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Northern Rivers Local News

Aged Care Situation Report released by sector

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NSW Northern Rivers Breaking News
Norco Agrisolutions

Aged Care Situation Report released by sector

A Situation Report on the aged care sector’s fight to keep older Australians safe during the pandemic prepared by the Australian Aged Care Collaboration (AACC) paints a grim picture of the stresses faced by aged care providers and their staff during the Omicron surge.

Aged care providers in residential and home and community care are doing all they can to maintain care and support for their residents and clients while keeping them safe from infection in the face of severe staff shortages and a lack of crucial resources like PPE and RATs.

There is only so much aged care providers can do as they balance daily the need to maintain infection control measures while continuing to provide essential services, and manage the effects that isolation has on the wellbeing of people in care.

Support from governments, both federal and state, is critical to ensuring aged care providers are able to protect and provide care to vulnerable older Australians.

But the lack of key resources, particularly since early December has placed enormous additional strain on the sector with an average of a quarter of shifts in aged care left unfilled. Tragically, in January this year – a single month – there have been 499 aged care residents die due to COVID-19 (figure from Dept of Health as at 31 January 2022). This is more than the total number of aged care residents that sadly passed away in 2021.

As detail emerges of the recently announced retention payments for aged care staff it is extremely disappointing to learn that many staff will be excluded from receiving the payments. It remains to be seen how this measure will address the exodus of staff now being experienced by the sector

For example, staff working in the Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) will miss out altogether, as will Home Care and Residential Aged Care workers in maintenance, reception and lifestyle program roles. This makes it all the more difficult because in Home Care and Residential Care some staff will receive the payment while their colleagues will not – despite them all facing similar risks and work challenges.

The AACC’s Aged Care Situation Report sets out the challenges facing the sector as it stands now and what it needs from government in order to meet those challenges and maintain services and protect vulnerable older Australians.

The bottom line is that people working on the frontline of caring for older Australians need to be properly resourced and enabled to provide the best and safest care.

Some of the key supports the sector urgently needs include:

  • Appropriate payments for aged care workers that reflect their additional effort and risks as they do all they can to keep residents and clients safe from COVID19
  • Better surge workforce arrangements to ensure quality and services are maintained in the current and future COVID19 waves
  • Funding to cover the increased costs providers are incurring in implementing measures to protect residents, clients and staff
  • Reliable supplies and more efficient distribution of RATs and PPE
  • Better data on infections and vaccinations so risks can be better managed.

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Lismore News

Further charges laid following man’s death – Lismore

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NSW Northern Rivers Breaking News
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Further charges laid following man’s death – Lismore

Detectives have laid an additional charge of murder following the death of man after an alleged assault in Lismore.

Officers attached to Richmond Police District were called to a home on Keen Street, Girrards Hill, about 12.45pm on Saturday 30 September 2023, and found the homeowner suffering critical head injuries.

He was treated by NSW Ambulance paramedics before being taken to Lismore Base Hospital for treatment of multiple fractures.

Detectives commenced an investigation under Strike Force Nemesia and a 46-year-old man was charged. He remains before the courts.

On Saturday 7 October 2023, investigators were notified the man had subsequently died in hospital.

An additional charge of murder will be laid at Lismore Local Court today (Wednesday 29 November 2023).

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Grafton News

City landmark falls to start $29.5 mil project

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Bathurst builder Hines Constructions won the contract for the $29.5 million build of the Regional Aquatic Facility.
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City landmark falls to start $29.5 mil project

 

By Tim Howard

A Grafton landmark has disappeared in the past week, but it’s proof that a much awaited facility is on target for a December 2024 opening.

The Grafton Memorial Pool waterslide which dominated the landscaping of the pool grounds for decades has come down and heavy machinery has begun tearing up the pool structures and surrounding ground to begin stage one of the $29.5 million project

The head contractor, Bathurst firm Hines Constructions Pty Ltd, has promised Clarence Valley Council it will complete stage 1 of the project, known as the Regional Aquatic Centre, by December 2024.

The first stage will include the indoor facility, which includes two 25 metre pools.

The 50m outdoor pool will be part of Stage 2 of the project

The start of construction will rule out any use of the Grafton Pool site over the summer.

Heavy machiney at work beginning to demolish the pools as part of stage 1 of the Regional Aquatic Project.

