commitment to the wellbeing or rural Australians, particularly the residents of the Northern Rivers Region. That’s why I was happy to throw my support behind this project.”

Quotes attributable to Lead Researcher, Professor James Bennett-Levy, of Southern Cross University:

“I thank the Minister for funding this world-first clinical trial of a stepped care model in a post-disaster context.

“In 2022, northern New South Wales, and Lismore in particular, experienced Australia’s most devastating floods. People are still suffering from disaster-related post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

“Our research after the 2017 floods showed that mental health problems were compounded if people were self-critical and blamed themselves. We have therefore designed a stepped care program with a self-compassion focus. Step 1 will evaluate a five-session arts-based program which engages participants in creating compassion-focussed artworks. If participants still have PTSD, they may be eligible for Step 2, MDMA-assisted therapy. Prior research has shown that MDMA-assisted therapy is an effective evidence-based treatment for PTSD and enhances self-compassion.”

Quotes attributable to Vice-Chancellor and President, Southern Cross University Professor Tyrone Carlin:

“Under Professor Bennett-Levy’s leadership and expertise, this novel trial will broaden our knowledge about the effectiveness of therapeutic treatments for addressing serious trauma following a natural disaster.

“Lismore is the most flood-prone city in Australia. We know that many in the Northern Rivers community remain traumatised by the 2022 back-to-back flood disasters. Lismore is also the birthplace of Southern Cross University, and with our roots deeply embedded in the community it is appropriate we lead this project.

“We congratulate Professor Bennett Levy for being awarded the MRFF grant. It represents the largest block MRFF funding received by Southern Cross University to date and illustrates the excellence and impact of critical research conducted by the University in our region.”

 

For more 2022 floods news, click here.

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