Heavy machiney at work beginning to demolish the pools as part of stage 1 of the Regional Aquatic Project.

In 2022-23, despite the closure of the pool, the water slide was opened at selected times.

The pool has a close connection to the Grafton community

It’s origins go back to December 11, 1943, when 13 Cub Scouts drowned in the Clarence River returning from a picnic on Susan Island.

Findings from the tragedy revealed most of the boys had not learned to swim and the community resolved to raise funds to build a pool so children could learn to swim at an early age.

The name Grafton Memorial Pool was a reference to the boys that died on that day almost 80 years ago.

After fundraising, construction of the pool began in 1954 and it opened in 1956, the year of the Melbourne Olympics.

In the pool’s first year of operation it was visited by a touring squad of Olympic swimmers which included Sport Australia Hall of Famer, Jon Henricks.

During the visit Henricks competed in the 50m freestyle at a club event which he won in 25.60 seconds before going on to Melbourne to become Australia’s first ever Olympic 100m freestyle champion and set a new world record.

Bathurst builder Hines Constructions won the contract for the $29.5 million build of the Regional Aquatic Facility.

Bathurst builder Hines Constructions won the contract for the $29.5 million build of the Regional Aquatic Facility.

Henricks’ record, which stood for 60 years as the fastest 50m in the Grafton Olympic Pool, was beaten in 2016 by local swimmer Charlie Steele in a time of 25.11 seconds.

Over the years the addition of the waterslide and diving pool turned the facility into a regional attraction which brought visitors to the city.

But the past decade revealed issues at the pool, which included a massive water leak.

It is believed the water escaping from the pool into the ground around it has created a sinkhole responsible for the structural instability which forced the council to close the pool ahead of the 2022-23 swimming season.

The council had developed a shovel-ready plan for the Regional Aquatic Centre, which has been used for the current project.

Future stages will include the 50m outdoor pool and two waterslide.

 

For more local Grafton news, click here.

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Local News

Fire fighters save neighbouring buildings

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Water sprays onto what's left of the Clarence Valley Imaging building in River St, Maclean, which a destroyed by fire on Thursday.
Norco Agrisolutions

Fire fighters save neighbouring buildings

 

By Tim Howard

Fire fighters attending a fire which gutted a medical imaging clinic in Maclean were able to stop the fire spreading to neighbouring buildings.

About 8am last Thursday a fire broke out at the premises of Clarence Valley Imaging in River St, Maclean.

The building, between the Maclean Ambulance Station and Clarence Valley Council building was alight by the time fire fighters began to arrive.

Firefighters battle a blaze which gutted the Clarence Valley Imaging building in River St, Maclean, on Thursday morning.

Firefighters battle a blaze which gutted the Clarence Valley Imaging building in River St, Maclean, on Thursday morning.

Firefighters were able to contain the fire to the Clarence Valley Imaging building which was totally destroyed.

Fire and Rescue Maclean were the first crew on the scene, along with NSW Ambulance, located next door.

Maclean SES took on traffic control and crews from Fire and Rescue Yamba, Grafton and South Grafton plus Rural Fire Service crews and Yamba SES were called in to  assist.

River St between Taloumbi St and Wharf St was closed while crews worked on the blaze.

Neighbouring businesses and houses were evacuated as a precaution, but crews were able to contain the blaze to the medical imaging building.

The cause of the fire is unknown, but investigators will comb the fire site for clues to the source of the blaze.

Water sprays onto what's left of the Clarence Valley Imaging building in River St, Maclean, which a destroyed by fire on Thursday.

Water sprays onto what’s left of the Clarence Valley Imaging building in River St, which a destroyed by fire on Thursday.

Emergency service crews in attendance were:

  • NSW RFS – Gulmarrad Brigade
  • NSW RFS – Clarence Valley District
  • Ashby Rural Fire Service
  • NSW RFS – Wooloweyah
  • brooms head RFS
  • Fire and Rescue NSW Station 372 Maclean
  • Fire and Rescue NSW Station 510 Yamba
  • Fire and Rescue NSW Station 306 Grafton
  • Fire and Rescue NSW South Grafton 307
  • NSW SES Maclean Unit
  • NSW SES Yamba Unit

 

For more Yamba news, click here.

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NGULINGAH LALC MEMBER’S MEETING

NGULINGAH LALC MEMBER’S MEETING

NGULINGAH LALC MEMBER’S MEETING

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